A Little Apple History

This Collector's Personal Perspective

Last update: August 20, 2007

We turn not older with years, but newer every day. Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

Introduction

In the 30 years since the advent of the personal computer, one company has stood out consistently as a symbol of quality in both hardware and software, and that company is Apple Computer [now just Apple ]. Although frequently over-priced and sometimes presenting a confused range of products [e.g. the Apple III, the IIgs in competition with the Macintosh, the dizzying array of Performa machines in the mid 90s], the design, software, performance and reliability of Macintosh computers has seen Apple Computer remain a very strong presence in the computer arena, despite their long term competition with the giants of IBM and Microsoft and their market leading Windows-PC combination.

To put it another way, Apple was, and still is, "cool" . In the world of billion dollar business, Apple is a counter-culture icon. In an industry inclined to produce an uninspiring series of drab, grey, impersonal boxes with clunky, amateur interfaces, Apple is seen as aesthetically driven and demanding of excellence. Well that's the myth anyway, but that there is some truth to it is reflected in the "spirit" that pervades the Macintosh experience. As Andy Herzfeld (author of much of the original Macintosh ROM) writes:

"The urgency, ambition, passion for excellence, artistic pride, and irreverent humor of the original Macintosh team infused the product and energized a generation of developers and customers with the Macintosh spirit, which continues to inspire more than 20 years later" - Andy Herzfeld (Revolution in the Valley, 2004).

Although Apple Computer established itself largely thanks to Steve Wozniak's hardware brilliance and Steve Jobs' clarity of vision with the Apple II line of computers from the late 70s to the early 80s, it is the Macintosh that has become the enduring icon of Apple computing. Groundbreaking in hardware and design, it is nevertheless the graphical user interface (GUI) that built on work at Xerox PARC and Apple's own business-level and largely unsuccessful Lisa, that has had the most significant and lasting impact. In one fell swoop, a whole paradigm of computer use was pushed aside, and the previously arcane world of the human-computer interface became a simple, friendly place. Thus the personal computer started along the road from hobbyist plaything to ubiquitous appliance. This was the vision of Jef Raskin and the Mac team, and was made a reality by the determination and single-mindedness of the enigmatic Steve Jobs.

The above situation has led to the emergence of what has become known as the "Mac Fanatic". Mac Fanatics are individuals that are fiercely proud of the Macintosh computer, and have a strange fascination with all aspects of the machine, and the company and individuals who have contributed to its unique nature. Although unsure myself, I have no doubt that friends and family would rank me amongst their number without hesitation! Mac Fanatics frequently have more computers than places to put them. In the vintage mac community, a collection of 10 machines barely raises an eyebrow, 20 machines is still quite common, and some individuals have more than 100, fully functional, Apple and Macintosh computers. (A quick count finds me with 33 complete and working Apple computers at this moment, 17 of which are in "active service". )

My personal computing history began with the Dick Smith System 80 (a Z80 based TRS-80 clone), but the large-scale adoption of Apple equipment by the high-school and university education sectors in Australia ensured that much of my formative computer experience was intimately connected to Apples of one sort or another. Mid-way through high school, the Maths Department at my school acquired an Apple II. While studying maths and physics at university, especially as a graduate student, the computing laboratory was by and large entirely Macintosh (although often used simply as terminals to larger, shared mainframe computers). In my first year as a Doctoral student, I was given an additional scholarship by my School, and in return I had to perform a few hours of basic maintenance and support on the computers in my Department - at that stage (if I recall correctly) two Mac Plusses, an SE and a IIx. Before long I was totally converted, and began learning to program the Mac OS using THINK Pascal and THINK C, and adopted MPW as my standard editor and shell environment. [I'm still waiting to see something that can match MPW.]

As the years have passed, the nature of computing has not changed as much as one may have thought. It is a testament to the quality and innovation of the Macintosh interface that my young children can switch from working on a 1986 vintage Macintosh Plus, to System 7 on their PowerBook 1400c, and then to OS X on an iMac, without even noticing that they've just travelled through 20 years of personal computing. Indeed, I can only think of one truly significant qualitative change since the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984, and that is with regard to connectivity - specifically broadband and the Internet. Hardware and Software is still qualitatively much as it was in the late 80s - only faster and bigger. But one thing that has most definitely changed is that many of those lovely Apple and Macintosh computers that were once so far beyond my financial reach, are now readily available for a song or less! On more than one occasion I have found myself accepting a carload of old macs simply to prevent them from being thrown out! Given this situation, I have attempted to build up a representative and manageable collection of hardware and software that covers the years from 1976 to 2000, and it is this collection I present in the following pages.

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

1976-1985: Apple Computer and the Rise of the Apple II

Apple 1 (1976) / Replica 1 (2005)

In 1976, Steve Wozniak presented his "Apple" computer to the Homebrew Computer Club. Built around a 1MHz 6502 CPU, it included an ASCII keyboard interface, video output, 4K of RAM (expandable) and 256 bytes of ROM containing a simple monitor allowing memory to be examined and changed. Available in kit form, enough of these computers were sold to allow Jobs and Wozniak (and the unfortunate Ronald Wayne) to start a company (1977), build the Apple II, and the rest, as they say, is history, Only about 200 Apple 1's were sold, and most were returned as their owners upgraded to the Apple II. Since so few remain, a genuine Apple 1 can demand tens of thousands of dollars in the collectible computer market. Of course, I do not have one - but I'm willing to accept donations!

Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in this groundbreaking machine and, not one, neither two, but three distinct clones have appeared. One of these is very similar to the original, using hard to find "new old stock" original parts, whereas the other two use modern parts for the memory and video, and support some more modern devices such as a PS/2 keyboard and both serial and USB I/O. However, they remain 100% hardware compatible with the original. I purchased and built a Replica 1 as a kit. I am particularly proud of the fact that my 6502 assembler, KRUSADER, is included in the ROM of two of these recent clones. That's my "brush with fame" - my code alongside Woz's in the ROM of a commercial computer! The most appealing feature of the Replica 1 for me is that it is the only computer in my collection that I understand well at all levels: hardware, high-level software, and low-level software. It also boots instantly!

My Collection

Replica 1
A modern Apple 1 clone, with 32K RAM and 8K ROM (including Apple 1 BASIC and the KRUSADER assembler)

The Apple II Series: Early and Middle Period (1977-1985)

The success of the original Apple allowed Wozniak to immediately address essentially all of its deficiencies and thus create the Apple II. The Apple II had more RAM, sound, graphics, colour, and BASIC and a much enhanced monitor in ROM. Presented in a complete, professionally designed package including keyboard and power supply, the Apple II, along with a new bold, rainbow apple logo laid the foundations of the Apple brand. Soon after, the Disk II floppy drive and DOS 3.1 appeared, and the Apple II had matured and would retain the same basic form for several years. Open and expandable, the computer found a market with electronics enthusiasts, while its packaging and ease-of-use helped it become established as the primary education computer of the late 70s and early 80s. In addition, being the initial host for VisiCalc - the world's first spreadsheet program, the Apple II gained a foothold in the business community, an extremely valuable boost for the fledgling company.

Relatively minor changes followed as the line developed from the Apple II to the Apple II+ (mostly ROM changes), and thence to the Apple II Europlus (PAL video output - but not in colour). The first truly significant change was the arrival of the Apple IIe in 1983, containing an entirely new motherboard with many custom chips. This was followed by the Apple IIc in 1984; a compact, almost portable computer that included an internal floppy drive plus the functionality of many other standard cards (e.g. two serial cards, and 80 column text), and even supported an optional LCD screen.

The swan song of the Apple II line was the IIgs (1986-1992). Thanks to its 16 bit 65816 CPU at 2.8 MHz, and with enhanced graphics and sound, the IIgs not only retained Apple II compatibility and so was able to run most 8 bit Apple software, but also presented a Macintosh-like GUI for its 16 bit operation. I must also mention the Apple III (1980-1984). Featuring a 2 MHz 6502 CPU, the Apple III was intended to be a business machine, but retain the ability to execute Apple II software via emulation. Yet it was plagued by hardware problems, and by the time these were rectified, the opportunity was lost and Apple's reputation for quality had taken a beating. Yet, with both Lisa and Macintosh waiting in the wings, an altogether different path was waiting to be explored...

My Collection

Apple II Europlus
Disk controller card, Super Serial Card, MCT Speeddemon accelerator (3.5MHz 65C02), Microsoft SoftCard (Z80), 64K "Language" card, runs DOS 3.3.
Apple IIc
Including monitor and stand, runs DOS 3.3 and ProDOS.

I also have:

In reserve - Apple IIe (with Super Serial Card and 80 column card).

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

1984-1986: The Macintosh Arrives

The early compacts - 128K (1984-1985), 512K (1984-1987), Plus (1986-1990)

The original Macintosh (now known as the Mac 128K) was, for its time, quite a strange beast. Based on an 8MHz 68000 CPU and with only 128K of RAM, it was closed and compact (particularly with respect to its desktop footprint), and came with a graphical operating system (GUI). Like its elder sibling, the Lisa, operation of the computer involved using a mouse to manipulate applications, files and folders following a desktop metaphor. However, unlike the Lisa, there was an enormous amount of operating system code built into its 64K of ROM (known as the Toolbox), and there was no alternative to using the GUI. This, in combination with the limited amount of RAM (already shared with the video) meant that Macintosh applications had to be either written in a "Macintosh" way (that is using the ROM code) or you would be unable to fit any reasonable amount of functionality into memory! This surely had programmers cursing, especially given the almost total lack of documentation for the first year or so, but it also laid the groundwork for the consistency and subsequent success of the Macintosh interface. The famous story of MacBasic provides a vivid and somewhat distressing illustration of this fact. See here for more information on this, and some other early mac anecdotes.

Fortunately the designers recognised that 128K of RAM was not going to be enough, and so ensured that upgrading to 512K would be very easy as higher capacity RAM chips became available. By September 1984, the 512K "Fat Mac" had arrived - with 4 times the memory of the original, but identical in all other respects. Despite the obvious strengths of the Macintosh OS, the high cost plus limitations in the original hardware meant that sales struggled for the first year or two. However, salvation came from the combination of the Macintosh GUI, the Apple LaserWriter, Adobe PostScript, and the desktop publishing application PageMaker from Aldus. In late 1985, there was simply no cost effective competition for this technology, and the Macintosh found its foothold. And once established, it went from strength to strength. By 1986, the Macintosh Plus provided up to 4MB of RAM plus a SCSI interface for an external hard disk, and thus a sufficiently powerful incarnation of the Macintosh had appeared, and the future of computing started to take shape.

Some information and screenshots of the early Macintosh OS are here.

My Collection

Macintosh
The original Macintosh, with 128K RAM, 64K ROM, 400K external floppy drive and short keyboard.
Macintosh Plus
4MB RAM, HD20 external hard drive, and external floppy drive.
In reserve - Macintosh 512K and Macintosh 512Ke

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

1987-1993: The Expandable Macintosh

The Mac II series (1987-1993), the SE Compacts (1989-1990), and the early LCs (1990-1993)

That the development of the initial Macintosh was associated with a fair degree of internal turmoil at Apple can be seen by the fact that before 1985 was out, many of the most significant contributors, such as Jef Raskin, Andy Herzfeld, Burrell Smith and even Steve Jobs, had left the company. However, by the late 80s the Macintosh was clearly established as Apple's principle product, and had started making serious progress. By 1987, pretty much every hitherto missing feature became available:

In many ways, the Macintosh II captures the spirit of the Apple II. Unlike the compacts, there is easy access to the internals and 6 slots are provided for expansion. And the SE/30 is the super compact, coming with an FPU, up to 128MB of RAM, and a single expansion slot - all in the classical compact Macintosh case.

This period also saw the arrival of A/UX - Apple's implementation of Unix. Running on machines from the Mac II line and the SE/30, by version 2 this alternative OS provided much that we now associate with OS X. Specifically, A/UX 2.0 and later provided a complete Unix System V R2.2 implementation with some extras (such as POSIX, TCP/IP etc), and supported a command shell interface, hybrid MacOS/Unix applications, full Finder integration, X Windows, and "Commando" (a dialog-based utility to help constructing and entering Unix commands). [See A/UX Penelope for a very detailed discussion of all versions of A/UX.]

My Collection

Mac II
8MB RAM, 16 MHz 68020 + 68881 FPU, PMMU, Rasterops Nubus video card (Paintboard Li), Ethernet card.
Macintosh LC
10 MB RAM, 16 MHz 68020 + ethernet card. (I also have an FPU card for the LC PDS slot).
In reserve - Macintosh IIci, Macintosh LC II.

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

1991-1995: The Golden Age

Late 68030 models (1993-1995), Quadra series (1991-1995), Power Macintosh 6100-8100 (1994-1995), Early PowerBooks (1991-1994), System 7

The period covering the later 68030 macs, and especially from the release of the 68040 based macs in 1991 to the transition to Power PC was a Golden Age for Macintosh. The computers became much more affordable, and quality constantly improved. For example, although the original LC was quite limited given its lack of a PMMU and 10MB RAM ceiling, by the LC III we had essentially the same machine but clocked twice as fast, with a 68030, maximum RAM of 32MB and a socket for an FPU! This made the LC III an excellent low-cost machine. This period also saw the introduction of the Colour Classic - considered by many to be the pinnacle of the compact line. Although lacking the pure power of the SE/30, the Colour Classic can in many ways be said to take the compact Macintosh concept to its logical conclusion.

68040

The Quadra series brought the power of the 68040 to the Macintosh. These machines were truly the Kings of the 68K Macs. Quite expensive when first introduced in 1991 as the Quadra 700 and 900, within a couple of years there were a wide variety of Quadras available, offerring excellent performance and value. My Quadra 650 is the only member of my collection that was bought while a contemporary machine, and remains probably my favourite Mac.

System 7

Also in this period came System 7 - the second major overhaul of the Macintosh OS. Long awaited, System 7 came with a huge increase in features, but with a correspondingly huge increase in resource requirements. Gone were the days of a floppy based OS, and although many people feel System 7 came with a performance cost as well, my experience (and as indicated in the benchmark results below) was that there was no real performance loss provided the machine had sufficient RAM. System 7 saw MultiFinder integrated into the Finder, virtual memory, aliases, QuickTime, Personal File Sharing, AppleScript and AppleEvents, Outline fonts (TrueType), and a fully colour interface. Although it did indeed break some applications, by and large it was a very smooth transition and represented a major step forward for the Macintosh.

PowerPC

Yet, given all this success, what does Apple do? They drop the 68K line of processors and switch to an entirely new architecture! Based on the PowerPC 601 processor, designed and built jointly with Motorola and IBM, the Power Macintosh was introduced in 1994. With 68LC040 emulation in ROM to support 68K applications, this was another smooth transition. Under emulation, 68K performance was similar to that of a 25MHz Quadra 605, while native PPC code provided speed-ups in the range of 5 to 10 times! This switch from a complex instruction set CPU (CISC) to a reduced instruction set one (RISC) certainly paid dividends, and this was probably the most exciting and dynamic time for Macintosh development that I remember. [Again see my benchmark scores for 68K and PowerPC below to clearly see the effectiveness of the emulator and the performance improvement provided by the PowerPC architecture.]

These last two changes show clearly the degree to which Apple was a progressive company during this time. At the height of their success they made fundamental changes to both the underlying architecture (from 68K to PowerPC), and to the Operating System (from System 6 to System 7), yet both of these resulted in very few problems for end users or developers, and the Macintosh spirit remained strong.

PowerBooks

And just incase the above examples are not sufficient to justify the epithet "Golden Age" for this period, there remains one other fundamental and groundbreaking addition to the Macintosh line to present. The PowerBook. Apple's first attempt at a portable Mac was the Macintosh Portable (read luggable!) in 1989. With internal specifications roughly similar to the Macintosh SE, it weighed in at 7kg, came with an active matrix screen (but originally without backlight) and was very expensive (about the same as a IIci at the time, and 50% more expensive than an SE/30). However, in 1991, Sony designed and manufactured the PowerBook 100. Despite it's low specifications (16MHz 68000, passive matrix screen and no internal floppy drive), it was a major success and introduced the ergonomic keyboard that is now a laptop standard. (It also employed a trackball - now largely discarded.) At the same time, the slightly bulkier but much more powerful PowerBooks 140 (16MHz 68030, passive matrix display) and 170 (25MHz 68030 + 68882, active matrix display) were introduced, and the PowerBook became a mainstay of the Macintosh product line.

The next year the PowerBook Duos appeared, combining a lightweight portable with a desktop docking station, and the first colour PowerBook was the PowerBook 180c in 1993. At a speed of 33MHz plus FPU, 256 colours and a 640x480 active matrix screen (although only 8.4" in size), this was a truly significant portable computer. Later followed various 68LC040 laptops, but only one, the PowerBook 550c, was released with a full 68040, and that only in Japan.

My Collection

Colour Classic
10 MB RAM, 16 MHz 68030 + FPU, Apple IIe card + 5.25" floppy drive and joystick
Quadra 650
120 MB RAM, 33 MHz 68040, 66MHz Daystar Power PC card, CD-ROM
Power Macintosh 6100/66 DOS Compatible
72 MB RAM, 66 MHz 601, CD-ROM, 486DX2-66 DOS card
With these 3 dual machines, I have access to 5 different CPUs, and can run Macintosh System 7, System 8, System 9, A/UX 3, DOS 3.3 as well as MS-DOS 6, Windows 3.11 and Windows 95. Not a bad little collection on its own!

And then there's my 3 1xx model PowerBooks.

PowerBook 140
4MB RAM, upgraded with 170 daughter card (runs System 6)
PowerBook 170
8MB RAM
PowerBook 180c
12MB RAM

In reserve - LC III, LC 475, Centris 650, Quadra 6110, Workgroup Server 6150

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

1994-1997: The Lost Years

PowerPC PowerBooks and a plethora of Performas

Well, as they say in the US, after the Summer, comes the Fall, and over this next period we see a major decline at Apple. Although these few years produced some good machines, all-in-all it was a bit of an aimless period, producing box after box of uninspiring machines. PowerBooks still made excellent progress. My kids' computer is a 1996 PowerBook 1400c with a 133MHz CPU plus 128K L2 cache, 48MB RAM and capable of displaying thousands of colours on an 11.3" 800x600 active-matrix screen. This illustrates how the PowerBooks of this period constituted a major improvement over their 68K counterparts. This period also saw a hardware shift towards more mainstream technologies, as Apple adopted PCI slots for expansion, and IDE for hard drives.

Chaos in Cupertino

However, these areas of progress did not offset the many difficulties Apple experienced during this time. From a user perspective, there was the confusing branding of machines that resulted in a multitude of "Performas", and the System Software became machine specific leading to a horrible zoo of System Enablers. From a company perspective, revenues, market-share and image all plummetted as Apple couldn't supply the machines in demand, and couldn't shift stockpiles of the others! Many predicted the demise of Apple, and attempts were made to sell the company to Sun, IBM, Canon, and Philips, but all were all unsuccessful. The much hyped, next generation, object oriented operating system, Pink, a joint venture with IBM and subsequently with HP, had turned to vapour by 1995, and the next edition of the Macintosh OS, Copland, was also rapidly turning into a disaster. Gil Amelio was elected CEO and, despite inheriting a company in chaos, started to make quality and innovation a focus again. One of the biggest problems he faced was how to fix the operating system. The solution? Seek rescue from a third party - specifically from either Jean-Loius Gassee (the former head of Apple products who had left and started his own computer company, "Be Incorporated"), or the prodigal son, Steve Jobs, and the OPENSTEP operating system that was now the flagship product of his company NeXT Computer. In the end, OPENSTEP was chosen and Apple purchased NeXT for a somewhat inflated price of over $400 million, but the PR value of the return of Jobs in 1996 was immense! By 1997 Amelio was history, Jobs had taken over, and, almost by magic, by 1998 Apple had returned to profitability!

The Newton

After many years in the making, the Newton Message Pad appeared in 1993. Powered by a 20 MHz ARM 610 RISC chip with 4MB ROM and 640KB RAM, it was the first of a new breed of gadget: a handheld computer/organiser and termed a "Personal Digital Assistant" (or PDA) by Apple CEO John Sculley in 1992. The Newton OS promised a new paradigm, with a stylus and pressure sensitive LCD supporting sketching and handwriting recognition. Networking and expandability were provided via LocalTalk, IR and PMCIA. One serious problem was that the handwriting recognition accuracy was not up to the task until the MessagePad 2000 appeared in 1997 - driven by a 162MHz StrongArm SA-110 CPU. Much like the situation with the Macintosh, a few iterations were required before the specifications were really up to scratch, and market share was lost to cheaper, less capable alternatives. The eMate 300 was a Newton packaged as a laptop - now aimed at the education market (that long time "bread and butter" market for Apple Computer). Many features of its design were driven by the need to make it sufficiently robust for this environment - e.g. resistant to spills, drops, bounces etc. With 8MB of ROM and 3MB of RAM, it featured a 480 by 320 pixel, 16 grey backlit LCD pressure sensitive screen (optionally backlit), and promised up to 24 hours of battery life.

My Collection

PowerBook 1400c
133 MHz + L2 cache, 48MB RAM, 1GB HD, 800x600 active matrix screen
eMate 300
25 MHz ARM 610, 8MB ROM, 3MB RAM, Newton OS 2.1
In reserve - PowerMacintosh 9500/150, PowerMacintosh 7300/200

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

1997-2000: The G3

Once back in control, Steve Jobs continued what Gil Amelio had started - a clean up of the product line, and a renewed focus on quality and design. Late 1997 saw the release of what has become known as the Beige G3 - the last of the beige PowerPCs. In many ways, the Beige G3 is a transitional machine. Available in Desktop, Minitower and All-in-one configurations, it was a computer that bridged the old (the PowerMacs of the last few years) and the new (the upcoming G3 iMacs). Powerful and expandable, it supported both SCSI and ATA hard drive busses, had PCI slots for expansion, came with a floppy drive and frequently an internal zip drive as well, still had ADB and AppleTalk, and also supported an AV "personality card" option. But the true recovery of the Macintosh, and thus the recovery of Apple, was driven by the iMac. Introduced in 1998, the iMac embodied a return to the principles that characterised the development of the original Macintosh. All-in-one, yet original in design, it first appeared in "Bondi Blue", and then in 5 different "flavours" (1999). Packed with features, yet inexpensive, it was a machine clearly aligned to Apple's vision of the future of the computing industry. A high quality, attractive, internet enabled machine, there was no more SCSI, no more floppy drive, no more ADB, but rather USB, Ethernet, and later FireWire as standard.

With the iMac, Apple had once again produced a machine that would become an icon of personal computing, and, as a direct result, the compant was well on the road to recovery.

OS X

The release of Systems 8 and 9 saw some settling of the Copland related OS chaos of the previous years, but it was the acquisition of OPENSTEP that lead directly to the third major Macintosh OS overhaul: OS X. Featuring a MACH Kernel, OS X was an implementation of BSD Unix (following OPENSTEP rather than A/UX), with the addition of the Aqua theme and Dock to replace the classic Mac Finder. Thus the Macintosh OS finally gained pre-emptive multitasking and memory protection, but now it also came with the underlying power of Unix while retaining the same degree of quality in the user interface that the Macintosh GUI made synonymous with Apple.

My Collection

PowerMacintosh G3 Minitower
266 MHz, 384 MB RAM, 2 drives, AV personality card - running OS 9.1
iMac 350MHz
slot loading, all-in-one running OS X 10.3.8

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

Connectivity and Peripherals

I don't make much effort to collect peripheral items, but I have a number of external drives - specifically four 5 1/4" drives and a DuoDisk for my Apple II's, two 400K external drives and three 800K external drives for my compact Macs, plus various external hard drives (most of them with noisy and degrading fans), Zip drives, CD drives and a couple of SCSI CD burners. I also have a Laserwriter 4/600ps networked via AppleTalk, giving me 600dpi, 4 ppm PostScript laser printing when needed. One particularly useful peripheral item is my CompuCable 3 port KVM, that enables me to run my Macintosh II, my Quadra 650, and my PowerMac 6100 with a single monitor and keyboard. A very handy space-saver indeed!

I am pleased to say that all capable machines in my collection are networked, via Ethernet where possible, or else using Appletalk over Phonenet. The PowerMac 6100 and the Quadra 650 act as bridges between the two networks, and all these machines have access to the Internet via an Ethernet hub connected to my broadband modem. However, the Apple IIs and the Macintosh 128K are not on the network. For these machines I use a serial connection when necessary.

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

Books

I am very attached to my library of Apple, Macintosh and TRS-80 related computer books. I have a clear bias towards technical and programming books, but I also have a few of more general interest. A couple in particular, such as the pre-release MDS documentation and the MacTutor collections, are now very hard to get hold of, and the Pina books seem to be getting rarer every day.

More details of my book collection are here.

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

Software

You may also be wondering what I do with all these computers? (Actually, if you've read this far you probably share my interest sufficiently to not be wondering at all! ) Well, apart from general maintenance, I run programs on them. Let's face it, a collection of hardware is pretty useless without corresponding software, and, with this in mind, I try to have a representative set of period software installed and running on each of my frontline machines. In fact, software is my primary interest and the driver for my hardware collection: particularly development software, which is handy because it means I can always make my computers do new things.

More details about the software I maintain on my computers can be found on my software page.

Introduction | Apple | Macintosh | Expandables | Golden Age | Lost Years | G3 | Peripherals | Books | Software | Collection

The Collection

Primary Reserve
Apple:
  • Replica 1 (Apple 1 clone) (1976)
  • Apple II+ (1979-1983)
  • Apple IIc (1984-1986)
  • Apple IIe (1983-1985)
68K Macintosh:
  • Macintosh 128K (1984-1985)
  • Macintosh Plus (1986-1990)
  • Macintosh II (1987-1990)
  • Macintosh LC (1990-1992)
  • PowerBook 140 (1991-1992)
  • PowerBook 170 (1991-1992)
  • Colour Classic (1993-1994)
  • PowerBook 180c (1993-1994)
  • Quadra 650 (1993-1994)
  • Macintosh 512K (1984-1986)
  • Macintosh 512Ke (1986-1987)
  • Macintosh IIci (1989-1993)
  • Macintosh LC II (1992-1993)
  • Macintosh LC III (1993-1994)
  • Centris 650 (1993)
  • Quadra 605 (1993-1994)
  • Quadra 610 (1993)
PPC Macintosh:
  • Power Macintosh 6100 (1994-1995)
  • PowerBook 1400c (1996-1997)
  • Power Macintosh G3 (1997-1999)
  • iMac G3 350 MHz (1999-2000)
  • Workgroup Server 6150 (1994-1996)
  • Power Macintosh 9500 (1995-1997)
  • Power Macintosh 7300 (1997)
Newton:
  • eMate 300 (1997-1998)

Machines in the collection, organised by System

SystemYearComputersNotes
Apple 1 and Apple ][
Woz Monitor1976Apple 1 (Replica 1)Simple 256 byte monitor program in the Apple 1 ROM
DOS 3.x1978Apple ][+, Apple //e, Apple //c, Mac LC + IIe cardOriginal disk operating system for the Apple ][ line.
ProDOS1984Apple //e, Apple //c, Mac LC + IIe cardSpeed enhanced, hard drive support, subdirectories.
Classic Macintosh
System 0.85, Finder 11983Mac 128KBuggy, pre-release System
(from the original 128K mac tour disk)
System 0.97, Finder 1.11984Mac 128KOriginal system release
System 1.1, Finder 1.11984Mac 128KSpeed enhanced, "Set Startup..." command
System 2, Finder 4.11985Mac 128KShutdown, New Folder, Minifinder
System 3, Finder 5.11986Mac 128K, Mac PlusHFS (HD capable - true folder support)
System 3.3/4, Finder 5.41987Mac 128K, Mac PlusAppleShare
System Software version 5
(System 4.2, Finder 6.0)
1987Mac Plus, Mac IIMultifinder, Colour
System 61988Mac Plus, Mac II, LCStable
System 71991Mac Plus, Mac II, LC, Colour Classic, Quadra 650,
Power Mac 6100, PB 140, PB 170, PB 180c
Multifinder only, Virtual memory,
QuickTime, Aliases, Personal File Sharing
System 81997Quadra 650, PowerMac 6100, PB 1400c, Beige G3Multithreaded Finder, 3D appearance, HFS+,
PPC only by 8.5 (1998), nanokernal from 8.6 (1999)
System 91999PowerMac 6100, PB 1400c, Beige G3, iMac 350Multiuser, OS for "Classic Environment:" in OS X
Apple Unix
A/UX 11988Mac IIOriginal version, no Mac OS integration
A/UX 21990Mac IIIntegrated Finder, Commando
A/UX 31992Mac II, Quadra 650System 7 integrated
OS X2001iMac 350Runs OS X 10.0 (Cheetah : 2001), 10.1 (Puma : 2001),
10.2 (Jaguar : 2002), 10.3 (Panther : 2003)
Newton OS
NOS 2.11997eMate 300Touchscreen + stylus, handwriting recognition
Other
CP/M1980Apple ][+Supported via Microsoft Z80 Softcard
MS-DOS 5/61995PM 6100Supported via 486DX2-66 DOS compatibility card
Windows 3.111995PM 6100Supported via 486DX2-66 DOS compatibility card
Windows 951995PM 6100Supported via 486DX2-66 DOS compatibility card

Performance

Speedometer 3 Scores
(Mac Classic = 1.0 for non-FPU benchmarks, Mac II = 1.0 for FPU benchmarks)
MachineSpecSystemCPUGraphicsDiskMathMixColourFPU
Mac Plus8MHz, 4MB6.0.80.880.930.0581.990.89N/AN/A
Mac II16MHz 020, 8MB, FPU6.0.83.413.563.6611.304.050.950.99
A/UX 2.03.204.070.858.993.531.130.93
LC16MHz 020, 10MB6.0.83.574.622.764.113.661.29N/A
7.13.544.322.474.093.661.24N/A
Colour Classic16MHz 030, 10MB, FPU7.14.004.563.3013.457.481.321.18
PowerBook 14025MHz 030, 4MB, FPU
(PB170 daughter card)
6.0.76.485.371.6222.4212.971.312.02
7.16.465.311.6322.1313.081.282.04
PowerBook 17025MHz 030, 8MB, FPU7.16.435.311.7822.2912.961.282.04
PowerBook 180c33MHz 030, 12MB, FPU7.58.521.493.2529.6617.200.672.67
Quadra 65033MHz 040, 120MB7.121.6317.534.21135.8769.923.8812.15
66MHz 6018.1 (Emulated)9.1117.696.74101.6941.524.64N/A
PowerPC 610066MHz 601, 72MB7.6 (Emulated)8.8726.834.9598.4337.4710.33N/A

Speedometer 4 Scores
(Mac Quadra 605 = 1.0 for non-FPU benchmarks, Mac Quadra 650 = 1.0 for FPU benchmarks)
MachineSpecSystemCPUGraphicsDiskMathMixColourFPU
LC16MHz 020, 10MB7.10.220.210.950.590.180.23N/A
Colour Classic16MHz 030, 10MB, FPU7.10.250.221.271.950.250.250.10
PowerBook 17025MHz 030, 8MB, FPU7.10.400.230.933.200.450.270.18
PowerBook 180c33MHz 030, 12MB, FPU7.50.830.0641.254.260.590.120.24
Quadra 65033MHz 040, 120MB7.11.180.891.6219.931.890.681.01
66MHz 6018.13.391.122.50113.5014.260.785.18
8.1 Emulated0.571.102.6214.630.920.77N/A
PowerPC 610066MHz 601, 72MB7.6 Native3.342.101.85114.7410.911.996.13
7.6 Emulated0.561.891.8714.300.911.87N/A
PowerBook 1400c133MHz 601, 48MB7.6 Native5.991.502.81235.8228.921.1911.93
7.6 Emulated3.281.423.0034.954.961.17N/A
G3 Minitower266MHz G3, 512MB9.1 Native20.877.263.33740.2881.07N/A31.69
9.1 Emulated8.127.123.3590.7513.49N/AN/A
iMac350MHz G3, 640MB10.3.8 Native26.05N/A4.55922.3448.187.8838.55
10.3.8 Emulated10.20N/A4.92110.4216.197.18N/A

What's Missing?

No collection is ever complete, and various items missing from mine. There are some that I am attempting to collect but am yet to be successful, and others that I am not actively seeking, but would accept and would fit in nicely, should an opportunity arise.

Hardware

Software

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