20 Years of iMac: Steve Jobs iconic internet machine that courageously reinvented Apple

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  • Reply 21 of 53
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,386member
    entropys said:
    Having bought many iMacs over the years, while the form of the Luxo lamp was brilliant and the current model is the most beautiful, I reckon the G5 design was the best, a proper balance of form and function. 

    The iMac G5 insides were easily accessible and repairable.  People bragged about how it’s insides looked better than the outside of competitors. 

    I turned it over, unscrewed three screws and easily lifted the back off. That's one of the new iMac G5's charms: It's much more user-serviceable than its predecessor. It even has 
    diagnostic LEDs on the motherboard designed to help you troubleshoot issues that might arise. Taking off the back allows access to basically the whole computer. I added an AirPort Extreme wireless card, took the stock 160GB hard drive, and promptly swapped in a Western Digital Raptor 10,000-rpm drive. What I lost in space -- the Raptor is a 74GB drive -- I hoped to gain in speed.

    The whole project took about 15 minutes.

    The zenith of Apple computing.
    Yeah it was too easy to work on. I think it got Apple's attention as people starting doing stupid shit. It's also quite a feat to continuously design something like that and be able to do the things you want to do and honestly as many of us say here, 99% of customers will never do it anyways so its not worth their time and money to put resources into trying to figure out how to make a design like this.
    Soli said:
    People complain about today's Macs being hard to fix, but that first flatscreen iMac with the round base with a huge PITA to work on. The RAM was accessible, but the HDD was near the top of the base so you had to get though each layer of boards to get to it, as I recall.
    Yeah these definitely weren't for the everyday Joe to get into. I've taken a few apart and they're not terrible, but they can be daunting for someone who isn't technically inclined. I had an iMac G4 and the arm failed. I think that was a common problem after a while. So while it was a cool design, it wasn't a rugged one and for that reason alone no school purchased iMacs where as they bought tons of them before. This is how we got to eMac...which IMO was one of the biggest pieces of shit Macs Apple made in this era. This is a classic example of what happens when Apple tries to make a "cheap Mac". I don't think there was a part in that Mac that wasn't prone to failure and Apple had more than a couple fix programs for it.
  • Reply 22 of 53
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,513administrator
    bluefire1 said:
    I still have my original 1984 Macintosh. It was amazing for its time, and I still marvel at it today.  Not unexpectedly, the A/C cord is fraying after 34 years and I'm trying to buy a new one, but so far no luck.
    All suggestions are welcome.
    Any will do, it's not a custom cord.
  • Reply 23 of 53
    taddtadd Posts: 133member
    I am amazed that the article didn't mention the FLOPPY DRIVE! !   NO FLOPPY   Scary!!   

    See this Comic Strip:
    http://www.gocomics.com/foxtrotclassics/2009/10/21/
    spinnyd
  • Reply 24 of 53
    ApnoApno Posts: 1member
    "Those same voices today want the iMac's 20-year-old USB-A port on brand new MacBook Pros." Yes, I am one of those voices, and not a lone voice. As I sit here typing this on my MacBook Pro with just 2 USB C connectors, I feel like it's just a luxury toy. I want a new Mac laptop with industry standard USB, HDMI, Ethernet connections and a card slot, just like the older models. Why? Because I have to use a MAC for work to and interface the real world. Having a "Pro" MAC for pros who need it for work would be great. I love my luxury toy, but for real work - industry standard connectors are a must.
    wozwozbrian greendocno42
  • Reply 25 of 53
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    Apno said:
    "Those same voices today want the iMac's 20-year-old USB-A port on brand new MacBook Pros." Yes, I am one of those voices, and not a lone voice. As I sit here typing this on my MacBook Pro with just 2 USB C connectors, I feel like it's just a luxury toy. I want a new Mac laptop with industry standard USB, HDMI, Ethernet connections and a card slot, just like the older models. Why? Because I have to use a MAC for work to and interface the real world. Having a "Pro" MAC for pros who need it for work would be great. I love my luxury toy, but for real work - industry standard connectors are a must.
    That argument sounds exactly like the people who bitched about Apple moving to USB-A: "Serial and parallel ports are industry standards blah blah blah. How are pros suppose to work with this luxury port whine whine whine."

    Maybe you shouldn't have gotten a MBP with USB-C ports if legacy USB is what you desperately need in order to do your work, but I'm guessing your comments are bullshit.
    edited May 2018 dick applebaumStrangeDaysmacxpressmuthuk_vanalingamfastasleep
  • Reply 26 of 53
    bluefire1 said:
    I still have my original 1984 Macintosh. It was amazing for its time, and I still marvel at it today.  Not unexpectedly, the A/C cord is fraying after 34 years and I'm trying to buy a new one, but so far no luck.
    All suggestions are welcome.
    Mike's right, but if you're trying to match the original cord, it will be tough. There are two basic models, both L-shaped. The earliest has a sort of squared-off look with four vertical (parallel to the cord) grips on each side and distinctive ribbing around the plug end, but at some point early on (1985, or possibly slightly earlier) it changed to a more rounded look with three horizontal (perpendicular to the cord), tapered grips and a small "Electricord" logo on the female end.

    A lot of the units sold on eBay have lost their original cords. They get mixed up, and so on. People who sell refurbished vintage Macintosh systems on eBay (not me) tend to snatch them up when they do appear by themselves. I'm the person behind this ancient site: http://www.earlymacintosh.org

    Send me an email telling me which one you need, and I might be able to help you find it.

    EDIT: Here's photo of the original cord:


    edited May 2018 spinnydfastasleep
  • Reply 27 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,195member
    ajmas said:
    Since Steve Jobs passed on we haven’t seen any iconic design innovations from Jonny Ive, at least in terms of the Mac line. Did Apple become too serious, did Ive lose his creative touch or did something else happen.
    As the machine gets closer to a simple slab of glass there will be less novelty to it. It’s a functional design. 

    As Ive has said many times, they don’t do change for the sake of change. 
  • Reply 28 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,195member
    Apno said:
    "Those same voices today want the iMac's 20-year-old USB-A port on brand new MacBook Pros." Yes, I am one of those voices, and not a lone voice. As I sit here typing this on my MacBook Pro with just 2 USB C connectors, I feel like it's just a luxury toy. I want a new Mac laptop with industry standard USB, HDMI, Ethernet connections and a card slot, just like the older models. Why? Because I have to use a MAC for work to and interface the real world. Having a "Pro" MAC for pros who need it for work would be great. I love my luxury toy, but for real work - industry standard connectors are a must.
    Signs of a troll:

    - “It’s just a toy!”

    - Mac inexplicably spelled in all caps as “MAC” 

    ...sorry but consumer media card slots and ethernet jacks aren’t coming back to the pro portable. Thankfully those who need such use cases can easily plug in an adapter. The rest of us will use wifi.
    edited May 2018 Solimacxpressfastasleep
  • Reply 29 of 53
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 253member
    Actually, I don't remember any quibbling at the time about dropping legacy ports such as ADB keyboards and GeoPorts. The latter were Apple proprietary ports that Apple was replacing with industry standard connectors that were insanely faster better, in every respect.

    Contrast that with today's changes, where Apple is taking high-quality industry standard components (such as the 3.5mm audio connector), and replacing it with proprietary and inferior quality connectors (forcing mini D/A converters in your headphones). That's why Apple supporters are complaining today.
    docno42
  • Reply 30 of 53
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 253member
    ...sorry but consumer media card slots and ethernet jacks aren’t coming back to the pro portable. Thankfully those who need such use cases can easily plug in an adapter. The rest of us will use wifi.

    lol - wi-fi is for noobs. Pros use Ethernet.
    And even Apple realise it, with the new iMac 'Pro' supporting new 10G Ethernet built-in.
    The only reason there is no Ethernet port on the Mac notebooks is because the connector is too large to fit into the ever shrinking frame (much the same reasons Apple shifted from USB to USB-C).
  • Reply 31 of 53
    gustavgustav Posts: 826member
    wozwoz said:
    Actually, I don't remember any quibbling at the time about dropping legacy ports such as ADB keyboards and GeoPorts. The latter were Apple proprietary ports that Apple was replacing with industry standard connectors that were insanely faster better, in every respect.

    Contrast that with today's changes, where Apple is taking high-quality industry standard components (such as the 3.5mm audio connector), and replacing it with proprietary and inferior quality connectors (forcing mini D/A converters in your headphones). That's why Apple supporters are complaining today.
    Your memory is failing you. People complained. Especially about the floppy drive, but the serial and adb ports too. So much so, that Apple ended up putting an ADB port on the blue G3 tower. Interesting you described USB-A as insanely faster and better in every respect. USB-C is faster, can be plugged in upside-down (which is the biggest complaint about USB-A connectors), and can carry more power. I call that better.

    wozwoz said:
    ...sorry but consumer media card slots and ethernet jacks aren’t coming back to the pro portable. Thankfully those who need such use cases can easily plug in an adapter. The rest of us will use wifi.

    lol - wi-fi is for noobs. Pros use Ethernet.
    And even Apple realise it, with the new iMac 'Pro' supporting new 10G Ethernet built-in.
    The only reason there is no Ethernet port on the Mac notebooks is because the connector is too large to fit into the ever shrinking frame (much the same reasons Apple shifted from USB to USB-C).
    The pros that need ethernet on a portable probably also have a large external monitor, keyboard, mouse or trackpad, etc. connected to a thunderbolt dock. Many of those docks have ethernet built in. But I don't see very many Pros insisting on Ethernet when away from their desk.
    fastasleepStrangeDays
  • Reply 32 of 53
    DanielEranDanielEran Posts: 290editor
    ajmas said:
    Since Steve Jobs passed on we haven’t seen any iconic design innovations from Jonny Ive, at least in terms of the Mac line. Did Apple become too serious, did Ive lose his creative touch or did something else happen.

    It really feels like it’s time Apple brought out a new fun model, as way of saying they can still do fun stuff, they do still have skills to design and they are willing to do something courageous for the anniversary. 
    I mean except for iPhone 6/7/8/Plus, Apple Watch, AirPods, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, iMac Pro, iPhone X and HomePod. And accessories.
    fastasleepmacxpress
  • Reply 33 of 53
    taddtadd Posts: 133member
    gustav said:
    wozwoz said:
    Actually, I don't remember any quibbling at the time about dropping legacy ports such as ADB keyboards and GeoPorts. The latter were Apple proprietary ports that Apple was replacing with industry standard connectors that were insanely faster better, in every respect.

    Contrast that with today's changes, where Apple is taking high-quality industry standard components (such as the 3.5mm audio connector), and replacing it with proprietary and inferior quality connectors (forcing mini D/A converters in your headphones). That's why Apple supporters are complaining today.
    Your memory is failing you. People complained. Especially about the floppy drive, but the serial and adb ports too. So much so, that Apple ended up putting an ADB port on the blue G3 tower. Interesting you described USB-A as insanely faster and better in every respect. USB-C is faster, can be plugged in upside-down (which is the biggest complaint about USB-A connectors), and can carry more power. I call that better.

    wozwoz said:
    ...sorry but consumer media card slots and ethernet jacks aren’t coming back to the pro portable. Thankfully those who need such use cases can easily plug in an adapter. The rest of us will use wifi.

    lol - wi-fi is for noobs. Pros use Ethernet.
    And even Apple realise it, with the new iMac 'Pro' supporting new 10G Ethernet built-in.
    The only reason there is no Ethernet port on the Mac notebooks is because the connector is too large to fit into the ever shrinking frame (much the same reasons Apple shifted from USB to USB-C).
    The pros that need ethernet on a portable probably also have a large external monitor, keyboard, mouse or trackpad, etc. connected to a thunderbolt dock. Many of those docks have ethernet built in. But I don't see very many Pros insisting on Ethernet when away from their desk.
    That depends on pro-WHAT.  I am a computer-using professional.  I have particular needs for more-than-most in certain aspects of the computer.  From my perspective, any connector I need when I get there is a connector I have to remember to bring.  Ethernet RJ45 and hifi audio 3.5mm are pretty darn handy.  I recognize that Apple sometimes chooses not to have a thing in a quest for the easiest to support, easiest to document, nicest for the market they are targeting.  They also force situations in order to develop markets for whatever.  That certainly worked with USB and the iMac.  I think they have made many right decisions.  I love their products because of that, though once in a while they lose some feature I love in favor of the mass market (Icons that stay where I left them is one such).  I think RJ45 Ethernet connector is something they should not have ditched.  Ditto the 3.5mm stereo output.  The Ethernet I can almost understand because they have other connectors on the laptop and desktop which can perform those duties and which are 'standard'.  I don't get the 3.5mm.  If the 3.5mm connector is so useless as to be no longer with having, why have it on any of their boxes?  In 1997 Apple got rid of the floppy disk and the ADB on the consumer desktop machine.  How long was it before it was gone on all of their products?  One cycle, maybe 2.  Blue G3-350 didn't have a floppy.  Powerbook had a cartridge for the floppy drive, I think.  iBook didn't have one.  I'd like to see Apple be as consistent about the Ethernet and 3.5mm, except they won't, because getting rid of those two connectors doesn't make any sense (to me).   Radio has serious bandwidth limits.  My computer room can have 10 computers conversing at gigabit speeds on Ethernet sharing data for some project I"m working on.  If I did that on WiFi, it'd saturate, plus wipe out the neighbors' WiFi bandwidth.  Plus the Ethernet is very secure compared to WiFi.  WiFi doesn't stop at the walls.  One can have 100 Ethernet channels right next to each other and saturate them all. 

    Bluetooth?  hahaha.  Yikes.  I wonder how many stations that will support in a small room.  3.5mm could support ALL of them.  Thinking about 1800 people at the UN General Assembly hall. 



    wozwozbrian greendocno42
  • Reply 34 of 53
    staigardstaigard Posts: 26member
    A lovely design. I wish I had one on my dresser ... just to look at.

    Also one of the most iconic things ever (considering only man made items here). The most iconic thing is the VW beatle car. I consider the VW camper van and the iMac to be in joint second place. Perhaps if you take into consideration "total units sold", then the iMac has a claim to be the most significant design of them all.

    Now my MBA is very nice and I appreciate the design. The thing is I don't really "notice" it ... it is unobtrusive ... it just works.

    The only way I can see Jonnie Ive topping the iMac is if Apple build a car. Designing what are essentially 7.5 x 0.5 x 15.5 boxes don't provide Jonnie with enough "canvas" to produce something truely jaw-dropping.
  • Reply 35 of 53
    tyancytyancy Posts: 85member
    Apple spent a decade doing brain-dead marketing, preaching to the choir and taking their traditional ivory tower approach to absurd levels. Every evening you would see as many as two dozen commercials promoting Intel, Compac, HP, etc. When jobs fired (the vastly underappreciated) Gil Amelio he made some great decisions - getting rid of the Performa glut, the Newton, and a bunch of other stuff, then he recreated the original all-in-one Mac with a 1998 perspective. Other than being the first to create a mass-produced computer with USB, there wasn't any thing revolutionary about the guts of the machine. The looks were polarizing, however. You either loved it or hated it, but by 2000 just about everytype of product was using the iMac look - travel irons, alarm clocks, whatever. Plus PC manufacturers started slapping colorful plastic panels on the front of their boxes.

    Simultaneously with developing the iMac, Jobs spent tons of money on the Think Different campaign. I remember seeing a 73 foot tall banner on the side of a building in Chicago. The campaign was not about a product. It was about telling the world that Apple was not irrelevant. It bought Apple time to develop an iconic product and when the iMac arrived, people responded with a huge amount of enthusiasm. It was a masterful stroke. And then they had the five colors, then the more sedate gray version for offices, and so-on. And then came the lampshade iMac, which was also revolutionary and even more stunning. And then came the I'm a Mac campaign, which was what we Mac users had been requesting for an entire decade.

    Jobs made some missteps, such as the totally cool but expensive and underpowered Cube, but what he did right was truly excellent. Some say that the iMac saved Apple. It was Steve Jobs double-threat of innovation and marketing that saved Apple. I'm glad he did. If I had seen another magazine cover saying "Apple is Dead" it would have been too much.
    wozwoz
  • Reply 36 of 53
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,142member
    Apno said:
    "Those same voices today want the iMac's 20-year-old USB-A port on brand new MacBook Pros." Yes, I am one of those voices, and not a lone voice. As I sit here typing this on my MacBook Pro with just 2 USB C connectors, I feel like it's just a luxury toy. I want a new Mac laptop with industry standard USB, HDMI, Ethernet connections and a card slot, just like the older models. Why? Because I have to use a MAC for work to and interface the real world. Having a "Pro" MAC for pros who need it for work would be great. I love my luxury toy, but for real work - industry standard connectors are a must.
    USB-C is an industry standard.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 37 of 53
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,142member
    wozwoz said:
    ...sorry but consumer media card slots and ethernet jacks aren’t coming back to the pro portable. Thankfully those who need such use cases can easily plug in an adapter. The rest of us will use wifi.

    lol - wi-fi is for noobs. Pros use Ethernet.
    And even Apple realise it, with the new iMac 'Pro' supporting new 10G Ethernet built-in.
    The only reason there is no Ethernet port on the Mac notebooks is because the connector is too large to fit into the ever shrinking frame (much the same reasons Apple shifted from USB to USB-C).
    Sure, or the fact that ethernet, just like every other legacy port we used to find crammed into our Mac notebooks, is easily handled by the multiple 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports. Stick an adapter on your ethernet cord at your desk, or use a hub/dock that includes one, and never worry about it again.
    anome
  • Reply 38 of 53
    DanielEranDanielEran Posts: 290editor
    wozwoz said:
    Actually, I don't remember any quibbling at the time about dropping legacy ports such as ADB keyboards and GeoPorts. The latter were Apple proprietary ports that Apple was replacing with industry standard connectors that were insanely faster better, in every respect.

    Contrast that with today's changes, where Apple is taking high-quality industry standard components (such as the 3.5mm audio connector), and replacing it with proprietary and inferior quality connectors (forcing mini D/A converters in your headphones). That's why Apple supporters are complaining today.
    ADB (as you know!) was implemented in 1986, a full decade before USB started taking off. There were tons of people who had nice ADB Keyboards who wanted to use them with an iMac or other USB Macs who complained about it. GeoPort was an early 90s extension of the Mac serial port to enable access to the DSP built into AV Macs. There were only a few things that took advantage of this, but everyone who had bought into it wanted to keep using this tech (which was barely 5 years old when iMac shipped). 

    In 1998, USB was an "industry standard" in the same way that Sprint's (LTE rival) WiMax was. As they used to say on usenet, the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from. ADB and GeoPorts were also "standards" that Apple created before there was anything of similar quality to use. The PC UART-based alternatives were garbage and most PC makers were still using PS/2--which couldn't even daisy chain and required two specific ports for the keyboard and the mouse(!).

    Additionally, USB was also proprietary - it was owned by Intel. It didn't take off until Apple lit the fire under adoption. Many years later, PCs were still shipping with two PS/2 jacks. If it hadn't been for Apple, USB probalbly would have died to cheaper, lower quality tech. 

    Apple took the minijack off of iPhones to capitalize on the volume of internal space it was wasting and to avoid needing an external plug that needed to be weatherproofted (and which has historically contributed to lots of service repairs). The downside of needing a Lightning adapter for standard headphones is very minimal, and Lightning digital headphones can offer much audio higher quality (and other features) than the built in D/A attached to an old analog audio miniplug. Note that iPads still use minijacks because the tradeoff is less advantageous. 
    wozwoz said:
    ...sorry but consumer media card slots and ethernet jacks aren’t coming back to the pro portable. Thankfully those who need such use cases can easily plug in an adapter. The rest of us will use wifi.

    lol - wi-fi is for noobs. Pros use Ethernet.
    And even Apple realise it, with the new iMac 'Pro' supporting new 10G Ethernet built-in.
    The only reason there is no Ethernet port on the Mac notebooks is because the connector is too large to fit into the ever shrinking frame (much the same reasons Apple shifted from USB to USB-C).
    On a mobile device, being tethered to an Ethernet cable usually doesn't make any sense. And if you have super fast WiFi, it may not even offer any advantage (until you get into workstation tasks such as connecting to a NAS array. It's also no harder to connect Ethernet to a MacBook Pro via a USB-C adapter than it is to use an RJ-45 plug.
     
    macxpressfastasleepanome
  • Reply 39 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,195member
    wozwoz said:
    ...sorry but consumer media card slots and ethernet jacks aren’t coming back to the pro portable. Thankfully those who need such use cases can easily plug in an adapter. The rest of us will use wifi.
    lol - wi-fi is for noobs. Pros use Ethernet.
    And even Apple realise it, with the new iMac 'Pro' supporting new 10G Ethernet built-in.
    The only reason there is no Ethernet port on the Mac notebooks is because the connector is too large to fit into the ever shrinking frame (much the same reasons Apple shifted from USB to USB-C).
    Silly nonsense. I'm an enterprise pro and yes, we use wifi on our portables all the time. Welcome to the future. But even if I were situated at one desk I'd plug in an adapter if I really wanted it for some reason.

    And yes, of course that's why the ethernet jack isn't there, this isn't a mystery. It's also why it isn't coming back, as I said.
    edited May 2018 fastasleep
  • Reply 40 of 53
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Would love to see Apple reinvent the iMac as a repositionable screen with multitouch, which would make working on video, audio, graphics and other programs so much more intuitive and direct. I think Apple could run circles around the Microsoft Surface and make the iMac a leading edge creative and design computer accessible to even more forms of interaction.
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