Eric Schwarz - 2001.08.30
Now that I'm having so much fun in school (not!), I've been coming up with tons of ideas for articles. Realizing that this is my 10th article writing for Low End Mac, I decided to look at Apple's special "anniversary" computers and computers that were out for Apple's anniversaries.
1981: Apple's 5th Anniversary
Okay, Apple didn't have a special 5th anniversary computer in 1981, but they did have two nifty computers (and a project). The first of these two computers was the Apple //e, the first Apple II with lots of power (and goodies that were standard on many other computers at that time, like a functional Shift key). The other was the Apple ///, a relatively advanced (but evil) beast, as it was too expensive, too prone to failure, and too "un-anything else" for it to be successful. It did run a powerful (at the time) operating system called the Sophisticated Operating System (Apple SOS, pronounced like applesauce) that could run Apple II ProDOS under emulation (like OS X & Classic).
Then there was Apple's project: the Lisa, which was still under development. This was an early start to the Macintosh.
1984: Apple's 8th Anniversary
Sure, this wasn't a real milestone date in terms of years from when Apple was founded, but it was when the first Mac appeared, so all the Mac anniversaries will be from 1984.
1986: Apple's 10th Anniversary
Apple didn't do much for this one. All they did was make the Mac Plus this year and various peripherals. Some 10th anniversary....
Early '90s: (Not Really An Anniversary) the JLPGA PowerBook 170
This was a special edition PowerBook 170 that had a special case for the Japan LPGA. Each component of the case was a different color, so it looked like an oversized Rubick's Cube. Even the sliding brightness control dial was a different color! Colors used were dark blue, maroon, dark green, yellow, white, and PowerBook gray.
1994: Macintosh 10th Anniversary
There actually was a 10th Anniversary Mac. It was not highly publicized or very fancy, but there was one. Although its technological specs were rather lame for the time, Apple chose the PowerBook 170 (again), enclosed it in a beautiful white case, and sold very very limited quantities.
1996: Apple's 20th Anniversary
This was probably one of the classiest looking desktop Macs ever, the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. Somewhat similar to a Power Mac 6400/6500, it was rather expensive (over $5000 originally), but the price dropped when sales never took off. Included were wooden palm rests for the PowerBook-style keyboard that included a trackpad. Nice, brushed metal pipes provided support for the computer. Don't forget about the kick a** Bose sound system. Oh, and did I mention the leather-bound owner's manual? Let's just say that this was the no-compromise Mac - with a price tag to match.
2001: Apple's 25th Anniversary
A rather good and rather lame anniversary year for Apple. The Mac Web made a bigger deal about Apple's anniversary than Apple did themselves. Apple had many milestones this year, including two really good notebooks, retail stores, OS X, and SuperDrives. Although OS X was Apple's main focus this year, I think they should've had a special edition Mac. After all, being around for 25 years is something that no personal computer company can claim (except the ones that built mainframes or minis).
2004: Macintosh 20th Anniversary
What will the future hold? Will Classic be gone by then? Will I be working for Apple, or will Microsoft dissolve Apple? Who knows? Who cares!
The products they've already made will be around for awhile. Long live older Macs!
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ