Second Class Macs & Road Apples

Apple Express Modems


Dan Knight - 1998.04.10

Second Class Macs are Apple's somewhat compromised hardware designs. For the most part, they're not really bad - simply designs that didn't meet their full potential. (On our rating scale, the more brown apples, the worse the hardware.)

Apple must have realized that it could really cut the cost of a modem by leaving off most of the circuitry and make the PowerBook's CPU do all the hard work. Sure, there would be a performance penalty for the user, but it would keep prices down.

So Apple unleashed the Express Modems on an unsuspecting public. They worked, but the computer itself needed extra software (which used the already limited RAM) and had to dedicate CPU cycles to managing the modem. The already slow PowerBooks became even slower when using the Express Modem for telecommunication.

Apple learned two lessons with the Express Modems:

  1. It's better to have a modem vendor, such as Global Village, make the modems.
  2. You can fool some of the people some of the time. Apply recycled the idea of a computer controlled modem with the GeoPort Telecom Adapter and later GeoPort Express modems.

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