Today marks the 20th anniversary of the first iMac. Steve Jobs took the wraps off the computer twenty years ago, on this day. It was the first product that Jobs took up after joining for a short period as iCEO, only to become a full time chief later on.
The iMac was a revolutionary piece of the time, it was like none other desktops on the market. It featured a see-through transparent back and just like any other Mac, it was an all-in-one. On the front, the 15-inch display dominated visually whereas the stereo speakers underneath the display, dominated auditorily.
The machine ran on a very powerful processor of the time, the PowerPC G3 while most of the Windows machines ran on the slow Intel Celeron chip(s). An adequate 32 megabytes of RAM handled the running of applications smoothly, coupled with four gigabytes of storage.
Apple also ditched the floppy drive with the iMac, in favour of the then new CD-ROM drive. CDs were definitely much faster than floppies, they could store more, and were generally easier to use. The move wasn’t taken positively by the consumers at the time as floppies were the way-to-go data for sharing data.
iMac – does the “i” stand for internet? Apple didn’t officially say that but that’s generally the thought around it. The company packed a 56-kilobit-per-second modem inside the original iMac, making the computer easier to use internet with. The iMac also shipped with Netspace and Microsoft’s web browser inbuilt, following the Microsoft-Apple deal.
Apple placed all the ports on the iMac, in a small box on the side of the computer. It made the computer appear cleaner, however, connecting cables was deemed a hassle by many. The iMac hit the stores with a reasonable price tag of $1,299 considering how powerful and gorgeous it was. Also, apps like AppleWorks (word-processing & spreadsheet), graphics software, and some games were installed by default on the iMac.
Apple’s iMac line is doing very well at present with the recent addition of the iMac Pro. WSJ’s then Tech Columnist, Walt Mossberg said “the iMac is a bold departure from the mediocrity” which still applies to Mac line. Happy birthday, iMac!