The history of Mac computers have evolved and Apple

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Apple is doing talking about the history of technology. From humble beginnings in a garage making and selling blue boxes-the preferred apparatus of the phreaker- to occupy huge office buildings that reflect the power that Apple treasured community today. This is one of the most important technology companies that have existed for nearly three decades, as historically that Microsoft and Nokia, with its own merits that soar to the altars of the most sacred of computing. His faithful fan base has been commissioned to let them know how important their products for them and their gadgets today have come to have a balance between engineering and art.

As we said, this was not always so. Reach some Macbooks and some iMac that combine aesthetic design with premium components has been a long and laborious way. That is why in Malavida think that is unacceptable devote a chapter more than I deserved to history Macintosh computers.

The path to the Mac

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs had been friends in high school. Both had an interest in electronics and the two they were taking for marginalized. They kept in touch after graduation, and both ended up leaving school and getting jobs for Silicon Valley companies. Woz enter Hewlett-Packard, while Jobs would in Atari.

Steve Wozniak in 2000Steve Wozniak in 2000 / inUse Experience edited CC 2.0 license

Wozniak had long been toying with the idea of ​​designing a computer. In 1976 one of his designs It would become the Apple I. Jobs, meanwhile, already had a tremendous vision of business and insisted that his partner tried to sell the machine. On April 1, 1976 Apple Computer was born.

Those who were dedicated to build computers as a hobby not taken too seriously the Apple I, while the company did not take off until 1977. In that year the Apple II debuted at a local convention computer. It was the first computer that had been covered by a plastic box and included color graphics, making it an impressive machine for its time. From here Apple orders increased exponentially. Sales rose even more when it introduced the Apple Disk II floppy disk drive cheaper and easier to use your time.

The company also grew in size. When in 1980 he introduced the Apple III, Cupertino factory already had several thousand employees and began to sell machines abroad. They had made a number of mid-level managers and several new investors who took a seat on the board of the company. It was older and more conservative men, who turned Apple into a company with all the letters to the disappointment of many of its employees.

Steve Jobs in an interview with Wired Japan (1997)Steve Jobs in an interview with Wired Japan (1997) / MIKI Yoshihito edited CC 2.0 license

Parallel to the development of Apple computers, Steve Jobs He began working on the Apple Lisa in 1978. While it had proved to be a person with a spectacular view of business, as project turned out to be quite disastrous. This meant that it was relieved of his post by Mike Markkula.

Disappointed, Jobs decided to start working on another project: the germ of the first Macintosh. Although it was initially thought on that computer as a computer about $ 500, Jobs made sure that the original Mac was much more.

Thus was born the original Macintosh

Until the moment when Steve Jobs decided to take the design and construction of the Apple Macintosh, responsibility had fallen on Jef Raskin. The idea was to create a computer with a graphical user interface-just the Apple Lisa low cost everyone could buy. The development of the machine began in 1979.

The original Mac OS interface was meant to be an easy way to interact with the computer using text, programs that could run on windows and those who were -¿os this sound easy to change something? -. The first prototype was built with the following specifications set by Jef Raskin:

  • 64K RAM
  • Motorola 6809E processor 8-bit
  • monochrome display 256x256 pixels

Bud Tribble, a member of the Macintosh team was interested in run GUI programs on the Mac Lisa, thereby he tried to include the Motorola 68000 processor on the new machine at the same time trying to maintain low production cost. In addition, the clock speed of 5 MHz up to 8 MHz, with the possibility of offering support for a 384x256 pixel screen.

The final design of the Mac He presented a computer all in one who used the QuickDraw graphics language contained in a ROM chip 64KB. Had 128K RAM chips contained in 16 64 kilobits soldered to the board, but could be expanded to 512 KB replacing welds and-what components of slots RAM was still a dream. Finally the size of the screen was 512x342 monochrome pixels, which far exceeded the originally planned size.

this design He began to attract the attention of Steve Jobs, he realized that the Macintosh was more marketable than the Lisa. Jef Raskin in 1981 would leave the project after a dispute with Jobs that would make the design of the machine in his own vision when he devoted himself to it completely in 1982.

original Macintosh 1984original Macintosh 1984 / Marcin Wichary edited CC 2.0 license

However, Jobs' leadership would not hesitate much. After a power struggle with Apple CEO John Sculley, the visionary would eventually resign from the company in 1985 and founded NeXT, another technology company aimed at the education market.

The iconic launch of the first Mac

The launch of the Macintosh He began to take shape in 1982. The campaign was built around him is remembered for pioneering different tactics that are used today in technological presentations. These include "multiple exclusive", Marketing adapted to the big events, create a certain mystique around a product and offer a glimpse of how it is made to consumers.

The first rumors that there was a project called Macintosh on track They were released in February 1983. By October of that year the company announced the Macintosh 128K, followed by a 18-page booklet included in various publications in December.

The first Mac appeared on television was through a known ad filmed by Ridley Scott which it costs 1.5 million dollars and is known as "1984". The timing could not be more correct: during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, on January 22, 1984:

The announcement was a reaction to two things. First, Apple wanted to attack the conformism of IBM and their desire to dominate the computer market. Second, the Cupertino wanted to give the impression that they came to revolutionize and change things, sold as a kind of "liberators".

Two days after the ad appeared on televisions of millions of US citizens The Macintosh is finally put on sale. It came with two applications included to demonstrate the power of its interface: MacWrite and MacPaint. Demonstrating their skills made Steve Jobs himself in the first of his famous keynotes and interventions, although the Mac soon got an enthusiastic and loyal fan base, some thought it was a toy. This is especially due to which was constructed essentially around the user interface, forcing to reprogram all applications created in text mode. Many developers were not going to take on this task.

Still, Microsoft Word soon or software like Lotus Jazz He was found in the library of Mac programs. Towards the end of 1984 they had managed to sell 250,000 units of the computer.

The successors of the original Macintosh

After two years pitching their product and getting big buyers schools Apple did, in 1986 the Macintosh Plus was launched. This machine offered 1MB of RAM could be expanded using slots pads memory-what eliminating the cumbersome task of having to solder chips-. It also included a parallel port SCSI allowing up to seven peripherals to connect the machine. The capacity of your floppy disk drive was extended up to 800KB.

This immediate successor of the first Mac It became an instant hit, staying on the production line without any change until 15 October 1990. In total the computer was sold for 4 years and 10 months, becoming the longest of the signing of the bitten apple.

Motorola's new processors allowed to build faster machines. In 1987 Apple took advantage of the new technology implemented by the manufacturer and He presented the Macintosh II, powered by a Motorola 68020 at 16 MHz. With this machine the original QuickDraw was replaced by Color QuickDraw, which allowed better manage screen size, color depth and even use multiple monitors. This machine marked the first steps in a new direction for this line of computers: finally had an open architecture, multiple expansion slots, support for full color graphics and external monitors and PC similar to the IBM modular design. Even had an internal hard drive and a power supply cooled with a fan.

Apple Macintosh IIApple Macintosh II / All About Apple edited licensed CC BY-SA 2.5 IT

The Macintosh SE was released at the same time as the Macintosh II, as the first compact computer with an internal hard disk 20MB and an expansion slot located in the box next to the cathode ray tube.

1988 He presented the Macintosh IIx, including a Motorola 68030 processor and various internal improvements, such as a management unit built-in memory. In 1989 it happened the Macintosh IIcx, a more compact version of the same computer, which would share space with the Macintosh SE730.

The first 32-bit Mac was the Macintosh IIci, also it appeared in 1989. It supported natively over 8 MB of RAM. With this machine arrived System 7, the first Apple operating system that supported the 32-bit addressing. In 1990, the Macintosh IIfx presented with two Apple II processors dedicated to process input and output data.

Macintosh IIciMacintosh IIci / All About Apple edited licensed CC BY-SA 2.5 IT

The transition to PowerPC

Windows 3.0 appeared in May 1990. A popular saying of the time claimed that "It is not as good as Macintosh, but for the average user is enough". Despite being still a graphical environment that was based on MS-DOS, this was the first iteration of Windows that had a set features comparable to Apple's platform, much more expensive. This led to Microsoft comenzase to gain ground in the markets, which led Apple to cut prices everything he could.

For this factory He threw three low cost machines: Macintosh Classic, Macintosh LC and Macintosh IISI said. All they sold well, but the profit margin that the company obtained was significantly lower than with previous models.

Apple Macintosh improved by introducing new models with processors Motorola 68k family. These were the Macintosh Classic II and Macintosh LC II, which they used a 68030 CPU at 16 MHz. In 1991 these two joined the Macintosh Quadra 700 and 900, the first computers to use a Motorola 68040 processor.

Macintosh LC520Macintosh LC520

Although Apple had already launched its first laptop in 1989, called Macintosh Portable was not a success it says. 1991 It was replaced by the PowerBook 100, the first of a family of laptops that would be continued by the PowerBook 140 and PowerBook 170. It was the first built with a keyboard with palm rest, and a trackball that served mouse keyboard in front of the machines. The second generation of PowerBooks, the 500 series, also included integrated stereo, trackpads and an Ethernet card included in the construction of portable speakers. It was 1994.

At this time Apple began to break away from the Snow White design language, creating the Apple Industrial Design Group. This group was responsible for providing a new look to all new products launched by the company.

PowerBook 540PowerBook 540 / Danamania edited licensed CC BY-SA 2.5

Compete with Intel: the birth of PowerPC

On other occasions Intel had already tried unsuccessfully to Apple compatibilizase your Macintosh with its own chips. The conclusion of Cupertino was that the system CISC processors Intel I could not compete ultimately with Motorola RISC. However, although the Motorola 68040 offered the same features as the Intel 80486, the latter could go much higher clock speeds without overheating, especially those of the i486DX2 series, do you remember the button "Turbo"? -. This offered the PCs a significant advantage over the Mac in terms of performance.

The decisions taken in Cupertino did not help much either, as they decided restrict the use of the 68040 series Quadra, of the most expensive of its workforce. Intel 486 were available to manufacturers and hobbyists around the world without restrictions.

To make matters worse, it was not until 1994 and the aforementioned 500 series PowerBooks when the 68040 reach the wider public. Already a year ago Intel had released the Pentium as successors of the 486 and the Motorola 68050 never materialized, leaving Apple a generation behind. This meant that during 1994 the Cupertino PowerPC RISC architecture adopt the, developed as a result of the alliance between Apple, IBM and Motorola.

The first computers to follow this architecture were the Power Macintosh, they even sold one million PowerPCs in just nine months. However and eventually discard Intel chips for PowerPC was a serious error. As technology of Santa Clara was going becoming commonplace, Apple's technology could not compete on price with them.

Power Macintosh 7600Power Macintosh 7600

Falling Mac and the return of Steve Jobs

The components of the PCs were becoming cheaper, which also accelerated adoption. Macintosh still remaining as very good machines, but still too expensive for all the pockets could afford.

Apple had long launching new models very similar to the old, What confused potential customers. At one point its product line was divided into the Classic, LC, II, Quadra, Performa and Centris families, which were basically the same computer sold under different names and with different components.

These models also They had to compete with Macintosh clones, hardware created by third parties that ran Apple's System 7. This, although it helped the company gain some market share, ended up hurting financially because their loyal customers preferred to buy cheaper clones. This cannibalized sales of higher-end systems, while Apple continued to develop itself the Mac OS platform.

Mac clone manufactured by PioneerMac clone manufactured by Pioneer / Tokumeigakarinoaoshima edited licensed CC BY-SA 3.0

Windows 95 had made Apple even harder. This system, which finally unified MS-DOS to the graphical environment, improved multimedia capabilities of PCs and led to the same level as the interface of Mac OS.

By 1997 the company was in a very precarious situation. We needed a quick remedy or recovering now, or Apple could disappear. There was only one person who could perform such a miracle: Steve Jobs.

Jobs rejoined in 1997 after buying his company NeXT by Cupertino. The first thing he did was rename Mac OS 7.7 to Mac OS 8. Since System 7 was licensed to third parties, so it ended the threat of the clone systems. Something was beginning to change.

Same philosophy, new design: iMac arrive

The first release of the new Apple with Jobs back to the head was The original iMac in 1998. It followed the same philosophy as the original Macintosh: a computer all in one surrounded by a plastic box, in this translucent case. This design is widely regarded as one of the best in the late 1990s.

With the iMac Apple got rid of the SCSI connections and ADB in favor of USB ports, incorporating a CD-ROM read-only and became a bestseller: 800,000 units sold in 139 days. It also served to return the company to the winning side because they were profitable for the first time since 1995.

The design language that was used in the creation of the iMac It was also applied to the Power Macintosh and the iBook, the first portable focused on domestic markets. 140.000 units between the two machines, making them a great success even before stepping on the market precompraron in total.

Original iMacoriginal iMac / Masashige MOTOE edited CC 2.0 license

The iMac also served to mark the transition "Macintosh" to "Mac" officially. In 1999 the term was completely eliminated when the Power Mac G4 was introduced.

In early 2001 Apple began selling computers with recording drives CD-ROM, and emphasized the ability to play DVDs including Mac DVD-ROM and DVD-RAM standard. Steve Jobs admitted that arrived late to the CD era, but he sensed that the Mac could be a kind of "hub" technologies that could help connect a digital life.

The original iMac G3 PowerPC processor used, but soon chip G4 and G5 were added complete redesigns of the machine, which they left the colors in favor of white plastic. From 2007 all iMac started using aluminum boxes as cover. In 2005 appeared the Mac Mini, the cheapest of the entire line even today.

With the operating system iMac evolved to version 9.2.2, although It was quite limited -especially in the face of things they could already do rivals like multitasking with prioritization protegida- or use of memory. This had ended up being a serious problem that could no longer dealing with.

Power Mac G4Power Mac G4

It was necessary to redesign everything for version 10 of the operating system Apple, which He changed its name to OS X and was based on Unix. The latest iteration called Sierra and corresponds to the 10.12 version of the operating system.

PowerPC goodbye, hello Intel

Apple dropped PowerPC in 2006. Steve Jobs announced at WWDC 2005 that was changed to the new architecture, revealing that OS X was always ready to run on your old system and Intel. This was done to modernize company computers, which were somewhat limited compared to computers running Windows.

To give us an idea, a Dell Dimension 2005 computer came with a Pentium 4 with a speed of 2.4 GHz, while the Mac G5 with PowerPC was the only computer that was in that frequency range. In addition, problems with overheating-the G5 chip had to be cooled liquid- made it impossible to transfer it to other computers. This means that the laptop faster PowerPC G4 chip worked with, which meant it was not just an older generation, but it was slower than any notebook PC.

iBook focused on professional useiBook focused on professional use

The PowerPC architecture was short, so no choice but to migrate to Intel. Brand thanks to the efficiency and power of the new processors will be revitalized, and allows the installation of Boot Camp, which manages to coexist on the same machine OS X and Windows. Until version 10.6 of Mac OS X some Intel could run programs developed for PowerPC emulator called Rosetta with, albeit at much slower speeds than if it were a native installation.

Currently the iMac and MacBooks Intel architectures use 64-bit processors. Since Tim Cook took over the company after the death of Steve Jobs, Apple computers are manufactured, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, the perfect marriage between design and technology. The new aluminum enclosures surrounding machine components since 2007 are still a standard today, which along with high quality parts that incorporate make these computers very exclusive products, which almost talk about the social status of their owner. And yet, in any current keynote brand apple bite you try to convey the opposite: they are products for anyone but not all the pockets can afford it.

Maybe Apple products are not as accessible to everyone as it can be a PC, but there is no doubt that Apple and Mac are entities with a special philosophy. It is machines "with personality"Created with a way of seeing and understanding the computer and peculiar design that has nothing to do with other industry players. Cupertino and their machines a seat between historical deserve, and no other reason.

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