First iProduct in the history of Apple

Prior to 6 may 1998, despite the best efforts of Steve and his friends, the Apple was still on edge. May 6, 1998, Steve introduced iMac to the public, and something has changed about Apple stopped writing in the past tense.

May 6, 1998, Apple managed to surprise not only outside observers. In the Apple about this project knew a hundred people. the iMac was a surprise even for the other several thousand employees.

To this day, the words and actions of Steve as strange as it sounds, is not too different from the words and actions of Gil Amelio. Both said all the right things, stating the obvious. Now, however, Steve went on to serious actions that were tearing the patterns was a risky and unusual.

The presentation of the first iMac

iMac has divided the world into two unequal groups (not counting those who remained indifferent), those who believed in its success, and those who foretold his ignominious failure. The second was, as always, to order more.

On the basis of insider information to the media, with the prefix “Mac” at the beginning of their names (MacAddict and MacWorld), “secret” reported that the iMac was designed from scratch in just ten months. Work on it began on the same day, when jobs and his friends from NeXT took power in the company.

To say that the iMac was developed “from scratch” is not correct. Since 1996, the group advanced Apple technologies (ATG) has developed a “network Mac” — Mac NC. Initially, it was about pure network computer and working with something like “cloud” without the hard disk and other storage media. In 1997, ATG ceased to exist. Apple was neither the time nor the resources for inventions of the distant future, therefore, several hundred members of the ATG were dismissed. Almost everything, but the team developing the Mac NC, has left the company. Their achievements were the same “zero”, which began with the iMac.

Talking about the initial “i”

Contrary to popular opinion, to start Apple product names with a lowercase “i” did not come up with Steve. He was going to call “the world’s first computer the” MacMan. Not a very interesting title, isn’t it?

However, before the release of new products in the light months, and the name could again be changed – and it changed. Shortly before the onset of 1998, MacMan was renamed the iMac.

To call the new iMac suggested Ken Segal, an advertising Agency in Los Angeles. This is the “i” was supposed to mean “individuality, innovation and the internet”.

Just one little letter, which were all deciphered in its own way (including as “idiotic”, “insane” is stupid, crazy). How much did you pay Ken for the consultation remains unknown, but most likely Steve is not stingy.

Without this stupid and abnormal “i” would be called iPod, iTunes, iPhone? Were they at all? Probably would be, but sometimes from such minor details depends very much. Soon the Steve, who officially was listed as “interim CEO”, that is, acting head of Apple, came to be called iCEO.

The computer of tomorrow for 1299 instead of $ 800 yesterday

Compared to typical home computers of the time, the iMac really was unusual. Steve’s statement about designers “from another planet” and refers to that model of computer.

According to the results of race performance, G3/233 roughly equivalent to a Pentium II c clock frequency of 400 MHz. However, the race and real life are not one and the same, but Apple and Motorola had a reason to be proud — G3 and in fact was very successful.

Of course, no one bothered to equip a home PC is better than iMac for what the customer had to become a “geek”, spending a lot of time and effort, and the iMac was ready for labor, defense and the Internet connection immediately.

In the commercials decided to exaggerate and lie, so faith is not for them, but a movie about two simple steps in the Internet, repeatedly, has turned out to be true.

Quality for that time a 15-inch screen, 32 MB internal memory, 4 GB of disk (for the time more than a decent amount) and everything is accessible immediately after extraction of the computer from the box.

And Gil Amelio, and he Steve jobs, much has been said about “back to basics” and this has taken place. At the time the Apple I was different from his contemporaries. Similarly, the iMac was not a designer for people with an excess of free time it was ready the computer for everyone.

From the typical home computer of the time iMac, scandalously, was distinguished by something else. The computer had no floppy drive. As NeXT Computer, ten years before the iMac. Strange dislike of floppy disks, similar to mania.

But, in principle, the drive for the floppy, if someone he was really needed, could be bought separately. And something else that lost the computer it was really risky and even somewhat on the verge of a foul.

USB replaces all

In the iMac was not traditional for Mac ports for connecting peripherals. No SCSI, no ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) or serial ports. iMac the most impractical way deprived the owner of compatibility with existing printers, keyboards, hard disks and similar accessories. However, rumors about full compatibility with the older peripherals have been exaggerated, an adapter to connect old devices cost from dealers is around 10 dollars, but with some devices and really was struggling.

Instead of the traditional ports on the iMac were two USB ports on the case, and two on the keyboard — left and right.

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a communication bus developed by a group of companies (Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Nortel) in the mid-90s. the Need for a common standard for all platforms became all the more urgent, and this standard was developed. In January 1996, USB was solemnly presented to the public, to the applause and delight. In may of the same year began production of USB devices.

And then everything froze. For sanity reasons, computer manufacturers are not in a hurry not just to replace the old ports in their products, but even adding these ports nearby (with very few exceptions), since this would lead to the increase of costs, without any practical use.

In may 1998, cases of the use of USB in the industry could be counted on the fingers. The new standard, almost died a slow death. Computer manufacturers were in no hurry to support this standard due to the lack of peripherals with USB support. In turn, the high quality of the periphery were reluctant to produce USB devices.

From Apple that was a very risky move, but it paid off. Before the iMac went on sale (in August 1998), the market received multiple USB devices, many of them copied the style of the iMac. Since August 1998, the number of such devices is rapidly increased, and sales of the iMac has surpassed the most courageous expectations of Apple. So much so that the company lacked production capacity and she had to resort to unconventional solutions…

To be continued…

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