PowerMac in Cuba

Like the genius of the painters, each of the pictures today are worth a fortune this computer “died” in poverty. In the cruel world of real things is no place for poetry.

PowerMac G4 Cube was announced on 19 July 2000, triggering a standing ovation and numerous responses in the media. However, I wrote about him. According to some, Apple has once again altered our view of how computers should look and what they should be. Others have argued that no one in their right mind is not buy.

It was a computer in the form of a cube. However, a cube with sides of 18 cm “hovered” in the case of acrylic glass, the height of the outer body was 25 cm and the side of its square base was 20 cm According to the most intelligent, the cube wasn’t even a cube, all the hype, reptilians and Ren.

At iCube, like a submarine, it was two buildings. Internal, the body itself has a computer, they were removed from external, using simple manipulations, opening access to banks of RAM, hard drive and graphics card. When “regular” opening warranty was not broken, and a screwdriver for this was not needed.

By the way, don’t call PowerMac G4 Cube “iCube” when dealing with pedants experts, so call it I, is at your own risk. Maybe someone already called him by that name, it just begs, but it’s really informal. Especially don’t call it “Cube”.

Cube think the failure of Steve jobs, but that’s not true. Manic desire of Steve to computers in the form of a cube, working absolutely silently, widely known, and its share of “guilt” in this failure there are. Except Steve, this failure has put his soul another crazy city, of British origin, Sir Jonathan Ive.

Irresponsible believing in the statement “beauty will save the world”, they attempted to capitalize on this law of nature – but apparently, this statement is not true.

Quoting Makarevich, “Castles in the air is not the Land…”.

The phenomenon iCube peoples

July 19, 2000, a little nervously, Steve showed the audience the main character of our story, saying that this tiny cube, according to the official classification, not just a beautiful thing, but also a real supercomputer. The fact is, by the way.

It works completely silent because no fan. Cooling system operated by natural convection: a very difficult engineering problem, by the way.

Giving this child the shape of a cube, Steve repeated the design of the other failure, on behalf of the NeXTcube. Because it’s beautiful, completed form, the same as that of al Ka’ba in Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The first Cube was offered in two configurations, a “good” PowerPC 7400 (G4) processor with a clock frequency of 450 MHz, RAM 64 MB and Ultra ATA hard disk capacity of 20 GB, and the “best” such as PowerPC, but with a clock frequency of 500 MHz, 128 Megs of RAM and Ultra ATA disk drive 30 GB. However, the model was only one, else you could find yourself on the online Apple Store.

Cube, so far, the only Mac without the built-in speakers. In its internal housing and really didn’t have room for decent speakers, so they made the outer, developed in conjunction with Harman Kardon, in the form of glass balls with a bright black rolls, absolutely fantastic.

Speakers had to be connected via USB-amplifier, and complicated the lives of the poor who wanted to play in iCube’ICA, causing the Cube to connect with his acoustic periphery independently. Peripherals included in the package of the cube, and I was told by some experts, the collectors of the amplifier with transparent speakers is almost more expensive than iСube on the day of his birth.

The monitor had to be purchased separately, Apple has recommended that their own or the 15-inch Apple Studio Display, or the “best LCD in the world,” a 22-inch Apple Cinema Display. This is 38.1 cm and 55.8 cm, respectively. Last cost 4 thousand, however in those days all LCD monitors with similar specifications cost about the same and was considered “pampering”.

After Apple Cinema Display displays then regular monitors on cathode-ray tubes seemed crooked and not fully focused, however, this effect quickly passed.

The cube worked fine and with a much cheaper third-party monitors.

Included with the computer came an absolutely fantastic mouse, Apple Pro Mouse, optical (no moving parts in contact with the surface, hermetically sealed from the outside world), tracking changes in the position of 1500 times per second.

About the Cube, as well as about the NeXTcube, it would be possible to tell for a very long time, both cars are unique…

Miracle of design in the cruel world

Apple assumed that the Cube is in the line of products place between the PowerMac G4 case is a mini tower and iMac, but the Cube in the exact same configuration cost more than its “elder brother”, the usual PowerMac G4 for $ 200. For a Cube with 450 MHz took $ 1,799, for a Cube with 500 MHz – 2299.

The tax on beauty? For example, I do love beautiful things, but prefer highest available processor frequency (preferably more than one), more RAM and “disk” memory and… As it turned out, I am not alone.

Moreover, in reality the cube have revealed shortcomings. No, it does not overheat, working without any problems for months without a restart, no noise (however, during operation of DVD or CD-RW drive vibration transmitted to the subjects, standing on the same table), and as a working horse it has not had any complaints.

Claims were from those who had hoped for jobs and Ive, aesthetes and lovers of beauty. Because of imperfections in the manufacturing process, the external housings of the cube quickly any scratches. They spoil the look completely without affecting the mechanical strength, but the aesthetes were deceived in the best feelings.

Besides, price. Those who needed a powerful Mac, after admiring in the online shop on the Cube, and then a little bit about it, switched to regular PowerMac G4… bought it.

The fight is over and the tale without end

Most likely, the price of the cube was somewhat overstated. When it became clear that sales lag far behind those expected, the prices were reduced… In December 2000, $ 300, cheapest iCube became cheaper similar PowerMac G4 for $ 100.

It did not help. Sales rose slightly, but sales revenue decreased markedly.

In February 2001, the lineup was updated, the PowerPC 7400 was replaced by the more economical and emit less heat PowerPC 7410, the initial configurations in the online Apple Store has now had three “good”, the same old basic, cost now $ 1299, the “best” and “greatest” DVD drive was replaced by CD-RW, and an increased amount of RAM.

The cost of these three models 1299, 1599 and 2199 dollars.

The problem with scratches was solved.

Sales rose, with very weak to just weak. Perhaps sales could be livelier in the case of replacing the processor with a more powerful – but then had to re-count the cooling system and to radically change the design, if such a task was generally a solution… Confidence in the success of this step was not.

In July 2001, 11 months after the announcement of the PowerMac G4 Cube, and 10 after the start of sales of Apple, the mouth of Phil Schiller, has suspended production and sales cube. Cubes are still not on the list of cancelled models Macs even in 2017, maybe all is not lost?

We are what we leave behind…

Having existed for less than a year, during which it has purchased a total of 150 thousand copies, PowerMac G4 Cube, however, managed to achieve something and leave a mark.

16 Cubes were used during the filming of Startrek Enterprise to control the layout of the enterprise bridge and its “engine room”, all the special effects and animation was also created in Macromedia Director.

In our days they have become the pride of collectors, and important computer exhibits museums around the world, and not only computer.

One of these computers has become an exhibit of the Museum of modern art in new York.

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