2023 Author: Gordon Kinson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 08:36
After a short break, we continue our column "Apple Device Evolution". In today's article, we will focus on two Macintosh computers that were released in 1987 with a short break and they can be put almost on the same step on the evolutionary ladder.
The Macintoch line was initially marketed by Apple as a closed system aimed at business users. The first two generations of computers in this series were not upgradeable. However, advanced users saw a promising platform in the Macintosh filling and already at that time began to independently expand the amount of RAM and connect peripheral devices.
Jobs and the company could not watch user creativity from the outside and decided to go to a meeting of enthusiasts. The engineers were tasked with developing a universal platform with the ability to increase capacity. So it was decided to use more familiar and common connectors and ports. The main innovation was the DIN-8 port, which lasted on iMac computers until 1998, when it was replaced by USB. In addition, for the convenience of working on the keyboard, a numeric block on the right and arrow buttons have been added. This decision was received with great approval, because not everyone liked the mouse, but a different way of navigating through text, menus, etc. did not have.
On March 2, 1987, the Macintosh SE hit store shelves. Outwardly, the computer practically did not undergo any changes, as Apple emphasized the continuity of the Macintosh generations. There was much more innovation inside. An additional port was installed to which a second floppy drive or SCSI hard drive could be connected. Apple engineers were so far-sighted that they provided the ability to connect hard drives up to several gigabytes (at that time, 20-50 megabyte drives were popular among most users). The speed of working with data from all media has also been improved. Compared to modern standards, it was twice as slow as USB 1.1, but at that time it was a breakthrough in speed. At the back were two Apple Desktop Bus that could identify the mouse, keyboard, printers,graphic tablets or modems. The most global innovation was the SE PDS processor slot, which allowed additional monitors, high-speed network cards and DOS cards to be connected.
Introduced a few months later, the Macintosh II became even more upgrade-oriented. He already had two internal drives and a 5.25-inch hard drive. As many as six NuBus ports were installed inside. They could be used to install most of the components on the market at that time, including graphics cards. The main innovation in the Macintosh II was the decision to switch to color graphics, according to this indicator, the line finally caught up with the Apple II. Computers could display 8-bit color at 640 x 480 pixels. Later, with the advent of graphics cards, it was possible to see 256 colors out of 16 million possible simultaneously on the Macintosh II screen. The computer was able to support work with 16- and 24-bit video cards. IBM at the time released the VGA standard and only supported 256 colors at 320 x 200 or 16 colors at 640 x 480 pixels.
The 68000 processor with a frequency of 8 MHz was also improved, it was replaced by a 16-MHz 68020. The amount of RAM increased from 1 MB to 2 MB, and the possible maximum became as much as 128 MB! Despite significant hardware improvements, the Macintosh II in comparative tests compared to the Macintosh SE could show a performance gain of no more than 20%. This was due to the low level of component compatibility. So, an impressive group of parts, together could not fully reveal their potential.
Both Macs from 1987 are iconic for the line, as they opened the Macintosh to upgrade and made a closed system a free environment. This allowed Apple to gain a foothold in the market and drive a certain number of customers away from IBM. Remarkably, both models may still work today. Of course, the speed of information processing will be a little annoying, but support for basic standards and network protocols will easily allow you to contact modern devices.
Apple I computer (Issue 1)
Apple II computer. 1977 year. (Issue 2)
Apple II Plus computer. 1979 year. (Issue 3)
Apple III computer. 1980 year. (Issue 4)
Apple IIe computer. 1981 year. (Issue 5)
Computer Lisa. 1983 year. (Issue 6)
Macintosh computer (512K / Plus / Ke). 1985 year. (Issue 7)
1984 Apple IIc computer. (issue 8)
Apple IIGS computer 1986. (issue 9)
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