Published October 31st, 2004
You can find more information on many of the entries below in Owen Linzmayer's excellent Apple Confidential 2.0. The other entries can be found in TMO's archives, and we link to articles whenever we can.1981:
1985: Following Steve Jobs' resignation and his announcement that he intends to start a new company dedicated to the higher education market, Apple files a suit against Jobs and Apple Fellow Rich Page, enjoining them from using any proprietary information and charging Jobs with dereliction of his duties as chairman. Realizing the lawsuit only gave credibility to Jobs and his small band of defectors at Next Inc., Apple quietly settled out of court in January 1986 after Jobs agreed not to lure away more Apple employees.
1988: Apple introduces the US$7,800 Mac IIx (US$9,300 with a 40MB hard drive), code-named Spock and Stratos. The Mac IIx features the same large case as the Mac II for easy expansion through six NuBus slots, and comes with a 16MHz 68030 CPU, DOS-compatible 1.4MB SuperDrive (a.k.a. FDHD - pronounced "fud-hud" - for "floppy disk, high density"), plus virtual memory.
1989: Apple releases the US$6,700 Mac IIci (US$8,800 with a 40MB hard drive), code-named Aurora II, Cobra II, and Pacific. The Mac IIci is named for its compact case and integrated video. The boxy unit has only three NuBus slots, but the on-board 8-bit video eliminates the need to add a NuBus video card. The IIci is the first Mac with so-called "clean" 32-bit ROMs. It features a 25MHz 68030 running System 6.0.4.
Along with the Mac IIci, Apple also ships the long-awaited US$5,799 Macintosh Portable, code-named Esprit, Guinness, Laguna, Malibu, and Riviera. The Mac Portable comes with a 68000 running at 16MHz, 1MB of static RAM expandable to 4MB, and a 1.4MB SuperDrive (not to be confused with the CD/DVD-burning SuperDrive of the 21st century). It has a full-sized keyboard, a trackball that can be mounted on either side to accommodate both right- and left-handed users, sound output, an optional internal 40MB 3.5-inch hard disk, and a 640-by-400-pixel active-matrix screen. Despite its massive 15.8-pound case, the Mac Portable will sell reasonably well as it is the first and only authorized Macintosh "laptop."
1994: Apple publicly affirms that it will initially sign up a maximum of six Mac licensees by the end of the year and that it would not restrict them in any way. CEO Michael Spindler has finally given in to the advice of the pro-clone proponents within Apple after years of trying to maintain exclusive control over the Macintosh. As it turns out, Apple is unable to interest any of the major computer manufacturers and will eventually have to settle for granting the first Mac license to a startup called Power Computing.
1999: In response to a complaint brought by Apple, the Tokyo District Court issues a preliminary injunction against eMachines, barring the company from shipping its iMac knock-off, the US$799 eOne.