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This Week in Apple History
by Owen Linzmayer
& Bryan Chaffin

October 17-23: "1984," MessagePad 2100, OS 8.5, 9
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:

October 17-23

1983: The Ridley Scott-directed 1984 commercial is aired publicly for the first time at Apple's annual sales conference in Honolulu's civic auditorium. The 750 sales reps go wild, giving Steve Jobs the confidence to present the unorthodox commercial to Apple's board of directors in December for their approval.

1991: Apple introduces the Mac Classic II, Quadra 700, and Quadra 900. Code-named Apollo and Montana, the US$1,900 Mac Classic II is the last Mac to use a 9-inch monochrome screen. The two Quadras are the first in Apple's new line of Macs marketed specifically to businesses and graphics professionals. The new line gets its name from its use of Motorola's latest 25MHz 68040 CPU. They are the first Macs to feature built-in Ethernet, sporting an AAUI connector.

1992: Apple introduces the Mac IIvi and the Mac IIvx. The Mac IIvi is "powered" by a 16MHz 68030 whereas the US$2,950 Mac IIvx features a 32MHz 68030 supported by a level 2 cache. The Mac IIvx would be the last model ever released in the Mac II line.

1993: On the same day that Apple introduces a slew of new computers-including the Mac Color Classic II, Mac LC III+, and several Quadra 6xx models-John Sculley shocks the business world with his announcement that he was accepting a salary of US$1 million as chairman and CEO of Spectrum Information Technologies. Sculley was enticed to join the US$100-million, 38-person company after seeing a demonstration of the firm's AXCELL cellular modem working with the Newton.

1997: Mere months after Steve Jobs nixed Apple's plans to spin off the Newton division as a separate company, the US$1,000 MessagePad 2100 is introduced. The 2100 is the first Newton to support an Ethernet card, providing much faster connections with networks. Electronic mail and Internet browsing are easier, thanks to AllPen Software's NetHopper 3.2 graphical web browser and Newton Internet Enabler 2.0, Apple's TCP/IP software that provides Internet and intranet connections plus AppleTalk and Ethernet support. The biggest improvement is the 4MB of RAM (up from 1MB in the MessagePad 2000) and a related increase in the system heap that allows users to comfortably run multiple programs without being forced to reset.

1998: Apple releases Mac OS 8.5, featuring PowerPC-native AppleScript, faster network file copying/install, enhanced Navigation Services, QuickTime 3 Pro, and Remote Access 3.1.2. Code-named Allegro and Scimitar, Mac OS 8.5 introduces Appearance Themes, Application Switcher, Favorites, File Exchange 3.0, movable/resizable Finder columns, Network Browser, Sherlock 1.0, and Smart Scrolling. It is the first Mac operating system that requires a PowerPC.

1999: Apple releases Mac OS 9 (code-named Gershwin and Sonata), featuring Sherlock 2 1.0, multiple users, Voiceprint password, Keychain, automatic updating, encryption, Internet File Sharing, Internet AppleScript, and Network Browser.

2003: Apple unveils three new iBooks featuring PowerPC G4 processors, making good on its claim that 2003 is the "year of the notebook." The 12.1-inch display model with an 800MHz G4 starts at US$1,099, and the top-of-the-line 14.1-inch display model boasts a 1GHz G4 for only US$400 more. The entire line offers support for both AirPort Extreme 802.11g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. All three models ship with 256MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) memory, a slot-loading Combo drive, and Mac OS X 10.3.

is the author of Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, published by No Starch Press earlier this year (US$13.97 - Amazon).

is the editor of The Mac Observer, and was egged on, in-part, in his obsession with the Mac by Owen's first book, The Mac Bathroom Reader.

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