The year is 1990. The Mac is the only computer on the planet that truly operates from a GUI [Editoris Note: We have been reminded since publishing this piece by a couple of Observers that neither Atari nor Amgia had yet managed to go out of business in 1990, and that both of them had a GUI at the time. Some folks at The Motley Foolsi forums take us to task for not paying more homage to the Amiga as well.] and Windows is still a joke. OK, Windows is still a joke today, but it had Vaudevillian proportions back then. Apple is near the peak of their power as a manufacturer of computers with record setting revenues and the best margins in he industry. The Apple ][ is reaching the end of its life cycle, much to the chagrin of its millions of users, many of whom resented what they still considered to be an upstart brat, the Mac. Appleis management was arrogant and sublimely unaware that their pursued course of high prices, high margins, and high expectations that their customers would be forced to deal with them was leading the company to near-ruin. Our friend Jean-Louis Gaseé was firmly in charge of Appleis hardware division and still wore leather pants. John Scully was still dreaming of the Navigator even while the Newton team was preparing to be the butt of numerous jokes from comedians everywhere*. Steve Jobs was pursuing a dual career of running a computer company called NeXT and a scrappy little animation company called Pixar.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
In that year, Apple introduced three new computers: the Mac Classic, literally a Mac designed with slightly more modern components in the form factor of the original Mac; the Mac IIsi, one of Appleis crappiest models; and the Mac LC, another Road Apple, but one that was priced more competitively than other Apple products. Observer Bob Koenig sent us some excellent scans of this 1990 Apple brochure that touted these new models, along with Appleis other products.
The following scans are of excellent quality with easily readable text. We find it pretty interesting to look at the specs of these 11 year old models. Things have changed since then. :-)
The front cover.
|The Mac Classic -->|
This image includes all the specs of the Mac Classic. Check out that blazing fast 8 MHz 6800 processor...
This page offers the compelling reasons to pay for four year old technology. :-)
|The Mac LC -->|
The Mac LC included a much faster 16 MHz 68020 processor. The rest of the specs are listed as well.
Apple pitches color at a low cost on this page. The LC was an attempt to gain market share after years of eschewing the concept.
|The Mac IIsi -->|
The Mac IIsi was introduced with a 20 MHz 68030 processor, the fastest of the three new machines. Included are the other specs. Note that it includes a "SuperDrive!" We arenit sure how long it took to burn DVD-Rs though...
Built-in networking, support for four (count iem!) monitors (not all at once), sound, and more. Built-in networking and sound were pretty darned advanced for the day.
|The Mac Family -->|
This was Appleis entire Mac lineup. See if you can identify them in the larger images. We see: Mac Classic, Mac SE 30 (thanks to Observer Peter Ahlstrom!), Mac Portable (Luggable), Mac LC, Mac IIsi, Mac IIci, and the incredible Mac IIfx. Let us know in the comments if you see something different.
Many thanks to Robert Koenig for sending us these excellent scans. If you have an old Apple ad for the Mac (or Mac clones), the Apple ][ (or clones), the Lisa, or any other Apple product, scan them in and send them to us, so that we can share them with other Mac fans.
* Please note that we are fans of the Newton and do not blame the Newton team for the problems associated with its early release.