iMac Ten Years Later: Another Dent in the Universe

Ten years ago this week, Apple introduced the iMac with no SCSI port, no Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) and no 3.5 inch floppy drive. Pandemonium broke out. Then they sold like hot cakes.

On May 6, 1998, Andrew Gore and Anita Epler at Macworld wrote "Considering all these amenities, the most shocking part of the iMac isnit what it offers, but what it lacks. The iMac has no floppy drive, which might be forgivable if there were a Zip drive or other removable-media option, but there isnit.

"And most dramatically, this new consumer offering has no SCSI port, no standard serial ports, and no ADB ports. Apple has opted to replace these familiar connections with USB, a high-speed serial architecture that has suffered from slow adoption on the Wintel platform despite its technical advantages. Currently, no USB devices exist for the Mac," the authors noted.

And that was a big deal. At the time, there were exactly zero Mac peripherals that supported USB. The round condemnation of the iMac was that it would take time, much time, for vendors to write new drivers.

However, the sales of the iMac went of the charts and write drivers they did. Fast. I didnit buy one at the time because I had my trusty PowerMac 8500. However, I felt the same way as the authors did and would have said so publicly.

The history of the iMac adds a lot of perspective to the MacBook Air. And how Apple puts a dent in the universe, one Mac at a time.