Terry Stewart's (Tezza's) Classic Computer Collection

Apple iMac (Bondi Blue)

iMac G3. Ain't she pretty!

(Note: I also describe this machine in a YouTube video)

The year was 1997 and Apple Computer Inc. was in big trouble. During the 1990s the company's Macintosh range had lost even much of its niche market to the PC-compatibles. Why? Largely due to Microsoft finally getting its graphical user interface act together resulting in Windows 3 (released in 1990) followed by Windows 95 (released in 1995). An easy-to-use intuitive interface had always been the Macintosh's advantage over the PC. Now that had largely disappeared. Buyers were going for machines with a cheaper price and larger software base. Even the look of the Apple Macintosh wasn't special anymore The range consisted of plethora of confusing models largely presented in boring beige boxes. Apple had lost its Mojo. In fact it was staring down the barrel at acquisition by other tech firms and/or bankruptcy.

Enter Steve Jobs, asked by Apple management to return to the company he co-founded (and was famously sacked from) to help save the day. And save the day he did. Among other changes, he ditched most of the beige box models and poured the company's efforts into a new personal computer. It was called the iMac. Released in 1998 it was a great success. It turned Apple's fortunes around and from that point they never looked back.

The first iMac G3s were in "Bondi Blue" colours. There were two variants. The original and a slightly revised machine (Revision B) that differed only in a better graphics chip. It's the latter variant which can be seen here.

Released at the end of 1998, the iMac G3 is a relatively recent computer compared to others I have in my collection. However, as a member of this first iMac class it does have enough cultural currency to be regarded a classic. Here's why...

  1. This machine revived a company that was on life support and started Apple back on the road to profitability. Apple is now a dominant technology company.
  2. It put the "cool" back into computing and made computer manufacturers consider the importance of case aesthetics and design. At the time it looked like nothing else on the market. The combined monitor/mainboard form-factor in a "luggable" teardrop translucent plastic case was radical. Although somewhat dated now (some might even say tacky) it was uber-modern when released.
  3. It represents a bold step forward regarding external storage and connectivity. The floppy disk drive which had graced computers for over 20 years was gone (gasp!), as were the old standard Macintosh connectors and ports. The new USB standard was there instead.

This unit belonged to a graphic designer, an original owner who cared for it. Consequently it's in very tidy condition. Everything works and it even comes with its original "hockey puck" mouse where you can see the track ball turning as it moves. This model would have been originally released with OS 8.5 but it's now running OS 9.x. It's somewhat sluggish with that, but has a desktop packed with software.

Another significant computer to admire and show off!

This page last edited 30th June, 2016

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