Apple Pippin

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This article is about the Pippin platform. For the console, see Apple Bandai Pippin.
Apple Pippin
PIPPIN.svg
Developer Apple Computer
Product family Apple Macintosh
Type Multimedia player platform for video game console, Internet appliance and interactive kiosk development
Generation Fifth generation
Release date 1995
Retail availability 1995–1997
Discontinued 1997
Related articles Apple Interactive Television Box

The Apple Pippin was an open platform, multimedia technology platform,[1] designed by Apple Computer, and marketed as PiPP!N. According to Apple, Pippin was directed at the home market as "an integral part of the consumer audiovisual, stereo, and television environment."[1]

Pippin is based on the Apple Macintosh platform, in particular the Mac OS architecture. Apple built a demonstration device based on Pippin called "Pippin Power Player," and used it to demonstrate the platform at trade shows and to the media, in order to attract potential software developers and hardware manufacturers.[2] Apple licensed the Pippin technology to third-party companies. Bandai Company Ltd. developed the ATMARK and @WORLD models, and focused them on the gaming and entertainment business in Japan and the United States. Katz Media developed the KMP 2000, and focused it on vertical markets throughout Europe and Canada.

Naming[edit]

The Apple Pippin platform was named for the Newtown Pippin, an apple cultivar, a smaller and more tart relative of the McIntosh apple (which is the namesake of the Macintosh).[1] According to Apple, it intended for Pippin to be more than just a platform for game consoles. "Apple believes that over time Pippin will take many forms, including home telecommunication devices and much more. Apple did not want to choose a name that would be specific for a certain market space, as it will certainly appeal to many types of consumers and be shipped in a variety of forms from many manufacturers."[1]

The word "pippin" was used by Apple prior to the Apple Pippin platform. The Apple ProFile, an external hard disk drive for the Apple III and Apple Lisa, used the code name "Pippin" during development.[3]

History[edit]

Apple never intended to release Pippin on its own. Apple intended to make the Pippin platform an open standard[4] by licensing the technology to third parties, much like how JVC shared the VHS format in the 1970s.[4] Relying on third party companies to produce Pippin systems was a way to increase Macintosh's market share – a goal identical to Apple's clone attempt in the late 1990s.[4] It even encouraged differentiation between systems, in order to encourage competition – as long as the systems stuck to Apple's reference design to avoid fragmentation.[5] The licensees could improve its systems by improving industrial design, integrating telephony, improving video and audio capabilities, increasing memory capacity, and more.[5]

Bandai and Apple[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Apple Bandai Pippin.
Bandai Pippin ATMARK, with the AppleJack game pad.

In 1993, Bandai wanted to deliver a scaled down version Macintosh purely for CD-ROM game playing. Bandai President and CEO Makoto Yamashina chose the Macintosh platform over other platforms available at the time.[6]

In early 1994, Bandai approached Apple with the gaming console idea. The original design was based on a Macintosh Classic II 16 MHz Motorola 68030 running Macintosh system software. Apple's involvement would be to define the initial logic board design, and Bandai would provide the casing and packaging. This was considered the fastest delivery solution to market at a very reasonable return on investment for both Apple and Bandai.

Originally, Bandai never intended to develop a system with Internet connectivity in mind.[6] However, Apple and Bandai received feedback from customers, indicating that they were looking for a system that could connect to the Internet. To make Internet connectivity possible, Apple had to implement a modem into the Pippin design. Two years earlier (1992,) Apple had already moved away from the older serial interface with an external Hayes compatible modem on its Macintosh systems, and switched to a serial interface which included GeoPort – a serial data technology that allowed software to emulate a modem. Implementing GeoPort into the Pippin platform required Apple to make a major change in its design – moving away from the 68030 footprint and to a PowerPC footprint. Apple chose the PowerPC 603 32-bit processor, as it was designed to be a low cost, low end processor for embedded use.

On December 13, 1994, Apple announced the Pippin platform in Tokyo, as well as the partnership with Bandai. On March 28, 1995, the white-colored Bandai Pippin ATMARK (ピピンアットマーク Pipin Attomāku?) went on sale in Japan at a price of 64,800 yen, which included a dial-up modem and four bundled titles. Yamashina predicted sales of 200,000 Pippin ATMARK systems would be sold in Japan within the first twelve months.[6]

In October 1995, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Mitsubishi Electric Corporation would follow Bandai as a licensee to the Pippin technology. Although Mitsubishi didn't actually sign a license agreement with Apple, it did manufacture the systems for Bandai (and effectively, Katz Media) on an original equipment manufacturer basis.[7]

The black-colored Bandai Pippin @WORLD (pronounced at-world) went on sale in the United States on September 1, 1995 at a price of US$599.00. The @WORLD bundle included a six-month unlimited Internet account from PSINet at a cost of US$24.95 per month. Bandai predicted 300,000 Pippin @WORLD systems would be sold within twelve months.[6]

By 1997, the Bandai @WORLD was extremely unpopular in the United States.[8] Bandai pulled the @WORLD out of the American market, and shipped the unsold units back to Japan.[8] The black-colored units were re-branded ATMARK (and without the ATMARK labeling on the front,) and sold in the Japanese market.[8]

Katz Media[edit]

On June 4, 1996, Katz Media, based in Norway, became the second (and last) company to sign a license agreement with Apple to produce Pippin systems.[9] While Bandai was targeting the Japan and United States markets, Katz Media focused on Europe and Canada. Because Katz Media was a media software-only company, it signed an agreement with Bandai so that Bandai would produce the hardware as an OEM for Katz Media.[10]

Katz Media originally intended to produce two configurations of the Pippin: one as a basic multimedia system for running CD-ROM titles, and a higher-end system supporting Internet access.[11] The goal was to start shipping Pippin units in November 1996,[11] but didn't actually start shipping product until March 1997.[12] Also, it ended up producing only one model of the Pippin – the Pippin KMP 2000.[13] The KMP 2000 was available in two configurations: with or without an external 50-pin Centronics SCSI interface on the back of the unit.

To develop content, Katz Media worked with a variety of multimedia developers and publishers to "Pippinize" their existing CD-ROM titles and make them available for the Pippin.[14]

Katz Media never sold the KMP 2000 in the retail market. Instead, it attempted to use the system as a set-top box for a television set or VGA display, to be distributed to its partners' client base in order to interface with a variety of vertically marketed interests, such as catalogs, databases, Internet content, and so on.[15] As a result, the Katz Media KMP 2000 is the rarest of the Pippin systems, and is extremely difficult to find in today's used market.

Katz Media signed onto a number of agreements with companies across Europe and Canada. One agreement was to publish CD-ROM based catalogs for Redwall Retail Stores, and use the Pippin as an interactive kiosk that would be left in stores running the CD-ROMs.[16] Katz Media also attempted to push the KMP 2000 into Canada – a country that in May 1997 had only 20-percent of its citizens with access to the Internet.[13] The idea was to use the country's existing cable network to bring in Internet access, and the KMP 2000 was to be used as an Internet appliance that would be issued to subscribers.[13] A hotel chain in Europe signed a deal with Katz Media to use the KMP 2000 in hotel rooms, so that guests can access the Internet.[17] Katz Media then signed with a hospital in France, using the KMP 2000 as an on-line system so that as a team, physicians can pull up and review case studies, and collaborate on diagnoses and treatments.[18] On June 16, 1997, the Netface Consortium in the Netherlands selected the KMP 2000 as the device to be used as a part of what the company called "the world's first Internet shopping mall."[10] CAI-Westland owned a two-way cable environment with 55,000 subscribers, and the KMP 2000 was to be given to the subscribers as a device to shop for products from a consortium of 23 companies.[10]

DayStar Digital[edit]

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he stopped all Macintosh clone efforts, which shut down the Apple Pippin concept. Once Apple stopped all development of the Pippin platform, it affected all parties. Bandai stopped production of all models of Pippin by mid-1997.[19] Katz Media, who was receiving its systems from Bandai, vowed to continue supporting Pippin in a PR notice released June 25, 1997.[20] Katz Media reportedly had some 100,000 units committed because of written agreements with companies spanning twenty countries.[20] The company would eventually file for bankruptcy by the end of 1998.[19] On February 27, 1998, DayStar Digital purchased all remaining inventory of hardware from Bandai, and sold the inventory to anyone who would buy them.[19][21] A former employee of DayStar placed sales of the Pippin through its distribution chain as high as 2,000 systems.[19]

Bandai continued to support its consoles until December 31, 2002.

Selling the platform to developers[edit]

To encourage software developers to create content for the Pippin platform, Apple attempted to sell the platform as being scalable, in that applications written for, example, the ATMARK or @WORLD would work in future models of Pippin. In Apple's Q&A document, Apple contrasted its scalability with the Nintendo system, where the "Nintendo 8-bit NES cartridges don't work on the 16-bit SNES."[5] The CD-ROMs did not contain region protection, so that titles made for the ATMARK would also run on the @WORLD. Apple also promised the developers that, "Apple has no intention or desire to enter the business of regulating an industry which should be encouraged to exercise freedoms needed by the creative artists which Apple wants to evangelize onto the platform. Apple will abide by whatever ratings systems are regulated by governments. Apple, where reasonable, will endorse those systems which reduce excessive oversight and permit the freedom to the artists."[5] An example of this is the Yellows series by Akira Gomi; originally a book displaying nude Japanese women, it was converted to an electronic database.

To develop Pippin applications, developers had to become Apple registered developers, so that they could receive the developer kits, as well as receive discounts on equipment required for Pippin development, such as the Power Macintosh AV system. At the May 1995 World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), details were made available to potential developers.[5] Bandai also issued a "Pippin Security Key" in the Pippin hardware development kit, which when inserted into the AppleJack ADB port allowed an off-the-shelf Pippin system to bypass the authentication system when running non-authenticated CD-ROMs.[22]

Network Computer Platform[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Network Computer.

On May 21, 1996, Oracle Corporation, along with 30 hardware and software vendors, announced an intent to build computers that are designed around the network computer platform.[23] The idea was to design technology based on a profile that included diskless computers, commonly coded applications using languages such as Java, and interface with the Internet using common software such as Netscape Navigator. In May 1996, Apple became a partner in the network computing effort, and used the Apple Pippin platform as its implementation.[24] Katz Media attempted to use the network computer platform concept as a way to push the Pippin into vertical markets.[13][15][17] Although the Apple iMac (1998) is popularly known for the disappearance of the floppy disk,[25] the Apple Pippin platform was about two years ahead of the iMac in this effort.

Hardware design[edit]

The Apple Pippin platform was based on the PowerPC Platform, a platform designed and supported by IBM and Apple. The PowerPC 603 processor utilized RISC, thereby allowing peripherals to rely on the internal processor in the Pippin to perform much of the CPU processing. For example, instead of relying on a fully featured analog modem, the Pippin had integrated GeoPort support on the serial port. This allowed to simplify the design of an external line adapter (DAA), and therefore utilize the high speed RISC processor as a data pump for the DAA. Various dial-up Internet service providers (ISP) – including Prodigy, America On-Line, and eWorld – were supported by the Pippin platform, as well as generic local and national ISPs.

The address bus of the PowerPC 603 can theoretically access memory up to 64 MB. However, the operating system's maximum addressable memory size is 37 MB.[26] Furthermore, because of the ASIC design of the Pippin hardware, the maximum RAM size that can be added is 32 MB.[27] Officially, Bandai produced memory upgrade modules of 2, 4, 8 and 16 MB. The memory chips are soldered onto a printed circuit board, and is placed in a plastic housing, making installation into a Pippin system simple for the end user.[28] Japanese hackers produced an aftermarket 16 MB module,[26] but because the module was much larger than the memory module compartment on the Pippin, installation requires removing the logic board from the chassis, and then mounting the large memory module in-between the logic board and chassis.[26]

Apple encouraged hardware developers to produce PCI compatible peripherals that can be added to the Pippin. The only official method of producing add-ons for the Pippin was by developing PCI-compatible devices, and then placed in a docking station cabinet. A proprietary riser card interface (referred to by Apple as a X-PCI slot) is located on the bottom of a Pippin system, and is used by docking stations. A docking station for a Pippin can contain a variety of hardware, such as SCSI or floppy disk drive controllers, video interfaces, codecs, or network interfaces such as Ethernet. The logic board passes PCI signals through the X-PCI docking interface, and then to the docking station.[29] Docking stations within the Pippin line do not provide pass-through support, thereby limiting a Pippin system to use only one docking station at one time. For example, a docking station for a floppy disk drive would need to be removed in order to attach a docking station for the magneto optical drive. Katz Media produced a generic docking station, containing a PCI slot, allowing a user to install PCI cards. In 2004, the PCI adapter was sold by itself in the used market.[30] The PCI adapter without the docking station is difficult to use, since the Pippin can't sit flat on a surface with the adapter and the PCI card underneath.[30] The PCI docking station and the PCI adapter can only be used on a Pippin system with the KINKA 1.3 ROM-BIOS.[30] No PCI-based peripherals were ever developed specifically for the Pippin.

As Bandai specifically marketed its Pippin models as game consoles, many of the titles produced were games and entertainment software, i.e. edutainment software. Because the Pippin platform was based on Macintosh system software, graphic services such as 2D and 3D QuickDraw were made available to developers. Early on, Apple encouraged hardware developers to produce 3D rendering hardware so that the RISC processor could be free to tend to other processing. MPEG codec was not supported by the system software, as QuickTime was the only video format supported by the platform.

Because the operating system is on the CD-ROM, it is impossible to upgrade to a later operating system, or install extensions and such. The system automatically reboots whenever the CD-ROM eject button is pushed, so a user can not load the system software off one CD-ROM, and then insert another CD-ROM. Apple intended for the Pippin platform to be an appliance, and encouraged consumers to purchase a fully featured Macintosh system if they were looking for something upgradable. Bandai never upgraded its system software beyond the 7.5.2 version. Hardware enthusiasts have been able to run system software as late as Mac OS 8.0, but this can only be done on a system utilizing a developer ROM-BIOS.[30]

Software development[edit]

System software and boot process[edit]

On a typical PowerPC-based Macintosh system, the boot process includes loading a bootstrap loader from ROM, loading the Process Manager stored in the boot blocks of the startup device, locating a "blessed" System Folder on the startup device, and then loading Finder.[31] However, because the Pippin platform ran only on non-writable CD-ROM, a modification to the boot process had to be made. For developers who were using standard 7.5.2 system software, a "PippinFinder" was installed into the System Folder, allowing the CD-ROM to be bootable on a Pippin-based system. Once development was finalized, PippinFinder was removed from the System Folder, and the Pippin-specific system software was placed onto the build. In addition, an alias of the main executable was placed into the Startup Items folder, so that upon bootup, the application will launch automatically.

Developers had the challenge of using temporary memory more efficiently.[32] Since the Pippin platform did not utilize a writable device such as a floppy disk or hard disk drive, developers were told to code their programs to the out-of-the-box specifications. Only RAM-based memory was available for storing data (Pippin had 128 KB of internal NVRAM, but that had to be shared with the operating system and other applications.) Developers were not allowed to cache sound or video clips on a hard disk drive if one was available. Also, the base specification for Pippin had to be addressed by the developers, so that their applications can work without requiring the customer to purchase additional memory. The operating system and video used roughly 1.5 MB of the 6 MB RAM in a typical Pippin. Therefore, developers were encouraged to keep the memory usage at 3.5 MB. An optional 3.5-inch disk drive capable of reading and writing high-density disks was not standard equipment, but was available via a docking unit add-on.

The standard Finder interface was also replaced with a simpler interface called "Pippin Launch." In Finder, the interface was based on folders and files. In Pippin Launch, the icons are clickable squares, and the user did not have access to standard Finder features, such as "New Folder." Maxi Enterprise produced a CD-ROM called PEASE Turbo (Japanese) using Pippin Launch as its interface, and allows the user to access various resources within the Pippin system – including the built-in clock, AppleTalk, volume, and more.

Software CD mastering[edit]

Among developers, "Pippinized" was a reference to creating CD-ROM titles designed to boot on a Pippin device.[33] The requirements to producing Pippinized CD-ROM discs include a Power Macintosh system, a SCSI-based external hard drive with 200 MB or more, a Pippin console with the developer ROM-BIOS or developer dongle, and a CD-R burner capable of burning at 4x speed. Toast Pro for the Power Macintosh is the only CD-R burning software supported. The system and application software is prepared on the external hard disk drive, and with the use of a dongle (available only to developers,) is tested by booting off the hard disk drive on the Pippin system. The dongle allows the Pippin to boot from a volume that does not contain the "PippinAuthenticationFile" file.[34] Once testing is finished, an image of the build is burned onto CD-R, and more testing is performed on the Pippin system.

After the CD-R is made, the disc had to be sent out to an authorized CD stamping house to be authenticated.[35] RSA's public/private key system was used to create the authentication system on the Pippin platform. Each authorized CD stamping house had its own public and private key pairs. And, the Pippin hardware had its set of keys. Apple hosted the Internet-based e-mail system to process private key requests. Every CD-ROM title had to be registered with Apple by applying for the private key via e-mail. The key is then used to encrypt the CD-ROM prior to stamping. When the Pippin system is being booted using the CD-ROM, the Pippin ROM verifies the authenticity with its own set of keys. The disc itself was not encrypted (the "message" was the entire contents of the disc,) so that even a non-Pippin system, such as a Macintosh or a Windows system running HFS drivers can read the disc. Although RSA has been broken years later, no evidence of anyone hacking Pippin's keys has been found.

Other than the RSA authentication and modified system files, according to Apple, "Yes, Pippin titles will play on Macintosh computers. If the titles are 68k based they will play on both Power Macintosh and 68k based Macintosh computers. If the titles are written in native PowerPC code they might also play on both platforms depending upon whether or not the developer chose to code in fat binaries or not."[1] Macintosh systems cannot boot from a Pippinized CD-ROM disc, but the disc can be read after the Macintosh boots using the correct version of Mac OS.

Marketing failure[edit]

Once Bandai licensed Pippin from Apple, Apple made no effort to market the Pippin platform. All the marketing was to be done by the licensees.[19] Bandai spent US$93 million in marketing alone to sell the Pippin line.[6] As part of the licensing agreement, both Bandai and Katz Media were not allowed to use the term "computer" when marketing the Pippin systems, so that the systems would not be confused with Apple's own Macintosh product line.[19]

By the time the Pippin systems were released, the market was already dominated by the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation, and the (mostly Windows-based) PC. In addition, despite Apple's efforts to sign on software developers, there was little ready-to-use software for Pippin, the only major publisher being Bandai itself. At a price of US$599 on launch,[36] it was considered too expensive in comparison to its contemporaries.

In May 1996, PC Graphics Report interviewed a Japanese executive associated with Bandai.[37] According to the article that documented the interview, attempting to market a gaming console as a computer was a sign of lack of cultural research on the part of the Japan-based Bandai.[37] In particular, computer illiterate people did not know what an "@" sign was, as in @WORLD.[37] Consumers in America could not grasp the idea of surfing the Internet using such a device.[37] The executive could not understand how Americans might not be interested in surfing the Internet. The interviewer then referred the executive to a 1993 study by the United States Department of Education, where it was found that approximately 46 to 51-percent of all adults residing in the U.S. were considered functionally illiterate.[37][38] And, any device that wasn't simple to use would be a failure in the U.S. market.

The same article also mentioned other problems with the Pippin platform and marketing strategies.[37] The out-of-the-box memory configuration was too small to run the Netscape 2.0 browser, or anything comparable to Java and VRML support.[37] Also, the rendering of text on a TV screen made for difficulty reading web pages, since at the time the composite video output was the more commonly available connection to television sets.[37] The US$599 price was too much – especially during the Fall of 1995 when the Bandai Pippin was originally released.[37]

Unfulfilled roadmap[edit]

Apple intended to grow the Pippin platform alongside the rest of the Macintosh line. In an Apple developer publication, Apple's CEO Gil Amelio announced the Pippin 1997 Reference Platform, and suggested that the platform would include the latest Macintosh technologies, including IEEE 1394 or FireWire, as well as a 25-pin external SCSI port as standard interfaces.[39] In May 1997, Bandai announced a docking station that would include Ethernet support at US$139.00, although such a peripheral was never made available.[40]

In 1997, Bandai developed two prototype units, and displayed them at the MACWORLD Expo/Tokyo '97 event. The Bandai ATMARK-PD was designed as a direct replacement of the original ATMARK footprint, and would have included an internal drive that can read a standard CD-ROM disc, as well as read/write to a magneto optical WORM PD disk with 600 MB of storage capacity.[41]

The Bandai ATMARK-EX was to feature a footprint similar to a Macintosh desktop unit.[42] It was designed to include 8 MB of RAM (expandable to 40 MB,) and the ability to utilize standard 72-pin EDO-DRAM modules, instead of the proprietary memory modules used in the ATMARK and @WORLD. The chassis could handle a half-sized PCI card internally. The displayed unit contained a PCI card-based Ethernet interface, as well as a built-in analog modem. An infrared-based ADB interface was also designed into the prototype, which would have opened up a new line of peripherals.

Collectors and hackers[edit]

The Katz Media KMP 2000 is considered the Holy Grail of Pippin collectibles. The KINKA 1.3 ROM-BIOS and external SCSI interface make for the preferred system by collectors and hackers alike. This sample includes the generic docking station with PCI interface.

The white Bandai ATMARK is the most common Pippin system in existence today. About 42,000 systems were reportedly produced by Bandai. It is unknown how many systems were actually sold to consumers. In the used market, the white ATMARK can be purchased brand-new, most being sold out of Japan. The drawback to the white Bandai ATMARK is the KINKA 1.0 ROM-BIOS – the first commercial version of the ROM-BIOS.[30] This version restricts the system of upgrades, such as the magneto optical drive or a SCSI hard disk drive.[30] It also contains the RSA authentication system, which restricts the system from running un-pippinized CD-ROMs.[30] Collectors like the white ATMARK because they are usually brand-new and complete, museum grade condition, and are readily available for purchase. Hackers, however, do not like this release because of its ROM-BIOS's limitations.[30]

All black Bandai @WORLD units sold contain the KINKA 1.2 ROM-BIOS.[30] When Bandai shipped the unsold @WORLD systems from the United States to Japan, it removed the KINKA 1.2 ROM-BIOS, installed the KINKA 1.3 ROM-BIOS, and re-distributed the systems as ATMARK. Bandai kept the black shell on these systems, but removed the @WORLD labeling from the front. The KINKA 1.3 ROM-BIOS allowed booting of non-Pippinized CD-ROMs.

The Katz Media KMP 2000 was released with the KINKA 1.3 ROM-BIOS included in the system, so it allowed Katz Media to support the KMP 2000 and its client base without being locked down to the RSA authentication system. The KMP 2000 was not officially designed specifically for software developers. Software developers, and later collectors and hackers of Pippin systems prefer the KINKA 1.3 ROM-BIOS because of a lack of the RSA system, support for the PCI expansion adapter, as well as support for booting from external hard disk drives and other SCSI devices.[30]

The basic logic board design stayed the same throughout the life of the Pippin platform, therefore the ROM-BIOS module of any version can be placed into any Pippin system. This makes for a lucrative used market for just the ROM-BIOS module. The module is made up of a series of chips soldered onto a printed circuit board, and then inserted into the logic board via an edge connector, making it extremely difficult to reproduce. Copies of the ROM-BIOS code are made available on the Internet by enthusiasts, but only to encourage the development of Pippin emulators.

A Pippin system can be turned into a developer system simply by installing either the developer or KINKA 1.3 ROM-BIOS, and then modifying the middle metal lip on the back of the chassis, allowing a ribbon SCSI interface cable to slip through the back from the internal SCSI interface.[30]

Technical specifications[edit]

According to Apple, what would be included in a Pippin-based product was specific to each manufacturer.[1] Other than the color, the specifications on the Bandai releases were the same across both the ATMARK and @WORLD packages, while the Katz Media release addressed features needed to be scalable, including an external SCSI interface, additional on-board memory, and the lack of RSA technology.

Hardware[edit]

Apple Pippin logic board used by the Bandai systems. 6 MB is on the logic board by way of six 1 MB chips – four on the top, and two on the bottom.
Rear view of the Katz Media KMP 2000. Note the external SCSI interface, which was available only on this model.
System Bandai Pippin ATMARK Bandai Pippin @WORLD Katz Media Pippin KMP 2000
Model number PA-82001 PW-10001 KMP 2000
Introduction March 28, 1995 September 1, 1995 March 17, 1997
Discontinued Summer 1997
Processor 66 MHz PowerPC 603 RISC microprocessor[43]
On-board memory 6 MB combined system and video memory 8 MB combined system and video memory
Memory upgrades RAM is upgradable in 2, 4, 8 and 16 MB increments
NVRAM 128 KB NVRAM accessible storage space.
Video Output VGA, S-video, RCA composite video (NTSC/PAL switchable), with 640x480 resolution, 8-bit and 16-bit color.
Audio In/Out RCA composite left/right stereo, 16-bit 44 kHz sampled, and headphone output jack
Expansion PCI expansion slot PCI, and optionally external 50-pin Centronics SCSI interface
Input/Output Two "AppleJack" ruggedized ADB inputs (P-ADB); Two high-speed serial ports; modem port is GeoPort ready
Power supply Internal universal switching power supply, 100 v 25 w 50/60 Hz 0.5 A Internal universal switching power supply, 100–240 v 25 w 50/60 Hz 0.5 A
Notes 1995 - White; 1997 - Black All units were black Available with or without external SCSI

ROM-BIOS[edit]

KINKA 1.0 ROM-BIOS.
Version KINKA Developer KINKA Pre-release KINKA 1.0 KINKA 1.2 KINKA 1.3
Part number AP2660-02 AP2735-01 AP2777-01 820-0867-01 AP2777-01
Chip labeling 16 flash ROM chips 341S0241 thru 245, 247, 248, 250 341S0251 thru 254 341S0297 thru 300 341S0328 thru 331
Support FDD Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Support HDD Yes No* No Yes Yes
Support Zip 100 Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Support MO 230 Yes No No Yes Yes
Support PCI expansion adapter No No No No Yes
Notes Programmable; unstable Only 500 parts were shipped Common ROM-BIOS (JP) Common ROM-BIOS (US) Authentication disabled

(*) Hard drive is supported by the Pre-Release ROM-BIOS, but only if a Zip 100 is detected as part of the SCSI chain.

System software[edit]

  • 3 MB ROM-BIOS;
  • "PippinOS" – operating system derived from System 7, System 7.5.2 (if used, Enabler 1.1);
  • PowerPC native version of QuickDraw;
  • Reduced system memory footprint (most computer extensions features removed);
  • Disk-resident System Software stamped on CD-ROM with title;
  • System boots off of CD-ROM by default (developer units can boot off external devices);
  • Pippin System Software upgrades released through CD-ROM stamping operations;
  • Motorola 680x0 emulation;
  • Macintosh Toolbox intact.

Peripherals[edit]

Standard equipment in every Apple Pippin package includes a dial-up analog modem (earlier packages included a 14.4 kbit/s modem (PA-82010 or PA-82007), while later packages included a 33.6 kbit/s modem (PA-82017/BDE-82017)) over a GeoPort interface, and one corded AppleJack game pad.

Originally, expansion of the Pippin was to be by way of the docking station. Apple was looking forward to third-party manufacturers producing add-on products, such as PCMCIA slots, MPEG-2 codecs, among others.[1] Some add-ons were made available by Bandai and other third-party manufacturers, and included:

  • Docking station with a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive (PA-82002);
  • Deltis 230 MO Docking Turbo (MOS330P), with a 230 MB magneto-optical disk drive, manufactured by Olympus Optical Co. Ltd. (requires KINKA 1.2 or later);
  • AppleJack wireless controller/game pad (PA-82014/BDE-82014);
  • Keyboard/drawing pad/stylus combination through the AppleJack ADB interface (PA-82003).

Note that earlier releases of the Bandai Pippin ATMARK could not use the 230MB MO drive; later models had this support added. Bandai nor Apple sold the ROM-BIOS upgrades as a finished good.

Other peripherals not designed specifically for the Pippin line can also be used without modification of the hardware or operating system:

  • Apple Color StyleWriter 1500 and 2500 series through its serial port;
  • External SCSI hard disk drive (requires external SCSI interface;)
  • Iomega Zip 100 SCSI external drive (requires external SCSI interface.)

Standard Apple-made ADB devices, such as the Apple Keyboard line, and the Apple Desktop Bus mouse, can be used on a Pippin by way of an ADB-to-AppleJack adapter. AppleJack devices can be used on an ADB-based Macintosh by creating a home-made AppleJack-to-ADB adapter (PA-82005/BDE-8005), which didn't exist as a finished good. Some devices, such as the AppleJack game pad (PA-82004), require extensions for the Macintosh system software.

Memory upgrades[edit]

  • 2 MB memory card (PA-82011);
  • 4 MB memory card (PA-82012);
  • 8 MB memory card (PA-82013);
  • 16 MB memory card (PW10027).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Apple Pippin FAQ". Apple Computer, Inc. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  2. ^ Software Development Page
  3. ^ Linzmayer, Owen W. (2004). Apple Confidential 2.0. p. 41. 
  4. ^ a b c The Computer Chronicles – Winter CES 1996, 19-minute, 22 second mark. 1996. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Apple Pippin Q&A document, February 27, 1995
  6. ^ a b c d e Power Ranger: A Japanese Toymaker Invades Cyberspace
  7. ^ Apple's Pippin: A Pip – or a Pipsqueak?
  8. ^ a b c Video Game Console Library
  9. ^ "Katz Media Signs Worldwide Licensing Agreement for Apple's Pippin Technology". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  10. ^ a b c "Bandai and Katz Media announce cooperation to develop European Pippin Market". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  11. ^ a b "Katz Media Announces Product Strategy and Cooperation with Strategic Partners for Pippin Platform". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  12. ^ "Katz Media Begins Shipping Pippins in Europe". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Arborescence launches the first Canadian-content Network Centric computer". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  14. ^ "Katz Media Announces Partnerships with Multimedia Developers and Publishers for Pippin Platform". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  15. ^ a b "The Pippin Platform: The Ideal Solution for Retail Kiosks". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  16. ^ "The Pippin At Work in Redwall Retail Stores". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  17. ^ a b "Five Star Web Access Seamless Internet arrives for Hotel bedrooms". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  18. ^ "Katz Media Partners to Deliver Pippin KMP 2000 to the Medical Industry and Cable Network". Archived from the original on 1997-07-13. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f Video Game Bible 1985–2002. Trafford Publishing. 2002. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  20. ^ a b Katz Media Continues with Pippin
  21. ^ Apple History Timeline
  22. ^ Bandai Takes Responsibility for Pippin Developer Support in the United States
  23. ^ "Oracle, Partners Unveil Network Computer Platform". Oracle Corporation. 1996-05-21. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  24. ^ The Harvard Conference on The Internet and Society. O'Reilly & Associates. March 1997. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  25. ^ "The iMac and the Floppy Disk Drive: A Conspiracy Theory". OS News. 1998-08-03. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  26. ^ a b c 16MB RAM Module
  27. ^ Pippin Questions & Answers
  28. ^ Memory Module Take-Apart
  29. ^ X-PCI to PCI pin-out diagram
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hacking the Pippin
  31. ^ Official Apple document: "Startup Process"
  32. ^ Official Apple document: "Pippin Standard File"
  33. ^ Official Apple document: "Creating Pippin CD-ROMs"
  34. ^ Demystifying the Bandai Pippin Developer Dongle
  35. ^ Official Apple document: Pippin Authentication
  36. ^ Snow, Blake (2007-05-04). "The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time". GamePro.com. Archived from the original on 2007-05-08. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i "E3 and Other Adventures in Electronic Entertainment". PC Graphics Report. 1996-04-21. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  38. ^ "Adult Literacy in America (1993)". National Center for Education Statistics. 1993. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  39. ^ Apple Directions, July 1996, ppg 15
  40. ^ Pippin @World gets Ethernet
  41. ^ ATMARK-PD
  42. ^ ATMARK-EX
  43. ^ Pippin: Technical Specifications

External links[edit]