iMac G3

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iMac G3
The slot loading indigo iMac G3
The slot-loading iMac G3
Developer Apple Computer
Product family iMac
Type Desktop computer
Release date August 15, 1998 (1998-08-15)
Discontinued March 18, 2003 (2003-03-18)
Media 24x CD-ROM
4x DVD-ROM (DV models)
Operating system Mac OS 8, Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X
CPU 233 MHz - 700 MHz PowerPC 750 G3
Memory 32 - 512 MB (PC100 SDRAM)
Storage Up to 128 GB (5400-rpm ATA-3)
Display 15-inch shadow-mask CRT screen (up to 1024 x 768 pixel resolution)
Graphics Up to ATI Rage 128 Ultra with 16 MB of SDRAM
Input 2x USB 1.1
2x Headphone mini-jacks
Analog audio input mini-jack
Connectivity 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
56k V.90 modem
Optional 11 Mbit/s AirPort 802.11b (adapter required)
Successor iMac G4 (2002)

The iMac G3 is a line of personal computers developed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer from 1998 until 2003. Noted for its innovative design via the use of translucent and brightly colored plastics, it was the first consumer-facing Apple product to debut under the recently returned interim CEO Steve Jobs. The iMac G3, among other factors, was responsible for Apple's turnaround from financial ruin during the late nineties and revitalized the Apple brand as design-oriented and simple. It was, nevertheless, criticized for abandoning then-current technological standards like the floppy drive and the Apple Desktop Bus connector in favor of the emerging USB standard. From its introduction in May 1998, the iMac G3 was updated over time with new hardware and colors until it was supplanted by the iMac G4, as well as the eMac.

History and design[edit]

Canted side panel of an iMac G3 showing various ports.

Steve Jobs reduced the company's large and confusing product lines immediately upon becoming Apple's interim CEO in 1997. Toward the end of the year, Apple trimmed its line of desktop Macs down to the beige Power Macintosh G3 series, which included the iMac's immediate predecessor, the G3 All-In-One, which featured nearly identical specifications and was sold only to the educational market. Having discontinued the consumer-targeted Performa series, Apple needed a replacement for the Performa's price point. The company announced the iMac on May 6, 1998[1] and began shipping the iMac G3 on August 15, 1998.

The iMac was dramatically different from any previous mainstream computer. It was made of translucent "Bondi Blue"-colored plastic, and was egg-shaped around a 14-inch (35.5 cm) CRT display. The case included a handle, and the peripheral connectors were hidden behind a door on the right-hand side of the machine. Dual headphone jacks in the front complemented the built-in stereo speakers. Sir Jonathan Ive, currently Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, is credited with the industrial design. Its unique shape and color options helped ingrain itself into late 1990s pop culture. The iMac was the first computer to exclusively offer USB ports as standard,[2] including as the connector for its new keyboard and mouse,[3] thus abandoning previous Macintosh peripheral connections, such as the ADB, SCSI and GeoPort serial ports.

A further radical step was to abandon the 3½-inch floppy disk drive which had been present in every Macintosh since the first in 1984. Apple argued that recordable CDs, the Internet, and office networks were quickly making diskettes obsolete, however, Apple's omission generated controversy.[4] At the time of iMac's introduction, third-party manufacturers offered external USB floppy disk drives, often in translucent plastic to match the iMac's enclosure. Apple had initially announced the internal modem in the iMac would operate at only 33.6 kbit/s rather than the new 56 kbit/s speed, but was forced by consumer pressure to adopt the faster standard.

The keyboard and mouse were redesigned for the iMac with translucent plastics and a Bondi Blue trim. The Apple USB Keyboard was smaller than Apple's previous keyboards, with white characters on black keys, both features that attracted debate. The Apple USB Mouse was mechanical, of a round, "hockey puck" design which was derided as being unnecessarily difficult for users with larger hands. Apple continued shipping the round mouse, adding a divot to the button in later versions so that users could distinguish proper orientation by feel. Eventually, a new capsule-shaped optical mouse, known as the Apple Mouse (formerly "Apple Pro Mouse"), replaced the round mouse across all of Apple's hardware offerings.

Internally, the iMac was a combination of the MacNC project and Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP).[citation needed] Although the promise of CHRP has never been fully realized, the work that Apple had done on CHRP significantly helped in the designing of the iMac. The original iMac used a PowerPC G3 (PowerPC 750) processor, which also ran in Apple's high-end Power Macintosh line at the time, though at higher speeds. It sold for US$1,299, and shipped with Mac OS 8.1, which was soon upgraded to Mac OS 8.5.

Components such as the front-mounted IrDA port and the tray-loading CD-ROM drive were borrowed from the Apple laptops. Although the iMac did not officially have an expansion slot, the first versions had a slot dubbed the "mezzanine slot".[5] It was only for internal use by Apple, although a few third-party expansion cards were released for it, such as a Voodoo II video card upgrade from 3dfx and SCSI/SCSI-TV tuner cards (iProRAID and iProRAID TV) from the German company Formac. The mezzanine slot was removed from later iMacs, though according to an article in the German computer magazine c't, the socket can be retrofitted on revision C iMacs.[citation needed]

Unusually shaped logic board with hard drive bay prominent.

The iMac was continually updated after its initial release. Aside from increasing processor speed, video RAM, and hard-disk capacity, Apple replaced Bondi blue with new colors—initially in January 1999 with blueberry, strawberry, tangerine, grape, and lime;[6] later other colors, such as graphite, ruby, sage, snow, and indigo, "Blue Dalmatian" and "Flower Power" patterns.

A later hardware update created a sleeker design. This second-generation iMac featured a slot-loading optical drive, FireWire, "fanless" operation (through free convection cooling), and the option of AirPort wireless networking. Apple continued to sell this line of iMacs until March 2003, mainly to customers who wanted the ability to run the older Mac OS 9 operating system. USB and FireWire support, and support for dial-up, Ethernet, and wireless networking (via 802.11b and Bluetooth) soon became standard across Apple's entire product line. The addition of high-speed FireWire corrected the deficiencies of the earlier iMacs.

The iMac CRT model, now targeted at the education market, was renamed the iMac G3, and kept in production alongside its iMac G4 successor until the eMac was released. As Apple continued to release new versions of its computers, the term iMac continued to be used to refer to machines in its consumer desktop line.

Revision history[edit]

iMac (tray-loading)[edit]

iMac G3 (tray loading)
The original iMac model
The original iMac.
Developer Apple Computer
Type Desktop
Release date August 15, 1998
Operating system Mac OS 8.1, up to Mac OS X 10.3.9
CPU PowerPC 750 (G3), 233 – 333 MHz

The first iteration of the iMac G3 featured a 14-inch CRT display, 233 MHz processor, ATI Rage IIc graphics, 4 GB hard drive, tray-loading CD-ROM drive, two USB ports, a 56 kbit/s Modem, built-in Ethernet, infrared port, built-in stereo speakers, and two headphone ports. The CPU and memory were located on the same 'Daughter Card', which installed directly onto the motherboard.[7] It came exclusively in a translucent "Bondi Blue" plastic, and was known as Revision A. On October 17, the iMac was updated with ATI Rage Pro graphics. This updated Revision B model maintained its predecessor's original price of $1299. The iMac had its infrared and mezzanine features removed with the introduction of the Revision C model on January 5, 1999, dropping in price to US$1199. Hard drive capacity increased and a faster processor was added. The Bondi Blue color was discontinued and replaced by five new colors: Strawberry, Blueberry, Lime, Grape, and Tangerine. A final update, Revision D, was released on April 14, 1999, which maintained its previous specifications save a faster processor.

Model iMac [1] iMac (Revision B) [2] iMac (266 MHz)[3] iMac (333 MHz)[4]
Codename "Columbus, Elroy, Tailgate, C1" "Life Savers"
Model identifier iMac,1
Color(s) Bondi Blue Blueberry, Grape, Strawberry, Tangerine, and Lime
Processor 233 MHz 266 MHz 333 MHz
Cache 64 KB of L1 Cache and 512 KB of L2 backside cache (1:2)
Front Side Bus 66 MHz
Memory
Two SO-DIMM slots
32 MB
Expandable to 384 MB (128 MB supported by Apple)[8]
32 MB
Expandable to 512 MB (256 MB supported by Apple)[9]
PC100 SDRAM
Display 13.8-inch shadow-mask CRT screen with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution (via internal DA-15 connector)
Graphics ATI Rage IIc with 2 MB of SGRAM
Expandable to 6 MB of SGRAM
ATI Rage Pro with 6 MB of SGRAM
Hard drive 4 GB 6 GB
5400-rpm ATA-3
Up to 128 GB Hard Drive Supported
Optical drive
Tray-loading
24x CD-ROM
Connectivity 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
56k modem
4 Mbit/s IrDA
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
56k modem
Peripherals 2x USB 1.1
2x Headphone mini-jacks
Analog audio input mini-jack
Built-in stereo speakers
"Mezzanine" slot
2x USB 1.1
2x Headphone mini-jacks
Analog audio input mini-jack
Built-in stereo speakers
Original Operating System Mac OS 8.1 or 8.5[10] Mac OS 8.5.1[11]
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X 10.3.9 “Panther” and Mac OS 9.2.2
Unofficially, can run Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” and Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" with XPostFacto and a G4 Upgrade
Weight 38.1 lb (17.2 kg)
Dimensions 15.8 x 15.2 x 17.6 inch (40.1 x 38.6 x 44.7 cm)


iMac (slot-loading)[edit]

iMac G3 (slot loading)
iMac G3 (slot loading)
The iMac (slot loading).
Developer Apple Computer
Type Desktop
Release date October 5, 1999
Operating system Mac OS 8.6, up to Mac OS X 10.4.11
CPU PowerPC G3, 350–700MHz

On October 5, 1999, Apple discontinued the tray-loading iMac. The new iMac built upon the Revision D's success with a faster processor, double the RAM, improvements to the built-in speaker system, a slot-loading optical drive, faster ATI Rage 128 VR graphics, and support for Apple's 802.11b AirPort wireless networking card. The color options were pared down to a single Blueberry model for US$999. The iMac was joined by two additional standard configurations, the iMac DV ("digital video") and iMac DV Special Edition. Designed to support home movie editing, the iMac DV had a more powerful processor, a VGA-out port, DVD-ROM drive, larger hard drive, and two FireWire ports for US$1299, in new shades of all five Revision D colors. The iMac DV Special Edition doubled the RAM again and increased hard drive capacity to 13 GB at US$1499, and was available in an exclusive Graphite color. All iMac (slot-loading) models featured convection cooling, keeping them nearly silent during operation.[12]

On July 19, 2000, Apple reduced the price of the entry-level iMac to US$799. Hardware changes were minimal; the AirPort card slot was removed (for the base configuration), the USB Mouse was replaced with an Apple Pro Mouse, the ATI Rage 128 VR graphics were upgraded to an ATI Rage 128 Pro version, and it was made available in a darker shade of blue called Indigo, replacing Blueberry. The iMac DV was reduced to US$999, dispensing with the DVD-ROM replaced by a CD-ROM drive, and was available in Indigo and Ruby. At the former price point of the iMac DV, the iMac DV+ was introduced, sporting faster processor and larger hard drive than its predecessor in Indigo, Ruby, and the exclusive Sage. The iMac DV Special Edition remained at the same price but gained a 500 MHz processor, 30 GB hard drive, and was available in Graphite and the exclusive Snow.

On February 22, 2001, Apple consolidated its configurations to three. The iMac DV was renamed iMac and made the base-entry configuration; it was available only in Indigo at US$899. A second entry-level configuration was introduced with a 500 MHz processor, new ATI Rage 128 Ultra graphics, and 20 GB hard drive in Indigo, along with two patterns: Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian that were molded into the plastic exterior. The iMac DV Special Edition was renamed iMac Special Edition and was also available in Indigo and the two new patterns, with a faster processor, double the RAM, and a 40 GB hard drive at the same US$1499 price.

The final revision, released July 18, 2001, kept the three model line now with a 500, 600, or 700 MHz processor, available in Indigo, Graphite, and Snow. Following the introduction of the faster iMac G4 in January 2002, the 700 MHz model was discontinued. The 500 and 600 MHz models were subsequently discontinued in March 2003, with the release of the low-cost eMac.

Model iMac (Slot Loading) [5] iMac (Summer 2000) [6] iMac (Early 2001) [7] iMac (Summer 2001) [8]
Codename "Kihei, P7" N/A N/A "Kiva"
Model identifier PowerMac2,1 PowerMac2,2 PowerMac4,1
Colors Blueberry, Grape, Strawberry, Tangerine, Lime, and Graphite Indigo, Ruby, Sage, Snow, and Graphite Indigo, Graphite, Blue Dalmatian, and Flower Power Indigo, Graphite, and Snow
Processor 350 MHz or 400 MHz 350 MHz, 400 MHz, 450 MHz or 500 MHz 400 MHz, 500 MHz or 600 MHz 500 MHz, 600 MHz or 700 MHz
PowerPC 750 PowerPC 750 (400 MHz) or PowerPC 750CX (500 and 600 MHz) PowerPC 750CX (500 MHz) or PowerPC 750CXe (600 and 700 MHz)
Cache 64 KB of L1 Cache and 512 KB of L2 Backside Cache (2:5) 64 KB of L1 Cache. 512 KB of L2 Backside Cache (2:5) or 256 KB of L2 Cache (1:1) 64 KB of L1 Cache and 256 KB of L2 Cache (1:1)
Front Side Bus 100 MHz
Memory
Two slots
64 MB or 128 MB
Expandable to 1 GB (512 MB supported by Apple)[13]
64 MB or 128 MB
Expandable to 1 GB
64 MB, 128 MB or 256 MB
Expandable to 1 GB
PC100 SDRAM
Display 13.8-inch shadow-mask CRT screen with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution
Graphics ATI Rage 128 VR with 8 MB of SDRAM ATI Rage 128 Pro with 8 MB of SDRAM ATI Rage 128 Pro with 8 MB of SDRAM (400 MHz)
ATI Rage 128 Ultra with 16 MB of SDRAM (500 MHz and 600 MHz)
ATI Rage 128 Ultra with 16 MB of SDRAM
AGP 2x
Hard drive 6 GB, 10 GB or 13 GB 7 GB, 10 GB, 20 GB or 30 GB 10 GB, 20 GB or 30 GB 20 GB, 40 GB or 60 GB
5400-rpm Ultra ATA
Up to 128 GB Hard Drive Supported
Optical drive
Slot-loading
24x CD-ROM
4x DVD-ROM (DV models)
24x CD-ROM or CD-RW CD-RW
Connectivity Optional 11 Mbit/s AirPort 802.11b (adapter required)
10/100 BASE-T Ethernet
56k V.90 modem
Peripherals 2x USB 1.1
2x FireWire 400 (DV models)
2x Headphone mini-jacks
Analog audio input mini-jack
Built-in stereo speakers
2x USB 1.1
2x FireWire 400
2x Headphone mini-jacks
Analog audio input mini-jack
Built-in stereo speakers
Video out
(Mirroring)
VGA (DV models) VGA
Original Operating System Mac OS 8.6[14] Mac OS 9.0.4 Mac OS 9.1 Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS X 10.0.4
Maximum Operating System Mac OS X 10.3.9 “Panther” and Mac OS 9.2.2 (350 MHz)
Mac OS X 10.4.11 "Tiger" and Mac OS 9.2.2 (400 MHz, 450 MHz, 500 MHz)
Unofficially, 350 MHz can run Mac OS X 10.4.11 “Tiger”
Mac OS X 10.4.11 “Tiger” and Mac OS 9.2.2
Weight 34.7 lb (15.7 kg)
Dimensions 15.0 x 15.0 x 17.1 inch (38.1 x 38.1 x 43.5 cm)


Timeline of iMac models

Power Mac G3 Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac Intel iMac iMac G5 iMac G5 eMac iMac G4 iMac G4 iMac G4 iMac G3 iMac G3

Legal action[edit]

Apple protected the iMac design with legal action against competing computer makers who attempted to imitate the iMac, such as eMachineseOne.[15] Some manufacturers added translucent plastics to existing designs after the iMac, following the trend started in 1997 by Dyson.[16] In 1999, Apple obtained the registered domain name appleimac.com from Abdul Traya, after legal intervention. The website now automatically redirects to the company's website[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Thurrott (May 6, 1998). "Whooa! Apple Announces the iMac". Windows IT Pro. Retrieved February 26, 2006. 
  2. ^ IBM – The ins and outs of USB
  3. ^ iMac – Technical Specification
  4. ^ "The iMac and the Floppy Drive A Conspiracy Theory". 
  5. ^ "Pinout info for the Revision A iMac's 'mezzanine' (aka PERCH) connector". Retrieved March 8, 2007. 
  6. ^ http://www.applematters.com/collections/imac-5-flavors/
  7. ^ Apple iMac G3 266- Forevermac.com
  8. ^ Everymac.com, Apple iMac G3/233 Original – Bondi (Rev. A & B) Specs (M6709LL/A*)
  9. ^ Everymac.com, Apple iMac G3/266 (Fruit Colors) Specs (M7345LL/A*)
  10. ^ Apple.com, Apple Specifications, October 17, 1998
  11. ^ Apple, Apple Specifications, October 13, 2008
  12. ^ Apple, Inc (Feb 20, 2012). "iMac (Slot Loading): What's New and Different". Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Everymac.com, Apple iMac G3/400 DV (Slot Loading – Fruit) Specs (M7493LL/A*)
  14. ^ Apple.com, Apple Specifications, October 15, 1999
  15. ^ Kanellos, Michael (August 19, 1999). "Apple sues eMachines for iMac look-alike". CNET. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. 
  16. ^ DC02 Clear, Launched in 1997, DC02 Clear pioneered the use of translucent plastic in a household product - even before the Apple iMac.
  17. ^ "Battle For Domain Name Between Apple And Teen Resolved". April 27, 1999. Retrieved February 26, 2007. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Power Macintosh G3 (All-in-One)
iMac G3
August 15, 1998
Succeeded by
iMac G4
eMac