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June 12, 2014 - Dave Hecei
Cleaning out the closets the other day, I ran into this bit of nostalgia. It is a MacWarehouse catalog from early 1996. This is pre-Steve Jobs at Apple. It really is interesting to see all the old Apple hardware and software, especially those prices - wow. This would of made a nice 20 year anniversary piece, but I just couldn't hold it back so I'm putting up some of the pages here over the next few days.
MacWarehouse was a great source for all things Mac - or Windows if you got Micro Warehouse. They were eventually bought out by CDW, another large mail order catalog company.
In 1996, the Motorola 68xxx processor was being phased out in favor of RISC architecture in the then new PowerPC chip. There were the usual Power Macs and PowerBooks, but there were also dozens of "home" Macs in the Performa line. To add insult to injury, in 1996 there were also licensed Mac clones from Radius, Power Computing, and Motorola itself. It was soon after this catalog was produced that Apple would bring back Steve Jobs to the company and kill of the licensed Mac clone program. It really is no wonder why it was so hard trying to buy a Mac back then - there were too many to choose from.
1996 was also the era where they measured hard drives in Megabytes not Gigabytes and processor speeds in Megahertz not Gigahertz. The new PowerPC based PowerBook at the time was the 5300.
The 5300 came in for versions, 5300, 5300c, 5300cs, and 5300ce. The name help determine the type of screen it used such as grayscale or color and the technology used in the screen - Passive, Dual Scan Color, and Active Matrix Color. The base model had a grayscale panel. It had a 100 MHz PowerPC CPU with 8 MB of RAM and a 500 MB hard drive (no optical drive either). This 'base model' was priced at $1799. The Base color model was the same configuration and cost $2499. The Top-of-the-Line 5300ce ran at 117 MHz with 32 MB RAM, a 1.1 GB hard drive, and an active matrix color display (SVGA - 800 x 600 pixels). This model was priced at $5,999. Who says the new Mac Pro 2013 is too expensive?
Here's some more deal on Mac desktops and laptops. Enjoy.
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