Apple G5

g52From an Apple press release:

CUPERTINO, California—August 18, 2003—Apple today announced that it has begun shipping the two single processor models of its Power Mac® G5, the world’s fastest personal computer featuring the first 64-bit desktop processor and the industry’s first 1 GHz front-side bus. The dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 will ship late this month, as planned. Apple also announced that it has received orders for over 100,000 Power Mac G5s since its introduction on June 23.

“The Power Mac G5 is a big hit with customers and developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The two single processor Power Mac G5 models are available now, so we wanted to get those into customers hands as soon as possible, and we’re right on track to deliver the dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 later this month.”

Powered by the revolutionary PowerPC G5 processor designed by IBM and Apple, the Power Mac G5 is the first personal computer to utilize 64-bit processing technology for unprecedented memory expansion and advanced 64-bit computation, while running existing 32-bit applications natively.

Delivering the industry’s highest system bandwidth, the Power Mac G5 line offers dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, each with an independent 1 GHz front-side bus, for an astounding 16 GBps of bandwidth. The line also features the industry’s highest bandwidth memory (400 MHz 128-bit DDR SDRAM with throughput up to 6.4 GBps); the industry’s fastest PCI interface available on a desktop (133 MHz PCI-X); and cutting-edge AGP 8X Pro graphics capabilities, all within a stunning new professional aluminum enclosure featuring innovative computer-controlled cooling for quiet operation.

The two single processor models of the Power Mac G5 are available through the Apple Store® (, at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

1.6 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor;
800 MHz front-side bus;
256MB 333 MHz 128-bit DDR memory;
4 DIMMs, 4GB maximum memory;
80GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR graphics card;
3 PCI slots (64-bit, 33 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive™.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $2,399 (US), includes:

1.8 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor;
900 MHz front-side bus;
512MB 400 MHz 128-bit DDR memory;
8 DIMMs, 8GB maximum memory;
160GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR graphics card;
3 PCI-X slots (one 64-bit, 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:

Dual 2.0 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 processors;
Dual Independent 1 GHz front-side buses;
512MB 400 MHz 128-bit DDR memory;
8 DIMMs, 8GB maximum memory;
160GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
RADEON 9600 Pro-64MB DDR graphics card;
3 PCI-X slots (one 64-bit 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.


univacThe UNIVAC I was the world’s first commercially available computer. The first UNIVAC I was delivered on June 14, 1951. From 1951 to 1958 a total of 46 UNIVAC I computers were delivered, all of which have since been phased out. In 1947, John Mauchly chose the name “UNIVAC” (Universal Automatic Computer) for his company’s product. UNIVAC was designed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly (designers of the ENIAC). Their company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, was purchased by Sperry-Rand.

The UNIVAC handled both numbers and alphabetic characters equally well. The UNIVAC I was unique in that it separated the complex problems of input and output from the actual computation facility. Mercury delay lines were used to store the computer’s program. The program circulated within the lines in the form of acoustical pulses that could be read from the line and written into it.

Apple Macintosh Plus

macplusApple released the Macintosh Plus in 1986, two years after the debut of the best selling Macintosh. Although it had the same Motorola chip as the original, it sported a lavish 1MB of memory, a huge boost over the previous 128k. It also included support for the newest 800k double sided floppy disks and was the first Mac to have a SCSI port. It’s full featured package of all in one computer, mouse, and keyboard as well as the ability to upgrade to 4MB of memory made it a hit. It sold for $2599.

Commodore Amiga 1000

amigaThe Commodore Amiga 1000 was the successor to the best selling Commodore 64. It was built around a three coprocessor architecture that gave it unparalleled abilities in 3D animation, sound, and video, making it revolutionary compared to it’s rivals like the IBM PC. It was composed of a main video processor, a four voice stereo sound chip, and the main CPU used the same Motorola chips as the Apple Macintosh. It was superior to the Commodore 64, and was one of the original multimedia, multitask- capable home computers. It was followed up by the Amiga 500 and 2000 in 1987, but by 1994 Commodore had gone belly up and declared bankruptcy.


PS2IBM’s second generation of personal computers. Released to the public in 1987, the PS/2 series introduced three advances over the PC series: 3.5″ 1.44 megabyte microfloppy disks, VGA and 8514 graphics display standards, and the Micro Channel bus architecture. The 3.5″ disks and VGA can be easily installed on other PCs and will become the standard for new compatible computers. The Micro Channel bus allows for multiprocessing and less aggravation, but cannot be retrofitted to older PCs. This meant millions of add-in cards would not work with the system. IBM also went out of their way to make the machine uncloneable, and these actions would cause the company to lose the spot as number one PC manufacturer to first Compaq and then Dell.

PC Convertible

pc-convertibleThis was IBM’s first portable computer (shown here with printer attached). Released on April 3rd, 1986, it was also known as the IBM 5140. It featured power managment, the ability to run on batteries, and a CMOS version of the Intel 8088. It ran at a galloping 4mhz and had 256k of ram, which was expandable to 512k. With a monochrome VGA screen that ran in 640×200 at highest resolution , it cost around $2000. But like many laptops of the time, it wasn’t that “portable”, it’s total weight was around 14lbs. It also had a few expansion capabilities including using an internal modem. It didn’t have the ability to support internal hard drives though, and this along with other shortcomings doomed the machine to dismal sales. Competitors were offering faster, lighter portables for half the price.

From the original press release, 1986:

The IBM PC Convertible is a portable personal computer designed for professional applications and personal productivity. It is designed to enhance personal computing capability with two power options (battery or AC). The uniqueness of the system unit is the integration of microprocessor, LCD display, dual 3.5 Inch Diskette Drives, keyboard, memory, within a lightweight, full function system that can be carried easily. The IBM PC Convertible maintains compatibility with 5.25 inch diskette drive systems through asynchronous communications or through an IBM 4865 Personal Computer 3.5 Inch External Diskette Drive that attaches to the IBM Personal Computer, IBM Personal Computer XT, IBM Portable Personal Computer, and IBM Personal Computer AT.

Gavilan SC

gavilanscDesigned by Manuel Fernandez, owner and founder of the Gavilan Computer Corporation, the Gaviian SC was one of the earliest portable computers and was the first machine dubbed a “laptop”. Although most portable computers were not the ultra light and powerful machines we know of today, it was one of the first to use a flip-top design.

It sold for $400 and came with a floppy drive and MS-DOS. It ran on an Intel 8088, had a GUI, and a standard 300 baud modem. The machine was much more compact than most of it’s competition, weighing in at 9 pounds. It also had built in nickel cadmium batteries and one of the first touchpad pointing devices. The SC was light years ahead of it’s time but is a little known footnote in computer history, introducing some of the early concepts that are commonplace in today’s mobile computing world. Unfortunately for Gavilan Computer and Fernandez, it was so far ahead that there was no market for the machine and the company went out of business in 1985 after filing for Chapter 11.

Rainbow 100

rainbow100The Rainbow 100 was a microcomputer produced by DEC and released in 1982. It borrowed from the VT102 for its video display and was one of the earliest dual CPU microcomputers, using a 4MHz Zilog and a 4.8 MHz Intel 8088. DEC produced three models during the production lifespan of the Rainbow; the PC-100A, PC-100B, and the 100+. It had a number of special uses, features, and add-ons as well. It was capable of running in more than one one mode for different uses; VT102 mode, 8 bit CP/M with the Zilog processor, and 16 bit CP/M or MS-DOS using the Intel chip. DEC produced an optional hard disk controller, and there were also third party products and upgrades supported by the system including third party disk controllers, a 286 processor upgrade, an adapter kit for 3.5 inch drives, and a clock chip that had a battery backup.

The Rainbows could run 8 bit CP/M, allowing users to experiment with the then new 16 bit MS-DOS, but there wasn’t a lot of DOS software available. An emulator called Code Blue was created to allow it to run IBM-PC compatible DOS software. DEC also eventually ported Windows 1.0 to the system and a modified Windows 3.0 ran with the 286 processor board. Although it was not hugely influential, it is one of the earliest commercial microcomputers.


pcatThe IBM PC AT is the successor of the PC and the XT. IBM added a lot of new features including switching to the Intel 80286, which allowed for among many other things, 16 bit expansion slots.

It also used then-new MS DOS 3.0 which supported 1.2 MB floppies, 20 MB disks, and allowed file sharing. The keyboard also came with cursor keys and a key that could lock it. Two models were launched: the PC-AT model 1 (256 KB RAM, two floppy disk units and a color screen) and the PC-AT Model 2 (512 KB RAM, one floppy disk unit, one hard disk and a color screen).

This computer was revolutionary, but it was the last time IBM imposed a standard onthe PC clone industry. The next year, the first PC based on a 80386 was made by Compaq and IBM failed to capitalize on the PS/2 standard in 1986.

Apple Macintosh

macApple Computer debuted the Macintosh in 1984. It was the first personal computer to feature a graphical user interface, a system of operating a computer by manipulating windows, menus, and icons with a mouse. It’s much easier to use than the traditional system requiring precise text input, and revolutionizes the way people interact with computers.

Earlier PCs were not for those unfamiliar with a computer, as the interaction between user and machine was through a command line interface in which the user had to type explicit instructions that the computer could recognize. In 1963 the Stanford Research Institute established the Human Factors Research Center for the study of human-computer interaction. It was there that the mouse was invented by Doug Englebart, and the idea of a GUI was conceived.

The first company to build a GUI computer was Xerox, who created the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center led by Bob Taylor. The PARC team developed a desktop workstation featuring a composite of text and graphics. The result was the Xerox Star in 1981, which utterly failed because of a high price tag. At the time Apple CEO Steve Jobs had visited Xerox while it was under development, and he set in motion Apple’s first attempt at a GUI PC, the Lisa, which fails for the same reason as the Star.  The second attempt, the Macintosh, was a hit. On January 22nd, 1984 they ran a now famous commercial during the Superbowl, a marketing move still talked about today. The “Mac” as it was called, sold for about $2500 and did well. It’s impact on the computing world was that GUI would become an industry standard, quickly adopted by many other operating systems and changing the relationship between human and computer forever.

The original Macintosh sported a Motorola 68000 8 MHz processor and 128k of RAM. Later the memory was boosted to 512k, earning those models the nickname “Fat Macs”. It also included a black & white screen that ran at 512×312, had two serial ports, a printer port, and external floppy port.