The Five Weirdest Macs of All Time
In its 36 years in business, Apple has produced hundreds of computer models in a dizzying array of sizes, styles, and capabilities. All along the way, fans and critics alike have lauded Apple for its unique and distinctive design senseeven in the awkward years before Steve Jobs rejoined the company, believe it or not.
Fri, October 12, 2012
Macworld — In its 36 years in business, Apple has produced hundreds of computer models in a dizzying array of sizes, styles, and capabilities. All along the way, fans and critics alike have lauded Apple for its unique and distinctive design senseeven in the awkward years before Steve Jobs rejoined the company, believe it or not.
However, if a company produces hundreds of computer models, chances are that a few might come out looking a little too distinctive, little too unique, or little too weird. Here are the five weirdest Macs ever released by Apple.
5. Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian iMacs (2001)
About three years into the iMac G3s lifespan, Apple ran out of colors. It had manufactured iMacs that were Bondi Blue, Blueberry, Strawberry, Lime, Tangerine, Grape, Graphite, Indigo, Ruby, Sage, and Snow.
That left the computer maker in a bit of a conundrum. Apple led the industry in computer colors since 1998, but the amazing pace of their innovation had left them with very few colors to choose from. Where could they go from there?
In February 2001, Apple found the answer: It debuted iMacs with multicolor patterns named Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power that came molded into the case plastic. One style referenced a dog breed that is, in fact, never blue, while the other winked at the 1960s hippie movement, which was apropos to absolutely nothing computer-related in the year 2001.
Some thought the new patterns were ugly, while others just secretly barfed. I still have not encountered a believable report of someone fawning over the bombastic designs.
Beneath their tacky exteriors, they were solid, dependable iMacs, of course. But outside, they were both really weird, so they share a tie for the number five position on this list.
4. Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (1997)
If one were asked to name the most indulgent, over-engineered personal computer ever created, one might casually mention the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. Then duck.
Apple released the $7499-computer to celebrate its 20th anniversary in businessalmost a year after that anniversary had passed. The machine cost more money than most individuals had in their bank accounts at the time, and its resulting scarcity bred a cult-like following that persists to this day.
After watching this promotional video from 1997, it becomes evident that Apples Jonathan Ive had a hand in the Twentieth Anniversary Macintoshs design. (If you dont have the time to watch, Ill summarize the video: foldout, pop-in, touchpad, flat screen, metal stand, leather.)
This prompts the question: Is this computer what happens when Apples star designer is left to his own devices? Or is it just what happens when hes under bad management? Whichever it was, it made him speak in gibberish, which I quote from the video: