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IMac

The iMac is a line of all-in-one Apple Macintosh computers produced by Apple Computer, aimed at the consumer and education market.

The original iMac was unveiled on May 7, 1998 by Apple Computer and went on sale in August of that year. At the time, it was an innovation in computer design: the first personal computer design which considered aesthetics as one of its primary goals. The machine was an all-in-one design, in which monitor and CPU were contained within one object -- this carried on from the previous Performa line of the 1990s. It was powered by a 233 MHz G3 PowerPC processor, and came in a white and Bondi Blue color scheme.

The iMac was the first move in a general turnaround in public perception and financial success for Apple. It was the first of many future innovations introduced by the then interim CEO Steve Jobs. Despite Apple's small relative market-share, the iMac left a large imprint in the public consciousness, and inspired several imitators.

The iMac was the first "New World" Macintosh. The MacOS (toolbox) ROM was loaded into RAM from the hard drive unlike previous (Old World) ROM soldered onto the motherboard. The iMac was also the first Macintosh to feature USB ports, instead of the legacy Apple Desktop Bus and Geoport serial ports. Apple also took the bold move of omitting a floppy disk drive: while the floppy disk was already falling into disuse, PC manufacturers still included them as a legacy component.

The first-generation design was adapted from the MacNC[?] project. Parts were taken from PowerBook models, including the CD-ROM drive which featured the optical mechanism in the tray. The second generation iMac featured a slot-loading CD-ROM or DVD drive, fanless operation, and the option of AirPort_networking.

In January 2002, after much speculation over its look and specification, a flat panel iMac was launched with a completely new design (see picture). A 15" LCD display is mounted on an adjustable arm above a half-dome containing a tray-loading disc drive and CPU. The processor in the new iMac is a PowerPC G4. Apple kept the CRT model in production, primarily for educational markets.

In July 2002, Apple announced the 17" widescreen iMac, with a a screen that would go on to be used in the new 17" PowerBook.

In April 2002, the eMac[?] was introduced for the education market. Following the traditional iMac form factor, the eMac has a 17" CRT display but also includes the PowerPC G4 processor.

Table of contents

Models

First Generation iMac

  • August 15, 1998 - Revision A. 233 MHz processor. Available in Bondi Blue only.
  • October 17, 1998 - Revision B. Minor update featuring new MacOS 8.5, RagePro (6 megabytes)
  • January 5, 1999 - Revision C. ("Five Flavors"): 266 MHz processor. Available in Strawberry (red), Blueberry (blue), Lime (green), Grape (purple), and Tangerine (orange). Price reduced $100.
  • April 14, 1999 - Revision D. 333 MHz processor.

Second Generation iMac

  • October 5, 1999 - iMac / iMac DV / iMac DV SE. 350 or 400 MHz processor, slot-loading optical drive, Special Edition in Graphite colour.
  • July 19, 2000 - iMac / iMac DV / iMac DV+ / iMac DV SE. 350 or 400 or 450 or 500 MHz processor, colours Indigo (blue), Ruby (red), Sage (green), Snow (white) and Graphite (grey).
  • February 22, 2001 - (patterns). 400, 500 (G3CXe), or 600 (G3CXe) MHz processor. Available in Indigo, Graphite, and "Blue Dalmatian" or "Flower Power" patterns.
  • July 18, 2001 - (Summer 2001). 500, 600, or 700 MHz (G3CXe) processor. Available in Indigo, Graphite, and Snow.

LCD iMac

  • January 7, 2002 - The entire iMac line is revamped. Contain 700 or 800 MHz G4 processors. Only available in white.
  • July 17, 2002 - 17" screen. New models are available with 17" LCD. 800 MHz processors are the only option for new models, however the newer machines have a larger hard disk and an updated graphics card.
  • February 4, 2003 - The line is slimmed down to two models, one with a 15" LCD and one with a 17". Airport Extreme as well as Bluetooth are available on the 17" models. There are no notable aesthetic changes.

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