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iPhone 3G
Did you own the iPhone 3G?
Photo: Apple

Today in Apple history: End of the line for Power Mac G4 Cube

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Mac G4 Cube
Apple announced it was putting the G4 Cube "on ice."
Photo: Apple

July 3: Today in Apple history: Apple stops making Power Mac G4 Cube July 3, 2001: Apple suspends production of its Power Mac G4 Cube, one of the most notable busts in Apple history — and the first major flop following Steve Jobs’ glorious return to the company.

Although Apple leaves the door open to possibly reintroducing the remarkably clear G4 Cube at a later date, this never happens. The stylish computer is superseded by Apple’s upgrade to G5 processors and then Intel Core-based Macs.

Why Apple will miss Jony Ive’s fabulous ‘fiddle factor’

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Apple will miss Jony Ive's tactile approach to technology.
Apple will miss Jony Ive's tactile approach to technology.
Photo: Mariah Dietzler/Flickr CC

As a design student back in the 1980s, a teenage Jony Ive spent a semester with a design agency in London, the Roberts Weaver Group. One of his first projects was designing a new pen for Japan’s Zebra Co. Ltd., a pen-maker based in Tokyo.

Ive’s TX2 pen was made of white plastic — the beginning of a life-long obsession with the color — and had a pair of rubbery side panels for a better grip. But what set the pen apart from every other was a nonessential feature — a ball-and-clip mechanism on the top that served no purpose other than to give the owner something to fiddle with.

Ive noticed that people fiddled with their pens all the time. So he decided to give his pen something he called the “fiddle factor.” This crucial insight ultimately became an essential element of Apple design as Ive rose to become Cupertino’s chief design officer.

Not everyone is alarmed to see Jony Ive leave Apple

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AirPower
AirPower is one of Jony Ive’s most notable recent failures.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

While Jony Ive’s departure from Apple is being called “the end of an era,” not everyone is sad to see him go. This company’s Chief Design Officer has legions of fans but he also has detractors who blame Ive for repetitive designs, flawed keyboards and more.

Today in Apple history: Power Mac G5 packs world’s first 64-bit CPU

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G5 computer
A 64-bit CPU powered Apple's stunning "cheese grater" Power Mac G5.
Photo: Bernie Kohl/Wikipedia CC

June 23: Today in Apple history: Power Mac G5 packs world's first 64-bit CPU June 23, 2003: Apple launches its gorgeous Power Mac G5, a powerhouse desktop computer with a perforated aluminum chassis that earns it the affectionate nickname the “cheese grater.”

Starting at an affordable $1,999 ($2,650 in today’s terms), the Power Mac G5 is the world’s first 64-bit personal computer. It’s also Apple’s fastest machine yet.

New Mac Pro grille is actually a terrible cheese grater

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Cheese grater pro
You *could* use the Mac Pro to grate cheese. But you won’t be happy.
Photo: Winston Moy

The new Mac Pro sure looks a lot like a cheese grater, but it turns out that it’s pretty bad at grating cheese.

YouTuber machinist Winston Moy painstakingly re-created the complex circular structure of the new Mac Pro grille using his Shapeoko mill to put Jony Ive’s work to the test. The video of the entire process proves quite fascinating. However, the end result kind of disappoints.

Skip to the 5:30 mark to see it in action:

Mac Pro-inspired wallpaper turns other devices into cheese graters

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cheese grater wall paper
The best cheese grater is the one that's always with you.
Photo: @conath/Twitter via iDownloadblog

Most of us will never own the new Mac Pro, but our lesser Apple devices can still be cheese-grater chic.

Anyone with an iPhone, iPad or a more mortal Mac can now get wallpaper inspired by the futuristic ventilation holes on the Mac Pro unveiled by Apple at last week’s WWDC.

How new Mac Pro borrows from Apple’s best designs

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Mac Pro cheese grater
The new Mac Pro.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2019 bug It’s obvious that the new Mac Pro, unveiled this week during Apple’s WWDC keynote, is a reboot of the venerable Power Mac G5, a machine released in 2003 that featured a distinctive “cheese grater” grille.

Aside from looks, there are many similarities to the G5, plus a couple of ideas from other older Apple machines. Here are some of the clearest design influences on the new Mac Pro.

WWDC 2019, revealed! This week on The CultCast

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CultCast 387
WWDC is right around the corner....

This week on The CultCast: WWDC 2019 is right around the corner, and a new report sheds light on everything Apple’s prepping to reveal. We discuss! Plus: The magic of Corning glass, and how making your iPhone just slightly thicker would make it indestructible. And we reveal how (and why) Jony Ive created the massive mystery rainbow stage now present at the heart of Apple Park.

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