Today in Apple history: Hippie-themed iMacs fuel Cupertino flashback

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The Flower Power iMac G3 and Blue Dalmatian iMac G3 were two of the wackier Macs in history.
These were two of the wackier Macs ever.
Photo: Apple

February 22: Today in Apple history: Hippie-themed Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian iMacs fuel Cupertino flashback February 22, 2001: The iMac Special Edition, sporting custom Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian designs, puts a wacky face on the computer that saved Apple’s bacon at the turn of the century.

A far cry from the super-serious, aluminum-heavy industrial design that will come to define Apple, these colorfully patterned iMacs are some of the most irreverent computers Cupertino ever dreamed up. (C’mon, when was a real Dalmatian blue?)

Under the consciously tacky exterior hummed a pretty darn great iMac G3, though.

20 most important Macs of all time

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128k Mac and 21-inch iMac
Things have come a long way in 35 years.
Photo: iFixit

Today marks 35 years since the launch of the original Macintosh computer, the product which most defined Apple until the iPod and iPhone came along years later. The Mac changed the course of personal computing history, and started a product line which Apple continues today. But which Macs along the way rank as the biggest game changers?

We went right back to the start to bring you our picks for the top 20 most important Macs of all time.

Colorful iMac G3 looks adorable as a toy robot

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Mac toy
iBot comes in tangerine and Bondi blue.
Photo: Philip Lee

Before the brushed aluminum and sharp angles of today’s desktop Mac, the iMac G3 was bulbous, plastic and colorful. Some would say cute.

Toy designer Philip Lee raises the cute factor on the beloved piece of personal computing history with two new Classicbots that come in tangerine and Bondi blue.

Fun concept re-imagines the retro iMac for 2018

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iMac G3 2018 3 1
A loving tribute to one of the most iconic Macs.
Photo: Antonio De Rosa

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Apple’s colorful iMac G3, the computer Steve Jobs said looked good enough to lick. While Apple has long since moved away from this fun design in favor of the sleekly minimalist iMac of today, Apple fans still remember the G3 fondly.

One of those fans, talented designer Antonio De Rosa, recently paid homage to Apple’s first-gen iMac by putting together a concept design for what a new iMac in the same style might look like. Would you buy one?

Henry Ford Museum celebrates iMac G3 birthday by exhibiting all 13 ‘flavors’

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iMac
People could peer into the iMac G3 to see its internal workings.
Photo: Apple

Do you know your Sage from your Grape? How about your Bondi Blue from your Graphite? And who in their right mind could forget Flower Power or Blue Dalmatian?

If you know your Apple trivia, you’ll recognize all of those as “flavors” of the iconic iMac G3, which launched twenty years ago today. To celebrate the occasion, the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan is showing off all 13 colors of the iconic “computer that saved Apple.”

Today in Apple history: iMac G3 arrives to save Apple

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On this day in 1998, the world says
On this day in 1998, the world says "hello" to the computer that will save Apple.
Photo: Apple

August 15: Today in Apple history: iMac G3 arrives to save Apple August 15, 1998: The iMac G3, Apple’s brightly colored translucent Macintosh relaunch, goes on sale to a rabid audience.

Steve Jobs’ first major product launch since returning to Apple, the internet-ready iMac cements his legacy as a forward-thinking tech visionary. It also introduces the world to the design talents of Jony Ive — and pretty much saves Apple in the process.

Just another day at the office, eh?

iMac’s terrible code name was an in-joke between Jobs and Schiller

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iMac design: The iMac G3 was a bit fatter than model than today's models.
The iMac G3 could have had a very different name.
Photo: Apple

The first iMac’s frightful code name was an in-joke that reflected Steve Jobs’ respect for Sony.

The working name — “MacMan” — was so horrible it would “curdle your blood,” according to Ken Segall, the Apple exec who eventually came up with the name “iMac.” Nearly 20 years after Apple shipped the iMac G3, we now have an explanation for the craptacular internal name — courtesy of Phil Schiller, the guy who came up with it.

Nostalgia fuels these wacky Apple Car concepts

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iCar concept
The color iMac G3 is classic, but could it be a classic car?
Photo: NeoMam Studios

Part of you wishes you still had a blueberry iMac G3 sitting on your desk. But would you buy a car that looked just like it?

A marketing company, joining in on the excitement surrounding longtime rumors of an Apple car, came up with five concepts that are inspired by landmark Apple products.