Today in Apple history: World gets a chance to test-drive a Mac

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Apple's innovative
Apple's innovative "Test Drive a Macintosh" ad campaign urged potential customers to take a Mac for a spin.
Photo: Apple

November 8: Today in Apple history: Test-drive a Mac November 8, 1984: When initial Mac sales prove disappointing, Apple CEO John Sculley dreams up the “Test Drive a Macintosh” campaign to encourage people to give Apple’s revolutionary new computer a chance.

While 200,000 would-be Apple customers take advantage of the offer, Apple dealers absolutely hate it.

Today in Apple history: The forgotten first Mac with an internal CD-ROM

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Why did the Mac IIvx fail to take the world by storm?
Why did the Mac IIvx fail to take the world by storm?
Photo: Apple

October 19: Today in Apple history October 19, 1992: Apple launches the Mac IIvx, the first Macintosh computer to ship with a metal case and, more importantly, an internal CD-ROM drive.

The last of the Macintosh II series, the Mac IIvx experiences one of the more notorious price adjustments in Apple history. Within five months of shipping, Apple slashes the computer’s launch price of $2,949 to $1,899. That’s one way to reward early adopters!

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin clash over the Mac

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Apple Mac
The war over the Macintosh's soul started on this day in 1979.
Photo: Apple

September 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin clash over the Mac September 27, 1979: Years before the Macintosh will ship, Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin clash for the first time over the direction of the Macintosh R&D project.

Raskin, the founder of the Macintosh project, wants a computer that’s going to be affordable to everyone. Jobs wants a computer that’s going to be the best, regardless of price.

Guess who won?

Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512K, aka the ‘Fat Mac,’ quadruples the memory

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Apple Mac
The "Fat Mac" solved one of the original Mac's biggest problems.
Photo: Apple

September 10: Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512K, aka the 'Fat Mac,' quadruples the memory September 10, 1984: Apple ships the Macintosh 512K, the first upgrade to the first-gen Macintosh 128K.

Coming less than eight months after the original Macintosh, the 512K Mac makes no sweeping changes to the computer’s form factor. Instead, the big upgrade is quadrupling the RAM. This leads Apple fans to refer to the computer as the “Fat Mac.”

Today in Apple history: iMac G5 takes a page out of the iPod’s playbook

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The iMac G5 looked like the world's biggest iPod.
The iMac G5 looked like the world's biggest iPod.
Photo: Matthew Pearce/Flickr CC

August 31: Today in Apple history: iMac G5 takes a page out of the iPod's playbook August 31, 2004: Apple launches the iMac G5, a distinctive, white plastic computer that looks a little like the world’s biggest iPod.

Housed in a 2-inch-thick enclosure reminiscent of Apple’s Cinema Displays, the new all-in-one machine bridges the gap between the pleasing plasticity of the iconic G3 iMac and the minimalist form factor of today’s ultra-slim aluminum Mac desktops.

20 most important Macs of all time

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Vivid colors made the early iMac design stand out in a sea of beige. An iMac G3 ad,
The iMac G3 went on sale two decades ago today.
Photo: Apple

Today marks 20 years since the launch of the Bondi Blue iMac, the product that helped set Apple back on the right course. The iMac definitely revolutionized the personal computer industry, but which other Macs rank as Apple’s most game-changing machines?

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

Today in Apple history: Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman is born

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Kate Winslet (left) plays Joanna Hoffman (right) in Steve Jobs.
Kate Winslet (left) played Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman in Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic.
Photos: Kate Winslet/Apple

July 27: Today in Apple history: Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman birthday July 27, 1955: Joanna Hoffman, who will join the original Macintosh and NeXT teams and become Steve Jobs’ first right-hand woman, is born in Poland.

Six months younger than Jobs, the marketing executive is one of the few people willing and able to stand up to the oftentimes-fierce Apple co-founder during the first part of his career.

Today in Apple history: Multimedia Macs take on the world

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LC 630 Macintosh
Did you own one of the 630 series Macintoshes?
Photo: Computers.popcorn

July 18: Today in Apple history: Apple launches Quadra, Performa and LC 630 Macintoshes July 18, 1994: Apple launches the Quadra, Performa and LC 630 Macintoshes, three similar computers with slight differences tailored for the professional, home and educational markets.

Buyers can configure the new 630 series of Macs for less than $2,000. Today, the idea of getting a decent multimedia computer for $3,300 (adjusted for inflation) sounds very reasonable, but in 1994 these new Macs looked like a total steal.

Vintage Apple inspires line of toy robots

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Classicbot
This toy Classic is ready to travel with a Font Suitcase and pet mouse.
Photo: Classicbot

Philip Lee is an ad man, a great admirer of vintage Macs and a lifelong collector of toy robots. From those three pieces of Lee’s life comes Classicbot, a line of designer toys that turns historic replica Apple hardware and desktop icons into adorable characters.

His first, the Classic, looks like the original Macintosh computer except with a friendly face, arms and legs. There’s even a cute mouse, a Font Suitcase that fits in the toy bot’s hand and a cardboard box reminiscent of the original packaging.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs visits the Soviet Union

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Soviet Apple flag
This was Steve Jobs' one and only trip to the Soviet Union.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 4 Today in Apple history July 4, 1985: Steve Jobs visits Moscow for the first time, with the aim of selling Macs to the Russians.

During his two-day trip, Jobs lectures computer science students in the Soviet Union, attends a Fourth of July party at the American embassy, discusses opening a Mac factory in Russia, and reportedly almost runs afoul of the KGB by praising assassinated Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky.