WWDC over the years: How it became a tech juggernaut

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WWDC has been home to some seismic announcements over the years.
Photo: Daniel Spiess/Flickr CC

Today in Apple history: Mac OS 7 gets its final update

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This was the beginning of the end for System 7.
Photo: Apple

Apr7 April 7, 1997: Apple’s System 7 operating system receives its last update with the shipping of Mac OS 7.6.1.

The update adds a few bug fixes and support for Apple’s new PCI Power Macs and the PowerBook 3400. Most importantly, it officially brings to an end the System 7 era, which dawned way back in 1991.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh LC II is the Mac mini of its day

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The Macintosh LC II was more powerful and cheaper than its predecessor.
Photo: Jonathan Zufi

Mar23 March 23, 1992: The “headless” Macintosh LC II arrives, wooing value-oriented customers with a beguiling mix of updated internals and budget pricing.

Designed to take up minimal space underneath a monitor that was sold separately, the Mac LC II is destined to become a hit. In retrospect, the entry-level machine is roughly analogous to today’s Mac minis.

Today in Apple history: Do you remember the Macintosh SE/30?

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The Mac SE/30 was the greatest Mac of its generation.
Photo: Danamania/Wikipedia CC

Jan19January 19, 1989: Apple introduces the Macintosh SE/30.

Arguably the greatest of the classic black-and-white compact Macs, the SE/30 boasted a 16 MHz 68030 processor, either 40 MB or 80 MB hard drive, and choice of 1 MB or 4 MB of RAM as standard — which, amazingly, could be expanded up to a whopping 128 MB RAM. Oh, and it packed 1.4M SuperDrive, too.

When you picture the ideal 1980s Macintosh, this is likely the machine which comes to mind. And for good reason!

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

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Do you remember the Macintosh IIvx?
Photo: Apple

 19October 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 would experience one of the more notorious price adjustments in Apple history. Within five months of shipping, its launch price of $2,949 would be slashed to $1,899.

Well, that’s one way to reward early adopters…

Help Crack William Gibson’s Mac OS System 7 Mystery

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Back in 1992, sci-fi futurist and console cowboy cyberpunk William Gibson of Neuromancer fame helped come up with a puzzle that has been puzzling computer cryptographers ever since.

At the 1992 Meeting of the Americas Society, a 3.5-inch disk meant to run on a Mac PowerBook was distributed alongside a limited print noir art book by Dennish Ashbaugh and Kevin Begos, Jr. On the disk was an unknown poem Gibson had penned called “Agrippa (a book of the dead)”. When the disk was plugged into a PowerBook, the text of the poem was displayed exactly once… and then a script on the disk caused the poem to be permanently scrambled so it could never be read again.

Two decades later, one cryptography student is trying to get to the bottom of how it all works.

How Apple’s Legal Battle With The Beatles Lead To The Mac’s Sosumi Sound

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The Sosumi sound continues to be a part of the Mac OS today.
The Sosumi sound continues to be a part of the Mac OS today.

If you’ve spent any amount of time with a Mac in the last 15 years or so, you may have noticed the Sosumi sound, one of several system alert sound options. Even though you most likely just passed it over without a thought, there’s a huge backstory behind the formation of that sound, one that starts with the Beatles, surprisingly enough.

Hacked Nook Simple Touch Runs Like A Classic Mac

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Some people dream of flying sheep, but blogger Mike Cane thinks different, dreaming of flying toasters. His dream – in November 2011 – was to see the classic Macintosh OS running on a nook Simple Touch, the eInk reader from Barnes and Noble. His dream seemed far-fetched, perhaps, even to him, but consider the following specs:

Original Macintosh: 68000 Motorola CPU at a blistering 8MHz(!), 128K(!) of RAM, and 512×342 screen
Nook Touch: TI OMAP3621 (ARM Cortex-A8 core, 800MHz), 256MB RAM, and 600×800 screen.

The Nook Simple Touch outperforms the original Mac by quite a bit. All he needed was someone to bring his dream to life.