Today in Apple history: PowerBook 540c is the best Mac laptop to date

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With impressive specs and a fancy screen, the PowerBook 540c took Apple laptops up a notch.
With impressive specs and a fancy screen, the PowerBook 540c took Apple laptops up a notch.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

May 16: Today in Apple history: PowerBook 540c launch May 16, 1994: Apple launches the PowerBook 540c, one of the best laptops in its history.

Part of the innovative 500 series of PowerBooks, the 540c is the laptop to own in 1994. Blisteringly fast, packed with innovative features, and offering the best notebook display on the market, it’s a triumph on every level. Although for $5,539 ($9,139 in today’s money), it had better be…

Today in Apple history: Computer retail giant’s closure hits NeXT hard

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NeXT Cube
The NeXT Computer was great. It also didn't sell.
Photo: Rama & Musée Bolo/Wikipedia CC

May 14: Today in Apple history: Businessland closes, hitting NeXt hard May 14, 1992: Steve Jobs’ company NeXT runs into trouble as it loses a crucial deal with Businessland after the giant computer retailer closes its stores.

It comes at a time when NeXT’s luck is going from bad to worse. This is one of the lowest points in Jobs’ career — before everything starts to turn around again.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs spells out a new strategy for Mac OS

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Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs introduced the world to OS X.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

May 11: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs spells out a new strategy for Mac OS May 11, 1998: As part of his mission to turn Apple around, Steve Jobs spells out the company’s strategy for the Mac operating system going forward.

The company will ship Mac OS 8.5 and the first customer release of an OS called Rhapsody that fall, he says at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. The big news, however, is that Apple is hard at work creating a major new operating system called OS X.

Today in Apple history: PowerBook G3 gets thinner, lighter and bronze-er

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The PowerBook G3 Lombard brought a
The PowerBook G3 Lombard brought a "bronze" keyboard and some real enhancements.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

May 10: Today in Apple history: PowerBook G3 gets thinner, lighter and bronze-er May 10, 1999: The third-generation PowerBook G3 comes in 20 percent slimmer and 2 pounds lighter than its predecessor, but most people remember the laptop for its “bronze” keyboard.

Although it doesn’t get a new name to distinguish it from previous laptops in the lineup, fans call it “Lombard” after Apple’s internal code name (or simply the “PowerBook G3 Bronze Keyboard”).

Today in Apple history: 1997’s ‘MacBook Air’ weighed 4.4 pounds

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The PowerBook 2400c was Apple's ultra-thin laptop of the late '90s.
The PowerBook 2400c was Apple's ultra-thin laptop of the late '90s.
Photo: Apple

May 8: Today in Apple history: PowerBook 2400c launch May 8, 1997: Apple launches the PowerBook 2400c laptop, a 4.4-pound “subnotebook” that’s the MacBook Air of its day.

The PowerBook 2400c predicts the rise of speedy, lightweight notebooks, while also paying tribute to Apple’s past. Its design echoes the original PowerBook 100. Even years later, it remains a cult favorite among many Mac users.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s first watch is a freebie for upgraders

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The first Apple watch was ... well, just a watch, actually.
Apple's first watch was ... well, just a watch, actually.
Photo: Jonathan Morrison

May 2: Today in Apple history: First Apple watch is a freebie for upgraders May 2, 1995: Apple enters the wearables space with its first watch, a timepiece with no fitness-tracking tech, no on-screen notifications and a whole lot of 1990s styling.

The (real) first Apple watch comes two decades before wearables will become a thing. A regular wristwatch, the freebie gadget is available as a special mail-in offer to System 7.5 upgraders.

Today in Apple history: Larry Ellison calls off Apple takeover plans

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Larry Ellison
The takeover didn't happen, but it still changed Apple history.
Photo: Oracle Corporate Communications

April 29: Today in Apple history: Larry Ellison calls off Apple takeover plans April 29, 1997: Steve Jobs’ friend Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, calls off his bid to take over Apple.

Ellison’s plan is to reinstall Jobs, who is then just an adviser to Apple CEO Gil Amelio, as the company’s chief executive. He also wants to take Apple private again.

Today in Apple history: Beginning of the end for Mac OS Copland

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Remember Mac OS Copland? Probably not from using it.
Copland never saw the light of day.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 26: Today in Apple history: Mac OS Copland suffers fatal blow when David C. Nagel leaves Apple April 26, 1996: Apple’s eagerly anticipated, but much delayed, Copland operating system for Mac suffers a fatal blow when the senior VP in charge of the project leaves the company.

David C. Nagel, Apple’s chief technologist, previously promised Mac OS Copland would ship to users by mid-1996 at the latest. With meeting that deadline no longer possible, he leaves Apple for a job running AT&T Laboratories.

It’s yet another sign that Apple’s top-to-bottom operating system upgrade is in major trouble.