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: 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 in appearance. Even years later, it remains a cult favorite among many Mac users.

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 that deadline no longer appearing accurate, 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.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512Ke further enhances the Mac

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The Macintosh 512Ke muddies the Mac waters just a smidge.
The 512Ke muddies the Mac waters just a smidge.
Photo: Vectronicsappleworld

April 14: Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512Ke launches April 14, 1986: The “low-cost” Macintosh 512Ke brings hardware upgrades — and a bit of confusion — to the low end of the Mac lineup.

The Mac 512Ke is an “enhanced” (hence the “e”) model of the Mac 512K. The upgrade addresses complaints that the original Mac lacked enough memory. The 512Ke adds a double-density 800k floppy drive and a 128k ROM to the Mac 512K formula.

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

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

April 7: Today in Apple history: System 7 gets its final update with Mac OS 7.6.1 April 7, 1997: Apple’s System 7 operating system receives its last update with the shipping of Mac OS 7.6.1.

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

Today in Apple history: Mac users can run Windows through Boot Camp

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Boot Camp finally allowed Macs to run Windows with ease.
Boot Camp finally allowed Macs to run Windows with ease.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 5: Today in Apple history: Mac users can run Windows through Boot Camp April 5, 2006: Apple introduces the public beta of Boot Camp, software that allows users with an Intel-based Mac to run Windows XP on their machines.

Boot Camp will officially arrive in Mac OS X “Leopard,” which debuts at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference a few month later.

Today in Apple history: Apple frenemy Microsoft is born

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Bill Gates
Apple and Microsoft had a long and storied history together.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

April 4: Today in Apple history: Microsoft founded April 4, 1975: Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft Corporation, a software company destined to become a tech behemoth — and a major Apple frenemy.

A few years later, Microsoft will break through to the mainstream with Excel and Word, with the company becoming a key developer of Macintosh software. Then comes the Windows operating system, looking suspiciously Apple-like. After that, Microsoft and Apple embark upon a long-running feud.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh LC 580 is ready for school

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The Macintosh LC 580 blew away PCs when it came to multimedia performance.
The Macintosh LC 580 blew away PCs when it came to multimedia.
Photo: The Apple Guy/YouTube

April 3: Today in Apple history: Macintosh LC 580 launch April 3, 1995: Apple introduces the Macintosh LC 580, an affordable computer offering good multimedia capabilities on a budget.

It quickly proves popular in the educational market. If you used a Mac in the classroom in the mid-1990s, there’s a good chance it was this very model!

Today in Apple history: Radius kicks off clone Mac era in style

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Radius was the first company to launch an official Macintosh clone, the Radius System 100.
Radius was the first company to launch an official Macintosh clone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 27: Today in Apple history March 27, 1995: The first official Macintosh clone launches, as Radius releases its high-end System 100 Mac.

Made by a company founded by several notable Macintosh alumni, this marvelous machine kicks off the era of clone Macs in grand fashion — before things take a turn for the worse.

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

March 23: Today in Apple history: Macintosh LC II launch 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 (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.