Today in Apple history: Twentieth Anniversary Mac lands with a thud

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The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh launched exactly two decades ago on March 20, 1997.
The Twentieth Anniversary Mac offered a glimpse of the future.
Photo: Apple

March 20: Today in Apple history: Twentieth Anniversary Mac lands with a thud March 20, 1997: Apple launches its Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, a futuristic, special-edition Mac that’s ahead of its time in every way.

Not part of any established Mac line, it brings a look (and a price!) unlike anything else available. And yet the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh promptly bombs. Today, it’s a collector’s piece.

Today in Apple history: Power Mac 7100 lands Apple in hot water with Carl Sagan

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Mac
The Macintosh 7100 was not Carl Sagan's favorite computer.
Photo: TopMicroUSA

March 14: Today in Apple history: Power Mac 7100 lands Apple in hot water with Carl Sagan March 14, 1994: Apple introduces the Power Macintosh 7100, a midrange Mac that will become memorable for two reasons.

The first is that it is among the first Macs to use new PowerPC processors. The second is that it results in Apple getting taken to court by astronomer Carl Sagan — not once but twice.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh Portrait Display goes large (and vertical)

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The Macintosh Portrait Display was an early Apple experiment.
The Macintosh Portrait Display was an early Apple experiment.
Photo: Computer.popcorn

March 7: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Portrait Display goes large (and vertical) March 7, 1989: Apple introduces the Macintosh Portrait Display, a 15-inch vertical grayscale monitor designed to show full pages on a single screen.

Intended for word processing and desktop publishing, the $1,099 monitor (plus $599 for an additional video card to run it) works with any Macintosh. Something of a rarity today, the Macintosh Portrait Display is an early example of the supersized displays Apple would release years later.

Today in Apple history: Here comes the Macintosh II

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The Mac II was an enormously impressive machine for its day.
The Mac II was an enormously impressive machine for its day.
Photo: Apple

March 2: Today in Apple history: Macintosh II launches March 2, 1987: Three years after releasing the original Macintosh 128K, Apple launches a proper sequel, the almighty Macintosh II.

Although four Mac models already have been released, the definitive, full-number name of the Macintosh II makes clear that this is a major upgrade for the product line. With a massive hardware boost, optional color display (!) and a new open architecture, it does not disappoint!

Today in Apple history: New card runs Apple II software on Macs

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Running Apple II programs on a Mac with an Apple IIe Card was pretty darn awesome.
Running Apple II programs on your Mac was pretty darn awesome.
Photo: Microwavemont/YouTube

March 1: Today in Apple history: Apple IIe Card lets users run Apple II software on Macs March 1, 1991: Apple introduces the Apple IIe Card, a $199 peripheral that lets users turn Macs into fully functioning Apple IIe computers.

The ability to emulate the popular Apple IIe computer on a Mac brings Apple’s two operating systems side by side for the first time. While not quite the equivalent of Apple letting you run iOS on a Mac today, it’s not a world away.

Today in Apple history: Mac mini arrives with Intel inside

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With a powerful Intel chip inside, the new Mac mini made big of waves.
With a powerful Intel chip inside, the new Mac mini made big of waves.
Photo: RecycledGoods

February 28: Today in Apple history: Mac mini arrives with Intel inside February 28, 2006: Apple introduces an upgraded Mac mini, an affordable computer powered by an Intel processor.

A “headless” Mac for entry-level users, it’s the third Apple computer to switch to Intel chips. Oh, and it makes one heckuva media player when plugged into a television set.

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.

Today in Apple history: Apple introduces ‘world’s fastest’ PowerBook

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The PowerBook 3400 certainly lived up to its name.
The PowerBook 3400 certainly lived up to its name.
Photo: Apple

February 17: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces 'world's fastest' PowerBook February 17, 1997: Apple launches the PowerBook 3400, a laptop the company claims is the fastest portable computer in the world.

After a rough few years for the PowerBook, this model throws down the gauntlet to rivals. It packs a PowerPC 603e processor capable of running at speeds up to 240MHz. Speedier Apple laptops will quickly overtake it. However, at the time, the PowerBook 3400 matches the speed of some impressive desktop Macs.

Today in Apple history: Pismo PowerBook is a multimedia powerhouse

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Apple Pismo PowerBook raised the bar for laptops.
The Pismo PowerBook raised the bar for laptops.
Photo: CG Hughes/Flickr CC

February 16: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces the February 16, 2000: Apple introduces the “Pismo” PowerBook, the best of its G3 laptops. In the view of many, it’s one of Apple’s best laptops ever.

The Pismo PowerBook is the first not to include SCSI or an Apple Desktop Bus connector. Instead, it utilizes USB and Apple’s Emmy award-winning FireWire. Optional AirPort wireless support, tremendous battery life and a gorgeous curvy design just make it better.

Today in Apple history: Mac mania sweeps magazine racks

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The Macintosh? It'll never catch on!
The Macintosh? It'll never catch on!
Image: Cult of Mac/Ste Smith

February 13: Today in Apple history: Mac mania sweeps magazine racks February 13, 1984: The arrival of the first Macintosh is met with enormous amounts of excitement by the tech press, as epitomized by InfoWorld magazine.

The wave of coverage comes a few weeks after the January 24 release of the Macintosh. But when it finally arrives, it becomes clear the Mac looks like a hit.