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.

Today in Apple history: Mac Color Classic ditches monochrome

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The Macintosh Color Classic is the Mac everybody had been waiting for.
The Macintosh Color Classic was the Mac the world had been waiting for.
Photo: Chung Chu/Flickr CC

February 10: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Color Classic ditches monochrome February 10, 1993: Apple launches the Macintosh Color Classic, the company’s first color compact Mac.

As the first desktop Mac to offer an integrated color display, and the last U.S. Mac to offer the compact form factor, this model represents a landmark in the evolution of the Macintosh. A Color Classic unit also happens to be the 10 millionth Macintosh Apple shipped.

Today in Apple history: Mac clone-maker closes shop

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Power Computing clone Macs sounded like a good idea at first.
Mac clones did not pan out for Power Computing.
Photo: Antnik

January 31: Today in Apple history: Mac clone-maker Power Computing closes shop January 31, 1998: Mac clone-maker Power Computing goes out of business, having auctioned off its office supplies and computers.

Apple bought out Power Computing, once the fastest-growing PC company of the decade, the previous year. As a result, Power Computing shareholders receive Apple stock as a replacement. As it turns out, that may not have been a terrible deal.

Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first Mac

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Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K in an original Mac ad.
Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K.
Photo: Apple

January 24: Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first Mac January 24, 1984: Apple ships its first Mac, the mighty Macintosh 128K.

Bringing a mouse and graphical user interface to the masses, and heralded by an acclaimed Super Bowl commercial that’s still talked about today, the first-gen Mac will quickly become one of the most important personal computers ever released.