Macintosh Classic

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An early 128 KB Macintosh.

Macintosh Classic is an informal name for the original Macintosh family of home computers created by Apple, first sold in January of 1984. For the purposes of this site, "Macintosh Classic" refers to those Macintosh computers which used Macintosh operating systems 1-9. Those computers using OS X and higher are described in the Macintosh page.

Like the earlier Apple computer line, Macintosh computers have always had a high price tag which has prevented it from achieving widespread popularity, and uses a tightly regulated architecture which has prevented a lot of software from being released on it. Users often claim an intuitive design, but I've never noticed that to be the case. The earliest Macintosh models used a Motorola 68000 CPU.

Personal

I have never owned a Macintosh classic computer or even used one very much. In high school, my friend Eric had one, but I rarely used it as it was mostly his father's computer, so they didn't have many games for it. A teacher of mine in middle school had one too and I remember seeing a decent graphics program on it. I have always thought of Macs as inferior computers.

Status

I've never owned a Macintosh Classic computer, and I've used them in real life very little.

Software

The following is Macintosh software that is important to me.

Applications

Games

See all Macintosh Classic Games.

Review

Good

  • Macintosh attracted some rather impressive software companies early on, like Adobe and Bungie. However, the majority of them ended up jumping ship to Microsoft as the Macintosh became more constrictive and less relevant.
  • The platform had a lot of nice media software, if you could afford it. When they finally started using color displays, they also had great graphic programs.

Bad

  • In order to keep a high resolution display and decent update speed, the OS was stuck with monochrome graphics long after everyone else in the market had switched to color. Most manufacturers of home computer lines had color models by 1980, but the Macintosh Classic didn't see its first color model until 1987, and, even then, it was only targeted to professional users.
  • A lot of their early ideas seemed completely counter-intuitive. For example, the disk drive didn't have a mechanical eject button, so, to eject a disk, you had to move the disk icon into the trash can, which is the same thing you do to delete files!
  • The Mac continued using a one-button mouse until 2000 well over a decade after the rest of the computing world had switched over to two or more buttons. Up until then, a secondary click required an obnoxious keyboard-mouse combination.
  • By making most of their models an all-in-one units, it was difficult to upgrade any of the hardware or even use internal expansion cards.

Ugly

  • The closed architecture prevented a lot of developers from even bothering with the platform. This meant there was far less hardware and software available for the platform than its competitors. And, lacking color graphics or popular audio options, the bulk of the entertainment software released for the platform, even titles specifically designed for it, were inferior compared to ports made on other platforms.

Links

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