Macintosh Classic

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As I've said before, Apple released several super-fast, super-expensive Macs in the late 80s and early 90s, mostly in the Mac II and later the Quadra series. This is why the $1500 Mac Classic, released in October 1990, is an interesting model. It looks out of place with other models of the period. It seems Apple decided to go back to its roots, and released a Mac model with the case, processor, and basic configuration as the original compact Mac models. In fact, the Mac Classic is really just a slightly faster Mac Plus with a different name. So why did Apple do this? Weren't there plenty of classic Macs to go around for years to come? Well...yes, but Apple had been continuously harassed that their computers were way too expensive compared to PCs with similar configurations and Apple was beginning to lose customers and money because of this. To quickly remedy the situation, Apple decided to hastily release a rehashed version of the Mac Plus to sastify customers. It defenately did not do so, as customers were disapointed at the rather mediocre $1500 machine Apple shipped. The Classic was only 5% faster than a Mac SE, some models did not have a hard drive, it only came with 1 MB of RAM, and had hardly any expansion capabilities. This made the Classic an unattractive buy, and was discontinued relatively quickly. As usual though, Apple learned once again how it had done worng and released the more powerful Mac Classic II the following year and the cool-looking Color Classic three years later.

Code Name: XO

Processor: Motorola 68000 running at 8 MHz.
Memory: came with 1 MB, expanadable to 4MB using a RAM card, 120ns 30-pin DRAM.
Display: built-in 9-inch diagonal monochrome bitmapped display.
Drives: 1.44 MB floppy drive, some models included a 40 MB HD.
Ports: mouse port, one eight-bit keyboard bus, 300 baud, RJ11 connector for the Macintosh Plus Keyboard. Two RS-232/RS-422 serial ports, 230.4K baud maximum, Mini DIN-8, and sound port for external audio amplifier or headphones.

Operating Systems:
Mac OS: comes with System 6.07, supports System 6.07-7.01, 7.1, 7.11 Pro, 7.5-7.51, 7.53-7.55.

On the market for: 1 year, 11 months.

Interesting Facts:
The Mac Classic is the only Mac model with a secret internal ROM disk. To see this disk, press Command, Option, O, and X at startup. When the Desktop appears, you'll see a new disk with System 6.03 inside (the Classic can't run this version though). If you use ResEdit to look at the invisible folders in the secret ROM disk, you'll see the folders are named after the engineers. A clever list of credits.

Resources & Related Links:
David Pogue's and Joseph Schorr's Macworld Mac SECRETS.
Picture from A History of Apple Computers.