eBay Purchase #26 – Apple Macintosh LC

maclc-introeBay Purchase Price: FREE

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Good

“Announcing something you’ve never seen before in an inexpensive Macintosh. Colour.”

Those were the words from a TV commercial for the Macintosh LC. The original LC released in October 1990 sat in-between the low-end Classic and the relatively more expensive IIsi, making it the most affordable Macintosh with colour display capabilities.

Most of these saw their time in educational institutions. As I later discovered, this particular LC used to sit within the Zoology department at the University of Tasmania.

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Macintosh Files in a Windows World: MacOpener 2.0

macopener20-1Prior to the turn of the century, it was generally considered an outright nuisance sharing files between Macintosh systems and well everything else. Apple provided Apple File Exchange and later PC Exchange in the early 1990s, system utilities that allowed PC-formatted floppy disks to be used initially with System 7.0. Whilst having the annoying habit of creating hidden files, it was good enough for moving around Office documents and JPEG images between platforms.

Users of DOS, Windows, and OS/2 were left neglected in the ability to read Macintosh-formatted disks, and consequently if you were frequently moving across files between platforms it was best to leave them formatted for PC. If you were determined to read Macintosh disks directly on your PC, you were left with no choice but to purchase a third-party utility. Whilst not the only option, this is where MacOpener comes into play.

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eBay Purchase #21 – Apple Macintosh G3 M3979

apple-g3desktop-1eBay Purchase Price: $150 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

The Power Macintosh G3 marked the end of an era – the end of beige computers and rainbow coloured logos at Apple. The G3 came about at a challenging time; demand slumped and profits nosedived to the point bankruptcy was in their sights. By the end of 1997, Steve Jobs returned and warmed up to Bill Gates seeking solutions. Consequently Microsoft invested $150 million USD in stocks and remained committed to developing a new version of Microsoft Office for the Mac. From the G3, the concept of what a computer should look like has arguably not been the same since.

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eBay Purchase #20 – Apple Adjustable Keyboard M1242

appleadjkb-1eBay Purchase Price: $230.50 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

A recent purchase that happened to be from the same seller I bought my Macintosh LC II. I don’t see too many of these around, and even more so complete with box and no missing items. This keyboard dates back to 1992 when it was priced at $219 US, a couple of years before Microsoft released their Natural Keyboard, both aimed at improving ergonomics for touch typists.

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eBay Purchase #17 – Macintosh System 7.5

macsystem75-8eBay Purchase Price: $100 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

The mid 1990s was a challenging period for Apple. Steve Jobs had long been absent, a fragmented Macintosh product line existed (e.g. Performa, Quadra, Centris, and Power Macintosh), Windows 95 grabbing the attention of the media, and the difficulties pursuing the Copland project.

Obviously Steve was far from pleased.

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eBay Purchase #16 – Apple Macintosh LC II

maclc2-1eBay Purchase Price: $200 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Good

It’s been years since owning a beige Macintosh, and I had an itch to own one again. A little while ago I picked up this Macintosh LC II off eBay, from the state of Queensland. Getting a Mac from the LC series wasn’t my first choice, having preferred finding a Quadra or Performa instead. Between price, condition, and the models out there to choose from it’s hard pickings. Nevertheless there was some sentimental value towards this model – it was the model I experienced using a Macintosh for the very first time.

The LC family began with the original Macintosh LC released in October 1990, and the  series continued up until 1997 with the Power Macintosh 5200/75 LC in an all-in-one form factor. The earlier LC models were commonly referred to as pizza boxes, given their slim design, and in hindsight could be seen as the then Mac Mini. I’m not fully certain on officially what the LC represented, whether it was “low cost”, “low cost colour”, or from the name of Project Elsie in which the objective was to build a more affordable Macintosh with a colour screen. Whichever it may be, the LC was aimed for families and the education market as a lower cost alternative to the Macintosh II.

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eBay Purchase #14 – Microsoft Office 4.2.1 for Macintosh

office421mac-1eBay Purchase Price: $48 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Microsoft Office for the Macintosh always felt kind of second-rate compared to its Windows counterpart. Microsoft Access never made it, hence no Professional edition available. The exception being with Office 2004 for the inclusion of Virtual PC. The e-mail client changed relatively frequently, whilst Windows users have been using Outlook since Office 97. Within the ‘Office family’ is Publisher, Visio and Project, where the former two didn’t come across to Mac, while the latter was short-lived in the early 1990s.

Interestingly Office’s roots stem from the Macintosh. During the late 1980s Microsoft did well selling individual copies of Word and Excel on the platform, comparative to their PC-based releases. Then in 1989 Microsoft Office 1.0 (originally known as The Microsoft Office) was first distributed, comprising of Word 4.0, Excel 2.2, PowerPoint 2.01, and Mail 1.37 that would run on Apple’s System 6. Five years later would see this version, 4.2, that would generate plenty of resentment amongst Mac users.

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