1988: LaserWriter II, A/UX, CD-ROM, and Mac IIx
1988 was not a year of breakthroughs for Apple. It was a year of evolution.
January saw the introduction of the LaserWriter II family, a trio of printers sharing the same 300 dpi, 8 page per minute Canon engine but using different processor boards.
In February, Apple released its first version of Unix for the Macintosh, A/UX, which required a Mac II with a PMMU (Programmed Memory Management Unit), which is built into the 68030 CPU used in later Mac II series models, and a math coprocessor.
The first Apple CD-ROM drive, the external SCSI AppleCD SC, shipped in March, making Apple one of the earliest computer makers to embrace the emerging technology. Like many early CD-ROM drives, it used a caddy.
The Mac IIx shipped in September, provided a few enhancements over the Mac II: the 68030 processor could handle virtual memory without a separate PMMU, and the high density floppy drives could handle 1.4 MB disks. In August, a revised version of the Mac SE was introduced that also supported high density floppies.
With the right software, these new floppy drives could read and write 3.5" DOS disks, a feature we took for granted during the remainder of the floppy drive era.
The Mac operating system inched forward, evolving into System 6 by the end of the year.
The Wintel world claimed 30,000,000 MS-DOS users, Microsoft released Windows 2, and the Morris Internet Worm, the first computer virus propagated over the Internet, infected 6,000 computers. For many, this was the first time they heard about the Internet.
NeXT shipped itsfirst computer, the NeXT Cube, in October. Steve Jobs, always one to push the envelope, equipped it with a magneto-optical drive instead of a floppy drive or a hard drive and made a 17" 4-shade grayscale monitor standard equipment. There wasn't even an optional floppy drive.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: Power Mac 9500, introduced 1995.05.01. The first PCI Power Mac has 6 slots, speeds of 120 and 132 MHz.
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- World Book Encyclopedia 2012 DVD, Tommy Thomas, Reviews, 2013.03.05. "You may be asking yourself, in an age of Wikipedia and instant information, is World Book still relevant?"
- Vintage Computer Festival SouthEast, April 20-21, 2013, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.25. Old Apple gear and old PCs.
- iMessage: The Ultimate Messaging Service?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2013.02.21. In most ways, Apple's iMessage is far superior to BlackBerry Messenger.
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