25 Years of Mac

Macintosh History

Macintosh History: 2009

Dan Knight

The January 2009 Macworld Expo would be Apple's last, which put something of a damper on celebration of the Mac's 25th anniversary on the Web and in Mac magazines.

The only new Mac introduced at the Expo was the 17" Unibody MacBook Pro, which would ship in February at 2.66 GHz and 2.93 GHz (a build-to-order option). For the first time ever in a "pro" Mac notebook, there was no removable battery. Instead, Apple built an 8-hour battery into the new notebook, which eliminated the need for a second battery for most users.

Like the 15" Unibody MacBook Pro, the 17-incher had dual graphics processors, dropped FireWire 400 (although FireWire 800 is backward compatible, it requires a special cable or adapter for FireWire 400 devices). The glossy screen has a 1920 x 1200 resolution, and Apple offers a $50 anti-glare option.

MacBook White Retains FireWire

Around January 20, Apple quietly replaced the entry-level 2.1 GHz MacBook White (just released in October 2008) with a 2.0 GHz model that uses the same Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics processor as the Unibody MacBooks. Like the earlier polycarbonate MacBooks - and unlike the unibody ones - the 2009 MacBook White retains FireWire 400 and has a mini-DVI port for video, not the Mini DisplayPort found on Apple's other notebooks.

Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6)

Three years into the Intel Era, Apple had begun to phase out PowerPC support in its iApps. iLife 09 has one feature (Learn to Play in GarageBand) that required an Intel dual-core CPU, and G4 and G5 Macs had less transitions available in iPhoto than do Intel Macs. The next step would be Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard", which would only work on Intel-based Macs.


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