My Turn

Defamation of the Mac LC


My Turn is Low End Mac's column for reader-submitted articles. It's your turn to share your thoughts on all things Mac (or iPhone, iPod, etc.) and write for the Mac web. Email your submission to Dan Knight .

This article is adapted from a posting on the Vintage Macs email list.

Paul wrote: You have defamed the machine which convinced me that the idiots who kept telling me to switch to the dark side were wrong! Read Guru for a cure for this ignorant rant. There was no overlap between the production times for the LC and either the LC II or the LC III. It was still a hell of a lot better machine than the mid-90s PCs. After a six year hiatus from a project using a Plus and then an SE 4/40 to do computer animation with BASIC, I went from a 386, upgraded to 486, and then to an LC - and I really appreciated the difference!

original thread

Michael S. Macdonald wrote: (came out of an LC...a machine that sent potential Mac users over to the dark side.. could they have put that machine on the marketplace when they had the expertise to build the LC III at the time?)

Let's see - LC stands for low cost:

  • Mac II, introduced March 1987, CPU: 68020@16 MHz, US$5,500
  • Mac SE/30, introduced Jan. 1989, CPU: 68030@16 MHz, US$6,500
  • Mac IIci, introduced Sept. 1989, CPU: 68030 @25 MHz, US$8,800
  • Mac IIsi, introduced Oct. 1990, CPU: 68030@20 MHz, US$3,770-4,570
  • Mac LC, introduced Oct. 1990, CPU: 68020@16 MHz, US$2,500
  • Mac LC II, introduced March 1992, CPU: 68030@16 MHz, US$1,400
  • Mac LC III, introduced Feb. 1993, CPU: 68030@25 MHz, US$1,350

1989 was Apple's banner year, having leapfrogged the opposition by introducing an all-in-one computer (the SE/30) that is still used and sought after today (try that for PC comparisons) and the IIci (also used by many aficionados today, although not as collectible as the SE/30)

By late 1990, Apple had shifted into the "milk the market" mode, introducing the LC. The LC was nothing more than a repackaged Mac II - four year old dead end technology!

The LC III was also four year old technology when it was introduced in 1993, but at least it wasn't a dead end (until Mac OS 8).

I'm not arguing the merits of Mac v PC here. I'm stating that Apple shortchanged its user base by offering up rhinestones for the cost of diamonds because they had a lock on a user friendly OS.

Were it not for Microsoft's legal department, we might still be subject to the bean counter mentality that brought Apple to it's knees.

Congratulations on being one of the few who stuck with Apple despite being sold a product that was far less than it should and could have been for the same dollar. (You're not alone. Those who bought the Classic, Classic II, and IIvi/IIvx were equally short changed)

My own fervor for the Mac was sustained by my good fortune in having purchased an SE/30 for $2,500 in 1992-- a fabulous deal at the time, and which, with the addition of a Radius full page monochrome monitor, lasted me out until the clones hit the market in 1996 and brought some realistic prices to the Mac marketplace.

Cheers - Michael

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