The Macintosh Clone Era

There are three different business models in the PC, smartphone, and tablet industries. The most widely used model is for one company to make the operating system and license it to a host of hardware manufacturers. This has given us the Windows market where no matter how badly PC makers do, Microsoft remains profitable.

NuTek Mac Clones

While most early Mac clones depended on Macintosh ROMs to function, NuTek spent four years reverse engineering the ROMs in a clean room in its quest to produce a legal Mac clone. It didn’t exactly succeed.

Send for the Clones

1997: My, but we live in interesting times! Apple, consistently the most innovative vendor of personal computers and operating systems, has twice changed CPU platforms (from 6502-based Apple I, II, and III to 680×0-based Lisa and Macintosh, to PowerPC-based Power Macintosh) and is on the verge of introducing a new (to Mac users) operating system […]

Send Out the Clones?

1997: The entire Mac world has been on a roller coaster ride for the last year. Good news: Power Computing, Motorola, Umax, Daystar, and others were making Mac OS computers. They were offering performance, features, and prices that made them a legitimate alternative to Apple’s own hardware. They seemed to be growing the Mac market, […]

Motorola StarMax 6000

The 6000-series was the first and only Mac clone built using a CHRP (Common Hardware Reference Platform) motherboard. It was the only Mac clone with a G3 on the motherboard. It was also the last StarMax model, as Motorola exited the Mac clone business at the end of 1997.

Motorola StarMax 5000

The 5000-series was Motorola’s second generation Mac clone. Based on the Tanzania II motherboard with a 50 MHz bus, these tower computers provide excellent performance at a reasonable price. All models include an EDI hard drive, ATAPI CD-ROM player, and five-year warranty.

Motorola StarMax 4000

The 4000-series was Motorola’s professional-level Mac clone. Based on the Tanzania motherboard with a Power PC 604e CPU, these provide top performance at a reasonable price. All models include an EDI hard drive, an ATAPI CD-ROM player, and an unprecedented (at least in the Mac OS world) five-year warranty.

Motorola StarMax 3000

The 3000-series was Motorola’s entry-level Mac clone. Based on the Tanzania motherboard with a Power PC 603e CPU, they provided good performance at a lower price than the 604-based 4000-series. All models include an EDI hard drive, an ATAPI CD-ROM player, and an unprecedented (at least in the Mac OS world) five-year warranty.

DayStar Genesis MP+

The Genesis MP+ arrived in August 1996 in dual- and quad-processor versions based on the PowerPC 604e processor, an improved version of the 604 CPU found in the earlier Genesis MP. Note that many of these were introduced only two weeks before DayStar chose to discontinue producing Mac OS computers on 25 August 1997.

Umax SuperMac C600

The SuperMac C600 (Apus 3000 series in Europe and Asia) was Umax’s least expensive minitower. Introduced at 160 MHz in August 1996, Umax was selling 280 MHz models by mid-1997. The C600 was designed around a modified Tanzania motherboard with a daughter card for 3 PCI slots and 1 Comm-2 slot.

Umax SuperMac C500

The SuperMac C500 (known as the Apus 2000 series in Europe and Asia) was Umax’s entry level computer, perhaps the model that best met their corporate goal of making quality Mac OS computers at prices that could give PCs a run for their money. It may have been the least expensive Mac OS computer of its […]

Umax SuperMac J700

The SuperMac J700 (Centauri in Europe and Asia) was Umax’s least expensive computer based on the PowerPC 604e processor. Very expandable, it has 4 PCI slots, 5 drive bays, 8 DIMM sockets, and a replaceable CPU.

Umax SuperMac S900

The SuperMac S900 (known as the Pulsar in Europe and Asia) was Umax’s first Mac clone and would remain Umax’s most powerful, most expandable computer and the last production Mac clone with 6 expansion slots until the S910 arrived.

DayStar Genesis MP

The DayStar Genesis MP was the first multiple processor Mac OS computer, introduced in October 1995 in a four processor version. It came in dual- and quad-processor versions based on the PowerPC 604 processor.

Radius System 100

The System 100 was the first authorized Macintosh clone. It was built around a slightly modified Power Mac 8100 motherboard: Radius used a standard Mac DB-15 video port instead of the 8100’s 45-pin AV port.