Here’s the Beef

August 1998: In iMac-ulate Conception: How Apple Made a Miracle Out of a Mere PC on ZDNet, Robert Lemos disparages the iMac as featuring “very little new technology and . . . missing some standard features found in other computers, such as a floppy drive and built-in printer connectivity.”

Excuse me, Mr. Lemos, but haven’t you noticed that USB (a standard promulgated on the Wintel side) can provide printer connectivity?

Bondi iMacThe Wintel folk have been pushing USB as a replacement for the old serial, parallel, and keyboard ports – yet PCs continue to offer the old ports along with the new one.

One revolutionary thing about the iMac is that it takes USB seriously, which the Wintel side seems unwilling to do. USB allows adding a printer, a scanner, a trackball, a digital camera, and a host of other devices. Not only that, but users won’t have to power down their iMacs to attach these peripherals.

The lack of a 3.5″ floppy will be as detrimental to the iMac’s success as the lack of a 5.25″ floppy was to the original Macintosh. Floppies are slow, add to the cost of computers (drive and controller), and are no longer heavily used. Imation and Newer will offer USB floppies for those who need them, ranging in price from $90 to $180.

And only those who need floppies will have to spend money on these drives, keeping the price of the iMac down for the rest.

Little new technology?


The iMac uses proven technology, which is what Apple, IBM, Microsoft, and others have traditionally done, relying on the innovations of others to create their own inventions.

The G3 processor, which outscores a 400 MHz Pentium II using the BYTEmark benchmark, has proved itself for almost a year.* USB has been present on PCs for some time. The Mac OS is stable, intuitive, and friendly.

Where's the beef?The focus on network use, including the Internet, harks way back to the first Macintosh. Macs have always been designed to network, yet most low-end PCs don’t see networking as important.

Maybe the use of color and bulletproof plastics is revolutionary.

Lemos asked, “Where’s the beef.” Or, to use a different image, he asked about the emperor’s new clothes.

The emperor proudly wears Bondi and Ice.

* A wide range of BYTEmark results was available online until 2016.

keywords: #imac #bytemark