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iMac Businesses Apple Hardware

R.I.P. Original iMac: 1998-2003 443

Joey Patterson writes "CNET reports that, after five years, Apple has stopped selling the gumdrop-shaped iMac to the general public."
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R.I.P. Original iMac: 1998-2003

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  • by JHromadka ( 88188 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:12PM (#5539896) Homepage
    Apple also released today an Xserve Cluster Node [] that has no graphics card and starts at $1000 than the high-end Xserve.
  • by Palshife ( 60519 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:12PM (#5539900) Homepage
    Ahh, the end of an age. The only computer my mother ever used that almost completely replaced my usefulness.
  • RIP iMac (Score:5, Funny)

    by Exitthree ( 646294 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:12PM (#5539904) Homepage
    Perhaps now that people realize Apple has stopped selling fruit colored computers we can see the end of all the pink and purple translucent plastic office products...
  • by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:12PM (#5539905)
    I'll miss the old iMacs, they really sent a shockwave throught the PC community (prompting many users to get one even if they didnt know what the hell they were getting into in the mac world), and a lot of new ideas and concepts.

    I especially liked the manuals... the shortest manuals ever, something like 20 words right? But anyways, I've gotta hand it to Apple for those things lasting as long as they did, and bringing a new style and appeal to the computer market. Live long and prosper iMac..
  • No biggie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by why-is-it ( 318134 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:13PM (#5539908) Homepage Journal
    As long as they keep selling the eMac, how significant is this announcement? I mean, provided that you can spend the extra coin, the eMac seems like a better choice what with the larger CRT and all.

    Still, it will be hard to make a fishtank out of the flat-panel iMACs...
    • Re:No biggie (Score:4, Interesting)

      by goon america ( 536413 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:16PM (#5539940) Homepage Journal
      Have you not heard of nostalgia?!

      The original iMac may have saved Apple. That is why it garners so much deserving affection. Steve Jobs supposedly started the project 10 days after he returned to the company's staff.

    • Re:No biggie (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zanthany ( 166662 )
      No! Not fishtanks! Think different!

      Think antfarms!
    • by Mattygfunk1 ( 596840 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @08:25PM (#5540775)
      I'm sure I'm not the only one that loves to use vi on the emacs.
  • iFruit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by petronivs ( 633683 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:13PM (#5539912) Journal
    I wonder if this means the newspaper comic Fox Trot [] will retire its iFruit computer.
    • Re:iFruit (Score:2, Informative)

      by adashiel ( 96488 )
      Unlikely. The Fox family was using a Macintosh II-esque machine until they got their iFruit. That was, what, 1999? 2000? At least six years after that case style had been retired anyway. I'd express sympathy that Jason has to use such old equipment, but I figure since he's such a little shit he deserves it. ;-p
  • It was the computer that brought Apple back from the duldrums. Six years ago it was a revolutionary move to bundle the components like the classic Mac.

    It indeed is a sad day...

  • by KillerHamster ( 645942 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:16PM (#5539944) Homepage
    ...and it was like, beep beep beep... and it was, like, gone...
  • by yozzle ( 628834 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:17PM (#5539948)
    5 years is much longer time than your average x86 PC company would sell a computer for. I'm no Mac fanatic, in fact, I don't even own one, but I guess this goes to show that Apple does make solid products that last for a while.
    • *blink* (Score:5, Informative)

      by OrenWolf ( 140914 ) <> on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:27PM (#5540031) Homepage
      Um, they weren't the *same computer* they sold 5 years ago I'm afraid. I count 20 [] revisions made to that machine in 5 years. That gives each system a shelf life of about three months!
      • Re:*blink* (Score:2, Informative)

        Let's see...
        The Dell started with the 4100 in 2000. The 4200 wasn't available in the US, but they had the 4300. They introduced the 4300S, the 4400, 4500, 4500C, 4500S, 4550, and now the 4590T.
        This is since 2000.

        There were 13 revisions to the CRT iMac, and some of them are barely revisions (The 2000 iMac DV SE was a faster processor and a bigger hard drive, no architecture/component changes beyond that). Several are component upgrades, with the base system being the same. Dell's revisions are different ar
    • That may be more because the state of the art in PCs seems to advance so much more quickly. Thinking back to the PCs of 5-years ago, there seems to be *much* bigger advances in the PC world then the incremental increases in speeds that iMac users have had to content themselves with. PC company's CAN'T sell essentially the same computer for 5 years because the market will leave them behind. Apple, on the other hand, makes and controls its own market so this can never happen - even if maybe it should.
    • by Anonvmous Coward ( 589068 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:57PM (#5540238)
      "...but I guess this goes to show that Apple does make solid products that last for a while."

      A friend of mine has worn the same pair of shoes for over three years now. He's got unusually proportioned feet so he can't just go to the store and pick any old pair of shoes he wants. He has to go to a specialty place.

      Take a minute to let that anecdote set in.
    • Five years is nothing. How long has beige owned the PC market?

    • by tim1724 ( 28482 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @07:17PM (#5540375) Homepage Journal

      As others have pointed out, Apple didn't sell the same machine for 5 years. Here's a useful chart [] showing the different versions of the G3/CRT iMac. (I think there may have been some slight variations for the educational market, in terms of memory and drives)

      Things which remained the same across revisions:

      • Shape and size (height and weight changed slightly, I think this was due to CRT changes)
      • 15" CRT (actually, I think different CRTs were used, but all were 15")
      • USB
      • CPU type (various revisions of the G3 processor family)
      • Lack of floppy drive
      • 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
      • 56 kbps modem
      Things which changed between releases:
      • Price (no, it didn't start out as a sub-$1000 machine!)
      • color (Bondi blue, fruit flavors [strawberry, orange, lime, blueberry, grape], indigo, ruby, graphite, blue dalmation, flower power, snow)
      • speed (started at 233Mhz, finished at 700Mhz)
      • memory (32MB ... 256MB)
      • hard disk (4GB ... 60GB)
      • mouse (they eventually dropped that evil hockey puck but it took them too long to do that...)
      • keyboard (changed when the mouse changed, I think)
      • video card (Various flavors of ATI Rage cards, from Rage IIc to RAGE Ultra 128)
      • IR port .. quietly dropped in Revision C (when the fruit flavors were added)
      • internal expansion .. the never-supported "Mezannine" slot was dropped in Revision c)
      • Firewire .. introduced to some machines in 1999, but wasn't included with all machines until 2001
      • Airport (802.11b) .. slowly added to product line, same as Firewire
      • Fan .. Rev. A and Rev. B had fans, the fanless iMac began with Rev. C
      • optical drive .. CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-RW of varoius speeds (I don't think the Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) or SuperDrive (DVD-RW/CD-RW) were ever available)
      A number of very different machines, but all basically looked the same (ignoring color) and were sold under the same name.
  • It was cool... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bendebecker ( 633126 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:18PM (#5539960) Journal
    It was cool, the only problem is that Apple never sells old systems and Mac addicts seem to be far less likely to sell their computers on ebay. Since I don't want to pay $800 for a computer I only want to play around with, that usually means the only macs I get are covered in grease...

    Anyone know a good place to buy old (like 3-5 yr. old) Apple computers like imacs or ibooks?
    • Re:It was cool... (Score:5, Informative)

      by BMonger ( 68213 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:26PM (#5540023) []

      I've never bought from them myself but they seem well talked of on Mac sites.

    • by L. VeGas ( 580015 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:26PM (#5540025) Homepage Journal
      the only macs I get are covered in grease.

      Those are called "Big Macs".
    • Re:It was cool... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
      Anyone know a good place to buy old (like 3-5 yr. old) Apple computers like imacs or ibooks?

      You could look on eBay, but you'll notice that the price of a second hand Mac really isn't that much lower than a new Mac and people still actually buy them at this price. Something to note when considering switching, they seem to devalue much less than PCs. I've still not entirely figured out why...

    • has them pretty regularly. Their best price right now appears to be $599 so I don't know if I would consider this a particularly good deal but then I think you can find one on ebay fairly easy. Original iMacs (slower obviously) can be had for much less than that and are fairly plentiful.
    • Mac addicts seem to be far less likely to sell their computers on ebay

      Are you kidding? Every old Mac I've sold except one has been sold on eBay. There are always tons of used Macs for sale there. I've also bought two Macs on eBay-- I got an older Graphite G4 /350 tower for my company, to be our OS X Server testbed. And I'm typing this post on my G4/733 Quicksilver. If you're persistent you can find and acquire a good machine for a decent price.

      The only trouble if you're a buyer is Macs usually retain a h
    • Re:It was cool... (Score:2, Informative)

      by jcdick1 ( 254644 )
      Check with University of Michigan's property disposition. They are an all-Mac school.

      And they have some pretty good deals, too. I got an HP LaserJet 4M+ with Postscript module, MIO, and almost new toner cartridge for $100.

      UofM Property Disposition []
  • New Xserve (Score:4, Funny)

    by humina ( 603463 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:19PM (#5539966)
    I'm surprised that slashdot posted about the CNET article about the end of the original iMac instead of new clustering Xserve []. I mean think about it. Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of...oh nevermind.
  • IT? No, ID! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zanthany ( 166662 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:19PM (#5539969) Journal
    As far as computing is concerned, the iMac was just a blip on the screen of desktop computing. But realize the impact the iMac had on industrial design for absolutely everything.

    You couldn't swing a deat cat and not hit a differently colored George Foreman grill, a phone, a printer, a kitchen gizmo, some transparently housed electronic gizmo, another technologically-all-in-one-packaged device, or any combination of the two.

    Lest we forget the bold step Apple gave us in dropping the floppy, and changing the way peripheral removeable storage designers view the desktop.
    • Re:IT? No, ID! (Score:2, Informative)

      by pldms ( 136522 )
      As far as computing is concerned, the iMac was just a blip on the screen of desktop computing. But realize the impact the iMac had on industrial design for absolutely everything.

      Dipping into my unreliable memory the significance of the iMac (in desktop computing) was removal of legacy items: the floppy drive and the old serial port. It seemed to kick-start the USB peripheral industry (which was pretty much the only way to add devices to it - see removal of floppy drive ;-). It came with ethernet as stand

  • by L. VeGas ( 580015 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:20PM (#5539974) Homepage Journal
    Old Macdonald had a farm.
    e Mac
    i Mac
    e mac
    i Mac

    O Mac

    'Course my fave is BigMac.
  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:24PM (#5540003) Homepage Journal
    Hey, they are still available through educational channels. I just ordered another one given the success I have had with an iMac running Webvision []. This site is a new iMac G3 running OS X and is getting on average 30 thousand hits/day and the machine is absolutely quiet with no fans so one can actually have their server up and running right next to your desk.

  • *sniff* (a eulogy) (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shayborg ( 650364 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:24PM (#5540005)
    I don't think it's too much hyperbole to claim that the iMac was one of the most revolutionary computers -- ever. The all-in-one factor was important, certainly, though not unique by itself. Neither was USB, the lack of a floppy drive, or a round and colored case. But the combination of these (and others) in one radically different computer probably changed the history of personal computers. When was the last time you saw a large manufacturer sell a beige case? When was the last time you saw a computer that didn't come with USB? Even now, manufacturers are still slowly phasing out the floppy drive, something that Apple basically did with that one bombshell back in 1998. Love it or hate it, the iMac changed the face of computing forever, and will be remembered as such a pioneer in the annals of the history of personal computing.

    ::bows and gets off his soapbox::

    -- shayborg
    • by jayhawk88 ( 160512 ) <> on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:56PM (#5540234)
      Yes, thank God the iMac showed the computing industry that they should focus on style and asthetics over features and functionality. I'm so fucking glad that Dell, IBM, and HP now feel the need to change the form factors of their machines every 3 months, and in the process give me some of the most horrible, badly designed machines ever made. iMac can kiss my ass. Anyway, my favorite iMac story:

      I'm working at CompUSSR as a technician. It's a slow day, and I happen to be up at the front counter of the tech department, filling out some paperwork or something. A lady walks in the front door carting an iMac in hand, and from 10 feet away I can see the anger in her eyes. She steps up to the counter, and with one emphatic push, heaves the iMac up onto the counter, where it lands with a deafening *THUD*, loud enough the whole store takes notice. She takes a few moments to catch her breath from the effort, then looks me straight in the eye, and says...

      "Jeff Goldblum is a fucking liar!"

      It was a good 5 minutes before I could compose myself enough to speak.
    • by Twirlip of the Mists ( 615030 ) <> on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @07:10PM (#5540320)
      I don't think it's too much hyperbole to claim that the iMac was one of the most revolutionary computers -- ever.

      I'm gonna nit-pick now. I know that's out of character for me, but y'all just bear with me.

      I don't think "revolutionary" is really the right word to use here. I think a better word would be "influential."

      The Apple II was revolutionary; it created the personal computer market from scratch. The Macintosh was revolutionary; it changed the way people interact with computers. The iMac was more evolutionary than revolutionary, but the combination of its design (rounded, transluscent, tinted, happy-looking) and its design philosophy (easy and fun to use) touch everything.

      So I think I would say that the iMac was the second-most influential computer ever. The most influential? The IBM PC, of course.
  • My friend still has one of those. I never thought much of them when I would use it, since this was during the time I was an adamant Mac-hater. Plus, I didn't really think the different fruity colors were too aesthetically pleasing, but I guess that was my opinion - my friend thought her Mac was the best.

    It was the thing that brought Apple back to the masses. However, now they have OS X to bring Apples to the geeks like me.

  • Uk apple store still has it, as does the French, Spanish, German, Austrian and Irish (and i'm guessing the rest of the world apart from The USA, but I'm too lazy to check any more countries.) They start from 999 or £649.
  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:32PM (#5540058) Homepage Journal
    Being a PC tech, I never really get to play with macs too much. I have had 3 with shot monitors come across my desk though.

    My buddy bought some Imac with firewire for $150 bucks. AV version I think it was called. Anyways he brought it over, I patched his OS9 to its latest patches. He had it for about 2 weeks until the monitor gave out.

    So of course, he brings it back to me. Having never ripped one of these things open I was excited at the prospect of tinkering around with some new hardware. Before I grabbed a screwdriver I called apple.

    tech: No matter what the problem is, hold the special programmers button on the side, it erases the nvram which will make your monitor work because it has a bad analog board.

    After several attempts at this and failing he gave me something else to try.

    tech: press the apple key + q r a t during bootup, again this will fix your problem.

    Well, again that lead nowhere.

    So with the help of my fine freind google, I found a PDF service manual and some more docs. I converted the imac into a pile of electronic parts, pressed some magic button inside and still, black screen :(

    Eventually I read that the analog boards on these things go out quite frequently, the replacement cost of the board went way above the $150 my friend had originally paid for it. I talked him into getting an external monitor (works now) and things were happy again.
  • by heldlikesound ( 132717 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:32PM (#5540059) Homepage
    Alarm clock designers, cheap plastic toy manufactors, and eMachines annouced plans to "reinvent" their catalogs, creating whole new lines of items, based on the idea of a solid base, with a flexable-like and a flat screen interface.

    A representative from eMachines was quoted as saying, "Good designers copy, great designers steal directly from Jonathon Ives."

    Honestly, other than the "snow" colored version, I thought the iMac was pretty ugly... The new 17" however, very nice...
  • I thought they dropped the gumdrop style when the LCD style came out, then changed the CRT model to the eMac...

    Are they stopping sales of the eMac? show me someone who bought an CRT iMac recently please.
  • by ihatewinXP ( 638000 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:42PM (#5540140)
    1997, I was a die hard PC user just begging for a reason to 'switch' (back then you called it getting rid of Win95). On the software side the Mac OS was already showing its age badly and Rhapsody was a pariah. Enter the iMac. When it was going to be a time consuming clusterfuck to finally get everyone onto the OSX-UNIX-NeXT-Carbon-Blue Box(anyone remember that?)-Cocoa new Mac OS they innovated int he only space left..Well enter 2003 and OSX is just growing up and users are still clinging to classic boxes. But the imac - a hardware revolution that brought Apple just enough limelight and revenue to keep it afloat- 5 years later and a recent slashdot poll pegged apple as going out of business: Never...
    It was an eye opening computer to own and i love my daily use of its decendent, the flat panel.

    At the least they will live on for YEARS as macquariums.
  • This is just the first step in paving the way for a corporate partnership between Apple Computer and Hershey Co. The Hershey Kiss shapped iMac is just around the corner, available in brown, white, or brown and white striped. Consumers may upgrade to "with almonds" for $100 extra.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My iMac's not dead yet, I expect to get at least 5 or 6 years of routing and firewalling service out of it.

    Seriously, the old iMacs (the DV version, in particular) make damn fine personal servers, with their reduced power consumption and perfect silence.
  • I'm an übergeek, but my wife wanted an iMac because it was cute. When we went shopping for one I asked her what specs was she looking for, g3?, 500 Mhz?, ram?, dvd drive? She just looked around pointed and said, "I want the blue one." I swear, I'm not kidding! We took it home, I set it up in 2 minutes, plugged it into our home network, she used it for a while, but then went back to using my computer. The reason she gave was that her computer was too slow when playing computer games. It seems the
  • A Brave Machine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Michael_Burton ( 608237 ) <> on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:51PM (#5540194) Homepage

    I had one of the original Bondi Blue iMacs. While other people were praising its beauty, I thought it was kinda ugly. As a fashion statement, the blue translucent plastic seemed somehow akin to bell-bottom trousers and leisure suits. The periodic release of new machines with different color schemes seemed to support that view.

    But it was a fine computer. The original iMac was a brave departure from the beige boxes we'd all become so accustomed to. The compact all-in-one design simplified things for people who don't want to invest a lot of time in figuring out how everything goes together. (You or I may feel unfulfilled with any computer we haven't built with our bare hands from raw sand, but there are plenty of folks who just want to use the thing.)

    The iMac moved things forward in part by turning its back on a lot of legacy stuff. The iMac upset a lot of long-time Mac fanatics who were upset that they couldn't plug their old ADB and serial peripherals into the USB ports. Some people were aghast at the absence of the floppy drive. Now that Dell has embraced the idea of computers without floppy drives, I guess the iMac's work here is done.

    Snif... Drat... I promised myself I wouldn't cry...

  • :-P *cd-rom tray ejects*

    (Yes, I know the old one didn't have tray loader, but I'm trying to be funny)

  • by Chief Typist ( 110285 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @06:53PM (#5540211) Homepage
    See what happens when you try to sell a computer with only one mouse button!
  • by Ken Dexter ( 654345 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @07:11PM (#5540327)
    I thought the saddest iMac moment was that scene in Zoolander... Oh Well...
  • by FatalTourist ( 633757 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @07:14PM (#5540349) Homepage
    And the Amiga's still alive and... um...

    *hugs Amiga 1200 to chest and cries*
  • Still expensive (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 00_NOP ( 559413 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @08:22PM (#5540759) Homepage
    Having read this I thought "right, go to ebay and buy one to run 'nix on). But they are still 75% more than an "equivalent" PC :-
  • my iMacs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomem ( 542334 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @08:45PM (#5540875) Homepage Journal
    Still have two of the originals (almost), and the only time they gave me trouble was after a lightning hit to my home. Every ethernet device in the house went out, including two iMac motherboards. Insurance paid, but a year later I discovered after a lot of pain that the processor card had been partly fried but only showed symptoms when upgrading from 32 to 256MB RAM for OS X. Got a new processor card on eBay for $50, and it lives on and on, serving my daughters for all their school, chat, and music download needs... I expect they will drag the iMacs off to college in the next year or two. Better than worrying about an iBook being stolen!

    Jobs' Mac gave us windows, icons, mice, and pointers. His NeXT computer gave us the WWW, his iMac gave us a network appliance, and his OS X gave us Unix for teenagers. Quite a set of lifetime achievements...
  • by dfj225 ( 587560 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @10:25PM (#5541414) Homepage Journal
    Ford no longer sells the 1998 model Taurus and has instead replaced it with the model year 2003 line. Anaylists were left baffled at this move. One remarked, "Who thougth Ford would make such a drastic move as this? Updating their models and not selling the older ones...I'm baffeled!" Similar trends have been noticed in just about every other freakin company on earth! So why is this front page /. news?
  • eMachines (Score:3, Funny)

    by $0.02 ( 618911 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2003 @10:31PM (#5541447)
    Is eMachines now free to sell their iMac lookalike?

Friction is a drag.