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Macintosh Portable Turns 20, Gets Undressed In Front of Sexier iPod touch

Illustration for article titled Macintosh Portable Turns 20, Gets Undressed In Front of Sexier iPod touch

September 1989: Much excitement surrounds Apple's first battery-powered Mac. But the 4-inch thick, 16-pound beast stretched the definition of "Portable". And though $6500 wasn't unusual at that time, it was underpowered, and couldn't run on AC power while charging.

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Apple spared no expense, adding a 10-inch (640 by 480-pixel) active monochrome display—while PC portables were using blurry passive screens. In 1991, a backlight made the screen easier to read, but Apple's other "improvements" included cutting the battery life in half. The Macintosh Portable was killed-off in October that year by the truly portable PowerBook 100.

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As you'll see over at Technologizer, the Mac Portable was a fascinating machine. Apple used plastic fasteners (and only two screws) to make it easy to take apart. Also worth a read is their fun look at the Macintosh Portable versus the MacBook Air. [Technologizer]

Illustration for article titled Macintosh Portable Turns 20, Gets Undressed In Front of Sexier iPod touch

Macintosh Portable Specifications:
• 10-inch (640 by 480) Monochrome active-matrix LCD
• 16MHz Motorola 68000 CPU
• 1MB RAM (soldered to the motherboard; expandable to 5MB via RAM expansion slot, or 9MB using PDF expansion)
• Expandable ROM slot (up to 4MB)
• 40MB SCSI hard drive
• 3.5-inch (1.44MB) floppy disk drive
• SCSI Disk Mode (so it could be used as a storage drive with a desktop Mac)
• Built-in trackball could be made left- or right-handed
• Monitor output (required soon canceled converter box)
• Ports: 2400 baud RJ-11 modem, external disk drive, SCSI, ADB, LocalTalk (printer), LocalTalk (serial), audio out
• 2.7lbs Lead acid cell battery (8 to 10 hours)
• 16 pounds

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DISCUSSION

kaisermachead
kaisermachead

There's an "iStore" somewhere along Sherbrooke in Montreal (a couple of blocks next to the Vendome station and across the street from Metro for those in the area *I can't remember that cross street) that has(had) one of these sitting there amongst the newer gizmos. Man, what a beast when I first saw that thing, but I wish I could hack it into something more modern. Nuts to the purists. These things are made for us to tinker with.