The Exceptional iMac G4: Ten years later – Macworld

A decade after its debut, we remember what made this flexible Mac special

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Steve Jobs in YouTube video showing off their new at that time G4 iMac!

Wasn’t this also the cute little Pixar icon that hopped across the screen and drove the letter i of the Logo into the ground replacing it? Nope, that was an adorable little animated white desk lamp. Pixar was spun off by Lucas Films in 1986 with funding by Apple, Inc cofounder, Steve Jobs (who became Pixar’s majority shareholder, and later sold to Walt Disney Company in 2006. That is such a precious thing to see that little animation on all Pixar films. Those Pixar animators can animate anything! :D And the YouTube video below actually shows why they use that adorable little animated white desk lamp animation for the Logo on all their productions. I love it! Very small video, little over 2 min long (good to know for those of us on capped bandwidth).

Why Pixar’s Logo includes a Lamp – YouTube

Adorable…

But I digress, back to the revolutionary, yep, revolutionary, G4 iMac.

Yes, it was revolutionary, ground breaking, exceptional for the day … 10 yrs ago in January 2002!

Apple also introduced iPhoto for the first time at the same time as the new iMac G4, as well as making the ground breaking move to from CRTs to flat screens. And writable DVDs (first optical “Super Drive” featuring writable DVDs — as you will remember the “Combo Drive” was CD/DVD but only the CD was writable, the DVD side was read only).

The new iMac G4 also shipped with AppleWorks 6 (an Office-like productivity suite), PCalc 2 (scientific calculator software), World Book Encyclopedia, and Otto Mattic (a 3D action game).

And it the first iMac to boot by default to OS X (10.1 Puma) instead of Mac OS 9.

It launch in January 2002, the iMac G4 came in three flavors: a low-end model for $1299 that included a 700MHz G4 PowerPC processor, 128MB RAM, a 40GB hard drive, and a CD-RW drive; a mid-range model for $1499 that upped the RAM to 256 MB and included a CD-RW/DVD-ROM “Combo Drive”; and a high-end model for $1799 that included an 800MHz G4 processor, 256MB RAM, a 60GB hard drive, and a CD-RW/DVD-R “Super Drive.”

Interesting to note that all this was happening just as the original iPod revolution was getting under way.

I first got to play with one of these little wonders in about 2005 I think it was when I worked on one for a client. It was an amazing little guy. The only thing I was not happy with was the inability at that time to make it do a right-click on the mouse (which was common among PCs at the time), but had to quickly learn you could use the control-click to get the “right-click” menu. But it was amazing what it could do for such a tiny half ball dome-shaped PC! I have to say it was actually the first Mac that I was truly impressed with.

It would be a few years before I got my first Mac, a much faster (1.4Ghz) G4 Mac Mini running Mac OS X Tiger (10.4). I never really got what it meant to hear people say ‘it just works’ until I got that Mac Mini. It really did just work, and was very intuitive. And this from someone coming from Windows and DOS computers before that. I was using Windows XP Pro on my other computers and I still loved Windows XP too but this, this was different. I fell in love with this tiny little box that hardly took up any room on my desk and could do so much.

And all that constant annoying vigilance on the Windows PC was gone! Just like with Linux, but it was so polished (which sadly for me is very important). Linux has gotten so much more polished now but back then, not so much. OK, so sure one still had to be careful and do maintenance, but gone was the true concern about all the bazillions of viruses, worms, Trojans, RATS, rootkits like it was on Windows … that were a thing of the past … at least for 6 yrs anyway. But even now, even though this year introduced the first ‘real’ threat to the Mac, it still isn’t the same as it is on Windows.

Yep, I love my Mac. I also love my Windows 7 as it is the very best Windows to date and comes as close to ‘it just works’ without being a Mac, and I love my Debian Squeeze running KDE for more reasons than I can say, but it’s mostly about being open and free; Open Source, Free as in Beer yes, but mostly because it’s Free as in Free Speech. You can do anything with Linux you can set your mind to. If you learn to code with it, you can freely create, modify, build up the code, and help the open source community progress in real tangible ways. Linux is the best of all worlds.

But, for its simplicity, polish, and beauty, and yes, even its innovation, which is so often ahead of the pack, I very much love my Mac. Now if I can get a new Mac someday that will run, Mac OS X Mountain Lion… 😉 And an iPod Touch that will run iOS 6… Yeah, I’m hooked on Mac too.

I will always run Windows for many reasons, most of which is that it is the main stay for my business and I will always run the Mac because I just love it for the reasons given above, but if both of those went away tomorrow, I would still have my Linux.

I guess I just love technology…I started out in computers before home computers were universal like they are today. I originally had a RadioShack Color Computer, then went to an 8088 running DOS, a 386SX running DOS and Windows 3.1.1 WFW, and then to 486 computers running Windows 95, Win98SE, eventually P4 running Windows XP and now AMD Dual Core Athlon 64 that can run Windows Vista (groan!), and Windows 7 and Debian Squeeze. And of course my newer Intel Mac Mini 2Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM that runs Snow Leopard, and can run OS X Lion, but will never run Mountain Lion, and an older 2nd Gen iPod Touch that I also love but has trouble with many new apps and upgraded apps now, and will never run IOS 5 or IOS 6.

Pick one? No way. I love them all! I do not want to part with any of them. But like everyone else, I do want to get faster machines and gadgets! 😀

It is amazing to me that it’s been 10 yrs, 10 1/2 yrs now, since that first iMac G4 came out for PPC (Power PC) Macs. Approximately the same length of time that Windows XP has been running on PC computers. Amazing.

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