When I bought a new Mac every other year

“In 1989, I bought a brand new Mac IIcx. It was a speedy beast for its time, featuring a 16MHz Motorola 68030 processor. The dealer installed 8MB of RAM and a 100MB hard drive,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “At the time, I really thought I had a pretty high-end setup, short of a Macintosh IIx, but far more affordable. Equipped with software and an Apple LaserWriter II printer, it set me back $14,000 on a lease purchase deal.”

“By 1991, I had a IIci, with a 25MHz processor, and I kept expanding it with memory — it was the first 32-bit ‘clean’ Mac — a cache card and a 68040 accelerator. The latter gave me the equivalent of a Quadra, the fastest Mac of its time,” Steinberg writes. “In 1993, I made an arrangement for a small investment in my business, and used some of that money to buy a Quadra 800, with a 33MHz 68040.”

“I didn’t wait long for its successor, the Power Macintosh 8100 in 1994. This was Apple’s first foray into using the PowerPC processor on Macs, and the 8100 was essentially a Quadra 800 with the new parts. So it had a PowerPC 601 rated at 80MHz,” Steinberg writes. “These days, there’s little need to upgrade a Mac terribly often… According to published reports, there will be a fairly major refresh for the MacBook Pro, and lesser upgrades for other models.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s remarkable to look back and see the progress in capabilities taking such leaps, but there’s nothing quite like going from a hard drive to SSD (besides going from floppies to a hard drive, of course) for experiencing a massive boost in real-world speed.

October 27, 2016 is going to be a big day for Mac users!

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Apple plans to launch new Macs at special event on October 27th – October 18, 2016


  1. I still remember unpacking my old Mac Plus; having to swap the system disk in a floppy to the application floppy …back and forth, back and forth, I thought it was magic. LOL! And yeah, that 20 MB hard disk I got a bit later was the bomb.

    1. Yea, getting a MacPlus with an external 30MB SuperMac SCSI drive was a great day. And, the author is correct that Mac upgrades aren’t needed as frequently; but SSD and retina are as significant improvements as anything in the those early days.

      1. Bought 512k “FatMac” at the end of 1984 with the external floppy reducing the swapping… Number crunched with MS “Multiplan” and Word.
        Upgraded to the MacPlus (an Apple approved upgrade) in 1986. That made a huge diff in speed esp with the external hard drive.
        When they upgraded it to a Plus, they took off the original plastic box that had all the development team signatures embossed on the inside and they replaced it with a box that had only one signature….

  2. I generally agree with the article. The advancements between successive generations of Intel chipsets since Sandy Bridge (maybe even before that) have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

    However, as a company, they still have to release updated systems. Buyers are not going to plunk down their cash for previous generation hardware.

    Also, regardless if it’s profitable or not, I feel Apple needs to produce “pro” systems for content creators and those who use Macs in professional environments. There’s a “halo effect” to be benefitted from here. Secondly, many of these users were the ones who stuck by Apple during the dark days when Apple’s continued existence was heavily in doubt. Show some loyalty!

    1. Indeed, when Steve Jobs came back to Apple in the late 1990s, he did a couple of things: 1) vastly reduced the bewildering product lines to diminish confusion; and 2) he courted the Pro Users because of their influence on the consumer user. Early Keynotes focused a lot of effort on the Pro User and then the Prosumer. Now we have an increasingly large array of similar hardware (e.g., MacBook vs MacBook Air) and the absence of any real interest in either the Pro User or Prosumer categories at both the software and hardware levels. Apple computer software has been dumbed down to the equivalent of the iOS software. I’ve been a hardcore mac user since 1985 (and shareholder) and am very disturbed by this trend.

  3. I liked my Apple IIgs at the time, but now recognize it was a mistake to go there. I should have ridden my IIc a couple more years until the Mac Plus came out. Maybe in my defense the Mac original was pretty expensive and black and white and I liked my color games.

    I got on board at IIsi, then LC475, then PM7500

  4. “October 27, 2016 is going to be a big day for Mac users!”

    Definitely a big day for Belkin. Imagine all the USB to USB-C dongles to be sold! Plus the USB-C to DVI adapters, and the USB-C SD card readers!

    None of which are necessary on the current hardware, by the way.

  5. Macs are quality machines and offer an almost seamless integration with the hardware. They now have great screens super-fasts SSD drives and powerful CPUs, but the most powerful ones. And Macs had great moments too. I remember the Power PC G3 as a highlight. Then G5s and also the Intel Macs.

    But today If you need real graphic performance a Mac won’t be able to compete with a top PC. Pair a PC with 2 Nvidia’s 1080 and compare any result with a top D700 dual Mac Pro. It feels unfair…

    This difference is what I hope Apple to address. Maybe it will change next Thursday 27.

    1. Nope. Apple has made it perfectly clear… they are a mass consumer electronics company, and will no longer put any serious research effort into any product that cannot potentially sell 10s of millions of units per year.

      1. The mass market play games, includes graphic artist, engineers and scientists, video producers, application developers… Maybe all together are about 5 – 7%.

        If Apple includes 1 top graphic card per Mac series every 2 years the situation maybe “acceptable” for many demanding professionals or enthusiasts. This is not to much to ask from mighty Apple.

        However, I haven’t been waiting for Apple these years. I built a PC and included a top Nvidia GPU, I have most applications and files duplicated there ready to use the horsepower when I need it.

  6. You know, in some ways I am amazed at how well the Apple hardware ages. I have iMacs that are 8 and 10 years old, and the well-built hardware is still cranking along.

    What burns my butt, is how Apple has purposefully decided to obsolete those machines by refusing to support newer OSs (and their tied-in Apps) to the older hardware. My Mac Pro with 32GB of ram, and video graphics card and a SSD has MORE than enough horsepower to run Sierra… except that Apple won’t let me do it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Apple saying “any machine built before XXXX will not be support by Sierra by us” , but then they should let us decide if we want to install and support an older machine. They not only anger customers, they kill a whole potential market for third party graphics cards and drivers by wanting to force me to upgrade.

    As long as my company allows me to spend money on Apple hardware, I will happily do so, and enjoy my Mac. But every future time I have to spend my hard earned money on a computer, it will be one based on Windows or Linux. I am done!

  7. I am typing this on my MacPro 2008. In spite of also owning a MacBook Pro 2015, 85% of my work gets done on the MacPro. I have upgraded the ram and the video card and I was close to sticking an SSD, until Apple deemed it obsolete with Sierra for no good reason.

    1. I think El Capitan is the “unofficial” end of the line (with an ATI 5770 video card upgrade), at least for my 2007 Mac Pro. My guess is because there are no faster video cards to buy. I’ve been looking for the Mac Pro I want to buy since 2013 and it still hasn’t shown up yet. Dang.

  8. Mac user since 1988. My most important app is an HTML5 animation program developed by ex-Apple employees.

    For the first time ever the developers are considering a Windows version. ALL of my 12 most important apps are there to support that main app.

    The only Apple apps that I use are Mail and Safari. Mail crashes a couple of times a week and Safari increasingly is not compatible with many business sites. Firefox becomes the go-to app there. I use Mail and Safari more out of habit than anything.

    My newest Mac is a mid 2013 Powerbook, a mid 2012 Mini, and a 2006 Mac Pro that I run in target mode for backups. I can’t see a reason to buy a new one until such time as my app developers add features that require something beyond Sierra.

    Never thought I would be there, but there it is.

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