Just As I Thought

iMourn iMac

With the inexorable passage of time, we knew it was coming: the demise of the original, beloved iMac, the computer for the rest of us – again – that heralded the rebirth of Apple Cool.
OK, so, I never bought one because I don’t like the idea of an all-in-one computer that I can’t easily upgrade. But hey, what a great seller it was! The colorful gadget spawned an amazing fad in colored gadgets, and even 5 years later, other computer companies are only just now buying into the innovations it brought forth – the first computer to banish the floppy drive, to bring forth USB, to include a slot-loading optical drive…
From CNET News:

Built around a 15-inch CRT (cathode-ray tube), the original iMac debuted in 1998 for $1,299. The computer eventually sold for as little as $799, keeping its trademark design virtually unchanged while adding features like FireWire, CD burners and DVD players.

However, on Tuesday, Apple removed the lone CRT-based iMac from Apple’s main online store, and a source confirmed that Apple does not plan to keep selling it publicly. The machine is still listed on Apple’s online education store and schools have been the main reason Apple has continued to make the device.
The original iMac is also an object lesson in the dictates of fashion-based computing. Unlike other computer manufacturers, Apple creates “this year’s” hot computer by continually pushing the envelope in design – much like a car company. (The megahertz “myth” notwithstanding, Mac owners just scoff at PC apologists who claim their computers are faster. So what? Just because a Ford Mustang is faster and more ubiquitous doesn’t mean I’ll give up my stylish Rolls Royce.) The 1998 iMac that was so revolutionary now seems dowdy and bulbous, like a 1960s idea of “modern.” The new iMac, with it’s Dalek-like stalk holding a flat screen is very “now” – but for how long? Other companies have already begun to create their own all-in-ones with flat panels, but so far none have put any real design to bear. What will be the next eye-popping computer from Apple?

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