Hello, iPod

Hello ipod

To sweeten the vintage weekend, I just wanted to share a couple of iPod-related things. The first one is the video Apple made available on its site in October 2001 when the original iPod was introduced. I found it in one of my backups, possibly lying there for the past 13 years. It’s not hard to get hold of it if you look around on the Web (I’m sure YouTube is your friend), but I’d like to offer a direct link here for documentary reasons: iPod introduction video.

I must say, of all the Apple videos featuring Jonathan Ive, this is the one where Ive looks the most excited and possibly smiles the most. You’ll also notice someone who later left Apple to work with Palm…

As for the second thing, I thought I could assemble a useful table listing which iPod models can be managed by PowerPC Macs running Mac OS 9.x to Mac OS X 10.5.8 and which system software and iTunes version are required. I still don’t understand why more modern iPods — such as the 7th-gen. iPod nano or the 5th-gen. iPod touch and later — support Windows software as old as XP but require Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (and an Intel Mac, of course).

In case you acquire an old iPod model, in this table you can easily see your Mac/PC’s minimum requirements to be able to manage it.

System requirements (Mac OS, Windows, iTunes version) iPod models
Mac OS 9.2 or later
Mac OS X 10.1 or later

iTunes 2.0 or later

Original iPod (iPod with scroll wheel)
Mac OS 9.2.2 / Mac OS X 10.1.4 or later (Mac OS X 10.2 or later recommended)
Windows Me, 2000, XP (Home or Professional)

iTunes 3.0 or later

iPod with touch wheel (2nd-gen. iPod)
Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X 10.2 or later recommended)
Windows Me, 2000, XP (Home or Professional)

iTunes 4.0 or later

iPod (Dock Connector) (3rd-gen. iPod)
Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X 10.3 or later recommended)
Windows 2000 (SP 4), XP (Home or Professional)

iTunes 4.2 or later

iPod mini
Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X 10.3 or later recommended)
USB 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.4 or Windows 2000 (SP 4) or Windows XP Home or Professional

iTunes 4.6 or later

iPod (Click wheel) (4th-gen. iPod)
iPod U2 Special Edition
Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later (for FireWire)

USB 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later or Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 4.7 or later

iPod photo
iPod colour display
iPod U2 Special Edition (colour display)
Mac OS X 10.2.8 or Mac OS X 10.3.4 and later (Mac OS X 10.3.6 or later recommended for use with low-power USB ports)
Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 4.7.1 or later

iPod shuffle (1st gen.)
Mac OS X 10.2.8 or Mac OS X 10.3.4 and later (Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later recommended)
USB 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later or Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 4.7.1

iPod mini (2nd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.3.4 and later
Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 5.0 or later

iPod nano (1st gen.)
Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later
Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 6.0 or later

5th-gen. iPod
Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later
Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 7.0 or later

5th-gen. iPod (U2 Special Edition)
5th-gen. iPod (late 2006)
5th-gen. iPod (U2 Special Edition – late 2006)
iPod nano (2nd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 7.0 or later (2006)
iTunes 7.4 or later (2007/2008)

iPod shuffle (2nd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 7.4 or later

iPod nano (3rd gen.)
iPod classic
Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 7.4 or later

iPod touch (1st gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 8.0 or later

iPod touch (2nd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 3)

iTunes 8.0 or later

iPod nano (4th gen.)
iPod classic (120 GB)
iPod shuffle (3rd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 3) or later

iTunes 9.0 or later

iPod shuffle (3rd gen. late 2009)
iPod nano (5th gen.)
iPod classic (160 GB – late 2009)
iPod touch (3rd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later
Windows 7, Vista, or XP Home or Professional (SP 3) or later

iTunes 10 or later

iPod nano (6th gen.)
iPod touch (4th gen.)

(Data collected using Mactracker.)


30 years of the Mac: peripherals

These days of celebration of the Mac’s 30th anniversary really had a deep ‘going down memory lane’ effect on me. Coincidentally, I was doing some major cleaning in my studio, and I found some things worth scanning. To avoid posting just a bunch of photos and images, I’ll try to make a series of posts, separating my findings in a more coherent way.

First off, I found a great book I thought I had lost when I relocated: The Graphic Designer’s Basic Guide to the Macintosh, Written by Michael Meyerowitz and Sam Sanchez. The book was published in 1990, and it’s full of very nice photos of Macs and peripherals of the time (too bad the photos are black and white, and not colour). Instead of focusing on the various Mac models portrayed therein — nothing really new to the vintage Mac enthusiast — I thought I’d scan and publish here a few images of interesting peripherals (monitors, printers, etc.). I’m doing this for ‘educational’ purposes and I hope the copyright owner will consider this fair use of the images.

Apologies for the quality of the scans. The original photos weren’t much better. I also scanned the captions, which should be perfectly readable, but I’ve transcribed them anyway just in case. I’ve also added links with additional information where possible.

Apple CD SC
The Apple CD SC is a front-loading disk drive that reads information from specially formatted compact disks. One compact disk can hold an entire encyclopedia.

 

Apple monitors
Apple monitors for the Macintosh II, IIx and IIcx. They include a 13-inch Apple Color RGB monitor, a 21-inch Apple two-page monochrome monitor, a 15-inch Macintosh portrait display monitor and a 12-inch monochrome monitor.

 

Bernoulli
The Bernoulli Box is one of several cartridge systems that stores information on a removable disk.

Further reading: The Bernoulli Box A220H

 

Linotronic
Linotronic laser imagesetters produce professional-quality text, line art and halftones on film, paper, or press-ready plates. The Linotronic is one of several high-end machines that can be used to produce camera ready layouts.

 

Montage FR1
Presentation Technologies’ Montage FR1 film recorder with optional TC1 camera back for creating overheads and instant prints of work created on the Macintosh.

 

Original Mac  accessories
The original Macintosh with mouse and keyboard. Add-ons included the ImageWriter dot matrix printer, external disk drive, numeric keyboard, a modem, and carrying case.

 

QMS ColorScript 100
The QMS ColorScript 100 color laser printer. Although expensive, color laser printer technology is moving forward rapidly and prices are starting to drop.

 

ScanMan SE
A ScanMan hand-held scanner by Logitech for the Macintosh Plus, SE and II. Hand-held scanners are inexpensive, easy to use, and provide a quick way of scanning small pieces of artwork.

Watch an edition on scanners from the TV programme Computer Chronicles, made available by the Internet Archive. Originally broadcast in 1991. (30-minute video)

 

SE30 Radius
Radius two-page monitor for the Macintosh SE/30. The obvious advantage of this size monitor is its ability to display a double-page spread at actual size.

Further reading: Radius Full Page Display at 32by32.com

 

Thunderscan
An inexpensive scanning option: Thunderscan replaces the printhead of the Apple ImageWriter with an electronic eye that reads the image as it rolls through the printer’s paper-feed mechanism.

Further reading: Andy Hertzfeld on the Thunderscan at Folklore.org


Some other vintage brochures (Part 3)

While I was looking for more vintage Italian Apple brochures and leaflets, I also found some printed material from other manufacturers — mostly leaflets, small booklets and mini-magazines printed exclusively for the tech trade fairs I used to attend. While most of such non-Apple material isn’t very striking, imaginative or otherwise memorable, I stumbled upon a few little gems lovers of vintage technology will surely appreciate…

QuarkXPress4 A

The 10 Best Things about QuarkXPress 4.0 (Front) — A cardboard leaflet from 1997. Apologies for the evident crease across the middle: since the leaflet isn’t standard A4 format, I foolishly folded it when I stored it 15 years ago.


QuarkXPress4 B

The 10 Best Things about QuarkXPress 4.0 (Back)


IomegaZIP1

Iomega Zip 100 Drive (Front) — A leaflet from circa 1996.


IomegaZIP2

Iomega Zip 100 Drive (Back)


IomegaJAZ2GB

Iomega 2 GB Jaz Drive — A leaflet from 1998.


Two last-minute Apple-related bonuses:

A Mac today

A generic Macintosh Italian ad. Judging by the type of PowerBook the guy is holding (a 190 or 5300), I’d say this ad is from 1995-1996. I didn’t remember having this among my stuff and I certainly don’t remember seeing it around much at the time. Translation: “Take it to the max. Get Macintosh. TODAY.”


Apple Masters of Media

Front cover of the 1996 Italian brochure “Masters of Media”. Quoting from this press release, Masters of Media was an initiative introduced at Seybold San Francisco 1995:

Perhaps the most important single place to visit at the show will be Apple’s Masters of Media Showcase, reportedly produced at a cost of more than $1 million and featuring several Seybold Hot Picks within its walls. It will include multiple vendors with real-world workflows (print, CD-ROM and the World Wide Web). Visitors will participate in authoring, editing and distributing content across all media. The theme will be integrated marketing based on a 1984 Macintosh commercial, including the making of a video, a magazine insert, a merchandising catalog, an in-store CD-ROM kiosk, customized direct mail, a newspaper, point-of-purchase displays and Web sites.

It has three primary components: Digital Brand Building; Cross-Media Authoring and Network Color, which will rely on ColorSync 2.0 as the universal translator so that color can be consistent across a desktop network.

Among the Hot Picks appearing in this Showcase but described below are the Canon ColorGear color-management system, the Agfa Chromapress digital press and the Indigo E-Print 1000 digital press.

Like many Apple printed advertisements, the tag line started on one page and ended on the next. Here the translated message is “Should we communicate more…” and turning the page you can read “…or better?” in big black letters set in Apple Garamond in the middle of a blank space.


And that’s all — for now at least. As I revisit my archives, I may find some other materials of this kind. If I find anything worth sharing, I’ll definitely scan it and publish it here.


Another vintage Mac story with a happy ending

I’m still doing some research for a couple of long articles I’ll hopefully publish next month, and I’m also in the process of consolidating and moving my small Mac magazines collection from the 1990s to a more accessible place, so that I can continue to offer some bits of Macintosh history through my ‘reprints’ of interesting excerpts.

In the meantime I break the silence with a link to a nice story involving a Macintosh 128K and an ImageWriter.

Macintosh128k davidtucker

The other day I was browsing David Tucker’s website and wished I could have paid more attention before because I had missed this article from last year. David writes:

Sitting in the book arts lab I almost fell over as fellow docents carried in a beautiful Apple Macintosh 128k and sat it down in front of me.

Knowing I used to work for Apple the computer was brought in and placed before me partially in jest, it had been assumed that the machine probably didn’t work as it had been packed away in a box for who knows how long up back in some rafters.

Follow the link and read the story of how David managed to get the Mac and the printer (especially the printer) back to their feet. I really like this bit at the end:

The museum has always focused on “antique” printing methods, at 27 years old this machine is not nearly as old as our Gutenberg presses or Heidelberg windmills but indeed made and equally important milestone in printing history. Bringing this whole system back to life now ensures that this piece of the story is not lost and we can continue to teach its place in history.

Good job, David. Another system saved from the landfill.


A real terminal

Although it doesn’t directly relate to vintage Macs or the classic Mac OS, I couldn’t not link to this: A VT220 serial console (circa 1983) set up as a terminal for a Mac Pro (circa 2010).

This post made me smile for a number of reasons: firstly, it’s a cool setup, and I’m glad it works because it took quite the effort on Justin’s part — this is far from being a ‘plug & play’ combination. Secondly, Justin’s explanation includes a precious link that I had lost during my recent bookmark summer cleaning: Paul Weinstein’s post about setting up an Apple IIc as a terminal (and here you have a vintage Apple link, so I’m back on topic!).

Last but not least, I’m in full agreement with Justin when he concludes:

I learned a lot about how terminals work over the last couple weeks and the final result is quite satisfying, a soft amber glow and one less window on my desktop. It’s also a nice reminder that we didn’t get to where we are overnight, user interfaces and software development have been evolving in an unbroken chain for a long time and some of the old ideas are so solid that they persist 30 years later. Why not use the proper hardware?

Ah, to think I could have done something similar! When I was still living in Italy I had been given an IBM 5291 terminal [like this one], but regrettably I had to dispose of it during my relocation: I had too much vintage gear to fit in my flat here in Spain, and at the time I had no real use for it, so it had to go. I’ll always remember his large, heavy, all-metal keyboard, giving a literal meaning to the phrase ‘built like a tank’…


Past setups

Recently I’ve been perusing my photo archives trying to put together a series of snaps I took when I still lived alone in my flat near Milan, Italy. I stayed there from 2001 to 2005, and whenever I stumble upon some photos taken there, I’m always assaulted by a mix of good and bad memories from that personal era. The flat was in an old building (alas, old here just means old, not historic), and it had been my grandparents’ home for 20 years when I moved in, so a lot of furniture was already there. But I soon rearranged the space to fit my needs, and in the end that flat wasn’t so bad. In retrospective, I think that what I liked most of it was its size: two people could live there comfortably, and since I was alone I could take advantage of the space. What was my grandparents’ living-room, for instance, immediately became my studio. The little storeroom became essentially the place where I kept my vintage Macs and peripherals. And so on.

As I was unearthing some photos from my archives, I was pleasantly surprised in finding some pictures I didn’t remember too well. When I lived at the old flat, I rearranged my desks and changed my Mac setup a few times, and some of those photos faithfully portray those changes. I’ve selected a few shots I wanted to share. At the time I had a small Nikon Coolpix 885 that got damaged by water, so the quality of these shots isn’t that great. Still, fond memories.

2002

iMac G3 blueberry

My beloved iMac G3/350 blueberry, with matching Iomega Zip 100 drive and CD-RW burner.

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iBook G3/466 Graphite

And in this photo you can see the rest of the desk, with the then-new iBook G3/466 FireWire.

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Other vintage Macs

In this photo, taken at another time, you can see what was behind my main desk. In the smaller desk I had my Quadra 700 set up. In this photo I was connecting the recently acquired PowerBook 5300 to the Quadra to copy my personal documents and have them on the go. (All those flowery cushions belonged to my grandparents, by the way).

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2003

The morning after

This rather dark picture was taken one early morning a few days after my blueberry iMac G3 met an untimely demise. The two desks were now arranged in a back-to-back configuration. In that big FireWire enclosure near the iBook was the iMac's 6.4 GB internal hard drive.

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2004 – March

iBook and PowerBook at night

In March 2004 my desks' arrangement had changed again as more vintage Macs were acquired. An L-shaped arrangement was preferred. Here's a shot of the main workspace, with the iBook G3 as the main machine and the PowerBook 5300 as its sidekick. The number of external drives also increased, to accommodate the increasing growth of my archives and, of course, for backup purposes.

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The studio at night

And here's a photo of the whole setup in all its mess... er, splendor. On the secondary desk on the back, you'll notice a Colour Classic and a 14-inch Apple Colour Monitor, and that half-hidden tower in the shadow on the right is a Quadra 950. At the time the 14-inch monitor and the keyboard were connected to the Quadra. (Apologies for the photo quality: I had to sharpen it and lighten the exposure because it was too murky otherwise.)

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2004 – October

A studio full of Macs

In July 2004 I purchased my PowerBook G4 12", and I needed to expand and reconfigure my setup. This photo was taken in late October, and of all my setups this is probably the one with the most active Macs in it. Starting from the foreground you can see a PowerBook Duo 280c, a PowerBook 5300, the aforementioned PowerBook G4, an iBook G3, a Quadra 950, and a Colour Classic. Beneath the 14-inch monitor now was the DuoDock. Monitor and keyboard were shared between the Quadra and the Duo (when docked). Hidden behind the Colour Classic was also a Power Macintosh 9500 that I'd just acquired at the time, waiting to be added to the home network. It ended up replacing the Quadra 950.

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All the Macs you see in this last photo are still in operation today, but since my home office here in Valencia is smaller, some of them are stashed away or in other rooms, and are summoned on a need-to-use basis. The only piece of hardware that didn’t survive, sadly, is the DuoDock – its power supply was fried during a bad thunderstorm. Too bad I can’t dock the Duo anymore: it was, indeed, a handy workstation.


Forgotten peripherals: Apple Color Plotter

Apple Color Plotter

Photo by Daniel Sczygelski

Sometimes, looking back at more than 30 years of Apple history, I marvel at the amount of different peripherals the company has produced. So I easily forgot that Apple also manufactured a small plotter in 1984, the Apple Color Plotter. What triggered my memory was a message on the LEM Swap List by Daniel Sczygelski, who was selling one a few days ago. He also provided a small photo gallery for those interested in buying it. The picture above is taken from that gallery. I email David and asked him if he minds sending me more photos, he replied he would, but I haven’t heard from him yet. If he sends more pictures, I’ll add them to this post.

I don’t know if his Apple Color Plotter is still for sale. The relevant bit of his announcement was this:

[...] It is a 4 pen unit. I even have some pens, although I am not sure how good they are after all these years. I used some Public Domain Apple II BASIC software to make pretty color overheads back in my college teacher days. I will include the software (on 5.25-inch Apple II disk) if you like. I have no real idea of what it is worth, although I remember paying a fair amount for it back in the day. I am open to offers starting at $100 with free shipping to CONUS.

You can contact him at laserski at gmail dot com

Amazingly, there is still an old entry on the Apple Color Plotter in the Apple Knowledge Base, detailing its technical specs.


My scanning workstation

iBook G3 and CanoScan N656U

It’s been a difficult month, and I’m aware I’ve been neglecting this space. Not for lack of material, mind you, but for lack of time to sift through it and publish it here. A couple of weeks ago I was scanning some interesting photographs and articles from that big volume you can see in the picture (it’s a collection of all DOMUS Magazine issues from 1955 to 1959), and I realised I never took a picture of my scanning workstation.

It’s nothing particularly remarkable, but it has worked for me so far. I don’t scan much stuff, usually, so this ‘workstation’ is set up on a need-to-scan basis. The scanner is an old Canon CanoScan N656U purchased around 2002. Compared to current scanners, even entry-level ones, it’s a slow dog. But I always liked it for its reliability, for being thin and lightweight, and because it’s USB-powered, which means that I don’t have to deal with an additional power cable.

Being an old scanner, its drivers aren’t the most updated piece of software. I have used the CanoScan Toolbox software first natively under Mac OS 8.6, then under Mac OS 9, then under the Classic Environment, and sometimes under Mac OS X (via the Plug-in module installed in Photoshop CS), but I find myself using this setup more frequently — that is, firing up the good old iBook G3/466 SE FireWire and using the scanner software under Classic.

The moral is always the same: there’s no need to dump any technology if it still serves you well and keeps meeting your needs. Technology moves much faster than our needs, but often we tend to adjust our needs to technology’s pace. It may not be wrong, per se, especially if you can afford to waste money in such a ridiculous upgrade chase.


In other unrelated news, I had some problems with my email account in the past days, so if you’ve written me a message at my Compunabula account, chances are I haven’t received it. Please re-send it and accept my apologies for not getting back to you.


The Magic ADB Trackpad

I think that the new Apple Magic Trackpad is really nice. Multi-touch aside, the idea is, of course, not new. Long-time Mac users who still spend some time in the Old World will probably remember this:

ALPS-Glidepoint.jpg
(Image taken from here.)

That is the ALPS GlidePoint, an ADB trackpad produced by ALPS Electric in the mid-1990s. I happen to have in my archives the 26 May 1995 issue of MacUser UK magazine, which features a short review of the product, written by Tom Calthrop. Here are some bits and more information about the GlidePoint.

The GlidePoint will look familiar to those who use a PowerBook 500 series trackpad. It is a small device that plugs into the ADB port like a mouse or trackball, but enables the cursor to follow the finger’s movement across the trackpad’s surface while the trackpad itself remains stationary. [...]

It measures 2.75 by 3.0 by 0.375 inches (69.8 by 76.2 by 9.5 mm) and works through a technique known as field distortion which uses two layers of electrical conductors arranged in a grid shape. When your finger touches the surface it distorts the electrical field at a point on the grid. The GlidePoint tracks your finger by following the changes in the electrical field across the grid. Even the smallest movement on the pad is translated to a precise cursor movement because the grid resolves at 400 dots per inch, which gives good control across both large and small monitors.

With the aid of the control panel you can rotate the GlidePoint to the most comfortable position. [...] Other features of the control panel include a ‘tapping’ check box which enables the user to tap the pad in the way you would click a mouse button, a sensitivity control which you can set for big or small monitors and a cursor speed selector. Both the two buttons situated on the bottom and one at the top are programmable, which means that you can set buttons for cut and paste or zoom in, zoom out, for instance.

The 1995 price was 62 pounds, and was considered a tad expensive.

By the way, this is not the only GlidePoint model ALPS manufactured. From what I understood by my little Web research, ‘GlidePoint’ was more like a product line name. You can see a different GlidePoint trackpad in this photo, for example (among the assorted vintage awesomeness). Lastly, ALPS Electric is still in business and still produces, among a slew of other products, input devices like keyboards and trackpads. The GlidePoint name has remained, although it looks like they’re not producing standalone trackpads like this one anymore, only the trackpad technology that gets integrated in laptop computers (see this page).

If you’ve found an ADB GlidePoint trackpad, or bought it second-hand, or someone gave it to you and you only have the hardware without the drivers, they can be found at the Mac Driver Museum.


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