Flashback to Apple, circa 1986

I was scrounging around my bookshelves and stumbled across an interesting bit of history. In amongst the coffee table books were a small collection of MacUser and MacWorld magazines from 1985/86. My, we’ve come a long way.

Inside were reviews of the Apple ImageWriter II and 20MB serial hard drive. Yes, you read it correctly, a 20MB serial hard drive. As a Macintosh Plus owner in college, I gave one a new home and saved it from the junk heap. It was a discarded unit that became a doorstop when SCSI and the Macintosh SE arrived, and as a student in the computing organization, it ended up being handed down to me as a gift for doing good work. Besides, all of the other students had Macintosh SEs, and I was the only one who could use the darn thing.

The review was amusing. It covered access time, platters, spindle speed, etc. Apple’s floppy drive was actually faster than the hard drive, and in System 5 (or is it MacOS V?) one could not boot from the hard drive! I got it after System 6, so booting was no longer a problem. Of course, we’ve come full circle with USB drives and FireWire, but when they said serial, they meant the really, really slow kind. New, the drive listed for around $1800. Wow.

Oh, and one more thing. Lotus Jazz was the number one business software package. Microsoft Word and Microsoft Multiplan were a bit further down the list. Yes, Lotus and Multiplan. Do you remember that? I do…