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Part: 4 Extending Your Reach > A Short History Lesson

A Short History Lesson

If the point hasn't been made clearly enough elsewhere in this tome, let's underscore it here: All things Macintosh have changed radically in the past couple of years. When the last edition of The Macintosh Bible appeared, dozens of computers on the market were capable of running the Mac OS. Some of these computers were made by Apple, and others bore the names of such companies as Power Computing, Umax, Motorola, DayStar, Radius, APS, and PowerTools. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple as interim CEO in 1997, the licenses required to continue the manufacture of these “clones” were unceremoniously killed. Jobs made no secret of the fact that the cloners were taking sales away from Apple and that Apple would no longer stand for it (he failed to mention, however, that at this time Apple's Macs were generally more expensive and less powerful than their cloned counterparts).

But Jobs did more than kill the clones. He took what can be politely described as Apple's “confused” product line and streamlined it. Instead of offering one line of computers for students, another to be sold through warehouse retail outlets, another for businesspeople, another for businesspeople who need a laptop, and yet another for red-headed businesspeople who need a tiny laptop on every other Wednesday, Jobs declared that Apple would offer just four Mac models—these four Mac models were eventually revealed to be the Power Mac, iMac, PowerBook, and iBook.


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