Twenty five years is an eon for a computer, and 1984 is the technological equivalent of caveman times as far as personal computer is concerned.
This makes it all the more remarkable that the Macintosh computer has made it to 25. No other line of computers has had either the longevity or the cultural impact of Apple's flagship system. The Mac has inspired a company, and an industry, and even an entire subculture.
But it hasn't always been smooth sailing. The various incarnations of the Mac have included some real clunkers over the years. So, as we toast the Mac on its birthday, we take a look at the best and worst machines ever to bear the brand.
The formulation of this list was long and hard. Shaun is a relatively restrained Apple fan, whereas I have a penchant for PCs. This led to some interesting, and occasionally heated, discussions and, if you think we've missed any off the list, the comments section at the bottom is there for your use.
One final thing, there's one Mac we left off the list. Listen here to find out why.
THE BEST MACS
Power Mac 9600
Shaun Nichols: The darkest days of Apple's corporate timeline also brought about one of its best models. The Power Macintosh 9600 was everything Macs weren't supposed to be: big, powerful and extremely expandable.
Sporting a 350MHz 604e processor, room for up to 1.5Gb of memory and six PCI slots, the 9600 was a big beige beast on par with any PC system at the time. Unlike the earlier 9500 model the case was easy to open, and access to all of the hardware components was a breeze, making the 9600 a favourite among tinkerers and power users.
Although it was later phased out in favour of the G3, the 9600 endured for years beyond its intended lifecycle owing to its power and expandability.
Iain Thomson: The 9600 was a great bit of kit, and one of the most flexible of Apple's systems. Being able to boost the RAM capacity to 1.5Gb was a great advantage and, as Shaun has noted, led to them staying in use for far longer than Apple may have liked.
It was unfortunately saddled with a dog of an operating system in System 7, but it was still as good a bit of big iron as Apple has ever made.
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