Macworld is still proceeding apace as we write this, albeit without Apple actually exhibiting. As the show was in town we thought, as a counterpoint to last week's list, we'd look at the worst systems to come out of Cupertino.
If you're the kind of person who thinks that Apple can do no wrong, and that anyone who points out that the emperor occasionally has no clothes is a filthy disciple of Bill Gates in the pay of the Wintel conspiracy, then stop reading right now.
In the past I've been guilty of saying bad things about Apple and its users, but Shaun's keeping me honest on this one. Let us know in the comments section below if you think we've missed anything.
mention: Mac Portable
Iain Thomson: OK, we can all have a giggle at 'portable' computers from the early days of computing but, at nearly 16 pounds, the Mac Portable really was taking the piss.
The original models were 4in thick, bulky enough to be awkward to carry and had a screen that was unreadable half the time. Occasionally you'd see some poor devil struggling down the street with one of these and hope he or she had a good chiropractor. The fact that they'd paid a small fortune for the device can't have helped their mood either.
The Mac Portable also had a novel problem when it came to power. The power supply was wired in series so, if you ran the batteries down completely, the computer wouldn't recharge. This led to a lot of users having to find workarounds to avoid owning a very expensive doorstop.
Shaun Nichols: It's hard to believe that in only two years Apple went from the suitcase monstrosity that was the Mac Portable to the sleek, powerful Powerbook 170 model.
The two systems were night and day. The portable was big, like 16 pounds worth of big. The Powerbook was smaller, just as powerful and sported a great design and big, bright screen.
As Iain noted, the Portable used lead acid battery packs that didn't do it too many favours. They made the system heavy and unreliable. Add to that the full compliment of drives and connections, and you had monster of a computer that in reality wasn't much more portable than a regular desktop box.
This was a rare case in which Apple messed up by putting computing muscle above sleek form factor. Fortunately it was able to correct the issues by 1991 with the first Powerbooks.
mention: Color Classic
Shaun Nichols: While making this list I jokingly suggested to Iain that we could do an entire Top 10 based on what Apple did between 1991 and 1996. In fact, don't be surprised if we actually do one this summer.
The Color Classic was a system that might have been a good idea had it been rolled out a few years earlier. The aim was to produce a compact system in the style of the original Mac models, but equip it with a colour screen. In essence, a system that combined the best features of the classic Macs with the best features of the latest Macs.
Unfortunately, the actual product managed to combine the worst of both worlds. The space constraints of the Classic case limited the effectiveness of the colour screen and forced the company to go with underpowered hardware. Meanwhile, the falling cost of computers made the Color Classic's $1,800 price tag seem steep for a low-end system.
Iain Thomson: Technically the Color Classic is part of the Performa range, of which more will be said later.
The failings of this system are many and manifold. A colour screen sounds good but in fact didn't add much to the computer, besides jacking up the price considerably. Originally designed for the education market, the Color Classic failed to get much traction and was not one of Apple's success stories.
It could be argued that this system forced Apple to rethink building screens into systems. Sure it looks very good, but it increases the overall cost and limits users to a particular view. Built-in screens made sense at the start of the computing age, but they have thankfully gone the way of the dinosaurs.
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