Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects


62 Responses to “Hideous Macintosh marketing video from 1996”

  1. royaltrux says:

    Apple stock was under four dollars a share that year. Would that I had a time machine…

    • Tony Leon says:

      Sprint is about that price right now. Why not go for it?

    • hymenopterid says:

      Not too late to miss out on the short…

    • Ipo says:

      At that time a share had a value of about 60 bucks in assets and equity. 
      When Steve Jobs went back to be iCEO (interim CEO), buying AAPL became such an obvious safe bet that it didn’t require a time machine to know.  For a fanboi like I was. 
      If I could have gotten in then for the ride up and the splits, I could just buy you a time machine. 
      My girlfriend got “rich” though. 

      • Halloween_Jack says:

        Even more so after the dot-com bubble burst; Apple’s market cap was about $4 billion, but they had five billion in cash in the bank.

  2. GawainLavers says:

    [2:02] Oh god make it stop. Still, do you suppose this is the genesis of John Hodgeman’s Mac. vs PC character?

  3. hughstimson says:

    Genuinely curious at 2:00: if I drag a 3D object into the bundled text editor, why would I not want it to open as the underlying text?

    • haineux says:

      If you were making that mythical “Multi-Media Report Document,” you’d want to drop your 3D bar charts (of your checking account, no doubt) into your text report, right alongside your clip art of bags of money, and the video of the kids smiling with braces.

      Of course, if you’re a geek, you’d hold down CMD-OPT-CTRL-META-FRONT and the object would be imported as a text representation — but you’d probably want to use an editor with regular expression support, not TeachText or WordPad.

  4. hymenopterid says:

    This is really interesting for younger folks who want to see what vintage hardware looked like.  What sort of tape drive is that featured at 2:49?

  5. acerplatanoides says:

    The problem here is that he’s a PC

  6. Nash Rambler says:

    Hmmm, Gil Amelio had better add “Become a Real Boy,” to that “To Do” list.  His performance is so wooden he’s flameable!

  7. Vicky Froyen says:

    sigh

  8. Guest says:

    It might have been adequate five years earlier. To promote MS products. Provided that guy would have taken control of his chin.

  9. Editz says:

    “Macintos…

    I can’t decide if that icon was designed by Gary Larson or Scott Adams.

  10. retchdog says:

    i don’t really get it. assuming that this was targeted at corporations and not individuals, how is it that bad?

    it would be cool if the url at the end, apple.com/whymac, resolved to an easter egg today, but it’s just a redirect. :(

  11. Dv Revolutionary says:

    I have used every single technology on display in this video.

  12. Keith Cody says:

    It’s not an actor. It’s an Apple employee. I’m trying to remember his name. I can almost remember it. I remember he worked at Gartner group before coming to Apple and he had his first kid that year.

  13. John Wells says:

    What I want to know is why the hell can a Mac from 1996 (created during Apple’s –bad years–, even) run two operating systems concurrently, switch between them, and even keep the clipboard, etc synced and yet such functionality is unheard of today?! Sure, we have virtual machines but the ability to switch between two natively running OSes would be amazing.

    • Many Macs of that era were able to run Windows via a NuBus card that provided full 486 hardware, along with a comical video cable splitter setup. I’ve actually still got one or two in my Big Box of Madness in the back room. It got the job done, but it didn’t compare to VirtualBox on this laptop.

    • brainflakes says:

      But most virtual machines (unlike emulators) already run the guest OS mostly natively

      • John Wells says:

        The biggest difference is that performance-oriented applications (like games and audio/video editors) aren’t going to perform all that nicely on a virtual machine. Virtual machines are nice but sometimes you really need a natively running OS to get the job done.

  14. CrackWilding says:

    This was the year after I bought my first Mac, an all-in-one Performa. Pretty junky computer. I also worked at a university computer store in ’95 and ’96. I remember trying to explain to customers what the difference was between NuBus and PCI machines. Truth is, I really didn’t have much of an idea myself until some years later.

    • John Wells says:

      Mine was a Performa 6400/200 tower in 1996. It actually took quite the beating, lasting for four years before the HD died, and living until I sold it after replacing the HD.

      I loved how its internal speaker turned into a subwoofer when external speakers were plugged in.

  15. Abelard Lindsay says:

    Oh god. That keyboard. Holy fuck. No.

  16. LikesTurtles says:

    Good lord, that’s a snoozer. I had to stop watching at about the two minute mark. At least now I know what I’m going to watch next time I have insomnia.

  17. Itsumishi says:

    Macintosh computers offer:
    * More ease of use;
    * More power;
    * More advanced multimedia; and
    * More compatibility;

    And what do these advantages add up to?

    Plummeting stock prices.

  18. ocker3 says:

    Bundling is bad, mmmkay?

  19. brainflakes says:

    It’s dry, but it’s pretty much the same kind of product demos as Jobs gave, just with less black turtleneck and surprise announcements.

  20. alissa mower clough says:

    Ooh, my old Performa….that crashed and burned when it contacted the Internet, cause it couldn’t take all the data, and needed props to run “Waxweb”. I loved her so…

  21. Kenny Cross says:

     No wonder why I bought a PC back then although my first computer was an Apple II Plus and my second computer was a Mac SE (hmmm come to think of it maybe it was the Mac SE that converted me to a PC – although I used the heck out of my SE – many fond memories of that beast and it doesn’t spark or make odd noises when I turn it on from time to time, I always wish I had bought the Apple II GS instead). This year was the first in many a moon that I considered getting a Mac. I didn’t but I got the computer I wanted, and didn’t have to sell my spleen and liver to pay for it.

    • Kimmo says:

      sell my spleen and liver

      I stripped down a G5 case for scrap recently… and it just blew my mind.

      Utterly insane. The level of engineering in that thing might have made sense if it was going to be used for 30-50 years…

      It’s as if the engineers found Steve Jobs out of his gourd on acid or something the day they went to ask him how hard to try on this thing, and he told them to go completely fucking nuts…

      ‘This will be the Rolls-Royce of PC cases. I want to give every tech who works on one a total nerdgasm. When the time comes to be uploaded, this is the case you’ll want to live in.’

      • John Wells says:

        It might seem outlandish but it’s exactly what sets Apple apart from generic PC vendors.

      • Eric Rucker says:

        Except the rest of the system has rather poor longevity even compared to a cheap Pentium 4 box (well, once you replace the bad caps in the cheap P4 box…)

        PSUs dying, and then you’ve got the watercooling system that fails.

  22. Halloween_Jack says:

    I can’t really bag on the guy, but he’s sounding like he’s doing a training video for someone who’s already bought the machine; I’m about a minute in, and he’s talking about the lack of scripting function in Windows 95. Look, for a contrast, at an ad from a few years later, in which Jeff Goldblum talks about “beige” as not just the literal color of the pre-Bondi Blue Macs, but as a symbol of everything Apple got wrong before Jobs came back: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UZoTl2a3Bw

  23. Sigmund_Jung says:

    Just 16 years ago, the “best 3D” sucked so much that looking at my free Google Sketchup on my lousy notebook SCARES THE HELL OUT OF ME.

    That’s like watching industrial revolution unfold before your eyes.

  24. asdgaf says:

    I dunno about this hardware but I’ve been trying to find that tiling circuit board wallpaper for years. Anyone know where I might be able to source it?

  25. allium says:

    4:56 – An Intel processor inside a Mac? MADNESS!

  26. jayson says:

    I don’t see what’s “hideous” about this. It’s a training video for stores selling Apple computers to help them learn about Macintosh’s features and be able to explain them to customers. It’s not a TV commercial.

    There’s some amazing stuff in there for 1996. 

  27. McGreens says:

    I love that his idea of multitasking is downloading a file from the internet and *typing*. AT THE SAME TIME!

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