Apple Announces New Macintosh Products
Cupertino, California -- September 17, 1985 -- Apple Computer, Inc. is enhancing its Macintosh personal computer with peripherals and software tools that increase its storage capacity, speed and convenience.
The new products, all designed for business use, include:
The Hard Disk 20 and Switcher answer the demand in the business market for a more powerful Macintosh system. With on-line access to up to 20 megabytes of applications and data files, the Macintosh can function two to three times faster than a system working only with floppy disks. Switcher further increases productivity by providing a fast, simple method for transferring data or switching among applications.
The new ImageWriter II printer, which succeeds the best-selling ImageWriter, provides improved text and graphics print quality, up to twice the speed of the earlier model, and simplified paper handling. It has an open design that accommodates expansion modules. When used with the Apple II product line, the ImageWriter II also can provide multi-color printing.
For a suggested retail price of $399, the new, compact modem offers a wide range of communications features at an affordable price. It plugs directly into a wall outlet or power strip rather than taking up valuable desktop space.
"Each of these products increases Macintosh performance for the people who need it most--business professionals who seek maximum productivity from a personal computer," said Delbert W. Yocam, Apple's executive vice president of product operations. "These products reflect Apple's ongoing efforts to continually broaden the solutions we offer to business customers."
Hard Disk 20 Boosts Productivity
Adding the Hard Disk 20 to a Macintosh 512K system creates a powerful configuration designed for business professionals who manage large amounts of information. The Hard Disk 20 stores as much information as 50 Macintosh floppy disks and operates more than twice as fast as a floppy drive. The user saves additional time because files are accessible without swapping floppy disks.
The disk comes with a hierarchical filing system that manages thousands of files without complex partitioning schemes. Instead, the software uses the Macintosh computer's familiar file folder icons for grouping together related files.
Most major software programs can be loaded directly onto the Hard Disk 20 for faster and more convenient access. In addition, the disk allows the user to store more fonts, printer drivers and a much larger scrapbook, which is the Macintosh desk accessory that stores frequently used text and graphic elements.
The Hard Disk 20 is an external, 3 1/2-inch Winchester disk drive that connects to the disk drive port on the back of the Macintosh. Only three inches high, the unit has the same width and depth as the Macintosh and is designed to fit under the computer. An expansion port on the back of the hard disk allows a second Hard Disk 20, a back-up tape device or an external floppy disk drive to be connected to the system.
Hard Disk 20 units for demonstration will begin shipping to authorized Apple dealers in November with quantity shipments expected in early 1986. The U.S. suggested retail price of $1,499 includes the disk drive with attached cable for connecting it to the Macintosh, the Startup Disk containing the system software and hierarchical filing system, and an owner's manual.
Switcher Utility Improves Macintosh Software Integration
Switcher also helps users obtain greater efficiency from their Macintosh 512K and Macintosh XL computers. It allows users to create their own integrated applications by combining in memory up to eight programs of their choice, depending on the memory requirements and other characteristics of the programs involved. Once a combination is put together, users can instantly switch among these applications. For example, the user can temporarily leave a MacProject document to send a message with MacTerminal; or copy a graphic from a MacDraw file to a MacWrite document--all without going through the steps of quitting one application and loading another.
Switcher can remember specific sets of applications previously used together so they can be reloaded in a single step with the click of a mouse. The program creates an icon for each set of applications as if it was a single, distinct, integrated program.
"Switcher is a tremendous time-saver for the business professional who uses certain applications all the time," said Yocam. "It also has enormous benefits for the software development community because now they can offer integrated application sets by testing their programs with Switcher and then including Switcher with their individual applications."
Software developers can license Switcher from Apple for $250 per year per application. Many developers have been working with the program since it became available in an advance version earlier this year. For example, Microsoft has included with its new spreadsheet, Excel, a Switcher document that links Excel with Microsoft Word. Users who own both applications can, in effect, combine them for extra speed and convenience.
According to Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corporation, "Microsoft's application program philosophy is to develop depth products focused on primary tasks. Apple's Switcher is an ideal operating environment tool that allows users to enjoy the benefits of integration without sacrificing depth or choice."
Switcher will be available to the public from authorized Apple dealers by the end of October for a U.S. suggested retail price of $19.95. Called The Switcher Construction Kit, the retail version of the product, which includes an instruction manual, is designed for sophisticated Macintosh 512K and Macintosh XL users who can thoroughly test the combinations they create.
Early versions of Switcher were electronically circulated to the public through CompuServe's Micro-Networked Apple User Group (MAUG) to facilitate the testing of the potentially infinite combinations of Macintosh applications.
New Printer for Macintosh Produces Near-Letter-Quality Text
Apple is enhancing the printer options available to Macintosh users by introducing the ImageWriter II, a second generation version of the ImageWriter. Apple's ImageWriter has been one of the most popular dot matrix printers on the market with over one million units sold.
The new ImageWriter II offers both near-letter-quality printing and high-quality graphics output, as well as design innovations that allow the user to customize it for special needs.
Print Quality: The ImageWriter II offers three printing modes, including one that is nearly indistinguishable from traditional daisy wheel printing. Standard and draft modes provide extra speed.
Expansion Options: The ImageWriter II contains an expansion slot for accommodating a range of interface boards. For example, Apple is developing the ImageWriter II AppleTalk Option, which is a card for this slot that will provide shared ImageWriter II printing on an AppleTalk network of Macintosh computers. Apple also is working closely with third party hardware companies to develop other add-ons for this slot that will further expand the printer's capabilities.
Paper Handling: The ImageWriter II uses continuous form paper or loads individual sheets at the touch of a button with the optional ImageWriter II SheetFeeder. Designed to easily snap on to the top of the printer, the feeder simplifies the printing of office correspondence and form letters by automatically loading up to 100 sheets of standard office paper or letterhead to the printer.
Speed: The printer can operate at a top speed of 250 characters per second, more than twice the rate of its predecessor.
The ImageWriter II is compatible with all Apple computers and with all software packages that worked with the earlier model. To take advantage of some of the printer's new features, such as its increased speed and optional SheetFeeder, Apple and many software developers are incorporating a modified ImageWriter driver in their Macintosh programs. This driver utility will be available free of charge from authorized Apple dealers in October.
The ImageWriter II is available now from authorized Apple dealers for a U.S. suggested retail price of $595, which includes Apple's standard 90 day limited warranty. The cable required for connecting the printer to the computer has a suggested retail price of $29.95 and the suggested retail price of the optional ImageWriter II SheetFeeder is $225. The black ribbons for the ImageWriter II are the same as those used in the earlier model. They sell in packages of six for a suggested retail price of $10.50.
International versions with appropriate electrical modifications and documentation also are available.
Apple and the Apple logo are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.
Macintosh is a trademark of McIntosh Laboratory, Inc. and is used with express permission for its owners.
AppleTalk, ImageWriter, MacDraw, MacProject, MacTerminal, MacWrite and Switcher are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.