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A fond look at a blast from the past: the Mac Portable


An email this morning from Harry McCracken at pointed the way to a trip down memory lane. Harry was letting us know that Technologizer blogger Benj Edwards had written a 20th anniversary teardown post about the first truly mobile Mac -- the Mac Portable.

Why is this a trip down memory lane for me in particular? I actually owned one of these beasts for a few years. They were ridiculously expensive at the time -- US$7,300 for a 16 lb. (7.25 kg) monochrome screen machine with 1 MB of RAM, a floppy disk drive, and a 40 MB hard disk -- but since I was a developer at the time I was able to get a substantial discount and bought it for about $4,000.

I recall taking my Portable to meetings back in the day, and people were absolutely fascinated by it. Of course, about two years later it would be replaced by the much lighter (5.1 lb. / 2.3 kg) PowerBook 100, which was the first of what we consider to be the truly "laptop" Macs.

Definitely take a look at the Technologizer post if you get a chance. Benj does a step-by-step teardown, describes what you're seeing in each photo, and notes what items on the Portable made it such a technological wonder in the late 1980s. I won't spoil things for you, but be sure to look at the last page of the teardown for a comparison Edwards does between the Portable and the iPhone. We've come a long way in just 20 years.

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