7 Notebook Reviews in 6 Minutes 

In 2001, Steve Jobs showed off the Titanium PowerBook, which radically redesigned and modernized the company’s notebook lineup. It’s impact can still be felt today. To better understand its importance, I spent time with seven notebooks this weekend that were on sale over the last 16 years or so.

I used several of these machines over the years, except for those crazy 17-inch ones. It was fun to revisit them.

As a bonus, the still photos used in the video can be found over on Flickr.

A Primer on Jupiter’s Clouds →

Justin Cowart:

The most obvious features of Jupiter are its bands of light and dark clouds. These are bordered by jet streams blowing east and west. The light areas are called zones. The air inside zones is circulating anti-cyclonically, making them a broad area of higher air pressure. The increased pressure supports the formation of high-altitude clouds of white ammonia ice, which mostly obscure the deeper, more colorful clouds. The dark areas are called belts, and inside these the air circulates cyclonically. In the belts, the ammonia ice clouds aren’t thick enough to obscure the view, allowing us to see a deeper cloud deck of ammonium sulfide and ammonium hydrosulfide, as well as a rich brew of organic compounds. These chemicals could be giving the belts their brownish color.

STS-135 →

Bart Leahy, writing about the last space shuttle launch:

Five years ago today, the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Space Shuttle program itself took its last flight into space on mission STS-135 to service the International Space Station (ISS). Since that last flight in 2011, the Shuttle orbiters have been flown off to museums across the country and NASA’s human spaceflight program has shifted to other missions and other vehicles. No other American human-rated spacecraft has been flown so often or accomplished so much.

The space shuttle wasn’t perfect, but the science done with it is stunning.

Summer 2001: The Final iMac G3s 

By the time the summer of 2001 rolled around, Apple was well into the OS X transition. Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah had shipped, and Puma was right around the corner.

The company itself was just a few months away from shipping the iPod, but was already on the road to recovery. The Digital Hub Strategy was taking shape. Apple’s notebook line was maturing, but of course, a lot of this success was built on the back of iMac G3.

At Macworld New York 2001, Steve Jobs took the wraps off the fastest-ever lineup of iMac G3s:

$999 $1299 $1499
500 MHz 600 MHz 700 MHz
128 MB RAM 256 MB 256 MB
20 GB HDD 40 GB 60 GB
CD-RW CD-RW CD-RW

The low-end iMac available in Indigo and Snow, with the 600 and 700 MHz models for sale in Snow and Graphite.

These machines were on sale from July 2001 until January 2002, when Jobs announced the iMac G4.

iMac G4

The iMac G4 was a huge break from the CRT-based design of the G3, and is one of my all-time favorite iMacs.

The G3 did survive this announcement, though. The 600 MHz model, was available in either Snow or Graphite for $999, while a 500 MHz Indigo could be picked up for $799.

Eventually, the Graphite and Indigo were silently dropped from the lineup, leaving just the Snow.

iMac G3 is Snow

This machine stayed on sale until March 2003.

2003!

That’s five years after the original Bondi machines showed up. It’s really incredible how much better the iMac became using that original design. Apple iterated on them, making them better and cheaper over time. The original machines ran Mac OS 8.1, while the last ones are capable of running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The iMac carried the Macintosh platform into the 21st century on its curved, colorful Mac.

It’s the computer that really did help save Apple.

For that, we should all be grateful to these machines.