The iMac G3 Project

iMac GIF

In April 2016, I acquired every color of iMac G3. All 13: Bondi, Blueberry, Lime, Tangerine, Strawberry, Grape, Graphite, Sage, Ruby, Indigo, Snow, Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power.

(My Lime is missing its little port-covering door. Such is life.)

The iMac G3 is a fascinating computer. It was the tool Steve Jobs used to help bring Apple back from the brink. It defined a generation of consumer electronics.

Here’s a complete list of what I’ve done with these machines:

General Information

All 13 colors of iMac G3 →
A short movie of me documenting my collection:

Photos from the shoot can be downloaded here. Additional images can be found in this post.

iMac G3 TV ads →
Apple loves a good TV ad, and the iMac G3 got a whole slew of them during its lifetime.

The iMac G3 Clones →
Two companies built all-in-one PCs so close to the iMac’s design that Apple sued.

Aqua & Bondi →
My book about the iMac G3 and how it helped Mac OS X come into the world.

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History of the iMac G3

iMac G3 Family Tree →
An explainer video walking through the six generations of CRT-based iMacs:

(…and a blog post from a long time ago outlining the various generations of iMac)

April 1998: The Bondi Blue iMac →
A breakdown of the original iMac keynote. Don’t miss the product video.

January 1999: The Five Flavors →
A look at the second major generation of iMac G3, introduced in five fun colors.

October 1999: iMac, iMac DV, iMac DV Special Edition →
In the fall of 1999, Apple split the line into good/better/best models and introduced iMovie for the first time.

July 2000: The Splintering of the iMac G3 line →
Apple went from three to four iMac G3 models and everyone’s head exploded.

February 2001: The iMac G3 goes psychedelic →
Enter Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power.

Summer 2001: The Final iMac G3s →
The end of the line for an amazing family of computers.

Podcast Episodes

Simple Beep #39: The iMac G3 →
On this episode of the Simple Beep podcast, Ed, Brian and I get real deep into the detailed history of the various revisions Apple made to the iMac. Think of it as an extended version of that YouTube video above.

Upgrade #91: iMac Special →
On this special episode of Upgrade, I join Jason Snell and Myke Hurley to discuss the original iMac, and the world of tech in 1998.

The iMacs’ Final Home

After shuffling these machines around for months, I made the decision to donate all 13 iMacs to The Henry Ford Museum.

I visited them in the summer of 2018:

All iMac G3 images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.