Apple releases ‘Blue and White’ Power Mac G3

January 5, 1999 Apple is introducing its revised Power Mac G3 minitower, often called the “Blue and White G3” or “Smurf Tower” to separate it from the earlier beige model.

The first new Power Mac since the colorful plastic iMac G3 was delivered, the professional-level machine borrows the same transparent color scheme. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take too long.

Important, but short-lived

Apple introduced the original beige Power Macintosh G3 series in November 1997, shortly after the launch of the Think Different advertising campaign. It was the first Mac to use a PowerPC G3 microprocessor, which also powered the later Blue and White model. The line proved to be a hit for Apple, with 750,000 shipped by mid-1998.

However, when the iMac arrived, Steve Jobs and Jony Ive wanted to update the Power Mac to match Apple’s new design language (which could also be seen on the iBook laptop). Apple also wanted to update its professional line with the latest hardware available. At the Macworld event where Jobs unveiled the new Power Mac G3, he also announced five new iMac colors.

In terms of design, the Power Mac G3 boasts several great features. The right side of the case was a hinged door with a recessed cut, allowing easy access to the components. You can open the case while the computer is on, although changing components might require turning off the machine. Apple designed the code name “Yosemite” (a name later recycled for the 2014 version of macOS), while the project was also known as “El Capitan” (again, a name Apple visited again) and “Gossamer II”.

Blue and white Power Mac G3 specifications

One of the original commercials for the Power Mac G3.
Photo: Apple

In terms of specs, the Power Mac G3 differed significantly from its predecessor, despite sharing the same G3 processor. It was the first Apple machine to include FireWire, which became an important part of the company’s “digital hub” strategy (and actually won the Apple Emmy).

Apple’s first USB computer had a “legacy” ADB port so users didn’t have to rely on dongles. However, the lack of regular serial ports, floppy drive and built-in SCSI caused controversy at the time. Prices started at $ 1,599 and reached close to $ 5,000 for server configuration versions.

The machine received a speed limit in April 1999, although it did not last long. Apple discontinued it in favor of the Power Mac G4 line in August 1999.

Did you own one of these computers? Leave your comments below.

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Naveen Kumar

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