Our vintage computers

We maintain a collection of 'vintage' computers, so we can access early 'born digital' content within the collections.

Using the vintage computers

These vintage computers are used for appraisal and digital preservation research. Viewing a file in its original state helps Library staff decide on the most appropriate preservation and better understand the key characteristics of the file.

These older machines have been proven to be invaluable in helping us to understand and preserve Aotearoa New Zealand’s digital heritage.

Macintosh SE (1987)

The Macintosh SE was the first Compact (all-in-one) Macintosh and the first in 'Platinum' colour. This model had an expansion slot, hence the name SE (System Expansion). It was also the first Macintosh to include:

  • an internal cooling fan
  • dual floppy disk drives, and to be
  • sold without a keyboard as it came with a new connection system Apple Desktop Bus (ADB). Any ADB keyboard and mouse that supported ADB could be used with this Macintosh.

This computer has a black-and-white monitor and an internal mono speaker. It features an 8 MHz Motorola 68000 CPU, 1 MB or 2 MB of RAM, and an internal drive bay for a hard drive (20 MB or 40 MB).

Inside the computer, you would find the signatures of all members of the team that designed the Macintosh. All Macintosh SEs (and other previous models) were signed by its developers.

Production period: March 1987 to August 1989
Operating system: System 4.0 - System 7.5.5

Macintosh SE computer
Macintosh SE computer model no. M5011.

Macintosh Classic (1990)

'Everyone can now afford a Macintosh.' - MacUser, 1991

The ‘Classic’ was the first Macintosh to sell for less than US$1,000. Its simpler design, lack of colour monitor, and the absence of expansion slots kept the manufacturing costs low. The low price and the availability of education software at the time made it very popular in the education sector.

The Macintosh Classic had a Motorola 68000 CPU with an 8 MHz processor. It was available in two configurations.

  • The standard model had a 1 MB memory, a 1.44 MB floppy drive, no hard disk, and included a keyboard.
  • The high-end model came with an additional 1 MB memory expansion card and a 40 MB hard disk.

Production period: October 1990 to September 1992
Operating System: System 6.0.7 - System 7.5.5.

Macintosh Colour Classic (1993)

'In many ways … the compact Mac everyone’s been waiting for since, well, since 1984,' MacUser magazine in April 1993.

This was the first Compact Apple Macintosh computer with a built-in colour monitor, and the last of the Compact design.

The Colour Classic came in a completely redesigned case, had an inch bigger screen than the earlier models. The name 'Colour Classic' was printed on a separate plastic insert (not directly on the main panel). This made it easier to use the alternative spelling 'Color Classic' in some regions.

This was one of the most upgraded model of all Apple computers. The Colour Classic came with a16 MHz Motorola 68030 CPU, 4 MB of RAM, a 40 MB (or 80 or 160 MB) hard drive and a 1.4 MB floppy disk drive.

The Apple Keyboard II (M0487) was the Macintosh Classic's standard keyboard which featured for the first-time a soft power switch on the keyboard itself. The mouse supplied with the Colour Classic was the Apple Desktop Bus Mouse II (M2706).

Production period: February 1993 - May 1995
Operating system: System 7.1 – Mac OS 8.0

Macintosh Colour Classic 1993

StyleWriter II, 1993

The StyleWriter was the first of Apple’s line of inkjet printers.

The StyleWriter II printers were in the market from 1993 to 1995. This black inkjet model was based on the Canon engine. It had twice the memory (128 KB) and printer speed (2 pages per minute) of earlier printers.

PowerBook 150 (1994)

'Today in Apple history: First affordable PowerBook goes on sale' — Apple News, July 18, 1994

The PowerBook 150 was Apple’s first most affordable laptop within the PowerBook series and the last to feature the original case design, which included a built-in trackball mouse.

It contained a 33 MHz Motorola 68030 CPU, 4 MB RAM (expandable up to 36 MB), 240 to 500 MB hard drive and a 1.4 MB SuperDrive floppy.

These laptops had no ADB port, modest display quality, no external monitor support no network or internet connectivity. They did however feature an expansion slot, allowing the users to connect an optional modem to enable internet access.

Production period: July 1994 - October 1995
Operating system: System 7.1.1 – System 7.6.1
Weight: 2.6 Kg

Powerbook 150 and laptop bag.
Powerbook 150.

Power Macintosh G3 Blue and White (1999)

This model featured a 400 MHz PowerPC G3 processor which was the fastest processor Apple had manufactured up to that time. It had 64 MB or 128 MB of RAM and a 9 GB hard drive.

The G3 started the ‘handles’ trend. A small pull-on handle on the side of the machine, was used to open the computer. Its design made the system extremely easy to upgrade. The G3 was the last Apple computer to have an ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) port. Subsequent models had USB (Universal Serial Bus) port.

Production period: January 1999 – September 1999
Operating System: MAC OS 8.5.1 – 10.4.11

Power Macintosh G4 QuickSilver (1999)

The G4 was the first Macintosh product to be officially shortened to 'Mac'.

The front panel's main feature is its large speaker. The G4 (QuickSilver) was equipped with a dual 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processor, 256 MB of RAM, 80 Gb hard drive and two DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrives.

The G4 series of computers were marketed by Apple as the first ‘personal supercomputers’. It was also known as the ‘Windtunnel G4’ for its noisy fan.

Production period: July 2001 – January 2002
Operating system: Mac OS 9.2 – 10.5.8

iMac G4 (2002)

'The iMac G4: Apple at its best' — Apple News, January 2002

The iMac G4 is an all-in-one personal computer and came only in white. Its hard drive and motherboard were in the dome-shaped bottom. A notable design feature was the repositionable arm which allowed the LCD screen to move to any angle around the heavy base.

The strong metal arm was also used as a handle to move the computer. The iMac G4 was originally known as the “New iMac”, later nicknamed as "iLamp" as it had the adjustability of a desk lamp.

The iMac G4 featured a 700 MHz to 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processor, 128 to 256 MB of RAM and up to 60 GB hard drive and three USB ports.

The machine was sold with the white Apple Pro Keyboard, one-button optical Apple Pro Mouse and optional Apple Pro Speakers. The Apple Pro Speakers used a unique adapter, designed to work only with specific Apple Macintosh models.

Production period: January 2002 - August 2004
Operating system: Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X

iMac G4 (2002)
iMac G4 (2002)