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In the early 1990s, Apple made a significant stride in the world of server computers with the introduction of the Workgroup Server 95. Aimed at small businesses and workgroups, this server marked a crucial moment in Apple’s history as it ventured into the realm of server hardware and software. Now, 30 years later, the Workgroup Server 95 stands as a nostalgic reminder of Apple’s early foray into the server market.
Launched on March 22, 1993, the Workgroup Server 95 boasted impressive specifications for its time. Equipped with a 33 MHz Motorola 68040 processor, this server offered a significant upgrade in processing power compared to its predecessors.
Users could choose between 16 MB, 32 MB, or 48 MB of RAM, catering to varying performance needs. Storage options ranged from a 230 MB, 500 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB hard drive, providing ample space for data-intensive operations. The inclusion of a CD-ROM drive and a 1.44 MB floppy drive further enhanced the server’s versatility.
While the Workgroup Server 95 offered compelling features and capabilities, its starting price of $7,590 made it a considerable investment for small businesses. However, for those who could afford it, the server became an indispensable tool for streamlining operations and facilitating collaboration within workgroups.
One noteworthy aspect of the Macintosh Workgroup Server 95 was its compatibility with Apple’s Unix-based operating system, A/UX. While it could run the Mac OS, the server truly came into its own when operating A/UX, offering a full suite of features. This distinction led to debates about whether the WG Server 95 could even be considered a Macintosh, despite its name.
The expandable tower case, borrowed from the Quadra 900, provided users with a spacious and customizable platform. The server boasted sixteen RAM slots, three drive bays, and five NuBus slots, allowing for extensive expansion options. The inclusion of a PDS card with cache options (128k, 256k, or 512k) and a secondary SCSI bus further enhanced its performance capabilities. Some configurations even included a pre-installed DDS-DC 4 mm tape drive, enabling seamless data backup and retrieval.
Despite its strengths, the WGS 95 was eventually discontinued by Apple. As the server landscape evolved and customer demands shifted, Apple made the strategic decision to focus on other products and services. However, Mac Workgroup Server 95’s legacy as one of Apple’s early ventures into the server market remains intact.
The Workgroup Server 95 holds a special place in Apple’s history as one of the company’s first forays into server hardware and software. Its robust specifications and compatibility with A/UX set it apart from traditional Macintosh computers of the time. The server’s expandability and versatile design made it a valuable asset for small businesses and workgroups, despite its higher price tag.
Today, the Workgroup Server 95 serves as a nostalgic reminder of Apple’s pioneering spirit and its willingness to explore new horizons. While the server may no longer be a part of Apple’s product lineup, its impact on the company’s trajectory is undeniable. As we reflect on the 30-year anniversary of this remarkable server, we can appreciate the role it played in shaping the Apple we know today.
Workgroup Server 95 Details
|Introduced||March 22, 1993|
|Discontinued||April 3, 1995|
|Dimensions||18.6” H x 8.9” W x 20.6” D|
47.24 cm H x 22.6 cm W x 52.32 cm D
Mac WGS 95 Tech Specs
|Processor Speed||33 MHz|
|Number of Cores||1|
|System Bus||33 MHz|
|Cache||8 KB L1|
Storage & Media
|Media||1 – CD-ROM|
1 – 1.44 MB Floppy
1 – DAT tape drive (Optional)
|Built-in Memory||16 MB|
|Maximum Memory||256 MB|
|Memory Slots||16 – 30 pin SIMMs|
|Minimum Speed||80 ns|
|Graphics Memory||1 MB – 2 MB|
|Display Connection||1 – DB-15|
|Expansion Slots||5 – NuBus |
1 – PDS (Cache Bus)
|Hard Drive Interface||SCSI|
|SCSI||2 – DB-25|
|Audio In||1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack|
|Audio Out||1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack|
|Display||1 – DB-15|
|Original OS||A/UX 3.0.1|
|Maximum OS||A/UX 3.1.1|
|Backup Battery||3.6 V lithium|
|Maximum Continuous Power||303 W|
|Line Voltage||100 V – 240 V AC|
Further Reading and References
- Workgroup Server 95: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- Apple Workgroup Server – Wikipedia
- Apple Workgroup Server 95 Brochure (PDF) – Tech Insider
- Apple Workgroup Server 95, Jul 1993: Ref. Guide (PDF) – Web Archive
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Last updated: July 2, 2023