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Original eMac Explained

In the ever-evolving landscape of personal computing, certain products stand out not just for their features or performance, but for the impact they had on the industry and the memories they created for users. One such product is the Apple eMac, a desktop computer that left an indelible mark on the education sector and the hearts of Apple enthusiasts worldwide.

The Apple eMac, short for “education Mac,” emerged from Cupertino’s labs on April 29, 2002, with a mission to revolutionize the classroom computing experience. Crafted with educators and students in mind, it boasted a sleek 17-inch flat CRT monitor and a robust 700 MHz PowerPC G4 processor. Steve Jobs, Apple’s visionary CEO at the time, proudly introduced this compact powerhouse, emphasizing its affordability and purpose-built design for educational institutions.

Resembling its iconic predecessor, the iMac G3, the eMac sported a larger 17-inch flat-screen CRT, offering 40% more viewing area than its predecessor. Despite its expansive display, the eMac maintained a compact form factor, ideal for classrooms and computer labs. It weighed a hefty 50 pounds, indicating the substantial hardware packed within its enclosure.

Under the hood, the eMac boasted a PowerPC G4 processor, a significant leap forward from the previous generation’s G3 chips. This processing prowess was complemented by NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics and upgradable RAM, empowering users with smooth performance for multimedia tasks and educational software.

Connectivity was another area where the eMac excelled. With five USB ports and two FireWire ports, it offered seamless integration with a myriad of peripherals, from digital cameras to printers. Additionally, built-in Ethernet and optional wireless networking ensured effortless connectivity in educational environments.

The eMac came bundled with Apple’s suite of digital lifestyle software, including iPhoto, iMovie, and iTunes. These applications empowered users to manage digital media, create movies, and curate music libraries, fostering creativity and engagement in the classroom.

Upon its release, the eMac garnered praise for its affordability and performance. Macworld’s Jason Snell hailed it as a worthy successor to the iMac G3, lauding its value proposition for educational institutions. However, early models were plagued by issues such as “Raster Shift” and capacitor failures, prompting Apple to implement warranty extension programs to address these concerns.

Despite its brief stint in the spotlight, the eMac left an enduring legacy in the annals of Apple’s history. Its affordability and educational focus democratized access to technology in schools, empowering students and educators alike. While subsequent iterations would refine its design and address early issues, the eMac remains a cherished relic for enthusiasts and a symbol of Apple’s commitment to education.

As we commemorate the 21-year anniversary of the Apple eMac, let us reflect on its journey from the classroom to the hearts of users worldwide. Though its CRT display and G4 processor may seem quaint by today’s standards, the eMac’s impact on education and the Apple ecosystem endures. So here’s to the eMac, a humble yet revolutionary computer that continues to inspire nostalgia and appreciation among Apple fans everywhere.

eMac
Source: techradar.com – eMac

Original eMac Details

IntroducedApril 29, 2002
DiscontinuedMay 6, 2003
Model IdentifierPowerMac4,4
Model NumberA1002
EMC1903
Order NumberM8655LL/A (700 MHz)
M8655LL/B (700 MHz)
M8577LL/A (700 MHz)
M8578LL/A (700 MHz)
M8578LL/B (700 MHz)
M8892LL/A (800 MHz)
Original Price$999
$1,199
$1,499
ColorsWhite
Weight50 Ibs.
22.679 KG
Dimensions15.8” H x 15.8” W x 17.1” D
40.13 cm H x 40.13 cm W x 43.43 cm D

eMac Tech Specs

Processor

ProcessorPowerPC 7450 G4
Processor Speed700 MHz
800 MHz
Architecture32-bit
Number of Cores1
System Bus100 MHz
Cache64 KB L1
256 KB backside L2
CoprocessorBuilt-in FPU

Storage & Media

Storage40 GB
60 GB
Media1 – 24x DVD-ROM/CD-RW “Combo” drive or 32x CD-ROM or 2x DVD-R/CD-RW Superdrive

Memory

Built-in Memory128 MB
256 MB
Maximum Memory1 GB
Memory Slots2 – PC-133 3.3v 168-pin SDRAM
Minimum Speed8 ns
Interleaving SupportNo

Display

Built-in Display17″ Shadow-mask CRT Display (16″ viewable)
Resolutions640 x 480 at 138 Hz
800 x 600 at 112 Hz
1024 x 768 at 89 Hz
1152 x 864 at 80 Hz
1280 x 960 at 72 Hz

Graphics

Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce2 MX
Graphics Memory32 MB
Display Connection1 – Mini-VGA
Display ModesVideo mirroring only
External ResolutionN/A
CameraNone

Expansion

Expansion SlotsNone
Optical Drive InterfaceUltra ATA (Shared with hard disk drive)
Hard Drive InterfaceUltra ATA (Shared with optical drive)

Connections

Ethernet10/100BASE-T (RJ-45)
Modem56k
Wi-FiAirPort Card 802.11b (Optional)
BluetoothNone
USB3 – 12 Mbps
FireWire2 – 400 Mbps (8 W total power)
InfraredNone
Audio In1 – 3.5-mm analog input jack
1 – Built-in microphone
Audio Out1 – 3.5-mm analog output jack
2 – Built-in speakers
Display1 – Mini-VGA

Keyboard and Mouse

PeripheralsApple Pro Keyboard
Apple Pro Mouse

Software

Original OSMac OS 9.2.2
Mac OS X 10.1.4
Later OSMac OS X 10.2
Mac OS X 10.2.2
Mac OS X 10.2.3
Maximum OSMac OS X 10.4.11
FirmwareMac OS ROM 9.2.1
Bundled SoftwareMac OS 9.2 or Mac OS X
QuickTime
iMovie 2
iPhoto
iTunes 2
AppleWorks
Mac OS X Mail
Microsoft Internet Explorer
EarthLink, AOL
Quicken 2002 Deluxe
World Book Mac OS X Edition
Mac OS X Chess
Otto Matic
Deimos Rising
PCalc
Acrobat Reader
FAXstf 10.0 Preview
Apple Hardware Test CD

Power

Backup Battery3.6 V 850 mAh Lithium (922-4028)
Maximum Continuous Power170 W
Line Voltage100-260 V AC

Further Reading and References

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Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.

Last updated: February 7, 2024