Useful Notes / Apple Macintosh
aka: Mac

*BONG!*note  "Welcome to Macintosh."

Traditionally, the Apple "Mac" Macintosh computer has been known for desktop publishing, Photoshop, audio and video editing, networking, and high prices, not gaming.note  But despite this it has a gaming history, including a small number of original titles, most famously Myst and Marathon. Another irony is that, due to being based on the popular Motorola 68000 CPU, widely used at the time in various video game platforms, the Mac had a long history as an authoring platform for console games in the eight-bit and 16-bit era.

The Mac was a revolutionary computer, with its Xerox Alto-inspired graphical user interface note , and Apple marketing executives were worried that it would be seen as a toy. So the only games developed for it prior to its release in January 1984 were a 600-byte 15 Puzzle and a real-time board game by an Apple programmer that went intentionally underpromoted. After the launch, games were ported over from other systems, but there were only a few unique titles.

Several companies stepped forward to fill the gap. Silicon Beach's Enchanted Scepters and Dark Castle demonstrated the Mac's mouse-based input and multimedia capabilities, respectively. ICOM Simulations created the first fully mouse-driven Adventure Game in Déjà Vu, followed by Shadowgate and two other "MacVentures". In the 1990s, Bungie gave Mac users a reason to be proud with Marathon and Myth. Halo: Combat Evolved would've been their next Mac title, but Microsoft bought them out and turned it into a launch title for the Xbox. Other major developers included Ambrosia (Escape Velocity) and Casady & Greene (Crystal Quest, Glider). Still another Mac debut, Cyan's HyperCard-based Myst, went on to reign as the all-time best-selling PC game for nearly a decade.

The Mac hardware went from the 68k Central Processing Unit family to the PowerPC, and macOS went from Classic to X note , but it remained a system of third-party ports from those who were willing. And as the "wintel" platform caught up with the Mac's technical sophistication, porting became more difficult and fewer were willing.

Things took a startling change in the mid-2000s. In 2006, the Mac went to the same 80x86 CPU as the IBM Personal Computer, even allowing it to run Windows without the need for an x86 emulator, and thus the vast majority of computer games (i.e. other than what was already available for macOS). This made porting easier, but still not a piece of cake; the macOS still uses different Application Programming Interfaces, such as OpenGL,note  Quartz Extreme and Core Audio, in place of Microsoft's DirectX. It also used a different, more sophisticated BIOS called EFI in place of the outdated IBM PC BIOS that PCs were stuck with until Microsoft updated Windows Vista and 7. An upside of the transition was the sudden prominence of the Hackintosh, a standard PC running Mac OS X (versions 10.4 and up); though technically not allowed under Apple's EULA, Hackintoshing opens up a lot of flexibility that Apple doesn't offer on the low end, and there's even a book out there on how to do it.

Much like earlier 80x86 competitors to Windows such as Linux, native game ports have mostly died away as a result, replaced with the common CPU architecture's ability to use various types of emulation to run Windows games at a decent speed or simply reboot into Windows using the Boot Camp bootloader software. In particular, a commercial enhancement of Wine called Cider is bundled into most current Mac game "ports", so native Mac games have been reduced from those ported by third parties to those originally written by Multi-Platform Mac developers, like Blizzard and id. And in 2010 Valve brought Steam to the Mac, opting to port the code to run natively on Mac OS X instead of using Cider. Likewise, EA has joined Valve with porting Origin to the Mac, and promised that while most games were ported using Cider, some games will be ported to run natively on the Mac (most recently being SimCity (2013), which was ported to native Mac OS X code).


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"Old-World" Macs

Macs are generally classified into three eras: Old-World, New-World and Intel. Old-World Macs use the Toolbox BIOS, a proprietary BIOS only capable of loading Mac OS, and they had most of their graphical instructions stored in-BIOS. Later "Old-World" Macs are actually hybrids, they have both Open Firmware (albeit an early implementation) and Toolbox BIOS stored on ROM. The thing that sets these hybrids apart from New-World Macs is that while hybrids store both BIOS's on ROM, New-World Macs only store Open Firmware on ROM, but they are capable of loading the Toolbox off the hard disk into RAM and chainloading Toolbox from there.

    Black & White Macs, 1984- 90 
The Macs of Dark Castle and the ICOM MacVentures.

  • Central Processing Unit: Motorola 68000, 8 Mhz.
  • GPU: None. Somewhat ironic, but for all the graphical sophistication of its interface the Mac's entire graphical subsystem consisted of a simple DMA video controller, based on just two discrete logic chips, with all graphics drawn in software.
  • The machine's entire chipset fit into just 10 chips (6 programmable logic devices, two custom chips for the clock and floppy drive, an 8530 dual serial port and a 6522 VIA to handle interrupts), a tiny number in 1983 considering most desktop PCs were still being built out of discrete TTL chips (which required dozens of individual chips to do the same thing). Burrell Smith wanted to put the entire machine's guts into one big chip called the "Integrated Burrell Machine", but they couldn't get the chip debugged in time and had to fall back on Smith's original PLD-based design. Apple eventually got it working for the Macintosh SE and Classic, though.

  • 128 KB for the original "thin" Mac, which almost killed the machine — the design team was really challenged to do anything with such a tiny amount, because graphical software required more memory than the old-fashioned character-based one, and applications' constant loading and unloading of the unused software pieces slowed the machine to a crawl, as it didn't have a HDD, just a 400K floppy!
    • That happened regardless of the amount of memory installed. For example, Mac Word and the System would not both fit on the same floppy. When firing up Mac Word, it would require the user to swap the System disk in to load the resource to display a dialog box of useless information that you just ignored and clicked OK on, and then swap the Mac Word disk back in to continue loading the program. It did this about twenty times before the loading was completed. And it still did it even if you had upgraded the memory to 2MB, ie. sufficient capacity to hold the entire contents of both disks and still have buckets left over.
  • The first major update of the system, the "fat" Mac, upped the memory amount to 512 KB. Later models increased it further, to 4 MB.

  • 512×342 bitmap.

  • Eight-bit mono PCM (software).

  • 128K: 1.0-3.3
  • 512K: 1.1-4.1
  • 512Ke: 1.1-6.0.8
  • Plus: 1.1-7.5.5
  • Classic: 6.0.7-7.5.5

    Color 68k Macs, 1987- 94 
The Macs of Myst and Marathon. This class also includes the oddball SE/30 and Macintosh Classic II, which were both Mac II-class machines (based on the Mac IIx and the LC II, respectively) that just happened to be in the classic "toaster" Mac's form factor. Also, the earliest PowerBook models (Mac laptops) are in this class. Some of these Macs had an internal CD-ROM drive (on the SCSI bus), essential for loading games too big for floppies.

  • Central Processing Unit: Motorola 68020, 68030, or 68040, 16-40 Mhz.
  • GPU: Still 100% software; add-on boards with "QuickDraw accelerators" became available around 1990, but they were expensive and mainly intended for professional users.

  • 1-256 MB.

  • Up to 1152×870 resolution.
  • Up to 24-bit color.
  • The SE/30 and Classic II used the same 512x342 monochrome screen as the original Macs. However, there were add-ons for the SE/30 that made it just as capable as a full-size Mac II, and even made it possible to display grayscale video on the internal monitor.

  • Eight- or 16-bit stereo.

  • Mac II: 2.0-7.5.5
  • Quadra: 7.1-8.1

    Beige Power Macs, 1994- 98 
The machines that introduced the PowerPC CPU to the world. Also the era when the Mac adopted technologies originating in IBM-compatible PCs, such as the PCI bus and the IDE hard disk. (The first Mac with an IDE disk was a late 68k model, the Quadra 630. Many lower-end PowerPC models had IDE disks. During this era, IDE disks were slower but cheaper than SCSI disks.) Along with the Power Macintosh line, the later Performa and PowerBook models also have PowerPC processors. This is the only era to have official Mac clones, the non-Apple computers that have a license from Apple to run macOS.

A few PowerPC Macs are non-PCI models. These recycled old 68k designs and did not have Open Firmware. Almost all PowerPC Macs are PCI models with Open Firmware booting the Mac Toolbox. A few owners have hacked Open Firmware to boot Linux or NetBSD, bypassing the Toolbox, though this is rather difficult to get working.

  • CPU: PowerPC 601, 603, 603e, 604, 604e, 604ev "Mach 5", or 750 (called "G3"), 60-366 MHz. The 603/604 series Power Macs are unofficially upgradable to G3 chips of up to 400MHz using third party upgrade kits, while the G3 Power Macs are unofficially upgradable to G4 chips of up to 1.2GHz using third party upgrade kits.
    • PowerPC processors had fewer MHz than contemporary Intel processors; but a clock speed comparison ignores the different architectures. Mac fans claimed that a PowerPC was just as good as an Intel with higher clock speed, because of the PowerPC RISC design.
  • GPU: Either software-driven onboard video, Apple video cards, or PCI cards. Beige G3 Power Macs had onboard 3D acceleration and support for up to 1280x1024 thanks to an integrated ATI Rage II+, Rage Pro Or Rage Pro Turbo chipset, depending on motherboard revision.

  • 8-384 MB, unofficially up to 1.5 GB for PowerSurge machines and 768MB for Beige G3s.
    • The "PowerSurge" machines (the 7500-9500 and their follow-ons) used an oddball transitional memory standard, the "fast-page DIMM". These were available in sizes up to 128 MB; the 7500 and 8500 had 8 DIMM slots, and the 9500 has 12, making their maximum RAM 1 GB and 1.5 GB, respective — both huge numbers for consumer machines in 1995.
    • The Beige G3s switched from fast-page RAM to the then-new (but far easier to get) PC66 SDRAM. RAM modules must be double-sided or the computer will exhibit memory-related issues like not reporting all the RAM installed or randomly crashing on boot. PC100 and PC133 RAM sticks are accepted, but the RAM will only be operated at PC66 speed (66MHz). All-in-one and Desktop models require low-profile RAM. Also, the firmware is programmed to only detect 768MB of RAM and then give up, so adding more than 768MB of RAM is pointless, and even then it's Apple being a bit generous, since Apple advertised the maximum amount of RAM as 384MB.
  • The PowerSurge machines could handle up to 4 MB of Video RAM, using an on-board, Apple-designed frame buffer chip. The Beige G3 upgraded to an ATI Rage GPU, which came with 2MB onboard; another 4MB can be added via a SGRAM module.
  • Machines with PCI slots accept PCI video cards, though getting one working in a PowerSurge is tricky because of the old BIOS.

  • 640x480 with 16-bit color on internal video.
  • Up to 1152x870 with Apple video cards. 16-bit color with PDS card, 24-bit with AV card note .
  • Up to 1280x1024 and up to 24-bit color with PCI cards.
  • Beige G3s can achieve 1280x1024 at 24-bit color using the onboard video if a 4MB video SGRAM upgrade module is present.

  • 16-bit stereo.

  • 601 models: 7.1.2 - 9.1
  • 603/604: 7.5.3 - 9.1 (9.2.2 can be force-installed using third-party software); 604 models can run OS X up to 10.4.11 using third-party installation software.
  • G3: Classic 8.1 - 9.2.2, or OS X up to 10.2.8. Can run OS X up to 10.4.11 using third-party installation software, and up to 10.5.8 using third party software if an unofficial G4 upgrade card, enough RAM, and either a PCI graphics card with 3D acceleration or the 4MB SGRAM video memory expansion module is installed.

"New-World" Macs

Starting with the iMac, Macs have fully embraced the industry-standard Open Firmware BIOS instead of its homegrown Toolbox BIOS (while Open Firmware existed as early as the Power Mac era, the implementation on those is somewhat kludgey and they co-existed with the Toolbox BIOS on ROM). However, on early New-World Macs, it is possible to have Open Firmware load the Toolbox BIOS from the hard disk into RAM and chainload it, a technology known as ROM-in-RAM, and is actually necessary for running Mac OS 9 as a stopgap solution while Mac OS X was still being developed. This feature was removed from later G4 Macs and is absent from G5 Macs.

    Translucent iMac, 1998- 2001 
The iconic Mac of the Unreal and Quake era. Starting with its direct ancestor, the Power Mac G3 family, Apple dumped the homegrown chipsets of the Beige PCI era and went with a solution based around a Motorola "north bridge" and ATI GPUs; this saved money and actually increased performance.

The iMac introduced Mac users to USB, and got rid of the floppy drive. The iMac was also missing the old ADB, modem, printer and SCSI ports. Some people bought USB adapters or USB floppy drives. Later iMacs added FireWire, because USB 1.1 was too slow for some devices.

  • CPU: PowerPC 7xx (called "G3" as the third-generation PowerPC,) 233-700 Mhz.
  • GPU: ATI Rage II/Pro/128.

  • 32 MB to 1 GB.
  • 2-16 MB video memory.

  • Up to 1024×768 with built-in monitor, up to 1600×1200 on an external monitor.
  • Up to 24-bit color.

  • 16-bit stereo.

  • Classic OS 8 or 9.
  • OS X up to 10.3.9–10.4.11

    "New World" Power Macs, 1999- 2005 
The Mac takes a big leap forward with OS X, and dumps all the remaining legacy Mac standards (and whatever legacy PC standard it also had), but remains in its own world with the PowerPC processor. G3 and early G4 models came in shells with aesthetics similar to iMacs in that they have a rounded, semitransparent shell, later G4s dropped the transparency altogether, and the G5 ditched the plastic casing for an aluminum body, which was brought forward to the Mac Pro era.

  • CPU: PowerPC 7xx ("G3"), 74xx ("G4"), or 970 ("G5"), 300 MHz-2.7 GHz.
  • GPU: PCI or AGP graphics cards: ATI Xclaim, Rage, or Radeon, or NVIDIA GeForce.

  • 64 MB to 8 GB.
  • 4-512 MB video memory.

  • G3, early G4: Up to 1600×1200.
  • Later G4, G5: Single or dual link DVI, 1920×1200 or 2560×1600.
  • 24-bit color.

  • 16-bit stereo.

  • Classic Mac OS 8.5-9.2.2
  • OS X up to 10.5.8

Intel Macs

Starting mid-2005, Apple ditched Motorola's Power architecture for Intel's x86/x86-64 after Motorola failed to deliver a G5 Power CPU that runs cool enough to be placed on a laptop. With this move, Apple also ditched Open Firmware in favor of Intel's revolutionary EFI BIOS (which is only recently started to be embraced by the PC world). The first few generations of these Macs are only 32-bit capable, while newer generations are fully x86-64 compatible (the latter being the necessary requirement to run Mac OS X Lion, thus the 32-bit machines are only capable of upgrading to Snow Leopard).

     2014 Mac Mini 
The modern bottom-end Mac which was marketed as a Bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse (BYODKM) PC for those who have a Windows based computer and want to transition to a Mac.

  • CPU: Intel Haswell (Fourth Generation), i5 dual core, 1.4 GHz through 2.8 GHz. A 3 GHz dual core i7 build-to-order option is available from the Apple online store. No quad core CPU is offered this time around.
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5000 for the 1.4 GHz option, or Intel Iris Pro for the latter 3 options. No dedicated GPU option is offered.
  • 4, 8 or 16 GB. 4GB is only offered on the lowest end (1.4 GHz) model. Unlike previous Mac Minis, The 2014 model is not RAM-upgradable as the RAM chips are surface mounted. Ensure you're buying the required amount of RAM your application needs from the start or you will regret it.

  • Single via either HDMI or DisplayPort, or dual link HDMI+DisplayPort. Can drive two monitors at 1920x1080 independently or a single 5K monitor via Thunderbolt.
  • 24-bit color.

  • 24-bit 5.1 channel surround via HDMI. Optical or stereo out via the sound out port.

  • OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)

     2014 iMac 
The go-to Mac for most of its desktop users and arguably still the definer of a very capable all-in-one computer. The latest iteration is very thin at 5mm on the edges, but actually bulges out in the middle. At certain angles, it looks very thin.

  • CPU: Intel Haswell Core i5, dual core 1.4GHz - quad core 3.4GHz, Highest end is 4GHz quad-core i7 (build-to-order on 5K model only)
  • GPU:
    • Intel HD Graphics 5000 - Iris Pro for the lower end models
    • NVidia GTX750M - GTX780M for mid-range models
    • ATi RadeonHD 290X - 295X for 5K model only

  • Lowest end is 8GB surface mounted only and not upgradable. Higher end models support up to 32GB of Laptop DDR3 RAM.
  • 500GB 5400RPM/7200RPM hard drive (configurable with a 1TB-3TB Fusion drive). Up to 1TB SSD configurable via build-to-order.

  • Built-in 21.5" or 27" display. Resolutions are 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 respectively, except the 5K model which is 5120x2880.

  • Built-in stereo speakers with a headphone/digital audio jack.

  • OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)

     2013 Mac Pro 
The latest top-of-the-line Macintosh workstation, guaranteed to burn a hole in your pocket and your savings account, too. The latest version is an odd-duck in itself- with an unorthodox cylindrical design. The idea is all the components are built around one giant heat sink with a single fan pulling air through it. The unit is pretty small though, comparable in size to a rolled up sleeping bag. It also has little room for internal expandibility- Apple figures you're just going to make use of the Thunderbolt 2 ports.

  • A choice of one of the following Intel Ivy Bridge EP based Xeons
    • Quad core E5-1620 v2 running at 3.7GHz
    • 6-core E5-1650 v2 running at 3.5GHz
    • 8-core E5-1680 v2 running at 3.0GHz (build-to-order option)
    • 12-core E5-2697 v2 running at 2.7GHz (build-to-order option)

  • 12GB of DDR3-1866MHz RAM minimum for 4-core version, 16GB DDR3-1866MHz minimum for 6-core version. Maximum RAM capacity officially offered is 64GB DDR3-1866MHz.
  • 256GB of PCI-Express based SSD, upgradeable to 512GB or 1TB. Teardown website iFixit noted these are the same formfactor SSDs used in the laptops.

  • GPU: Dual AMD FirePro D300 with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM per card on the quad-core version, or Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 per card on the hex-core version. Dual AMD FirePro D700 with 6GB GDDR5 per card is available through Apple as a build-to-order option.
    • Under Mac OS X, applications must be written to use both GPUs. In Windows, it's just a matter of turning on CrossFire X in the driver settings.
  • Up to 3 4K displays can be connected. Otherwise, supports up to seven displays (1 HDMI, 6 Thunderbolt).

  • 24-bit 5.1 channel surround via mini-TOSLINK Optical

  • 3.5mm line out/mini-TOSLINK optical out and 3.5mm headphone out.
  • 4 USB 3.0 ports
  • 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports, these can support support 6 Thunderbolt devices via daisy chaining for a total of 36 devices.
  • Dual gigabit ethernet ports
  • 1 HDMI 1.4 port.
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi

  • OS X 10.9 minimum

    This computer (and its colorful history) exhibits the following tropes: 
  • Adored by the Network: After the Mac's introduction in 1984, it became the focus of most of Apple's advertising and promotion efforts, despite the fact the Apple ][ line continued to provide the majority of the company's revenue for most of The '80s. Many tech industry commentators and Apple fans identify Apple's focus on the flashy and expensive Mac instead of the Boring, but Practical Apple II as one of the reasons for their decline in market share in the late '80's and early-to-mid '90's. However, with the success of the iPhone and iPad, many people believe the inverse trope is now happening to the Mac; see Demoted to Extra for more.
  • The Artifact: The keyboards for the newer non-CD/DVD drive iMacs still contain an eject button. Since it has no way to eject anything, it does nothing.
  • Ascended Extra: Hardware engineer Burrell Smith, who started in the service department before showing that he knew so much about the Apple II that he was given the job of designing the Mac without actually being promoted to engineer.
  • Computer Equals Monitor: The signature design of many Macs, from the 1984 original to the iconic iMac line, which is what most people visualize when talking about Apple's computers.
  • Control Freak: Steve Jobs, justified inasmuch as he was usually right about product design. The problems came when he got something wrong (the G4 Cube for example, or Jobs' refusal through 1985 to deal with declining Mac sales, which got him kicked upstairs in the company), in which case it usually blew up in his face spectacularly.
  • Creator Breakdown: Not only Jobs' failure to lead during late 1984-1985 (and his reaction to failing to stop the process of the board of directors booting him upstairs), but Burrell Smith's descent into schizophrenia after helping to found Radius.
  • Demoted to Extra: Apple has done this to the Mac ever since the iPhone and iPad have become the company's flagship products. Even so, the Mac has continued to pick up steam in sales and market share while the overall PC market has floundered. It's just that even best-in-history Mac sales are only a drop in the bucket compared to the iPhone juggernaut.
  • Double Standard:
    • With Apple's recent resurgence, there have been concerns of a Double Standard in that Apple will not get as much vehement criticism as Microsoft when it comes to being just as ruthless in their business practices.
    • Jon Stewart finds it quite puzzling that Apple enforces heavy-handed litigation against anyone who leaks details of unreleased or rumored products, yet they are still looked at in a better light than Microsoft.
    • On the other hand, it's become quite common to bash Apple on the internet for doing things that other companies get away with.
    • One of the biggest complaints is that since Apple commands a sizable market share in the personal computer field and has very large portion of the mobile sector, it should be subjected to the same monopolistic litigation that has plagued Microsoft in the past. But it's never gotten slapped with a fine once, even in the fine-happy European Union.note 
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The color era Macs are sometimes lovingly called "Big Macs" by fans.
    • And now, some fans are jaded by the lack of internal upgradeability of the 2013 Mac Pro and have taken to calling it various derogatory names, like diaper bin and Darth Vader's trash can
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Averted with the Resource Manager, which was almost canned by a petulant manager, crammed into a tiny sliver of memory by developer Bruce Horn, and turned out to be one of the most important design elements of the entire system. Said manager also once almost fired Andy Hertzfeld, the main programmer of the Toolbox, the main Mac OS API, and chief architect of the OS itself, over insubordination issues — the guy was once in the Navy, y'see.
    • Also an aversion: the original Macintosh' ability to play back sound. Very nearly nixed by Steve Jobs, it turned out to be one of the Mac's killer features that subsequently cemented the Mac's status as a superior multimedia machine to PCs in the 80s and early 90s.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Former Apple employees claim that working under Steve Jobs was like this.
  • Growing the Beard: Version 10.3 "Panther" is generally seen as the point where Mac OS X grew the beard. Prior versions of OS X were plagued with speed and stability problems, and thus seen as unable to fully replace the classic Mac OS despite being much more technologically advanced. Panther, however, resolved most of those issues. Additionally, by the time it came out, most developers had finally finished porting their apps from the Classic Mac OS, making it the point where most Mac users could upgrade to OS X and not look back.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The original "1984" commercial had the Mac as the one fighting against corporate power for the freedom of choice. Now, in a world with a Mac App Store and a heavily guarded iOS Store, it has become the very thing it tried to avoid. In their defense, the regulated nature of the iOS store means that apps are likely to work and not be malware, but this doesn't excuse some heavy-handed censorship of the content of media apps.
  • In-Name-Only:
    • Mac OS X is a pretty awesome operating system, but what it isn't is anything even remotely resembling the original Mac OS except in overall appearance and support for some Classic technologies and data formats. Switching between OS X and Classic is almost as big a jump as switching between Mac and Windows. Mac OS X 10.7 ended up getting rid of PowerPC Carbonized apps (due to removal of Rosetta), the only apps that run in both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
    • This also applies at the hardware level. Architecturally, modern Macs are PCs in everything but name, with Intel processors and the ability to run Windows.
  • iProduct: The iMac and the portable iBook. The iMac created this trope. The "i" might mean "internet", because the first iMacs included everything for going online: internal modem, Ethernet, and web browsers. (Newer iMacs lose the modem but have AirPort for Wi-Fi.)
  • It Will Never Catch On: People have been saying this almost throughout the Mac's history. Starting in 1998 alone (only halfway back to the start of the platform), we've had people saying that the iMac, USB-only for peripherals, the lack of a floppy drive, the iPod, Apple retail, iTunes and its proprietary music/audiobook/TV/movie store, the iPhone, the App Store, and the iPad were all destined to be massive failures. Instead, each was a spectacular success and is part of the reason why Apple Inc. is now worth more money than Microsoft. Heck, even at the launch of the original Mac, it gathered flak for its GUI and being branded a "toy" by UNIX users, who believed that command line interfaces would reign into the distant future. (Incidentally, Mac OS X's certification for the Single UNIX Specification means that modern-day Mac users are Unix users themselves.)
  • Kicked Upstairs: Some accounts claimed that Steve Jobs did not get kicked out of the company, but left of his own accord after he was given said treatment: still a chairman of the company, but stripped of all decision-making powers and having his office reassigned to a building that was almost empty.
  • Lighter and Softer: Literally lighter compared to the Lisa, to the tune of about 20kg. The Lisa was built like a late-70s minicomputer, with its "motherboard" consisting of no less than four different cards (five if you counted the backplane they plugged into) and a myriad of miscellaneous logic and memory chips; the original Mac, at a mere 7.5kg, had a mere two boards and a relative handful of chips by comparison and was little larger than a picnic cooler.
  • Mascot: Clarus the Dogcow, introduced in Apple's famous Tech Note 31. Clarus originally came from one of Susan Kare's font designs and eventually became the standard image for printer setup dialog boxes. Tech Note 1031 came along years later to show how to create a 3D rendering, as well as giving some of the history.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Copland was probably the most egregious example — the core OS was good enough for Apple engineers to be using it as their daily OS in-house, but management ineptitude ultimately killed the project by feature creep. (The carcass was ultimately stripped for parts, with most of the window dressing finding its way into the later Classic releases and the kernel apparently relegated to the bit bucket.)
    • Most anything Apple management did in the 1990s, Copland being just one of these decisions. Another one was ousting Steve Jobs from his own company and replacing him with a sugar-water salesman; Apple became pretty directionless from then. Only Steve Jobs' return saved the company from the fate of Sega, as the companies seemingly competed on shooting themselves in the foot more spectacularly.
    • They were little better in the 1980s — choosing, for example, to market the original Macintosh at $2,500 for a high profit margin instead of the much lower $1,500-$2,000 that the engineers wanted, thus crippling the machine's market share from the very beginning.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ellen Hancock, Apple's chief technology officer, was responsible for the NeXT merger and Steve Jobs' return (and therefore more or less directly for saving the company), but Jobs ridiculed her into resigning.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Bill Atkinson, who programmed most of the graphics subsystem for the Mac and its predecessor the Lisa, was seriously injured in a car accident while still planning regions, a critical part of the graphics package. Jobs rushed to the hospital to see what Atkinson's condition was. Atkinson responded "Don't worry, Steve. I still remember regions."
  • Oh, Crap!: This moment was an Oh, Crap! in the midst of a chain of Oh, Crap! moments regarding Apple's defective-as-designed Twiggy floppy drive.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The first official Intel-compatible Mac OS build happened in 2001 (see What Could Have Been on the Trivia page).
    • Mac OS X wasn't the first Unix version Apple created for the Mac. That would be A/UX, released in 1988.
  • Product Placement: Macs appear so often in media, there's an entire trope around it.
  • Punny Name: The Mac is named after the McIntosh breed of apple, making it a pun on the name of the company.
  • The Red Mage: Arguably software architect Andy Hertzfeld, whose business card literally read "Software Wizard" and who was responsible for many diverse ideas, as well as much of the Toolbox API.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Since Steve Jobs' return, Apple has been remarkably successful at doing this — locking out the Mac cloners they had only just licensed, blindsiding a reticent Avid with Final Cut Pro, dumping IBM's Power architecture for Intel when IBM couldn't deliver 64-bit laptop chips, and giving Adobe a brown pants moment by banning Flash from iOS. They've also been upping the pressure on Intel, with their iOS devices running on ARM-derived architecture (designed in-house at Apple, no less), and in-house builds of OS X apparently capable of doing the same.note  Pretty much the only area where they've failed at this was trying to outdo Google Maps with their iOS 6 Maps app, which has a blog dedicated to just how bad it is. Ironically, this was, according to the same account mentioned above, Steve Job's response to being Kicked Upstairs.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The Apple Lisa is recognized as one of the first personal computers to offer a graphical user interface (GUI) in a machine aimed at individual business users, and was immediately recognized as a significant machine, as its software, in combination with an Apple dot-matrix printer, could produce documents that surpassed other comparably priced options available at the time. However, the experience of actually using an Apple Lisa (or a Smalltalk system, for that matter) is quite awkward and strange to anyone who's never used anything before Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Windows XP; even the snapback behavior of the menus on Mac OS versions prior to 8 is startling to someone who's never seen it before, and Smalltalk is occasionally terrifyingly arcane by modern standards.
  • Spin-Off: The iOS platform; the Pippin.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • The Mac, to the Xerox Alto and Star systems; Microsoft Windows, to the Mac; NeXTSTEP to the Mac, Mac OS X to NeXTSTEP.
    • Windows in part was a direct sequel, because its inner workings and API were greatly inspired by the Mac. It still retains Pascal function calling conventions in its API, despite being written in C, as most Mac software, including the parts of the OS, was written in Pascal, and early versions of WinWord and Excel were little more than ports from the Mac, where they were born.
    • Some members of the original Mac team worked on parts of the GNOME desktop environment. Yes, even Linux has been influenced by the Mac.
  • Springtime for Hitler: The very popular "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" ad campaign actually ended up inspiring more support for the goofy PC, largely because Mac comes off as a Smug Snake who rubs his superiority in the goofily endearing PC's face. John Hodgman himself, however, is a Mac user. Microsoft even got in on the act, using "I'm a PC" in some of their subsequent ad campaigns.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That:
    • After years of Mac fans referring to Apple products by their code names (especially the confusingly named G3 PowerBooks, best known to users as Kanga, Wallstreet, Lombard, and Pismo), Apple started using the code names of OS X releases in its marketing, starting with 10.2 Jaguar.
    • The Macintosh name itself is this. Macintosh was initially just a codename for the project coined by Jef Raskin (at one point, Steve Jobs and Rod Holt even wanted to change the name to "Bicycle" just to distance the project from Raskin). The Macintosh name stuck due to the developer team being adamant and refused to accept the change, and Jobs himself finally accepted it after looking through the names suggested by Apple's go-to marketing firm and not liking any one of the suggested names.
  • Take That!: Take Thats at Microsoft are strewn about as Easter eggs.
  • Theme Naming: OS X releases have been named after big cats (Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lionnote ), and later versions of the Classic OS had musical names (Tempo, Allegro, Sonata, Rhapsody [the first version of OS X], as well as the never-shipped Copland and the never-existed Gershwin). On June 10, 2013, it was announced that future versions of Mac OS X would be named after places in California, starting with the 9th, to be called Mavericks after the surfing location in Northern California.
  • The Problem with Pen Island: One early test case session for the Apple Macintosh's operating system ended with users complaining that the OS was calling them a dolt[1]. It turns out that rendering the word Do It! in a sans-serif font and with too small a space between the words is a bad idea (aside from the implication of the other meaning of do it). It was quickly changed to the industrial standard "OK".
  • Took a Level in Badass: The move from 68K to PowerPC, the move from OS 9 to OS X, and the move from PowerPC to Intel (although hardcore supporters who still believe the PowerPC to be superior to Intel see the latter move as Badass Decay).
  • Vaporware: Apple had a slew of these during their difficult times in The '90s, mostly involving attempts at developing a successor to the classic Mac OS. When they finally did release a new OS (Mac OS X) it wasn't based on any of these internal projects but was instead derived from the work of NeXT, the company Steve Jobs' had created after leaving Apple which Apple had decided to purchase after all of these failed attempts.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: The old-world PowerPC Macintoshes were the inspiration of this trope. Hardware errors are indicated with an icon of a sad classic Macintosh with a bunch of (commonly ignored) numbers in small font underneath it and usually with a heart-skipping sound being played back from the speaker. Also, system crashes were indicated with just a large bomb, a message saying that the system has crashed and needs to restart, and a restart button, with no technical details displayed at all.
  • We Will Use Wiki Words In The Future: Apple was at least partly responsible for mainstreaming CamelCase terminology through the 1980s. AppleWorks/ClarisWorks, MacPaint, MacWrite, LocalTalk, AppleTalk, QuickDraw, QuickTime, PowerBook, MacBook, ...
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Many of the original Mac development team left Apple to do great things in their own right, including Smith and Hertzfeld founding Radius to make graphics hardware for the Mac and Atkinson retiring from computers to become a nature photographer. Hertzfeld now works for Google, and Smith is retired. Susan Kare went with Jobs to NeXT, but is now an independent graphical designer.
  • Working Title:
    • After years of Mac fans referring to Apple products by their code names (especially the confusingly named G3 PowerBooks, best known to users as Kanga, Wallstreet, Lombard, and Pismo), Apple started using the code names of OS X releases in its marketing, starting with 10.2 Jaguar.
    • The Macintosh name itself is this. Macintosh was initially just a codename for the project coined by Jef Raskin (at one point, Steve Jobs and Rod Holt even wanted to change the name to "Bicycle" just to distance the project from Raskin). The Macintosh name stuck due to the developer team being adamant and refused to accept the change, and Jobs himself finally accepted it after looking through the names suggested by Apple's go-to marketing firm and not liking any one of the suggested names.
  • Worthy Opponent: Steve Jobs was so impressed with Sony's VAIO line of computers that Sony was the only outside manufacturer he seriously considered licensing Mac OS X to. Apple also ported Mac OS X to a VAIO laptop internally before the company switched to Intel.




    Original Titles 

    Ports: Classic Mac OS 
Titles / franchises with installments also OS X-compatible marked with an asterisk

    Ports: Mac OS X 
Intel-only titles marked with an asterisk

Alternative Title(s): Mac, Macintosh