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Old Dec 28, 2012, 09:35 AM   #1
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Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger Reveals Early Apple Designs in New Book




Designboom
(via The Verge) today got a hold of some photographs of early Apple computer designs from Hartmut Esslinger's new book, Design Forward.

Esslinger founded Frog Design, the company that Apple partnered with in the 1980s and '90s to come up with a design strategy. Frog Design was responsible for the Apple IIc, which led to the "Snow White" design language that persisted in Apple products through 1990.

This was the stylization that originally included off-white or platinum coloration, vertical and horizontal stripes for decoration, and a three-dimensional logo inlaid into the product case.

Frog Design also worked on several other prospective Apple products, which were never manufactured, including a telephone/tablet hybrid deemed the "Macphone," a simple, small-screened computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard, named the "Baby Mac," and a set of tall, space-aged computers called "Macintosh Studies."

Macphone

Baby Mac

Macintosh Studies
Designboom has a full range of pictures of 10 different conceptual product designs available, along with a few excerpts of text from the book.

Design Forward, Esslinger's Book will be released on January 16, 2013.

Article Link: Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger Reveals Early Apple Designs in New Book
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 09:46 AM   #2
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the baby mac looks cute ^^
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Some really nice designs!
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 09:59 AM   #4
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But are they thinner and lighter????
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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Baby Mac
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the baby mac looks cute ^^
Agreed! Awesome looking little machine.

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But are they thinner and lighter????
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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Awesome!

I had seen photos of the Baby Mac before, but not the others.

The first iMac's face looks a lot like a colored, pinstriped version of the Baby Mac's face. That thing looks so cool.

A lot like the Dieter Rams Atelier TV set for Bruan.



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Old Dec 28, 2012, 05:50 PM   #7
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But are they thinner and lighter????
That's the obvious intention, throttled by practical limits of the technology at the time. Heck, the first model shown is an embryonic iPhone!
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 02:56 AM   #8
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the baby mac looks cute ^^
Ya I hadn't seen that before. Looks very modern and minimal, especially for the time! Nice design
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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...a simple, small-screened computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard, named the "Baby Mac,"...
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 12:12 PM   #10
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I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
I don't think they would have been wireless if they were actually released.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 12:20 PM   #11
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I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 12:27 PM   #12
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It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.
Infrared would be too slow for a keyboard and mouse and would need them to be facing the computer directly.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:05 PM   #13
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It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.
Not IR...it would have been wireless tech similar to the frequencies cordless phones run on. It's easy to forget that the first "wireless" mice weren't infrared (which often requires line-of-sight), but were instead 'wireless banded radio'.

Apple had chose to abandon wireless radio on most of their developments and instead opted for the current "WiFi" technology we see today (which back then was rare).
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 01:25 PM   #14
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I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
RF like they still use in some logitech wireless mice with dongles?
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 01:41 PM   #15
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The Macphone would have been absolutely revolutionary in 1985. Too bad it never came to be. The people would have appreciated it.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 03:33 AM   #16
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Love some of those designs!
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 01:46 PM   #17
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I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
Pretty sure I used a wireless RF mouse in the mid-90s. I remember being blown away, but it was pretty laggy, had to be pointed a certain way, and couldn't be more than about 12-18" from the receiver. So not practical. I imagine similar tech would be available in Apple's labs years before—but deemed terrible to use.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 01:52 PM   #18
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I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
These are just mockups. One of the pictures just has the keyboard mocked up out of foam or paper or something.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 03:08 PM   #19
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I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
IBM's PCjr had an infrared wireless keyboard in 1984. While the design of the keyboard was much maligned, it connected nicely if the signal wasn't blocked. Interestingly, it would also connect through a wired connection, something that would be quite handy on modern wireless keyboards.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 03:26 PM   #20
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The Baby Mac is awesome. Love how the keyboard looks so modern.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 06:05 PM   #21
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Those designs look very modern, especially for that time..
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:36 AM   #22
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I think the iPhone would get jealous of the Mac Phone
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 12:18 AM   #23
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I love the Macphone!
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 12:48 PM   #24
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MacPhone looks really cool!
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 04:51 PM   #25
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good looking

The Baby Mac looks like a very cool machine. I do have a question though. Does the Baby Mac needs to be changed from time to time?
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