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PPC packaging. Is it just me or.....

Mnowell69

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 4, 2013
246
36
Bedford, UK
Having recently bought a 17" DLSD Powerbook and a 17" MBP (early 2011) i came to the conclusion that my love for all things PPC wasn't just the design of the computer but the way it was presented to you from the beginning. The boxes the PPC computers came in were fantastic. Big strong boxes with lots of eco-unfriendly polystyrene holding everything securely in place. You had big booklets inside with everything you needed to know without having to squint. The software provided was also a plus at the time.
Compare this to the modern age of Mac, poor packaging (clean and svelte, yes) and inside a computer that still looks the same (after almost a decade) and completely user unfriendly WRT upgrading or simple repairs, uugghh.
The whole PPC thing for me is/was the way you were made to feel when you got presented with such a mighty package, and why i am so happy to have my Powerbook above my QUAD and their huge boxes like shrines to a golden bygone age. With my MBP sitting alongside being a necessary evil not quite living up to the magnificence of its forebears.
 
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Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
3,868
4,024
Lincolnshire, UK
The boxes the PPC computers came in were fantastic.

I agree with this totally - I remember that massive expectation rushing back from the shop with my first new Mac - which was a G4 iMac.
Everything in the box oozed luxury, the attention to detail in packaging over the littlest things was amazing - you knew you'd bought a classy machine before even turning it on!
 
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Cory5412

macrumors member
May 14, 2004
84
5
Arizona
This seems to have gone two ways.

Apple packaging has always seemed luxurious to me. From the PowerBook G4 I unboxed in 2003 to my iPads, iPhones, and the iMac I unboxed at work a few days ago.

The only real difference I've been able to detect is that Apple's packaging has gotten smaller as their products have, and as the need to include different things (my PowerBook G4 included one blank DVD-R disc, a modem cord, and both S-Video to Composite and DVI to VGA adapters, for example) has changed, so has the packaging around them.

The actual products inside have improved a lot. The TiBook I had in 2003 was just really poorly built. It seems like the Aluminum machines were a bit better, and despite their service-unfriendly construction, Macs on sale today should really have no problems lasting for several years without many physical problems. The biggest problems over the past several years have been related to GPU soldering (certainly in 2008, a little less but still a bit present through 2011 or 2012) which also typically impacted PC manufacturers to a certain extent.

Although, I don't think most of the PC vendors have the guts to put quite as much into their thinnest laptops, or make their most powerful systems quite as thin.

That said, it's all more "classy" and a better experience than unboxing say, a ThinkPad or an OptiPlex. Those systems are meant to be bought, unpacked, and configured dozens, hundreds, even thousands at a time, so the focus there is really simple, easy to manipulate, recyclable packaging that's easy to break down (I'm looking at you, variable-depth iMac box) and get rid of in bulk.
 
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ctmpkmlec4

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2014
373
36
Lyons, KS
The way Apple packages their products is a lasting impression from Mike Markkula. The attention to detail that Apple puts into its packaging makes me imagine the same level of detail put into their products. Anyone else have trouble throwing their packaging away? As I look on my shelf, I see the package for my iPod Nano sitting next to the box for my iPhone 6. What's up with this hoarding?!
 
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bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,372
4,505
Kentucky
I have a closet full of G3/G4/G5 era boxes(including some ADC display boxes) for this exact reason.

Even the current packaging is beautiful, if a bit "minimalist."

My most recent Intel purchase a mid-2012 15" MBP that I think came from the refurb store. The seller had pretty much repackaged it as new. Refurb Macs come in plain white "shipping boxes", but overall the attention to detail is just as good if not as "sexy."

Back when I was still pretty heavily into Lionel trains, I always appreciated the care that they would at least put into their higher-end new products. You'd get a styrofoam tray custom-made for for the product with a tightly-fitting styrofoam lid embosses with the Lionel logo. Lifting this off would show you the item(usually a locomotive for this type of packaging) wrapped in plastic and thin foam. There would then be two or three wide "Lionel" ribbons strategically laid under the locomotive to help remove it easily and without damage.
 
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Mnowell69

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 4, 2013
246
36
Bedford, UK
I'm not really sure you can compare the old powerbooks to the modern macbook in terms of not being a quality product. In my opinion the powerbook/mac was the best computer available at the time in terms of both quality and performance ( i also rate the ibm machine highly too) and today the Macbook is by far the superior model for the same reasons. Both the powerbook and the macbook have had their problems but powerbooks are still around and still in use so they can't have been that bad.
I can't imagine Apple will ever present their products in a wooden presentation box with felt lined drawers, but their earlier efforts were definitely more attractive.
 
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roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,784
213
UK
Upon thought of this, I concur. I've never enjoyed unboxing an Apple product as much as I did with my iMac G4. Saying that, unboxing is a big meh for me. I don't really count it as part of the product's user experience.
 
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happyfrappy

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2007
343
49
Location eh?
I always found the packing was somewhat overkill on PowerBook G4s. iMacs on the other hand just used a custom printed cardboard box similar to PC makers holding your keyboard, mouse, manual, restore discs and power cable. Sony tried to copy Apple in their packaging of their PS2/PS3/PS3 Slim.

What made Apple more different during the PPC era was the software bundles were a great bonus to consumer(iMac/iBook) and prosumer(PowerBook G4/PowerMac G4) as most owners enjoyed at least two or more bundled products so the developers gained some customers. Shift of Apple moving into software R&D(iLife) to boost their on-going war with Microsoft changed the bundling movement, iLife still whipped Microsoft then Movie Maker & later Live Essentials Live Gallery(weak iPhoto clone).

The only real difference I've been able to detect is that Apple's packaging has gotten smaller as their products have, and as the need to include different things (my PowerBook G4 included one blank DVD-R disc, a modem cord, and both S-Video to Composite and DVI to VGA adapters, for example) has changed, so has the packaging around them.

Back then Apple didn't have the number of "Apple Stores" to buy accessories so bundling display adapters with their PowerBook G4s were a bonus. When I moved to my 2010 MBP, had to buy a VGA, DVI and HDMI adapter to cover my possible requirements. Cost wise with inflation factored in, even buying those accessories still puts you back into PB G4 cost esp if someone needs a TB to ethernet & FW800 adapters on newer rMBPs.
 
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Rusty33

macrumors 6502
Jul 8, 2011
273
53
Australia
I am going to buck the trend here, and suggest that i like the way things are going. Smaller boxes and fewer booklets ultimately means less waste, and less bulk, meaning fewer containers, ships and trucks - and ultimately a reduced carbon footprint.

Whilst the in boxing experience is certainly nothing to shake a stick at, most people would immediately throw these wonderful packages straight into the bin, and promptly lose the accompanying manuals.

Sorry for being a killjoy.
 
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Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
3,868
4,024
Lincolnshire, UK
Smaller boxes and fewer booklets ultimately means less waste, and less bulk, meaning fewer containers, ships and trucks - and ultimately a reduced carbon footprint.

That might seem logical - but it just means for example, 1 shipping container can now contain 10,000 macs instead of 5,000. More mass, more freight for the ship to pull, more fuel to transport it, more product in shops to sell. Let's not let a carbon footprint get in the way of a profit margin ;)
 
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bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,372
4,505
Kentucky
If you want to talk about overkill on packaging...

My first laptop-a Compaq Armada 4130T(bought used) was shipped in its factory box that was big enough to hold a typical desktop of the era.
 
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