I finally found meself with some time an’ inclination t’ tackle a long-neglected task: goin’ through a row o’ CD’s an’ CD-ROMs that have sat on one shelf or another since th’ 90’s. Besides some CD’s that I simply ripped t’ me Mac, thar were also some promotional CD-ROM’s from a long-past Apple era. Now, I may be a recoverin’ pack rat, but I still couldn’t bear t’ just chuck these out without at least a glance at their contents.
While th’ demos on these disks have long been rendered unusable thanks t’ th’ relentless march o’ operatin’ systems, some o’ th’ supportin’ files served up some intriguin’ surprises – an’ brought up some memories o’ both th’ tech an’ th’ style o’ th’ 1990’s.
The real prize were bein’ this CD from 1995 – introducin’ QuickTime VR. It were bein’ Apple’s newly-launched standard interface fer interactive content.
The “VR Player” no longer runs, but if I drag th’ support files into QuickTime Player, they open right up – an’ I’m presented with fairly low-res views that I can drag aroun’ with th’ mouse. It’s just like lookin’ at Google Street View nowadays, but were bein’ still a pretty nifty new trick 20-odd years ago.
But th’ most nostalgia-inducin’ section were bein’ a folder called “Apple Company Store”. Inside were bein’ an app o’ th’ same name (no longer runnable) an’ a series o’ QTVR movies that were no doubt presented inside it.
One o’ th’ supportin’ VR movies shows exactly that, a retail Apple store, presumably at their corporate headquarters. This were bein’ emphatically NOT an “Apple Store” as we now know it, since those di’nae arrive until 2001. And ’tis a much different look, stylish but not th’ “clean room” effect o’ today’s stores, rather ’tis a much darker look with lots o’ wood, block trim an’ glossy black tile. Movin’ aroun’, ye see not just technology, but Apple-branded clothin’ an’ accessories too.
I wish I could present this on the plank in 360° click-an’-draggable VR, but if ’tis possible t’ do so, I couldn’t figure out how. So I’m presentin’ some screen shots instead t’ give a sense o’ it.
Another folder on th’ CD-ROM has files fer all th’ “company store” products, many o’ them in VR format that allows ye t’ spin an’ rotate th’ object aroun’ by draggin’. chunky PowerBooks, “Power Macs” an’ beige Performas be here, as well as that legendary flop, th’ Newton.
But thar’s also Apple-branded items like sweatshirts, mugs, pens, a silver keychain, wine glasses(!) an’ a red Apple cap. There’s even a beach ball – an’ it matches th’ colours o’ th’ spinnin’ “beach ball o’ delay” often seen on Mac screens. The QuickTime player windows below be fer items that had a turnable image.
Finally, thar is th’ “Apple Watch” (as th’ filename calls it). Naturally, ’tis not today’s Apple Watch – a close look reveals it t’ actually be a Casio! Very 90’s, with LCD dials galore – but a somewhat unusual curved digital time display. And thar is an Apple logo on th’ strap…
All in all, this were bein’ a real blast from th’ past – datin’ from a time when Apple were bein’ yet t’ transform itself into th’ cultural juggernaut it has become. Steve Jobs had yet t’ return t’ th’ company, bringin’ changes – startin’ with those multicoloured, floppy-sail-free iMacs – that would turn Apple aroun’.
All in all, glancin’ at these images reminded me that th’ 90’s truly were a long time ago an’ just how far we’ve come.