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MACWORLD, frogdesign Redesign the Mac


Macworld Magazine, in conjunction with frogdesign, today unveiled two provocative new model Macs that contend to redefine personal computers as early as summer 1997. The systems and plans appeared in Macworld's September 1996 issue hitting subscribers today. The Macintosh has always stood for leading edge and ease of use, yet in recent years other personal computers have caught on to this Macintosh advantage. To help Apple Computer and the Macintosh industry achieve undisputed advantages, Macworld magazine -- aided by the strategic-design firm frogdesign, which created the original Mac's design -- joined forces to offer the revolutionary system solutions.

Based on existing or near-term technologies, Macworld editors developed blueprints for these innovative new desktop and notebook systems. Macworld then partnered with frogdesign, giving life to the specifications by creating models of the proposed systems. A special "call-to-action" report, "Macworld Presents: The Mac Reborn," appears today in the September 1996 issue and online at

In creating the systems' specifications, Macworld made sure to use real technologies -- not "pie-in-the-sky" dream machines, but systems a personal computer maker could actually build and sell. Macworld and frogdesign believe the new design makes the computer easier to use by putting the components used every day on the desk while also leaving the other components out of the way thus giving back real estate on the desktop.

"The Macintosh has always defined what a computer should be, and every other personal computer maker has copied the Mac's successful innovations. Apple is now at a crossroads, trying to figure out how to move the Mac forward to a new level in its next generation of Macs. We feel it's time to give the Mac a shot in the arm with a new set of innovations that Apple, the Mac community, and the entire personal computer industry can aim for. That's why we decided to give Apple our suggestions for its next step," says Galen Gruman, a Macworld executive editor and principal author of the article.

"Apple needs to recapture its identity as an innovator; it needs to reinvest its products and services with emotional attributes," says Steven Skov Holt, frogdesign's Strategic Design Manager. "In short, it needed to be insanely great, but in a late-1990s kind of way that is smarter, ironic, fun, non-hype, and inspirational."

The unique desktop design features a drive pod that contains removable storage-like floppy drives and ports for common peripherals. It is tethered to the Mac itself through an umbilical cord which attaches to a tower unit under the desk; containing the processor, motherboard, add-in cards, and networking connectors. Also on the desk is an extension rail that connects to the drive pod; on the rail sits the monitor, speakers, microphone, optional video camera, and optional phone. The notebook model features a flexible design and integrated multimedia capabilities. Both machines exceed Macworld and frogdesign's goal to make the machine open and inviting to the user just as the original Mac greeted users with a smile and a hello.

The models Macs will be showcased at the Macworld booth during the Boston/Macworld Expo.


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