Legacy Macs: The rich history of Apple computers

Computer performance and efficiency are evolving at a rapid pace. If you take Moore's law in hand, the number of transistors and their power on processor chips doubles about every two years. This not only means that there are regularly new and more powerful devices on the market, but also computers that are no longer supported by current systems, apps and peripherals due to (more or less) outdated technology. And this is where the term "Legacy Mac" comes into play. You can find out what that is and where you can find information about it here.

What is a Legacy Mac and which Apple computers are included? Which app provides an overview of information about all old Macs? And where can you find a workshop for Legacy Mac repairs? Here you will find answers to these questions!
What is a Legacy Mac and which Apple computers are included? Which app provides an overview of information about all old Macs? And where can you find a workshop for Legacy Mac repairs? Here you will find answers to these questions!

What does the term "Legacy Mac" mean?

While "legacy" is sometimes used figuratively in English for "legacy" or "legacy", when it comes to technology, the interpretations "legacy" and "obsolete" are more appropriate. A Legacy Mac is an Apple computer that is no longer supported by the manufacturer, no longer receives updates, and has been on Apple's "Obsolete" list (already for some time). It's a Mac that isn't commonly used anymore to run contemporary applications.

The devices on the obsolete list are also called "discontinued" called. While obsolete Macs are uninteresting for everyday use, they may still be of interest to collectors, nostalgists, or specific purposes. After all, retro computing is trending — and beyond that, preserving physical relics of computing history offers some benefits. From museums to films and series set in the past, there are many examples.

Which Apple computers can be called Legacy Macs?

In the retro community, the approach that Apple's entire list of obsolete or discontinued computers should belong to Legacy Macs certainly has mixed support. While discontinued MacBook models from the mid-2010s may have recently passed as "retro," Mac models from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s would probably qualify as "legacy."

But what everyone can certainly agree on are certain milestones in Mac development - for example from this Legacy Mac list:

  • Macintosh 128K: The first Macintosh, launched in 1984 with the Motorola 68000 processor, marked the beginning of a new era for computing in both business and personal use. With its iconic design and unique operating system (Macintosh System Software 1.0), this Macintosh laid the foundation for the development of the modern Mac.
  • Macintosh PowerBook 100: As one of the first mobile Mac models, released in 1991 and sold until 1992, the PowerBook 100 was a milestone in portable computing. With its compact design and a perfectly acceptable weight of 2,3 kg, it laid the foundation for today's MacBook product lines. Of course, these were preceded by the various other PowerBook and iBook models up until 2005.
  • iMac G3: Apple's colorful and semi-transparent design of the iMac G3, introduced in 1998, once again caught the attention of the market. The desktop computer with an all-in-one design was a positive turning point for Apple after the return of Steve Jobs. And it also marked a milestone for PCs and the demands placed on them.
  • power mac g5: As one of the final PowerPC-based Mac models Apple released in 2003, the Power Mac G5 was known for its powerful hardware. This calculator was the first choice of creative and professional users for several years. By 2005 there were hardware upgrades. From 2006, however, Macs with Intel processors took over the offer.
  • MacBook Pro with 17-inch display: The 17-inch MacBook Pro (sold until mid-2012) was very popular with professional users due to its large screen and excellent performance for the time. The fact that this display size was eventually discontinued and replaced by 15-inch models as the largest option did not initially have a positive reception. However, there are now at least 16-inch displays in the MacBook Pro.

Mactracker: Information about all old Mac models from Apple

If you don't let yourself be distracted by efforts to define the term Legacy Mac and if you don't limit yourself to certain milestones in Mac development, then a wide field opens up. Numerous models from Apple I, Apple II, Lisa and Macintosh Classic through iMac, eMac, PowerBook and iBook to Mac Studio, MacBook Pro and Mac mini in different years and with different equipment are available for collectors, retro developers and other interested parties at. In order to keep an overview and at the same time have all the relevant information at hand, I recommend the free one Mactracker app.

In Ian Page's Mactracker app you'll find various lists of Apple devices in categories such as "Desktops", "Notebooks" and "Devices". This includes the first Apple computers as well as current MacBooks and mobile devices such as the iPhone, Apple Watch and Co. In addition to the name, the respective list offers a small picture of the respective device and the period in which it was officially sold by Apple. If you select one of the items in the list, you will receive information about hardware, software and sometimes also development or other trivia. In the "Notes" tab, you can store your own notes for each device, which is certainly interesting for collectors.

Legacy Mac Repair by Sadaghian Workshop

If you have a legacy Mac that needs repairs, you can find instructions on tech blogs, YouTube, and other online resources. There is also a market for (imitation) retro hardware. But if you don't have the skills or patience to repair the Legacy Mac yourself, don't give up.

From experience we would be happy to recommend it the Sadaghian workshop for Mac repairs. And this is exactly where old Apple computers are supplied alongside current models. From the Apple I to the Lisa 2 to the 17-inch MacBook Pro as well as iBook and PowerBook, everything is included. The full list of old Apple computers being repaired can be found in the Sadaghian website menu above Mac -> LegacyMac.

Final thoughts on the topic

Legacy Macs continue to hold some value for some people, despite the lack of support from Apple. There are various motivations, from collecting ambitions to nostalgic memories to preserving a large part of computer history. These old computers represent the development and progress that Apple has made over the years and decades. If you want to get into the retro or legacy community or find your way around it better, you will find various tools for this. Mactracker is a super handy app and at Sadaghian you get it with the code SYRAP even 10 euros discount. Happy collecting and crafting!

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.