Macintosh Plus

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The Macintosh Plus computer was the third model in the Macintosh line, introduced on January 16, 1986, two years after the original Macintosh and a little more than a year after the Macintosh 512K, with a price tag of US$2599[1]. As an evolutionary improvement over the 512K, it shipped with 1 MB of RAM standard, expandable to 4 MB, and an external SCSI peripheral bus, among smaller improvements. It originally had the same generally beige-colored case as the original Macintosh ("Pantone 453"[2]), but in 1987, the case color was changed to the long-lived, warm gray "Platinum" color[3].

Contents

Overview

Introduced as the Macintosh Plus, it was the first Macintosh model to include a SCSI port, which launched the popularity of external SCSI devices for Macs, including hard disks, tape drives, CD-ROM drives, printers, and even monitors. The SCSI implementation of the Plus was engineered shortly before the initial SCSI spec was finalized and, as such, is not 100% SCSI-compliant. SCSI ports remained standard equipment for all Macs until the introduction of the iMac in 1998, which replaced most of Apple's legacy ports with USB.

The Macintosh Plus was the last classic Mac to have a phone cord-like port on the front of the unit for the keyboard, as well as the DE-9 connector for the mouse; models released after the Macintosh Plus would use ADB ports.

It had a new 3.5-inch double-sided 800 KB floppy drive, offering double the capacity of previous Macs along with backward compatibility. The new drive was controlled by the same IWM chip as in previous models, implementing variable speed GCR. The drive was still completely incompatible with PC drives. The 800 KB drive had two read/write heads, enabling it to simultaneously use both sides of the floppy disk and thereby double storage capacity. Like the 400 KB drive before it, a companion Macintosh 800K External Drive was an available option. However, with the increased storage capacity combined with 2-4x the available RAM, the external drive was less of a necessity than it had been with the 128K and 512K.

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