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16 mockups, from 1999-2005ish


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16 mockups, from 1999-2005ish
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-08-13, 15:13

Funny, "interesting" stuff...

I've been going through my iPhoto library the past couple of nights, tightening up my Faces and Places info, adding captions and titles, applying some ratings, throwing out stuff, etc. I came across a big album of mockups. I picked my favorite 16 (based on comedic value or "holy crap, I was three years ahead of the curve!" reasons) and thought I'd share them here.

A neat look back, to a simpler, fruit-colored time...

A few notes of interest and/or some background, in order:

1) For some reason, I was dead certain "Pineapple" was going to be a new fruit "flavor" rolled out by Apple. It bugged me that yellow was never represented during that 1999 fruit-heavy era. But "Banana" just seemed silly, and they obviously weren't going to attach the name "Lemon" to any of their products. So what was the only sensible alternative? Pineapple, of course. I drew this in 1999, obviously after the iMac DV release in early October...hence the iMac 3 name, and the inclusion of the color-ringed slot-loading drive.

2) Obviously I was on drugs or some sort of medication (if you notice, a lot of my mockups from back then had "finger/hand comfort" playing a prominent role. Wonky body shape aside, I was a solid 1-2 years ahead of the color screen/photos on the iPod thing (and with a screen even a bit larger than the 5G video iPod).

3) One of my favorites! The 13" MacBook, three years before we ever knew there would be such a thing. Okay, I left out the iSight (and I had the processor completely wrong), but come on...

4) Influenced, obviously, by the iPod mini. I still like it, in a weird way.

5) I took a lot of crap for this one ("looks like one of those document copiers!"), but I still kinda like it. It certainly won't ever tip over! And I included my original hand-drawn doodles I used as the starting point. This was three months before the September 2004 introduction of the iMac G5 in Paris, and we were all wondering "what's going to replace the iMac G4 sunflower?!" Obviously not this...

6) iBook 2001 (with integrated ComFynger® technology ). I found myself on a serious Key Lime kick around this period. This was pre-white square iBook, so I was still working off the curvy, colorful stylings of the original "toilet seat" iBooks. I actually wouldn't mind one of these, to tell you the truth. Yeah, it's a bit "Fisher-Price". But so were the original iBooks...

7) Okay, dammit...I still think iContact is an awesome name for such a product. My original Illustrator file shows a creation date of 1/29/2000, so this was before the iPod and all the things it came to be. I was a little ambitious on the OS being used, but some of those features are pretty damn cool (and have popped up in various products) in the 10 years since. Note presence of ComFynger® tech. Again.

8) No explanation/background needed...the mockup/included text says it all.

9) If I had to choose, probably my all-time favorite mockup. I put a lot of thought and detail into it. If you took an iMac DV, Key Lime iBook and a 15" acrylic Studio Display and put them into Seth Brundle's contraption, you'd get this. I love it. Note the included "Apple Wireless Pro Keyboard & Mouse"...it finally happened!

10) Damn, there's that ComFynger® again! Based heavily on the "toilet seat" stylings of the iBook, but doused with silver and graphite and given a G4. The serious, "pro" kick-ass version of #6.

11) I liked the G5-inspired "ribbon of aluminum" frame/base on this.

12) My shark fin iMac! Laugh if you want, but it did win Engadget's "design the iMac G5" contest (I won a Griffin iPod charger cradle thingie) prior to the iMac G5's September 2004 release. I did enjoy using the handdrawn, varying "brushstroke" look in Illustrator for this. But looking back, it's just...well, idiotic.

13) My second entry into the above contest. Like an italic "L". Nice and clean. I always liked it.

14) Illustrator file is showing a creation date of 12/31/04 (sad to think that's probably how I spent my New Year's Eve). So this was pre-Mac mini. I was onto something. I just had it standing the wrong way...

15) This shows a creation date of 1/3/05, so during that 2004-2005 transition, I was obviously obsessed with vertical, rounded-corner headless Macs. The Mac mini was unveiled later that month at Macworld(?), so there must've been lots of talk and rumors going around at the time about a small "headless" Mac, and #14 and #15 was me trying to predict something. I was 30% there...I got the slot-loading drive right! And the price.

16) Too funny not to include. I was obviously drinking at the time... "What if you took a G4 Cube and made it not a Cube, but a...well, a cylinder!" *gulp*gulp*gulp Good grief...

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2010-08-13 at 15:23.
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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
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2010-08-13, 15:24

These are awesome. Thanks for sharing a peek.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2010-08-13, 15:29

You predicted the rise of the thong with #10 as well (text and all )!

Great stuff Paul. I remember seing most all of them except for the iMac3 & the Bullet (or beer can, as probably influenced by the shape and contents).

So it goes.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-08-13, 15:31

Thanks, and you're welcome. It's been fun going through my entire iPhoto library the past couple of days, and just finding stuff I've not looked at - or thought about - in five 4-5 years (or more).

Off-topic (click to toggle):
For example, pics of my niece's first Christmas in 2003...she was just a little baby in a one-piece suit (with the feet in them), crawling around and trying to open every wrapped present (hers or otherwise). This week, she started second grade and spent the entire summer winning baseball games and collecting little trophies. Where does the time go?
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Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2010-08-13, 15:38

Steve really threw you off with his justification of the horizontal optical drive in the iMac G4. So much for that, right?

Oh and I love the "L" iMac! Looks like one of those designer alarm clocks.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2010-08-13, 15:43

A great trip down memory lane. Now I'm shaking my fist at Apple for still not having colored aluminum MacBook Pros (with a special Paul Scates® Orange Edition, of course), and at Paul for not doing as many mockups any more.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-08-13, 15:52

I'm all outta ideas!

Seriously, back when everything was colorful, and the products had swoops and curves and stuff, it was fun - and kinda easy - to go off on a bunch of "what if?" ideas. You almost couldn't get too wild or "out there".

These days (and this is no slam or complaint, mind you), their stuff is distilled down to such basic, clean shapes and designs, I wouldn't know what to do. You'd almost have to do a complete 180 and introduce a bunch of angles or bevels, unnecessary curves, etc., which, in comparison to their current lineup, would look kinda tacky and gross.

I wouldn't know where to begin..."okay, here's a white square. I moved the USB ports over a half-inch!" *yawn*
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2010-08-13, 15:55

Yeah. Their design language has taken quite a radical turn from "cute" to "obvious, simple, undebatable".
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-08-13, 16:04

Yep. These days, any mockups I do are pretty much centered around guitars, beach cruiser-y bicycles and Batman costumes. Three things you can always experiment on with shapes, colors, etc.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2010-08-13, 16:13

Nonetheless, I'm curious where they'll go from here. Beyond all thinnovation™ and unibody® enclosures, there's got to be a point where they grow bored of aluminum combined with white or black plastic. With the Mac mini redesign, the MacBook is now the only oddball device in the whole line-up (okay, so there's exceptions like the iPod shuffle) that's white plastic.

What will they do in five years to wow us? Make it a little bit thinner? Yawn.
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2010-08-13, 16:24

It's really hard to think of anything that would not detract from functionality we enjoy with the present form factor. Just to provide examples, Paul's awesome mockup of the "L" iMac and the other iMac patterned after Cinema Display (I liked the design as well) would not be very tiltable compared to the present iMac.

Though the idea of having a laptop that has curved bottom to match legs and make for easy resting on the lap would be interesting, it would probably mean either empty space or custom made component to fill in the space, both not very desirable feature. Getting a laptop chiller is probably more sensible at that point. And we could think about building it in only to realize that it loses flexibility in other setting such as placing it on the desk and finding it wobbly.

So yeah, Paul nailed it, it's going to be tough to think of the form factor that would improve not just in the appearance but also in functionality that the current form factors provides.

My imagination suggests that the only time we'll see new form factor is when we have different hardware... I'm thinking about Microsoft's Surface concept for example. Or some of that silly mockup of people using a holographic projector in lieu of keyboard (which could be then extended to replace the monitor). But I'm not so sure that 1) they are an improvement over the current form factor and 2) there exists a better form factor that I just lack the imagination to conceive of.

Knowing myself, I'm going to go with #2.


PS: Of all mockups, I have to say I like Shark fin in spite of it being impractical. I can see it as a great icebreaker or conversation if it's positioned on my desk and people enter in from the door facing my desk and thus fin is visible. Right now where my iMac is (in a corner deck), it wouldn't be that useful, though. But a fin Mac would be fun just to talk about.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-08-13, 16:38

I'm looking at that "L" iMac a bit closer, and I'm kinda liking it. Granted, it's mocked up with just a 17"-ish type of screen, so I don't know how the 21.5" and 27" looks would work, but it might be fun to use them for a jump-off point and play around. Anyone know the distance from the desk surface to the bottom of the 21.5" and/or 27" displays? Not the black bezel or glass, but the actual "see OS X" display?

With all that Unibody carving going on, a shape like this isn't out of the question, I suppose? The one thing my mockup doesn't show (but it's there ) is that the thing sits on a slightly raised pedestal (kinda how the new Mac mini does), with some sort of ball-and-socket connection that allows the thing to swivel and to tilt up and down a few degrees as well.

Also, the "guts" (most of them anyway, except for maybe things like the AirPort antenna and small things, are down in that lower, flat base. So there would be more weight down there, keeping the thing nicely anchored and not top-heavy. And, naturally, I think I'd move the ports around to the back so a bunch of spaghetti isn't pooch out of the side.
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Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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2010-08-13, 17:49

Awesome collection, pscates!

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thegeriatric
geri to my friends
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Heaven
 
2010-08-13, 19:16

Thanks for sharing, really enjoyed looking at these.
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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: I'm here
 
2010-08-14, 02:50

Nice to see - cheers Paul.

Without a comparative size for the last one, my mind totally missed the bullet reference - I was thinking more MacBollard.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2010-08-14, 06:38

You need to make more mockups! Both because they're awesome, and because AN is kind of a drag right now. Blah blah Android blah blah Google blah blah openness. How about you mock-up what Apple is going to put that 3 cm square touchscreen of theirs in? I vote an iPod watch.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2010-08-14, 07:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
AN is kind of a drag right now. Blah blah Android blah blah Google blah blah openness.
So true and sad. I realize it's up to none other than us to change this, but I just haven't been inspired as of late. One of the topics I'd like to discuss is how to make iTunes suck 90% less. I've been meaning to make a blog post about it, but it takes effort, and I R LAZY.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2010-08-14, 07:21

I'm glad it's not just me. I mean, my Internet has been kind of wonky, so I haven't been able to be here so much anyway, but it's like whenever I do pop in it's the same two people having the same debate about Android in like every thread. Wharrgarbl.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2010-08-14, 07:52

I agree. It's kinda getting old reading about it.
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CitizenTony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dallas
 
2010-08-14, 14:08

I love these concepts and really kind of miss those older designs. Apple's current design language is getting a bit dull, elegant, but still dull. There's only so much I care about something being thinner and slightly lighter. It's hard to see where they'll go from here since they've boiled out everything but the necessities. It's a bit harsh but I'm reminded of the days of the beige box, only this time gray. Gone are they days when the world would wonder how some new Apple design would wow us, now it's just the same design with slightly faster insides.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-08-14, 14:45

Yeah, it was a fun, cool time (1999-2001 or so). Heck, I even find myself kinda missing Blue Dalmation and Flower Power sometimes!

Pretty much been "aluminum and white, ever thinner" for the past 4-5 years now. And they look great, don't get me wrong...about as classy and stylish as anyone could ever hope to be. But there was just something fun and unexpected during that whole colored, curvy translucent plastic period. How that look spread to other non-computer items was fun to watch...you'd walk into a Target or Staples in 2000 and see the iMac/iBook-inspired staplers, desk lamps, vacuum cleaners and water bottles.

Goodness knows some dorks snagged their share of the fruit-colored goodies... *ahem*

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