Call the fire department, honey!

Do I smell something burning in here?

In the mid-1990s, Apple’s reputation had begun to take a hit, in part due to the fact that the company failed to maintain its competitive lead in laptop computers. When Apple shipped the first batch of new PowerBooks containing the new PowerPC processor, things only got worse.

Two of the early production models caught fire. The new laptop model featured lithium-ion (LiIon) batteries that were manufactured by Sony, and the batteries could overheat and catch fire due to excess pressure inside the cells.

Nobody was hurt in the 2 incidents that occurred, but Apple’s reputation for quality was seriously hurt.

Which trouble-prone Apple laptop model had a habit of going up in smoke when it was first introduced?

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments and we’ll post the answer later.

The fabulously implemented wrong concept Macintosh

Identify this Mac

If you’re an Apple fan and you happen to be visiting New York City, consider visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). It’s not only one of the most influential museums of modern art in the world, but a few of Apple’s products have been acquired by the museum for display in its design collection. Apple products in the MoMa design collection include an original Macintosh from 1984, and a Macintosh SE from 1987.

For today’s quiz, name the correct Apple Macintosh model based on the following clues:

– It was introduced in 2000
– It’s also part of the MoMa design collection
– It featured a revolutionary case design
– It was described by Steve Jobs as “a wrong concept — fabulously implemented”

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments — we’ll post the answer later.

The birth of iTunes, Apple’s killer app

Apple iTunes, version 1. Image credit: Apple

Talk about a killer app! Apple’s iTunes and the incredibly successful iTunes Music Store have formed the basis for a huge wave of iPod sales. The program literally helped transform Apple from a maker of computers and software into a household name in the consumer electronics market. So how did it all start?

The first version of iTunes was released by Apple in January 2001 but the underpinnings of the program were first created by someone else.

Which application was bought by Apple and formed the basis for iTunes?

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments — we’ll post the answer tomorrow.

Layers in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop over the years

Originally written on a Macintosh Plus by a doctoral candidate named Thomas Knoll, the computer program that came to be known as Adobe Photoshop officially celebrates its 20th birthday this month. And what a 20 years its been!

The first versions of Photoshop were only available on the Macintosh. This was one of the things that cemented Apple’s reputation as the leader in the field of desktop publishing.

Often hailed as the single most important aspect of the program’s development, which version of Photoshop was the first to include support for layers?

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments — we’ll post the answer tomorrow.

The Macintosh SE name

The Macintosh SE

Trim levels on cars are frequently denoted by two or three letter abbreviations that used to mean something years ago, but now most of them mean nothing. Many cars carry badges on the back that say “GLX” or “SE”. What do those letters mean, anyway? I suppose that at one point “SE” actually stood for “Special Edition” or maybe “Sport Edition”. Of course, you can easily spot “SE” on the back of a minivan nowadays and there’s really nothing sporty about a minivan.

But when Apple introduced the Macintosh SE back in 1987, the “SE” designation actually stood for something.

What did the letters “SE” stand for in the Macintosh SE name?

Post a response in the comments if you think you know the answer. We’ll post the real answer tomorrow.

Naming the iPod

The first generation iPod. Image credit: Apple.

Branding. Apple is absolutely phenomenal at branding, and the iPod brand has become synonymous with the digital music player. When people think “mp3 player” or “media playback device” the iPod comes to mind.

But if you really think about it, “iPod” is a funny name for a little device that plays music (and videos and games). In fact, the name “iPod” was suggested by a consultant working with Apple on how to introduce and market the device to the public. But the name “iPod” was actually trademarked and already in use at the time.

Before Apple owned the trademark for “iPod”, the name was used by another company for what type of device?

A nice reward from Apple

A goodie bag chock full of Apple products

Everybody likes free stuff. Free lunch is nice. Free beer is even nicer. But free stuff from Apple? That’s pretty much a dream come true, especially if you’re into Apple so much that you’re reading Daily Apple Quiz!

Apple commonly gives out free t-shirts and other small gifts when it opens a new retail store. On April 23, 2009, 13 year old Conner Mulcahey from Weston Connecticut received a lot more free stuff from Apple than just a t-shirt.

Conner received a $10,000 iTunes gift card, an iPod touch, a Time Capsule, and a MacBook Pro for doing what?

The Mac OS: ready for Y2K

Ready for Y2K?

Remember when we all thought that after a night of drinking and partying to ring in the New Year, we’d wake up and there would be cash pouring out of ATMs, traffic lights failing and all out chaos? Maybe some of our fears never turned out to be true, but the Y2K switchover was more of a nuisance if you owned a Windows PC.

Some DOS and Windows users would end up seeing some funny looking dates if they hadn’t applied update patches by the time 2000 rolled around. Apple made light of this fact, pointing out that Mac users didn’t have to do anything to get ready for Y2k. The Mac OS was already prepared and Apple emphasized in a TV ad it ran in 1999.

What prominent science fiction movie character did Apple use in its Y2K TV advertisement?

Tilt, rotate and shake your iPhone

Gaming on the iPod touch. Image credit: Apple

Far from just a phone, the iPhone (and it’s cousin, the iPod Touch) is packed with capabilities like the Multi-Touch display, proximity sensor and GPS technology that make this device an incredible gaming platform.

Game developers have responded by creating thousands of games, all sold through Apple’s App Store.

What is the name of the device built inside the iPhone and iPod touch that responds to movement (like tilt and rotation)?

Apple’s original tablet computer


Newton Message Pad. Image credit: Apple

There’s been an incredible amount of speculation recently about whether or not Apple plans to release some kind of new tablet-like device in the upcoming weeks. Theories abound with regards to what this rumored tablet computer will be able to do.

With that in mind, it’s worth looking back at Apple’s original tablet-like computing device, the Newton. The Newton shipped in 1993, and was considered to be a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), a new device at the time. It featured a pen-based interface, large LCD screen, and could handle your calendar, to-do lists, email and notes, among other things.

Which feature (which was later corrected) ultimately plagued and haunted the reputation of the Newton for years to come?