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ClassicMac

LC 475 discontinued May 1994 but mines made in 1/95 ?

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Dang, nearly 3 years of production for the exact same model in the mid-90s? That's an eternity. A handful of machines have similar production spans, such as the Plus, but it's still unusual, especially when compared to modern product cycles. I guess the low end stuff tends to go longer between refreshes.

 

I was going to suggest that if the date was from a stamp on the plastics, it's possible they were spare parts. I have PowerBook 5300 cases with dates of 1998 stamped in them.

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The 475, 580, and PB190 all stuck around a good while. Apple was trying to sell them in bulk to schools and make a profit; those computers cost next to nothing to produce by that time. The ImageWriter II also was still kicking around at that point in time.

 

Regarding 5300s, it is possible they were spare parts, also possible they made a batch when they realized they had a lot left over. This may explain the glut of SE SuperDrives from 1991.

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Long production life of the LC475 was likely related to the K-12 market and IIe Card and existing monitor base compatibility. IIci had a long production lifespan because it was the standard DTP workhorse for feeding piecework to the high end workstations after having already been that high end workstation for quite some time.

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For many, like my brother, the Performa 475 was just about affordable to him as a student. And given that there were rooms filled with macs in the university, it was something that was nice to have. We lived at home rather than in dorms. The university was only 3 miles away.

There was also a lot of 68K software, ahem, floating around. Even though the PPC era had started, there was still enough 68K software available to make a P475 very much worth your while.

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If you can run 7.1 and don't need particular features or compatibility offered by 7.5, always run 7.1. It's much smaller (useful if you have a smaller hard drive) and more responsive. Just be sure you have the proper enabler for it if you get a generic set of 7.1 disks--load it on your Install disk and Disk Tools disk.

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7.1 is pretty boring. I have installed 7.6.1 and it runs very well. You have all extra extensions (Desktop Patterns, TCP/IP, Apple Talk, Apple menus, Apple Profile, Drag & Drop, PC Extension, Sound Manager, better save/open dialog) that you are missing from 7.1 and feels more stable.

 

Edited by slomacuser

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7.1.2-68k is my favorite. Since it runs the same version of Finder as 7.5, anything that runs on 7.5, will run on 7.1.2-68k. But, it's as snappy as any 7.1.x version. You can chuck all the pieces into it that make is just as functional as 7.5, and it will still fit into about 3-4 MB of RAM.

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The Mac Performa 560 also stuck around forever, and the LC/PowerMac 5260, and the 5400. Apple is no stranger to leaving machines in production and on sale forever.

 

Part of this was that they weren't particularly good at actually clearing their retail channels, which is part of why you had situations where, say, the PowerBook 1400 was still relatively available in 1998, and where the UMAX C500 and S900 took until at least early 1999 to clear resellers.

 

This was a specific weakness they had identified as early as either their annual report in 1996 or 1997, and given his resume, it's almost certainly one of the reasons why Tim Cook was hired in 1998.

 

Re modern product cycles: Apple keeps things around forever today, too. The MD101LL/A (2013 13" MacBook Pro w/ i5 2.3 4/500) didn't quite outlast the Mac Plus, but the Mac Pro 6,1 has, and it wouldn't surprise me if ultimately the 2015 MacBook Air (which is still on sale in 2019, despite a 2018 refresh being available) does, and the 2014 Mac mini might have. Plus, old flagships is typically one of Apple's main source for "more affordable" iPhones, and you have situations like the iPad mini which just got refreshed last week after around four years.

 

The other thing to consider when looking at Mac specs and introduction/discontinue dates is often specific sub-models will have different dates. For example, the LC 475 might have been discontinued in 1994, but the Performa 475, which was an entirely different machine on Apple's books, and which had an entirely different retail supply chain and sales environment, might have been sold until 1996. (spoiler alert: I looked, and that's, in fact, the difference, which I didn't actually know up front when I started writing this.)

 

Relative to their relative the Quadra 605, the LC and Performa 475 did share case components, and people often ended up with large piles of them, so if you have a machine that has LC475 label on it, but a non-475 build date, it might actually have started life as a Performa and had its top case swapped at some point, for whatever reason. That is also common with Quadra/Centris 610 and 650 machines, the II/x/fx, and there are a few other situations (630/6200/6300/5200/5300, 5400/5500/6400/6500), but most of those are more obvious because the graphics or CPUs change from different models, a /180 will always be an x400 and a /225 will always be a 6500, for example.

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On 3/25/2019 at 7:48 PM, slomacuser said:

7.1 is pretty boring. I have installed 7.6.1 and it runs very well. You have all extra extensions (Desktop Patterns, TCP/IP, Apple Talk, Apple menus, Apple Profile, Drag & Drop, PC Extension, Sound Manager, better save/open dialog) that you are missing from 7.1 and feels more stable.

 

In a 68030 enviroment i would prefer System 7.1. It's lighter/snappier. With QuickTime 2.5 installer integrations (Qt 2.5, sound manager , musical instrument) System 7.1 sports the best multimedia performance in playing movie samples when compared to 7.0.1 and 7.5. 

I use to integrate Apple menu and extension manager. Incidentally i discovered my Daystar Turbo 040 dislikes newer CD-Rom SCSI extensions. However I'vee no experience in networking so i do not know if 7.5 or 7.6 provides a difference .

In a 68040 native enviroment probably does not matter. 

 

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I'm running 7.6.1 + Quicktime 3 or 4 (I forget which) on an '030 and it's OK. 7.1 would absolutely be snappier, but fewer of the things I wanted to do on that machine at the time would've worked, including IP-based appleshare networking and some of the stuff I wanted to do with Mavica cameras. 

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