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Influence of the Pizza Box design


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I'm sitting in a public library typing this mostly to buy some time until I hit the pool. The computer I'm using is one of the HP Compaq models, the sticker tells me it's a dc5000 SFF. It reminds me a lot of an LC, maybe more a IIsi, in terms of design. It's roughly the same width as an LC/IIsi, maybe even a little narrower, and about the height of a IIsi.

 

Apple was, I believe, the first to use the pizza box design. This little machine reminds me so much of it that I'm wondering if designers still look to those old 1990 vintage machines sometimes when they are designing their computers.

 

To top it off, there is a CD-ROM drive on the right side where a floppy would have been on an LC. The floppy is on the left. Even the HP logo is right where an Apple should be, next to the audio and USB ports (which would have probably made it onto a computer of that form factor if it wasn't nixed after the LC series came to a close).

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I honestly can't understand why Apple designed Macs with flat cases. They were on the right track with the II and the models that followed with slots for expansion cards and cases tall enough to put them in, but when they started making Macs with flat cases they pretty much destroyed their expandability. You could sneak a couple of things in some of them if you were clever, but most people didn't even bother to try. What was the point of going from closed box, to open box, to very nearly closed box?? It was a major step backwards.

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They did have the LC PDS and the IIsi could use a NuBus card. Still nothing compared to the II/IIx/IIfx.

 

Just looked at the back of this HP that I'm about to get up from. There are four slots on this puppy. Can't tell what they are from the outside but they look miniaturized.

 

Jean-Louis Gassee would be throwing this HP against a wall. Anyone remember his old license plate that read OPEN MAC?

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Apple was, I believe, the first to use the pizza box design. This little machine reminds me so much of it that I'm wondering if designers still look to those old 1990 vintage machines sometimes when they are designing their computers.

 

I believe that the first mainstream pizza box design was the Sun 2/50. It predates the LC and IIsi by about five years. The influence of Sun on good computer styling is sadly ignored. Ditto SGI.

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I honestly can't understand why Apple designed Macs with flat cases.

 

It was a wise business decision. Schools, home users and small businesses purchased LC family Macs by the million because they didn't need NuBus slots and wanted a cheap Mac. The PDS slot provided basic expansion (ethernet, video, frame grabber, IIe workstation, accelerator) which was enough for most people.

 

The form factor is still very popular, hence the OP's comments. Lots of buyers still want a slim box on which they can stand a monitor. It isn't to my taste but it suits people who need a compact system.

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The early Acorn Archimedes computers were of pizza-box style, very similar to the LC. Have a look!

 

The first was the A300 which came out in 1987. This form continued through several models but was eventually replaced with the A3000, which had an integral computer/keyboard design, similar to the Amiga 500.

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