I love the In-Store Demo CDs that pop up on eBay from time to time. The only problem is that people charge through the nose for them. I guess the only way to get them was if you worked at an Apple Store or if you were an authorized reseller. I guess that makes them pretty hard to come buy. Still, I don’t think they’re worth the $50 a pop that people on eBay ask. That’s crazy.
I managed to score an iMac CD, as well as an OS X one a little over a year ago. I think I paid about $25 each. That’s still a lot of money to spend on a glorified screensaver, but I like them.
I always thought it would look cool to set up all my machines and have them all run a demo. Sort of like my own Apple Store. So I’m always on the lookout for the CDs that go with my Macs.
As luck would have it, one of my readers shot me an email to tell me that he used to be the creative director on the Apple Demos back in the day and probably had some CDs lying around. He asked me if I’d be interested. I offered him some money, as well as a little for shipping... but he wouldn’t hear of it. He was just happy that I’m “keeping the work alive”.
“There was a core team of guys who worked for a digital marketing firm, here in the valley (Silicon Valley, that is) that worked on all of the Apple in-store demos for about 10 - 12 years. We were doing the demos long before Steve came back to Apple. When he started rolling out the new product line that he and Jony designed, my group's work really jumped to the next level. We are still proud of the work we did in those days and it was fun to see it on your site after all these years.”
That’s just awesome!
I put all this stuff on my site for fun, and for others to enjoy and to get inspired to keep it going for generations to come. I want my kids to appreciate this stuff; where it came from, and how far we’ve come. I don’t check stats or page hits or anything, so it’s always flattering to find out that someone reads this stuff.
About a week later, I received a box in the mail with four unopened store demos in mint condition. They look awesome.
iMac V.2 Holiday 1999
iBook V.2 Holiday 1999
Power Mac G4 Cube July 2000
Power Mac G4 January 2001
First up is the iBook CD.
The CD includes a single insert with installation instructions. ￼ Next, the iMac CD. It too only includes a single insert with installation instructions. The Power Mac G4. The CD is a little nicer... ...as well as having a 3-panel fold-out installation guide. Same with the G4 Cube...
...a nicer looking CD... ...and a fold-out installation guide. I fired up a few of my Macs, but unfortunately, all the CDs need to run in Classic mode. I don’t have Classic mode enabled on my Cube or my G4 iMac. I tried to install OS 9 on them, but they won’t install with the current partition scheme. Rather than blow away the OS on both machines and reinstall everything, I opted to just run the demos on my G3 iMac and iBook.
For the iMac and the iBook, there’s no interactive menu. It’s just a video.
Here’s the iMac loop:
Followed by the iBook loop:
They definitely got fancy with the Power Mac CDs. They have full-up interactive menus full of rich media, text, animations, and video.
The PowerMac G4 demo starts up with a video and then transitions into the interactive menu screen. I dug through the application folder to find all the media files. I then copied the movie file over to my Mac Pro via a USB stick and converted it to a QuickTime movie.
There are seven menus along the top that you can drill into . There’s no shortage of information. I took a little over 100 screen shots. I won’t post them all, but just enough so you can get a feel for the content.
The PowerMac G4 Cube is my favorite. I’d really love to see this run on my Cube, but I have OS X 10.5 installed. I’m not prepared to blow everything away to downgrade to 10.4.
I ran it on my iBook, extracted the video, and took a ton of screenshots of the menus.
Again, there were a good 100 or so screenshots, so here’s just a few.
Phil Schiller. That’s funny.
There were even a few tiny movie files embedded in some of the screens. The video files are pretty small. (Only 240x180) They play right in place of the thumbnail image in the screenshot above.
But that’s not all, there was even an iMovie presentation by Steve Jobs.
Very awesome. I just wish I could have them all running on my machines at once. I guess I’ll have to spend some time getting OS 9 on my Cube and G4 iMac, but that’s for another day.