Macintosh Quadra 610, DOS Compatible
Trivia quiz for the week time… Can you place these quotes?
"It can run Mac software at about the speed of a IIcx,
PC software at the speed of a 33 MHz 386 clones…"
"Apple decided to take advantage of their "MacOS Blue"
project and the ready availability of inexpensive
Pentiums (Intel’s trade name for the processor commonly
but incorrectly known as the 586) by shipping an
Intel-based Macintosh late this summer."
Unless you search way back in TidBITS, you probably won’t the first quote, since it came from TidBITS #52, whereas the second quote came from TidBITS #171, a more recent issue. The main thing these two quotes share is that they’re fake – they were both April Fool jokes, the first one in 1991, the second one in 1993.
It’s said that life imitates art, and if so Mark and I have earned our artistic licenses. On Monday, Apple will announce the Quadra 610, DOS Compatible. That’s what I’ve heard it’s called, which is even stupider than other names Apple has thought up recently, but there’s still hope that our advance information from Pythaeus isn’t quite correct on that account.
The specs Pythaeus reported are real though, and we’re talking about a 25 MHz 68LC040 (the one without the FPU) and a 25 MHz 486SX (which is roughly comparable). We’re still not sure to what extent the two environments can interact in terms of sharing RAM, copying information, etc., but if you have a single monitor you can switch between Mac and DOS with a keystroke, and if you have two monitors (it doesn’t require an additional video card) you can view both environments at the same time. The machine supports standard VGA, SVGA, and multisync monitors as well as normal Macintosh monitors, but the specifics are still masked.
The machine includes MS-DOS 6 (hopefully 6.2, which is supposedly less prone to snacking on your hard disk if you use its built-in compression) but no mention was made of Windows. The two configurations of the machine (notice how I’m actively trying to avoid typing that awful name) include an 8/160 with Ethernet and an 8/230/CD with Ethernet and an FPU. The only special port that the machine includes is a PC joystick port.
For existing owners of the Centris 610 or Quadra 610, the DOS Compatibility Card for Macintosh provides similar functionality. No word about support for other models, not even the 660AV, which shares the 610 case. It’s entirely likely that the machine is an experiment, much like the Macintosh TV (see below), and should it prove a successful one we’ll undoubtedly see more blue blood in this vein from Apple.
Pricing for the machine is rumored at about $500 more than the price of a comparable Quadra 610, so one would assume that the stand-alone card will cost somewhere around $500 as well.
Unfortunately, this article, which includes everything we know at the moment, asks more questions than it answers, so we’ll all have to wait for those answers to appear.
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