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July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: July 31, 2020 04:53PM
[www.cultofmac.com]

July 29, 1993: Apple releases the Macintosh Centris 660av, a computer packed with innovative audio-visual features. These include an AppleVision monitor with microphone and speakers, and a port that can works as a modem with a telecom adapter. It also comes with the first Apple software to recognize and synthesize speech.

At the relatively low price of $2,489, this was one of the first great affordable multimedia Macs.

Macintosh Centris 660av: Way ahead of its time
Apple called the Mac’s new speech-recognition and speech-synthesis software PlainTalk. It proved revolutionary at a time when most computers didn’t even make it easy for users to record sound without peripherals.

The Centris 660av sums up a lot of what was both right and wrong about Apple in the mid-1990s. It was an extraordinarily great Mac with some truly revolutionary features. Today, in a world in which live streams and voice-activated devices are everywhere, it shows how far ahead of its time Apple really was.

But the Centris 660av also shows how confusing the Mac product line was getting, less than 10 years after its introduction. As if the complex product name wasn’t enough, the Centris 660av was renamed the Quadra 660av just a few months later.




Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: July 31, 2020 06:34PM
I had one of those around 2002. I mounted a Firewire to IDE bridge to the front, and used it as a rather large external Firewire drive for my B&W G3.
I had bought it for $20.
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: p8712
Date: July 31, 2020 06:36PM
One of my favorite Chassis designs.
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: lost in space
Date: July 31, 2020 06:49PM
I always thought the Centris label was the dumbest Apple ever coined, but the Quadra--now that was sexy.



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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: July 31, 2020 06:59PM
It was a terrific computer for its day.
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: RgrF
Date: July 31, 2020 08:16PM
Centris was my last non iMac machine.
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 31, 2020 08:53PM
I think this was a point where Apple was still turning out great machines but was also starting to lose focus.



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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: July 31, 2020 11:29PM
Quote
mattkime
I think this was a point where Apple was still turning out great machines but was also starting to lose focus.

Agreed. The Performa brand had come out the year before and now there was Centris added to the mix. OK they got rid of Centris pretty quick but Performa was a maze of slightly different specs as well as wildly different models.

And to be fair, Apple was already producing models with significant technical shortcomings compared to other Mac models with the same CPU (for various reasons):

Classic II
LC (to some extent)
LCII
IIsi
IIvx
Color Classic
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: bfd
Date: August 01, 2020 01:01AM
The very next year PowerPC and the PowerMac 6100/7100/8100 made the whole thing moot - except for the pizza box…RollingEyesSmiley5



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2020 01:02AM by bfd.
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: August 01, 2020 07:56AM
Quote
mattkime
I think this was a point where Apple was still turning out great machines but was also starting to lose focus.

I had a Quadra 800 tower under my desk at Apple Support in Austin in the fall of '93. Totally bad-ass... and totally obsolete a year later.
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: kj
Date: August 01, 2020 11:57AM
I had one. The onboard dsp and video capture made it really cool. It worked a lot better than the 6100av I had at the same time.
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: JoeM
Date: August 01, 2020 02:16PM
I bought my Centris 660AV at a Mac auction along with a LaserWriter Select 310 printer and two monitors, one a B&W portrait monitor around 93. Wish I hadn't gotten rid of it a few years ago but I pulled the HD before dumping it.

I wish there was a cheap way to connect the bare SCSI drive to USB but the last time I looked, a converter was going for $399.



JoeM
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: August 01, 2020 02:42PM
Quote
JoeM
I bought my Centris 660AV at a Mac auction along with a LaserWriter Select 310 printer and two monitors, one a B&W portrait monitor around 93. Wish I hadn't gotten rid of it a few years ago but I pulled the HD before dumping it.

I wish there was a cheap way to connect the bare SCSI drive to USB but the last time I looked, a converter was going for $399.

Before too terribly much longer I've got to coax one of my SCSI Macs into functioning and see what I can pull off my old drives. I still have a working SCSI CD burner (or at least it was working the last time I plugged it in, er, 20 years ago...)
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: kj
Date: August 01, 2020 03:29PM
Oh my gosh, that's something on my list that I worry about. I still have a mirrordoor G4 that I think has a scsi card, etc. so I think I could... But what format for the transfer? I was thinking of sending a bunch of the video up to youtube, but idk.
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Re: July 29, 1993: Mac Centris 660av
Posted by: rz
Date: August 01, 2020 09:23PM
My first Mac. After using them at work for years, I got a great deal through my employer for it.
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