I still think the original iMac in 1998 was one of the most innovative inventions of our time. There are probably so many people out there whose first time on the internet was on one of these iMacs.
I remember how shocking it was at the time that this computer didn’t have a floppy drive installed in it, and critics blasted Apple for it1. I can see why Apple left them out, in retrospect. I mean, do we really remember how much fit on a floppy disk? Not much, maybe what … four Word documents? Half a PowerPoint presentation? Six .jpg’s? They always screwed up, broke easily, and were damaged easily. Critics complained that people would have to spend extra money for a USB floppy disc drive. Now, thirteen years later, we’re just used to spending a little bit of extra money to store our documents on it, whether it be on a flash drive, or an external hard drive. Or, the very least we have Gmail now, which I used to save my senior thesis on two years ago.
Steve Jobs named the computer “iMac” because, “The ‘i’ in ‘iMac’ signifies, in part, Internet, because Apple is targeting the computer for users who want to get on the Internet simply and fast.2" It seems in the late 90s, following the iMac’s retail debut in August of 1998, any tv show that had a character using the internet, they were using an iMac. I remember the Drew Carey Show always had iMacs on prominent display at both Winfred-Louder, and at his home:
Mimi was the first person on the show to use an iMac.
Also, we can’t forget all the the products that tried to mimic the original Bondi Blue iMac scheme, to the “flavors" that came out in 1999 (orange, strawberry, grape, lime, and blueberry).
Even Rowena Irons had the color scheme:3
Also, there were the hilarious PC knockoffs, such as the eOne from eMachines4 :
Yup, Apple sued them.
Here is an interesting article about the ins and outs of the original iMac.