New Desktop G4 Enclosure due at Macworld [Updated 2x]

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

It should come as no surprise to regular Go2Mac readers that Apple is preparing to announce a new LCD-based iMac at Macworld Expo in just over two weeks. Some additional juice has been uncovered about the new model.

It should come as no surprise to regular Go2Mac readers that Apple is preparing to announce a new LCD-based iMac at Macworld Expo in just over two weeks. Some additional juice has been uncovered about the new model.

One of the code names being used for the new iMac is Tessera. According to my favorite dictionary site, Merriam-Webster’s Tessera means:

Latin, probably ultimately from Greek tessares four; from its having four corners
1 : a small tablet (as of wood, bone, or ivory) used by the ancient Romans as a ticket, tally, voucher, or means of identification
2 : a small piece (as of marble, glass, or tile) used in mosaic work.

Four corners? A small table? Interesting… [Feel free to email me your conspiracy theory on the rationale for the name.]

Word on the street is that the new desktop G4 will feature a new color scheme that is a total departure from the previous graphite design. Sources indicate that Apple’s industrial design team, under Jonathan Ive, has been experimenting with numerous metallic designs for the new G4.

As always, the enclosure of a new hardware design is the last thing that is seen by anyone involved in the project, including beta testers. According to sources Apple has been extremely happy with the acceptance of the new Titanium PowerBook enclosure and has been experimenting with nickel and chrome-looking enclosures for the new desktop G4. The enclosure will probably not be made of real metal due to cost and electrical conductivity concerns (ever get shocked by your TiBook?), but it is more likely that it will look like metal.

Go2Mac also recently heard a fairly decent rumor (from someone who should know) that the new PowerMac G4s will ship in 733 MHz, 850 MHz and dual 850 MHz configurations. It doesn’t really make sense to have an 850 MHz configuration as the 133 MHz bus speed doesn’t work out. There are only three ways it can be possible:

  1. Revert back to 100 MHz bus and use an 8.5 multiplier. There is almost no way Apple would do that in light of the criticism it took for the 66 MHz bus speed in the iBook Dual USB.
  2. Perhaps the 850 is really 833 MHz or 866 MHz. That would work easily, but the source swears it is 850 MHz.
  3. Apple could introduce a new improved motherboard that has a 212.5 MHz front-side bus (4x multiplier). It could also be done with a 170 MHz bus speed (5x multiplier), or a 154.5 MHz bus speed (5.5x multiplier).

Any of these are possibilities. It would be tricky but stranger things have happened. I believe that AMD has a processor with a 200 MHz front side bus. I also believe that the Alpha processor has long had a 200 MHz bus.

Hmmm… a chrome, dual 850 MHz G4 with a 212 MHz bus? Sounds just beautiful to me!

[11:34 Update]
An Archive reader writes:

The new G4s have 166 Mhz CPU bus asynchronous with 133 Mhz DDR memory bus. They are not 733 and 850, but rather 750 and 833 MHz.

AMD does not have a 200 MHz bus, they have a 100 MHz bus that transfers on both rising and falling edge of clock. The new G4s have a genuine 166 Mhz bus.

Raul Tabasso writes “In Italian tessera means card or small rectangle (which has four corners in fact).”

[16:00 Update]
Dane Thomas writes:


I played quite a bit of Pente when I was in college. It is played on the same playing space as Go, and one of the ways to win is to place 5 of your stones in a row without being blocked by your opponent.

In Pente it is common courtesy to let your opponent know when you have placed 4 stones in a row. The rules recommend that this be done by saying the word “tessera”.

Pente stones are small and clear. Color-wise they look quite a bit like the old fruity iMacs. I have no idea if or how this might be connected to the new G4 desktop machines, but somebody might be able to make something of it.

Have a blast wakeboarding! On my ride home tonight I watched some people trying to figure it out on one of the many waterways here in Stockholm. I started waterskiing over 30 years ago and started wakeboarding when the Skurfer hit the market. If you think wakeboarding is too easy, you might want to give trick skiing a try!

[Ed: Too easy? wakeboarding? no way man! wakeboarding is hard! Fellow river rats: check out’s “Shafted” videos some time…]

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