Give ‘Em What You’ve Got

The reference to ADB in the 4th panel harkens back to 1986, when Apple first introduced their proprietary Apple Desktop Bus peripheral connector. ADB was largely used for keyboards and mice – and had a nice long run on every Mac from the IIfx on up, until it was superceded by USB when the gumdrop iMacs made their debut in 1998.

You can read all about the Apple Desktop Bus. Bonus points if you’re geeky enough to recognize the model number(s) for Bob’s “new” Performa. :)


These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Jim Lee Jr.Reply
    September 29, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Bob’s Mac looks like a Performa 6400.

  • RickReply
    September 29, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Interestingly, USB is itself a derivative of ADB.

    And also interestingly, I have a Performa 6360 I’d like to bring up, but I need an ADB keyboard… and they’ve all disappeared from the hamfests & flea markets. Too late.

  • lgardnerReply
    September 29, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Can’t say I remember the model number but I remember that blasted tower. I had to keep one of those alive and running for our learning disabilities center back when I worked as a Mac tech in college. Granted, my repairs normally consisted of cleaning off the the hard drive, reminding the employees that flash would not run on it, and replacing the keyboard whenever an intern would spill coffee (or beer in one instance) and thus insist the keyboard was ruined.

  • GJBReply
    September 29, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Actually ADB on the Macs was introduced on the Mac II and the SE. The IIfx didn’t come along until 1990…

  • timelawdReply
    September 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I love your comics and your website, but it is very annoying to have to read tiny grey characters on an orange background. It takes the fun away of wanting to read the comments, as they are unreadable. Sorry, but I think someone had to tell you.

    • KrishnaReply
      September 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm

      hey TL, thanks for the feedback. The text I’m seeing is black on orange… can anyone else confirm? I can look into increasing the font size….

    • krishnaReply
      September 29, 2009 at 6:56 pm

      font size updated. :)

  • dgriff13Reply
    September 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    hye now, I played some quality DOS games on keyboards like that back in 1987.

  • madbardReply
    September 29, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    i too get grey text on orange. looks like 10pt arial.

    • KrishnaReply
      September 29, 2009 at 8:48 pm

      madbard, could you e-mail me a screenshot? Want to make sure I’m seeing what you’re seeing. Thanks!

  • coiusReply
    September 29, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I used to have a PowerComputer PowerBase 180 which was a close of the 6360/6400. The 6360/6400 came with the prename of “Performa” AND “Power Macintosh”

    The PowerBase I had had 4 PCI Slots, as well as the video card on a removable Daughter card. Also, the PBase 180 had the CPU on a removable card which could be interchangable with most PowerMacs with Card-based Daughtercards. The exception was the last-gen of PowerMacs (Old-World, i.e last 9600 models)

    The 6360 and 6400 had a built-in subwoofer that was one of the COOLEST I have ever heard. My mom had one of these in her class. They also produced a version with ah DOS/Pentium Card in these. The logic board they had was also interchangable with the PowerMac 6500/PM 5500 (I think..) though the 5500, some modification might have needed to be done to get it to work.

    Too bad my MacBook is in at apple for repair (3rd one from apple, and THIS one is on it’s 5th repair. Bad Apple!) otherwise I would look up some other obscure facts I had written down.

    BTW, kudos to working that in, but I LOVE old macs. I recently got 2 Quadra 840AV’s for playing around with.

  • BartimaeusReply
    September 30, 2009 at 3:00 am

    Ah, I remember ADB.

    You know, I heard the reason they took the power button off keyboards when they switched to USB is that ADB was ‘closer’ to the motherboard, and that USB couldn’t get the equivalent circuit connections (remember, the ADB port was only ever for one thing…). And so we lost the arcane shortcut Cmd+Ctrl+Power.

    Except on laptops. >:)

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