Feeds

The Cube: Apple's daftest, strangest romance

Ten years on, we remember the bonkers box

Security for virtualized datacentres

The problem was that Apple's customer base was really bifurcated into two camps back then - students and consumers who wanted an all-in-one, and looked for value, and the professionals who expected to expand their machines. The Cube was too expensive for the former, and too restrictive for the pros.

Getting Cubic now

Yet the unworldly design created a fiercely loyal fanbase who supported the market for add-ons. A succession of strong CPU upgrades, from Powerlogix, Giga and Sonnet, which took the Cube up to dual 1.7Ghz G4. There were also beefier, Quartz Extreme-capable graphics cards made available. Third parties even manufactured larger cubic cases - these were needed for the fans and cooling systems.

Don't overfeed the fish

The community lives on and gathers at Cubeowner.com, where the affection for the machines is evident. Do check out the galleries.

In the UK, you can pick one up for anywhere between £100 and £150 on eBay. The expansion options are limited, ruling out USB 2.0 cards for example, and you'll be stuck with a Parallel ATA drive that needs special drivers for drives larger than 120MB. But it will still run Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger well enough to get some work done. The problem is the bus speed is constrained; at 167Mhz it's ten times slower than a 1Ghz CPU, for example.

My first Cube was late adn DOA, and so was the second. Its replacement arrived two months later, spluttered for three weeks and then expired. All were motherboard blow-outs. It was enough to repel anyone but a fanatic from demanding another, so I didn't.

It was 2006 before I picked up a cheap Cube that had been upgraded to a noisy 800Mhz G4 with thanks to Sonnet. But it did great service for a couple of more years. You just had to leave a note on the desk reminding people not to leave their newspaper on the grill …

The Cube remains a quite bonkers, and quite brilliant expression of a particular design - a really outrageous statement. There was no reason it should ever have been cubic, let alone suspended in mid air. It should never have been made - we should be glad it was. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights
Airlines given green light to allow gate-to-gate jibber-jabber
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.