Being a loyal Mac user in 1998 wasn’t such a great place to be for many of us. Although co-founder Steve Jobs was doing a lot to keep the company afloat with a slimmer product lineup, profits were slim or none. In the days before the iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, many still didn’t take the company seriously. Worse, many Mac users had made the switch to Windows.
But in the spring of that year, I got a long look and a fair amount of experience with the product that some suggest saved Apple. In those years, I was a member of their Customer Quality Feedback (CQF) program, which meant that I’d get pre-release software and occasionally a pre-release Mac to put through its paces.
Hardware, of course, had to be returned at the end of the beta cycle, although there was one instance where I came close to keeping a certain preproduction Mac.
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