The very first iMac was available in one color, bondi blue. Soon afterwards they split the line into five "fruity" colors: strawberry, lime, orange, grape, and blueberry. Then they added graphite, along with snow, and soon after that came the earth-toned sage, indigo, and ruby to replace the fruit flavors.

Now we arrive at the early months of 2001, and we have lost sage, ruby and snow to two new paint jobs: "Blue Dalmatian" and "Flower Power".

No, of course those aren't colors. They're patters, extensively graphic-designed and silk-screened onto the outside of a snow-colored iMac. Blue Dalmatian is, based on a short one-man poll, clearly the better of the two, with an interesting layered bondi-blue design with smooth white spots. Flower Power is... well, you just have to see it. It looks exactly like an impressionist painting gone horribly wrong.

According to Linda McNulty, Apple's director of product marketing for desktop products, the thinking behind the new designs was to tie them into Apple's belated entry to the digital music arena -- these iMacs are the first of their kind to ship with slot-loading CD-RW drives and Apple's own iTunes software installed. iTunes, like most MP3 players, includes music visualization software that creates psychedelic graphics based on the sounds being played; According to McNulty, the graphics laid over the top of the new iMacs was "inspired" by those same visualization tools. Product manager Greg Joswiak said Apple spent 18 months researching and developing the new iMac enclosures, as the company determined "what looks best and what's going to appeal to this whole music scene."

If nothing else, they're certain to grab shoppers' attention when (if) they spot them in their local electronics store, which was probably their real intention now that the two-color iMac design has been duplicated and cloned ad infinitum throughout the personal electronics industry.

You can see the new iMac designs for yourself at .


This node title would be an excellent name for a rock band, by the way.