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NeXTstation Color

Donor: (Looking it up...)
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia

Not a NeXT Cube, but the NeXT best thing. The NeXTstation provides features and functionality that other computers are just providing today. Once upon a time, Steve Jobs left Apple to make a NeXT generation operating system. (Then he later returned to Apple after Be's Jean Louis G. ticked off Apple. Jean Louis thought Apple had no choice but to buy Be as the basis of their next OS, but instead they bought NEXTSTEP. And now Be is dead.)

These boxes run NEXTSTEP, which a full object-oriented OS. It has UNIX as a base and provides a gorgeous graphical interface. Sound like OS X? NEXTSTEP has the best looking folder icons in existence. They look like little leather portfolios, with little cords binding them shut. NEXTSTEP was also available for other platforms. Others are working on NEXTSTEPish interfaces for Linux.

Hardware-wise, these boxes were great, but frankly couldn't quite deliver everything asked of them by the OS. They tend to run a little slow. But they have great digital sound and full color displays.

  • Underside of main unit. Just wanted you to see the label, and to establish the correct capitalization. Only the N, X, and T are capitalized.
  • Floppy drive. Yes, there is a floppy drive. It's not an iMac, after all.
  • NeXT logo. It's kind of a goofy little logo, but Steve must have really liked it. It shows up on everything. The keyboard has one. The mouse has one.
  • Even the power cables have them! They're molded right in. At least that makes it easier to tell if the power cables are original equipment.
  • Rear of monitor. Here's the rear of the monitor. That goofy looking port is for a special NeXT cable.
  • Monitor cable. The monitor cable is a three-header beast. The weird ends plug into the system unit and the monitor. The third head plugs into the sound unit.
  • Sound unit. The sound unit houses a speaker for audio playback.
  • Rear of sound unit. The sound unit also provides audio signals and handles the mouse and keyboard. (Yes, it takes a bit of time to figure out how everything connects together.)
  • Screen shots: (You'll notice that the screen sometimes has a bluish or greenish tint. The monitor sometimes drops a gun, causing the color shifts.)
    • Login screen. Yes, you need to log in. Good thing the original owner told me the passwords.
    • General screen shot. In the center is the File Viewer window. Think Finder or File Explorer. On the right is the Dock, holding frequently used programs. On the left is the current menu. Like the various Mac OSs, the menus are not attached to windows. As you change from window to window, the menu in the upper left-hand corner will change to reflect the active window. Some people love this. Personally, I hate it.
    • Icons. I love these icons. Does your Windows machine have icons this nice? Mine doesn't.
    • Dock. The dock was a toolbar for frequently accessed programs.
    • Terminal window. Like any decent UNIX, you can pop open a terminal window. Nice if you're a CLI junkie like me. (My Amiga always opened a CLI window on boot.)
    • Multiple windows open. Here's we've opened a bunch of different apps, just to show that we could. In all honesty, the system isn't responding crisply anymore.
  • Here's a cool touch, special keys on the keyboard. Power, brightness, and volume are all controlled via the keyboard.
  • Left end of the backplane. Shows ports for SCSI, AppleTalk, and the Digital Signal Processor (DSP).
  • Center of the backplane. Shows ports for the monitor, serial for printers, and both 10BaseT and Twisted Pair ethernet.
  • Right of the backplane. Shows power and cooling fins.
  • Underside. The cooling fan for the unit is near the front of the box. This channel guides the hot air towards the back. Why? I don't know, but it looks cool.

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