Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm.

What Apple Propaganda Looked Like 15 Years Ago: The 1997 MacAdvocate CD-ROM

MacAdvocate CD-ROM

Apple has long been fortunate to have an excited fan base promoting its products and helping lure first-time buyers. But did you know that Apple used to distribute free collateral to help its biggest fans spread the message?

That’s what this is: The 1997 MacAdvocate CD-ROM, full of “why Mac?” presentations, free software and games, Apple TV commercials, and more. It came out shortly after Apple acquired NeXT, but before Steve Jobs had really started remaking the company around products like the iMac or iPad.

In 1997, I was a sophomore in high school and one of the few kids in my class with a Mac. (A PowerMac 8500 with a 17-inch CRT display, two SCSI Zip drives, and 56k “x2″ modem, if I recall correctly.) Like many Mac nerds, I tried to convince my friends to convince their parents to buy Macs, with modest success.

When Apple started sending out MacAdvocate CDs to whoever requested them, I jumped at the chance and asked for ten. I gave most of them out, but ended up keeping a couple. More recently, poking around my family’s home in Chicago, I found the old-Mac-stuff stash. I booted up my sister’s blue iMac, popped in the CD, and took a bunch of screenshots.

Some of this stuff is pretty amazing. (Click on any image in the gallery to expand.)

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