(You're reading all posts by Adam Rosen) Adam Rosen is an Apple certified IT consultant specializing in Macintosh systems new and old. He lives in Boston with two cats and too many possessions. In addition to membership in the Cult of Mac, Adam has written for Low End Mac and is curator of the Vintage Mac Museum. He also enjoys a good libation.
About Adam Rosen
It stands shorter than a Steve Jobs doll. It can be held in the palm of your hand. It runs System 6, and elicits squeals of delight from vintage Mac fans.
It is the Smallest Mac in the World.
Hot on the heels of the news of the world’s oldest working Macintosh comes a breakthrough of much more modest proportions. John Leake, co-host of the RetroMacCast, has created what may be the world’s smallest working Macintosh using a Raspberry Pi computer, PVC, some off-the shelf parts and a Mac emulator running under Linux. He calls it “Mini Mac.”
Why? As Leake writes on his blog, “this is one those ‘because I can’ projects with no practical use – my favorite kind!”
Nearly three decades after Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh, a pair of incredibly rare Mac prototypes have been discovered and restored to working order.
The computers, known as Twiggy Macs because they used the same 5.25-inch Twiggy floppy disk drive found in Apple’s doomed Lisa, were tracked down and painstakingly brought back to life by Adam Goolevitch, a vintage Mac collector, and Gabreal Franklin, a former Apple software engineer.
“Throughout the past 15 years, I have heard stories of and researched the fabled ‘Twiggy Macintosh’ computer,” Goolevitch told Cult of Mac in an email. “It was a thing of myth and legend — like a unicorn.”
Locating these Macs was the first step, but getting them to work was the real challenge. Goolevitch and Franklin embarked on an all-out effort to resurrect these long-lost pieces of Macintosh history.
Now two Twiggy Macs have been returned to life in full working glory. They are — without a doubt — the oldest Macs in the world. With auction prices for Apple-1 computers nudging upward toward the half-million-dollar mark, these incredibly rare prototypes — which look a lot like something you might find at a garage sale — could prove priceless. Here is the story of their amazing resurrection.
The famous Macintosh Picasso logo was developed for the introduction of the original 128k Mac back in 1984. A minimalist line drawing in the style of Pablo Picasso, this whimsical graphic implied the whole of a computer in a few simple strokes. It was an icon of what was inside the box, and became as famous as the computer it represented.
The logo was designed by Tom Hughes and John Casado, art directors on the Mac development team. Originally the logo was to be a different concept called The Macintosh Spirit by artist Jean-Michel Folon, but before the release Steve Jobs changed his mind and had it replaced by the simple and colorful drawing by Hughes and Casado. It’s been beloved ever since, and the graphic style has endured across decades.
What if the history books have it wrong? What if the tool is the master of its maker? Did Mac create Man?
Project Genesis, a short film about a world populated only by old Apple computers, has arrived. The computers have issues. And they have spoken:
We have always looked at our world with a single point of view: with resignation, limiting ourselves to survive. We were wrong! From this moment on, everything changes: new unexpected ways open up in front of us, the world we knew now becomes more accessible, simple, within everyone’s range.
With “Project Genesis” we open the door to our dreams: now we only have to start living, as we truly mean it
Cue the spotlights. Cue the fanfare. Today on Cult of Mac, we present the International Premiere of this groundbreaking short film by Italian director Alessio Fava. It was worth the wait:
Apple is all about the latest and greatest, inventing (and selling) the future. The computer marketplace as a whole evolves with ever accelerating speed – that two year old iPhone or laptop, so passé. Sometimes its helpful to take a step back and appreciate the long view of computing.
David Greelish is a computer historian who has been studying vintage computing for many years, as a writer, collector, podcaster and now vintage computing festival sponsor. His journey has included playing Star Trek text adventures on teletype machines, rescuing orphaned Lisas and Commodore 64s from unloved futures, and lobbying Apple to create a visitor’s gallery of company history in their new corporate HQ. He’s still getting flak for that last one.
Cult of Mac contacted David to hear his story.
Most software released for Macs and iOS devices is designed for the general public – programs, utilities, games and Apple’s own website. But an important and growing industry exists behind the scenes to keep all that shiny Apple gear working.
GsxWarranty is a small utility for Macs, Windows PCs and iPhones which allows a technician to quickly check warranty status on Apple products. By entering the serial number GsxWarranty displays detailed information concerning AppleCare, service parts and configuration details.
PowerPC-based Macs have long been considered dead and buried by Apple, but the company just put a few more nails in the coffin to prevent any corpse risings. With the release of iTunes 10.7 this week the ubiquitous media control center becomes Intel-only, requiring at least a Core Solo processor and Mac OS X 10.6.8.
In a related one-two punch, Apple has also stopped providing online Software Updates for Mac OS X versions 10.0 through 10.3, as well as Mac OS 9. These items are now available only by direct download from Apple’s support website.
Word is spreading of a new independent film, Project Genesis, involving a world populated only by old Apple computers. Italian director and filmmaker Alessio Fava has posted an enigmatic teaser of Macs shuffling around in a drab soulless environment, with hints of better existence:
We computers have always looked at our world from a single point of view: with resignation, limiting ourselves to survive. We were wrong! From this moment on, everything changes: new unexpected ways open up in front of us, the world we knew now becomes more accessible, simple, within everyone’s range.
If you’re a Mac user on the Internet, chances are you’ve come across a few websites where embedded content isn’t displayed correctly. Instead you get an icon or an error message saying Missing Plug-In, often with few additional details about exactly what is missing.
While there’s no single installer which will solve all missing plug-in problems, there are a few common things to start with. If those don’t work you can delve deeper into non-common formats or the forgotten codecs of yesteryear.
The year is 2012, and the March of the Big Cats continues. Apple is about to release Mountain Lion, the latest iteration of (Mac) OS X, and citizens of the Appleverse are eager to explore what this new feline has to offer. How far we’ve come in just over a decade.
Back in 2001 Apple introduced their new, long awaited replacement to the Classic Macintosh System Software: Mac OS X. As Mountain Lion goes on the prowl, Cult of Mac reviews the Evolution of OS X and once again presents our look back at Apple’s Big Cats over the years – from Cheetah and Puma through to Apple’s current Felidae offerings.