QuickTake was Apple’s first doomed foray into digital photography

The Apple QuickTake 100 was awful lot of camera to produce awful images. But one of the first consumer digital cameras had to start somewhere.
The Apple QuickTake 100 was awful lot of camera to produce awful images. But one of the first consumer digital cameras had to start somewhere.
Photo: kezboy/eBay

Sometimes the future is a fuzzy picture. This was literally true when looking at a 0.3-megapixel image produced by one of the first consumer digital cameras, Apple’s doomed QuickTake.

 Launched in 1994, the QuickTake didn’t exactly take off. The bulky behemoth looked like a pair of binoculars. There was no preview screen, so when your camera was full — after just eight pictures at the highest resolution — you had to plug the gadget into your Mac to look at your photos.

Enlarged beyond the size of a postage stamp, the pictures weren’t very sharp. Photographers scoffed that digital files would never record the detail of film.

After three models and three years of modest sales, the QuickTake was scrapped in 1997 along with other non-computer products when Steve Jobs returned to the company.

Can’t wait? eBay’s got your Apple ‘health kit’ now

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FULLSCREEN

An apple a day

We’ve got high hopes for Apple’s healthkit and integration with the long-awaited iWatch. But why wait to slough off the computer tan and desk serf paunch? Here are some fantastic Apple products -- some originals from Cupertino and fanciful knockoffs -- that you can buy right now on eBay to help you get in shape. Once you're there, you can show off your trim physique with this latex shirt with Apple logo, $64.

Stopwatch

It came from the 90s: this sporty stopwatch with logo lanyard is sure to make you stand out on the track and field and is quite a steal at $89.99.

Sweatband

Any huffing and puffing you do will be drowned out by the "oohs" and "ahs" as the exertions from your glistening brow are mopped up with this "Magic of Apple" terrycloth headband with velcro closure. $9.99.

Sweets

Because on your new calorie-restricted Paleo diet, the only sweet things you're going to be laying eyes on are these delicious old Macs. $79.90.

Bento Box

While we're pretty sure this didn't come straight outta Cupertino, you've got to love the idea of carrying your own sleek utensils in an Apple-logo container. If you've always got it with you, there's no excuse for shoving every repast into your gaping maw. Slow down, use a fork and knife and savor every bite with Zen-like grace. $59.99

Beach towel

This beauty could double as a yoga mat or landing pad for the burpees you intend to bust out. This rare item is listed for $240.

Motivational pin

Another fabbo Apple artifact from the 90s, this pin has a message we can all get behind while we get healthy. $10.99

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Ashtray

This is another example of just how much people the world over love Apple - they'll put the beloved logo on just about anything. Every time you want to light up the idea of sullying the symbol of your favorite company will give you pause and possibly the strength to kick the habit. Or use a vape instead. $19.99

See super-rare prototypes of iconic Macs and other Apple marvels

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From Henry Plain’s collection, this clear-sided Macintosh SE was used for engineering tests to check airflow and heat dissipation. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
This clear-sided Macintosh SE from Henry Plain's collection was used for engineering tests to check airflow and heat dissipation. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Some Apple collectors gather one of every Mac, iPod or iPhone, while others specialize in portables or all-in-ones. Then there are the outliers, the super-collectors who search out the incredibly rare items most people never get a chance to see.

“I’m always on the hunt,” says Henry Plain, a California man who specializes in tracking down impossible-to-find Mac prototypes.

Plain owns some of the rarest, most unusual Apple machines ever produced. These are the speed bumps, works in progress or developer’s editions that the secretive Cupertino company never intended for outside eyes. His vast knowledge of Apple’s production gave him a role in facilitating the sale of the Storage Wars-esque Macintosh collection of Marion Stokes that came to light last month. I like to think of him as Prototype Man.

What’s in Plain’s amazing Apple menagerie? Transparent versions of the Macintosh SE and PowerBook 140. A Mac mini with a built-in iPod dock. Prototypes of the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM), the Power Mac G4 Cube and iDevices too numerous to mention. Even to other collectors — and I have a Mac Museum in my house — his inventory is crazy-impressive.

Vintage Computer Festivals Rock On, VCF East 2014 Larger Than Ever

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Vintage Computers at VCF
A Univac mainframe, early hard disk drives, Zork, and an Altair 8800 at VCF East 2014.

What do you get when you combine several hundred serious geeks, two large rooms, five decades’ worth of vintage computers, and a weekend in New Jersey? The Vintage Computer Festival East, of course!

The ninth running of the VCF East was held April 4-7 at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall Township, New Jersey. Hosted by MARCH, the MidAtlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists group, the 2014 show saw the largest number of exhibitors and attendees for a VCF East yet, with exhibit halls expanded from one to two rooms and three days of lectures and seminars available for attendees. The show featured a wide range of computing history, from a seminal, room-size UNIVAC computer, through the DEC, Prime and HP minicomputer era, to the workstations and home computers of the 1970s and ’80s.

Macs in the Box: The Incredible Mac Collection of Marion Stokes. Now For Sale.

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Stokes Collection 1
Marion Stokes Macintosh Collection in a Rhode Island storage locker

Are you a Mac collector? An Apple investor? Do you like to buy old computers still new in their original packaging? If so, do we have a storage locker for you!

Marion Stokes was a librarian, activist and local access television producer from Philadelphia. Recently she made news for her incredible archive of 35 years of TV news broadcasts, recorded continuously on home videotapes from 1977 until her death in 2012. But Stokes was also a longtime Apple investor and Macintosh fan. Over the same timeframe she acquired nearly two hundred new-in-box Macintosh computers and related Apple gear, and kept much of this equipment sealed for posterity.

It’s another incredible history, about technology and one unique Silicon Valley tech entity. And it can be yours, if the price is right. The whole kit and caboodle is available on eBay, listed for the Buy It Now price of $100,000!