The past few weeks have seen the passing of a number of computing giants. The world learned this week that Dennis Ritchie, the computer scientist who helped create the UNIX operating system and C programming language, passed away at the age of 70. This software was the progenitor of much of modern computing, including Mac OS X and iOS, and was born (ironically) out of the need to play computer games!
All items tagged with "Vintage Tech"
In the tradition of artists throughout history, those proud iconoclasts at Apple who created the original Macintosh signed their creations for posterity. Inscribed into the inside rear panel case mold for the 128k, 512k and Mac Plus are the signatures of Steven Jobs, Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld, Bruce Horn, Jef Raskin and the rest of the historic team.
Back in 1987 during the era of John Sculley, Apple released a “what if” video describing a device called the Knowledge Navigator. This prescient work anticipated a personal digital assistant a la Siri, a touch screen tablet computer like the iPad, videoconferencing (FaceTime) and more.
David Schwen’s motto is “make something cool every day”. In some cases what’s past is present, as shown in this clever series of composite photographs of the classic Macintosh generic file icon out on the town in a variety of locations. Seen here emulating a parking ticket (but without the bright orange paper).
Content on the Internet changes daily, or more frequently than that, usually with scant concern for preservation or future studies. For a look back at the past Digital Archaeology, an upcoming exhibit during Internet Week NY June 6-13, will endeavor to bring some of the Internet’s earliest and/or most influential websites back to life.
Last fall we reported on the sale of Apple 1 system #82, which sold at a Christie’s auction for over $213,000. A rare piece of computing history, many wondered what the buyer, Italian businessman Marco Boglione, planned to do with his prize purchase.
Turns out like many collectors of old tech, Boglione wanted to fire that puppy up and relive the past! The system was brought to Politecnico di Torino University in Turin, Italy. After a careful power-up sequence designed to gracefully coax 35-year-old transistors back to life, the Apple 1 ran a simple BASIC program displaying the words “Hello Polito” on an old NTSC monitor – to honor the university and (presumably) the famous “Hello, World” program many students of programming are familiar with.
In a fitting meeting of old and new, a MacBook Pro was used to send control instructions to the Apple 1.
Many people have seen the 1984 SuperBowl commercial introducing the Macintosh to the masses. In the fall of 1983, Jobs gave a preview of this spot to an enthusiastic crowd of Apple shareholders and insiders. With full Reality Distortion Field in place, a young, passionate Steve Jobs describes the history of computing, IBM’s missed opportunities, and their current threats to Apple and the computing industry.
Happy Birthday, Steve – you haven’t lost your touch! Apple SuperNerds will notice a few soundtrack differences between this preview and the commercial that actually aired – can you spot them?
What’s past is present, at least in the Vintage Tech World. 2010 saw some significant stories involving those attic treasures: an Apple 1 sold for a whopping $213,000, a Mac Museum for $10k, and an Apple II Festival turned 21. Meanwhile iPads were spotted co-habitating inside old Macs, obsolete status befell our PowerPC friends, and The Macintosh Way lived again.
Travel back in time for this review of the Year in Vintage Apple News.
Rare Vintage Apple items are popular these days. An Apple Lisa 1 put up for sale on eBay last week has sold for $15,000 after 11 bids! The unit, in working condition, belonged to a former member of the Lisa production team at Apple and was sold by his brother. In an email received by Cult of Mac, the seller noted that the buyer intends to display the system in a museum in Italy.
Another rare item from Cupertino, an Apple Lisa 1, hit the auction block this week. The successor to the Apple II and the predecessor to the Macintosh, the Lisa originally shipped back in 1983. Born of the pioneering work done at Xerox PARC and refined by Apple, it was the world’s first commercially available computer with a Graphical User Interface.
The first Lisa used two proprietary 5.25’ floppy disk drives known as “Twiggy” drives. These were problematic and unreliable, and were replaced in 1984 with the Lisa 2 and a 400k 3.5’ floppy drive. Most original Lisas were updated to the 3.5’ disk package, so very few Lisa 1 systems survive today.
As of this writing, current price on eBay is $15,000 after 4 bids, with 4 days left to go. Check back late next Tuesday for the results. Following the recent Apple 1 sale, looks like another possible record in the making!