Twiggy Mac Update: World’s Oldest Working Macintosh Goes to Auction

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Twiggy Mac
The Twiggy Macintosh running early MacPaint software (photo: Auction Team Breker)

Auctions for rare Apple equipment have attracted a lot of attention the past few years, with prices for the Apple 1 going as high as an astounding $671,000! Another Apple 1 is going up for auction in Germany next month on November 16, but in addition a very different rare Apple item will be on the same auction block. One of only two known working Twiggy Macs in the world is going up for sale.

Twiggy Macs were prototype versions of the original Macintosh and used a proprietary 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, instead of the 3.5-inch disk which ultimately shipped with the system in 1984. All Twiggy prototypes were ordered destroyed by Steve Jobs – and long thought lost – but the last couple of years have seen an eventful rediscovery of this piece of Macintosh history. Now one can be yours – if the price is right.

Early Apple Employee Reunion Celebrates the Twiggy Mac Resurrection

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Veteran Apple Employees
Veteran Apple employees gather around a resurrected Twiggy Mac
(photo: Jonathan Zufi, Shrine of Apple)

It was an impromptu family reunion whose RSVP list grew rapidly. In celebration of the recent rebirth of two prototype Twiggy Macs, many legends of Cupertino relived memories and reconnected with old friends in a private party held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

Attendees, many of whom held Apple badge numbers in the single or double digits, included (among others) Steve Wozniak, Andy Hertzfeld, Daniel Kottke, Chris Espinosa, Guy Kawasaki, Jerry Manock, Terry Oyama, Larry and Patti Kenyon, Rod Holt, Randy Wigginton and Wendell Sander. The soiree was arranged by longtime Apple employee Dan Kottke and Gabreal Franklin, former president of Encore systems and owner of one of the resurrected Twiggy Macs.

Apple’s venerable alumni laughed and reminisced with each other while playing with the rare prototype, commenting on early aspects of the design and who did what. “It’s got an hourglass cursor,” Andy Hertzfeld said. “I don’t remember that. Hey, I wrote that. It seems slow to me.”

Behold The World’s Smallest Working Macintosh!

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Mini Mac and Steve Jobs Doll
A Steve Jobs doll towers over this 1/3 scale mini Macintosh. (All photos: John Leake)

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!”

The Crazy Adventures Of A Vintage Mac Collector [Interview]

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Rare Apple items: Twiggy 128k Mac, green-screen Lisa, Apple buttons, and clear Mac SE.

What does it take to be a vintage Mac collector?

A love of all things Apple and an encyclopedic knowledge of the many successful, unsuccessful and downright notorious products Cupertino has released over the years are a given. But the job can be more perilous than you’d imagine.

Just ask Adam Goolevitch. Known as “wozniac” on eBay, Adam is one of the premier vintage Mac collectors around. In just he last couple of months, some of Googlevitch’s rarest finds — including a 128k Mac with a 5.25” Twiggy floppy disk drive and a Macintosh SE with a clear outer case — have hit the web and sparked a flurry of interest.

But collecting these Macs isn’t always easy. From almost losing a finger to a PowerMac G4 Cube to mistakenly being investigated by the police under the suspicion of dealing drugs instead of Macs, Googlevitch has some wild stories to tell that prove that being a vintage Mac collector isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart.

Cult of Mac sat down with Adam to hear some of his adventures and also get the scoop on the rarest machines in his collection.

Another Rare Vintage Mac Surfaces: Macintosh SE with Clear Plastic Case

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Clear Mac SE
Macintosh SE with Clear Case, Code Name "Aladdin"

2012 has been a good year for vintage Macs surfacing from obscurity. Earlier this year we brought you news about an original 128k Mac with 5.25″ Twiggy floppy disk for sale on eBay. This same owner contacted Cult of Mac recently to share some photos of his latest rare find: a prototype Macintosh SE with a clear plastic outer case, used for engineering air flow studies.

Who says all old Macs were beige?

Vintage Computer Festivals March On: KansasFest and VCF East, 2012 Editions

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Old computers never really die, they just get passed on to grandkids and collectors. Likewise old computer users never die, they just don’t get out as much as they used to. The internet is an unfriendly place for 8 bit processors and dialup modems.

To help relive old memories and make new ones, several festivals dedicated to computers with no commercial value make the rounds each year. This year for our vintage geek pleasures: the perennial Apple II bash called KansasFest, and the Vintage Computer Festival East.

Apple WALT – Was This the First iPhone? [Vintage Tech]

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A rare and interesting Apple prototype surfaced on eBay recently, and although the auction has since ended we thought it notable enough to merit mention. A 1993 prototype called a WALT – Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone – combined a telephone, fax, personal address book and more with a HyperCard user interface. It never shipped, but this vaporware breakthrough netted the seller a cool $8000 on eBay.

Original Packaging Helps Increase Values of Vintage Macs

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As the Mac approaches its thirtieth birthday and its progeny, the iPhone and iPad, grow to eclipse their parent, the resale and collector values of vintage Macs is steadily increasing. One of the things attractive to collectors when looking for old systems is original packaging – outer boxes and inside accessory packs. Such items add to period completeness and can significantly increase the value of an item.

Old Meets New – Apple iPod Silhouette as Picasso Style Artwork

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Image: Blake Patterson
I’ve always loved the Picasso style artwork created for the launch of the original Macintosh. Apparently so do many others. RetroMacCast listener Blake Patterson recently created this version of the iconic Apple iPod (clickwheel version), with an earbud and an Apple, done in this same style of minimalist line art.

Nice job Blake – a classic icon, in a classic iconic style. Sweet!

[via RetroMacCast]