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This Week In Cult Of Mac Magazine: Vintage With A Vengance

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Cover design Craig Grannell.
Cover design Craig Grannell.

This week in Cult of Mac Magazine: how some collectors are making serious money with old Macs.

Well, that and how some are discovering that it may be sentimental value that keeps the old machines humming – as it turns out for our publisher, Leander Kahney, who reminisces on the antiquated machines in his life.

And if you dream of finding an Apple 1 or coming across a Twiggy Mac and making a pretty penny, we’ll tell you what happens when those machines roar back to life and come up at auctions.

We’ll also help you figure out what to keep – and toss! – in your collection and showcase some of the coolest ways Apple lovers have repurposed those aging computer carcasses to give them new life.

Our Apple Genius dishes on how to keep your privates protected when you bring your machine in (it’s not as hard as you think) and the best way to let your technician know you’re not a total moron – so you can get your device fixed and get out as soon as possible.

Cult of Mac Magazine

The Second Life Of The World’s Oldest Working Macs

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Hello I'm a Twiggy Mac
Macintosh 128K prototype with Twiggy floppy disk drive (photo: Adam Goolevitch)

Old computers tend to lead sedentary lives. Parked in shelves and closets, maybe touched by the occasional dusting; the lucky ones still run old games from time to time. But sometimes one becomes a sensation.

The Twiggy Macintosh is a prototype Macintosh 128k that used a 5.25-inch disk drive. Long thought lost to history, two of these primordial Macinti were recently resurrected and returned to life in full working glory. Their rebirth brought about a rare reunion of the original Macintosh design team. And one of them recently repaid the effort by fetching about $40,000 at an auction.

They are — without a doubt — the oldest working Macs in the world.

Here is the story of their amazing journey.

Apple 1 Sold for $330k After Auction Close

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Apple 1 Sale
Working Apple 1 from the November 2013 Breker auction.

On Saturday Cult of Mac reported that a working Apple 1 failed to sell at auction in Germany, a notable result in the growing market for vintage Apple collectibles. It turns out that result was premature: the Apple 1 did sell for €246,000 ($330,000), after bidding on the item had closed.

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!”

What Is It About Apple Products That Causes That “Deep Emotional Connection?” [Interview]

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Hello, Lisa!
Hello, Lisa!
Photo: Jonathan Zufi

Jonathan Zufi is the curator and owner of the Shrine of Apple, a web-based museum with a single, slightly obsessive goal: to obtain one of every single Apple product ever produced, and display them all online as beautifully as possible.

Zufi wants to do for all the retro Apple stuff what modern bloggers (not unlike our very selves) do for every newly announced product.

If ever a website earned membership of the Cult of Mac, this is it.

Cult of Mac got in touch with Zufi to ask him a few questions about the project. Here’s what he said.

The Crazy Adventures Of A Vintage Mac Collector [Interview]

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Wozniac-Composite.jpg
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?

Apple Co-Founder Steve Woz Selling Extremely Rare 128K Mac Prototype For $100,000? [Updated]

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That's a lot of money for an old Mac.
That's a lot of money for an old Mac.

Remember the Mac 128K prototype with the 5.25-inch ‘Twiggy’ drive? Our own Adam Rosen showed you the prototype in detail several months ago, and a model has now surfaced on eBay. The cost to own this piece of Apple history? $100,000. What’s even more interesting about this item is the seller. Looks like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak might be cleaning out his closet.