RIP Adam Rosen: Remembering one of the most passionate Mac fans ever

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Vintage Mac Museum
Rosen would turn down 80 percent of what was offered to him because he only wanted the important models. He also couldn't let his collection outgrow another living space.
Photo: Adam Rosen

Adam Rosen was happiest standing over an old Mac computer, all pulled apart with wires sticking out and components scattered across his kitchen table.

Rosen knew this part of him might never land him a wife. Who could appreciate a home where each room was a gallery of old working Apple computers?

This private Vintage Mac Museum lost its devoted docent on Aug. 31 when Rosen, 53, died from pancreatic cancer.

1TB iPod Classic is a music junkie’s dream

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1TB iPod
Remy Sternbach wants you to have 50,000 songs in your pocket
Photo: Remy Sternbach

The iPod was an instant classic — killed off in an instant by the iPhone.

But the iPod has a Dr. Frankenstein in Remy Sternbach. The San Diego tech repairman is determined to bring two to life each week with shiney new bodies, solid state drives, new high-capacity batteries and a full terabyte of storage.

What Sternbach has discovered is the obsolete hardware has an enduring cool.

For Apple collectors, pricing is a crapshoot

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Is it worth $3,000? How about $500?
Is it worth $3,000? How about $500?
Photo: garmont2222211/eBay

The lucky few who have heard the audio from Apple’s new HomePod say it’s spectacular. Does it sound as good as the Hi-Fi stereo boombox Apple made for the iPod?

One way to find out is to buy one currently on eBay – for $2,999.99.

Tekserve’s Apple artifacts wind up in Ukrainian museum

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MacPaw Apple museum

Photo: MacPaw

When legendary Mac repair shop Tekserve closed its doors last summer in New York City, Apple fans of a certain age experienced two deaths.

They bade goodbye to the original Genius Bar, technicians that had been servicing their devices for nearly 30 years. Those fans would also never again stare at Tekserve’s impressive Apple computer artifact collection, which was quickly auctioned off to an unknown bidder for $47,000.

The collection returned to a museum display today, more than 4,600 miles away in the Ukraine. Its new home is at the headquarters of software developer MacPaw.

Apple prototype collector in search of rarely seen devices

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A
A "clear shot" prototype of an Apple Powerbook 140.
Photo: Jonathan Zufi

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugSerious Apple prototype collectors usually know exactly what they are looking for as they try to build a physical timeline of each distinct device ever made. A Holy Grail artifact would be an Apple I. Fewer than 50 are said to exist.

Hap Plain wants the pieces none of us, including him, have ever seen.

He is one of a very select subculture who search the world over for Apple prototypes. Before being polished into the personal computing icons of our lives, Apple computers, iPods, iPhones and other devices start out as crude, unfinished test models so glitches and user experience hangups can be identified and worked out before hitting the market.

Apple collectibles are a seller’s market

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Bids for this Apple I started at $370,000.
Bids for this Apple I started at $370,000.
Photo: Christie's

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugStarting a collection of Apple’s past is relatively easy and often affordable. But once you get started and a pricey, rare object presents itself, will you be able to control yourself?

Here’s a list that will test whether you have the fever and an intense desire to hold personal computing history in your hands. It may also test your fiscal fitness.

Teen uses lawn-mowing money to fund incredible Apple collection

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Alex's Apple Orchard
Alex's Apple Orchard occupied the basement of the family home.
Photo courtesy of Alex Jason

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugA 10-year-old kid in Maine finds an iMac G5 on Craigslist and arranges to trade a minibike and a snowblower for it.

The computer was supposed to be for games and homework. It instead proved to be the first piece in what is becoming one of the most significant private collections of Apple devices in the United States.

For world’s biggest Apple museum, book a flight to Italy

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The All About Apple Museum in Savona, Italy.
The All About Apple Museum in Savona, Italy.
Photo: All About Apple Museum

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugFor years, Apple has been under pressure to open an Apple museum. The company’s rich and storied past has its fans clamoring for a central repository of that history.

Word from the company: No. Apple’s leaders say they are more interested in the future than the past.

In fact, the most complete historical collection of all things Apple is nowhere near Cupertino. The serious Apple fan must travel to, of all places, Savona, Italy.

Vintage-computer fest celebrates 40 years since our first bite of Apple

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The colorful era of the first iMacs on display in an Apple Pop-up exhibit at the Computer Museum of America in Roswell, Ga.
Colorful early iMacs are among the technological wonders on display in the Apple Pop Up exhibit at the Computer Museum of America.
Photo: Computer Museum of America

Phil Schiller says Apple is too busy “inventing the future” to “celebrate the past” by building a museum.

So if you are in search of history on the 40th anniversary of Apple’s founding, you might want to travel to Georgia. There, a guy named Lonnie Mimms has taken over an old CompUSA building and meticulously crafted a tangible timeline that would make Apple’s futurists — perhaps even Schiller — pause with nostalgia and pride.

Attention Tim Cook: Your instant Mac museum is just $300,000 away

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This is just part of the
This is just part of the "Magnificent Macintosh Museum" for sale on eBay.
Photo: Steve Abbott

One man’s astonishing collection of Apple gear is for sale on eBay right now, making an instant Mac museum just a click away for the right bidder. The auction starts at $100,000, with a Buy It Now price of $300,000 — a drop in the bucket for a certain CEO who’s on his way to the billionaire’s club.

“I would love for Tim Cook to buy it all,” said seller Steve “Mac” Abbott in an email to Cult of Mac running down his list of ideal buyers. “First it means he would want to display it, unlike Steve [Jobs], and that Apple would sponsor its own history…. Next would be a well-heeled Apple guy, and after that whoever can convince me that it can be seen. Then, ‘Show me the money.'”