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Just In Time For Christmas: Apple Macintosh Prototype For Sale

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Ethelyn Brye is an award-winning author and blogger. Growing up in Switzerland and influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh mountain air, she attended and completed design studies in Geneva. Post graduation she moved to Washington State to work for a design firm, but her love of writing brought her to Cyanosaur. She's highly interested in strategy rpgs, mountain climbing, board games with friends and skiing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her lovely cat Armstrong.

We do love a bit of retrotechnology around our workspace. But we have to admit, we really want to find this prototype Apple Mac under the tree this year. There’s only one problem. There’s only one for sale and only two like it known to exist, for that matter. The auction house thinks it will fetch up to $180,000. We will guess that number is low, but we will find out on December 4th. The 1983 computer has a pre-production plastic housing and a 5.25 inch “twiggy” drive. Apple provided this machine, apparently to Encore Systems so they could develop MacWrite ahead of the machine’s release date. According to the auction site, there are only two surviving machines that have the 5.25 inch disk drive. These were the same drives used in the Lisa and were not known for reliability. You can read more about how Sony managed to escape Steve Jobs’ notice to deliver their 3.5 inch drives to the new Apple Macintosh. If you want to read more about the pair of twiggys that survived and how they were restored, Cult of Mac has a good article about the whole affair. This is an amazing piece of history and — Apple fan or not — you can’t deny that these were highly influential computers. We liked the quote from Jobs himself at the end of the auction notice: I’m one of those people who think that Thomas Edison and the light bulb changed the world a lot more than Karl Marx ever did. We agree Steve. We agree. If you like Apple forensics, there’s always a bad hard drive lurking around. Or you can just fake it.
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