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Rare 'New in box' 20th Anniversary Mac appears on Ebay

updated 07:45 pm EDT, Tue September 6, 2011

Framed original receipt also included

Nearly 15 years ago, Apple released the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh, known ever since as the TAM. It was the first major project at Apple of a promising young designer named Jonathan Ive, but despite offering many of the design ideas and technologies that would define Macs for years to come, it didn't do well as only sold around 11,600 units. A rare "new in box" TAM has now appeared on Ebay, the machine and accessories having never been used.

Other than having the box open for damage inspection and the accessory box being opened to remove batteries, the unit is exactly as it was when purchased, having never been used -- even right down to the original purchase receipt (now framed). The machine, which features a 250MHz PowerPC processor, CD-ROM drive and floppy disc, 12.1-inch active-matrix backlit LCD display and accessories such as a keyboard with included palm rest, trackpad and Bose speaker system, is being sold as-is because it can't be tested without removing shrink wrap and other packaging.

The TAM came with a then-luxurious 32MB of RAM, and was considered a cutting-edge -- but over-priced -- design. Many elements of the design went on to profoundly influence the iMac, including the vertical-stand design, the unconventional optical drive, the detachable trackpad, the emphasis on media playback (the TAM included a TV/FM tuner, remote control and high-quality sound), a special custom keyboard and --most importantly -- the overall idea that the "computer" part of the machine should be as hidden or subtle as possible, leaving mostly the monitor that users looked at.

The model offered on Ebay has attracted a current high bid of $3,400, less than half the original asking price, but is expected to go higher due to its (likely) working condition and pristine packaging (the auction ends tomorrow). The TAM was later upgradeable to a G3, 500MHz processor and had a few expandability options via an included PCI slot, but is not capable of running OS X (OS 9.1 is the limit). It is considered one of Apple's more noble -- and notable -- commercial failures, despite its cult status today. [via CNet]











By Electronista Staff
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  1. imNat-imadouche

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2011

    -15

    Lame!

    nothing more

  1. facebook_Paul

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011

    -1

    Slot Fed?

    No slot fed drive on this bad boy.

    http://www.stefanoubbiali.com/twentieth-anniversary-macintosh/images/668_37_54-remember-remove-your-rom.jpg

  1. amacguy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2006

    +3

    Optical Drive...

    The TAM did not had a slot-fed drive. It was a vertical "push panel" type below the screen. I personally rather like the old school, 6-color apple logo in the center of the drive door :)

  1. SergioRS

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2004

    +2

    Overpriced?

    It was $10,000 freaking dollars and it was made mostly of leftover Powerbook3400 parts - overpriced is being extremely charitable. It was a very non-premium computer sold for a more than premium price. It was an ok deal on firesale for 1599.00 for the time (much like the HP Touchpad) but even with it's concierge delivery and setup it was a total "oh look at me" kind of Executive Douchebag computer in its day (at MSRP) The sound quality was very nice, if you were lucky enough to get one of the few units that didn't suffer the dreaded bzzzzzz hmmmm static issue. The TV tuner was dreadful.

  1. frdmfghtr

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2005

    -1

    May not work

    I'd bet that there's a high probability that it won't work. Electrolytic capacitors need to be charged periodically in order for the dielectric material to maintain its properties. The capacitors could also leak over time. The hard drive may not spin up after being idle for that long.

    Of course, whoever would buy it isn't buying it to put it to use, so that may not matter.

  1. rtbarry

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    want

    i always had a hard-on for this thing, mostly as a piece of art.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Even lamer

    It was such a great thing that he never even bothered to take it out of it's box? Talk about treating the Mac as a toy. You'd think it was some Star Wars action figure or something.

  1. facebook_Mike

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011

    +1

    useless

    I was given one of these things recently...aside from a cd player its useless.

  1. ThisIsAdamB

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2011

    -1

    Been there, done that...

    I'm sure the NIB TAM's are getting rarer. I helped a friend unbox one in 2008 and helped him document it for his viewers on UStream. We also shot some better video and he put it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaOyJ5FUjSw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    FYI, the first few minutes are dealing with a practical joke the seller played on us, and we do get a bit silly now and then, but that's just our style. But we do show off the hardware nicely, I think...

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