New Additions to the Mac Museum – May 2012

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The Mac Museum has been quiet for a couple months after the addition of a PowerBook 540c and some accessories but I’ve still been busy. In the mean time I’ve been working on some articles, ruminating on how to present the information in a more interesting and interactive manner, and living my life – planning the my twin boys’ birthday party, being sick, recovering, going on vacation, and being sick again. I’m starting to focus on the museum again a little bit so I should have some more content on the way. I’ve also been collecting and have several new additions to announce.

A New Look

The Mac Museum has continued to grow since I started it last year and I have quickly run out of space. A little reorganization and some shelving has gone a long way toward helping me fit more stuff in the same area.  In addition to having a nicer way to display my collection of Macs and PowerBooks, I also have space to display all of the product packaging that I’ve been collecting over the years. I have the boxes for every notebook, iPod, iPhone, and iPad that we’ve ever owned, as well as boxes of software and accessories. I can now showcase a larger selection of the various Apple history that I own. I’m not sure where I’m going to put the new stuff that I’ve got, but at least it’s all organized.

A Magazine Collection

MacWorld Magazine is one of the best resources for Macintosh history available. It was the first magazine to be published after the release of the magazine and has been there through all of the Mac’s history good and bad.  I already had a collection of selected issues from my own subscriptions from 1998 – 2006 which chronicle much of Steve Jobs’ tenure at Apple, but I’m actually very interested in the period before Steve’s return. I now own all of 1997 and half of 1996 and am actively collecting issues from 1994 and 1995.  The intent of this collection is two fold – one is to provide historical background to my content while the other is to provide an archive of Apple and Macintosh products and ads from various points in Apple’s history. The articles and reviews give me insight into what was going on at the time and how people felt about the Mac and the ads are just amazing. It’s extremely cool to look back on the products that seemed so high end and compare them to what we have today. My goal is to eventually collect all the issues of MacWorld.

Rare and In-Box: The PowerBook G3 Kanga

The Kanga was the first notebook that Apple introduced using Motorola and IBMs new blazing fast PowerPC G3 CPU.  Unlike the CPUs in most of Apple’s other notebooks, the G3 was not only extremely fast, but it was available in a notebook the same day it was available in a desktop. Released soon after Steve Jobs took the helm, the Kanga was little more than a PowerBook 3400c with a G3 shoved inside. It was only on the market for six months making it relatively rare. I found one in its original packaging, manuals and all, on eBay for a reasonable price and snatched it up. I plan to post an unboxing of this unique machine.

PowerPC and Software Bonaza

There had been an ad on Craigslist for months about a couple of Macs and software about an hour away from me. I ignored the ad a few times for fear of starting to collect junk but eventually it just became too tempting. About an hour of driving netted me two Power Macintosh 7100 (one at 66 MHz and one at 80 MHz), two monitors, a keyboard, a mouse, and a ton of software including a cool software bundle that was only sold to college students. I’m glad I bought it because it included boxed software and accessories as well. I still haven’t sat down with it and sorted it all out but I definitely have a treasure trove to go through.

Classic Pizza Box

I recently scored a Macintosh LC, Apple’s 1990 entry into the low end computing market. Selling for $2,500 the LC was still priced at half the cost of existing color Macintoshes. It packed all of its circuitry, hard drive, floppy drive, and an expansion slot into an innovative slim desktop case that was only 3″ tall. It was even easy to open. In order to lower the price, Apple had to compromise mainly on performance and memory expansion. Regardless, the LC sold well and was found in many schools. It was one of the first Macs that I ever used so I have a soft spot in my heart for it.

The Last 68k PowerBook and Black Apple Printer

I found a cheap auction for a PowerBook 190cs and corresponding StyleWriter 2200 on eBay last week and was lucky enough to win it. The PowerBook 190cs was released soon after the PowerBook 5300 and is essentially the same computer but with a 68k CPU instead of a PowerPC. It has two PC Card slots and shares its batteries and expansion modules with the 5300. It is one of the few classic PowerBooks (aside from the 500 series) not to use the standard AC adapter.  It came with Apple’s portable StyleWriter 2200, a full-color inkjet printer in a slick black case.

One of Only a Few Duds

Most of the items in my collection are fully functional. The point is that I can boot them up and use them as the software is as important as the hardware. Sometimes I get duds. The white iBook G3 I picked up was one of them. It boots to a white screen but does nothing else. I can’t load a CD or even get into Open Firmware. It’s pretty much a paper weight. But it is still a representation of one of Apple’s industrial designs and it wasn’t that expensive.

The First Metal PowerBook

I have a Titanium PowerBook G4 currently en route and I hope it’s not a dud like my iBook. The auction stated that it didn’t start up after being in storage for a couple of years but hopefully I can get it going. The Titanium was the first major notebook to ship in a metal case and was a huge design change for Apple with its 15″ screen and lack of removable drive modules. They were only 1″ thin and were beautiful machines but suffered from paint chips and faulty hinges. We’ll see what I get. At least I get another yo-yo power adapter with it.

My First Classic Tower

I have a couple of G4 towers and a Blue and White G3 tower but none of my Macs are in the shape of a classic platinum tower. That all changed tonight when I won an auction for a Power Macintosh 8600 tower. It’s housed in an easy-to-open tower that it shares with the original Power Macintosh G3.  It holds a special place in my heart as that was the current design when I first began my romance with the Macintosh. It’s also the first Mac that I will own with a PowerPC 604e CPU, the predecessor to the G3. I’m pretty excited about this one.

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