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Extremely rare Apple Macintosh 128K with 'Twiggy Drive' listed for $100K on eBay

post #1 of 63
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An extremely rare piece of Apple history has appeared for auction on eBay in the form of a Macintosh 128K, complete with a 5.25-inch "Twiggy" disk drive.

The seller is as the "world's oldest known complete Mac." Still in working order, the starting price on the auction is a whopping $99,995, with more than five days remaining to bid.

The Macintosh 128K was originally set to have a Twiggy floppy disk drive — a disk format developed by Apple during the creation of the Lisa. The disks, known as "FileWare," were similar to a standard 5.25-inch disk, but also had write windows on the top, and a label that ran down the side.

Though early prototypes of the Macintosh included Twiggy disks, they were eventually removed. Instead, Apple chose to go with the 3.5-inch floppy disk created by Sony, as Twiggy drives proved to be unreliable.

"To date, only bits and pieces of the original 'Twiggy Drive' Macintosh have ever surfaced... A motherboard here, a plastic case there, but never a complete machine or example," the eBay seller wrote. "This is the only one! The computer and keyboard are authentic and original, dated 1982-83. The computer and its keyboard were acquired together and complete, and have not been pieced together from miscellaneous parts."




The seller said that the Macintosh 128K powers on, chimes, and then prompts the user to insert a boot disk. A Lisa-formatted Twiggy disk does not boot the computer. Without a Macintosh Twiggy disk, the computer will not boot.

The goes by the handle "wozniac," but noted they are not Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple. The seller said they live in Canada and have had the same eBay ID since 2007.

As of Thursday afternoon, there have not been any bids on the rare Macintosh 128K. Pictures of the device are included below, and more can be seen at the .










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post #2 of 63
Beautiful piece of kit, indeed...but it should go to a museum instead of being auctioned off to private collectors.
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post #3 of 63
If other blog sites are to be believed, it is the one and only Woz selling this.
post #4 of 63
It's a thing of beauty. But no practical value.

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post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

If other blog sites are to be believed, it is the one and only Woz selling this.

That's ridiculous. Woz doesn't need the money, and he's never shown great interest in collecting large amounts of it. If he had it, he would have donated it to a museum.
post #6 of 63
What is that guy in a trench coat logo next to the keyboard? It is also drawn on the memory PCB.

Found this by Googling the PCB serial #

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...p/t-29001.html

Yep compared the hand written Eprom codes and it is the same machine

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post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

If other blog sites are to be believed, it is the one and only Woz selling this.

Three things that make think this is not being sold by Steve Wozniak:
  1. There is no eveidence that Woz needs the money, nor any evidence that this is being auctioned off charity.
  2. If the goal is to make as much money as possible then The Great And Powerful Woz should say it's from him as it would surely increase its selling power.
  3. The eBay site says, "Please note: I am not Steve Wozniak, nor am I attempting to impersonate him. My eBay ID is "wozniac", not "wozniak". I have had this eBay ID since 2007. Also, I live in Canada. Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple, Inc.) lives in the USA. My sincere apologies to you Steve, if this listing causes you any problems. Cheers!", but that could have been added after the speculation first began.

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post #8 of 63
This is not Woz...it even says its not Steve Wozniak. The address is from Canada.

And even if it was Woz it wouldn't make any sense to him to sell it for $100,000 unless it was going to charity which the auction doesn't say so.

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post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

What is that guy in a trench coat logo next to the keyboard? It is also drawn on the memory PCB.

Found this by Googling the PCB serial #

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...p/t-29001.html

Yep compared the hand written Eprom codes and it is the same machine

That guy is Mister Macintosh!

http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py..._Macintosh.txt
post #10 of 63
What recession.
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainyehc View Post

That guy is Mister Macintosh!

http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py..._Macintosh.txt

Hey thanks for wasting one of your two posts since 2007 on me. Muchas Gracias!

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post #12 of 63
Cool machine. Price is waaay out of wack and then you add the $1500 he's charging for shipping. No way this is Woz, he's way smarter than that.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Hey thanks for wasting one of your two posts since 2007 on me. Muchas Gracias!

Heh True, while I'm fairly active on other forums, I don't really know why but around here I'm more of an occasional lurker. Still, glad you enjoyed that piece of history!
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainyehc View Post

Heh… True, while I'm fairly active on other forums, I don't really know why but around here I'm more of an occasional lurker. Still, glad you enjoyed that piece of history!

After reading that story it occurred to me that the old rumor floating around that Steve never really liked the name Macintosh now appears to be bogus.

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post #15 of 63
Macs are good for museums and PC's are good for landfills.

I wonder what a PC from 1982 goes for on Ebay?

I think that it's safe to say that most Macs do not end up in a dumpster somewhere. I still have my old Macs that are more than a decade old. How many people with old PC's are still keeping those alive? Sorry buddy, the majority of them are already in some garbage dumb someplace.

When somebody goes to buy an iPad, iPhone, Mac or any Apple product today, they can rest assured that Apple is not going to have a firesale 3 weeks later and they see the retail price on their brand new product plummet by hundreds of percentage points down.

Can you imagine the suckers who bought the first Xoom's for around $700-$800? These people can't say that they weren't warned. What about the suckers who bought the HP Touchpad before the drastic and desperate firesales?
post #16 of 63
I wonder if the original Macintosh external floppy drive would work with this. Booting from the external with the right early version of Mac OS might make it possible to format Twiggy discs in the internal drive.
post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

It's a thing of beauty. But no practical value.

Like many collectibles that command premium prices. So what's your point? Whether it's an old $100K Mac or the $250m Blue Hope Diamond it serves zero purpose yet people pay top dollar for it.

I hope whoever buys this Mac has it put into a museum of some sort. It's a great piece of history and should be enjoyed by all.
post #18 of 63
I'll give you $50 for it. Final offer.

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post #19 of 63
Interesting that while the drive itself is a Twiggy, it looks like the floppy disc icon on the screen is a 3.5" disc. So it looks like the ROM has been at least updated to a version made after the decision to go with a 3.5" drive was made. I wonder if it would boot off a 3.5" drive if it was swapped out? Or perhaps even an external 3.5" drive.

I also like how the keyboard looks -- it looks much closer to an Apple II/II+ keyboard than to what shipped with the final version. The font looks different and it actually says Command instead of just the command logo still used in the menus today.

I remember spending a lot of time with a 512ke in high school that I got as pay for a part time job -- seeing these pics brings back a lot of memories
post #20 of 63
Here is a clear image of the signatures found on the inside of the case.

http://www.digibarn.com/collections/...res-medium.jpg

Steve is middle column fourth from the top
Woz is right column fifth from the bottom

More good stuff

http://library.stanford.edu/mac/primary/docs/pr5.html

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post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Three things that make think this is not being sold by Steve Wozniak:
  1. There is no eveidence that Woz needs the money, nor any evidence that this is being auctioned off charity.
  2. If the goal is to make as much money as possible then The Great And Powerful Woz should say it's from him as it would surely increase its selling power.
  3. The eBay site says, "Please note: I am not Steve Wozniak, nor am I attempting to impersonate him. My eBay ID is "wozniac", not "wozniak". I have had this eBay ID since 2007. Also, I live in Canada. Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple, Inc.) lives in the USA. My sincere apologies to you Steve, if this listing causes you any problems. Cheers!", but that could have been added after the speculation first began.

As I said clearly, 'if other blog sites are to be believed.' I had my own doubts whether it was Wozniak or not, but I didn't particularly care.
post #22 of 63
Did all (pre-cursor-keys) Macs have that slide-out drawer?

I used some pretty ancient “yellow Macs" in school but I never thought to yank on the side of the keyboard to see what might happen.
post #23 of 63
That screen looks blue to me. Weren't the original Macs monochrome?
post #24 of 63
looking at this it is amazing to think how technology has progressed in the last 20-30 years
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickwil61 View Post

That screen looks blue to me. Weren't the original Macs monochrome?

mono = 1
chrome = color

1 color. Blue is 1 color, even if it is only blue-ish. So yes... it is monochrome.
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

Beautiful piece of kit, indeed...but it should go to a museum instead of being auctioned off to private collectors.

Then buy it and donate it to a museum.
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post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickwil61 View Post

That screen looks blue to me. Weren't the original Macs monochrome?


Mixed light auto white balance from the camera I think. The other link to vintage computers has another image with more accurate color. The BW CRT display did have a slight blue cast though.

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post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickwil61 View Post

That screen looks blue to me. Weren't the original Macs monochrome?

Yes, the real color is closer to pure white than this. The camera has white balanced to the incandescent lighting in the room and the white screen is much cooler than the lightbulbs.
I agree that it still should not look this blue anyway. It seems like the camera must have really exaggerated the cooler white point of the screen for some reason.

I still have my Mac 128! It is a standard 3.5 inch floppy one though. I am waiting for it to be worth 100 grand too...
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

What is that guy in a trench coat logo next to the keyboard? It is also drawn on the memory PCB.

Found this by Googling the PCB serial #

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...p/t-29001.html

Yep compared the hand written Eprom codes and it is the same machine

great detective work! Horatio and Grissom would be proud

I wouldn't buy it if I could afford it, but that's a great piece of history.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

As I said clearly, 'if other blog sites are to be believed.' I had my own doubts whether it was Wozniak or not, but I didn't particularly care.

I recon 'the real Woz' would be the buyer, not the seller. Some collector or curator will pay big for this piece. It looks like it is in exceptional condition.
post #31 of 63
I've held on to much of my "old Mac" collection from years past. A couple of Mac 512Ks, external 400K floppy drive, external 10MB serial port-connected hard drive, the original "phonebook" Mac programming guide, a box set of BeOS, and a bunch of Apple-branded nicknacks from old trade shows and Apple reps. I wish I'd have kept my original 128K Mac, complete with the engraved names inside the back case, but I upgraded it to a Mac Plus and subsequently gave it to my niece.
post #32 of 63
If the real Woz is selling this, he needs money for more Android phones.

(I respect Woz and see him as a genius. I don't understand why he believes that Android will kill Iphone.)
post #33 of 63
Ha,

My dad had one. It might be laying around somewhere still....

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post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

I wonder if the original Macintosh external floppy drive would work with this. Booting from the external with the right early version of Mac OS might make it possible to format Twiggy discs in the internal drive.

It might be possible to boot it from an external 3.5" floppy, except for one thing. Those are not the final production ROM's. They may not have the code in the boot sequence to read from 3.5" floppies. The original ROM's contained QuickDraw and other system code that left very little room for extra's. There are stories about Burrell, Andy, and Atkinson sweating long hours to squeeze every last bit of space out of the ROMs.

It might be possible to replace those EPROM's with copies of the original production ROMS and it would boot from an external 3.5" floppy, but then there would be no code for handling the Twiggy drive.
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeetime View Post

I've held on to much of my "old Mac" collection from years past. A couple of Mac 512Ks, external 400K floppy drive, external 10MB serial port-connected hard drive, the original "phonebook" Mac programming guide, a box set of BeOS, and a bunch of Apple-branded nicknacks from old trade shows and Apple reps. I wish I'd have kept my original 128K Mac, complete with the engraved names inside the back case, but I upgraded it to a Mac Plus and subsequently gave it to my niece.

Still have my Apple II and original Mac. My own personal computer museum. All the other pre-OSX Macs I have owned (LC's, SE's, PowerMac's, Quadra's, etc) are gone.

The dude needs to go on the Antique Roadshow...

"This is a final example of Macintosh hardware from the early 1980's pre-Sculley period, with a unique rare configuration. It is not in the original packaging, but it is in good condition and has not been refinished or altered. I would say that, conservatively, at auction, this Macintosh would go for..."

post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

That's ridiculous. Woz doesn't need the money, and he's never shown great interest in collecting large amounts of it. If he had it, he would have donated it to a museum.

Just curious how you know that Wozniak doesn't need the money. I don't recall him making his personal financial statements public.
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post #37 of 63
Anyone who asks $100,000 for something, then demands $1500 for shipping, is clueless as a salesperson.

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post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Anyone who asks $100,000 for something, then demands $1500 for shipping, is clueless as a salesperson.


Probably will be insured for $100K as well. Considering that it needs to have special packaging constructed and it is most likely international shipping since it is coming from Canada, $1,500 does not sound unreasonable and I am sure it is negotiable. If you have an extra $100k laying around to spend on this you would want to have it shipped properly I would think. Plus you also will have to pay duty unless you live in Canada, so add that on to the expense as well.

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post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Macs are good for museums and PC's are good for landfills.

Considering how many old Macs I'm aware of, that people have tucked away, I'd say that is surprisingly true. I still have my first one, a Mac Plus (circa 1986?). And the last time I checked, it was still fully functional.

I've had probably dozens of PC's over the years and the only one I've kept is an IBM ThinkPad... that stopped working about a year and a half into its life. I found that it's not worth fixing, but I can't get myself to throw it away. But now, the Mac Plus, I will NEVER get rid of it! I once considered that little fellow to be my secret weapon.

So I agree with your post. Somehow, people with Macs seem more likely to believe they have something special. And they're less likely to chuck it in the trash once it breaks or becomes obsolete. PC's, on the other hand... they're like cheap lighters: when they're done, just throw them away.
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post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Probably will be insured for $100K as well. Considering that it needs to have special packaging constructed and it is most likely international shipping since it is coming from Canada, $1,500 does not sound unreasonable and I am sure it is negotiable. If you have an extra $100k laying around to spend on this you would want to have it shipped properly I would think. Plus you also will have to pay duty unless you live in Canada, so add that on to the expense as well.

$100,000 is just a number he made up and is pure profit. Any reasonable salesperson would have said $100,000 + free shipping so his net income is $98,500. Putting up a potential barrier to that much profit by demanding shipping is just plain stupid.

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