RetroMacCast

Where great old Macs live again!

James and John discuss eBay finds: Mac Plus prototype, Apple kites, unreleased Lisa logo badge, and unique Apple sign. They talk about the Golden Apple Club, and news includes the upcoming Apple announcement, 6 rare Macs, and a collection of Apple print ads.

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On the "very rare prototype Macintosh Plus 1MB working" auction, I'm kind of skeptical. It does have Apple property tags on it, but the fact that it doesn't have "Mac Plus" on the front doesn't mean very much, there are actually quite a few like that out in the wild. I have one, for example, which I specifically sought out because from the front it looks like a 128K or 512K Mac, but has the capabilities of a Mac Plus 1MB. Apple offered a set of upgrade kits that could turn a 128K or 512K Mac into a Mac Plus 1MB, which resulted in the replacement of the back panel but not the front bezel.

Here are a couple of current or recent eBay instances of those:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/310446460889

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261113037540

Incidentally, I'm also kind of skeptical of that last one, given that it is supposed to have the original box, which has a Mac Plus pictured on it complete with the name on the front, but the Mac on the desk appears to be one of the upgrades. Maybe the service technicians threw in the box when the upgrade was performed? But they look mismatched.

Wikipedia's Mac Plus entry mentions the upgrade kit:

An upgrade kit was offered for the earlier Macintosh 128K and Macintosh 512K/enhanced, which included a new motherboard, floppy disk drive and rear case. The owner retained the front case, monitor, and analog board. Because of this, there is no "Macintosh Plus" on the front of upgraded units, and the Apple logo is recessed and in the bottom left hand corner of the front case. However, the label on the back of the case reads "Macintosh Plus 1MB". The new extended Plus keyboard could also be purchased. Unfortunately, this upgrade cost almost as much as a new machine.

And there are a few scattered references to it around (e.g., Apple's archived upgrade history, a mention in InfoWorld 1986), but that seems to be the usual explanation for a compact Mac that lacks the lettering on the front but says Mac Plus 1MB in the back.

I'd guess that the "prototype" is just a Mac used in the development team office and maybe was a guinea pig for the upgrade, which if so would be interesting but I'd hesitate to really call it a prototype just on the basis of that. As you mention, we don't know anything else about it, maybe it really is a prototype with interesting experiments being performed inside, but with no story and no look inside I don't think I'd be anywhere near ready to plunk down $1000 to have it.

Thanks John for mentioning my review of Sky Captain on this weeks show - hope you liked it.

Like you, I'm a graphic artist and a sci-fi fan too. 

Two other favorites you might be interested in.

Starship troopers

http://www.treksinscifi.com/forum/index.php?topic=10582.0

Babylon 5

http://www.treksinscifi.com/forum/index.php?topic=10088.0

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