Weird Crap in Mike’s Place: Twentieth Anniversary Mac

Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Essay, Fun | 0 comments

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place: Twentieth Anniversary Mac

It’s no secret that Apple has produced a number of oddball machines: the spasm-inducing Mac Portable, the original Color Mac, the eMate, and so on. Toss into this hodge-and-or-podge is the Twentieth Anniversary Mac, otherwise referred to as the “TAM.”

The TAM was a boutique computer, designed by Sir Jony himself, and celebrated the 20th anniversary of Apple. Released in the spring of 1997, the TAM was initially priced at $7499, and was the first desktop Mac to use a flat screen. Using the PowerPC 603e, the TAM ran at a whopping 250 MHz and sported a 12.1” screen, custom Bose sound system and a generous 2GB internal hard drive.

When purchased, it would be delivered in person and set up with a concierge service. In all, just about 12,000 were made.

The high-price made for sluggish sales (gee, ya think?), and the price was eventually dropped down to $1995 the next year, when it was discontinued.

Twentieth Anniversary Mac

Twentieth Anniversary Mac (on the left)

While I don’t consider myself a computer collector, it’s hard to resist picking up a machine now and then that I would not have been able to afford originally, such as a Grid, Mac Cube, NeXT and now the TAM.

I was inspired to pick one up after going to the 30th anniversary of the Mac, held in the same auditorium in which it was first introduced in 2014. On the lobby was a timeline of various Macs and I decided to see what TAMs were going for on eBay. Lo and behold, one, still in its box, was on eBay for about $1500. I was told that the owner bought two of them, one to use, and the other to save as a collectors item. It had been removed from the box only twice: when first purchased, and when being tested before posting on eBay. Most of the ancillary bits were still wrapped up in their original packaging, having never been touched.

I have it proudly on display next to a 1930 Silvertone Tombstone-style radio.