Imagine opening time capsule boxes filled with rare Apple goodies, many of which date back to their early Lisa/Macintosh days, and having no clue at the time what’s inside.
Well, that’s exactly what I experienced and it was a trip. The story is this- a gentleman named Bert contacted me about his Apple stuff and wanted to know if I wanted it, said he really hated throwing it all away.
Did I want it? He said I could have it all if I’d only cover the shipping. He knew I collected all things Apple and wanted me to have it.
To non-computer collector folks 30 year old stuff doesn’t sound old, but in computer years it’s like 100.
One of the aspects I like about computer history, and Apple’s more particularly, is not just the machines; no, it’s the documents, the manuals, the product catalogs, the first edition Mac mags, and even the mags reviewing Apple’s early machines, along with non-computer industry mags Apple bought 20 page Macintosh advertising spreads.
Needless to say, Bert’s time capsule was filled with just what I hoped.
As I have time over the next few weeks, I’ll feature many of these artifacts in more detail, as well as include them in the photo gallery of my collection.
Last Tuesday I too tuned in for Apple’s Special Event. It reeked nostalgia from the get-go for me because of its venue- the Flint Center there in Cupertino. MacHeads all know this location. It’s the place in 1984 where Steve introduced Macintosh to the world. Then upon his return to Apple after being ousted, he once again went back to Flint for the unveiling of the Bondi Blue iMac in 1998. Well, this time Apple booked the site for the rollout of the Apple Watch, their first wearable computer.
All the pre-event rumbles caused me to figure it was going to happen at this event…you know Apple guards its secrets pretty darn well. In fact, they’ve learned to announce products not yet in official production so specs and pics can’t leak out, and that’s exactly what they did when they announced the Watch. It won’t be available until “some time early next year” type time frame.
I love Apple innovating and don’t care they aren’t the first in a space. They weren’t with the portable computer, the MP3 player or the tablet type device either. And you know some are going to bomb. Look at the Newton (actually, it was just before its time). But did they stop innovating handheld computers after that? Heck no, we have the iPhone don’t we? So, I’m totally cool with the Apple Watch and it will get better with each new generation. Sure folks are saying, “What the heck would I wear that for?” But you know what? Apple loves to make new products folks don’t know they need yet.
But even better than all the announcements made that day, I must tell you the point in Tim Cook’s part of the show that got to me most of all.
It was right here-
I immediately missed Steve, but was so glad Apple brought him back, even if it was for just for one more thing…
Apple watches are cool and extremely collectible. No, I’m not talking about the highly anticipated smart watch dubbed the iWatch. Instead, I’m talking about the timepieces pictured in their Apple product catalogs during the mid to late 1980’s and then others used as promotional items throughout the 1990s.
As the world excitedly awaits Apple’s unveiling of their first new iDevice since the iPad and first wearable computer, I can’t help but think back to their watches of old. These were analog timepieces. Nothing smart about them either, but they looked cool and authentic examples sell into the hundreds of dollars today.
The earliest watch I’ve found was featured in their The Apple Collection catalog from 1987. It was understated and sleek. Apple also produced a smaller fold out brochure of products that same year and it offered women’s and men’s versions. As I dug into their watches I found two sites – one is a fellow member of the Cult, Mark Johnson. His flickr page displays his fantastic collection for us to enjoy. The other is an archive page of watches on Red Light Runner. If you like Apple’s watches and all their dozens of variations – some crazy ones too – then check out these two sites.
The funny thing is yesterday I foggily remembered, or thought I remembered, I owned one too. Then I looked over my Apple collection shelves and sure ‘nuf, I did have one and have decided to wear it in celebration of Apple’s press conference. It was released to commemorate their Mac OS 7.5 operating system in 1995. We never know for sure what Apple’s going to do or roll-out at these productions, but the consensus is the iWatch will be announced (no one actually expects this wearable iDevice to be called the iWatch though).
Unless someone’s been under a rock for a while, the speculation about this wearable computer ranges from it being able to determine the sex of an unborn child to identifying your future mate and some say it can even predict future stock prices. Well, not actually, but even still the talk of this device’s capabilities is off the charts.
Did you know Apple started work on their smart watch back in their early days? I kid you not. In fact, a prototype is pictured in “Keep it Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple” written by Harmut Esslinger, Founder of frog design. It’s a pretty crazy looking wrist worn communicator from the early to mid 1980’s. The keypad has 12 keys. The companion headset is a single earpiece design with a microphone. Granted this could be more of a “phone” than a smart watch, but let’s not get hung up in semantics. Point is Apple doesn’t do things on a whim or just because a competitor does.
Apple’s announcement is going to be exciting and I’ll be watching to see how cool this new smart watch is first hand. And yes, I’ll probably buy the first generation, if, for no other reason, but to add it to my Mac Museum….cause I don’t wear a watch, except for today.
I have a daily Apple routine. It’s keeping up with Apple Inc. and Tim Cook & Company. Following and anticipating their moves and positions, even down to listening to their quarterly earnings call and the games they play with the stock analysts.
And aside from my fascination with this, my favorite company, I collect their stock I mean, who can call them self a collector of all things Apple without owning their stock too.
A few times a day, except during down periods, I’ll pop my MarketWatch icon on my iPhone and I can see exactly what’s happening- number of shares traded, price-whether it’s up or down- and Apple news. The analysts kill me though. I swear I don’t think they have a clue and tend to be jaded by their corporate influences and agendas. I wouldn’t give a rip but their expectations seem to reek havoc on the share price at times.
I love to watch Apple. Its story is remarkable. Apple, Inc. is so rich now it’s buying back its shares, which makes the other outstanding shares more valuable. To top that off it pays money every quarter to its shareholders. Apple wasn’t always so well off though. In 1997 when Steve returned as interim CEO the company was broke, but over time he nursed it back to health. I can not even fathom how much $150 billion is. That’s how much cash stored around the world it has, approximately. Interestingly, Steve never was in favor of paying dividends, probably for a lot of reasons, but his experience resuscitating Apple marked him.
Watching the acquisitions Apple makes (including the latest one of Beat Electronics) and thinking about what they are up to is a game folks love to play. Everyone wants to know what Apple is doing. In fact, there are the naysayers who contend they aren’t innovating since Steve died, but I don’t believe Steve didn’t carefully plan the direction of a company knowing he was dying. Heck, he foresaw the iPad back in the early 80’s. So, I do not believe there aren’t annuals of notes with his ideas somewhere in a ultra-secret vault. My guess is it’s in Tim’s office. Hope they remember to get them out when they move into their new building
That’s another thing- Apple is building the mother of all corporate office campuses. It’s been joking referred to as the Mothership.
Apple’s stock price run from 2009 to 2012
Apple’s stock price took off like a rocket back a few years ago, eventually breaking $700. Then it like crashed. It was all I could do to keep my faith, but I did. Yes, I’m Apple crazy but I just knew Apple’s better days weren’t over. It fell to just under $400. Sure, I realized my money was losing value during this 6 to 8 month period the stock just couldn’t stop falling (no support), but she was getting beat up badly by the analysts and that made things worse. I’m not going to profess to know all the reasons at the time the shares plummeted, but folks didn’t like iPhone sales and profit margins (or that Apple was too dependent on the iPhone for its profit). Funny too, everyone has been so concerned iPod sales dwindled. If Apple stops making them it won’t surprise me at all. Apple invented a product that took its place and that’s totally cool. The iPod has its honored place in significant Apple products and forever will be remembered.
Did I tell you Apple is just about to give us 6 shares for every one we own? Yeap, that’s pretty cool too. I’m not smart enough to understand all the ramifications to this other than on June 6th the shares will split. Then on June 9th Apple shares will begin trading at its new adjusted price. This will be Apple’s fourth stock split since going public. Apple’s common stock split on a 2-for-1 basis on May 15, 1987, on June 21, 2000 and also on February 18, 2005. (I also have an early Apple stock specimen in my collection from during the Sculley days, of which we do not speak.)
On another note- there is probably truth to the speculation Apple’s about to release its largest screen iPhone yet. I saw a rumor it was jumbo sizing its iPad too (a 13 inch iPad Pro), but not sure about that one. The iWatch has all but been born according to the press. I just hope it’s a good one. I don’t wear a watch and don’t always have my glasses on, so reading stuff, even if it is bluetoothed to my phone is still going to make me a hard sell. I’m sure it will be cool though, but a niche’ market.
I’d love to see Apple introduce a 3-D printer. Then I want them to introduce a table top flat touch screen model, and I know that sounds like an iPad, but I’m talking a desktop model that is like 30 inches and flat, uber-thin and totally touch screen. Last but not least, I want them to do a holographic computer. Steve dreamed it, I’m sure.
The last Apple computer related collectibles I acquired was a Macintosh SE ( I know you’d have expected me to already have the SE, but not. Computers tend to be quite large and require significant shelf room). I found the owners manual from 1988 for the SE shortly after that. I’ve also grabbed a pair of speakers that sold with my Apple CD player, but I’ll tell you more about these additions another day.
I usually don’t post about auctions of Apple memorabilia but true one of a kind items really strike a cord with me, and that’s exactly what this one did.
I’m not going to be a player in this auction and would love to see one of my My Favorite Apple friends end up getting these.
Ending June 4 are two original Apple logo signs that hung on the Apple corporate buildings. We’ve seen these exact signs in pictures in various Apple history books and videos. Yes, I realize the opening bid is $10,000 but items like this are true rare Apple collectibles, more so than buying a machine that was produced by the thousands. There probably aren’t but a few of these in existence, assuming if there were others that someone saved them like this seller did.
An auctioneer friend of mine emailed me and his link took me to my friends at the Cult of Mac, and here they said,
“From 1993 until 1997, Apple’s rainbow logo smiled down from the east-facing side of Infinite Loop’s Building 3 as drivers sped north on Highway 280.”
I saved this auction for my archive and will follow it. Good luck and if you end up with these, please let me know.
My entire Apple computer and Mac memorabilia collection was gone.
All my old computers, Apple history library of magazines from the 80’s and hard to find old computer books disappeared. Even my Apple note pad and mug collection were gone. All my Apple/Mac extensive t-shirt collection was no more, along with everything else. Now I’ll give you this- not everything in my collection is so rare, that it is irreplaceable, but a lot of the items are in excellent condition, like new- many were still in their factory sealed boxes and had never been opened. For those items it is the condition that makes them such that I’d probably never be able to duplicate what I had.
If you visit MyFavoriteApple you know my home office serves dual purposes- a place I can escape to do whatever work I want to when I’m home and then a place to display my Mac/Apple collection (I jokingly call it my Mac Museum).
As a collector I learned long ago if you can’t see, and thus enjoy, the items in your collection, then why the heck even have them. Been there, done that. Having your drawers and closets chocked full or boxes stuffed with your “valuables” ain’t no fun. Now granted, I don’t play with my Apples, although I did have power outlets and holes for power cords drilled in the shelves when I had my built-ins installed back a few years ago, but even still I don’t go around turning them on.
Here’s where the nightmare comes in. No, it wasn’t a fire that wiped out my collection or a thief who broke in and stole it, but the result was the same. My entire collection gone- years of hunting and acquiring the Apples of my eye were down the drain. My office was wiped clean. Nothing remained- not even a poster left on the wall-and I was devastated. Think about how that would feel. Well, that’s how I felt- shocked, devastated and totally pissed off.
Here’s the story-
I woke up and put on my robe. As I was tying its belt I noticed the robe was yellow. Thought it was odd, but didn’t think too much more about it then…you see my robe is blue, not yellow. So, as I was finishing tying on my belt I was out of my bedroom and walking down the hall. Immediately, I discovered my wife had our house gutted. Not just emptied of our furniture, but I’m talking even all the interior walls were gone. It looked like one big empty commercial office before it’s built out. A shell.
Looked something like this
Next to our bedroom is my Mac Museum. There I saw nothing. Just the exterior walls. It was wiped clean. No Apple anything. Even the built-ins I had installed special for my Mac collection were gone. I remember now my first thought was WTF! I turned and saw some guys way down at the other end of the house. They were painters my wife hired to gut and then redo the entire interior. I marched straight towards them. Mad as hell. Where the heck was my Apple stuff, I remember thinking as I approached them. I noticed one of them was on his cell and I overheard him say, “We have a problem, I’ve got to go” and he hung up.
Once I was to the guys I asked, “What the heck did y’all do with all my Apple stuff? It was down there in my office.” One of them spoke up and said they didn’t know where the stuff was. Then he tells me a different crew gutted the house and probably were the ones who removed the stuff from my office. I remember my mind flooded with thoughts of suing them. I just lost $100,000 worth of Apple stuff (which it really isn’t worth anything like that anyway).
Then he tried to be helpful and said they probably hauled it to the dump and maybe put some in storage, somewhere. I could just imagine trying to dig around the dump to find the stuff.
I was livid. Completely unglued. Could not believe what was happening. My entire Apple/Mac collection was gone.
One of the benefits of having a large family is Macs get added to my Apple computer collection faster than if they were only added when I get new ones.
For me, I have a combo of both old and new as my/our everyday machine…I still count any Mac used by my family (there are 6 of us) as mine and will ultimately end up in my collection. My company has a marketing dept that uses Macs and from time to time, I inherit one from there too.
We all know the routine- get a new Mac and add the old one to my collection, well that’s the way it is supposed to work anyway.
Right now, my home set-up is a 2011 15″ MacBook Pro, and while I do carry it back and forth to my office, when I’m home I hook it up to my old 2006 antique 30″ Cinema Display with wireless keyboard and mouse. For my casual surfing and when I’m on the road, I use my iPad 4 with retina display.
Love at first site
My wife still uses her 2008 Black MacBook and I’m dying to add it to my collection-it is too cool. When her first Mac, a white MacBook, was only a year old a friend of mine came over my house showing off his brand new black MacBook. And even though my wife really didn’t like computers, her mouth hit the floor when she saw his black laptop (she’d never seen a black Mac before), so I surprised her with one soon after. At the time it is was a souped up machine too. She also has a iPad 3 she uses to read books on.
My iMac, her laptop, but my iPad :)
My oldest daughter uses her 2010 MacBook Pro, but she absconded with our previous family computer, a 2006 20″ white iMac G-4 before I could add it to my Mac Museum. She also uses our (THE) original iPad, but just the other day I found it laying around the house and grabbed it for my collection.
My son uses a 2010 MacBook Pro.
My middle daughter has a 2011 MacBook Air.
My youngest daughter uses her 2013 iPad Mini and my wife’s older white 2006 MacBook, but she heads off to college this fall and the understanding is that they get a new Apple laptop then. So the good news is at least I’ll finally get that 2006 model for my collection.
Also, our family communal computer is a 2009 20″ iMac G-5- Aluminum. I’d take it as my everyday home machine, but love my older cinema display too much.
Needless to say we all have iPhones too, but it took me forever to finally convert my son away from his Droid.
And so when I need to buy someone in the family a new machine I have an ulterior motive that helps me dig into my pocket, provided they didn’t tear the older one up, and that is I get another one for my collection.
Whether you are an old Mac Head or a new Apple fan, you’ll love Jony Ive- The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products.
I’ll admit, I’m not typically into biographies and haven’t even finished Steve Jobs. I prefer the history of the early days of Apple instead..and in case you are still picking yourself off the floor that I haven’t finished Isaacson’s book about Steve. The reason is I already know Steve. And while I will probably pick up a couple of interesting factoids, Steve was my inspiration, my hero-like figure, and I have a picture of him developed over 20 years, so I don’t want some erroneous statement to change my view.
Now Jony’s biography, on the other hand, is one I thought I’d eventually read. I didn’t pre-order it when it was first announced, but thought it might be interesting. I’ve always liked Jony and felt he provided Apple the emotion behind the products once Steve returned to Apple. I decided to do the hardcopy instead of the ebook, and thank goodness I did, because it’s a keeper.
I am a fan of Leander and his book The Cult of Mac is one of my all time favorites. He’s been close to Apple for decades and someone who I view as an authority on Apple (as opposed to Isaacson who is a simply a historian-type writer).
Once I got through Jony’s early days and the influences on his life, the book changed into a page turner for me. Apple knows how to make people love their products, feel strong passion, akin to obsession, and view their products as just cool. It is Jony and his design team who causes us to connect with their machines. You’d think they were puppies or kittens, the way we feel about them- like either extensions of ourselves or an object we feel a very strong affection for…some liken this strong affection to almost an erotic attraction (even Jony believes a computer can be sexy). Regardless of how I describe it, Jony and the Industrial Design Group are the ones who create the magic to a piece of machinery making them personal.
The aspect I found fascinating about Leander’s account of the master innovator is he takes us behind the scenes of most of the iconic products Apple has produced. Apple’s we know- the iMacs (starting with Bondi Blue iMac G-3), iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Leander does an excellent job of helping the reader understand how Apple is design driven. The way we interact with the machines, as well as how it looks and functions is what starts the “inventing a new product” process, instead of the engineers and number crunchers determining a new product.
My Favorite Apple is about collecting all things Apple (as in Apple/Mac computers)- a central place for my notes, pictures, links and Apple related videos
Photo of the day
The Original Macintosh
The unveiling of Macintosh
Steve Jobs Quote
"When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you're life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again."