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A Bit Of A Rarity

OldMacGuy

Member
This looks like one of those deals where OldMacGuy disappears and this thread disappears and its all best if no one asks any more questions.
I’d be skeptical, too. This, however, is the real deal.

I’m working on a proper write-up on my Twiggy Mac and what I know of its history that I’ll hopefully post this afternoon or evening. In the meantime, here are a few more photos:

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OleLila

Well-known member
I had never known of the Twiggy Mac before this thread. Looking forward to the rest. Thanks.

 

Huxley

Well-known member
I literally have nothing of value to add to this thread, other than to share my amazement and excitement that I get to follow along with the pics and (hopefully soon) the history of this insanely-cool prototype. @OldMacGuy - I've got some rare-ish items in my vintage gear collection, but this takes the cake, the bakery and the entire party too. Thank you for sharing this with us - I'm excited to learn more about the history here!

H.

 

Unknown_K

Well-known member
No surface mount capacitors or leaky batteries to worry about at least. Was the belt on the twiggy drive replaced or original?

 

fri0701

Well-known member
@OldMacGuy Your keyboard seems to have the same pull-out drawer as one of the other surviving Twiggy Macs. Is there anything inside?

Thanks for the additional pictures! I'm grateful you're taking the time to thoroughly photograph and document this machine.  :smiley:

 

OldMacGuy

Member
No surface mount capacitors or leaky batteries to worry about at least. Was the belt on the twiggy drive replaced or original?
It’s the original belt.

The battery wasn’t in it, thank god. No popped caps, no battery leakage. 

The Twiggy Mac, along with its keyboard and mouse had been in its original padded carry bag at least since the original owner died in the 1990s. The original owner was a member of Apple’s board of directors at one point in time and when he died, his daughter ended up with it. I’m her computer tech and she called me over one day to go through “a bunch of old equipment” to identify what to donate and what to throw away, and this old equipment included the Twiggy Mac.

Neither of us knew what it was, but I knew no production Mac had ever been released with a 5.25” floppy drive and that it was probably a prototype of some kind. She wanted it to go to a good home when I told her it was likely a semi-rare or rare Mac, so she gave it to me in mid-December. I did some research and realized it was a Twiggy Mac and that finding it was, as I put it at the time, “like finding an albino Bigfoot.” (Yes, I’ve kept quiet about it for nearly 6 months. It’s been hard to do. I mean, imagine finding an Albino Bigfoot - Who wouldn’t want to let the world know about it?)

When I got it, the floppy was inserted incorrectly. It was face-up, but it was rotated 90° from proper orientation (see the video). I couldn’t remove the floppy; it was wedged in pretty good, so I left it in the drive and only removed it after I pulled the Twiggy drive and its frame out of the case. 

The FileWare floppy - a literal one-of-a-kind item due to the OS on the disk being written for the specific ROM revision on the board - may be damaged.

The Twiggy Mac starts but does not load the OS. I’m pretty sure the Twiggy drive is working as designed (for what that’s worth :-D ) but I can’t tell. Due to the utter uniqueness of the hardware, Im thinking I can’t just pop in a FileWare disk for a Lisa and expect it to be read (although I haven’t tried).

If anyone wants to lend a hand with backing up the FileWare floppy and/or troubleshooting the Twiggy drive, I would be eternally grateful. I know this is a special Mac, one of only 3 of its kind known to exist. I’d love to get it working again.

And I’m glad people are digging the fact that it exists and that it’s not a hoax. If anyone is skeptical - I get it. I’m a skeptic by nature and I could scarcely believe it myself at first and didn’t believe it was an actual example of the near-mythic Twiggy Mac until I saw Mac Man on the logic board.

So that’s the (recent) history of my Twiggy Mac.

Thanks for reading and for the interest in my Albino Bigfoot.

OldMacGuy

And now…

This is a Public Service Announcement (unfortunately without guitar):


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OldMacGuy

Member
@OldMacGuy Your keyboard seems to have the same pull-out drawer as one of the other surviving Twiggy Macs. Is there anything inside?

Thanks for the additional pictures! I'm grateful you're taking the time to thoroughly photograph and document this machine.  :smiley:
I just checked, thinking I might have overlooked it and wondering for a second or two if I’d find Steve Jobs’ Apple ID card or something. Alas, it doesn’t have a pull-out drawer.

You’re welcome. I’m happy to share this odyssey.

 

fri0701

Well-known member
I just checked, thinking I might have overlooked it and wondering for a second or two if I’d find Steve Jobs’ Apple ID card or something. Alas, it doesn’t have a pull-out drawer.
That is surprising! Your keyboard has the same groove in the same place as the first Twiggy Mac's keyboard. 

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joshc

Well-known member
This is beyond incredible, this redefines what a "lucky find" means!

Can you please take a photo of the analog board if you remove it, it would be interesting to compare it to the production one?

Which Apple director owned it originally?

 

PB145B

Well-known member
Wow, what an amazing story. She gave it to you!? That’s awesome. Congratulations. Hard to believe there are people that generous still in a world where it’s common see a broken, cracked and yellowed Macintosh Classic listed for $500 and “SUPER RARE STEVE JOBS L@@K!” in the title on eBay.

 

dzog

Well-known member
Thank you for the story!

What a happy outcome. Direct gift to somebody who will restore it and share it with the community. You love to see it. 

 

blusnowkitty

Well-known member
The Twiggy Mac starts but does not load the OS. I’m pretty sure the Twiggy drive is working as designed (for what that’s worth :-D ) but I can’t tell. Due to the utter uniqueness of the hardware, Im thinking I can’t just pop in a FileWare disk for a Lisa and expect it to be read (although I haven’t tried).
I have heard rumours that you can stick a Macintosh Twiggy disk into a Lisa 1 and dump it using Basic Lisa Utility (BLU), but that's only a rumor/speculation. The Twiggy drives were notoriously unreliable though, so perhaps your drive has some sort of f ault - especially if the original belt is still on.

Any chance of dumping the ROM? That's something that also needs to be preserved.

 

stepleton

Well-known member
I have a Lisa 1 and have advertised on 68kmla before about my enthusiasm for helping people back up old disks. I will gladly do this for free for anyone with a disk in a condition that's unlikely to damage my drives.

Unless there's something unique about the geometry of Mac prototype Twiggy drives, which I suspect is unlikely (but have no idea either way), backup via BLU is likely to work for a disk in fair condition.

That said, I live in the UK and any overseas shipping would have to be considered very carefully! There are probably other recovery options to consider first. Still, my Lisa 1 is at your service.

Thus far Twiggy drive belts appear to be fairly robust. (At least something about the drive is robust!) Mine are the originals as well, and I've heard at least one other Lisa 1 owner reporting the same.

 

bibilit

Well-known member
Probably the best option will be to try to have a contact with Adam Goolevitch (Canada) who is the owner of one of the two Twiggy known units.

he was able to revive his own and the other one, has a lot of knowledge of Twiggy drives and Apple Lisas (1).

Has been there, done that...

probably a contact through Cult Of Mac i agree..

 
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