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Apple Multiserver

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#1 Strimkind

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  • LocationKelowna, BC

Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:57 AM

As many of you know, there is a case for an Apple Multiserver case on ebay. I won't post the link here as its all over the internet.

There is some reference on RoughlyDrafted regarding a BigMac project: a personal Mac workstation system based upon a Unix foundation. This may be reference to the Multiserver and meant to be an extension of the Macintosh Office concept from the mid-80s to go with the Laserwriter and Macs of the era.

What I want to know is, what people know here about this interesting piece of Apple History? I saw the pictures the owner took of it, but other than SCSI, Serial and some DB-25 ports. There is no indication of what was to be inside.


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#2 Gorgonops

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:32 PM

The eBay listing says that the project was a spinoff of 3com 3Server so it doesn't have *anything* to do with the "BigMac". (The listing even says the case *is* a 3Server case painted white with an Apple faceplate on it and a couple nonstandard ports on the back.) The 3Server was basically an early NAS device, running file and print server software on a customized version of DOS. Undoubtedly the "MultiServer" was essentially the same thing with an AppleShare software module and a Localtalk port grafted onto it.

The Apple ads that came out in the 1988-ish timeframe heavily promoted the idea that you could add Macs to your office and have them "get along" with your PCs easily. (Touting features such as the DOS-compatible "Superdrives".) Given the pressures of PC compatibility I can see how they might of thought a dedicated cross-platform file server appliance would be a worthwhile product to have on the market before then. (It would be interesting to know when exactly the "Multiserver" project was green lit and subsequently ditched. My guess is that it got caught up in development hell and it became clear that by the time it was going to be ready it made more sense to just sell Mac II's as servers instead.)

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