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Are all Macintosh models without a name badge prototypes?


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I found an interesting Macintosh. It’s not this one but from the outside it looks exactly like this one:  just the Apple logo - no name printed on the front. 
 

My question to anyone who is knowledgeable about Macintosh prototype hardware is, if it has no printed name on the front is it guaranteed to be some sort of prototype?

 

If not, then under what conditions would someone find a Macintosh without the name on it ?  (Aside from the given 128k and 512k models). 
 

I have a IIcx prototype, which has no name on the front. A machine I’ve found has no name just like this LC I’m referring to, which is the Elsie prototype and also has no name.

 

I’m waiting to get more information about it, this is all I have to go by for now. I may lose sleep over this one. 

 

D97A4F37-F2BC-457E-BB0A-3A1773EC4CAF.thumb.png.1b3ca9161a492468e1655292e4e2201a.png

Edited by MrFahrenheit
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14 hours ago, PB145B said:

It’s either a prototype or someone cleaned it with a harsh chemical at some point. :lol: Even 91% isopropyl alcohol can wipe screen printing of if you aren’t careful.

 

Hope it turns out to be something cool!

I took a chance and bought it for a reasonable amount. If it’s not a prototype, then I’m maybe only out $80 if it doesn’t work, and $20 if it does work (I offered an amount a little above normal untested selling prices, and it came with some other items). I think it was in a storage unit and the seller knows nothing about computers it seems. 
 

It was sitting unnoticed on eBay without any bids for days. Once I get it I’ll know a bit more. I don’t want to post anything specific at the moment. But I’ve seen other Macintosh models over the past 6 months that had no label. 
 

In fact, there’s an interesting Performa 475 up on eBay right now. It just says Macintosh Performa, and it’s a 475 inside a LC3 style case with auto inject disk drive. Usually the LC3 style Performa has a number after the Performa like 460 so I don’t know what’s up with that one. It’s missing monitor connector lugs just like the Elsie prototype model currently up. 
 

 

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8 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

I took a chance and bought it for a reasonable amount. If it’s not a prototype, then I’m maybe only out $80 if it doesn’t work, and $20 if it does work (I offered an amount a little above normal untested selling prices, and it came with some other items). I think it was in a storage unit and the seller knows nothing about computers it seems. 

Cool. Can’t wait to see some pics once you get it. Hope it’s a prototype!

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9 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

In fact, there’s an interesting Performa 475 up on eBay right now. It just says Macintosh Performa, and it’s a 475 inside a LC3 style case with auto inject disk drive. Usually the LC3 style Performa has a number after the Performa like 460 so I don’t know what’s up with that one. It’s missing monitor connector lugs just like the Elsie prototype model currently up. 

 

Yeah, I noticed that one yesterday at some point looking through auctions.  The missing nuts I wouldn't think much about, since I've had some come out over time,  but that case is interesting. Especially that "Macintosh Performa" looks to be screen printed, and then below it "Performa 475" looks like a sticker.  I dont think it's a prototype necessarily, but it seems like it's a very early run of it

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8 hours ago, Torbar said:

 

Yeah, I noticed that one yesterday at some point looking through auctions.  The missing nuts I wouldn't think much about, since I've had some come out over time,  but that case is interesting. Especially that "Macintosh Performa" looks to be screen printed, and then below it "Performa 475" looks like a sticker.  I dont think it's a prototype necessarily, but it seems like it's a very early run of it

I'm thinking it could be a machine from first run, maybe sent to third-parties for use/testing of their products.  Like FWB or Microsoft, etc.  I don't know.  I'm just speculating.

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9 hours ago, Torbar said:

 

Yeah, I noticed that one yesterday at some point looking through auctions.  The missing nuts I wouldn't think much about, since I've had some come out over time,  but that case is interesting. Especially that "Macintosh Performa" looks to be screen printed, and then below it "Performa 475" looks like a sticker.  I dont think it's a prototype necessarily, but it seems like it's a very early run of it

Actually, I'm just thinking now:  Perhaps during the very early days of the LC475/Performa 475, if someone had bought a LC3/Performa 460 and had warranty work done on it (ie: the motherboard needed to be replaced), Apple may have replaced the LC3 board with an LC475 board for customers, because of unavailability of LC3 boards.  Maybe they had a procedure where they wiped off the model number after 'Peforma' and placed a sticker under indicating the upgrade.  Again, just speculating.

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On 6/17/2020 at 2:02 PM, MrFahrenheit said:

My question to anyone who is knowledgeable about Macintosh prototype hardware is, if it has no printed name on the front is it guaranteed to be some sort of prototype?

No, because the original Mac 128K, 512K, and 512Ke don't have a name printed on front. Early revisions of Frogdesign's ImageWriter II also don't have any name printed on them.

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8 hours ago, Dog Cow said:

No, because the original Mac 128K, 512K, and 512Ke don't have a name printed on front. Early revisions of Frogdesign's ImageWriter II also don't have any name printed on them.

he said in the post "Aside from the given 128k and 512k models"

 

And technically, the Imagewriter II isn't a Macintosh

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On 6/17/2020 at 2:02 PM, MrFahrenheit said:

I found an interesting Macintosh. It’s not this one but from the outside it looks exactly like this one:  just the Apple logo - no name printed on the front. 
 

My question to anyone who is knowledgeable about Macintosh prototype hardware is, if it has no printed name on the front is it guaranteed to be some sort of prototype?

 

If not, then under what conditions would someone find a Macintosh without the name on it ?  (Aside from the given 128k and 512k models). 
 

I have a IIcx prototype, which has no name on the front. A machine I’ve found has no name just like this LC I’m referring to, which is the Elsie prototype and also has no name.

 

I’m waiting to get more information about it, this is all I have to go by for now. I may lose sleep over this one. 

 

D97A4F37-F2BC-457E-BB0A-3A1773EC4CAF.thumb.png.1b3ca9161a492468e1655292e4e2201a.png


confirmed prototype 

5DB7BE11-E9A1-4184-A287-DA8A67FA3D34.jpeg

Edited by MrFahrenheit
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  • 4 weeks later...

Many LCs have those boards without being a prototype (I use to have two of them at some point)

 

the prototype board is quite different and the case as well. 

 

But can be some sort of early model, probably a testing unit. 

 

The fact that no label is present is a clue. 

 

Edited by bibilit
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22 hours ago, PB145B said:

Oh, that’s nice! Great score! Does it work?

 

Thanks for the pics by the way. :)  

It did not work when I received it.  Still working on it.  Worst case I'm sending it to Bruce in Australia to have a look at it.  I don't want to mess with it much, if at all.

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20 hours ago, bibilit said:

Many LCs have those boards without being a prototype (I use to have two of them at some point)

 

the prototype board is quite different and the case as well. 

 

But can be some sort of early model, probably a testing unit. 

 

The fact that no label is present is a clue. 

 

There are different levels of prototype (EVT, DVT, PVT).  I think the one you're referring to is the 'ELSIE' prototype, which only does 1bit video.  That was an internal development prototype (EVT, or 'earlier').  This one is with final ROMs, still marked 'Apple Confidential'.  The motherboard serial # is 3.  The case has no badge, no bottom label, no serial number.  There appears to be some left-over residue on the top of the case where a sticker similar to the 'ELSIE' prototype has one. 

 

I believe it's part of the initial manufacturing test, (so maybe DVT or PVT prototype).

 

With the 'Apple Confidential' ROMs it is confirmed to be some sort of prototype.

 

I also have one of the early LC boards you're referring to.  I actually have two of them.

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It looks like the case is textured. Many prototypes don't have a textured case, although there are varying cases within prototypes based on which stage they are in.

 

Most everyone knows about the clear-case SE prototype. There exists an earlier prototype of the SE, which is beige, has no texture to its case, has no port icons (another telltale sign), has a Mac Plus brightness knob, and has a serial number indicating November 1986 as its date. (The serial sticker appears to be hand-made on a printer). I know of at least two of these still in existence (one of them is mine and is believed to have been sent to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for testing at one point). To my knowledge, these were earlier than the clear case SE.

 

There is an LC Prototype that has been on-and-off eBay for the better part of the past year. It has a June 19, 1990 date on the chips. The case has texture and port icons. Also, note the serial number and date sticker on the power supply.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Macintosh-LC-PROTOTYPE-Mac-Elsie-Classic-68020/223474905192?hash=item3408247068:g:OBsAAOSw7adahSa0

 

I can only hope they pulled the Maxell from it!!

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8 hours ago, Scott Baret said:

one of them is mine

Would love to see some good, detailed photos of it, as there don’t appear to be any out there. The Mac Plus brightness knob is really interesting. Didn’t know about that. I also didn’t realize it’s beige and not platinum! That is totally awesome.  

 

Always loved those smooth SE prototypes!

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8 hours ago, Scott Baret said:

Good news for you: I did a thread on them a long time ago!!

 

I get a feeling the board may have been replaced at some point, but still...check out the case/details here!!

Great! Thanks for that link. Wow, that is an old thread. :) 

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18 hours ago, Scott Baret said:

It looks like the case is textured. Many prototypes don't have a textured case, although there are varying cases within prototypes based on which stage they are in.

 

Most everyone knows about the clear-case SE prototype. There exists an earlier prototype of the SE, which is beige, has no texture to its case, has no port icons (another telltale sign), has a Mac Plus brightness knob, and has a serial number indicating November 1986 as its date. (The serial sticker appears to be hand-made on a printer). I know of at least two of these still in existence (one of them is mine and is believed to have been sent to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for testing at one point). To my knowledge, these were earlier than the clear case SE.

 

There is an LC Prototype that has been on-and-off eBay for the better part of the past year. It has a June 19, 1990 date on the chips. The case has texture and port icons. Also, note the serial number and date sticker on the power supply.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Macintosh-LC-PROTOTYPE-Mac-Elsie-Classic-68020/223474905192?hash=item3408247068:g:OBsAAOSw7adahSa0

 

I can only hope they pulled the Maxell from it!!

I also have a IIcx prototype and it has a smooth case, so I am familiar with that one.

 

As I already said, there are many different 'levels' of Apple prototype machine.  This one is obviously a near-release or a release prototype, due to the fact that the ROMs are the final ROMs.

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18 hours ago, PB145B said:

Would love to see some good, detailed photos of it, as there don’t appear to be any out there. The Mac Plus brightness knob is really interesting. Didn’t know about that. I also didn’t realize it’s beige and not platinum! That is totally awesome.  

 

Always loved those smooth SE prototypes!

Your wish is my command 

 

 

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7EA7E6E0-027F-4A8B-99C0-400E47AC933B.jpeg

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