Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh

TAM Spartacus

How do you mark with prestige and elegance the 20th birthday of the most influential and important company in the history of the microcomputer? For 20 years, Apple had the will and motivation to create a new design rather than a new computer. The designers, with Jonathan Ive at their head describe the principal design features as beautiful, refined, with few cables and efficiency, and most important, wicked fast.

TAM Tizio TAM DUO

Spartacus, the computer of the 20 year old Apple, overflows with new ideas that are all different from previous models. The mouse is a trackpad, as to limit clutter and space, the trackpad could be removed from the keyboard, if a user felt so inspired, thanks to a cable that lays nested inside the keyboard. The base of the computer is big enough to allow for the entire keyboard to be slipped under for storage, not unlike the iMac G5. Additionally, the base can be used as a handle for the computer.

The printer, modem and keyboard cables are all hidden behind the machines in grooves in which they are nested, to avoid the cluttering and tangling of cables. A button on the front will automatically change the computer from television mode to computer mode. The transformer and the subwoofer are in a single case, that use one cable to provide power and sound to the machine.

TAM TAM Wires

The result is reminiscent of a Bang and Olufsen product, with all the qualities of a computer and hi-fi system. Its price, 50,000 francs at introduction (eventually dropping to 25,000 francs at its discontinuation). The machine can easily command thousands of francs, even today.

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Jon's picture

The keyboard storage idea tra

The keyboard storage idea traces back at least to the original Amiga design. On the Amiga the keyboard cable is coiled and goes under the machine and out the front so that when the kbd is stowed no cabes is in the way. Of course they went so far to design that, and then the mouse/joystick ports are on the right front corner... But hey, that's Amiga for you.

westieg3's picture

i want it

i want it to have my children! you know that comment from the hackers movie. well im saying it now. this is a beautiful computer and though its very strange and different, thats how i am and how i like my macs.

TheUltimateMacUser's picture

i [s]want[/s] need one! Seri

i want need one! Seriousily, does anyone knoow where i can buy a used/refurbushed model? Does anyone have one thay may be willing to sell?

I've seen them on ebay before

I've seen them on ebay before when I've looked for other Macs

Another pun...

iDrool...

I'd like to slap os x on one

I'd like to slap os x on one of these.

i think you can....

I think you can with a G3 upgrade or XPostFacto.

TAM limits

Hey,

The TAM is one of the few Macs of that era that I haven't owned. But there is a warning from Woz, who is someone I take seriously. His warning stated that the TAM was limited to a 4gig volume and anything higher would lead to "sudden death." Again, I have no personal or direct experience with a TAM but if Woz's assertion is true, it would make installation of X problematic (or more problematic considering it's a 603e and a RAM max of 128).

moosemanmoo's picture

It has been said by many unfo

It has been said by many unfortunate TAM users that there is a firmware problem that causes immediate and often permanent death when trying to install OS X. Really, that's a shame.

......woops!

I correct my self. It is unsupported and is a work in progress. Sorry! Tongue

TAM

Perhaps the "Coolest" mac ever made

TAM

never intended to run OX, but perhaps the most stylish annd desirable mac ever...i want one

Dave

Re: TAM limits

williamahearn wrote:

Hey,

The TAM is one of the few Macs of that era that I haven't owned. But there is a warning from Woz, who is someone I take seriously. His warning stated that the TAM was limited to a 4gig volume and anything higher would lead to "sudden death." Again, I have no personal or direct experience with a TAM but if Woz's assertion is true, it would make installation of X problematic (or more problematic considering it's a 603e and a RAM max of 128).

I have a 6.4 GB 2.5" drive in mine and it works perfectly.

TAM limits?

Hey,

I'm happy for you. Maybe you should send Woz a note . . .

Re: TAM limits?

williamahearn wrote:

Hey,

I'm happy for you. Maybe you should send Woz a note . . .

It might depend on the model. I have an IBM drive pulled from a PC in there (no Apple firmware).

Hmmmm.

Hey,

Now that info prompts some interesting questions. Is it a design flaw or intentional? You know, like when iTunes came out, Apple coded it to work in OS9 but not OS8.6. A simple hack made iTunes available to 8.6 but the intention was obvious. What would be the point of crippling the TAM, if that's the case?

Re: Hmmmm.

williamahearn wrote:

Hey,

Now that info prompts some interesting questions. Is it a design flaw or intentional? You know, like when iTunes came out, Apple coded it to work in OS9 but not OS8.6. A simple hack made iTunes available to 8.6 but the intention was obvious. What would be the point of crippling the TAM, if that's the case?

I'm not even sure if the 4 GB problem exists. I've never actually heard of it happening. I can't actually think of anything that would cause a hardware failure. Perhaps it messes up the firmware or because at the time maybe 4 GB+ drives used more power than the TAM outputs? If anyone has had their TAM die because of this, please post it here or contact me at . I'd be very interested in adding it to my TAM page (http://www.forcedperfect.net/tam/)

lefevere's picture

TAM limits?

two of my tams has a 20GB hard disk

it starts slow, but works fine ....

system mac os 8.6
itunes 2.04 with patch
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/5401

another has a 80 GB HD with 3 partitions, system 9.1, works fine
.

Re: TAM limits

williamahearn wrote:

Hey,

The TAM is one of the few Macs of that era that I haven't owned. But there is a warning from Woz, who is someone I take seriously. His warning stated that the TAM was limited to a 4gig volume and anything higher would lead to "sudden death." Again, I have no personal or direct experience with a TAM but if Woz's assertion is true, it would make installation of X problematic (or more problematic considering it's a 603e and a RAM max of 128).

Hello William, Smile
it is not a phisical limit, you can have also a big hd, but you do partage it in more volumes. I've 4 volumes on my 15gb hd on my Sparty. Smile
For the ram and the system, I don't know exactly...
in the next future I will try to put two 128mb memory modules, but I fear he can't utilize modules larger than 64MB...
and for OsX, also if the hack-firmware etc, XPostfacto if I remenber, is now ready, 256mb I think is the minimum, sob!
sorry for my english, I'm italian...
ciao! Smile
Rossella

Re: TAM limits

williamahearn wrote:

...it would make installation of X problematic (or more problematic considering it's a 603e and a RAM max of 128).

Just a thought that came to my mind: Why not trying to replace the TAM's motherboard with another, more recent motherboard, say from an ibook? That would be a nice Applefritter-style engineering hack!

Juerg

BDub's picture

Re: TAM limits

zx81 wrote:
williamahearn wrote:

...it would make installation of X problematic (or more problematic considering it's a 603e and a RAM max of 128).

Just a thought that came to my mind: Why not trying to replace the TAM's motherboard with another, more recent motherboard, say from an ibook? That would be a nice Applefritter-style engineering hack!

Juerg

Dankephoto's working on it now.

See the thread here.

It looks like pc of future. I

It looks like pc of future. I want this)))

--------------------------------------

Hawaii Cruiser's picture

What's the future?

Personally, I really don't see what the big hoopla is. It's not much more than a laptop stretched apart with speakers and a subwoofer. Give a Powermac 6500--which came out at the same time--an LCD and side speakers and you've got the same thing, except the 6500 is better with two PCI slots (TAM=1), a 4GB hard drive (TAM=2GB), 12x CD drive (TAM=4x), built-in zip drive (TAM=0), and a mouse (I'll take a mouse over a trackpad any day). And a remote! Did the TAM have a remote? Maybe it did, but I don't see what's so radically different about it.

Otherwise, the TAM seems to have an awkward, overly tall design, but I've never actually encountered one. Yes, it reduces the cabling in a couple clever ways, but I'll take a very well designed computer desk which solves the cabling mess instead and leaves room for options.

What the TAM does have is the one thing that always makes most men salivate--a gray-to-black sleek covering. Whether it's your honey in black stockings or a very dark gray Mercedes, that color says sex and power. That's the allure. That's also the fantasy of the future--a world of sleek grays and blacks. Look at science fictions films of the future--"Farhenheit 451," "Gattica," etc. It's always a sleek world of totalitarian grays, blacks, and whites. Apple quickly dumped thinking different in colors. White, gray, and on very special occasions, black--that's what Apple has become since the G4 and OS X--the image at least, of sex and power. The reality? Well...a demoted 6500 in a gray case with a laptop monitor. Groundbreaking? How so? What if it were beige? The original price of a 250mhz TAM--$10,000 which included its being delivered to your home in a limousine and setup for you by a man in a tuxedo. Price of the 250mhz 6500--$2,099, sans limo and penguin, but I'm sure you could have arranged for that for another $8,000.

How often has Apple used the "wicked fast" epithet? I think the first time was the Mac IIfx. Wasn't there another time before the TAM too? Oh look, here it is being used for the Yikes! PCI Graphics G4--that computer was so "wicked" it lasted in production, two months?

Sorry, I guess I'm in a bad mood today.

What are the other two pics of a computer in this article? Other design variations that weren't chosen? I think I like those designs better.

lefevere's picture

feel and hear

you need to have, feel and hear it

moosemanmoo's picture

You know, I really don't thin

You know, I really don't think you have enough TAMs!

TheUltimateMacUser's picture

_

dooood.... share the wealth! Tongue

Hawaii Cruiser's picture

Methinks, someone is speculat

Methinks, someone is speculating. I created a thread once that alluded to that idea:
Which Macs will be the most valued by collectors?

Do you have Van Goghs in the vault as well?