By Harry McCracken | Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm
[UPDATE! The auction house selling this Mac is now saying that it’s an original Mac plus that was later upgraded–not a Mac Plus–and that the serial number doesn’t mean it was the first Mac of any sort. I should have figured out something was amiss about their identification when I noticed it didn’t have a Macintosh Plus label on its front. And as a former Mac Plus user, I should also have remembered that their keyboards had numeric keypads, which Roddenberry’s Mac didn’t. Still a cool collectible, but not quite as cool as the auctioneers led us to believe.]
Attention, antique computer collectors and Trekkies Trekkers! The first Mac Plus to roll off the assembly line is going to be up for auction, and so is Gene Roddenberry’s Mac. And they’re the same computer.
An auction house called Profiles in History is auctioning off the Mac Plus with serial number #1 (or F4200NUM0001 to be precise), which Apple presented to Star Trek’s creator, presumably in 1986. It’ll be up for bid at a Hollywood collectibles auction on October 8th and 9th, comes with a letter of authenticity signed by Roddenberry’s son, and is estimated to be worth $800-$1200. (Not that I plan to bid, but that sounds cheap to me for a Mac that’s historically significant in two ways.)
Here’s the serial number…
And here’s the computer in all its boxy glory, complete with its optional second floppy disk…
And here, for no particular reason, is my uncanny simulation of Gene Roddenberry’s Mac as it might have appeared if it had been a prop way back when, a couple of decades before the Mac Plus debuted.
Actually, you don’t need to be much of an expert on the voyages of the Starship Enterprise to recall that a Mac Plus did make a Trek appearance–but it wasn’t until Star Trek IV in 1986. It would be cool if it were Roddenberry’s Mac Plus, but if the above photo is accurate, that one didn’t bear a “Macintosh Plus” logo on its front–and the one Scotty encountered did.
One other Trek-Macintosh (Trekintosh?) factoid: In 1992, Apple engaged in an abortive attempt to design a Mac based on Intel’s 486 processor. Its code name: Star Trek. Maybe you know some more tidbits?