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Extremely rare Macintosh prototype sets world auction record

The computer sold at New York's Bonham auction house on December 5th, 2019 for $150,575, a world auction record for a Macintosh computer

It is one of only two known surviving Apple Macintosh prototypes with a working 5 ¼ inch Apple drive known as the “Twiggy” drive circa 1983. Reportedly Steve Jobs ordered all the 5 ¼ inch drive Macintoshes destroyed when he abandoned the Lisa carryover format and decided instead to go to market in 1984 with a Sony 3.5-inch disk drive.

WATCH: The classic 1984 Macintosh Super Bowl commercial

Just as Sleeping Beauty’s parents could not destroy every spindle in the land, this Macintosh was saved by the developers of the original MacWrite word processing program. The Twiggy prototype had some measure of redemption when it was shown at the [email protected] Anniversary Celebration in 2014, where it booted up and operated for Steve Wozniak himself.

Ironically the computer was a bargain at 150K when you consider that this 1988 floppy disk sold last month for a whopping $84,000 at RR Auction. The disk contains Macintosh System Tools 6.0 software and was originally estimated to have a value of $7,500 – less than 10 percent of the final sale

Though the 5 ¼ inch drive lost out to the smaller drive, the Twiggy prototype had all the other revolutionary features that made the Macintosh a sensation. Remember, Macintosh was the first successful microcomputer with a GUI and a WYSIWYG environment. Set in an all-in-one case/monitor with a mouse controller, it was part of the drama of Mac development as Apple worked to turn the Lisa into something that would become the center of the computing universe.

MacPaint was an early graphics editor developed by Apple and released with the original Macintosh in 1984. It was sold separately for $195 (£155) with MacWrite
The auction sale also included a working Apple-1, a prototype mid-1990s Apple Video Pad.

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