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Twiggy Mac

Al Kossow

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are there two boards being auctioned? the one in the case has a DB19, the PCB pictures have a 20 pin ribbon
 

NeXT

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I find it very unlikely the auction house would pull the logic board to photograph it and then put it back. My guess is it's included with the mac and whatever it has inside?
 

Eudimorphodon

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How do we know its a twiggy drive and not a standard 5.25" drive?

Another prototype with the drive actually still in there exists, and it’s a Twiggy. There were earlier stage prototypes that used Disk II drives but they predate the plastic cases. (Folklore.org had a picture of one I believe.) Note the case has no holes for a latch lever or door, Twiggy had power eject like Apple’s 3.5” drives. (Which from an electrical/interface standpoint essentially emulate a Twiggy because apparently Apple can never truly let a bad idea go.)
 

Eudimorphodon

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… per above I’d actually call this thing slightly suspicious, in the sense that several Twiggy faceplates were known to be in circulation before the prototype with the drive in it surfaced a few years ago. (Developer units in the wild received upgrades to the smaller drive and faceplates when Apple changed horses only a few months before shipping, the drive missing stinks of this being a converted prototype having a Twiggy faceplate screwed back onto it “recently”.)
 

Al Kossow

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Another prototype with the drive actually still in there exists, and it’s a Twiggy. There were earlier stage prototypes that used Disk II drives but they predate the plastic cases. (Folklore.org had a picture of one I believe.) Note the case has no holes for a latch lever or door, Twiggy had power eject like Apple’s 3.5” drives. (Which from an electrical/interface standpoint essentially emulate a Twiggy because apparently Apple can never truly let a bad idea go.)

http://bitsavers.org/pdf/apple/mac/prototypes/1981_ACIA/Mac_Proto_Case_#15.jpg
 

Timo W.

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I don't get how such early prototypes can even exist..? Everyone tells the story as the Mac being conceived after the LISA, yet we have Mac protos from 1981 and 1982. Or were there two versions of the Mac, with the early protos being the pre-Jobs variants with no resemblance of what we got in 1984?
 

VERAULT

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I did read an online article a couple years back that shows an early MAC with a Disk II drive.. Thats why I ask. Twiggy drives were just a bad idea. I guess I am almost glad I have a LISA 2 so I dont have to deal with them and "Make" my own disks.
 

Al Kossow

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I did read an online article a couple years back that shows an early MAC with a Disk II drive.. Thats why I ask. Twiggy drives were just a bad idea. I guess I am almost glad I have a LISA 2 so I dont have to deal with them and "Make" my own disks.

I've done it. 1.2mb media works. Never had to make any jackets
Twiggys are absurdly difficult to do a proper head cleaning on.
I'm glad I don't have any more media for them that needs to be read.
 

Eudimorphodon

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It was Jef Raskin' project, running concurrently with Lisa that started out as a 6809
folklore.org may have the real timeline, I'm too lazy to look for it.

If Folklore has a clear, definite, and concise timeline anywhere I'm not sure I've ever seen it. I mean, I'm not going to criticize too much, "hard history" isn't really the aim of the site and there is a ton of info there, but it's very... conversational.

The long and short of it is pretty much that just about all of Raskin's ideas went out the window when Jobs took an interest in the project and owned it after being frozen out of Lisa development (a ton of weird corporate politics there) in early 1981. (Raskin's original vision had nothing to do with mice, he envisioned an integrated menu/function-key driven interface, which was eventually mostly realized on the obscure Canon Cat.) The Lisa itself was also not originally a mouse/desktop focused machine, Jobs had basically ordered everything scrapped and re-done after seeing the Xerox PARC gospel, and he did the same thing when he bounced over to the Macintosh.

From a hardware standpoint the "big event" was Christmas 1980 when the decision was made real to shoehorn the 68000 into the motherboard originally designed for the 6809, with the primary motivation that doing so would allow the Macintosh to directly reuse the QuickDraw graphics code that was coming out of the Lisa project. Through 1981 the Mac prototypes stuck with an 8-bit wide memory bus and had a lower display resolution, but in early 1982 it became clear they'd never fit everything they wanted into 64K of RAM and redesigned it to use 16 bit wide memory and upped the display resolution to the shipping 512x342...

Anyway, outside of a few minor details the motherboard hardware spec was pretty much done by mid-1982. Not shipping until January 1984 was in signifcant part because of the team's goal of fitting a GUI into what today would be considered a comically small amount of memory. (They kept a death grip on the 64k RAM target for a long time, and even after going to 128K RAM they only grudgingly kept creeping the size of the ROM upwards to the eventually-shipped 64k.) If they'd just been willing to slap more RAM in so they didn't have to handcraft code as tightly as they did I'm sure they could have gotten it out the door faster. But it may have taken a lot longer to get out the door if they hadn't bailed on the Twiggy. That thing really was a disaster. NIH syndrome at its worst.
 

Chuck(G)

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I never could understand the business of the Mac 400K and 800K GCR floppies, when 3.5" floppies using conventional MFM encoding were already on the market with the same capacity. Maybe more of the NIH and the desire to use the IWM. I have no idea.
 
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