Apple's Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM)...

Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gil Amelio, CEO Apple Computer Inc, 1997
For twenty years, Apple design engineers have been building bridges
between what people dream about and the amazing new technologies that
can take them beyond those dreams
It's our magnificent obsession
It's about working and playing and listening and learning and creating
and communicating - sometimes all at the same time
It's about the delight of doing things faster and better and easier
It's about turning your back on conventional wisdom and finding new ways
Now, it's about celebrating the last twenty years, and heralding the next twenty
It's about the most beautiful thing we've ever built
It's the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh


11 years ago Apple released the TAM, an over priced, under powered, simply beautiful machine that has created its own mythology within the Apple, and computing world. The TAM may be nothing more than a pretty skin over top of some off the shelf parts (oh, and there's the Bose sound system), but at the same time it is so much more...

This thread is here for the TAM owners and fanciers alike to learn, share, and enjoy.

I'd suggest checking out the Wiki page on the TAM (which I've just performed a re-write on to fix some factual errors and impart as much knowledge as I can), and also the official (though now very static/dead) TAM website.




Thought I'd stop running 2 threads about the TAM, and set this new thread up instead, seems I've moved on from the PRAM battery and PCI USB card issues...

To recap, for those interested:

My TAM has laid dormant for two and a half years now... last time I played with her, the internal CD was either not working at all, or mounting, but then failing to read discs. The floppy is dead - similar issue - sometimes mounts a disk, but fails to read/write. The external SCSI port doesn't work - sometimes registers an external drive, but it is garbled. And the PCI USB 1a card was not mounting USB sticks. Oh, and sometimes during startup she'd get an error and crash... Phew!

So, after leon's recent (Dec07) acquisition of a TAM, my interest has been gradually rebuilding... til then a few weeks ago Cien was throwing away a Performa 5500, which I figured would be good to grab, as it had a 64MB RAM chip in it...

Knowing what lays in front of me, over the past few weeks I've been searching (again) for the TAM take-apart guide, however (thanks Stewie, and my US friend Asa) it appears that Apple has never released one. So all I have is a few pictures of the process as recorded by a Dutch TAM owner a few years ago. Thank god I downloaded the photos - the site is gone now.

Today I dusted the TAM off, pulled the PRAM battery out (reading 0.3V), swapped out the RAM, then drove around to about 5 different places looking for a new PRAM battery. No luck. Came home, and tried to turn the TAM on regardless - and to my squeels of delight, she booted up perfectly. Further examination has confirmed the CD-ROM wont mount any discs, but after swapping the TAM's keyboard - which has some sticky keys - for my Apple Adjustable keyboard, the PCI USB card is now working! USB 1, so it's going to be SLOW, but it works. Now I just need to consider my options, as OS 8.6 doesn't like the format my USB stick is using... BUT it does mean that I can get files on/off the TAM again! Yay!

As I type, I'm listening to my iPod, through the TAM's Bose sound system... from 1 room away. I've plugged the iPod into the TAM's sound in port, which I found information about in the "TAM Experience" CD, which I received years ago from some guy that used to work for Claris. Although not as loud as I've heard the TAM go (even with the iPod at max), it's pretty nice to just be hearing it making music again...


1. Really should clean the TAM properly - just not sure of the safest way... It has a metallic kind of paint - wouldn't want to damage it.
2. If I can find amongst all my tools, the right screwdrivers to open the TAM up, then I think I'll give it a go tomorrow. I've been told by a friend who owns a TAM (and has opened his up; worked for some time as an Apple tech) that the connectors for the SCSI chain may just need to be cleaned up. He also suggested if the CD-ROM is bad, then disconnecting it may help the external port.
3. Still really want that PAL TV/FM tuner card, but they seem pretty hard to come by.
4. Still also deciding best way to use the TAM as a music box... Airport Express... Ethernet card... But at least the iPod option works for now.

Imagine a TAM with an iBook's LCD, and a Mac Mini's gizzards... Sure, 12.1" isn't a big screen for a desktop these days, but people use their MacBooks as desktops, and they only have a 13.3" screen... Can't say I'd do that to my own TAM, but if I scored one off eBay cheap enough... (when I have some more money... and when my friend Asa gives me instructions on how to do it... lol)