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  1. #1

    Default Everything TAM...

    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

    G'day,

    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.

    Cheers....

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



    G'day,

    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...

    Now...

    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)
    MacTalk - the bianca's of geekdom
    thecosmichobo - as seen on YouTube - "How Doomsday Should Have Ended!" "Bigger on the Inside?" "The Doctor Falls - With Hartnell!" and lots more!

  2. #2

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    Good to hear that it is up and running again.
    1) I wouldn't risk cleaning the case with anything other than luke warm water on a damp cloth.
    2) As most of your TAM doesn't work at the moment, I can't see the harm that opening her up will do. It will be a good opportunity for someone to take pictures and actually produce a guide on how to actually open up one of these puppies. You might want to attempt cleaning the logic board contacts whilst you were at it, but I guess this will be a really daunting job.
    3) Hook up an antenna to the radio socket and enjoy it. I currently do this on my TAM, whilst waiting for a PAL TV/Radio tuner to fall into my lap from the Apple Gods somewhere.
    4) I'd recommend putting 9.1 onto the system and then use flash sticks to store your MP3 files on. I'm planning on putting a USB stick on the internal USB port in mine and using it as my jukebox storage area. Sticking an ethernet card in her is a good idea as then you will get internet (which is fun navigating in 800x600 and thousands of colours). Ethernet is also a lot faster than USB1.1 (groan).

    Any pictures of her up and running?
    I think I should get out my Canon and take some better shots of the TAM, as the one below looks pretty bad.
    Something about Jimby.

  3. #3

    Default

    Just for you, leon.



    You can't quite see the screen, but I've got it showing a desktop image that I found years ago, which has a picture of a TAM, the Apple logo, and "Think Exclusive". (Took the picture with my old Fuji 3mpx cos the missus has our DSLR in Darwin with bubs... god the house feels empty)

    Thanks for the radio idea! I had unplugged the ribbon antenna when I moved the TAM. Just set it back up, and WOW she can be loud again! (Just a shame I'm too scared of pissing off the neighbours...) The radio app, with its own sound slider, could go twice as loud as the iPod was playing. Massive difference.

    The little spec of blue behind/left of the TAM is the iPod (in its silicon sleeve), with AV cables running to it. I've got the mouse on the floor, cos there's no room for it on that wood thing... (one of mum's friend's sons built it in woodwork... fits my Doctor Who chess set better than the TAM)

    Oooh..... FM modulator! Wonder if that would work... one of those iPod->FM frequency transmitters... might give a louder signal! Have one in my car, but it runs off 12V.

    I have OS 9.2 on CD, but a) the TAM only goes to 9.1, and b) it's an iBook system disc, so may not do a proper instal for the TAM.

    Anyone able to answer - will I be able to copy a Mac OS 9.1 installer disc onto a USB stick, and then install from USB onto the TAM???
    MacTalk - the bianca's of geekdom
    thecosmichobo - as seen on YouTube - "How Doomsday Should Have Ended!" "Bigger on the Inside?" "The Doctor Falls - With Hartnell!" and lots more!

  4. #4

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    HEY ALL YOU TAM OWNERS!!!

    Above you can see my TAM, working again (kind of)... And here is leon's TAM...



    Browsing MacTalk no less!

    So - I invite you, post a picture of your TAM here! No matter it's condition... Go on... You know you want to. And we know you are out there.

    ---

    Tried to make a new avatar pic, but couldn't get it small enough...

    MacTalk - the bianca's of geekdom
    thecosmichobo - as seen on YouTube - "How Doomsday Should Have Ended!" "Bigger on the Inside?" "The Doctor Falls - With Hartnell!" and lots more!

  5. #5

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    On the ever eternal search for the TAM take-apart guide...

    Due to the limited production run of the TAM, Apple had just 1 repair centre to service the whole of the USA (and similar situations in Japan and Europe). I had this memory linking the word "Kodak" to that US-repair centre...

    Well, I've just found "confirmation":

    The "Gripe" Line

    There is a guy there who mentions walking his TAM in for repairs for the buzz, because he worked at Kodak, Rochester, NY.

    At least I know I'm not crazy... Just emailed Kodak to see if they can confirm Apple having/had an office in their building... Maybe it's still there...

    ---

    Interestingly, in just 2 weeks, my post on Apple Discussions asking about a take-apart guide for the TAM has garnered over 450 views...
    MacTalk - the bianca's of geekdom
    thecosmichobo - as seen on YouTube - "How Doomsday Should Have Ended!" "Bigger on the Inside?" "The Doctor Falls - With Hartnell!" and lots more!

  6. #6

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    Hey guys. Nice TAM's

    I hope to become a fellow TAM owner in the near future.

    This time, I have two question for you however.

    Firstly, I see some TAM's have the removable back panel 'expanded' outwards, with provisions for a PCI card, but others with a 'flush' back panel. Was this panel an option (for PCI access) or were the two different covers supplied with the TAM in it original packaging?

    Secondly, the trackpad is able to be removed from the keyboard and i've seen some with a leather-faced 'blanking plate' that sits where the trackpad used to be when removed. Is this a standard accessory or is this item rare or often just lost and not included?

  7. #7

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    1) 2 back panels come with the TAM. The normal "slim" one, and the fat-back which allows for Comm Slot and PCI cards to be added.

    2) The blank part of the keyboard was standard. It is located in a special slot under the keyboard. You just pop it out when required.
    Something about Jimby.

  8. #8

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    ... I really want a TAM now
    20" Alu iMac | White 3GS
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  9. #9

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    Thats soooo cool, i have a massive fascination about the Tam,
    Question: Where can we get G3 or a G4 Processor Upgrade for them these days?
    My Macs: MacBook Pro 17", Powerbook Ti 867Mhz, Powermac 5500 Black, iBook G3 900Mhz, Powermac MDD, Powermac 8600 250Mhz, Intel Core Duo 1.66Ghz Mac Mini, iMac G4 17" 1Ghz, eMac 1Ghz, eMac 800Mhz,
    AppleCollector Sales Service/Sales/Support/Trade In's

  10. #10

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    The fastest CPU upgrade available ac is a Sonnet L2 G3 500Mhz, which also works in 5400/6400/5500/6500 machines.

    JB

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by applecollector View Post
    Thats soooo cool, i have a massive fascination about the Tam,
    Question: Where can we get G3 or a G4 Processor Upgrade for them these days?
    eBay. There aren't any G4 upgrades that work in it, only G3. The best ones are the Sonnet L2 cache slot upgrade cards. I recently purchased a 400MHz 1M L2 cache card from eBay (although the holy grail is getting the 500MHz version - although these are pretty hard to get these days). I have a spare 300MHz 1M L2 cache card sitting at home.

    If you want more info, google for Sonnet Crescendo G3 L2 upgrade cards.
    Something about Jimby.

  12. #12

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    Ohhh thats excellent, So therefor that would enable people to install 10.4? on a Tam :-D provided you had a firewire card installed.
    My Macs: MacBook Pro 17", Powerbook Ti 867Mhz, Powermac 5500 Black, iBook G3 900Mhz, Powermac MDD, Powermac 8600 250Mhz, Intel Core Duo 1.66Ghz Mac Mini, iMac G4 17" 1Ghz, eMac 1Ghz, eMac 800Mhz,
    AppleCollector Sales Service/Sales/Support/Trade In's

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by applecollector View Post
    Ohhh thats excellent, So therefor that would enable people to install 10.4? on a Tam :-D provided you had a firewire card installed.
    OS-X on TAM = Very hard. There are many horror stories where doing this somehow scrambles the firmware on the TAM logic board rendering it completely useless. Some people have succeeded using Xpostfacto I think. I have also seen touchscreens put into the TAM running OS-X. Very cool indeed.

    Looks like I will have to get the camera out again for a TAM photoshoot. Will take pictures of the G3 upgrade card as well as the assorted goodies I have put into the CSII and PCI slots.
    Something about Jimby.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by applecollector View Post
    Ohhh thats excellent, So therefor that would enable people to install 10.4? on a Tam :-D provided you had a firewire card installed.
    Fraid not, far as I know, the TAM simply wont run OS X, even with a G3 upgrade card...

    The guys that made them (NewerTech and Sonnet) kind of kept promising, but never delivered.

    --

    As leon alluded... trying to instal OS X on the TAM = BAD. I tried. I then got very scared, when it became completely unresponsive after simply turning off whilst trying to boot from the OS X disc.

    Took a few days from memory to get it going again, and involved not only resetting the CUDA/logic board, but using a paperclip across the battery terminals...
    MacTalk - the bianca's of geekdom
    thecosmichobo - as seen on YouTube - "How Doomsday Should Have Ended!" "Bigger on the Inside?" "The Doctor Falls - With Hartnell!" and lots more!

  15. #15

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    Very much looking forward to finding a good TAM to add to my collection. They certainly are an amazing machine. Thanks for the info guys.

    Cosmic, is there any advise you can give someone who's in the market for a TAM? Things to look for/things to avoid etc?

  16. #16

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    I'm not Cosmic but the following are important.

    1) Make sure there is no speaker buzz. This was a problem that afflicted them and Apple issued a recall on faulty units. Most of them on the market should have been replaced, but it is important you don't have this.

    2) You want the CD drive to be in working order, otherwise getting things onto it easily is a pain.

    3) Look out for tears on the front speaker fabric. Personally when spending big bucks on a TAM I would like it to be in perfect condition.

    4) If it comes with a Sonnet upgrade card, that will be a bonus.

    5) Accessories - It should come with both backs (slim and fat), CD wallet containing system discs, Pen and Pencil set (mine didn't come with this), User manual (mine didn't come with this, but I bought one cheap on eBay), Geoport modem (not so important but nice to have), EXTREMELY important is the inclusion of the CSII and PCI riser cards.

    6) Look for a frayed power cord where it enters the TAM main unit.

    7) Nothing you can do about dead pixels or screen backlighting, but I would request to see the screen working.

    8) All boxes in good condition. I had to sacrifice 2 of the TAM boxes so I could get the unit to Australia. Very regretful, but I wanted the unit to use, not as a collectors piece so I got over it.

    9. If you can get a Euro version with a PAL TV/FM tuner card that would be awesome. American ones have NTSC so you can't watch TV, but you can listen to the radio. JAP versions you can't watch TV or listen to radio as their FM tuners use lower frequencies.

    This is all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure Cosmic could add a point or two.
    Something about Jimby.

  17. #17

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    1. What about installing 9.2.2? can it be done with the helper App or is it fully supported?
    2. Also how hard is it to replace the internal HD?
    3. Are the Power supplies interchangeable as in will it work here?

    Sorry about all these questions just soo curious

    Edit: Also is the power cord separate or built in ?
    My Macs: MacBook Pro 17", Powerbook Ti 867Mhz, Powermac 5500 Black, iBook G3 900Mhz, Powermac MDD, Powermac 8600 250Mhz, Intel Core Duo 1.66Ghz Mac Mini, iMac G4 17" 1Ghz, eMac 1Ghz, eMac 800Mhz,
    AppleCollector Sales Service/Sales/Support/Trade In's

  18. #18

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    Very well answered, leon.

    One thing I'd add is that I've seen TAMs (not in the flesh of course) with the umbilical cord coming away at the TAM end (ie wires exposed).

    The fact is, 99% of the time you'll be buying from overseas, and you might only get the pictures that are already available. No one is going to sell you a TAM and tell you it has the speaker buzz, but from what I can tell, it really isn't the big bad beast it appears to be. Not THAT many TAMs have it, and unlike early predictions, not all TAMs have developed it in later life. (Mine hasn't - and if others did, it would be all over the TAM/Apple sites).

    If money is no issue, I'd look for "dead" TAMs as well, for spares, and also the possibility of a ressurection if it's just been knocked out by OS X... (have heard stories of that happening!)


    ---

    The TAM only officially supports 9.1... Not sure if you can get away with 9.2... was it really that good an upgrade?

    The base unit has a switch to convert from 110 to 230V. As SOON as I opened box #4, and lifted the base unit out, I made sure to flick it over to 230V! I did read a story of someone getting a TAM into Oz and forgetting... not a happy ending.

    The hard drive is the only easy part (other than RAM) to remove, however the mounting bracket wont fit modern drives, so you'll need to drill a few new holes in it to mount the new drive. Also drive size can be an issue - can't go TOO big I believe, under the particular "classic" OSes.
    MacTalk - the bianca's of geekdom
    thecosmichobo - as seen on YouTube - "How Doomsday Should Have Ended!" "Bigger on the Inside?" "The Doctor Falls - With Hartnell!" and lots more!

  19. #19

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    Wow guys, thanks heaps! This is an invaluable thread for anyone interested in the TAM. I'll be sure to try and add to it when I am the proud owner...

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by applecollector View Post
    1. What about installing 9.2.2? can it be done with the helper App or is it fully supported?
    2. Also how hard is it to replace the internal HD?
    3. Are the Power supplies interchangeable as in will it work here?

    Sorry about all these questions just soo curious

    Edit: Also is the power cord separate or built in ?
    1) 9.2.2 can be done with a helper app
    2) Internal HDD is easy to replace, but the screw holes on the early drives are in a different position to modern drives, so you either need to make new holes, make an adapter, or hunt down a drive with screw holes in the correct position.
    3) Power supply in the base unit is a dual voltage unit. You just need to flick the switch from 115V to 240V before you plug it in.
    Something about Jimby.

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