In 1997, I was watching "The X-Files," going to college, and using floppy disks in computer class. In 1997, Apple was showing off with the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (also known as TAM), a sleek and imaginative take on the personal computer.
The TAM was ahead of its time. It was slim, had an integrated screen, and shimmered with metal-flake paint. You can now relive all the excitement of ordering and unboxing your very own TAM by buying one new-in-the-box on eBay.
The eBay TAM's accessory box has been opened to check for damage, but the rest of it is pristine. The substantial user manual is still shrink-wrapped. Not surprisingly, the system is being sold as-is.
The TAM has a 250MHz PowerPC processor, a CD-ROM drive, 32MB of RAM, a Bose speaker system, a 12.1-inch LCD display, and a keyboard with a luxurious Italian leather palm rest. Yes, it has a floppy disk drive.
Those specs won't get you very far with today's software demands, but it's not really about what you can do with it. It's about having one in your personal Apple museum. It's the sort of item you would place on your fireplace mantel and stare at while sipping a cocktail.
You'll have to hurry up and decide whether to bid, though, as the auction ends tomorrow. The TAM is currently at $3,400. That's less than the original $7,500 price tag. It may also be the cheapest possible way to time travel back to 1997 without a souped-up DeLorean.
Still need a refresher on this blast from the past? Check out this vintage interview with designer Jonathan Ive talking up the Twentieth Anniversary Mac.