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Personal Computer - Apple Macintosh Plus, 1986 Object Reg. No: HT 13416

Mac Plus with keyboard, mouse and carry bag, introduced in January 1986 and discontinued in October 1990.

The donor says that the MacPlus was one of the first computers that with an Apple ImageWriter, allowed the printing of both text and graphic images at an (almost) affordable price.

He claims that, unlike earlier Macs, it had sufficient power and memory to get things done 'out of the box'. He says that the first one to which he got access he used to make custom wrapping paper and cards for Christmas that year. He unashamedly says that they were horrid, because at that time (1986) no-one had seen anything like them.

The donor also says that soon after the MacPlus came out, Apple also launched the first 'Consumer Grade' laser printer (Apple LaserWriter), and suddenly printing was were not limited to dot-matrix printing, but became possible at an incredible 300 dots-per-inch. Aldus PageMaker was also released in conjunction with these products and the era of 'Desktop Publishing' had begun. According to the donor, anyone with a MacPlus and a LaserWriter (costing under AUD$20,000) could be a publisher (previous laser printers cost in the vicinity of AUD$50,000+ just for the printer). The donor says that literally thousands of publishers set themselves up, as they did, in almost every city and town around Australia. Many went out of business - they really were people with more money than design skills.

The MacPlus looks like the original Mac. Although it featured the same 8MHz Motorola 68000 processor, it represented a significant advance. RAM was increased to 1MB and could be easily expanded to 4MB, disk drive capacity was doubled to 800k and a SCSI (small computer systems interface, pronounced 'scuzzy') connector on the back enabled easy high speed connection to up to seven peripheral devices, which could include a hard disk drive. The Macintosh Plus was networkable over a LocalTalk network using the AppleTalk protocol.

Carry bags were available, which made the Macintosh easily portable; a desktop computer could be carried by hand. The carry bag is indicative of Apple Computer's intention that this computer should be portable and easily transported. The innovation of Apple Computers was to supply the bag as an optional accessory. Later, third parties manufactured carry bags.

This item is part of a representative collection of hardware, software, trade literature and promotional material that documents the history of the Apple company, and its contribution to, and impact on the computer industry and society.
Computer console with inbuilt monitor
Carry bag
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Tim McLaughlan, 2006
Discipline: Technology
Dimension Comment: See parts records for dimesions

More information

Tagged with: computers, computing, making history - apple computer collection, innovation design
Themes this item is part of: The Apple LaserWriter, Apple Macintosh Plus - A User's Story, Internet Macintosh User Group (iMug) Collection, The Apple Computer Story - Desktop Publishing 1985-1991, The Apple Computer Story - Imaging 1987-1994, The Apple Computer Story - The Graphic User Interface 1983-1984, The Apple Computer Story - Cable Networking 1984-1991, The Apple Computer Story - Portability 1977 onwards, Information & Communication Collection
Primary Classification: COMPUTING & CALCULATING
Secondary Classification: Digital Computing
Tertiary Classification: microcomputers
Manufacturer: Apple Computer Inc, Cupertino, California, United States of America, 1986

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