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Apple

1976 Polaroids of an Apple-1 Resurface 120

Posted by timothy
from the instant-but-slow dept.
harrymcc writes "In 1976, Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, placed an order for 50 Apple-1 computers, becoming Apple's first dealer. Over at TIME.com, I've published three Polaroid snapshots of the Apple-1 which Terrell shot at the time. They're fascinating history, and it's possible they're the oldest surviving photos of Apple products."
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1976 Polaroids of an Apple-1 Resurface

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  • by dadelbunts (1727498) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @03:20AM (#42080185)
    They are actually new photos with new instagram filters.
  • Nice and orderly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @03:33AM (#42080221)

    Ahhh chips all nicely laid out, not crammed in. Bliss.

    • However there comes a point where you need to add more chips and they expect the same size computer.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The original iPhone, probably even the very first prototype working with the underclocked ARM, has a processing speed at least --ball-parking-- five times faster than all the Apple I manufactured by Apple ever. At the retail level, we only get a few choices in buying a new computer from anywhere... limited sizes, limited configurations, limited classes of accessories, and makers obfuscate the actual processing power. I'd like to be able to give my specs (this processing power at this size, with only this so

      • by timeOday (582209)
        'Tis true. But the obsession with thin has gone too far IMHO. After "switching" to a MacBook Pro a couple years ago, I've just ordered a loaded-up Dell and am switching back. Partially this is because I need MS Office and the Mac version doesn't cut it for me, so I was always running a Windows VM anyways. But secondly, I wanted a swappable battery again. I wanted an expansion bay where I could put a second hard drive, or a second battery, or of course the CD ROM. I wanted a docking station (and weirdl
    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @12:06PM (#42081797) Journal

      Man...remember when ALL the boards were like that? Nice big boards, with big traces, everything was so damned easy to work on, its sooooo nice. Now they overpack the shit out of everything, you get even at ATX board where you think "Sure with THIS much space they won't cram" and NOPE, its cram city! Hell back in the day things started to look even slightly crammed it was daughterboard time, now you have to seriously watch 'em because the cramming makes it hell to insure that all the chips get decent airflow.

      As for TFA...meh, the Apple I was okay, but the Apple II was the one that ended up being sold years after everybody else moved on, simply because so damned much software and add-ons were made for it people still wanted the unit, now THAT is impressive, to have your second time at bat, against companies with a HELL of a lot more money and experience under their belts, and to knock it out of the park like that? This is why even though I have never cared for the locked down nature of later Apple I give the two Steves credit, they pulled off some shit back then that would frankly be impossible in this lawsuit heavy megacorp world, they built a fricking empire from a garage...now THAT is impressive.

      • Re:Nice and orderly (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mikael (484) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @07:02PM (#42083905)

        The old BYTE magazines from the 1970's and 1980's were wonderful reading. The Circuit Cellar guide to building your own home security system with a 20Amp klaxxon air raid siren in the basement. Reviews of the workstations (Next Cube), motherboards and graphics cards [uni-marburg.de] of the time. What goes into a single ASIC now, would go into a dozen little chips and a full-size daughter board. State of the art visual effect was a silhouette halo like in Xanadu.

        Had the chance to program 8-bit home computers like the Apple ][, Atari, BBC, and Atari ST. There were so many magazines out there, all giving program listings and information on building things like light pens, mini device drivers and games written in assembler. These days, you would get sued just for using a function call the wrong way.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Those were just great weren't they? Its just a shame the shipping would kill you as there is a local shop selling tons of 80s PCs of all types on Craigslist for the gold in 'em, you name it they got it, Atari, Commodores, the whole lot. damned shame I don't have the room I'd pick up a couple for myself just for the nostalgia.
        • The old BYTE magazines from the 1970's and 1980's were wonderful reading.

          The first issue of BYTE magazine was corner-stapled, on blue (to bollix the Xerox 660 copiers that were common then - early copy protect!).

          I think that's where I read the Carl Helmers quote "You can make things happen, watch things happening, or wonder what happened." in response to the question "should I buy now or wait the couple of weeks when it's improved?"

          That original Byte Shop had a very nice coffee seller just inside the quadrangle, where you could buy medium roast Jamaica Blue Mountain in half-poun

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Man...remember when ALL the boards were like that? Nice big boards, with big traces, everything was so damned easy to work on, its sooooo nice. Now they overpack the shit out of everything, you get even at ATX board where you think "Sure with THIS much space they won't cram" and NOPE, its cram city! Hell back in the day things started to look even slightly crammed it was daughterboard time, now you have to seriously watch 'em because the cramming makes it hell to insure that all the chips get decent airflow

  • And this is news? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bogaboga (793279)

    I mean...photos of one [famous] American company's early products? What has Slashdot become? Geez! Is this still news for nerds, stuff that matters? I guess I should post photos of earlier Motorola products, then claim space on Slashdot, right?

    • Re:And this is news? (Score:4, Informative)

      by macraig (621737) <mark DOT a DOT craig AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @03:55AM (#42080295)

      The author of the piece has a Slashdot account that he can use to submit and promote his own work, and at least one Slashdot staffer is willing to let him do it. Is that good or bad? McCracken apparently isn't an exceptionally shoddy writer, since he's been making a living at it for decades.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Maybe not shoddy, but he is an apple shill.

      • at least one Slashdot staffer is willing to let him do it. Is that good or bad?

        It's great. There's no reason people shouldn't submit their own work to Slashdot. It's the editor's job to decide if the readership would enjoy it or not. In this case - Apple I porn? C'mon, *of course*.

        It's entirely consistent to both detest the actions of Apple, Inc., 2012 and be an admirer of what Woz did for computing.

        • by macraig (621737)

          It's entirely consistent to both detest the actions of Apple, Inc., 2012 and be an admirer of what Woz did for computing.

          Quite true!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by macraig (621737)

      Very early Microsoft mouse [photobucket.com], with solid steel textured ball [photobucket.com] and steel bearings [photobucket.com] instead of Teflon slider pads.

      So maybe I can claim some space myself with these photos? I should probably de-BPA that housing (with the Oxiclean trick) and then enshrine it in a plexi case with a vacuum, huh?

      • by TheLink (130905)
        Wow those were the days where mice were made in Japan... Instead of China.

        Does the mouse still work?
        • by macraig (621737)

          So did the "Made in Japan" sticker give it away? :-D

          Yep, it works, but since my PCs are all missing RS-232 DB9 ports now I'd have to track down a USB adapter to tinker with it again. It's been a few years....

          • by sa1lnr (669048)

            "since my PCs are all missing RS-232 DB9 ports"

            All my current PC motherboards have a RS-232 header and settings to enable
            them in the BIOS. I'm still on socket LGA775 but both my X48 chipset boards
            have them.

      • A DB-9 rather than a DB-25 connector makes me think that mouse isn't quite from the same era, or even the first gen of MS-DOS PCs.

        • PCs that used DE9s (DB9s) used a male connector on the computer. This is a male connector on the mouse.

          Macintoshes before the SE/II (Mac, Mac 512, Mac Plus) used female DE9s on the computer and male DE9s on the mouse.

          This is almost certainly a Mac mouse or similar. The protocol was very simple, it just ran the quadrature signals and buttons straight out, no multiplexing.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Can't be a Mac mouse - a) it has more than one button and b) it's made by Microsoft...
          • by macraig (621737) <mark DOT a DOT craig AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @08:30AM (#42080989)

            This mouse is much older than a Macintosh. It's so old that the only marking on it is the name "Microsoft" molded in relief into the housing... no part number, no other external markings, period. The little internal PCB has markings in Japanese. It's so old it doesn't even use an optical sensor: instead it has some sort of endless potentiometer with its spindle in contact with the ball. The connector probably predates the RS-232 PC connector standard.

            • by timeOday (582209)

              It's so old it doesn't even use an optical sensor: instead it has some sort of endless potentiometer with its spindle in contact with the ball.

              Is this a joke? All mice were mechanical until just a little over 10 years ago: "The first commercially successful optical computer mice were the Microsoft IntelliMouse with IntelliEye and IntelliMouse Explorer, introduced in 1999." (wikipedia) If you've never popped the ball out of a mouse to pick out the belly button lint you are just a young pup :)

              • by xaxa (988988)

                The ball mice I used (1990s onwards) had two optical sensors. The ball touched two perpendicular wheels (horizontal and vertical), which had wheels with tiny holes in on the other end. The wheel was between a light (or IR) sensor and emitter, so I assume it detected the frequency of the flashing to know how fast the mouse was moving.

                • by timeOday (582209)
                  Oh yes, that's true. Well, a quick search didn't show me when optical sensors were first used for the x/y axes. But (again from Wikipedia) it looks like optical sensors on the two internal wheels were adopted in the mid 1980's:

                  In 1985, René Sommer added a microprocessor to Nicoud's and Guignard's design.[23] Through this innovation, Sommer is credited with inventing a significant component of the mouse, which made it more "intelligent;"[23] though optical mice from Mouse Systems had incorporate

              • Yes, he was making a joke.

                Now get back to your console that's so old you have to hold a tool when waving your hand around, that probably has gyros and accelerometers in it.

              • by macraig (621737)

                Xaxa already set you straight, so as you now know there have been two types of "optical" mice: (1) the original variety that still used a ball with internal optical sensors to read its motion from "spokes" in little wheels attached to the spindles that made contact with the ball, and then (2) MUCH later a true optical mouse with no moving internal parts (except button switches) that sensed motion directly from the surface on which the mouse moved.

                I was of course referring to (1).

                • by ncc74656 (45571) *

                  Xaxa already set you straight, so as you now know there have been two types of "optical" mice: (1) the original variety that still used a ball with internal optical sensors to read its motion from "spokes" in little wheels attached to the spindles that made contact with the ball, and then (2) MUCH later a true optical mouse with no moving internal parts (except button switches) that sensed motion directly from the surface on which the mouse moved.

                  I was of course referring to (1).

                  There were optical (not optomechanical, but optical) mice going further back than that. The Sun workstations I used in the early '90s used a type of optical mouse that only worked with a special mousepad.

              • I use a Logitech trackball. Does that count?

                Maybe not, it uses an optical sensor but I do have to clean the gunk off the teflon riders and polish the ball every so often... it gets particularly annoying when I have to do it while playing World of Tanks. :x

        • by macraig (621737)

          Considering that the connector isn't the eventual female DB9 standard for PCs, it has no markings at all other than "Microsoft" in the housing, uses a potentiometer rather than an optical sensor, and has those roller bearings strongly reminiscent of a Xerox Alto mouse [oldmouse.com], I'm pretty sure that it at least doesn't post-date the first PC generation by much if at all....

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          It's probably just an early microsoft busmouse, from the PC era. It would have had a card that went with it, which was standard for a long time even though PCs had serial ports. Maybe the assumption was that you were already using your serial ports, or maybe it was just cheaper to not use a microcontroller at all -- you'd need one in practical terms to effectively make a serial mouse, unless you made a custom-purpose chip and even then a microcontroller might have been cheaper.

        • It is a bus mouse, but predates Microsoft's DIN "InPort" connector by a few years. What the OP has there is the original circa 1983 Microsoft Mouse.
      • by tibit (1762298)

        I had one just like that, and the later one with teflon pads as well. Chucked them both a few years ago, otherwise my place would have collapsed to a back hole.

        • by macraig (621737)

          Hey, I have a back hole, too! I have yet to collapse into it, though....

          • by tibit (1762298)

            Sarcastic self referential spelling nazi humor. Only on slashdot, ladies and gentlemen, only on slashdot :)

            • Sarcastic self referential spelling nazi humor. Only on slashdot, ladies and gentlemen, only on slashdot :)

              Thank Godwin for mentioning that. You have my thanks.

      • by thePig (964303) <rajmohan_h.yahoo@com> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @06:15AM (#42080669) Journal

        I would prefer this much more than the umpteen politics and yro posts here.
        So, even though it might not pique your interest, there would be many others who might be interested.
        Also, look at the comments on that site. It is quite illuminating and does give an idea of how computers really came through.
        History does teaches lessons a lot.

        • by cusco (717999)
          Oh my garsh! Someone who knows how to spell the word 'pique' **AND** use it correctly! What is SlashDot coming to? :-)
      • by Wovel (964431)

        You should send them to McCraken. He might be able to get them up on Time for you. :) Very cool pictures.

    • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @04:14AM (#42080371)

      I mean...photos of one [famous] American company's early products? What has Slashdot become? Geez! Is this still news for nerds, stuff that matters? I guess I should post photos of earlier Motorola products, then claim space on Slashdot, right?

      In terms of the history of personal computing the Apple-1 and 2 are somewhat important. The same goes for the Motorola DynaTAC and MicroTAC series. If you are too young to appreciate the things that helped create the modern high-tech industry you take for granted you can always do something you perceive as being more important like going some place else to refight the Samsung-Google vs. Apple flame war for the umpteenth time and leave us old-timers to indulge in enjoyable recollection of times gone by.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Right, the Apple 1 is an important artefact. A store that bought 500 of them whole sale at $500 apiece to sell them for $666.66 apiece is also interesting. But seriously, just the "polaroid photos of the Apple 1" by themselves is not worthy of much, but surrounded by the facebook posting of these photos and a blog on the Time magazine website about these, well that just barely takes it up a millimeter above the floor level of being uninteresting.
        :>p
        Where's the tech aspect? Where's the nerd aspect?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          a is true because b is a fact therefore a is true which makes b a fact

          also what's your problem? if you want something more interesting on the front page, maybe you should contribute something more interesting. what I really expected from your (drunken?) rant was an alternative to the story. instead you just explained how your parents have computer stuff and you are not interested in pictures of an apple 1...isn't it sort of sad you took so many letters to convey that message?

        • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @05:49AM (#42080601)

          My parents have a trs80 and a running apple ][ bought in 1977 and some punchcard programs with fortran watfor (what for? :) ) on it in the garage for play and giggles; so I do know about and appreciate the history of computing. But seriously, the title of this topic is "1976 Polaroids of an Apple-1 Resurface". Seriously. Sad. Seriously sad.

          Your parents, right so that is how young you are. You should ask them why this stuff is important enough to them that they don't scrap it. Why do we keep old cars around and expend more money on restoring them than they are worth? To you computers seem to be something you take for granted a mundane item like a toaster.... which is fair enough if you are not a computer geek. If you are not a car geek I can see how you would be puzzled over people who think it is a sin to crush a 1950s Chevrolet concept car or one of only 51 model 1948 Tucker Sedans ever made to turn them into beer cars or sewer lids. To me these pictures are interesting, because I can remember when there were no PCs. I used to have to laboriously type essays on a IBM 'golfball' typewriter (you should try it, the keys are so stiff you literally have to 'punch' them with your fingers). Getting a computer, being able to make changes and correct mistakes and then print out a new copy was a huge labor saving. Then there were games, first 2D an then Doom, nobody had seen anything like it.... Now, before you get off my lawn, please remind me why are you here taking the piss out of old-timers over our nostalgia when you could be doing something more important like refight the Google-Samsung vs. Apple flamewar for the umpteenth time or convincing politicians that music wants to be free.

          • You're missing my point. And you're obviously misreading or misinterpreting what I am typing and saying. I'm agreeing that the Apple-1 is an important artefact and point out that there is a ][ and a trs-80 in the garage which i've turned on and played with. This posting is about the finding and "resurfacing" of a set of polaroid photos of this important artefact. There are already actual exemplars of this artefact extant; there are already full circuit diagrams and specs and emulators and re-makeover-re
            • by Whiteox (919863)

              Apart from the content of the actual photo, it is an antique and valuable. I (and many others) would like to own those photos not just because of the content, but of the provenance. They are a valuable marker in computing history.

            • by adri (173121)

              A photograph of the device gives more than just background about the device. It gives you a context, it gives you a setting. It gives you a hint about the state of the world at the time the device was introduced.

              You're obviously not an archeologist.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Why do we keep old cars around and expend more money on restoring them than they are worth?

            Mu. I keep old cars around and expend less money on restoring them than they are worth, by resale value or by replacement value. If you have skills, you can do that.

        • by cjjjer (530715) <cjjjerNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @09:57AM (#42081279)

          Where's the nerd aspect?

          Clearly you are not a nerd if you have to ask that question.

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      I mean...photos of one [famous] American company's early products? What has Slashdot become? Geez! Is this still news for nerds, stuff that matters? I guess I should post photos of earlier Motorola products, then claim space on Slashdot, right?

      For the price of 1976 Polaroids you could have bought an Apple 1 back then (I suspect).

      --

      300 baud modem hacked. Top secret schematics online.

    • Maybe some early Honda stuff. A 305 Dream would be good. Or, if you want something that was pretty high tech for it's time, check out the CX and GL 500's. Those twisted twins are still roaming the highways of the world, turning admiring heads everywhere they go. While they don't lead the pack while running through the twisties, a lot of young men on more modern bikes find that they can't get away from them either! Early computers? Crap - the wife has been nagging at me to get rid of all this old compu

    • Well we in the tech industry are no longer in what is new anymore. We have gotten old and everything new and exciting now is just a threat to our lively hood. Because instead of learning the new stuff, we look back with nostalgia glasses with the stuff of the past. Never mind how slow the systems were, and how the hardware would fail every few months, and software crashes were expected and common.

      • by adri (173121)

        Erm. Let me rephrase that.

        We in the tech industry realise that a significant amount of what is new is actually old, just faster and shinier. A lot of the concepts that people are exploring now were explored in the 1970's, then forgotten during the microcomputer revolution when the computing world fell inward, away from expensive networked multiprocessor machines with lots of shiny IO and inward into stand-alone, single-CPU devices with very cheap IO. It's now mass produced, really fast, very well connected.

    • by Wovel (964431)

      Someone at Time thought it was technology news too. Maybe it is just you.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @03:35AM (#42080231) Homepage Journal

    Ahhh, look at the cute baby Apple

  • by zill (1690130) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @03:44AM (#42080257)
    1000 years from now, stuff in 1976 and 2012 will be pretty much equally old. Archaeologist will eventually files these photos with instantgram shots of brand new iPads.
    • I imagine it would be more like finding a copper smelting pit and then some used tools - all cool stuff right?

      • by mikael (484)

        I once paid a visit to my local antique shop. What freaked me out was that they were selling microwaves, digital camcorders (the type with cassettes) along with
        antique kettles and fireboxes. Explained to me that the camcorder was useless because there was no tape deck to play it on.

    • Well, 1000 years from now, most all that was done in this time will be forgotten. 1900-2100 will probably be remembered as the age of "The Oil Wars", and not much else.
  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday November 24, 2012 @03:55AM (#42080293) Homepage

    Look at the old keyboard in the pic. It's a bit sad to realize that it was probably far better than Apple's current stuff, or the huge majority of modern keyboards. How have we fallen! Seriously: if you pay some big bucks for a high-end PC, it's unjustifiable not to get a mechanical keyboard as well.

    • by maxwell demon (590494) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @04:10AM (#42080349) Journal

      Look at the old keyboard in the pic. It's a bit sad to realize that it was probably far better than Apple's current stuff,

      You know, currently Apple is famous for products which don't have a keyboard at all.

      • Yeah, those are absolutely worthless for writing anything but a couple short paragraphs.

      • You know, currently Apple is famous for products which don't have a keyboard at all.

        Ever since the Apple Extended Keyboard II, Apple has shown a passive-aggressive hate towards good keyboards. Yeah, I understood the Performa mentality, but even their highest end gear has come with cheap tiring keyboards for twenty years.

        The touch interface is just the logical conclusion of that antipathy.

        • It is also the logical conclusion to Apple's stance on mouse buttons: You cannot right-click on a touch screen.

  • Dinaao (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 24, 2012 @04:19AM (#42080385)

    Dinaao Is Not An Apple One.

    I spoke with Steve Wozniak at the 30th anniversary of Apple held at the Computer History Museum - I asked him why the Apple One was so retarded. He really wasn't happy about that question. I then explained that I had built a Replica 1 and then written Dinaao to teach myself how the guts of the Apple One really worked, and had found that the input was limited to 60 characters a second, and the output as well even though the MOS 6502 CPU was running at one million clocks per second.
    Woz then explained that the Apple One was originally designed to be a TV teletype allowing deaf people to type to each other over a phone line. The current TV teletypes ran at 30 characters per second - his was twice as fast. It was a short time later that he was dragged to a local computer club meeting where someone was talking about these new microprocessors that just became available when he realized that rather than typing to a person, you could be typing to a program running on a microprocessor, and watch it respond on your television, all of which normal people could afford. That was how the Apple One was born.
    After getting this running, his friend Steve Jobs worked with him to start Apple, and he started using the Apple One to help design the Apple Two with color graphics so that you could play Brick-Out.
    If you want to play with a pretty nice Apple One analog - please download Dinaao off Sourceforge.net - works on Linux / MacOSX (get xcode which includes gcc) or any other posix OS. Unpack, run make, run dinaao, type "E000R", and you've got Woz Basic up and running. Works in a console. You can even cut and paste basic programs from web sites like this one. Hit F9 to exit (might need to move function keys in MacOSX out of the way).
    10 FOR I=1 TO 20:FOR J=1 TO I
    20 PRINTJ;:NEXT J:PRINT :NEXT I
    30 END
    Enjoy!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In the picture, "AUTO 10,10" means every time you hit enter, it auto types the next line number ten more the the highest one. Hit Ctrl D to get it to stop. Woz basic expects an "END" statement to finish the program or else it's an error.

    • Cool. Very nice. Downloaded; maked (made?); run and "hello worlded". Pretty neat code. Now to look at the source and learn!

      Version 1.0, 2008-01-14 initial release
      ./dinaao replica1.bin
      Welcome to Dinaao.
      Written by John Gilbert.
      Hit F1 for Help, F9 to Exit, F12 to Reset.

      Loading replica13a.bin... -> 0xE000 - 0xFFFF
      Loading cffa1.bin... -> 0x9000 - 0xAFFF
      Loading cassette.bin... -> 0xC100 - 0xC1FF

      \
      E000R

      E000: 4C
      >10 PRINT "HELLO"
      >20 END
      >RUN
      HELLO
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The code should be pretty readable, but please note: Dinaao was designed to run Apple One software, not be an emulator (yeah, I know - it's a weird distention, but it's not like any other "emulator" out there). It had to be multi-threaded so that the 6502 engine was not coupled to the input (so you can cut and paste a long programs and the code parser would eventually catch up). It also has a couple of trigger points where if the code hit those instructions and there was no input waiting in the buffer, the

  • by KagakuNinja (236659) on Saturday November 24, 2012 @02:02PM (#42082291)

    I have fond memories of me and a couple junior high school buddies hanging out at the Palo Alto Byte Shop. Playing BASIC Star Trek, typing random shit and seeing what happened ("df" means "disk format" in CP/M; they removed that program from the IMSAI), a bit of BASIC programming... I don't remember any of the computer brands, other than the iconic IMSAI, with the switches on the front panel (as seen in the movie War Games).

  • Did they invent solder? Keyboards? Carbon?

  • We're talking about two obsoleted technologies (breadboard computing and instamatic film) meeting to give us this bit of history. I don't know about anyone else, but while not overly significant, it is still pretty awesome. Think about where it came from as well. Triple whammy.

  • The first known instance of unboxing porn. :-)

  • That's a lot of Polaroids!

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