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Desktops (Apple) Sci-Fi Apple

Gene Roddenberry's Mac Plus Is Coming Up For Auction 162

Harry writes "In 1986, Apple unveiled one of the most popular Macintoshes ever, the Mac Plus. The company gave the first one (serial number #F4200NUM0001) to Star Trek's creator, Gene Roddenberry. And now this very Mac Plus will go up for auction at a Hollywood collectibles event on October 8th and 9th, complete with a letter of authenticity from Roddenberry's son. The estimated value is only $800-$1200, which seems reasonable enough, given its double historical significance." Any bets on how high the bidding will go?
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Gene Roddenberry's Mac Plus Is Coming Up For Auction

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  • I bet it'll go for 3-4k. If they were to auction it for charity I'd bet it'd easily go over 10k
    • I wonder why they're auctioning it just now in the first place? Gene's been dead for over 20 years now.....does someone need money?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bennomatic ( 691188 )
        Erm, no. Almost 18, not over 20. [wikipedia.org]
      • Maybe for the same reason why they auctioned-off the Star Trek props - they have no place to store all this crap, so they are selling it.

        Now suppose I bought this Mac. What would I use it for? My ancient Commodore 64 and Amiga make great 8- and 32-bit game machines which I still play even today. What good is an ancient Mac?

    • by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:39PM (#29462267) Homepage
      10k? This is Gene Roddenberry, man. His fans will pay $10k for a ripped shirt stained with Shatner's sweat. I'll bet this could clear a quarter mil.
      • It all depends on whether Jobs and/or Woz are Trekkies themselves or not. The fact that the thing carries a serial number like #F4200NUM0001 tells something...
        • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Friday September 18, 2009 @02:01AM (#29462985) Journal

          It does indeed. Did you know that the 128k Macintosh was the very first Macintosh model ever produced? The very first, I tell you!

          Plugging the serial number into the Early Macintosh Serial decoder [macfaq.org] yields:

          Your Macintosh 128 (M0001), with serial number F4200NUM0001, was the 776th manufactured during the 20th week of 1984 in Fremont, CA.

          • Known Bugs

            * Does not work to magically reveal working serial numbers for software you've pirated. Don't expect this "bug" to be fixed. Ever. Those of you attempting to use this decoder to pirate software are having your IP addresses logged, and they will be reported to your ISP. Don't believe me? Have a gander at these. I WILL report you, and you WON'T like the results. Do I make myself clear?


            What a dick. Can anyone point me at pirated Mac software? It would be fun to dick

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            If you try any other similar serial numbers (ie F4200NUM0482) it says exactly the same thing as for 0001.

            Me thinks the decoder is broken.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Sandbags ( 964742 )

            Might have been the first one ISSUED by Apple. I'm sure they ran a few hundred through the manufacturing process in testing of the line and systems, not to mention internal units distributed for various reasons and software testing.

            Also, they likey made a few hundred, and had them all packed to ship out to retailers, and on a day a few days before they gave away the first one, but it was not necessarily the first one off the line...

            Then again, we have a family friend with the very first car from Dodge of s

            • Doubtful.

              The twentieth week of 1984 was in mid May. The introduction was in January.

              • Apparently the seller clarified later today. Some form of hardware modification was made or something. Anyway, he WAS given this first one, this isn't it...

        • 2 things:
          1. Roddenberry's is not a Mac Plus. "M0001" is the Mac 128 model number.
          2. All 128's are "M0001". The serial part is just "F4200NU"

        • I don't know that Woz would care about a Mac, his baby was the Apple and Apple II. The Mac was a Jobs thing and he doesn't strike me as a collector for nostalgia sake. I'd be willing to bet that he still likes to forget his past, if for nothing other than the fact that he has always liked to look to the future.

        • If you are implying that #F4200NUM0001 contains a Star Trek reference, I'm afraid I don't get it.
    • Yeah, 1200 bucks is waaaay low. I would probably never bid on something like that even if I had a bunch of money to blow, but it is something pretty cool (or super uncool?) that a few Roddenberry/Trek fans will certainly drool over. Throw in the fact that it's an old Mac and you have one more factor that makes it special to a definite niche market. No million bucks here, but probably $10k-ish, and definitely way more than $800.
    • It'd have been $100k if they gave him the appropriate machine (serial number #F4200NUM1701)

      I think it would have been worth making that the first model, and skipping that number in normal production...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:38PM (#29462259)

    400 quatloos!!

  • by i_liek_turtles ( 1110703 ) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:43PM (#29462283)
    ...and write Spock/Kirk slash.
  • It depends (Score:5, Funny)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:44PM (#29462291)

    At a Hollywood collectibles event, it will probably go for $200k.

    If they had listed it on eBay, and slashdotted the listing, they would probably get bids in amounts over $10 million+.

    But I guess after eBay fees, they're better off selling it at the Hollywood collectibles event :)

  • Apple Care (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Does it come with a year of Apple Care?

  • Imagine (Score:4, Funny)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:54PM (#29462353)

    ...what you'd find on the main hard disc with a sector editor. THEN bid.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      Oh like the guy ever even used it. Even in 1986 he was about a thousand years old. He probably spent his whole life typing on typewriters and scribbling on legal pads. The odds of him even being able to turn the damn thing on were probably about the same odds that he could write a decent script in 1986.
  • This the the Mac Plus with the formula for Transparent Aluminum on it!
  • by m509272 ( 1286764 ) on Friday September 18, 2009 @12:11AM (#29462431)

    determined to be not as advertised

    We've gotten several inquires about this by the fantastically loyal and knowledgeable Mac community. After further investigating the item, here's the information:
    Firstly, this Macintosh was, indeed, presented to Gene Roddenberry by Apple. There is no doubt about this.
    The conflict between the photo and the serial number is as follows. This computer, given by Apple to Mr. Roddenberry, is an early production Macintosh 128 (#776), which was then upgraded by Apple for Gene to a Macintosh Plus-thus the model number / serial number / panel that "belongs to" a Macintosh Plus. The 0001 led us to mistakenly believe that it was the first one off the line.
    Again, the provenance of the item is perfect and it did belong to Mr. Roddenberry. I apologize for any confusion.

    • by Shag ( 3737 ) on Friday September 18, 2009 @01:29AM (#29462839)

      The upgrade from 128K to Mac Plus spec is actually pretty significant, since the 128K was only supported until MacOS 4 while the Plus was supported until 7.5.5 (which was a pretty decent OS). I suspect this is going to go more to someone who wants it because of the provenance, though, and rarely if ever get used. I hope whoever buys it sets it up to play a slideshow of Trek photos or something.

  • Added bonus (Score:4, Funny)

    by Comatose51 ( 687974 ) on Friday September 18, 2009 @12:16AM (#29462449) Homepage
    As an added bonus, you get a mouse that doubles as a microphone and understands voice input.
  • I require the interface and documentation to be in Klingon.
  • Listen.... When you kill two birds with one stone... that's a double but not historical. When you make two holes-in-one on the same course, that might be historical, but again, not nearly a ddddddouble.

    But when you boink twin-sisters on the same day, in the same bed, with the same erection....now you're talking.
  • Is it just me, or did anyone else read the title and immediately think they were auctioning the rights for a remake of McGiver in the 25th century?
  • Will it come with a collection of the floppy disks Gene Roddenberry used with it?

    I can just see it, though: "Those? Our research showed they were only $.39 each new, so the value would only start at just under $400 for the thousand we threw away..."

  • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Friday September 18, 2009 @01:28AM (#29462833)

    3 bars of gold pressed latinum.

    Seriously, I don't see it as much other than a museum piece. Odds are if it still works, it won't for very much longer, leaving it a glorified vase, with toxic metals in it.

    • MacQuarium! [applefritter.com]

      Put a little Time Travel Arch in there. Magic!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Mr680x0 ( 1116783 )

      Odds are if it still works, it won't for very much longer, leaving it a glorified vase, with toxic metals in it.

      What do you mean it won't work much longer? Chances are it'll last years longer, just like most other Apple hardware from the time. I've got Apple II systems that still function perfectly, CRT and all.

  • by ATMD ( 986401 ) on Friday September 18, 2009 @07:03AM (#29464397) Journal

    Apple may have given Roddenberry a Mac, but in a decade or so they'll be celebrating Asimov's 100th birthday with their new media-streaming, music playing domestic assistant, the iRobot.

  • Must have been the Mac he used in school.

    Get it? Only graphic designers and schools use Apple computers?

  • But... (Score:3, Funny)

    by RichardJenkins ( 1362463 ) on Friday September 18, 2009 @09:27AM (#29465461)
    But does it run LCARS?
  • In Gene's ideal world, all notion of money is gone. It's a communist utopia. It's time to evolve, people. Just give it to me. See, wasn't that simple?

    • In Gene's world, you wouldn't want to own it. You'd simply don your metallic jammies and go visit the thing in a museum, where it belongs.

      I love those lines in Indy films, "It belongs in a museum!" The dude was willing to die for that ideal. Does that make Indy a communist?


      • by JSBiff ( 87824 )

        First, I was mostly just going for laughs.

        But, if you want to be serious, "To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability" would pretty well describe the Earth and UFP of the Star Trek Universe. I don't remember the exact phrasing used, but I remember one (probably several, but it's a little fuzzy now) descriptions of the UFP "economy" in Star Trek which pretty much boiled down to that. Don't get me wrong - as an ideal, I don't see anything wrong with it, to inspire people to less greed.

        • Money was alive and well in Star Trek, as was trade and commerce. I think the price of the ship was even referred to at one point.

          The spinoffs are another story--in them, it indeed appears that scarcity has been solved. This doesn't lead to *communist* economics, but the complete *lack* of economics. With scarcity solved, economics becomes merely a historical discipline.

          hawk, sometime economics professor

          • by JSBiff ( 87824 )

            I disagree that scarcity was solved in The Next Generation and later series (I assume that's what you mean by "spinoffs"?) - here's why: replicators may have made *material* scarcity a 'solved' problem, but it seems like, from the series, not all things could be replicated - ships, for example, where manufactured in a semi-traditional manner, (that is, for example, I remember at least one episode of Deep Space 9 where we see a ship yard, and ships that are partly constructed - they didn't just 'replicate' e

            • by hawk ( 1151 )

              Uh, yeah, those were the spinofffs, as opposed to Star Trek.

              The only things they couldn't replicate were those that were needed for the plot in the handful of episodes that did happen (not wiped out by gratuitous and inconsistent time travel) or solved by by techno-gobbly-gook that the watcher was supposed to care about.

              The people on the planet are cold and starving? No problem, replicate food and blankets.

              Poker? It's all about plastic chips.



        • I mean, Indiana Jones was dealing with 'found' antiquities. I can see the argument that such antiquities really have no "proper" owner, and ownership shouldn't just go to the first person to touch it (i.e. the person that found it), so I have no problem with the notion that such antiquities should go to a public museum for all to see. But for people's belongings, if you think after their death, they revert to the public/state, then your philosophy is very close to some sort of communism or socialism, at least.

          Maybe Jones wasn't oblivious to the fact that he was basically stealing these treasures, and the "in a museum" thing was necessary for him to continue his tomb-raiding ways without being crippled by guilt?

          Maybe part of his pervasive love of achaeology was in being able to present it to others?

          Maybe it just served as a nice bit of dialogue for the character to convey to the audience what actually happened to the artifact at the end of the movie? :)

        • First, I was mostly just going for laughs.

          Me too.

          Thanks for offering your thought process, though. It seems well-formed. I just find myself struggling against the evils of greed in a world where self-service is required for survival. I think fighting through this infernal crucible is how we turn from lumbering proto-humans into more fully-formed souls.


  • StarTrek 4 (Score:3, Informative)

    by dissy ( 172727 ) on Friday September 18, 2009 @10:05AM (#29465889)

    I wonder if this is the same Mac that was used in the famous transparent aluminum scene in Star Trek 4 that Scotty was speaking with. I'm pretty sure that was a Mac Plus as well.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.