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Thread: Strange Macintosh 512k Variation

  1. #1

    Default Strange Macintosh 512k Variation

    I have an opportunity to buy this Valutek 2900T Tempest Macintosh 512k. I do not know much about it, other than that it may be unique. Does anyone know what it is worth?

    Thank you
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  2. #2

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    What the... Considering that it is not an Apple design, some person/company molded - or possibly vacuum formed - a custom housing, it is likely worth around what it would cost to purchase a 512K and make your own housing (minus the penalty for ruining a Mac 512.)

    However, if some provenance was shown to attach this to a well-known industry figure, or perhaps show that the housing was built for some very special purpose, it may be worth more than the baseline.

  3. #3
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    Companies did make custom housings for various computer systems - usually to create a portable/luggable form out of a desktop machine. Look up the MacColby, they also did the same for the IBM PC until the IBM 5155 portable came out.

    I'd be curious if there were any extra custom hardware added inside. Was there any special software provided with it? Manuals or documentation? Can you tell where it was used or what it was used for? Are there any "property" stickers or other identifying marks on it?

    That is an interesting looking system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Can you tell where it was used or what it was used for?
    "Tempest" is a BIG clue what it was used for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Kossow View Post
    "Tempest" is a BIG clue what it was used for.
    Especially if there was some copper screening material inside or embedded with the cover itself.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  6. #6

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    It's not all that mysterious. It's a Tempest-shielded Mac, it was used for the government. It has a custom case with extra shielding to make it harder to read data from it remotely. Safe to say it is unique, along with the other Tempest Macs, which there aren't such a great number of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Hansberry View Post
    It's not all that mysterious. It's a Tempest-shielded Mac, it was used for the government. It has a custom case with extra shielding to make it harder to read data from it remotely. Safe to say it is unique, along with the other Tempest Macs, which there aren't such a great number of.
    In a previous life I used to deal with the likes of this and others.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  8. #8
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    Ah yes, that's the one that's currently on the Los Angeles Craigslist. The listing has more photos.

    It's a "prototype" TEMPEST unit. The ad indicates it was at the final testing stage of certification but never received the official rubberstamp to go into production and instead was mothballed and ended up in someone's garage. Along with the usual shielding the printer is electrically isolated. They've replaced the serial cable with a 2-strand fiber optic cable.

    I have not seen a TEMPEST mac in quite a while as government/military stuff typically never makes it into the wild. Considering it's that complete and mostly working aside from the usual floppy lubrication issues I'd easily say it's north of $1500.
    = Excellent space heater

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