Mac84: Unboxing a Vintage Apple Macintosh Plus from 1987

Mac84: Unboxing a Vintage Apple Macintosh Plus from 1987

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Today I have the pleasure to unbox a vintage Apple Macintosh Plus from 1987. In addition the Macintosh Plus, we also have an Apple External 3.5″ 800K Floppy Drive and an Apple ImageWriter II dot matrix printer. So sit back, relax, and let’s take a trip back to 1987…

hello everyone and welcome to another video today we're going to be looking at one of the earliest Mac's in my collection in fact it's the second oldest one I have and it's even a little older than I am this is the Macintosh plus I was lucky enough to recently pick this up and I mean it's just beautiful look at that it has the original box it's of course in the original packaging or as close as it can be 30 plus years later it did include some cool accessories like this external 800k floppy disk drive and this image writer 2 dot matrix printer so first I'm going to unbox the Macintosh plus here and see if we get it to work and then I have a Macintosh 512k that I'd like to compare the Macintosh plus 2 to see what some of the differences were so with that said let's get started oh and just before we move on here's the printer this is the image writer 2 dot matrix printer this is the later platinum version I just couldn't fit the box on the disc before but alright let's get going and open up the macintosh plus alright so here it is in all its glory this is the Macintosh plus with its original box I saw this posted on social media for sale and I knew I just had to have it I had a Macintosh Plus ages ago I don't even remember how I got it but I think I got it for free I didn't have the keyboard or mouse and I think it had some issues and it didn't turn on so unfortunately I ended up giving it away along with a broken Macintosh se I've regret that decision immensely but I think that this find will happily make up for it I think that this Macintosh plus is a slightly newer revision I say that because the box isn't the color printed one I've seen online but from the looks of it it looks like a cost saving limited color version from what I understand there were a few revisions of these Macs according to the awesome low-end website the case color of the Mac changed from beige to platinum in 1987 this box even says copyright 1987 on it so I'm going to guess that this is the newer platinum model it should also have the newer version of the system ROM installed which is good news this new ROM was introduced a few months after the original model was released in 1986 this rom update fixed some scuzzy related startup issues which we can hopefully avoid so let's get right into it and open it up to see what we've got oh nice look at that accessories box well take a look at what's inside shortly they spared no expense even the foam has Apple logos imprinted on them oh wow so all the accessories seemed to be still in their original foam cases here is the mouse and the keyboard I'm sure glad they kept it in this good of a condition for all these years alright first we'll take out the keyboard oh that's cool I like the little cutouts on the styrofoam here I'm guessing that this made it easier to scan those barcodes while packing these computers up at the factory and finally the macintosh plus itself and looks like we have some stragglers left behind these look like drive labels stickers I think there's something on the bottom here let's see what that is oh hey bonus look at that original Apple stickers Wow yeah these are the old ones I love that typeface what a pleasant little surprise so on the side of the styrofoam that we've pulled out is this barcode sticker I was curious what that meant you know was it you know encoding anything or anything like that well I have this Palm Pilot here well it's actually a hand spring Palm Pilot and it has this barcode scanner attachment on the top so I pointed it at the label and yeah I don't know what I expected but okay that's what it says right there so I guess this label doesn't have any secrets to reveal all right we have everything out of the box and Wow is that beautiful alright so let's open up the keyboard a nice little touch on there Apple Computer incorporated and printed on the back and the little Apple logo in the bottom left corner nice touch ooh wow now that looks like it's in pretty good condition to me let's give it a test oh yeah yeah that'll do oh that is so satisfying to type on and we have little telephone handset style cable for the keyboard this plugs in right to the front of the Macintosh just like on the earlier models this was the last Mac to use that connector before Apple switched the Mac's to ADB connectors now we have the mouse again it's cool to see this little window here so you could read the model number look at that mo 100 all right so let's open this up oh wow that's beautiful it's a shame we have to take it out of its neatly packed package but well we have to use the computer somehow and I intend to use the mouse okay so we have the keyboard and the mouse taken out now let's look at that accessory box the accessory box I have for the original Macintosh was all plastic this instead is cardboard I'm guessing this was a cost-saving measure anyway let's look and see what we have inside first we have the manual for the Macintosh Plus that is in pretty good condition – I love these images these colorful photos are just really great you know just showing the Macintosh Plus in action but who has a desk set up like this jeez oh wow is this audio cassette sealed it is well I'm sure someone already archived this online already is how I'm certainly not going to open it up but that's something you certainly don't see every day the cassette is a pretty cool idea if it's anything like the Macintosh 512 k's cassette you put this in your tape player and give it a listen while you set up your Macintosh and it guides you through the process the computer mouse was something that was pretty revolutionary and quite new at the time so having a cassette to guide you through the process along with the manual probably helped a lot of people use the computer for the very first time the original floppy disks here are missing which is unfortunate because you need them to run the computer but I do have a few discs in my collection and I can always make a fresh set if needed at least we have what does commonly refer to as the programmer switch these are two buttons that snap on to the left side of your Macintosh these buttons push plastic pegs through the vents of the case to reach internal buttons these were used when programming or debugging Macintosh software they're totally optional and wouldn't really be used unless you are a programmer or the computer froze up but they're nice to find in the original box next up is the power cord which is hopefully in this little box and yeah there it is and look at that there's even a little Apple logo imprinted on it pretty cool all right so here's everything out of the Mac plus box so let's plug everything in and see if we get the Mac to boot up I have a collection of floppy disks here for some of my early Mac's a few of them are labeled specifically for the Mac plus so we should be able to get things up and running quite smoothly okay here's the moment of truth let's turn it on well that's a relief the disk drive has the protective disk that comes with it when it ships so we just need to wait for it to ejected which it should do on its own and there we go now we could put a system disk in and hope it boots up awesome there we go it looks like it's reading the disk yeah there we go we're in the Macintosh operating system it's always nice when they boot up without a fuss now I'm sure this machine needs some recapping and stuff I'm not going to do that in this video but it's nice to see that it works right out of the box so this is indeed a later Platinum model from 1987 however let's compare the colors I have an original Macintosh 512k model here which is beige besides the fact that both of these machines could probably use a good cleaning some people mistakenly think that the Macintosh 512k needs to be retro braided but no that's actually the original color so here we have a beige and a platinum class of 1984 and 1987 respectively both of these Macs are very similar on the surface well besides the color however the Macintosh Plus was released two years after the original Macintosh 128k and a year and four months after the Macintosh 512k even within that short time period there was a lot of advancements in computer technology and the prices even went down on memory modules and other chips when comparing the Macintosh 512k with the plus the first thing to note is that it has double the memory of the 512 K it has a full 1 megabyte the Mac plus also houses an internal 800 K floppy drive replacing the 400 K single sided disk drive in the older Mac the plus has the addition of a scuzzy port for external hard drives and other peripherals it also introduced smaller serial ports replacing the old db9 serial connectors with compact mini-din connectors these new serial ports would be used on the Apple 2 GS and would replace all serial ports on future Macintosh's until the iMac in 1998 replaced them with USB ports this is also the first Macintosh with expandable memory this was a huge deal as the original Macintosh didn't have memory slots instead the memory was soldered onto the board which unfortunately seems to be a trend again these days in Apple products the memory slots added to the Macintosh Plus was probably a response to the original Macintosh machines being heavily criticized for not having expandable memory the Mac plus also has a nicer keyboard which has a slightly different layout this includes arrow keys which were not present on the original Mac keyboard unless you had the number pad accessory it also includes well a built-in number pad something that was an add-on for the original Mac and these keys are just fun to type on just listen to that's 3 goodness well now that we have everything set up it would be a shame not to unbox its friends here we have an external 800 K floppy disk drive this was a very popular accessory as the Mac plus only had one built-in floppy drive so if you booted up your Mac plus from the internal floppy dr ii external disk drive made opening programs copying files and even copying discs much much easier remember these max did not have a built-in hard drive and although you could thankfully add one via the scuzzy port on the back the floppy disk drive was all that you could use for storage when you bought the machine so there's not much inside here we have the manual for the floppy disk drive which is nice we also have the original styrofoam packaging on the disk drive and it seems to be in this little bag too so let's take that off it's important to note that although the disk drives look similar the macintosh can only use one external disk drive unlike the apple ii disk drives which you could daisy chain that's why there's this little plastic cover on the port here apple didn't want you to get the wrong idea but actually this drive is fully compatible with the apple ii GS and other 800k compatible apple ii systems if you're going to daisy-chain this disk drive with other disk drives on your apple ii system simply remove the cover this disk drive must have been well taken care of the original label is still on the court usually the label has been ripped off so now we have the disk drive unpacked and ready to be plugged into our macintosh plus but we still have one box to unbox now let's turn our attention to the beautiful Apple image writer – printer unfortunately this box isn't as well-kept as the others but it was interesting to see that there's this Platinum sticker on there to show that this was a later model image writer – printer the image writer – is a dot matrix printer made by Apple it debuted in September of 1985 and wasn't discontinued until late 1996 that's right this printer was on sale for over a decade and it's not hard to see why these things are workhorses the three I already have in my collection work beautifully even to this day in fact that's an image writer – printer you see in the introduction to my videos they're quite versatile little printers and have a lot of neat features and expandability options you could even print in color but don't worry I'll be focusing an entire video on this printer in the near future this is the first Apple image writer I've seen in the box I have a few of the image writer two models and one image writer one model but if I'm going to build an army of print shop Deluxe banner making systems another image writer is always welcome as I open the box here I noticed this page on top okay well this is interesting this is yeah this is like a demo printout so this came in the box to show off what you could do with the printer now that's really cool it's amazing that they kept this I'll have to scan this in alright we have the manual for the printer as well wow look at the bottom of the manual here it mentions the Apple – the Apple 3 the Macintosh XL and the Lisa that certainly dates it I do see a box in here for the printer cable but unfortunately it's empty that's okay as I do have plenty of spare cables but that makes me think as we could see by the manual this printer was compatible with a lot of different Apple computers these computers had different serial port connectors which needed different wires to connect to printers so it does make sense that the cable was packaged separately so Apple could include a different one in the Box when you bought the printer at least I hope they included the under cable in the box because otherwise that's just a cheap move by Apple have you ever bought an image writer – when it was brand new was the cable included in the box if so leave a comment below I'm really curious to learn how this was actually packaged it also looks like it's missing the power cord but I have plenty of those alright now it's time to lift this massive beast out of the box ah that's a beautiful sight I'm pretty confident the printer will work fine but I'm going to guess the ribbon may need to be replaced well there's only one way to find out but thankfully we don't have to plug it into a computer to see if the ribbon works or not the printer includes a built in self-test feature so we'll just follow the instructions in the manual and see what happens well it's certainly trying its hardest but although we do see some ink making it onto the page it's clear that this ribbon has dried out but not to worry I have other used ribbons and a few ones that are still new in the box yeah this ribbon looks pretty used and when I try and turn the knob here to advance the ribbon I get nothing this is usually because the roller inside is wrapped in foam which has likely deteriorated over the past 30 or so years yep opening it up confirms that although some of this ribbon may be usable there's no easy way to get it working so the easiest thing is to just replace the ribbon and yeah that is much better all right so now that everything is unboxed the next logical step is to reunite everything and plug it all in although some of this needs some cleaning so let's do that first I always forget to clean everything until the end of the video so I'm sorry if you've been seeing a lot of dirt and grime for the past 15 minutes or so the Macintosh Plus wasn't too bad but there were some dirty spots on the front and the back I did forget to record it but I did also clean the printer as well thankfully it wasn't too dirty and now we'll just clean off the keyboard and we'll clean off the mouse and the disk drive all right now that looks pretty awesome a very sweet setup for 1987 indeed now that everything's together let's go for a test drive I hope you enjoyed unboxing this Macintosh plus with me I'm certainly not done with the machine yet I do want to upgrade its memory so I can upgrade it all the way up to four megabytes if any of you know where to find the for one megabyte 30 pin Sims at 150 NS let me know I'd be happy to find out I also want to install a scuzzy 2 SD adapter so I can boot off something other than the built-in floppy disk drive or the external floppy disk drive I also want to open it up and give it a good cleaning thankfully the battery is accessible on the outside of the machine so I know that's in good shape I don't want to make sure none of the capacitors or anything else need replacing or there's anything else that's yucky inside of there I want to thank my patreon supporters especially Andy Greg J and Larry so thank you very much for your support I mean this video couldn't have happened without your support so I greatly appreciate it and if you want to support us you could just do so right on slash Mac 84 and you get all sorts of cool perks for doing so you get early access to these videos exclusive behind the scene video content you can't get anywhere else and even some really cool printed out certificates straight from my very own image writer to dot matrix printer if you're not already subscribed to the channel please feel free to do so you click that little subscribe button and don't forget to click that notification bell that'll inform you when I released a new video or when I do a live video or anything like that as always you could follow me on instagram and twitter my handle is Mac 84 TV and you can just see what I'm doing on a daily basis but I guess that's it so thanks for watching and I'll see you next time right here on Mac 84

22 Replies to “Mac84: Unboxing a Vintage Apple Macintosh Plus from 1987”

  1. Bronx Viewer

    I found a Macintosh Plus in the garbage a few years ago. Can't wait to get it working (vertical line only on the CRT but makes the boot beep). Even had the 800k external and add on Kensington System Saver. Good video.

  2. Steve Cooper

    Spray some WD40 in the ribbon and leave for an hour or two and it'll work as good as new (assuming the rollers haven't fallen to bits like the other one)

  3. AmazingArends

    If I had those I would definitely keep the boxes, but I would try to restore them as much as possible, starting with taking that ugly brown packing tape off! LOL

  4. The_Lone_Wolf_Fin

    Man, i wish i could buy a old Macintosh but if something breaks (for example, the analog board) i cant get any parts for it because i live in Finland and old Macs and their parts are extremely rare here (iMac G3s especially).

  5. Danny C Illumini

    Pretty fabulous apple mac equipment. The manuals I noticed look beautifully new as the day they were put in as well. Count yourself lucky because sometimes when you order things like that they don't necessarily arrive in one piece. I ordered many vintage macs like that and most of them always came in brilliant and in perfect condition but sometimes they were smashed. One of my own favourite apple mac machines arrived broken but I was still able to use it anyways because I gave it a new and more improved screen. I still kept the old and wrecked one though for keepsake.

  6. Dave Cochrane

    So stoked to see this. The Plus remains my favourite Mac; it was the first I used in 87 as an 11 year old. Scottish secondary schools went all in on Apple for a few years around that time and I benefited from it hugely. Iโ€™m always on the lookout for a clean platinum example.

  7. Mike's Mac Shack

    Steve, they actually did not include the cable with the Imagewriter printers because it was compatible with so many different computers that all had their own interface port types back then. The Apple II, II+, and IIe had one cable, the PC had like 3 different options, the Mini DIN-8 that the IIgs and the Mac Plus onwards, the DB9 style of the 128 and 512k. I think there were like 12 different cable options, but the ones for the Apple machines were actually pretty cheap, I think like $10-$15 or so (early 90's money!).

    The label you scanned was a tracking label. Basically when scanned, it told them what machine to put in the box with what, if any, options. The one you scanned is actually part of the serial number if I remember. The 1MB P is of course 1 meg RAM Platinum, essentially the basic model. You need to find the matching HD 20SC to go with that sucker and have the entire, enviable setup from 1987. The box was cheapened because at the same time this was being sold, the SE was also being sold, so the Plus was basically the Toyota Corolla where the SE was the Cadillac Deville :). They reduced the price significantly on the Plus so everything else got cheap.

    Awesome find though, beautiful machine!

  8. DanLoudShirts

    Excellent video! I was still using a Mac Plus in 1994. It had been upgraded to 4mb RAm and a 40mb HD. We had it connected to a LaserWriter IINTX.

  9. Mike's Mac Shack

    Lucky find man. Those floppy drives could be daisy chained if you had a 512kE Fat Mac, I used to do that on mine. Nice to see a Plus that is still like new, I don't think they used that very much!

  10. Mark's Tech Channel

    Oh, wow. Hearing the ImageWriter II initializing at power-on brought back memories that I didn't know I had! That extra little buzz when it homes the color ribbon positioner sets it apart from most other dot-matrix printers.

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