Tag Archives | Star Trek

Where No Mac Had Gone Before

[UPDATE! The auction house selling this Mac is now saying that it’s an original Mac plus that was later upgraded–not a Mac Plus–and that the serial number doesn’t mean it was the first Mac of any sort. I should have figured out something was amiss about their identification when I noticed it didn’t have a Macintosh Plus label on its front. And as a former Mac Plus user, I should also have remembered that their keyboards had numeric keypads, which Roddenberry’s Mac didn’t. Still a cool collectible, but not quite as cool as the auctioneers led us to believe.]

Attention, antique computer collectors and Trekkies Trekkers! The first Mac Plus to roll off the assembly line is going to be up for auction, and so is Gene Roddenberry’s Mac. And they’re the same computer.

An auction house called Profiles in History is auctioning off the Mac Plus with serial number #1 (or F4200NUM0001 to be precise), which Apple presented to Star Trek’s creator, presumably in 1986. It’ll be up for bid at a Hollywood collectibles auction on October 8th and 9th, comes with a letter of authenticity signed by Roddenberry’s son, and is estimated to be worth $800-$1200. (Not that I plan to bid, but that sounds cheap to me for a Mac that’s historically significant in two ways.)

Here’s the serial number…

Gene Roddenberry's Mac

And here’s the computer in all its boxy glory, complete with its optional second floppy disk…

Gene Roddenberry's Mac

And here, for no particular reason, is my uncanny simulation of Gene Roddenberry’s Mac as it might have appeared if it had been a prop way back when, a couple of decades before the Mac Plus debuted.


Actually, you don’t need to be much of an expert on the voyages of the Starship Enterprise to recall that a Mac Plus did make a Trek appearance–but it wasn’t until Star Trek IV in 1986. It would be cool if it were Roddenberry’s Mac Plus, but if the above photo is accurate, that one didn’t bear a “Macintosh Plus” logo on its front–and the one Scotty encountered did.

One other Trek-Macintosh (Trekintosh?) factoid: In 1992, Apple engaged in an abortive attempt to design a Mac based on Intel’s 486 processor. Its code name: Star Trek. Maybe you know some more tidbits?


Where No Pitchman Had Gone Before

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Star Trek movie opened tonight. Which, here on Technologizer, is an excuse to bring you a YouTube clip that never gets old:

Oh, and if you didn’t catch Ed Oswald’s story on Star Trek technology that’s no longer science fiction when we published it a few weeks ago, check it out here.

One comment

Reality Trek

Reality TrekIn just a month from now, I and millions of other Trekkies will have our behinds firmly planted in movie theater seats,  taking in the latest Star Trek film, directed by Lost’s J.J. Abrams. I can not tell you how excited I am. Just as with Battlestar Galactica, a re-imagining of the series is much needed to make the old show relevant to today’s more demanding audience. The Trek films of the past became campy relics of a bygone period in sci-fi. But for all its period feel, Star Trek is also oddly contemporary. Over the franchise’s four-decade history, the TV series and movies have influenced–or at least predicted–multiple new technologies and gadgets that are either now available or on the way.

So in anticipatory celebration of the eleventh Trek movie, here’s a look at eleven current and emerging technologies that were foreshadowed by the tech of Trek.

Live long and prosper.
Continue Reading →