The Vintage Mac Museum Turns Ten

JollyMacsmTen years ago back in 2001, Apple released its long-awaited new operating system Mac OS X. That summer I picked up a Mac Plus at the MIT Flea, and downloaded some early Mac system disk images. Soon, across from each other in my small apartment sat the past and present of the Macintosh lineage: a classic Mac running System Software version 1, and a modern Mac running Mac OS X. For a geek, this was very cool.

The Vintage Mac Museum was born.

In the decade since, through a series of purchases, donations and hand-me-downs, the Museum has expanded into a nice working history of the 68k and PowerPC Macintosh eras. Over three dozen different models (with spares), with period versions of the Mac OS installed to trace the evolution of the Mac System Software. I drew the line at collecting Intel systems in order to still live in my house with all this equipment! Thus the Vintage Mac Museum is a pre-Intel Macintosh collection.

In 2004 the collection got a public exhibit in conjunction with MacWorld Expo Boston. This was written up by Wired in the Cult of Mac column, and the visibility of the site grew noticeably.

In 2006 I expanded the site and added categories for 68k Macintosh, PowerPC Beige, PowerPC G-Series and the PowerBook, with writeups of many more systems. Chronologically this reads as a nice history of the Macintosh. Internet traffic grew steadily, and soon some of the VMM pages began getting sourced as Mac reference resources.

I endeavored to make sure my facts were accurate and my snarkiness limited…

Over time a few folks who found the Museum online contacted me about getting files transfered off of their old Mac disks and systems. Sure, I can help with that. Eventually another job comes along, then another, and soon this work becomes a formal part of my consulting business. I began adding old Mac software and peripherals to the collection to help with these efforts. What a great way to help people and put old Macs to use!

Ten years later in 2011, the Vintage Mac Museum website averages about 1500 visitors a month, I’m now writing for Low End Mac and Cult of Mac, and the collection continues to evolve. Not a bad turn of events from what started as a few old Macs crammed into a tiny apartment! Friends and family thought I’d gone crazy keeping all that crap…

I decided to make a few changes to the website for the tenth anniversary. A new navigation bar has been designed, matching the color scheme used in this blog. I’ve added a FAQ to the site, as well as a Services page describing the file transfer and conversion work. And my favorite, the new VMM TV page of classic Macintosh Ads and Videos viewable in an interactive historical timeline.

Still to come: integating this blog into the main website, providing an area on the site for user comments and feedback, and VMM logoware like mugs and magnets. And eventually, maybe, a public space to display the whole thing in…

For now, thanks for a fun ten years, and Welcome to the Second Decade of the Vintage Mac Museum!

One response to “The Vintage Mac Museum Turns Ten”

  1. Adam Rosen says:


    Mel Lifshitz said…
    Awesome and congratulations! 10 years of updating and maintaining this blog must not be easy. i’ve just started my own museum blog and I’m learning from the veterans on this niche. you can check out mine at
    July 21, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Adam Rosen said…
    Thanks Mel. I haven’t been writing the blog for 10 years, about two years for that. The Museum itself is older. Good luck with your own odyssey!
    July 21, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    D.C. Haas said…
    Congratulations, i love reading about the Vintage Mac Museum! I have a non-curated vintage mac museum of my own…
    August 9, 2011 at 6:55 PM

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