Vintage Macs Live Again for The Macintosh Way

I got the email on a Wednesday afternoon: Guy Kawasaki was releasing his work The Macintosh Way as a free eBook, and was looking for help to promote the effort. A group of local companies in Cambridge MA had volunteered to digitize the book and produce a promotional video, and they in turn were looking for some old working Macs on short notice.

A few tweets later they learned of my old Mac collection a couple towns away, and asked if they could come by that weekend to shoot the gear in action. Old computers aren’t used to being needed urgently – it gives them a sense of purpose, they get excited – and it sounded like a fun project.

One rainy Saturday morning a small crew stopped by with video production gear, a couple decades worth of pop culture paraphernalia, and a sizable amount of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. We set to work choosing Macs from various years to place alongside chronologically matching books, CDs, digital peripherals (and of course The Macintosh Way) to reenact the Mac past.
The models shown in the video are the Macintosh 512k, an SE/30 (never say die), the PowerBook 170 (with Newton MessagePad), the original Bondi Blue iMac (with puck mouse), a PowerMac G4 (not shown) driving a 17″ Studio Display, a 12″ PowerBook G4 (still my favorite), and a MacBook Pro (not yet vintage). We shot even more that wasn’t able to get included. In the background you’ll see magazines, videotapes, iPods and other icons of their eras – recognize anything interesting?

The Macs in the Museum are all working, and everyone had a blast using the old hardware and software. Comments were made about the distinctive sound of that original Mac keyboard, how everybody felt like they were back in college again, and how much time they’d wasted playing Snood. We even had one Mac Virgin in the bunch, and had to explain what the Option key was for!

Good thing she didn’t ask about the Apple Menu.

After a whirlwind day of reliving the past my new friends left to finish the job. OfficeDrop had the task of digitizing the original (out-of-print) book, and were concerned about getting it right because Guy insisted they shred the book when finished. Pixability shot and edited the footage, and coordinated the whole endeavor. My Brass Rat even had a starring role (in a crew serendipitously full of MIT alums)…

It’s great that Kawasaki has chosen to release this seminal work for free. It was wonderful having a chance to help with the effort and show off the Mac Museum. I’m always looking for uses for the old gear.

The SE/30 wouldn’t shut up about it for days.


One response to “Vintage Macs Live Again for The Macintosh Way”

  1. Adam Rosen says:

    ORIGINAL BLOGSPOT COMMENTS:

    Healy Jones said…
    Adam, the fact that you had a working Snood almost derailed the entire filming – I could have played that for hours!
    August 2, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Bettina Hein said…
    Thanks again for allowing us to camp for hours at the Vintage Mac Museum to film the video. I think you need to comment on some of the hidden little hints in the video…maybe a contest to guess the vintage of the Brass Rat shown?
    August 2, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Adam Rosen said…
    We don’t want to give everything away… :)
    August 2, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Anonymous said…
    Adam, is there a chance you could tell the webmaster of freemacway.com that the site is not working properly? It doesn’t allow me to download the book, there seems to be some api problem with twitter.
    Thanks!
    August 5, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Adam Rosen said…
    Hi all, if you run into problems obtaining the eBook contact Guy Kawasaki via his website http://www.guykawasaki.com.
    August 5, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    iMacmaster82 said…
    I have a working Powerbook 5300cs running OS 9.1!
    August 6, 2010 at 3:24 AM

    applguy said…
    Well,
    freewaymac.com doesn’t work!
    going to guykawasaki.com takes me to a facebook page!
    STILL NO BOOK!
    Where can I get The Macintosh Way book?
    Doing this on an old school Duo 210 in a Duo Dock should be a breeze if I could find a working link… Wouldn’t it be neat if I could read it on my kindle?
    June 20, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    Adam Rosen said…
    Yes, I see what you mean. Guy’s webpage for The Macintosh Way on his own website now points to the Facebook page for his new book Enchantment. You may need to contact Guy directly now to get a copy.
    June 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM

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