Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM)




Professional Computer




January 7 1997


March 14 1998


Initial- System 7.6.1, Final - Mac OS 9.1


Special 75 key ADB keyboard


PowerPC 603e


250 MHz


2 slots: 32MB (182MB max)




50 MHz


12.1" Active Matrix, 800x600 dpi or 640x480


16 bits


Custom Made Bose sound system


17.25 x 16.5 x 10 in / 14.9 lb


Audio in/out, DB-25 SCSI, TV/FM tuner, ADB keyboard, 2 DIN-8 GeoPorts, S-Video in


4x CD-ROM, 2GB IDE HDD, Apple SuperDrive FDD


$7499 in January 1997, $3500 in mid-97, $1900 in March 1998


Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM)

Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM)

On January 7, 1997 Apple unveiled the limited edition Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM) at the MacWorld Expo, San Francisco. The computer was a celebration of 20 years of Apple Computer, Inc.

The machine itself deviated drastically from any before seen personal desktop computer. It used an LCD display and vertically mounted logic board and media drives to produce a slim-line form factor a mere 2.5" deep. Although most of the inside components were off-the-shelf (with the exception of a custom logic board), the exterior was designed to represent a state-of-the-art futuristic vision.

At the Expo, TAM was predicted to cost US$9,000, which would include a concierge delivery service to your door. Upon release, it was $7,499. By mid-1997 the price dropped further to around US$3,500, and finally upon its

discontinuation in March 1998 the price was set at US$1,995 - either at, or below, the cost of production.

The TAM featured a 250 MHz 603e processor, 12.1" active matrix LCD powered by an ATI 3D Rage II video chipset, with 2MB of VRAM capable of displaying up to 16bit color at 800x600 or 640x480 pixels, a 4x vertically mounted SCSI CD-ROM, 2GB ATA hard drive, vertically mounted Apple Floppy SuperDrive, as well as a TV/FM tuner, S-Video card, and a custom-made Bose sound system, including 2 "Jewel" speakers and a subwoofer built into the externally located power supply "base unit".

Finally, the TAM came with a special 75 key ADB keyboard which featured leather palm-rests and a trackpad instead of a mouse. The trackpad could be detached from the keyboard if desired, with a small leather insert found underneath the keyboard ready to fill the gap. Due to its size (and its origins) the keyboard does not feature a numeric keypad. When not required, the keyboard could slide under the TAM's head unit, leaving the trackpad exposed for continued access. The TAM came with a remote control (standard with the Apple TV/FM Tuner card), but also featured buttons on the front panel that could control sound levels, CD playback, brightness, contrast, and TV mode. The pre- installed operating system was System 7.6.1 (requiring the TAM's special CD for installation), but this could be upgraded as far as Mac OS 9.1.

In order to accommodate further features, the TAM came with a tight-fitting 7 inch PCI slot and also a Apple Communication slot II for the addition of Ethernet. Later G3 upgrade options offered by Sonnet and NewerTechnologies make use of the TAM's Level II Cache slot, which allow the computer to reach speeds of up to 500MHz. All of these options come at the price of the TAM's slim profile. The back panel must be removed, and replaced with an (included) "hunchback" cover that adds several extra inches to the depth of the machine.

Apple manufactured only 12,000 TAMs, and then literally broke the molds. While 399 were held for spare parts, the remaining 11,601 were sold in only 5 countries around the world - USA, Japan, France, Germany, and the UK. Ten TAMs were sent to Apple Australia, and while 2 were given away as prizes to the public, and 1 put on display in Apple's Sydney HQ, the remainder went to Apple Australia executives.

Both of Apple's founders, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, received a TAM. When "Woz" allowed people to see into his office via webcam in the late 1990s, you could see his TAM on his desk.

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