Back in the early days of computing, there was a company called Apple. They just had great success with their Apple II line of computers, but needed to innovate to stay on top of the quickly-developing computer scene. They already were working on the Lisa line of computers, a minicomputer-inspired beast intended for business users and priced as such, but that was deemed too expensive for the average customer. As a secondary project, the Macintosh was developed, initially with the idea in mind to make a new generation of computer for 'the man on the street' which should cost about $500. Steve Jobs got put on the project, and under him the hardware got more advanced,the software got a GUI instead of a text interface, and the price ballooned into almost $2500. Although the hardware you got for this price was slightly underwhelming, lacking e.g. the graphics accelerators and hardware sound capabilities other machines had, the software made more than up for it. This first Macintosh was the Mac 128K and its succes spurned more advanced models of this compact Mac, namely the Macintosh 512K, the Macintosh Plus, and the Macintosh SE-series.

While the development of the Macintosh happened around 1984, way before I was at an age I could understand computers, I do feel some kind of kinship with the compact Macintosh: the first computer my parents owned was a Macintosh Plus. It was later joined by a 20MB SCSI hard disk, and on that machine I wrote my first Basic-programs. Back when I still lived in the Netherlands, I actually bought a broken SE/30 machine and converted that into a Linux-server while still being able to run Mac-software. I left that machine in the Netherlands, however, and here in Shanghai, I have no classic Apple hardware anymore.

While obviously I don't really need a Mac Plus anymore for my day-to-day life, I did like the idea of having one available for when I felt nostalgic. Maybe I could get a tiny bit of the Macintosh experience back by building a small one myself. Seeing I already have some experience with making smaller versions of old hardware, why not try to apply that process to the venerable Mac Plus as well?

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