Would any sane person pay US$25,000 for a computer? Most probably not, unless that computer is one that can really be considered as an out-of-this-word collector’s item. But the interesting part is, this particular Mac SE which was put up for auction in eBay nicely falls into the “out-of-the-world” category, perhaps even more so than other IT-related collector’s items.
US$25,000 for a rare, limited-edition computer? Most people who have been blessed with the power of common sense will dismiss the idea of even thinking about paying for what is essentially an absurdly overpriced PC. However, it appears that the seller of said computer thought that his PC was apparently rare enough to warrant that kind of asking price.
And the fact is, the seller is technically correct about the rarity of his machine. That is because the computer that was put up on auction some time back is more than just a generic Mac SE; in fact, it is one of only 10 such machines in the world that was made with a transparent plastic casing. Apparently, these transparent Macs were never intended for sale, and were produced at the company’s request in order to allow its engineers and designers to see how the individual hardware was placed inside the machine.
Unfortunately, to date, no one knows what kind of fate has befallen the other nine transparent Mac SEs. However, considering the fact that these were made only for use within Apple’s tightly guarded inner circle, chances are that most of these machines are probably stashed somewhere in the Cupertino company’s headquarters to ensure that they never see the light of day. This effectively makes this particular SE being sold off on eBay is the only such computer that is available for sale to the public. And somehow, we are getting certain vibes that Apple is not going to be too pleased about seeing one of their ‘for internal use only’ machines being sold off in such a manner.
That being said, there is no denying that the transparent Mac SE is definitely a must-have for any PC collector. However, don’t expect it to be in tip-top condition: even though the auction for the Mac has already ended, the seller has stated that the hard disk does not work properly, and the machine can only be booted up from the 800k floppy drive. Still, it can be argued that a machine this old is not meant to be turned on at all; rather, its new job is to sit on a shelf and do nothing but look pretty for visitors.
And besides, turning on a 20-year old computer might not be the most pleasant of experiences today, considering how we have all been spoilt by the blazing fast quad-core, multi-threaded processors, powerful graphics cards and astronomical amounts of RAM that make up the computers of today.