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DigiBarn Systems:
TEMPEST MacIntosh SE 30 / 1891T

Acquired: May 23, 2001 with thanks to Greg Wassmann

News! The Watchmen movie features a copy of our real TEMPEST SE/1891T as the computer on the protagonist's desk! See the news of this on Gizmodo (images courtesy Gizmodo.com). Thanks Hamish Purdy, set dresser, for making this happen. What I wrote to Gizmodo:

I shot high resolution photos of our "black mac" SE/1891T for the producers of Watchmen and their model shop made a duplicate, in black, for the protagonists desk. I toured the set in Vancouver about 15 months ago (December 2007) with my brother Eric, it was a great gift back for supporting the film (no photos allowed on the set). Glad to see it is finally out!

And now for our "real black mac" SE/1891T (although it is beige!)

As featured in in Wired News and again on April 22nd! Black Mac manufacturer found! Candes Systems of Harleysville PA.


MacIntosh SE 30 1891T

This very odd MacIntosh is a fine specimen of a Tempest shielded (hence the "T" in the model number 1891T) MacIntosh SE 30 computer made by Candes Systems of Harleyville PA.

Made of metal (the case) and with a handle to be more easily carried (we suspect by an officer or other operative) the interior of this Mac was designed to foil any snoops.

More information will be provided here, kindly given to use by Candes Systems

Perhaps the most striking feature of the "Black Mac" is the flop down front, revealing an opening for a removable hard drive (Syquest drive we are told).

This cover is in turn studded with copper coils indicative of the famous "tempest" shielding used by government agencies and others to prohibit electromagnetic impulses from exiting a device and to thereby be detected. You would be surprised how much can be sensed from a distance from common devices (the LEDs in your router, they produce a discharge that can be read from some distance by sensitive devices).

Around the back is this weird bulge serving what purpose we do not know. The faceplate is missing. There is a label naming the manufacturer of this case. We have been assured by Apple folks that based on the properly designated model number on the front that this is a "real" MacIntosh model.

So did this "black Mac" fight Star Wars for Ronald Regan back in '87-88? Anybody out there have any more information about this rare and precious piece of MacIntosh history? Please, please contact us!

Know anything special about this or other Apple artifacts? Contact us!

Comment by Jason Brown, August 30, 2005

The black mac, the se/30t with the flip down front. I looked closely at your photos and the black drive in the front is not a bernouli drive. It is a syquest drive, original 40 meg cartridge. My father ran a graphics business and i have sen literally hundreds of the disks for those and we owned quite literally 25-26 drives that used those cartridges. Later models of the drive supported 80 meg and were silver instead of black. Just thought you would like a little more fact on this machine =)

See Also:

See more pictures here

Highest resolution images


Images and documents sent
by Candes Systems

Image of the model made for the movie Watchmen

Links to other Tempest Macintosh sites

See images sent by Candes of the CSI 1891T and other Tempest Macintoshes

See our Tempest MacIntosh Plus generously donated by Candes Systems

TPI 863T Tempest Macintosh computer at professor Hal Layer's Mind Machine Museum

Our large collection of Apple computers and other artifacts

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