Our Friend the Computer

Unitron and the Brazilian Macintosh clone

November 15, 2022 Our Friend the Computer Season 1 Episode 13
Our Friend the Computer
Unitron and the Brazilian Macintosh clone
Show Notes

Ana and Camila discuss the world’s first macintosh clone, the Mac 512 by Unitron, and how Apple threatened to start a trade war on Brasil due to their clone. Although Unitron was not doing anything wrong with the Brazilian law, Apple tried to get themselves out of financial worries and seized control of how their new hardware and software package (the first Mac) was being sold around the world. This led them to force Brasil to stop producing their Macs, and tighten up restrictions on licensing. The girls dig deeper into how such political rivalry was triggered by the problems of the US’s economic movement of financialization and the tech industry’s laissez-faire attitude of the 80s.

Follow us on Twitter @OurFriendComp
And Instagram @ourfriendthecomputer

Main research for the episode was done by Ana who also audio edited.
Music by Nelson Guay (SoundCloud: fluxlinkages)


Time, "The New Rules of Play", 1968 - https://web.archive.org/web/20071114005733/https://time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,899963,00.html

Mac84, “The Rise and Fall of the Macintosh Clones - Part 1: The Original Apple Hackintosh”, 2021 - youtube.com/watch?v=lwMzYFEGoag, https://mac84.net/web/macintosh-clones/

Adam Rosen, The Cult of Mac, ”Meet Unitron Mac 512: World’s First Macintosh Clone”, 2014 - https://www.cultofmac.com/266710/meet-unitron-mac-512-worlds-first-macintosh-clone/

BrasilWire, “The 1980s Trade War between Brasil… and Apple”, 2015 - https://www.brasilwire.com/the-1980s-trade-war-between-brasil-and-apple/

Mark Fisher, “Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures”, 2014

Jecel Mattos de Assumpcao Jr, “Mac 512” - http://archive.retro.co.za/mirrors/apple/www.lsi.usp.br/~jecel/mac512.html