Old mac

Several years ago, in anticipation of my son’s wanting a computer, I bought a couple of cheap ($10) Macintosh IIsi systems (the original list price in 1990 was over $3000).  Last week I set one of them up.  I found a number of cheap childrens’ titles at local used bookstores (for example, “Just Dad and Me” for about $2), and a trip to RE PC in Seattle yielded a copy of System 7.6 for $5.

I’ve had to do a little refurbishment (replace the lithium cell and clean some tin contacts so the speaker would work).  But aside from that, the systems are 18+ years old and still working.

One of the bonus effects of using a near-vintage machine is that it’s simply impossible to hook up to the Internet (at least, not without me doing it — there’s no ethernet or modem on the machine, soo…).

 

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11 Responses to Old mac

  1. Anon says:

    Dad ‘n Me – http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/254456 ? Is that appropriate? : )

  2. Kaishaku says:

    Super cool. I’ve been yearning for an old Mac, but stuff like lack of ethernet is a big deterrent for me. I’ve done my fair share of sneakernet and now accept that to be part of the past. :)

    My first computer was the venerable IBM PC with the 4.77 MHz 8088 and a pair of double-sided 5.25″ floppies. I had DOS 2.1, Lotus 1-2-3, and BASIC in an a time when everyone else had 386s with Windows 3.1 (I guess around ’93). But I had *BASIC*, which was ever so much more productive than Wolfenstein 3D.

  3. Reed H. says:

    I’ve got a few boxes of floppy disks with various freeware/shareware games and apps. I wonder if the disks still work… I gave away my Mac SE and LC a long time ago. (Want me to mail you a box of disks??)

  4. Adamantyr says:

    I still use my old vintage TI-99/4a… still works fine, I just had to get the keyboard replaced. The original console I owned had one of the later membrane keyboards that deteriorate over time; I had a mechanical one put in that will probably outlast the CPU.

    The problem with running older systems running is the lack of components and accessories. If you’re lucky, you have a fairly open-ended system that can be hooked up to a composite TV without issue. Not so much a problem with a Mac. :)

    I’m no hardware guy myself, though I know a few on the net who are. If my system catches fire or something, I’ll just have to replace it. Good thing I have 2-3 spares in the closet…

  5. Atanas Boev says:

    System 7.5.3 is freely downloadable from Apple.com, slash support slash something…

  6. Atanas Boev says:

    …one more thing. http://www.ibiblio.org/GameBytes/issue21/greviews/livebook.html
    Broderbund Living Books, very nice for young kids. Most of them have mac versions.

  7. Joshua Bell says:

    I approve. :)

    Many years ago, my wife was setting up a kindergarden-age classroom. We picked up a handful of Mac SEs (with hard drives) and ImageWriter II printers (incredibly reliable and easily cleared in case of paper jam) and set them up as a network for printing. Software was just MacPaint and MacWrite – enough to do basically useful tasks and learn to treat computers as tools, not toys. Total cost was

  8. Joshua Bell says:

    (Ugh, first comment truncated due to a less-than sign. Sigh…)

    I approve. :)

    Many years ago, my wife was setting up a kindergarden-age classroom. We picked up a handful of Mac SEs (with hard drives) and ImageWriter II printers (incredibly reliable and easily cleared in case of paper jam) and set them up as a network for printing. Software was just MacPaint and MacWrite – enough to do basically useful tasks and learn to treat computers as tools, not toys. Total cost was less than $100.

    We kept a Mac SE and ImageWriter II, and it’s been in my son’s room since he was 3. He’s 6 now, and of course uses my wife’s laptop for some tasks, but can still bang out short letters (delivered via snail-mail!) to friends and family on his own relatively bullet-proof machine, with no risk to the hardware.

  9. Wazoox says:

    these machine show their age though…. I have a Powerbook 520c (first laptop with a trackpad, 1994) and its puny hard drive (160MB) is so slow… it’s actually faster to start applications from my PC (running netatalk) through the 10 Bt ethernet than locally!

    I have a more interesting challenge to run someday when I’ll have some time : I want to spend let’s say a month using only my 1987 Apple //c computer :) However I plan to cheat, by using it (probably quite heavily) as a serial terminal hooked up to my Linux PC, to run mail (pine), web (links) and other applications otherwise unavailable on this ancient platform :)

    Until then I’ll keep using my brand new unibody MacBook :)

  10. Hauke Fath says:

    “One of the bonus effects of using a near-vintage machine is that it’s simply impossible to hook up to the Internet”

    — la.causeuse.org is a Macintosh IIsi, running 24/7/365 for something like 8 years now. NetBSD, though, not System 7.

    % ls -lt /etc | tail -1
    -rw-r–r– 1 root wheel 16 Aug 12 2000 myname
    %

  11. chris says:

    my 1040STfm, a Mega2 and a handfull of old (<200MB) HDs are waiting to come to life again. There's even a C-interpreter which I used for learning decades ago…
    Checked them 3 years ago, everything was working.

    Reminded me where I was creating the helpfiles for a Win$ software (1991), using Winword 1.x on Windows 3.x on a PC. Had to finish them using M$ Word4 on a Spectre Mac-Emulator on my Atari ST at home over the weekend. The RTF files went through the Win$ help-compiler just fine when I was back in the office the following monday. That's what I call compatibility ;-)

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