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Connecting 68k Macs to LCD Monitors


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T I remember seeing a friend's PC (I never had such thing :b&w: ) where the number of sectors/heads/cylinders had to be set manually on the BIOS xx( And "they" had no possibilty of external HDs until the advent of USB, and then so at the sluggish 1.1 speeds... But as soon as Logical Block Addressing à la SCSI became common on IDE disks, Apple started using them for our convenience (and their profit)
Oh, yes. Into the Pentium era (I think some were auto-detecting by this time), if you wanted to install a new hard drive, you better copy down the sectors/heads/cylinder numbers written on the drive before putting it in the machine. Then configure the BIOS at start up so it would recognize the drive. Then run DOS so you could run Fdisk to partition the disk and then initialize it and assign it a fixed drive letter. Woe unto you if you were in a network environment in which networked volumes started at F: and you had a more than three hard drive devices (two hard drives and one optical drive, e.g.).


The differences were compelling in those days, unlike now, where I often prefer to use my Windows XP laptop over using my OSX desktop machine. I can't really see an ease of use advantage in one over the other. In OSX Apple made everything just as much of a pain in the posterior as it is in Windows.



Well-known member
OH JEEZ. I used to hate entering drive parameters... especially if you forgot them, especially back then. You had to call the HD company to get the parameters.



Well-known member
From Trag: Oh, yes. Into the Pentium era (I think some were auto-detecting by this time), if you wanted to install a new hard drive, you better copy down the sectors/heads/cylinder numbers written on the drive before putting it in the machine. Then configure the BIOS at start up so it would recognize the drive. Then run DOS so you could run Fdisk to partition the disk and then initialize it and assign it a fixed drive letter. Woe unto you if you were in a network environment in which networked volumes started at F: and you had a more than three hard drive devices (two hard drives and one optical drive, e.g.).
There was a top tip in that rant, Jeff. For lots of drives the BIOS parameters are on the label on the top side, so write them down before you install the disk. Then write them down in that exercise book that you use to record all of your installation procedures.

Auto hard disk detection was probably a Pentium II-era feature. You had the option of LBA (Logical Block Addressing) for automatic detection or the painful way. The two cannot be mixed and you can't reliably swap a disk between different PCs.

When installing a disk in a vintage PC, assigning a drive letter is and was a bad thing to do. Let the horrible device make its own horrible decisions. Then sort out the horrible software that looks for a particular drive letter.

Drive letter F: was a choice determined by Novell in the late 1980s. Drive F: was the NetWare logon server volume and in common NetWare usage, it was used for the home directory. Smarter people re-mapped other drive letters to the NetWare home directory so that it was possible to log on to more than one NW server. But the last letter on the line was drive E:.

To be fair to Novell, they made that choice (late 1980s?) when it seemed unlikely that letters A to E would be filled. I think that they changed the drive F: logon volume requirement with NetWare 4 (early/mid 1990s) but that was not a solution for people with lots of old clients. And too late.

Microsoft twigged the problem too. LASTDRIVE in CONFIG.SYS specified the last allowable drive letter, and in non-Novell environments LASTDRIVE was Z. I didn't spend too much time with Microsoft's server offerings before Windows 2000 so I can't comment much, but with Windows 2000 it was clear that you mapped backwards from Z.



LC Doctor/Hot Rodder
Actually, ISTR that auto-detection was a Pentium-1 era feature - most, if not all the Socket7 boards I've had have supported it.



Well-known member
My 486 board supports auto-detection. Though it would be a little late as it came with an AM486DX4-100. I am not sure how early 486 boards started supporting auto detection.



Well-known member
I guess that we are all right and all wrong.

The eras described below are very approximate and experience would vary depending on whether you bought PC junk or not.

Early 386 and prior: Cylinder Head and Sectors needed to be entered manually most of the time. Automatic CHS identification was emerging.

Early 486 and prior: Cylinder Head and Sectors needed to be entered manually some of the time. The BIOS could not always work them out for you. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cylinder-head-sector

Later 486 (VL-Bus times) and early Pentium 1: The BIOS would make an even better stab at determining CHS values. If you installed a big disk, say 500MB+, manual assistance was required.

1996 onwards, so presumably later Pentium 1: LBA addressing was invented. Automatic identification started to work properly.



Not to nudge this back onto topic or anything . . . :eek:)

. . . I just ordered the last (hopefully) of my Radius LCD Collection. It's another 15" LCD, this time it's the RAD-5q variant. Same Mac/PC Compatibility, but an interesting case design that lends itself to a certain hack in the planning stages.

These things are great!



Well-known member
Trash wrote:

I just ordered the last (hopefully) of my Radius LCD Collection. It's another 15" LCD, this time it's the RAD-5q variant.
Give us a hand then. My notes about the end of Radius:

The price of diversification was loss of focus and Radius were in trouble financially from late 1992 onwards. Radius fizzled out rather than ending abruptly. The SuperMac brand name was licensed to Umax for its range of PowerPC Mac clones in 1996, and support for legacy graphics cards and accelerators was spun off to a company called Radius Vintage (now defunct). In January 1999, Radius was relaunched as Digital Origin, specialising in digital video editing products, only to be purchased by Media 100 in December 1999. Pivot display technology was retained by Portrait Displays, a spin off company founded by Radius in 1993.

I'm presuming that your monitor is from Korean Data Systems (KDS). How does the Radius branding work?



Yep, IIRC, the monitor business was apparently sold off to Korea Data Systems Co., LTD.

Mac Implementation seems spotty in terms of the connectors, the first one I picked up was the sweet little KDS Radius RAD-5b. It's allegedly Black, but it's actually just a couple of shades darker than PowerBook Duo Gray. It has a metal plate covering the DA-19 port moulded into the back bezel and has only the HD-15 connector implemented.

While almost the entire series seems to have been tagged with the Rad-5, 7 and 9 model numbers, 15, 17 and 19 inch diagonals respectively, the Radius Branding on the front bezels seems to have been a bit spotty.

So far, I've received three beautiful, and beautifully working, LCDs along with one non-functional, but probably repairable LCD and one that might be a dumped lemon, but I got all my money back for that one.


This is a non-functional unit that had tested as good, (w/pic of it working posted in the auction) from a reputable seller who was very concerned that it didn't work when received. But it was well packed and shipped in good faith, no problem! Haven't had a chance to crack the case for testing yet, but the AC adapter works fine.

While there's no logo on the lower right, somehow I think they were pushing the LCD's Radius heritage, the banner sticker is a little worn though.

KDS Radius Rad-5 - black.JPG

This is a beautifully working Black Rad-5 specimen, same model as the silver version above. It's a true, glossy black rather than the PB Grayer shade, so it matches up with modern KBDs and mice quite nicely.

While there's no logo on the lower right, the Radius marketing sticker is in perfect condition.

KDS Radius Rad-5c.JPG

This is a non-functional unit I received without the AC Adapter, in MUCH too small a box with a dinged corner. This from a 100% rated, but very low feedback seller who never responded regarding my problems with the LCD. I opened a case and got a prompt refund, which funded this latest order. One day I'll figure out how to get money back out of my PayPal Account, but there's no hurry with so many wonderful toys available on eBay! [;)] ]'> Stock photo + low volume feedback = not a chance ever again!

You can't see it in the stock photo, but it has a beautiful monochrome blue Radius logo on the corner opposite the KDS logo.

KDS Radius Rad-5c Box.JPG

Heh! found the one I was watching that sold (used) in the box! Forgot to bid. :-/

KDS Radius Rad-5q - front.JPG

Latest acquisition, funded by the returned money from the no-goodnik mentioned above, who shall remain unidentified per the rules.


This is the prettiest and most useful of my KDS Radius LCD collection. I'm not sure if they'd dropped the Radius marketing ploy by this time or not. I'll have to check dates of mfr. on all the units when I get the "last one" here and tested. This one has 17" @ 1280 x 1024 x 24bits of Radius Heritage goodness and the 1152 x 8xx pixel settings scale very nicely on it.


This is the one that started it all, I saw that beautiful gray coloring on an LCD with a Radius Logo and just had to have it! It's lovely and it has earned its keep and then some as the monitor of choice in my quest to build the SuperIIsi™ Hack and for testing in the Radius Color Pivot II/IIsi VidCard Hacks Project. I love the design's relatively thin bezel surrounding the LCD.


KDS Radius RAD-9.JPG

This is the 19" beast I'm hoping someone else grabs before I can no longer resist temptation. The only thing holding me back (besides the $$$$$$$$$ ) is the fact that the resolution is the same as my 17" beauty. Still, it's a great LCD Monitor to pair with an older Mac . . .

. . . thank goodness it doesn't have the Radius Logo on the corner . . . }:)

There are some White Rad-5 LCDs kicking around on eBay with speakers built into the base, but their design doesn't appeal to me.

Were you looking for some other kind of help? :?:



Well-known member
Used EIZO L365 monitors are available for a few bucks, still. Shape and colour of the case matches well the ancient Mac's design. Supported resolutions are from 640x480 up to the native resoulution of 1024x768, which is nice to use with the image diagonal of 15" (37.5 cm). It has VGA and DVI input connectors and inbuilt stereo speakers. Some of the non-Sony CRT equipped Apple displays use a connecting cable with a VGA-style DSub connector at one end and a Mac-style DSub connector at the other end. The L365 + such cable make a perfect companion for old Macs. Find details in the FlexScan L365 User's Manual.



Well-known member
That was MORE than enough information, Trash. But thanks a lot for the photos that show the Radius branding.

I am coming from a UK perspective and Radius didn't have much presence outside graphics shops or science. Radius was not a brand name that monitor purchasers would have recognised in, say, 1990. Would have that perception been different in the USA? KDS assumed that, but what do Americans recall?



Radius wasn't well known here in the States as a consumer or even prosumer brand. I'm not sure they ever even made a mid-market model CRT Monitor, maybe the Pivots?

Dunno, they were always high-end, high-cost of entry displays for productivity in the most demanding markets. The Radius FPD & TPD, with their interfaces wedged onto the 68000 "PDS" in the Plus, gave Aldus PageMaker (and CAD packages for the Mac) a leg up in turning desktop publishing into a workable solution. This combination dragged the Mac into profitability for Apple. When the SE hit the market with a "real" 68000 PDS, Radius was right there, leading the way with Co-Pro equipped 68020 Accelerators. By the time the FDHD ROMs/Upgrade Kit hit the Mac II, Radius was already hip deep in the 68040 Rocket Project.

I wouldn't doubt that Radius OEM'd more Apple Portrait Displays and Apple Two Page Displays than they sold under their own branding. In the days of the development of the Mac's Video Output Standards, it was a Radius/Apple project from what I recall. It'd be interesting to find out how many of the TriniTrons with Apple Logos on board were OEM'd by Radius? Dunno, several other mfrs. joined the fray and diluted the market. Radius wound up snapping them up as they failed during the climb of high volume SVGA CRT offerings out of the gutter and into the "usable" category in terms of quality of output and size. ViewSonic, NEC and Sony itself come to mind. It was pretty much all over for Radius by the time the 17" SVGA CRT started to become the "standard" for business computers.

I didn't pay much attention to the VidCap offerings that wound up Radius' main line of development for long term survival, but I made my living running their Acelerators and using their B1G@$$ Displays. [:D] ]'>

edit: I'm fairly certain that KDS wanted the Radius Brand (and probably their LCD Controller Technology) for its High-End reputation. A couple of the comrades from oz commented on how great these were when they were in their prime and the period specific reviews I've read have all pretty much been raves.



Well-known member
Trash wrote:

It'd be interesting to find out how many of the TriniTrons with Apple Logos on board were OEM'd by Radius?
We could make a good guess based on serial numbers. For the 17" Trinitrons, my guess is that they were OEMed by Sony (I sent my last one to recycling years ago, so I can't check). The same would apply to large displays used by Sun, RasterOps, SuperMac et al.



Sony made every Trinitron Tube, but I'm not sure when Apple started manufacturing their own displays using CRTs from vendors/parts suppliers like Sony. Radius OEM'd the Large Grayscale Displays for Apple, dunno who made the tubes for those.

Sony wouldn't be considered the OEM for the display mfr's you mentioned unless they made the entire package, which seems doubtful to me. There was too much variation in feature sets and quality of the remainder of the parts used to build these displays.

Dunno, just an interesting question to me. The only 17" Trinitron I have ever had is a Sony! :eek:)

Who used the shadow mask tube technology, Matsushita?



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Sony UK sent a van to pickup AppleVision 1710s when we had a collection that needed servicing. I suspect that Sony were heavily involved in the manufacture but I don't have the time to investigate further.

Shadow mask seems to have emerged at Mitsubishi (see http://www.google.com/patents/US4973879) but it was later used with aperture grills. ViewSonic used the tech well in the late 1990s and I recall them using Mitsubishi branding.

Apple sold a 15" shadow mask monitor in the mid 1990s that was reasonable -- not Sony quality, not a goldfish bowl. I think Hitachi were the OEM.



Well-known member
I've got a 6100 (regrettably, out of order) that I've used before with an older Dell 15" monitor (I can go find the model # if anyone cares). I think it was one of the resolution s mentioned below, 832x624 or 1152x870 that worked at maybe 70/75hz. One of those somewhat generic adapters with the 8+ dip switches -- works both for my LCII and the Performa. My adapter came with a little pamphlet explaining the switch settings and required a bit of fiddling to find the right one (probably ought to label that come to think of it).

Something tells me that it's the older models with smaller screens that work the best. I know my 19" won't go lower than 800x600 if that. Really, if you have old macs, you might as well use a CRT (if you can't easily find an LCD) since it will probably tolerate those odd resolutions and frequencies better.

If we just make a list of all the monitors everyone has that works and at what resolutions and frequencies that would probably cover some ground.



Active member
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0378636i bought this back in the fall when it was 49 bucks, from microcenter.

looks like they are 64 bucks now,

its a great monitor, it will handle anything i throw at it!

LCI/II/III q605 / Mac IIsi / PM 6100 / 7500/100

i have a vga to db-15 adaptor with dip switches,

the IIsi will only work with the first dip setting on for 640x480,

the rest will multi sync with the second to last dip set to on.
I live near a Microcenter. What is the Dell model number of this monitor?

For some reason, Microcenter doesn't list the number.



Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
It's probably an UltraSharp 1707 or 1708.

Really, any UltraSharp 170xFP or 150xFP would be worth investigating and buying. For those who want to purchase new, the Dell P170 and P190 are more or less the same display, but at 17 and 19-inch sizes, instead of 15 and 17-inch sizes.

I have a 1505FP that I eventually intend to hook up to my 840av or Q610, using that should be nearly identical to using the original 15-inch LCD Apple Studio Display.


Hotdog Zanzibar

Well-known member
I picked up several 15" Dell E153FPF monitors from a company that was going out of business, as well as an E170S. I've tried both models on my Quadra 840AV with one of those adapters that has the dip switches, and nothing seems to work. I've gone thru the gamut of settings on the dip switches (it has the switch settings printed on the back).

Anyone have any luck getting these screens to work on old Macs?