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      Discuss your latest vintage Mac finds!

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      Ah, the consumer computers!

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  • Posts

    • I have an external SCSI2SD that I'd love to use like a 'floppy' to move files between my various Macs.    Has anyone had any luck with the adapter chain of microSD card-> SD card adapter -> CF adapter -> PCMCIA reader?   My microSD card works fine in the SCSI2SD, and it works fine in the fullsize SD adapter on a MacBook, but it does not mount on any of my vintage powerbooks with the above (admittedly silly) chain of adapters.   (And yes, I could disconnect the SCSI2SD and just plug it into the powerbooks, but that involves cable changes  
    • Sure, the 5000 series wasn't really meant to be used as a stereo, they were meant to be used by large groups of children together with headphones. (So-much so that, in retrospect, I'm surprised Apple didn't come up with the "two headphone jacks" trick from the G3AIO and the iMac G3 earlier on.)   The 6500+MS15AV would be a better comparison, but even then, fairly nice multimedia computer setups were only a couple hundo. You could buy a MS1705 or MS15[non-av] instead and get a speaker setup, but it arguably wasn't even until a couple more years down the line that "computer as a music player" even made sense.    Granted, with Apple, it's often all about the packaging and the experience: and the TAM has that in spades.    And, saying that a TAM is "probably" fairly priced at $4,399 is still giving Apple over a thousand dollars per unit to build what's essentially a 6500/250 with a 3400 screen and keyboard and some nicer than usual speakers,   But, you are also right about the custom form factor and other electronics meant to make that happen for an explicitly special edition/low production volume machine. Given that Apple wasn't entirely out of troubled waters with their money troubles at the time, selling a $10,000 ($7,500 without delivery, as noted) special edition was probably not the best move they could've made.   Despite being a little contentious, it is the single most common reason people have to dislike the TAM, followed by the notion that it's somehow a "bad" computer because it was a part of the consumer-focused 6000 series, so, it's not that spicy. It's one of those "unpopular opinion" things that's actually a fairly popular opinion.
    • I've never tried booting my 4400 with the CUDA button. That's interesting.

      Just a crazy thought, did you try manually jumping the power switch terminals? It could be a mechanical fault with the switch perhaps, if it still turns it off.
    • I recently picked up a Motorola StarMax 4000/160 DT.  Seems to be in decent cosmetic shape, no obvious damage on the board, but it doesn't power up via the power button or the keyboard soft power.  Strangely it powers up immediately without pressing anything if plugged in after being unplugged for a while (a day or so?).  The power button will turn it off but then not back on.  The only reliable way to get it to fire up is to press the CUDA reset button, which turns it on every single time.  (But that has the side effect of requiring the case to be open, and it wipes the PRAM).  The system works completely fine once it's on.   Of course first thing with these Tanzania boards is to replace the battery -- I have done so (fabricated my own 4.5V battery using a 3xAA battery holder) but no difference.  Multimeter confirms that my battery setup is putting out 4.5V, so I am fairly certain it was put together properly.   My best guess is that there is some kind of issue with the soft power circuit but I am not really sure where to start with troubleshooting (possibly checking that the board is actually getting the battery voltage).  Anyone have experience with the Tanzania board that might know something I don't?
    • Even if the quality is the best man ever created the fact remains that luid-filled caps do not have eternal life.  Even if one argues they can last 50 years, 50 years is not forever.  And then the question becomes, how how must the ESR get during those 50 years before your device stops working properly?   Leaking onto a PCB and eating through traces is not the lone issue.  Liquid electrolyte can dry up over time, especially when a heat source is present, and that remains true even if nothing at all every "leaked" from the capacitor in any externally observable way.  As the electrolyte dries up, ESR rises and the capacitor slowly ceases to be a capacitor.   Physically larger capacitors tend to retain more of their capacitance through the years than smaller caps, but not always.  (For example, in my SE/30's SONY PSU, I removed the largest cap on the board and found ring-around-the-collar -- an indication that it had leaked.) In the case of physically large caps, I would agree that "quality" has importance.  But this thread is talking about 400k floppy drives which have physically small caps, hence the point I've been trying to make about the high likelihood that these caps, especially after 30+ years of either being used or sitting in a closet, are diminished to such an extent that all manner of electrical glitches could occur due to their diminished ability to retain a charge within the tolerance of their original specifications.   In any case, I will make a video of my 400k floppy drive recap jobs and post a link to that when finished.  Hopefully, it will be of help to those considering a recap of those devices, which is pretty much everyone since I've never heard of people recapping those floppy drives before.  We tend to recap what everybody else is recapping even though most of these fluid filled caps could now use recapping.
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