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Iesca

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Everything posted by Iesca

  1. Is there any way to determine an older mac's serial number besides the one on the case? Past me in his youthful naïvété removed and discarded the sticker on the back of his 540c some years ago... Thanks!
  2. Iesca

    PDS Card Database?

    I've been wanting this very thing! Now that I have an LC III, of course. Would need to of course specify the intended machine, 24/32 bit, etc. I have a bunch of LC cards bookmarked on ebay atm just as a going list.
  3. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c Floppy Drive Ribbon Cable

    Turns out I was able to find a replacement on good ol' ebay: http://ebay.com/itm/Apple-PowerBook-520-540-Floppy-Drive-Cable-632-0020-A-821-0020-A-922-0780-Mac/391820356652
  4. Hey all, I really donked up. I tore the ribbon cable from my Powerbook 540's floppy disk drive. At first it was just a partial tear, which I attempted to address with clear tape, but when that didn't work I managed to completely tear it in two. Short of replacing it, is there any way to repair a ribbon cable like this?
  5. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c Resurrection

    It seems that my 540c's memory card is of a different make than the ones on display here, but I assume the principal would be the same? The chips are labeled as: MCM517400BT60 Motorola VQQDU9614 They also appear to use tiny SMD caps instead of resistors like Bolle's. EDIT: Found a data sheet on the chips in question, for the curious: https://www.datasheets360.com/part/detail/mcm517400bt60/-8453506530169633316/
  6. Hello! At some point around high school (somewhere around '99 or '00), my parents got my nephew and I "new" Powerbook 540c's which at the time gave us intermittent problems, but which I got some use out of nevertheless. After years of neglect, I turned mine on briefly back in 2011 to see what was on it and to retrieve a few things, but otherwise it has basically been sitting around unused for quite awhile. I decided recently to try pulling it out once again but was disappointed to find that, other than a meek squeal, followed by the boot chime, it wasn't loading the system, not even a blinking question mark. Thinking the hard drive was dead, I tried booting from a CD using an external CD Rom Drive (the AppleCD 600e!) and an OS 8.1 install disk. While this caused the blinking question mark to appear, it did not get me any farther. However, I noticed that the squealing had subsided, so I disconnected everything and, voila! It booted to the Finder. (It has squealed off and on since then, but it still boots right up.) I've since installed OS 8.1 and have had no issues whatsoever. It seems my problems back in the day were likely caused by trying to run OS 8.5, which is too new for the machine. My mission was then to get the thing onto the internet. While I could burn CDs on a newer machine and load them with the AppleCD Drive, this was not very efficient, so I tracked down what I needed for ethernet, and ordered the adapter cable. On arrival I tried it out and like magic, I was able to connect! Though browsing was not really in the cards (though I certainly tried), I managed to load Fetch 3 onto the system, making it much easier to transfer files to (and from!) the machine. The next step was trying get it working with an external VGA monitor. I ordered the external monitor cable for the Powerbook 500 (my machine, being secondhand, never had one that I'm aware of). However, to my dismay I realized that it outputs to the old Macintosh Monitor cable, which is no use to me. But after some research I was able to track down a Mac to VGA adapter on Amazon that works perfectly! (And no dipswitches!) I just ordered an iFixit Torx 8 screwdriver to open it up, as well as a new Clock PRAM battery from AppleMacParts. However, in the meantime I can sync the clock as needed while connected to the internet using Vremya and the time.apple.com server. After that, the next project is to order and install the 2.5" SCSI2SD Powerbook module and replace the hard drive. While it continues to work so far, at around 20 years old (if not older), it's really only a matter of time before it bids this world a fond farewell.. Attached are some photos of my progress so far.
  7. Iesca

    SCSI zip drive

    That sounds really cool. I'd like to get my Plus working 100% so I can use it as a glorified typewriter and some games.
  8. Iesca

    Connecting 68k Macs to LCD Monitors

    I've had great luck with my dip-less converter and an LG Flatron E2242 that I bought new several years ago as a second monitor. The converter I have is this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002J1JAE/ I have used this configuration with my Powerbook 540c and am able to use it at 640x480 in both mirroring mode and as a second monitor, and 800x600 as a second monitor. I can't recall if I tried it with the 540's narrower 640x400 resolution (with thousands of colors). I have also used the same configuration with my LC III with 768KB VRAM and while I do have access to the thousands of colors I don't seem to be able to access the higher promised resolution of the added VRAM module. Still, it otherwise works great, if a little fuzzy at 640x480 interpolated.
  9. Iesca

    SCSI zip drive

    Congratulations on your progress, Neal! It sounds like you have a hard drive in the SE/30 that's still working (for now!).
  10. Iesca

    SCSI zip drive

    Yeah, I may go that route. People who have the Mac formatted ones seem to be charging extra for them, perhaps unsurprisingly.
  11. Iesca

    SCSI zip drive

    Here are some pics of the Zip100 Plus I just brought back from home. It has its own power adaptor, which I've included a closeup of. Haven't tested it yet. Was very wary to try any of the disks from my parents' as I remember vividly the issues we had with the USB zip drive we had and the potential of ruining a good drive with a bad disk... So will be getting a never-used disk at some point!
  12. I recently acquired an LC III that originally came from my old high school's music dept. I remember using them in high school initially, only to have them replaced with PCs at some point. The LCs sat around for years before they were given to a friend of mine who does work for the town. He kept one for himself, sent one to The 8-bit Guy (!), and he gave the third to me! It runs perfectly hooked up to my external VGA monitor. The internal battery was dead of course, but hadn't leaked at all. Floppy drive reads perfectly after cleaning the heads. And it came with a 16MB RAM module. It is the 25MHz 69030 processor. I've since upgraded it to a 32MB RAM module and also installed a 256KB VRAM module (there are 512KB modules out there but my understanding is the LC III only takes the 256, although I have seem a reference to it taking the 512, so who knows). A 68882 FPU coprocessor is on its way (these are super cheap???). I wasn't paying attention initially but it looks like it's the 25MHz version. A new PRAM battery is also on its way. With regards to the VRAM, it does give the machine access to thousands of colors, but I don't seem to have access to the promised increase in resolution... The main issue with the LC is that it has stopped booting from the hard drive. It has an 80 MB Quantum drive, and it appears to suffer from the issue whereby the read head arm gets stuck on an old rubber bumper, but if you give the head a nudge at boot it will whisk into action and behave normally, until shutdown that is. What I'd really like is a good accelerator card, though I know those are going to be hard to come by, particularly any that uses the 32-bit PDS slot. Ethernet cards seem to be easy to come by though, so I can at least do that. There's of course also the Apple IIe card but people are charging crazy money for those, even though there really should be a billion of them, seeing as how they (and the LCs in general) were produced for the education market. Oh well... The caps will probably need to be replaced. A couple of them in particular look bulged/deformed.
  13. Iesca

    Powerbook 500 serial number

    So I managed to find a serial number inside the powerbook on the motherboard. There is a larger S/N sticker which probably corresponds to the board itself (there are other stickers like that one on the various components). But the smaller print one resembles the general format of Mac serial numbers, although it does seem to have an extra digit. Any chance anyone knows how to decode it? I know the first two characters mean manufactured in Cork, Ireland. Here is the full s/n: CK50613T2U88 (or BB? see picture)
  14. Iesca

    Powerbook 500 serial number

    I just tried the OS 9 version (v2.4.4). Sadly it's PPC only... I suppose if I ever get a PPC upgrade card for it I can try again.
  15. Iesca

    Powerbook 500 serial number

    I tried looking in Apple System Profiler but couldn't find it... I'm running 8.1. Should I try copying the version from OS 9 over?
  16. Iesca

    Bodge Wires on LC III Motherboard?

    Tim just sent me a pic of his machine, which also contains the wired leads. I think it's safe to say that this was at least a semi-regular thing for the LC IIIs, whatever the reason.
  17. Iesca

    Bodge Wires on LC III Motherboard?

    I know that this is a slightly old thread, but I wanted to weigh in on the topic! If any of you follow David Murray, The 8-bit Guy, in an old unboxing video (June 2017) he received an LCIII towards the end of the video. That LCIII was actually one of a few LCIIIs from my high school's music department (Tim, the person who donated the one in the video, is an old friend of mine). Anyway, if you watch the video, you'll see David opens the machine up and you can clearly see the same green wires connecting a few of the chips across the board. Tim actually gave me one of the LCIIIs from the pile and mine has the same configuration. I've tested my machine and it is in complete working order. I've attached some pics from my machine's board so you can compare.
  18. I recently acquired an Apple Desktop Mouse II to use with my Powerbook 540c. While the tracking speed with the built-in track pad is fine, the tracking speed with the mouse, even at the highest setting, is painfully slow. I've opened up and cleaned out the mouse innards as best I can and wiped down the mouse ball with rubbing alcohol with little effect. Any advice?
  19. Iesca

    Apple Desktop Mouse II - Slow Tracking

    Also, I tried the PRAM reset and it did not resolve the issue, unfortunately. My fear is that it's a mechanical issue.
  20. Iesca

    Apple Desktop Mouse II - Slow Tracking

    Didn't find anything via "ADB Reset", but "Focus BusTool" came up on the Garden. Is this it by any chance? http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/focus-bustool
  21. Iesca

    Apple Desktop Mouse II - Slow Tracking

    Even though using the trackpad works correctly?
  22. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c Resurrection

    Here is the listing for VIS/AppleMacParts, however it appears that they are now out of stock. (I must have gotten the last one!) I would say that your assumption about NOS OEM is almost certainly correct. I did a test and found that the time did slip behind about 45 minutes while unplugged, but otherwise retained the date and other battery sensitive preferences. We'll see if it was worth it in the long run. Ultimately, it is probably possible to fabricate a new one using watch batteries and the connector, though you would have to carefully pry the connectors from the batteries themselves. As for RAM, I realized that my 540c actually has the 16MB RAM card, not the 24MB as I had previously thought. Still not sure about customizing the RAM any time soon, but as for upgrades a 24MB card is probably easier to find than the 32MB!
  23. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c Resurrection

    Update: Clock battery success! The new battery arrived from the UK today as well as the Torx screwdriver I needed. The installation was interesting, given that it needs to be almost completely taken apart to get at the clock battery compartment, which is on the underside of the palm rest next to the trackpad (the Powerbook 500 is a built like a tank!). But after screwing around with it (and some fumbling putting it all back together) it all works! Amusingly, the baggy that the battery came in states "FOR SALE TO APPLE AUTHORIZED SERVICE PROVIDERS ONLY". Sure thing, Apple! I was also able to deal with an issue with the monitor where it would occasionally flicker and/or the colors would be out of whack. I had discovered previously that squeezing the lower left side of the monitor frame would resolve this, but I was worried it was loose solder. Fortunately, as I discovered on disassembly, it was just a loose connector. And it seems to be a bit brighter, too! That may just be my imagination though.
  24. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c Resurrection

    I wonder if that 32MB card you saw was from a 550c since those were only released in Japan!
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