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Mighty Jabba

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  1. Mighty Jabba

    1988 RCA Dimensia TV

    I'm thinking that the term dementia was not commonly known at this point or I can't believe that any company would name their product Dimensia. Then again, there is a mechanical keyboard called Dierya, so what do I know?
  2. Mighty Jabba

    Found my old Mac in my parents' storage!

    Interesting that it's a Plus but has the keyboard from the original Mac.
  3. Mighty Jabba

    PowerBook 520c Score!

    So you're the one who outbid me... I have a 520 that I can't get any signs of life out of, so I guess I was reluctant to go too high for another untested one, but I'm glad that it worked out for you.
  4. Mighty Jabba

    A tale of 3 Tibooks...

    By the way, I didn't mention it in this thread before, but I did manage to get a fourth "non-working" Tibook a while back for just $12.99 (not sure how they choose these prices sometimes). When I got it in hand, it was the lowest-end 400mhz version but it looked almost mint. And it turned out that disconnecting the PRAM battery allowed it to boot right up. This is another way that batteries are a big weakness for computers -- so many older Apple portables have trouble starting up without a working PRAM battery. It makes me sad to think of all of the computers that might have been thrown out because they were "broken" when in fact they were just sort of... confused. This Tibook in particular still had all of the previous owner's files on it. Turned out he was a Harvard professor who had passed away a number of years ago. There were things like book manuscripts on there that I can't bring myself to delete.
  5. Mighty Jabba

    A tale of 3 Tibooks...

    Batteries are the Achilles heel of all portables, whether it's the swelling problem (which I have also had multiple times) or just not being able to get replacement batteries anymore. You can actually still buy (what are apparently) new batteries for things like the clamshell iBook and Tibook, but the makers are essentially using their position as the only suppliers to charge ridiculous prices (around $200). I did however find a source for clamshell iBook batteries for "only" $60 and they actually work quite well, getting around 5 hours of life in my testing. I worry that in 10 or 15 years there will be surprisingly few usable examples of the current generation machines left because the batteries are so hard to replace, not to mention prone to catastrophic swelling.
  6. Mighty Jabba

    Rare Macintosh Plus with Total Systems Accelerator Board

    This looks fairly different on the inside from my Plus with a Total Systems accelerator. I do use mine with an external SCSI2SD and really like it. It's my go-to compact Mac because it's easily the fastest one that I have.
  7. Well, I've managed to boot KanjiTalk 1, KanjiTalk 2, and KanjiTalk 6 on my Mac Plus. The first two versions seem very stripped down (they can run from floppies, although they require some disk swapping during boot-up just to load the Japanese fonts). So although I was able to boot them I couldn't actually accomplish much with the system. There weren't even any keyboard preferences that would allow you to use the kana keyboard layout, which makes me think that what is available for download online may have been more like simple boot disks and not what people were actually using to run their systems. KanjiTalk 6 is also available on the Macintosh Repository and comes on a number of floppy images, so it feels more like a real OS, but of course you need to run it from a hard disk. This took a little doing because I'm still not an expert at using SCSI2SD, but I got it running from one of my SCSI2SD disks, and it seems to be running fine. I was even able to try out typing using the kana layout on the keyboard above, which makes me feel like a child just starting to learn to type. One thing that struck me right away is that the system font is a lot bigger on the Japanese system. I've used Japanese Mac OS before and didn't really find this to be the case, but I'm guessing that because the screen resolution on compact Macs is so low, they had to boost the font size so they could fit in all the details of kanji characters. Even at the bigger size some of them are very squished together and hard to see. I'll post a photo later. I'm still trying to figure out things like software compatibility.
  8. This has been kind of interesting (if difficult) to research. I do read Japanese, so that helps. From what I understand, the first Macs sold in Japan were actually imported by Canon, who added a special ROM for kanji support, and these were called the Dynamac. I’ve seen pictures of these Dynamac units with English keyboards, and since they weren’t an official Apple product, I initially thought the English keyboard was all there was. But in looking a bit deeper it seems like at least some Dynamacs did have kana keyboards. This guy speculated that Canon must have had Japanese keyboards made, but I don’t know if that’s true or whether they were somehow made in conjunction with Apple (the whole Apple and Canon relationship back then is pretty interesting). The Dynamacs are apparently quite rare, so I guess that would explain why these keyboards are also rare. Since I have no way of getting one of these I am going to focus on the Plus and KanjiTalk as the first Macs officially sold by Apple In Japan.
  9. Well that is interesting... I will have to look into this a bit more.
  10. Mighty Jabba

    A tale of 3 Tibooks...

    I used a Pismo for years as my main machine so I have more affection for it versus the Tibook, but I will say that the Tibook feels more like a modern machine in a lot of ways. I should do some comparisons between the 1ghz Tibook and my 500mhz Pismo to see if I can really see a difference in performance.
  11. I'm a Japanese translator and a Mac fan, so I thought it would be interesting to try and recreate the earliest iteration of Japanese-compatible Mac. However, I don't have a large amount of knowledge about the release of the Mac in Japan. I think the original Macintosh was only available in Japan as imported English versions, and the Mac Plus was the first Mac that Apple officially released in Japan with a Japanese OS. Is that correct? Maybe @JDW has some input about this? Or does anyone know of a site that talks about the early days of the Mac in Japan? I picked up this M01110A J keyboard recently and want to use it in conjunction with a Mac Plus running KanjiTalk.
  12. Mighty Jabba

    Mighty Jabba's Conquests

    I've got enough Macs and monitors that I probably won't worry about trying to make the Sawtooth work with the 23" but I'll keep it in mind. Going back to the PowerBook 165 I mentioned above, I managed to find another very cheap one that turned on with a chime and displayed a blank white screen. I was sort of hoping that the seller just didn't know how to adjust the brightness and contrast and it was actually okay. I did ask them if it had been opened, hoping that it might have a usable hard disk in it. Once it arrived, I found that it didn't do anything but display the white screen, and while there was a hard disk inside, there was no sign of activity from it. It does boot from the boot floppy I made, but there is nothing on the screen. I tried swapping various parts around between my two machines, but was never able to get the screen on the new one to do anything, so I'm guessing it's something wrong with the screen (I tried swapping everything including the board that controls brightness and contrast, but it didn't seem to make a difference. I did apparently solve the issue of the machine restarting when touching the top trackpad button (which I assume was just are result of something shorting somewhere). But no luck with the screen or hard disk, so I'm not much farther along than when I started, although I can pick and choose the components that are the in best shape and make one unit out of them. I do have a new appreciation for how modular these computers were. It's really quite impressive how easy it is to take them apart and swap components. By the way, my old 165 had a modem card in it and the new one didn't. I didn't realize that was optional.
  13. Mighty Jabba

    Mighty Jabba's Conquests

    Well that's interesting to know. I'm just glad it's not a defect with the machine. I can certainly just use it with the smaller screen.
  14. Mighty Jabba

    Mighty Jabba's Conquests

    I picked up a dual 450mhz PowerMac G4 (I guess this would be a Sawtooth) for about $60 shipped. It cleaned up quite well and seems to be working fine, with the exception of one bad USB port. The only thing is that I can't get it to work with my 23" ADC Cinema Display. It works fine with the 17" version and with a VGA monitor, but when I connect the 23" monitor, I only get a power light on the monitor but no image. Pushing the power button on the monitor works as expected, but that's it. Any ideas about this?
  15. Mighty Jabba

    Mighty Jabba's Conquests

    It's a Tada68 keyboard with SA Pulse keycaps. It's not really that similar to a Space Cadet, although they did make custom caps based on that as well.