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Mighty Jabba

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  1. Mighty Jabba

    Mighty Jabba's Conquests

    I just wasn’t expecting that. I guess I lucked out.
  2. Mighty Jabba

    Mighty Jabba's Conquests

    Small update: The battery on the new Pismo lasted almost exactly 4 hours of light use with the screen on constantly. I did use an SD adapter instead of a hard disk, so that probably helped, but it's still very impressive.
  3. Mighty Jabba

    Power Mac G5 OS Compatability

    Sorry I didn't see this earlier, but this is how I was finally able to install Classic on my PowerMac G5 despite not having the original disks. Everything else I tried failed. https://sites.google.com/site/nickjuly4/enablemacos9classic
  4. Mighty Jabba

    Mighty Jabba's Conquests

    I've been going a little crazy buying old computers lately, so I thought I would write about a few of them here. I've already talked about my Macintosh Plus with an accelerator board installed that I got for about $80 + shipping, and that one has worked out pretty well now that I've figured out how to enable to accelerator. It's very fast! And I started a thread about my experience refurbishing 3 Titanium PowerBooks as well. But today I wanted to talk about this PowerBook G3 Pismo that I got for $30 + shipping (on the left). It was listed as powering on with no hard disk and no other details, but it works perfectly and is in noticeably better shape than my own (blue) Pismo that I've had since 2000. The battery even seems to be taking a charge, which seems amazing. The only thing is that it was advertised as a 400mHz model, but System Profiler shows it as a 500 Mhz G3. Could that be accurate? Is there some other way I can check the speed easily?
  5. Mighty Jabba

    Sales figures for compact Macs

    eBay tried to enter Japan a while back and failed. Yahoo Auctions is the most common auction site. Here is a link to the 68k desktop section. It's difficult to search for text because some people will list things in Japanese and others will use English, etc.
  6. Mighty Jabba

    Sales figures for compact Macs

    The problem with using auction listings to try and figure out sales is that there are too many other factors at play. I'm sure the number of 128k Macintoshes on eBay is skewed by the fact that they are worth a fair amount, which incentivizes people to go to the trouble of getting them out of storage and listing them, while they might not bother for something that will sell for $50. Similarly, while there aren't many SE/30s for sale, I can't help but think that the terrible capacitors in these machines have drastically reduced the number of currently working machines, and of course the collector market and the SE/30's reputation as "THE compact Mac to have" has further reduced the number of machines "in the wild." One mostly unrelated thing that I noticed when searching Yahoo! Auctions Japan is that there was a huge number of compact Macs for sale that had been repurposed in some way, either by adding an LCD screen and a space for a Mac Mini, or just ones that had been turned into iPad stands. I wonder if many working machines had this done to them.
  7. Mighty Jabba

    A tale of 3 Tibooks...

    By the way, I was amazed that one of the batteries actually holds a pretty decent charge (it was an original Apple battery and not a replacement). I think it quit after a little more than an hour and a half of actual use, which isn't too bad at all. The main thing I care about with these older machines is that I have enough battery to be able to transport them from one outlet to another (and that the batteries don't swell or leak!)
  8. The seller I bought the second upgraded machine from was taking their sweet time shipping it and never gave me a tracking number, and now I've been told that they accidentally shipped it to a location 2,000 miles away from me. Supposedly they will be shipping it straight from there to me rather than sending it back to him (which would involve another cross-country trip), but I'm not super impressed with this guy. So we'll see if I actually ever get it.
  9. Mighty Jabba

    A tale of 3 Tibooks...

    My first PowerBook was a Lombard PowerBook G3, which I replaced not long afterward with a Pismo. That one I used for quite a while, even upgrading it to a G4 back when such things were possible. I never owned a Titanium PowerBook because I liked my Pismo so much, and I didn't really have the need or money for an upgrade. All of this is to say that while I was around while the Titanium PowerBooks were new, I had never owned one or even used one for more than a minute or two. But I recently discovered that a lot of the computers from the late 90s to early 2000s are extremely cheap on the secondhand market, so I figured this was my chance to finally try out some of the things that I had never had before. Long story short, I ended up buying three of them for around $75. One was separate and was listed as non-working, but it came with some accessories and even the original box, so I thought that even if I couldn't get it working, it would serve as a parts machine. The other two were sold as a lot and I was the only bidder. One thing was that the auction description was terrible, and didn't even make it totally clear that you were getting two machines or what their specs were, and all of the photos were of one machine by itself. Anyway, these were pretty dirty and not in great cosmetic shape, but I took it upon myself to rehabilitate them. The first "non-working" machine turned out to be the earliest of the three: a 500mHz G4 with 256MB of RAM and a 30GB hard disk (this is the one on the right above). Sure enough, it appeared dead when I got it and plugged it in, but I was able to get it to show some signs of life by unplugging the PRAM battery. But I couldn't get it to boot completely unless it was using an external firewire disk (actually one of the other Tibooks in target disk mode), and sometimes it would still have problems booting. After trying some other hard disks, I decided to make this a parts machine. This is not quite as useful as I had hoped, since the other two machines are newer revisions and have pretty different internals, but some things are still usable. I've already taken out the hard disk and RAM for use with other machines. The other two machines turned out to be a 1gHz G4 with 1GB of RAM and a 60GB hard disk (in the middle above), and a 867mHz G4 with a 30GB hard disk and 512MB of RAM (on the left). Functionally, they are totally fine, but they were having some issues in that glue holding the titanium panels to the plastic frames had weakened enough that they were starting to feel seriously rickety. So I reglued these as best I could and gave them a thorough cleanup with alcohol. And while they do have quite a few scuffs and scratches that can't be removed, it's impressive how decent they look from a short distance away (maybe a foot or two). And the interiors of the machine, around the palmrest and screen, are both in very good shape, so you don't notice it too much when using them. I upgraded the 1gHz machine with a 60GB SSD and put its original 60GB hard disk in the 867mHz machine, and also upgraded that machine's RAM to 756MB using the donor machine's RAM. Putting Tiger on these was easy, but I originally had some trouble installing OS 9/Classic because the retail install CD does not appear to work with these Tibooks. So managed to find the original restore CD on Macintosh Garden, and that allowed me to finally put OS 9 on. Since the 1gHz machine is the fastest portable ever made that can run OS 9 natively, it was important for me to be able to get it on there. Even though these machines are showing their age, I'll have to say that I really like how they feel. When they came out, I was kind of critical of the choice to paint the titanium, and of course that decision has resulted in some chipping, but it really feels nice against the hand -- better than the raw aluminum of later machines. And these machines are still fairly usable on Tiger with things like TenFourFox, so I'm very happy to have them in my collection. (As a side note, they are also great because they can natively read and write the SD cards in my SCSI2SD, which my modern Macs cannot do.)
  10. Mighty Jabba

    Sales figures for compact Macs

    This is interesting, although even if we knew exact sales figures, it might be hard to gauge how that affects rarity today. A lot of people no doubt kept them even if they weren't used or didn't work because they are cute and iconic looking, while more plain PCs probably would have been tossed. But then again, a lot of them were probably sold to schools, who would not be as reluctant to trash them as someone who used it for years and had affection for it.
  11. Mighty Jabba

    Macintosh SE screen flickering/changing shape

    Thanks, I haven't had the time or motivation to revisit this one yet but I will.
  12. Mighty Jabba

    400k Drive Repair Guide - A Call to Arms!!!!!!

    I’m way over my head in this thread but I did recently get my first 400k drive in a bundle with an original Macintosh (upgraded to 512k). The seller claimed everything was working, but it was obvious that the grease in the drive had turned to glue and it wouldn’t even accept a disk. I did get a partial refund for that reason, but I decided I would try and fix the drive. To my amazement I was successful. I had to clear out the old grease with alcohol and then oil the moving parts. One metal piece also seemed to be very slightly bent, which was inhabiting the mechanism. The drive appears to work fine now and also ejects, but I noticed some mention of adjusting the tracking force (not sure what the actual term is) so that it won’t damage the disks. Is this something I should be concerned about, and how can I tell if it’s off?
  13. Mighty Jabba

    Macintosh Portable lines on screen

    The original Gameboy is infamous for problems similar to this, but it is relatively easy to fix with a soldering iron. I wonder if the problem here is a similar one. Of course I wouldn't recommend blindly trying something like this, especially since the portable has an active matrix screen as opposed to the passive matrix one in the Gameboy, and it may have a completely different reason for failing in this way.
  14. Mighty Jabba

    davidg5678's Computer Finds

    Nice job on the cleaning, and that was quite a deal! Amazing how a lot of these machines can get so dirty though.
  15. Mighty Jabba

    Desintegrated Powerbook 3400c

    Dang, that would be disappointing. Any pictures? Short of finding another using in better condition and swapping parts out, I'm not sure if there are any practical ways to fix something like that.