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A 512K for Trag

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I went by Goodwill Saturday to look at some kitchen stuff, and stopped in the usually disappointing Computer Works portion.   I was almost done looking when I realized there was a compact Mac on the counter with keyboard, mouse, and external 400K floppy.  I guess I didn't notice it when I walked in, because my eye expects to see old Macs...

 

It powered on with a nice bong and the screen is clean, bright, and doesn't appear to have any burn in nor waver.  Someone must have rebuilt the analog board at one or more points.   There was no boot disk available.  They were asking $100.   So, I went home, thought about it, kicked myself because all of my floppy disks are in the attic and the only machine available with a floppy drive won't format 400K (right?   PowerPC machine no longer do 400K, IIRC, or is that an OS thing?).  If I had a boot disk available I could take that back to the store and test its ability to boot properly and determine whether it's really a 512K or a 512KE.

 

The upper front edge has a little notch, but otherwise the plastic looks good. The external floppy is missing four of its six screws and makes a seeking kind of sound at power up.  I don't think they're supposed to make that noise, but I can't remember for sure.   I know the internal ones don't do that.  So the external drive may need repairs or be toast.  The mouse and keyboard are fine.

 

Anyway, I couldn't resist and went back and bought it.  I haven't done any more testing, but here are some pictures.   The serial number is:  F4382QLM0001W.   The front just has an Apple symbol and no product name.   The rear bucket tag says "Model Number M0001W 512K" and has "Macintosh 512" in recessed and then raised letters.

 

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Couldn't resist opening it up, just now.  The inside is pristine.  The flyback is a 157-0026-B.  I can't see the labels on most of the caps without removing the analog board.   No dust and the floppy drive is clean as can be.  The little window on the side of the mounting bracket let's me see a model number label reading "Sony Model OA-D34V-22.

 

The ROMs are 342-0221-B and 342-0220-B.  The RAM chips are all NEC D41256C-20, which would appear to add up to 512KB.  This is a little weird because on the edge of the board, there are silk screened labels reading "128K 630-0101" and "512K 630-0118" and those labels have little white boxes next to them.  The box next to the 128K label has a black 'R' printed in it.   Yet the RAM chips indicate this is a 512K board.   

 

I guess I really need to boot this thing. 

 

The CPU is a ceramic package with minimal labeling

 

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The markings is those boxes mean nothing. I am really, really not sure why Apple put them there when it seems the folks on the line stamped where ever they wanted. Usually the easiest way to tell is the resistor near the keyboard port. Is there is one there, its a 128k board (well, not the original as you know).

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the only machine available with a floppy drive won't format 400K (right?   PowerPC machine no longer do 400K, IIRC, or is that an OS thing?).  If I had a boot disk available I could take that back to the store and test its ability to boot properly and determine whether it's really a 512K or a 512KE.

Any beige Power Mac with a built-in floppy running a "classic" version of MacOS will have no problem using DiskCopy to write a 400K image. Yes, the OS doesn't have write/format support for MFS anymore, but that doesn't matter for the disk imaging software.

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All drives capable of writing to 800k disks are capable of writing to 400k disks as well. It comes down to filesystem/OS compatibility beyond that. System 7.5.x can write to existing 400k MFS disks on compatible 68k and PPC Macs. 7.1 (update 3) is the latest that can format disks as 400k MFS. As Gorgonops has said, you can write 400k disk images to floppy on any Mac with a built in floppy drive with DiskCopy in Mac OS versions up to 9.2.2.

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Thank you (gorgonops & rsolberg)  for clearing up the floppy support question.  I have a Umax S900 setup, but it won't boot anything earlier than 7.6.1.   It has PM9600 Enhanced ROMs on the board.   I probably do have a disk image I could use though.  Must check the archive drive....

 

Thanks, Unity, for explaining the irrelevance of the check boxes.  I've already reassembled the Mac, but looking at my image above, it looks like the "128K only" resistor position near the keyboard port is empty and pristine.

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Yep, I've also had one of those hybrid boards that appear to mark it as a 128K, but it had the 512K blue sticker on the rear of the board.  Boots up and sure enough, 512K.

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There actually is a way to make a 400K HFS disk. I don't know if you can do it on a PPC, but you could definitely do it on System 7.

 

Choose "Erase Disk" from the Special menu. Hold down OPTION as you click "one-sided" and keep it held down the entire time.

 

This may help you get around the MFS problem. The 512K can use HFS, since it can use System 3.0 (the first to introduce it).

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So... your local Goodwill actually sells computer stuff?  I thought they "recycle" all of it.  I haven't been in there in quite a while because I thought it was a waste of time for electronics.

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There is one "Computer Works" store in all of Austin, to which a little bit of the doomed computer equipment is routed.   It used to be a stand alone store, but is now inside a larger regular Goodwill store.

 

They never have stuff old enough to be interesting any more, so this was quite an exception.   Back about fifteen years ago, they had a great deal of 68K and NuBus stuff going through.   You would think, even if the 68K has dried up, that there would now be a lot of PPC stuff being donated, but there is never any.  Just newish stuff old enough to be junk.

 

They also had an attached Computer Museum with some very fine specimens.   I am not convinced that this machine was not left over from the museum, which closed several years ago.

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Just newish stuff old enough to be junk.

 

That's the stuff that will be collectible 15 years from now!

 

A lot of the classic Mac and Apple ][ stuff I have now I got 20 years ago when it was "junk". I had two Lisas "thrown in" on a deal for a $75 512k Mac because "who would want them?". I had been waiting to see how much sweetening I'd have to do to get the Lisas as well, and the guy was just happy I'd carry them away!

 

Now - if it's not something that interests you, then it _is_ junk to you, but if the internet has taught me anything, it's that people collect just about anything. I'm always surprised when I see folks on VCFed or other places trying to round out their collection of '90s Packard-Bell computers. To me, they were junk then, and not desirable now, but there's no accounting for taste :)

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I just have a hard time believing that someone will someday covet an early P4 Dell with all of its Rambus goodness.  I could see things like the early Media Centers (MCE2005 era) and perhaps some of the earlier hybrid laptop/tablets (HP TC1100 and similar), but most of the machines I see getting recycled around me are all commodity computers, P4s at the oldest and C2Ds at the newest.

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