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Franklinstein

A pair of ComJet PowerCity DT clones

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I found these on Yahoo! auctions and interestingly, though the location was different (Chiba vs. Yokohama), they ended up being from the same guy who last year sold me a set of three other clones: an Akia MicroBook Power 604e, a re-cased Umax S900, and a PowerComputing PowerWave 604/132. I guess the guy liked Apple clones.

 

Anyway, though supposedly only sold in Germany, somehow these two ended up in Japan. Despite what Everymac says about them, apparently they were available in 160 and 200MHz 604e variations in DT form, because I ended up with one of each. Otherwise they're identical: same 1.2GB HD, 512k L2 cache, 32MB RAM, 8x CDROM. The 200MHz unit is much more yellowed than the 160MHz one, which is also missing its PowerCity sticker from the front bezel. Based on the colorful badge stuck to the front, it seems the 160MHz unit was used as an ICS Server, whatever that is. I haven't seen any info with a basic Google search on that, which is odd since this is probably the 3rd or 4th Mac I've seen for sale with an ICS Server badge on it. I assume it was some sort of desktop publishing-related thing.

 

When I got them home neither one would boot: they'd chime, but then just sit there. After stripping them down to nothing but the main logic board and a single RAM stick, I finally got video. Reconnecting things in sequence revealed that it was the CDROM drive keeping them from booting. Both drives are Hitachi ATA units and they appeared to function normally: open, close, spin disc, etc, but the computers both refused to run with them connected. Luckily I had some spare CDROM drives around (both Matsushita units, one 8x and the other 24x) and both machines run just fine with the replacements. I was able to tweak the 24x CDROM drive's optical block so that it now reliably reads CD-R discs. I don't know what happened to the Hitachi CDROM units. I'll try them in a PC to see if they're recognized but if not they'll get tossed.

 

I'll probably post a separate thread elsewhere for these machines with some pics and other observations. 

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I have a couple other Motorola boxes (either a StarMax 4000 or 5000 minitower and a PowerStack 604) but these are the first desktop ones I've acquired, even if the labels are different. These were originally supposed to be StarMax 4000 Desktop models. I guess there was some sort of grey market arrangement where Moto sold their stock of no-longer-legal-in-the-States StarMaxes to ComJet, who then replaced the StarMax badge with a PowerCity badge and stuck on some kind of sticker in German, and then sold them in their home market. They still retain their Moto badging on the bottom of the case and all of the part numbers on the internals.  The original craptastic 4500RPM hard drive is a huge drag on performance though.

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