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68krazy

Craving the companionship of a cool Color Classic

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"Let me take ya'll back man, as I do so well..."

 

Back in 2013, I was bitten by an overwhelming wave of nostalgia for 90s Macintosh.  Not any model in particular, just 90s Macintosh as an entity.  Beige plastic; the Chicago typeface; whirring hard drives and errant "eep!" sounds accompanied by rigid error messages.  The phosphorescent (and somewhat blurry) glow of tube monitors.  The musky, sweet smell of old ABS plastic housing toasty circuitry.

 

You know what I'm talking about.  You wouldn't be on this forum if you didn't.

 

I was in my early twenties at the time, living in my parent's garage as I deliberated what the next step should be.  I had just dropped out of school and I was waiting tables.  Totally lost.  I needed a safe space to rest from the overwhelming confusion of life, and the warm confines of System 7 beckoned to me like a cup of coffee on a rainy day.  I tried to resist, but (if I remember correctly) after a long night of drinking I went on eBay and commissioned this work of art:

 

IMG_0145.thumb.JPG.eb393c85a86ecfa21fc6318d51ce4e47.JPG

Rest in pieces, old friend.  You were too good for this world anyway...

 

It was my first vintage Mac, and its limitations made it difficult to appreciate the first time around.  It (obviously) had no CD-ROM drive, and although I got a network card for it, I wasn't able to figure out how to FTP data to System 7.  The motherboard had leaky capacitors that I wasn't equipped to deal with, and I didn't own anything else with a floppy drive at the time.  I played for a bit with the software that came loaded on the hard drive, but after about a year, I felt that I had exhausted all possibilities.  I put it back in its shipping box and off to its next owner it went.

 

I didn't think about it too much.  Life went on, as it tends to do.  I moved out of my parent's house.  I restored the Color Classic's funky sibling, LC5xx.  I left Southern California for the Sacramento region.  I even disavowed Color Classic for a while:

Quote

I don't mean to offend anyone, but I found the Color Classic to be extremely overrated. The tiny screen, weird resolution, and lack of a CD-ROM drive really ruined it for me.  I tried very hard to love that Mac and I couldn't. I ended up selling it for exactly what I paid for it, so no loss there!

To me, the LC5xx is like a color classic except better in every way!

Me three years ago, thinking Color Classic and I were better off as friends...

 

I finished a degree.  I moved again, this time to downtown Sacramento proper.  I started a career.  I got my own place.  And it was then that old memories of Color Classic began to resurface.

 

"That was a pretty sweet little computer.  I kind of miss it."

 

The memories felt warmer than I remembered.  I started watching YouTube videos about Color Classic.  There are quite a few on there these days!  Back in 2013, there was very little about the machine on YouTube.  I started looking at my writing nook and thinking, with more and more longing each time around, that a Color Classic would be a wonderful addition.  While it'll never be the hardcore barebones writing workhorse that my SE/30 is, Color Classic has a strong emotional pull on me, and there's something to be said for that when looking for the ultimate writing tool.

 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I want a Color Classic again.  And the more I thought about that, the more I realized that my taste and approach to vintage computing has evolved a lot since 2014.  The limitations of Color Classic aren't really a problem for me anymore.  I've gotten a few DOS/Windows 95 computers, and I've found DOS gaming (with crunchy AdLib/FM synthesis as the soundtrack... yum) to be so much more fulfilling than Mac gaming.  I don't really care that Color Classic can't game well anymore.  I mostly turn to my vintage Macs as writing machines, and as a comforting presence that connects me with childhood.  The lack of CD-ROM is no longer an issue, either.  Not only do I now own an external Apple SCSI unit; I also have external SCSI2SD and have become much more proficient with networking and FTP.  I also have several USB floppy drives for my modern computers, and have become expert at using "dd" in modern MacOS to write floppy images.

 

So I started browsing eBay for Color Classics again...

 

Stay tuned!

Edited by 68krazy

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And if you put a 575 board in the the Color Classic, swap out the processor for a "full" 68040 and then make the mode to the board to give you 640 X 480 , you will have one sweet machine. 

 

mraroid

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Disaster strikes!

 

IMG_9432.thumb.JPG.7a39b3ad577f48fdbad8b62f8fa3ebc1.JPG

 

IMG_5811.thumb.JPG.73ff13f9edc8eec5ef16310395bc6ee5.JPG

 

Honestly one of the worst packing jobs I've ever had on a vintage machine.  I had a bad feeling about it as soon as I saw how small and tattered the box was.

Edited by 68krazy

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It broke in the same place mine did.  I was able to fix mine with abs cement, which is really a solvent.  It looks pretty decent.  Is that the only break?

 

Those crappy packing jobs really do a number on the systems.  Hopefully it was insured?

Edited by IlikeTech

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There is also a break by the floppy drive and in the top left corner of the display, and the rear bucket has chipped corners all around.  The case has a strong mildew smell to it and I've also found the CRT was damaged once I plugged the machine in for bootup:IMG_6479.thumb.JPG.e3e2e08b48b3c0eeb649b622b605f18c.JPG

 

That dark spot is much more noticeable in person, and I've determined it's not because it needs degaussing.

 

This is really only usable as a parts machine.  I've requested a full refund—hopefully the seller is cooperative.

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When I shipped a Performa 200 and it was cracked in shipping, I gave a full refund. Didn't really find it fair though - I wish I could have given more like half. I think my packing was very ample, but I'm even more careful now than I was then.

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You read my mind Jinnai; once I slept on it I realized it might be more fair if I asked for a partial refund.  There are quite a few usable parts here; notably a working original CC logic board and an analog board that looks to be in great condition.  But then I checked my email and saw that the seller issued a full refund without asking for the machine back.

 

Ah well.

 

I've got leads on another CC, and I'll be going ahead and refurbing the parts I'm going to keep from this broken one.  More to come in the following week or so!

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Occasional, I have seen dead CC on ebay for $150 to $200.  Sometimes the cases look to be in great shape - almost no yellowing at all. 

A dead CC will be a world of parts for you. 

 

If you have not found this site already, I suggest you visit.  It has the most CC information under one hood that I have ever seen.  The builder of this CC

web site is quite a nice fellow.  I believe he lives in Germany, is a member here, and the site is in english.

 

https://powercc.org/

 

mraroid

 

 

 

 

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Well guys, after a little back and forth with the seller, I got a refund for the CC and he told me he is glad I can at least use it for spare parts.  Really nice guy, I feel a little  bad.  But I digress, I have some CC parts in the mail and should have a complete functioning system soon.

 

Start in the logical place...

 

Our first stop is the CC logic board.  It's working, but probably won't be for long—it's very dirty and covered in cap goo:

IMG_1550.thumb.JPG.45ac4eccaf0a5acd0ab7cb6b410a26a8.JPG

 

So let's assemble our tools and get to work:

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Caps removed, solder pads cleaned:

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For this board, I'm going to go with a cleaning agent I haven't experimented with before: ammonia.  It's supposed to neutralize acids, so I'm hoping a good long soak will neutralize the corrosive cap goo.  Here, I have diluted it with hot distilled water:

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The reason I didn't go with full submersion is that I don't want to lose the manufacturing stampings ("QA NAI" and "ICT") on the board.  The last board I recapped was my SE/30, and the isopropyl alcohol I used then took a few markings clean off the board.  For this CC board, I am submerging into the ammonia bath in parts:

IMG_1889.thumb.JPG.c3d4e2fce7951044d0ef42e2910f0808.JPG

 

After a few partial soaks, I let the entire board soak in distilled water and then did a careful scrubbing and oven dry.  Here is the board completely cleaned and ready for new caps:

IMG_1240.thumb.JPG.79397a448f4deee4e60c3ba778272587.JPG

 

And here it is with some new polymer caps and a fresh Tadiran:

IMG_8291.thumb.JPG.22b8c843471a85caad602c09855b0d0d.JPG

 

I am very pleased with how this recap turned out!  This is my first time using polymer caps, and I absolutely love the finished look.  It's very close to original, but these new polymers will never leak again.  I put the board back into the broken CC and it appears to have survived the surgery quite well.  It booted right up and all ports are functional.  I now have a pristine original CC motherboard!

 

There are more goodies in the mail and they should be arriving sometime this week.  Stay tuned...

 

Edit: not sure why, but the forum software insists on adding this picture back in at the end each time I save the post —

IMG_1889.JPG

Edited by 68krazy

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