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Recently in a couple posts I found a Macintosh SE on my local Facebook Marketplace. I wasn't going to go for it since I'm already sinking a bit of money into my (superior) 1991 Macintosh Classic, but I wanted to see it go to a good home instead of a landfill or electronics recycler. Last night I ended up shooting the seller a (honestly low-ball) offer to see if she'd bite. This morning she responded.

 

Tonight, a 1988 Macintosh SE followed me home.

 

For $45, I wouldn't say I underpaid for this machine - but it did come with some accessories. First, a carrying case - which I've been thinking about a lot lately. I wanted one to tote my Macintosh Classic around when I get it operational. The SE also came with the original ADB Extended keyboard and original ADB "Cybertruck" mouse. Which is great, because the peripherals I have for my Classic are much later. (The ADB Extended keyboard, if I'm not mistaken, has mechanical key switches as opposed to the membrane used in my Apple Design Keyboard.) Also came with cords (two power cords) and a Cal Poly mousepad. (Strange considering I'm in Missouri.)

 

However, they're not in the greatest shape. They were obviously in the home of a smoker, because the cigarette smoke/nicotine smell is pungent if you're close with the machine or bag/accessories. The computer, keyboard and mouse are all extremely yellow. The computer itself only has two floppy drives - no hard drive. My Classic is a vastly superior machine, but once again I just didn't want to see it go to waste. The bag itself is extremely dirty and could use a good cleaning. Computer also needs a good cleaning to remove writing on it.

 

It does work and the CRT appears to be bright, and can't see much burn-in. I don't have a system floppy (or a FloppyEmu) to boot it.

 

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17 hours ago, Garrett said:

original ADB "Cybertruck" mouse

I'm glad I'm not the only one to spot the resemblance between the mouse and Cybertruck. In fact, I made this photo shortly after the Cybertruck was announced. :)

mouseTruck.jpg

 

Edited by davidg5678

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I actually made a similar meme back on Twitter after the Cybertruck announcement.

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Anyways, after getting back home I removed the logic board from the SE to look at the battery. It has a Varta battery that appears to be in decent condition, but I can't remove it since it is soldered on. Which is somewhat scary because I don't have a soldering iron (or skills) and this computer probably isn't going to be recapped for a while, since my 1991 Classic is currently being recapped.

 

This is my first time working on a compact Mac other than my Classic, and the logic board is a royal pain to reinstall. That speaker connector had me for a little while, and unfortunately I bent the pins when removing the logic board. (I didn't know it was a thing.) I was able to bend the pins back and everything seems to be working fine since.

 

I wish I had a system boot disk so I can get it working. I plan on getting a FloppyEmu in the (hopefully not so distant) future for my Classic, so I may be able to either use the FloppyEmu on the SE or create a floppy for booting so I don't need to bring the FloppyEmu with me. I'm not sure if the SE will get used a lot - I was intending on not having any more computers (esp. compact Macs) until this all happened, and I was planning on using the Classic for word processing and gaming. (Classic has a 40MB hard drive with Word 4.0, Excel, MacWrite, MacPaint and a couple games already installed.)

 

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If you are nervous about it, you can just clip the Varta out and deal with it later. Clip close to the battery and leave the legs - you can solder whatever you decide to replace the battery with to them.

 

I popped open an SE last week that had a soldered in Varta that was still showing 3.1v on it...

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16 hours ago, ScutBoy said:

If you are nervous about it, you can just clip the Varta out and deal with it later. Clip close to the battery and leave the legs - you can solder whatever you decide to replace the battery with to them. 

Yeah, I just cut them out when I get the machines to start with.  Honestly, there's ... surprisingly little call for working PRAM at all in those.

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Yikes... thats the ugliest "truck" I think ive ever seen. Anyways. 

 

You can just simply clip out the battery. thats what I did. 

Edited by techknight

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I'll clip out the battery next time I have it apart. That speaker connector really threw me. I think I'm going to leave the battery out of the SE, since it's probably not going to be used as much, and it doesn't have the brightness settings in software. (Which is nice.)

 

Does anyone have a system software boot disk that I can use for this machine? I don't have a floppy drive (or 800k floppies, either) and it didn't come with any floppies. (Strangely, it did come with the two yellow floppy drive protector inserts and the original mouse pad.) I plan on picking up a FloppyEmu in the future for the Classic and the SE, but that probably won't be for another couple months.

 

I know you can still buy 1.44 MB "high-density" floppies, but is there anywhere you can still purchase 800k floppies for a reasonable price? If my thinking is correct, I can still write to 800k floppies using the SuperDrive in the Classic.

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To my knowledge, there are no "new" 800k disks out there, only NOS ones. I could always get a system disk out to you (not original, mind you). Did you clean/lubricate the floppy drives?

 

You do seem to have a very nice, crisp screen there.

Edited by LaPorta

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2 hours ago, LaPorta said:

To my knowledge, there are no "new" 800k disks out there, only NOS ones. I could always get a system disk out to you (not original, mind you). Did you clean/lubricate the floppy drives?

 

You do seem to have a very nice, crisp screen there.

I have not lubricated or cleaned the floppy drives on both machines, though I'd like to do it. Both drives in the SE seem to work really well (I believe the seller said the machine sat in storage for 10+ years) and the drive on the Classic also seems to work well. How do you clean/lubricate the drives?

 

If it's okay, could I PM my address to you? I don't really mind if the boot material is original or not, but I'd really like to get the SE booted into an operating system like System 6. I can cover the cost of postage, although I don't think it'd be that much considering it'd likely just be a floppy.

 

Kinda sad/annoyed that macOS doesn't support writing to floppies. AFAIK, Windows still supports it but I've heard Windows can "corrupt" the files or something along that line. Also, many files from Macintosh Garden are archived in StuffIt packages, which I expand on my MBP. Oh well... I plan to get a FloppyEmu at some point in the future, which will simplify things a bit and allow me to easily transfer files between my modern Mac and these old Macs. I don't have a USB floppy drive or any blank diskettes anyways.

 

As for the display, yes. Despite being in relatively poor cosmetic condition, the display on the SE seems to be in really good condition. It needs a good cleaning, as with the rest of the computer. But it's bright and I can't see any burn-in.

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You can still write to floppies; the issue is that the newer OS versions don’t support writing to the HFS file system, which these floppies use. The other issue you would have is no USB drive can write to 800k floppies, just 1.4 MB ones.

 

As for cleaning and lubrication, I have a guide on YouTube:

 

 

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8 hours ago, Garrett said:

Also, many files from Macintosh Garden are archived in StuffIt packages, which I expand on my MBP

An aside: it may be worth trying to network them, if you're transferring files around regularly.  Networking classic macs is dead easy and works very well (LocalTalk is slow but effective) and you can bridge it to Ethernet in a number of ways (I use what boils down to being a spare LC II) to get files on and off more modern machines.

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19 hours ago, LaPorta said:

You can still write to floppies; the issue is that the newer OS versions don’t support writing to the HFS file system, which these floppies use. The other issue you would have is no USB drive can write to 800k floppies, just 1.4 MB ones.

I thought macOS dropped support from writing to floppies way back before APFS. I guess to write it I would need to transfer the file to my Macintosh Classic, then copy it over to a 800k disk. But it sounds like 800k disks can be quite rare.

 

I went ahead and purchased a 6.0.8 boot floppy for the SE on eBay. Which is actually one version newer than what's on my Classic - which is 6.0.7.

17 hours ago, cheesestraws said:

An aside: it may be worth trying to network them, if you're transferring files around regularly.  Networking classic macs is dead easy and works very well (LocalTalk is slow but effective) and you can bridge it to Ethernet in a number of ways (I use what boils down to being a spare LC II) to get files on and off more modern machines.

I've thought about this but these are the only two vintage Macs I have at this point, and I plan on getting a FloppyEmu at some point in the (hopefully near) future. With that said, I think there's a serial cable included in the bag that I could possibly connect between my Classic and SE.

 

I'm not sure what I'm going to use the SE for yet. I know I want to use the Classic for some word processing and playing vintage games, but I've been scratching my head thinking of a purpose for the SE. (I was hoping my next vintage Mac would be a modular Mac of some form, like a LC or II/Quadra, so I can play around with System 7 and a color display.) I'm thinking about possibly using the SE as the one I can tote around, and keep the Classic here.

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APFS has nothing to do with it. I believe somewhere back around 10.7 or something, the OS only had the ability to read HFS, but not write to HFS. That goes for any HFS disk, including hard disks. HFS plus (otherwise known as Mac OS Extended), on the other hand, is still used and is fine. That may have been your confusion.

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Is there a good place to purchase blank 800k/Double Density disks? I went ahead and ordered the 6.0.8 system boot floppy, but just realized all my software is on High Density disks that will only work in my Classic. All of the ones on eBay I could find had the system software already installed.

 

Obviously, it's not a huge problem because I plan to get the FloppyEmu. But I think it would be nice to have at least some software on floppies, and have some blank floppies as backups.

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