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Everything posted by 68kAlex

  1. It's been a while since I made any new 'conquests' – and in fact I have downsized my collection somewhat by getting rid of the iMac G3 and the Powerbook 1400c – but I picked up a mint-condition Acorn PocketBook II this week for the princely sum of £10 on Ebay. This is a re-badged Psion Series 3a, produced in 1994. I don't think Psion were very big in the USA, but they were popular in Britain until the company abruptly withdrew from the consumer handheld market at about the turn of the century. I never really got on board with the Psion Series 5 / 5MX, but our primary school in the mid 1990
  2. Cheers for the tips. As the misaligned picture isn't a critical problem, I'll add it to my 'to fix someday' list
  3. Done all that – I've run dozens of floppies through it, and no jitters whatsoever at any stage. I haven't done a serious check for dodgy solder joints yet but it's on my maintenance list. At least it looks like there are no immediate obvious problems. I'm mainly relieved that the 'delay' in startup is a normal function – I thought it was maybe a symptom of analogue board problems. It's good to know it's just the normal memory check. And my machine came with 4MB of RAM
  4. Cheers for the replies – it's a relief as it's a lovely little Mac. I often prefer it to my LC475 as the monochrome CRT is so crisp. And System 6 serves me fine for the light word processing I do. Chuck a Floppy Emu in there and sharing files with my modern setup is easy. No screen jitters when accessing the floppy and no speaker trouble so far, but I'm keeping an eye on the analogue board ... it's bound to have problems eventually. At some point I'll see about sending it your way for a recap, when I've figured out how to remove it from the cramped interior of the case!
  5. My Classic has been sitting under my desk for a few months, but the other day I set it up to do some writing on it. When starting up, I noticed that there is a period of several seconds after the 'bong' in which the screen only displays diagonal lines – then there is a quiet click, then the happy Mac and normal boot. I also notice that the top edge of the picture doesn't seem to be perfectly horizontal. I don't know whether it did this before I put the machine into storage – can't remember! A video showing what I mean here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKjsVB9CFwk&feature=youtu.
  6. It's definitely the GPU. I had two machines with this fault back when they were new.
  7. An update: I've used contact cleaner on the switch, checked the solder joints, and even dismantled the switch to inspect the contacts. It's still intermittently missing keystrokes. Troubling!
  8. I recently acquired a poorly original Macintosh Classic. It had a somewhat gunked motherboard, and since my soldering skills are rudimentary I sent it off to Uniserver for him to work his magic. I also sent him the motherboard and power supply from my trusty LC475. I thought it was a good opportunity to get everything recapped at once. He also overclocked the 475 to 33MHz. The boards came back yesterday. Uniserver has done a brilliant job, replacing the caps with new ones that won't go bad in a hurry! Here's a closeup of the Classic main board. The Classic now boots witho
  9. I'm going to add my praise for Uniserver's 10K drives. I've had one running in my LC475 without a hitch for a year now, and it makes a phenomenal difference to the system as a whole. It's faster than the old SCSI drives and the capacity is, of course, enormous. I actually have two of these drives and I think I'm going to install one of them in my Classic when the motherboard gets back. It'd be good to have partitions for System 6 and 7.1.
  10. It's worth getting in touch with Uniserver. He's based in the States but his rates for repairing motherboards are very reasonable. He is currently taking care of my LC475 and Classic boards.
  11. Already cleaned the crap out of this keyboard. It's squeaky clean.
  12. Thanks. Is WD-40 likely to work? I don't have any contact cleaner to hand.
  13. I have recently acquired a model M0116 keyboard (the compact mechanical version from the late '80s). It's in great condition overall, and I've just spent a couple of hours cleaning all the plastics. However, one of the keys is unreliable and I find myself missing that letter from time to time when typing. Anyone got any ideas? Will a blast of compressed air sort it out, or is the switch likely on the way out? I was under the impression the Salmon Alps switches were rated for tens of millions of actuations.
  14. It's worth investing in industrial Compact Flash units. They're far more reliable.
  15. Fair enough - don't have access to one at the moment, but if I get one I'll let you know! Totally unscientific, but I've just popped the lid and had a look at the hard disk after ~2 hours of operation. It feels warm but I wouldn't describe it as hot - certainly no warmer than the CPU. I think the fact that I have inverted the fan (blowing air up into the case from the bottom) has helped cooling a little; airflow seems to be better now. I have Sleeper installed on my system but only use it for spinning down the hard disk when the machine is idle. I switch my equipment off at night so I
  16. Will do when I get home (I'm away this weekend). Do you know if there's a utility that can measure hard drive temperature?
  17. Keyboards are such a personal thing that, once you start paying attention to what kind of keyboard you actually like, everyone will inevitably find their favourite style. For me it's all about mechanical keyboard due to the crisper tactile feedback. My main PC keyboard is the Filco Majestouch 2 with Cherry Blue switches (super crunchy!) and I'm now really appreciating the feel of the Extended Keyboard II, which requires less effort to type on than the original LC keyboard. Plus I've cleaned it and it now looks like new
  18. I must admit, this topic has me hugely confused! I'm thinking about getting an LCD monitor for my LC475, both to take advantage of higher resolutions and against the inevitable day when my CRT packs in. The gist of this thread (from what I can make out) is that many LCD monitors don't work properly with 68k Macs, even with the appropriate Mac/VGA adapter. Is this the case? I have my eye on an old Dell E151FPp monitor on ebay (1024x728 @ 75Hz native resolution). Is this likely to work, or will it require technical jiggery pokery?
  19. I actually like the layout and the compact size of the standard keyboard that came with the LC475, but I prefer the tactile feedback of the Extended (which I'm now using). It is a bit of a beast though!
  20. Only a minor conquest, but I'm pleased with it as I am a fan of mechanical keyboards and have fond memories of typing on the Extended II when I was at school. I found this one on Ebay for £8. It's sold 'as is' and untested, but for the price I thought it was worth a shot. Awaiting delivery at the moment - I'm fully expecting some cleaning work to be done when it arrives, but assuming it works OK I think I have picked up a bargain! Out of interest, does anyone know if keyboards can also suffer from bad caps in the same way as motherboards?
  21. Something I've discovered during the process of uprading my '475 is that the simple trick of turning the fan upside down has the effect of dramatically improving cooling (this way it sucks air upwards into the case and blows it out through the case slots and floppy drive).
  22. This is my main writing machine - so much more focused and free of distractions than my PC. I also find the smaller screen helps. Next step will be to find an extended keyboard for a better typing experience.
  23. Thanks to some discussion on this forum, I now have a metric tonne of storage capacity in my LC475! I contacted Uniserver, who is selling SCA server drives at very reasonable prices, and he sent two over, already partitioned and installed with Mac OS 7.5.5. He also included an SCA-SCSI adapter which I used to connect the hard drive to the Mac. I attached a passive SCSI terminator to the external SCSI port just to be sure, as the discussion on the other thread indicated this was a good idea (not sure if it's absolutely essential or not). My Mac runs faster with 7.1 so I did a fresh ins
  24. That's good to know - thanks for the tip! What with the new hard disk and the new RAM, the computer is shortly going to be a lot more capable!
  25. Currently hitting "out of memory" errors when browsing Netscape - could be something to do with the fact that I only have 12MB onboard. Just ordered a 64MB card from Ebay
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