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Should I avoid LC machines?


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I only ask this because a school is having an auction near me and there will be a lot of the LC macintosh computers there that were in active use when I was a kid going there. There's also going to be at least one se/30 (the "server"). Maybe more. Possibly some old IBM PS/2 systems that were used in the office. Anyways, I was always fond of these LC machines until I found out that their CPUs were different. Were they the celerons of the 68k? Will I notice the difference? Potentially a huge score here. Don't want to miss it.

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The LCs did use the older 68020 processor. The difference between the 68020 and 68030 was something like Intel's "tick-tock" cycle: the 68020 was a major architectural refresh, the 68030 was a process optimization allowing higher speeds. But the 68020 was a decent processor.

 

The real problem with the LCs was their motherboard architecture. Basically, the LC had a 32-bit processor on a 16-bit system bus, and had an artificial RAM ceiling of only 10 MB [oops]. Moreover, the standard video could only support 8-bit colour on a little 512x384 display, not a full 640x480 - you had to upgrade for that.

Edited by novusgordo
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Something you'll find with a lot of the school systems that had LCs is that they had the IIe card as well.  Considering those go for around $100 on their own (if you skip the one individual on eBay who's trying to corner the market) the auction could be well worth your while.  Even if they don't have the IIe card installed, LC/LCIIs make excellent RAM/HD test machines, once the caps on the motherboard and power supply are replaced.

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Im assuming you mean 10 Megabytes not 10 Gigabytes. Anyways Here is what I know will be there

 

4 x LC II (Electronic Bookshelf Testing Computers)

4 x External Caddy - loading drives (For the LC II)

1 x SE/30 (The "Server")

10 x LC 575 (Classroom computers for 4th - 6th Graders)

2 x LC 580 (Computer Lab teacher's Computer and Librarian's Computer)

25 x Apple IIGS with One 3.5 and 1 5.25 each. (Computer Lab) (Classroom Computers)

4 x ImageWriter / ImageWriter II Printers (Lab Printers)

2 x IBM PS/2 Model 30 286 Machines (Office Computers)

6 x Apple IIe Machines (Classroom computers for 1st and 2nd Graders)

1 x Quadra 700 (Library)

1 x Quadra 950 (Library)

1 x Quadra 630 (Library)

1 x IBM XT 286 (The principal's computer)

Monitors for all the machines will be there and from what the organizer told me this morning not many people are going to show up. THe people who ARE showing up reportedly are interested not in the computers but in the musical instruments, desks, piano and gym equipment. The auction is Saturday morning. I literally have no money at the moment but given this is a once in a lifetime circumstance I don't wanna miss, I called my mom up and asked to borrow $400. I don't plan to need nearly all of it but I wanted to be prepared. She said yes and said call it an early X-Mas gift.

 

From what I remember about the Apple IIGS, they were somehow all networked and booted off a 3.5 floppy to a menu of a bunch of MECC games served up by the SE / 30. Id like to replicate this on a smaller scale. However I do remember some fond times of playing on the Macintosh LC 575 in 5th grade. There were 2 Classroom computers, a IIGS and the LC 575. Each day two kids would have a computer day and you flipped a coin to see who got the Macintosh. The loser got the Apple II. I remember playing museum madness and the Mac version of Oregon Trail on it. I have never owned an Apple all in one besides a G3 iMac and an eMac before but from what I read, these LC machines were much easier to work on. I will not be getting the Pizza box machines and I will be getting the quadras for sure. Im Hemming and hawing on the LC 575. Definitely an Apple IIGS and the SE / 30. The IBM's are up in the air at this point. They were the office secretaries' computers and I never had much interaction with them other than once I had to type my name into one to sign into In-School suspension. So those machines do not bring any fond memories at all.

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Elementary schools. Back in the late 80s and early 90s schools got grants and discounts from Apple to buy these things by the BOATLOAD. My school even had a deal where once you entered 6th grade they let each student (or the student's parents rather) purchase a Mac at a huge discount and financed by the school or something like that. You had to agree to sign up for a local Dial-up ISP for like two years too. but yeah schools are loaded with old macs that no longer get use. check your local newspaper for auctions. Most states have laws that schools must auction off anything they wish to get rid of that has value.

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There's a lot of nice machines there--you should make a thread for this sale in the Trading Post. (or a mod could move this thread there).

 

- like others have said, keep an eye out for IIe cards (any of the LCs will take them)

- 575s are valuable if only for their logic boards (often used to upgrade Color Classics), but they also have Trinitron CRTs and are the best 68k all-in-one

- the caddy-loading CD drives also have value, especially if they're Apple drives

 

And another thing to keep an eye out for: I remember my middle school had a IIgs lab equipped with Lego Technic/Dacta kits, that stuff is now worth its weight in gold: http://lukazi.blogspot.com/2014/07/lego-legos-first-programmable-product.html

 

I'm sure you can't buy everything, and it would be a shame if the unsold items went to the trash. Maybe find out what they're planning to do with the unsold stuff, and if it's a recycler, see if they'll sell you parts or sell it themselves (i.e. the 575 logic boards)

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Unsold machines at the end of the auction will be priced at $1. Failing that they do go to a recycling facility. Even if i had the money, i dont have the space. I share a 1 bedroom apartment with my wife who is adamant that I not turn the home into a computer lab. My elementary school did not have any IIe cards. They did have a few macs with dos cards however those were the PowerPCs and the PowerPC macs are still in use. I know that the Library now uses 9600s in place of the Quadras and the computer lab is a bunch of B&W G3s running os 9 served by a G4 Mac OS X Server 1.0. The classrooms have various PowerMacs. Science teachers have G5 Towers, the regular teachers use iMacs or eMacs Running OS 9. The Office now has a G4 Tower for the principal's computer running tiger, and the secretaries' computers are Beige power macintoshes with DOS cards running the same old DOS attendance software. They are hoping with this auction they can raise enough funding to break ground on a new playground. Its been closed since last year when a swing's chains broke and a kid flew off and broke his arm. computers wont be the only thing there. theres gym equipment, desks, cafeteria kitchen equipment, band stuff, old air conditioners, old security stuff like the old cameras, tons of stuff like that a school might use.

Edited by flashedbios2012
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With a little ResEdit work the LC575 board turns a stock Color Classic (LCII with a built in monitor) into a solid performer.  There's a night and day difference between a crippled 68030 with an artificially low RAM ceiling and a 68LC040 with a very respectable RAM ceiling.  Even though the monitor is smaller you can still get it to display 640x480 with a little work (there's a thread on here for that) and there are plenty of folks who liked the CC case over the LC5xx case.

 

As far as machines to grab:

- Both of the Quadras

- SE/30

- IIgs machines (since they have both 3.5 and 5.25 disk drives)

- LC575s (if only to grab the motherboards, potentially HDs, and recycle the rest)

- LC580s

 

Really any of the Macs would be worthwhile to get since it sounds like they going to go for cheap.  The LC5xx machines are absolute bears to ship though if you're thinking resale.  If I had to pick only one of the machines I'd probably go for the Quadra 700, followed by the SE/30, then the LC575.  It's too bad this auction is probably only open to local folks since it's only a ~1400 (!!) mile round trip.

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To answer the original question: These computers are essentially the core of the Mac platform. They were the first hit that got kids interested, often the first computers able to catch kids' attention at all, and LCs and their related Performa models are the actual vast majority of the Mac platform.

 

Some LC series computers have FPU-less 040 CPUs, but otherwise there wasn't really a "the celeron of its day" in the Mac family. (Worth noting: Celeron processors are pretty amazing today anyway.)

 

Even the original LC, which did use an 020 CPU on a slower bus than the Mac II is useful in some aspects. Back in the day, I went online with one and used AIM on it, etc. The IIe card is neat, but if I were to have a pile of LCs, I'd probably go for Ethernet cards.

 

I have an LC520 these days and I like it. It's a little faster than the original LC, but mine only has 5M of RAM in it, which provides a pretty interesting challenge in system 7.

 

Ultimately: If you're collecting Macs because you want to know what the Mac was about, an LC of some sort is absolutely mandatory. If you're collecting Macs because you want low-rent graphics workstations from the '90s, an LC won't really do it for you, but they're nice systems for writing, games, learning the system in general, testing things, and in a lot of cases, LCs will run all that software, even if slightly slower than a Quadra.

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Sorry, Im not doing any of this for resale. Im grabbing the quadras, the LC all in ones, the SE/30 and a few IIGS Machines. My wife is already giving in ALOT. Once the auction happens and I decide what im doing with the machines (they may or may not need a re-cap), I may consider sales but for now this is for me.

 

So, your going there to hoard. Awesome! :(

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wow. im starting to feel a little bit bad. yes it would be sad to see any apple get tossed in the trash. Im still buying what i want for myself, but, if there are any left over at the end, i'll buy them for a dollar and offer them up here. I'll see if my boss wants to go with me, he has a nice big van. However, the quadras and se/30 are mine. is there any interest in the IIGS's? Im not out to make a profit, so if you are anywhere near northwest indiana and want to do a pickup ill have a receit from the auction you can just pay me what I paid. If shipping must be involved, we will have to work the deets out on that depending on what you want.

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Agreed 100%, to both. I for one have no objection to locals cherry-picking the haul - it's only fair - but I'll gladly pay shipping for a IIgs rather than see it get scrapped. And if you're not 100% sure of having room for everything, share the info with other members local to the area - send PMs if need be.

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