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Macintosh II - Do you remember what it was like?

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We used to buy wire wrap boards (can't remember the vendor) with existing Nubus interface circuitry that provided access to the address/data bus and control lines. We built our own controller boards and the software group wrote unique drivers using MPW. Latch 8 bits, shift, repeat as necessary then process the assembled word. Apple was amazed that we could do real time simulation with a Mac II.


Those were the days.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember my wood shop class, up on the top shelf was a yellow/dusty ( even then ) 1995

Was a Mac II, not sure if it was a II, IIx, IIfx


but it was old and big, I remember. - thats about it :) haha.


I'm pretty sure in his office (thinking back) he had a IIcx/IIci because it was laying flat, on its side. He opened it up to show me the HD,

and it had one of those Double height 3.5" IBM 160mb HD's in there.


One day in lab, I was chilling talking to him about my 286 IBM PS/2 Micro channel, He was praising Micro Channel.

Saying how Awesome it really is and way ahead of its time.

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  • 6 months later...

pretty sure if the cap goo gets too bad some traces get eaten. pretty common with the Mac II. i don't know the details though.

other then i have a dead mac II and dead mac IIx board. :-p


I have recapped many IIfx boards for people, They always seem to have good success after a cap job.

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We got a II, and a bunch of SEs at the ad agency I worked at at the time. These supplemented the Pluses we had at the time.


Loved the speed of the II, but I remember thinking from a visual standpoint it was a boring rectangular box.


In my opinion the /// and the Lisa are the best looking Apple products.

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Sure I recall!

For me the MacII was among the best Apple ever made.

I could not afford a new one and when I finally could buy a used one, there was plenty of software for it.

It was maxed out with PS2 RAM and a Daystar Universal Power Cache. Had a PLI SCSI HBA and ethernet card too.

Some work was done with that Mac. The two VARTAs were still good when the PSU finally kicked the bucket.


As for the A2000B it was very expandable too, but Amiga video was 50Hz PAL compatible in Europe.

Good enough for gaming, but crap for DTP or other serious work. DigiPaint still was ahead of its time, but HAM (hold and modify) was only a niche solution.

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How do these Macintosh II series monsters hold up over time from Caps and Batteries?


My IIfx has mostly tantalum solid-state caps from the factory (Fremont CA 1992), so I assume that the only part that will need recapping will be the PSU (its a Sony though, so probably uses high quality Japanese caps) and the two rather large radial electrolytic caps on the logic board some time far in the future.


Looking at a photo of the II/IIx logic board, it doesnt look like any of the caps are surface mount so they should be one of the easier macs to recap.



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It seems that the II board used old school electrolytics that weren't surface mount, the IIx, the aluminum SMT electrolytics, then the IIfx could use either. The II also had soldered ROM chips with a ROM SIMM header underneath, whereas the IIx/IIfx had ROM SIMMs. Then, battery-wise, II's had them soldered, as did early IIx machines. Later IIx and the IIfx used battery holders.



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the II and the IIx have SMT caps… and they leak. and cause issues too.


The IIfx…. Some IIfx machines got all tantalum caps… Some got SMT Electrolytic caps…

there is makings/PADS for both kinds of caps… its a little odd.


just like on the Macintosh II/IIx there are Pads for SMT LYTICS and Through Holes for Axial caps too…

Funny Funny…

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  • 3 weeks later...

My first experience with a big-box II came in 1995. One of my friends had a IIx and invited me over to play Prince of Persia.


The IIci was the one the computer store around me seemed to push, so I didn't really see much of the IIfx at the store. At the time, I was more interested in software than hardware anyway, and would gravitate toward whatever computer had the best titles on it. Once I got into hardware, the first Quadras had already come out.


Like most everyone here, I can't say I ran into them at schools much, but I know there was a middle school near me with a II or IIx (can't remember which model) in a music classroom.

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Do any of you remember your first experience with the Macintosh II?

Were you blown away, by it?

With all that 68020 Speed / Color / Expandability and the mathematical power of that Motorola 68881 FPU installed!


I don't remember - I was using a SUN Workstation with a 68020 in graduate school, and that was my rationale for taking out a loan and paying the big bucks when I went to my first job (still had some work to do to finish my dissertation, and needed something to use at home, that had LaTex, etc.):


Mac II + HD (3144) + RGB Monitor (599) + Video Card (299) + Video Card Expansion Kit (89) + S&H = 4350 (a student discount, so less than list)


I'm guessing that I was not blown away, having worked with the SUN Workstation, but it did work for me. (I did have to get it serviced immediately - bad keyboard).


It was also our main system until 1996, though I was getting pretty desperate by this point. We couldn't afford a new Apple system, going instead with a refurbished Power Computing system.


How do these Macintosh II series monsters hold up over time from Caps and Batteries?


My Mac II was just recently resurrected after many years of not being used. I did have to replace the batteries, but have not recapped anything (living dangerously I guess).

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