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New Favorite, Mac 512K


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So I just bought a (new to me) Macintosh 512K for $60 (USD).  It came with the 512K (dur), keyboard (original), mouse (IIc mouse) and 400K external floppy drive.  Oh, and a non-Apple bag to carry it all in.

 

The computer has a small crack in the case on the top-right but I think I can eventually fix that or even replace it.  It's also VERY yellowed so I got some retro-brighting to do.  

 

I will post some pictures later.

 

The first thing I do is power it on.  The seller showed a picture of it working.  I don't have any software for it so all I got is the disk with a flashing ? on it.  Which is a great sign!  The startup tone was great too.  The screen is superb.  I cannot believe how great it actually looks.  In fact, it's so bright that I have to turn DOWN the brightness to a comfortable level.

 

The next thing I do is open it all up to see what damage it has.  There is a SMALL amount of battery corrosion on the terminal leads.  But it's so minimal I think I can literally put vinegar on it and scrape it off.  When I opened the case, I was amazed how clean it was!  Other than a little dust, there is NOTHING wrong with it.  Almost mint.  As you know, there are only three electrolytic capacitors on there.  I will be replacing those soon.  But they show no signs of leakage.  I still cannot believe this board is all THT.  Oh, even the ports on the board (DE-9, etc.) are super clean with no rust.  I swear this board looks new. :-)

 

On to the analog board.  Again, aside a little dust it's pristine.  I will certainly want to re-cap it.  I should start on that after Christmas.  None of the caps look to be bulging.  But I'm going to replace them anyway.

 

So, as you can see, I'm very excited about this find.  I think with some hard work I can make this computer almost new and mint with a few dings here and there (just like me...lol).

 

Now, I have a few questions.

 

1)  I attempted to remove the annode wire (I think that's what it's called) from the CRT.  I made sure to properly discharge it first by connecting a long screwdriver to the ground wire of the CRT and slowly sliding it under the suction cup.  I never heard any kind of pop.  But I'm 100% sure I touched the metal under it.  The problem is that I couldn't get it to come off.  I didn't want to pry very hard but that wire seems to be bolted on tight or something.  Is there a safe way to pry that thing off without cracking the tube?  I've pulled them off on other Macs before.  Not sure why this one has a death grip like it does.  BTW, the suction cup is black and not red/maroon like someone mentioned in a previous thread.  I thought they were all red/maroon too until I saw this one.

 

2)  I'm pretty sure I have an 800K floppy as a spare.  I have a super drive on a non-working SE/30 that I might be talked into using on this computer.  But the fact of the matter is, 400K is going to be a problem.  HOWEVER, since I have literally 0 disks/programs for this, is it possible to just buy some 400K software somewhere and use it?  I just want to play a few games, mess with a few music programs and type a few letters.  Nothing major.  And since I have the external drive (also 400K) maybe the disk swapping won't be that hard.  What are your suggestions?   Do I need to upgrade the ROM if I use >400K drives?  If I upgrade that drive, seems then that the external drive would be worthless.

 

3)  Are there any recapping kits for the analog board on this computer?  So that I don't have to manually trace down each size?

 

Thanks!!!!!

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1)  I attempted to remove the annode wire (I think that's what it's called) from the CRT.  I made sure to properly discharge it first by connecting a long screwdriver to the ground wire of the CRT and slowly sliding it under the suction cup.  I never heard any kind of pop.  But I'm 100% sure I touched the metal under it.  The problem is that I couldn't get it to come off.  I didn't want to pry very hard but that wire seems to be bolted on tight or something.  Is there a safe way to pry that thing off without cracking the tube?  I've pulled them off on other Macs before.  Not sure why this one has a death grip like it does. 

Use needlenose pliers to pinch the top part. That's what I did to replace my flyback about three weeks ago. Also you can use a flatblade screwdriver to peel back the cup and observe the configuration of the two metal inserts. I'm going to write an article on how I did it in my Mac 512K blog.

 

Quote

2)  I'm pretty sure I have an 800K floppy as a spare.  I have a super drive on a non-working SE/30 that I might be talked into using on this computer.  But the fact of the matter is, 400K is going to be a problem.  HOWEVER, since I have literally 0 disks/programs for this, is it possible to just buy some 400K software somewhere and use it?  I just want to play a few games, mess with a few music programs and type a few letters.  Nothing major.  And since I have the external drive (also 400K) maybe the disk swapping won't be that hard.  What are your suggestions?   Do I need to upgrade the ROM if I use >400K drives?  If I upgrade that drive, seems then that the external drive would be worthless.

400K disks aren't as onerous as I thought they were going to be so I'm sure you can manage too. If you're using only 400K drives, you will definitely want the external drive too. It is practically a necessity. You can use the Apple II 3.5" drive with the original 64K ROM and make 800K MFS disks. Boot the HD 20 Startup disk to get HFS support for your 800K drive.

 

I don't know about that ugly Macintosh 800K drive that came out in 1986, as to whether you need to boot the HD 20 Startup disk to use it; I've never had one.

Edited by Dog Cow
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Holy crap...I forgot I have one of those Apple II 3.5" drives!  I got it with my IIgs years ago.  So, is it easier to transfer disk images over to it than 400K disks?

 

Your blog is looking good.  Do you plan on doing any posts about how to transfer images over to those disks?  My primary PC is a Windows 10 machine.  I also have a bunch of disks for the Amiga.  I wonder if I could take a couple of them and format them for the Mac 512K?

 

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21 hours ago, cbmeeks said:

 

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Holy crap...I forgot I have one of those Apple II 3.5" drives!  I got it with my IIgs years ago.  So, is it easier to transfer disk images over to it than 400K disks?

Well then you are all set! I don't know how easy it is with disk images. I've been transferring everything as individual files using XModem. I made an RS232 cable and I have a USB to RS232 serial adapter. I've been doing it this way because I don't have any of my other Macs around that have a disk drive. Disk Copy 4.2 won't run on a Mac 512K.

 

 

Your blog is looking good.  Do you plan on doing any posts about how to transfer images over to those disks?  My primary PC is a Windows 10 machine.  I also have a bunch of disks for the Amiga.  I wonder if I could take a couple of them and format them for the Mac 512K?

 

I have several more articles planned on a variety of subjects and I'm posting them when I get them finished, but keeping the date when I first started working on each topic, which is why the dates are all from several weeks ago. I am right now preparing the next article on transferring files using the XMODEM protocol and a USB to serial adapter. The first part of this article I posted today and the next part will probably go up next week.

 

As long as the disks are double-sided, double-density, you can format them for Mac 512K with no worries.

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