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PowerBook 520c Score!

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I just won a PowerBook 520c off eBay for $9.50 sold as-is (with shipping it was about $24 in total). The 520c is my second 68k PowerBook; I already have a Duo 230, but since I don't have a place to setup my DuoDock, it is pretty hard to use. I figured it wasn't much of a risk if it didn't work, and from the photos in the description, it looked really clean. It came in today, and it fired right up! It is in almost perfect condition (thankfully, it was packed really well)--I don't think it was used much by the original owner (It still had 7.1.1 on it, and there weren't many documents and files on it.) There are a few small marks on the case, but I think they will come off pretty easily.


I spent a long time getting the 20 floppy disks necessary for 7.5.3 copied over to it, and upgraded it. I'll probably upgrade to 7.5.5 this weekend.


After spending much time finding the Intelligent Battery software, I was able to recondition the battery and make the computer recognize it. It technically holds a charge, but will only run for about 5 minutes on the battery.


Next on my list is a RAM upgrade--it only has 4 megabytes, which is pretty painful. I also plan on getting an AAUI to RJ45 adapter, so that I can get it online. Eventually I'll get a SCSI2SD, but I'm going to wait on that one for a while (the original drive seems to work fine)



In this photo I have it connected to my laptop using Z-Term and VT100 emulation--but I'm hoping with the ethernet connection I'll be able to do a direct SSH connection to my PC.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a 540c with a SCSI2SD, max RAM, and an AAUI adapter.  I have it as dual boot with 7.6 and 8.1.  I like it because it is the fastest 040 PowerBook you can get (except the 550c with the FPU, but whatever, not looking to pay unicorn prices for that).  Keyboard isn't bad either. 


One way to get stuff on it faster might be to have an external SCSI2SD setup with an HFS and HFS+ partition.  Copy something on it from a modern mac to the HFS+ partition, and then use an OS9 or OS8 bridge machine to move it from the HFS+ to the HFS partition for the PB running OS7 to see. 

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For now, since I already had a serial cable, I'm just using ZMODEM in Zterm to transfer files. Its pretty slow, but OK for the small sizes of most of the files I am working with. Once I get ethernet setup, I will likely use that instead.


On 2/9/2020 at 9:46 AM, D@llas said:

i have a spare 33mhz 68LC040 from a 540c i could sell you.  Let me know if you're interested

On 2/9/2020 at 5:55 PM, D@llas said:

i also have the AUII adapter and full 36MB RAM chip available....let me know if you're interested


Thanks for the offers! I found an AAUI adapter for fairly cheap, and I'm happy at the moment with the 8MB upgrade that I got (for 12MB total) and the 25 MHz 68LC040 that it originally came with.

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