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Old Mar 10, 2013, 04:39 PM   #1
deems
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Macintosh SE File Transfer

I recently got an old Mac SE running, (System 6, hard disk and one 400k/800k floppy drive) but I've been wondering if there's any easy way to transfer files from a 'modern' machine.
I'd try moving files via USB floppy drive, but obviously it doesn't read or write the 800k format. Someone recommended buying a SCSI ethernet adapter, but if possible I'd like an alternative...
My other mac is a clamshell iBook, (G3 forever!) but I also have access to a 2005 Mac Mini if that helps.
Any suggestions would be great, thanks a ton!
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Old Mar 10, 2013, 10:32 PM   #2
David Schmidt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deems View Post
I recently got an old Mac SE running, (System 6, hard disk and one 400k/800k floppy drive) but I've been wondering if there's any easy way to transfer files from a 'modern' machine.
"Easy" is not a word used to describe this situation. You need a 'bridge' mac that can talk to teh Interwebz and also write an 800k floppy. Some of the G3s were the last to be able to do that - I'm not sure the iBook was one of them, though. I think it is just one generation too new.

This is an alternative I usually suggest to folks that don't want to acquire a bunch of extra hardware... but if you are serious about your SE, you'll need a bridge eventually...

http://rescuemyclassicmac.com/buyadisk/buyadisk.html
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 02:44 AM   #3
MacTech68
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You're kinda stuck since the iBook clamshell can only use a USB floppy which will only write 1.44MB floppies.

In addition to the alternatives already mentioned, you could upgrade the SE to a SE/FDHD which requires new ROMs and a 1.44MB floppy drive. It won't be cheap unless you can pick up a bargain SE/FDHD - perhaps one with a bad analog board.

Using an intermediate Mac with a software bridge like Apple's "LocalTalk Bridge" would work. It basically uses an entire Mac to emulate a hardware bridge like the Asante (or Dayna) SCSI to Ethernet adapter, but its much slower since you're piping TCP over LocalTalk.

Of course, an intermediate Mac can be used simply as an 800K floppy disk writing machine too, as David Schmidt suggests.
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 03:27 PM   #4
deems
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Thanks for the replies! Fortunately the computer already boots up and runs smoothly, so I won't need to order a boot disk. (Perhaps that helps the situation at least a little bit)
In response to MacTech, I'm not really in the position to buy a new Macintosh, but just so I know-- what would be a good machine capable of writing the floppies and getting online?
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 09:33 PM   #5
MacTech68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deems View Post
Thanks for the replies! Fortunately the computer already boots up and runs smoothly, so I won't need to order a boot disk. (Perhaps that helps the situation at least a little bit)
In response to MacTech, I'm not really in the position to buy a new Macintosh, but just so I know-- what would be a good machine capable of writing the floppies and getting online?
As David Schmidt suggested, a beige G3 is the last Mac capable of reading and writing 800K and 1.44MB floppies. It also has built in Ethernet for connection to standard RJ45 twisted pair ethernet. Their minimum system is MacOS 8.0 which is capable of reading & writing 800K floppies. (I would update it to MacOS 8.1 at a minimum).

However, should you ever get a Mac that only has a 400K floppy drive, MacOS 8.0 and later will not be able to read and write 400K floppy disks. Granted, this doesn't affect your present situation.

To be able to read and write 400K disks, you would need a Mac capable of running system 7.6.1. Again, this is only if you decide to get a Mac EARLIER than your MacSE, like a Mac128K or vanilla Mac512K.

EDIT: BTW, "getting online" isn't going to be great under any of these older systems, but they will be more than sufficient for transferring data.
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Last edited by MacTech68; Mar 11, 2013 at 09:46 PM.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 11:00 PM   #6
blesscheese
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If you have a modem for the MacSE, and a communications program, you could transfer files via the modem.

It's been a while, but it can be done, and not that hard. I'm saying this because your iBook should have a built-in modem.
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