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Old Jan 24, 2014, 11:28 AM   #1
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Teardown of Original Macintosh 128K Shows How the Mac Has Progressed




In honor of the Mac's 30th anniversary today, iFixit has partnered with Cult of Mac and The Vintage Mac Museum to tear down an original Macintosh 128K. Analysis of the well-known vintage hardware obviously reveals no surprises, but does highlight just how far technology has come in the past 30 years.

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Thirty years of progress yields some impressive changes to input peripherals. Keyboards and mice are now wireless, thinner, and comprised mainly of sturdy, non-yellow metal.

And we now have arrow keys! In typical Apple fashion, they ditched the arrows on the original Mac to force people to use the mouse, a strange new accessory at the time.
The engineering of the Macintosh 128K reflects the do-it-yourself culture from which this Mac emerged. Unlike the current Mac models, the 128K is relatively easy to repair, earning a repairability score of 7 out of 10. Most main components, with the exception of RAM, are user replaceable and easy to access since adhesive was not used in the assembly process. Deep-set case screws and electrocution hazards from power supplies are the biggest hindrances to a self-repair.

Originally released as the Apple Macintosh, the Macintosh 128K was unveiled thirty years ago by Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984 at the company's annual stockholders meeting. The presentation showcased the computer's then revolutionary graphical UI and speech technology.

Article Link: Teardown of Original Macintosh 128K Shows How the Mac Has Progressed
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 11:30 AM   #2
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We really have come a long way.

Happy Birthday Mac!
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 11:34 AM   #3
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good god, look at those huge transistors
happy birthday mac!!
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 11:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
The engineering of the Macintosh 128K reflects the do-it-yourself culture from which this Mac emerged. Unlike the current Mac models, the 128K is relatively easy to repair, earning a repairability score of 7 out of 10. Most main components, with the exception of RAM, are user replaceable and easy to access since adhesive was not used in the assembly process. Deep-set case screws and electrocution hazards from power supplies are the biggest hindrances to a self-repair.
The deep screws were easy to remove using the special allen wrench gave repair techs back then. I remember the biggest pain in the tush part was cracking open the case. had a special prying clamp/wrench for that too. It was still a pain the the (_!_).

I use to repair those old Macs. 30 years already? Now I feel old.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 11:50 AM   #5
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The iFixit video is brilliant. Mark Hamill will be huuuge.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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We have a dozen or so of these mac at our kids camp. I noticed that some of the 128k macs have white ceramic 68000 CPUs instead of the black chip.
Many still work and we have them networked to play a custom trivia game we wrote using Microsoft basic.
Still have some of the old games like alien arcade golf and Tetris.
We still have some of the original boxes and we have several of the carrying bags with zippers.

Last edited by JosephAW; Jan 24, 2014 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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Totally tubular!
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 12:25 PM   #8
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The deep screws were easy to remove using the special allen wrench gave repair techs back then. I remember the biggest pain in the tush part was cracking open the case. had a special prying clamp/wrench for that too. It was still a pain the the (_!_).

I use to repair those old Macs. 30 years already? Now I feel old.

No kidding. It was a pain to open, and people were complaining about it as compared to the Apple ][ or //e. ;-)

Mine is still in the bag in the closet....after upgrading it to a Fat Mac, I kept it around.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 12:25 PM   #9
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Electrocution hazard? Surely that warrants a drop below 7/10
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 12:30 PM   #10
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The faceplate looks like an iMac with it's chin. All the rest of that stuff is excess mass, complexity, and thickness. Do away with it.

I still use files created on mine to this day.

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Old Jan 24, 2014, 01:07 PM   #11
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good god, look at those huge transistors
happy birthday mac!!
Capacitors? I didn't see any discrete transistors.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 01:17 PM   #12
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Capacitors? I didn't see any discrete transistors.
errr, you right, what I mean was Capacitors...
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 01:28 PM   #13
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I remember the biggest pain in the tush part was cracking open the case. had a special prying clamp/wrench for that too. It was still a pain the the (_!_).
The easiest way to open the case was to set the machine face down on the static. Grab the case and give it a bit of a shake. It would pop right off.

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Electrocution hazard? Surely that warrants a drop below 7/10
In the front of the Apple repair manuals they strongly recommended that your service staff be trained in CPR. The original Macs had about 14kV floating around - even when unplugged.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 01:44 PM   #14
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I loved those old keyboards. Every key click had a very satisfying "ktung!" sound.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 01:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousse View Post
The deep screws were easy to remove using the special allen wrench gave repair techs back then. I remember the biggest pain in the tush part was cracking open the case. had a special prying clamp/wrench for that too. It was still a pain the the (_!_).

I use to repair those old Macs. 30 years already? Now I feel old.
I used to repair these as well. We even did component level repair on the power supplies to replace the capacitors that would commonly fail. Good times ...

I remember the hinge with handles for opening the cases well, lol

One thing we don't get in our new Mac is the design team's signatures molded into the inside of the case. Ah, the good ole days ...

----------

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The easiest way to open the case was to set the machine face down on the static. Grab the case and give it a bit of a shake. It would pop right off.


In the front of the Apple repair manuals they strongly recommended that your service staff be trained in CPR. The original Macs had about 14kV floating around - even when unplugged.
I second your case removal method. Give a bit of an inward and upward slap on the sides of the case and it would tend to come right off.

I remember having to discharge the CRTs (t0000000bs!) as well. I was so young then
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 01:56 PM   #16
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I remember having to discharge the CRTs (t0000000bs!) as well. I was so young then
I would find this prospect terrifying. Was it safe?
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 02:19 PM   #17
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Mine is still in the bag in the closet....after upgrading it to a Fat Mac, I kept it around.
Haha.. me too!
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 03:29 PM   #18
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Capacitors? I didn't see any discrete transistors.
Of course on the Fat Mac, if you wanted more than 1 MB of memory, there was that transistor you had to snip. I bought the elongated Torx tool just so I could do this upgrade to a whopping 4 MB!!!.

My Christmas present one year was a 20MB SCSI hard drive that I took back to school. I think that Fat Mac is still in storage somewhere with my folks, along with a half dozen or more other Macs.

Happy Birthday, Mac!!
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 04:59 PM   #19
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Wow. Memories. I had like #340 something. It's a long time ago. I remember when I first sat down with one a friend and I were checking out when the first batch arrived. Now my first generation iPodtouch is far more powerful. Amazing.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 05:03 PM   #20
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I would find this prospect terrifying. Was it safe?
If you knew what you were doing and had the right tool, it was perfectly safe. I lost count the number of all in one Macs (Plus, SE, SE/30, Classic and so on) I've worked on. I was single back then (all the other techs were married) so I was the designated monitor repair guy. The horrible 1710/1710AV monitors was a pain. I had to repair one every stinking day when they were in production. I didn't even bother testing. 99.44% of the time it was a bad deflection board.

Discharging the CRT was the most fun part of the job. I love the "bzztt" sound. When one didn't make that sound, I was a bit disappointed.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 05:12 PM   #21
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The Motorola 68k CPU beat the snot out of the Intel at the time...

Xerox's GUI and mouse have clearly been refined as well.

Loved the Quadra line - almost bought one back in 1991...

Ever since the move from SCSI, then to Intel, then the removal of the cool GUI font, later on the removal off Aqua's more rounded buttons for Windows-like square buttons, etc, Macs haven't been as alluring, though...
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 07:07 PM   #22
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Radical! Booting from a 3.5 floppy is so bad!
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 11:03 AM   #23
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I loved those old keyboards. Every key click had a very satisfying "ktung!" sound.
Yes the keyboards have gone quiet. That's why I still use my Macally bondi blue keyboard on my Mac Pro. I like to hear the ktungs.

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Radical! Booting from a 3.5 floppy is so bad!
And the original floppy drive was a whopping 400KBs.
I can remember having a second floppy drive connected and that 10MB hard disk pre-SCSI.
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 01:24 PM   #24
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The deep screws were easy to remove using the special allen wrench gave repair techs back then. I remember the biggest pain in the tush part was cracking open the case. had a special prying clamp/wrench for that too. It was still a pain the the (_!_).

I use to repair those old Macs. 30 years already? Now I feel old.
Here's a funny story (it's funny now, it wasn't funny then) :

For some reason I had to open my Mac Classic (upgrading the RAM I think?) when I was a teen. I didn't have the right tools as I was not a repairman.

Not sure what I used to pry open the case, but it didn't work well and the case was still stuck to the front.

So I put the thing face down on a bed and pull to remove the back as hard as I can, and it eventually pops out, but I heard a "crack" then "Pssshhhhhhhhhhh".

I knew that there was only one thing that could've made that sound... The CRT which normally has vacuum inside! The case had hit the little board on the tube's neck and broke the little glass thing at the end of the tube, which let all the air in!

I was smart enough to know that it meant, but I still tried to turn it on which resulted in a loud buzzing noise and blue sparks inside the tube's neck!

We (me and my dad) eventually found a replacement monitor (a Samsung!) but it wasn't easy since weren't a repair shop.
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 05:57 PM   #25
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The upgrade from 128k to 512k involved swapping the logic board. When I did this to my Mac, the store gave me the old board, which they were supposed to return to Apple. I still have it, along with some of the other stuff that came with the computer.
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