In Living Color

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Gamer9430, May 22, 2018.

  1. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
    #1
    For awhile now, I’ve felt like my drive to collect and use vintage Macs has been almost none, in comparison to the past 3 years where I’ve been all over using and getting more Macs. This year (which i consider to start in September, to coincide with school) has been a bit of a slump, keeping things boring by only really using my 15in MacBook Pro 9,1, my 17in MacBook Pro 6,1, and my FX-6300 PC. My gaining of Macs has slowed significantly compared to last year (September 2016-September 2017, again coinciding with school years), only gaining 11 new machines (PCs and Macs) compared to last year’s 23 (again, PCs and Macs). Maybe it’s because my money is being used for getting other things, like food, gas, new technology, having a good time with friends, and video games old and new (been working on my retro games collection lately). Maybe it’s because I was in Senior Year of high school, an extremely busy and stressful time in my life. Maybe it’s because I just got tired of it all. Most of my 11 newly gained machines have all been modern, or at least more modern than PPC/68k. Asking around, several other people said their interest and drive has been slumping as well, so maybe it’s just a declining lack of interest amongst the community.

    This all might have been true, up until this past weekend...

    Over the past weekend, I attend Vintage Computing Festival: East 2018 in Wall, NJ at the InfoAge Science Center. VCF is an “expo” of sorts to show off collections of Vintage computers. There were luggables, Apple IIs, Apple Lisas, Apple IIs, Commodores, Macs, Tandys, all sorts of stuff. Also at VCF was a sales section, where people could sell machines and peripherals. First thing when I got to VCF was head to the sales section. First thing I see in the midst of a crowd, an Apple Macintosh bag. I open the bag, and sitting in the bag is a Macintosh Color Classic. I check the price... $50!! I ran over to the cashier and bought it. I was beyond excited. I read the paper again, “Sonnet Presto Plus 68040 upgrade card installed and included”. Holy crap, that’s an insane card! I go to test it in a different room, I plug it in, flip the switch, nothing happens. I try a different outlet, still nothing happens. I try holding the keyboard power button, still nothing happens. Upon a quick investigation of the board, nothing seems out of sorts. I check the paper again, and all the way at the bottom it mentions that it worked fine in 2010, now it doesn’t boot. Great, but not too big of a problem, not going to complain for $50. Oh well, I’ll look later at home, probably a blown PSU. Anyway, met a couple guys from the Retro Computing Discord, and we hung out there for a bit. We walk back into the sales section, and what’s sitting almost exactly where I grabbed the Color Classic, why, it’s a PowerBook G3 Kanga! I once again ran over, grabbed it and checked the price... $20!!! Again, I ran over to the cashier and bought it. Damn! 2 rarer Macs that regularly go over $200 each, both for under $100! My luck seemed to be turning around. I hung out more at VCF with the guys from Discord, then we went our separate ways.

    I get home, and inspect the Color Classic more. Upon examining the board again, I notice a capacitor had leaked a bit, corroding one of the chips by the ADB ports. I look up what the chip does, and much to my expectations, it’s a CUDA IC, aka the ADB controller. Damn it, that explains why holding the power button on the keyboard doesn’t boot it up. I set the CC aside for now and turn my attention to the Kanga since it was 11PM at this point and I didn’t want to clean the board on the CC. Kanga as expected booted right up into Mac OS 9.1 with a fairly stock install. Everything seemed to work, until I discovered that it’s not aware it has an Ethernet jack. Oh well, I’ll try reseating it and see if that fixes it.

    On to the next day, after I graduated high school , I did more work on my Macs. On the Color Classic, I used 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and Q-tips on the affected areas. After I cleaned it, I slid the board back in, flipped the switch, hit the button and... *Bong* the screen comes to live with a happy Mac! But alas, it froze upon reaching the Welcome to Mac OS Screen. Alright, well now we have life out of it. I try booting it again, and nothing happens. So I took the board out, and stepped it up a notch and scrubbed the whole board with a toothbrush and more alcohol. After another 20 minutes, I slid the board back in, and it works perfectly now. Yaay! But my challenge is not yet complete. The Presto Plus Card refuses to initialize. And the driver/enabler situation is a disaster. Sonnet and other online sources only have OS 8 compatible drivers, while I’m using 7.5/7.6. Upon reading some forums, some people had gotten the correct driver by contacting Sonnet. So I sent them an email and now I’m patiently awaiting a response. Other than that, the Color Classic now works 100% perfectly, and I couldn’t be more happy.

    IMG_1005.JPG
    Here it is after it’s first successful boot-up.

    Anyway, back to the Kanga, the Ethernet Card still didn’t seem to be recognized after reseating it, so I’ll try scrubbing that with Alcohol too. I also removed the Pram battery in the nick of time, since part of it had already ripped open and was likely about to leak all over very soon. The floppy drive also is not working, so I swapped it with the one from my 5300c. The battery also doesn’t seem to want to take a charge, despite my cleaning of the contacts on the battery and in the laptop, and 9.1 saying it’s charging the battery. Nevertheless, the Kanga works fine otherwise, which again, I’m really happy about. It also has a lovely 64MB RAM upgrade installed, making the total RAM 96MB.

    IMG_1002.JPG
    Here’s the Kanga’s first boot. Had it open for inspection, since the paper said the HDD over heats, which so far hasn’t happened, but I do believe it’s dying, since it fails to boot sometimes, freezing on the Happy Mac or Welcome to OS 9.1 screen.

    So back to my lack of drive for Vintage Macs, I think these two rarer examples of Mac computers being added to my collection has kicked off the renaissance era of my collecting, as I’m feeling like I got my mojo back. I had my PowerMac 8500, Mac SE, Mac 512ke, Color Classic, and Kanga all running at the same time trying to transfer files around and stuff to get the Color Classic setup with a fresh install and hopefully getting the extensions working. Prior to these past few days, all of those machines haven’t been turned on in months. I feel like I’m getting excited to use these Macs again- something I haven’t felt in awhile.

    Sorry about my rambling, so here’s a TL;DR:

    Lost my drive for collecting and using Vintage Macs. Got a Kanga and Color Classic over the weekend for really cheap, got them both working. Now my mojo for collecting and using Vintage Macs is coming back.

    Also, incase anyone was interested in joining the Retro Computing Discord that I mentioned, which isn’t only for Mac collectors and is full of a lot of awesome and chill guys, some of which I got to meet over the past weekend, here is the link: https://discord.gg/7pxaRwu
     
  2. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    Thanks for sharing @Gamer9430 and congrats on your graduation! The Color Classic is a fantastic score with a “Rare as rocking horse sh*t” upgrade card :)

    I’ve been keeping a keen eye out for a Kanga myself.. I got lucky with a score of a Wallstreet, which is due to arrive this week, so hopefully that will fulfill my vintage Mac needs for a little while.

    (A non-booting TiBook 667 just arrived this afternoon. It’s not responding to power, tried removing the PRAM battery, all internal devices and replaced the DC board so far, no dice.)
     
  3. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #3
    I had reason to contact Sonnet recently. The upshot was they no longer had any PPC equipment to troubleshoot any problems with and wouldn't help me with drivers/firmware.

    I found that if you archive.orged the Sonnet website's support pages, you could uncover older revisions of downloads that had disappeared from the site replaced by newer ones. If your card originally shipped with SS7.x extensions, there is a very slim chance are you might find those with a bit of hunting, if Sonnet comes back with a 'sorry no can do'. Given that Sonnet's website only really took off in the very late nineties, the likelihood is it came with 8.x extensions only.


    IMHO, a Wallstreet (preferably a PDQ) is an absolute must for a vintage collector. It can build floppies for older Macs while still being recent enough to be able to connect to the internet usably.
     
  4. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
    #4
    I love my PDQ. Its a great machine, especially for an Old World ROM machine. Only issue my machine has is that I have to use a magnet to wake the machine up after it reaches the desktop. The HDD magnet is too strong, so I makes the computer think the lid is closed, causing it to sleep. However, if you use a magnet, and put it on the sweet spot, which for mine is on/next to the delete key, and then pull it away, it wakes up the computer and it works normally. My PDQ was also my 2nd PPC laptop, behind my 2nd PPC overall and 1st PPC laptop, the iBook G4 12in 1.33GHz.


    Anyway, sorry for my lack of updates. This is a busy time in my life, with proms, graduation, parties, work, hanging out with friends... I've done more work trying to get the CC to recognize the 040 board, including tracking down the illusive System 7 enabler for it, which didn't help unfortunately. I've also put in a fresh PRAM battery, hoping that would work, but unfortunately it did not either.
     
  5. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #5
    Are you sure this is a PDQ? My Mainstreet does this but none of my PDQs. It was a known bug of the Wallstreet that Apple hurriedly fixed with the PDQ, and it only really manifested if you replaced the Wallstreet's hard drive with IBM drives, which had stronger magnets.

    You can fix it by heating up a segment of a segmented box cutter blade to degauss it and taping it on the bottom of the hard drive caddy that goes under the sweet spot you mentioned.
     
  6. Gamer9430 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
    #6
    It is indeed a PDQ, a 266MHz 14in one too, which was only available for the PDQ models, not the Wallstreet/Mainstreet models.. Also, yes, I did swap out the drive. With its original, now dead, HDD it never used to have this issue. Read about the issue on some old blog, and followed his directions on how to get it out of sleep mode, and sure enough it worked.
     
  7. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #7
    I wonder if you have a FrankenPB? The Wallstreet has something like G3 PowerBook Series on the base by the serial number whereas the PDQ has the machine spec details. Might be a PDQ in Wallstreet clothing. I swapped the smashed 12" display on my Mainstreet with a 14" PDQ lid and screen and it works well, so the hardware seems interchangeable.
     
  8. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    Curiously, are the processor cards interchangeable between the Wallstreet and PDQ?
     
  9. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #9
    I only have a Mainstreet in the Wallstreet range and that has the same bus speed as the PDQs. If I had a 250MHz or a 292MHz card with the faster bus speed it might be interesting to see if they work without a hitch.
     
  10. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #10
    on the Main/Wallstreet all the way to the Pismo (and iMac G3 tray-loader) the main Memory/PCI/Bus controller is on the CPU card it self, so if you swap 292 WS card which has a 83.3Mhz bus into a PDQ then the PDQ will now have an 83.3Mhz bus and should run fine. since the main 60x bus is self contained on the CPU card rather then the logic-board
     
  11. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    Long story short, I bought a second PDQ which appears to have a faulty CPU Card, but is otherwise okay... So I’ve just ordered a 250mhz/1MB CPU Card from TheBookyard.com as it was the only CPU card they had available (eBay and PBMedic came up blank/out of stock).

    Total for the card was USD$21 + $7 shipping from the UK (not sure why I was quoted USD prices from a UK website).

    I understand the 250mhz card runs an 83.3mhz system bus from the series I Wallstreet, so I will be putting your theory to the test in the second PDQ!
     
  12. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #12
    As soon as I read the title I guessed the topic was a Color Classic, a model which so far has eluded me, but still on the lookout. Difficult to find in good working condition though.
    As they say, beggers can't be choosers, but from a given choice, I'd go for one which had 'Colour Classic' on the front panel, as we across the pond here know that's how it really should be spelt.........:p
     
  13. M235i macrumors newbie

    M235i

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2017
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #13
    Damn, your so lucky you had the time to go. I live less than an hour from the convention and had all plans to go, but of course my family love to plan things 20 seconds before it happens. Actually, it might have been better I didn't go, because as a broke 15 y/o I think I would impulse buy the entire Mac section of the shop if the prices were that good for some of the stuff. For $50, I think I would have fought over that Color Classic :)D), and its not even my favorite model! Now I am reeling to go next year...

    Thanks for the report from VCF East!
     
  14. z970mp, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018

    z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #14
    Hm. It seems there's a rather large amount of teenagers around these parts.

    Wonder what it is about the PowerPC that draws them all...

    Maybe it's the nostalgia-based time capsule concept, or the love of RISC computing, or the great desire to tinker to optimization oblivion, or to marvel at a time when Apple was still hungry and still foolish, or perhaps to simply admire the near flawless design of the devices themselves.

    But I suppose it's clear that aged computing has a very broad appeal, from what I've seen this past year at least.

    In any case, I'm glad to be part of it. :apple:
     
  15. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    It is great to see all the younger guys (and girls?) getting into the retro tech!

    I guess a lot of you would have early memories of playing around with these PowerPC Macs at a young age?

    The price is great for fully functional older Macs right now. I don't think anyone could have foreseen more than a 5 year lifespan for most of these machines. But I'm typing this reply on a marvel of a PowerBook G4 17" (1.67Ghz SLSD), which I've spent my morning working on and there's really nothing bad I can say about this perfectly usable (and still portable) 13 year old Mac..
     
  16. z970mp, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018

    z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #16
    I haven't seen any women around here, especially not the ones our age. (...They're all probably busy with Snapchat and Instagram... ...How sad...)

    Yeah. I remember my parents on their PowerPCs for most of the 2000's. PowerBook G4 Titanium + Power Mac G5 / iMac G4. I remember the news about Bing when it first came out, and how I took a shine to it on my iMac G3 (had one back in the day). I remember playing Coldplay - Clocks on 2009 YouTube, and it ran great. (Not so anymore.) That thing was my childhood for most of the 2000's. Played Winnie The Pooh games, the famous Bugdom, Nanosaur, The Little Prince (LEGENDARY), all kinds of kid titles, really. I periodically booted between OS 9.2 and Tiger, and thoroughly enjoyed each OS. I remember hooking up stereo speakers to each side and promptly tearing with joy because it just dawned on me that I had just created a "professional" stereo system. Hee hee.

    I faintly remember it on Jaguar, perhaps circa 2005...

    Wow... It was still in use by the time TenFourFox came out, and of course I had no clue of its existence let alone what it was, and continued on with Safari 4 + Internet Explorer 5. Remember that, back when IE 5 Mac Edition worked? Cool times...

    Anyway... It died maybe somewhere around 2011, 2012 (likely due to a power supply failure), we gave it away, and I dove into the world of Windows on a 17" XPS laptop right afterwards. Fell back in love with OS X in 2015, and then three years later ditched it in favor of the Linux (Ubuntu-distilled, specifically) ecosystem, a far superior computing world, and if you ask me, an infinitely more visually attractive one compared to the incompetent Fischer-Price mac(P)OS.

    ...Maybe I went a little too far down the lanes, there...

    But I digress, and concur. I sit here on my 12" G4 and look forward (and dread at the same time) to that mSATA + improved cooling surgery this coming weekend. It's actually faster than I imagined it would be on Reduced mode, so there's that too.

    ...Well either way, here's to another year of progress. :apple:
     
  17. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    Cool. I spotted The Little Prince game on the 'garden after watching the movie with my kids on Netflix. I'll have to set it up for them and have a play.

    You've done your research on the subject, so just take your time with the surgery. You'll do fine. :)

    And yes. The 12" PowerBooks are great little performers. Putting the 1.5Ghz model through the paces with Tiger is never a problem. It does everything I ask of it. I recently salvaged both a 1.0Ghz and 1.33Ghz model and they are just as capable. One needed a replacement LCD panel (which was donated/recycled from a dead iBook 12"). Both took an internal strip down and clean before a thermal paste/pad overhaul.

    To round out the collection, I've purchased an original 867Mhz PB12" (256k L2 cache, 32MB GeForce4 420 Go) which should arrive early next week. :apple:
     
  18. RhianB, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

    RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    505 USA
    #18
    I think because they are cheap and/or sometimes free. If you already like macs, it's a natural progression. Still, to my original point, what budgeted adolescent teenager has 5k to drop on an imac pro or even $350 for a 5,1 MP? Where as they can pick up most any G4 or G5s for pennies on the dollar which can still be made to work on the internet with little effort. It's an affordable hobby to get into that comes with a mostly friendly audience and cool computers.

    My first computer was a C64 and I recall my NES being so much more crisp on that commodore monitor. At some point, Ill have to recreate that set up and post a pic in a nostalgic mid 80s vintage computing Stranger Things mash up but as is, I dont have the space in the condo. Everything is boxed up in storage.
     
  19. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #19
    They'll have a great time. My favorite part was always taming the fox. And the lamplighter's periodical quotes were very memorable too. This game oozes so much charm, you wouldn't believe it.

    Damn, I still have the original disc, I might have to get it running myself! :D

    Thanks. I'm sure it will come out a better machine for it. Looking forward to the G5-level speeds. :D
     
  20. M235i macrumors newbie

    M235i

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2017
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #20
    Its a mix of all of what people said above. I also guess working as a tech in a town were every other person is a graphic designer as a side job helps too. I always remembered seeing the eMac and iMac G3 as a very young child and was always drawn to the lines Ive penned for his PPC masterpieces. Once I got into computers around 9 I always wanted a Mac to play around with. When I was 12 a friends parent gave me an old MBP for free (bad keyboard and battery) and it piqued interest in the early Intel era. Around 13 I bought a Clamshell SE for $25 on eBay, and soon after a friend of my mother gave me a iMac G3 DV SE and an LC II (but I'll save that story for the 68kMLA forums) for free, bringing me into the PPC wave of interest. Year after that I got a lot of 4 Macs (20" iMac C2D, PB G4 12" 1.33, iBook G4 1.33, and a dud MBP (graphics card, shocker) again for free, which I restored and all now reside in the collection. Recently, I have been working with another graphic designer remove from his storage a PM G5, 3x Mac Pro 1,1's, 3x PM G4 (DA, QS and a MDD), 2x PB G3 Pismo's, and another MBP (again bad GC). Looking to sell the Intel's and most of the G4's but some of the other ones are just not worth enough to put up, sell and ship (the G5 and DA G4) so I am working on grabbing those. In summary, yep its the ready availability of those machines that have us teen computer geeks in the PPC side of the world. But soon, our youngers will look at the intel machines and tinker with those. Put that into perspective...
     
  21. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #21
    That seems less likely. Our youngsters probably won't know what early Intel Macs are because all their motherboards would have broken down long before they were born.

    But late PowerPC? They'll probably be ticking in 2040! :D

    Just stating general customer satisfaction statistics, here.

    (...And bias, because I'm infamously full of that. ;))
     
  22. Slix macrumors 65816

    Slix

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #22
    Gotta take into account that nearly all of the Intel Macs looked the same so far, whereas the PowerPC line had so many drastic interesting changes over the course of their life on the market. :p

    @Gamer9430: Nice job on the Color Classic and Kanga! :D I don't have either, so they're a neat breed for me to see photos of. ;)
     
  23. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #23
    The same terrible black-on-aluminum design has been milked now for 10, 11 years. It was fine till around 2012 or so, then it just got old. And then left for dead.

    PowerPCs on the other hand, have a distinct late 90's feel, an early 000's feel, and a mid 000's feel which never overstayed their welcome, which is why their time machine-like charm is so effective. There's a machine for everyone from each individual's memories.

    Truly special pieces of technology, which I think only Apple could have punctuated so well. :apple:
     

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