Mac 512Ke Advice

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by davecom, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. davecom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I recently purchased a booting (to ? disk startup screen at least) Mac 512Ke and accompanying keyboard. I'm ordering a mouse for it on eBay. Do you have any tips about its maintenance? Also how do I create an 800K startup disk for it? I was going to get a USB floppy drive. When I insert a disk into it and power it on it seems to just spit it out. If I put it back in after it's on, nothing happens. I thought I had an appropriate disk, but it's possible it's not (from my Mac LC days as a kid).

    The case is very yellow from weathering. Any particular cleaners I should use on it? I don't want to further damage it.

    I was going to get a slim 6.0.8 on it, unless someone has other recommendations. Might be cool to run System 1.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #2
    Unfortunately, it is not possible to create a Macintosh 800K disk from a modern USB floppy drive - the early Macintosh used a completely different physical format than PCs of the time. Only a supplied-by-Apple internal floppy drive can write Apple's 800K format. (With a few extremely oddball exceptions.)

    You have two reasonable options:

    1. Buy a boot disk. (eBay, Craigslist, etc. There's a private individual selling them at http://www.rescuemyclassicmac.com - I have no affiliation with that site, never even used it before, but I've seen others post positive experiences.)

    2. Buy a floppy emulator - the major one is http://www.bigmessowires.com/floppy-emu/ - these allow you to load disk images onto an SD card, and the device pretends to be an actual Mac floppy drive.
     
  3. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #3
    As @Anonymous Freak say, you must have a Mac with an internal floppy drive to be able to create 400 and 800K disks.

    I will add in that if you're going to play with older Macs very much, a "bridge" machine is a great investment. I REALLY like the x600 series Macs and the beige G3s for this role. Booted into OS 9 or earlier, you can write 400K and 800K disks using the internal drive. Most have internal ZIP drives and under 8.6 and later, you can read/write USB drives with a compatible USB card installed(albeit at USB 1.1 speeds). Plus, using Classilla-an up to date Firefox fork, you can download files directly to these computers.

    You can even run OS X Tiger on these computers(not suggested for real use on a stock 8600/9600 although it's possible and I've done it) and use TenFourFox to browse the internet. The big caveat is that OS X doesn't give you access to the internal floppy drive or the legacy serial ports.
     
  4. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #4
    Well, you can access the legacy serial ports in OS X, you just can't use LocalTalk/serial networking. You can still connect serially to devices. Such as opening a serial terminal connection on an old system to the command prompt on the OS X Mac. (Some configuration required.).

    OS X can even print to old Apple serial printers, as long as they're *SERIAL* connection, not AppleTalk-over-serial connection. (I used my ancient Personal LaserWriter 300 on my Power Mac G4 with Griffin gPort that way.)
     
  5. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    I guess that's what I'm thinking, and also the fact that my main uses for serial ports are for local talk :)

    Looks like it may be time to dig out the Laserwriter 300 and play with it...or even at that I have a closet full of Stylewriters and Imagewriters.

    I have a couple of Stealths and Griffins floating around...in fact I've been known to buy a G3 or G4 tower just because it had one :)

    BTW, my Xserve G5 has a DB-9 RS232 port. I let a friend poke around on it in Teamviewer, and he finally managed to find it listed as a "modem." My best guess is that it MIGHT be there to act as a UPS interface, since I know a lot of them did use RS232 to communicate their status to the computer.
     
  6. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #6
    Yup. UPS interface, or direct serial terminal access. Lost of server farms have serial console access handy, but not KVM.
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    Aside from the lack of KVM, there's also the fact that these only came BTO with a video card, and most don't have one.

    My IBM SystemX rackmounts have basic on-board video. They also have a DB-9 port on the front.

    As much as I love Xserves, IMO products from other vendors(namely the IBMs I use) are much better thought out than Xserves. The main thing that comes to mind is the lack of front ports-the early Xserve only has a single Firewire 400 on the front, with it finally getting switched to USB not long before the product was discontinued. There's a decent collection of ports on the back, but of course they're an absolute pain in the butt to access when the machine is in a rack.

    Contrast that with my IBMs, which have a couple of USBs, RS-232, and DB-25 VGA on the front. Yes, they're ugly compared to the sleek and elegant Xserve, but in a server room it would be a LOT easier to roll up a serial terminal or monitor/KB/Mouse to work on the server.
     
  8. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #8
    Heck, I have a few rack servers that have *NO* video output. It's network management, or serial terminal - that's it.
     

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