The flood of old Mac hardware is coming...

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by pcguru83, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. pcguru83 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    So I'm getting extremely excited about tomorrow morning. Let me explain. About a month or so back, my wife and I were browsing the thrift stores around down for some vinyl records. While inside, I happened upon an aisle with some older computer hardware. Wouldn't you know, sitting there in overall excellent condition, with all the accessories, was a Macintosh SE FDHD.

    I grabbed the power cable and ran it over to a wall outlet to see if it would come on. Much to my surprise, it booted right into System 6.x (can't remember exactly what's it running). I of course had to have it, and snagged the complete package for $18.

    I've had a blast playing around with the older Mac OS and apps. I'm a somewhat recent Mac convert (at the Intel switch), so I missed out on this stuff. It's given me a bit of the bug to obtain and play around with some of this older Mac hardware.

    While browsing Craigslist the other day, I happened upon this guy with a ton of hold Mac hardware for trade. Conveniently enough, he wanted to trade for an AT&T PDA phone. Me being the IT guy at our company, I have huge stashes of these from retired/older phones.

    The guy claims to have 30 pieces or more of stuff, ranging from Apple IIs, Macintosh Pluses, Quadras, with all/most of it fully functional. So I'm going tomorrow morning to make the swap, and we'll see what I come away with. I'll post pics if it's decent stuff. Wish me luck. :)
  2. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    wow system 6. I'd love to "reminisce"<sp> about the "old days".

    My first Mac was a LC used and I regret selling it. It had such a cute little monitor and it was just a slab of a computer.

    I had the chance to buy another LC but I passed for space reasons.
  3. LizKat macrumors 68040


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    Wow, eighteen bucks for an SE... that works!

    Friend used to have one with all manner of midi equipment hanging off it. He made some amazing music on it, think he used Electronic Arts software of some kind.
  4. pcguru83 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah, tell me about it...$18! It really is in great shape. Here's a pic--and I think this is before I wiped it down and cleaned it up a bit. Very minimal yellowing.

  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Well anything before OS9 has very little resemblance to OS X -- the current Mac OS, nor the stability of osx.

    Remember that OSX is almost 10 years old by itself. Personally I don't have time to play with really old equipment... but whatever turns you on I guess. =)

    PS iPhone has over 50 times the processing power than that =p
  6. Rodus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2008
    Midlands, UK
    Older OS's are still fun to play around with and $18 is great for a machine that looks to be in fantastic condition. Hope the rest of the stuff turns out to be as good.
  7. pcguru83 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    Oh I fully realize that. But it's just one of those things that I do find interesting--I love the history of computing. Just before I found this thing I had finished reading "Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made". Great book.
  8. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Mar 2, 2009
    lol i love collecting old macs. dont get crazy with them like me though honestly if i look anywhere in my room i can see an old mac there is a TAM and a 512K on the same desk next to eachother lol
  9. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2006
    I used to have a small collection of retro Apple stuff - a couple of Apple II's, an Apple /// and a Mac Classic. The Classic always worked perfectly, but I had to replace the same electrolytic capacitor in the PSUs of the IIs and the /// after it went "pop".

    I also had one of those odd-looking Apple portrait monitors used in desktop publishing which I bought for next-to-nothing at a computer fair simply because I liked the weird shape, but I never got around to seeing if it actually worked.
  10. Mars478 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2008
    NYC, NY
    Good Luck and pictures please. I am going to a thrift store today to see if I can liberate an Old mac.
  11. pcguru83 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    Well, I suppose it's about time I update everyone one what I got. So here's a pretty good summary:
    • 1 Apple II Plus
    • 2 Apple IIe's
    • 2 original Apple II 5.25 disk drives
    • 2 Apple II 5.25 disk drives (Apple IIc variety)
    • 1 Apple II 3.5 floppy drive
    • 1 9" Green Monochrome display (also from an Apple IIc) w/stand
    • 2 Macintosh Plus's
    • 2 Performa 6116CD's
    • 1 Performa 430
    • 2 12" RGB Apple CRTs
    • 1 14" Apple CRT
    Quite a bit, I know. And this was only the first load! Supposedly he's got a bunch more stuff (along with some more software) that I'm going to meet him next Saturday to get.

    While this list might look somewhat decent, the stuff is in pretty rough physical condition. Seems as if the items have been left outside (or in a poorly covered garage). I've cleaned most of it up as best I could, and it made a pretty big difference. I'm pretty happy overall.

    So obviously the biggest finds in all of that was the Apple II Plus and the Apple IIe. What an interesting night I've had with those things tonight. Initially, I couldn't get any of the three to power on with the tell-tale "beep". I focused my attention initially on the Apple II Plus. Thanks to some advice from the Low End Mac Vintage Mac group, I just simply unseated all the cards and reseated them. And wouldn't you know it, I got a nice satisfying "beep" from the system! So I plugged up a video cable to the monochrome monitor and I had an image! The "Apple ][" logo was clearly visible at the top of the screen. Unfortunately, there are evenly spaced vertical lines that run the length of the screen. Also, quite a few of the keys on the keyboard don't seem to work well, if at all. The vertical line issue seems easy enough to fix according to a repair manual I found online. Seems one that's generally caused by one of the chips on the "D" row and most of these chips can be purchased online from somewhere like Not sure of the status of the disk drives for the Apple II Plus since I don't have any software, so I'm not sure how best to test that they function. I do have one 5.25 floppy in hand (with some more on their way), so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to trying a few things.

    So I then moved onto the Apple IIe's. These were a little more tricky. Long story short, one of them had a bad power supply. When connected to a good power supply, both of them power right up. I was quite frankly extremely surprised by this because these things look terrible--looks like they were just pulled from the trash bin. I'm in the process of getting them both cleaned up after fully dismantling them both, so they should look much better soon enough.

    Funny story about these two Apple IIes though. I started out with 2 good power supplies--one from the Apple II Plus and one from one of the Apple IIes. While I had one of the Apple IIe's booted up, I went over to the computer to google some AppleSoft Basic commands I could try out. Right as I turned back around to type in the command I was going to try, I hear this incredibly loud "Pop!" followed by lots of magical blue smoke escaping. It scared me so badly I tripped backwards slightly and fell into the closet door. :D Obviously, one of the two good power supplies bit the dust via a blown capacitor, likely from sitting unused for so long. So now I'm down to only one good power supply. :(

    I'm undecided on what I'm going to do with these. One of the Apple IIes has got some funky, distorted video issue, so I'll probably just use that for spare parts for the good one. I'm just not sure where I want to allocate this one good power supply. I'm leaning towards putting it in the Apple IIe that I know works very, very well (no video issues, actually ran a few AppleSoft Basic commands once I recovered from the "incident") and just keeping the Apple II Plus around for "show".

    I've got two G5 CPUs mounted in a shadow box hanging on my wall with a G5 logo in the middle (those CPUs are very cool looking). I'd kind of like to maybe do something like that with the Apple II Plus mainboard. Not sure though, that just kind of almost seems "wrong" to me though.

    I'm still getting things cleaned up a bit, but I'll try to post some pics tomorrow night. :)
  12. nwassault macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2009
    I picked up a similar SE for $2 recently (it was the opening bid, and I was the only bidder). I also managed to pick up a StyleWriter II printer. There are several older machines I'd like to get ahold of still including an iMac G3, a Mac 128k, a TAM, a Macintosh TV, and either a Lisa or Max XL (kinda leaning towards the Lisa, though).
  13. pcguru83 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    There's currently an ad on Craigslist here with a guy selling an iMac G3 for only $20. I've already got a G3 PowerMac, but I'm contemplating picking the iMac G3 up too. I'm running out of room though...
  14. Theclamshell macrumors 68030

    Mar 2, 2009
    congrats! and also would you mind also posting the pic of the G5`s on your wall? sounds interesting
  15. kymac macrumors 6502a


    Nov 4, 2006
    this sounds like its turning into another hoard story and a money pit! but hopefully it brings you fun for a little while
  16. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Same can be said about someone who collects and pumps money into old cars. Some of us just have different habits on what we choose to collect.
  17. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I originally had a Mac Plus with a 30mb (megs....!) external SCSI HD which I got brand new back in the late 80s. My brother bought a new Mac SE shortly after that, and wound up never using it, so it wound up in my closet tucked away for over 16 years. When my Mac Plus blew it's monitor quite a few years back, I got a used Mac SE30, then moved on to a PowerComputing tower (still have both - and they both work fine.) I still have all my original Apple manuals and software, and all the programs I bought over the years for my Mac Plus (love them floppies.) About a year ago I pulled both SEs out of my closet, fired them up - and had a blast. It's amazing - I still have MS Word 5.1, Excel 2.2, Quark 3, MS Works, and even Sim City - all work with 1 meg RAM. I've got a SCSI 270meg external HD with almost everything archived on it, as well as a SCSI Zip drive and 20 disks - all full of software.

    My PowerTower 604 (clone by PowerComputing of Austin, TX) ran (still runs) system 7.6, one of the better early Mac systems.

    My last Mac (before my current MBP) was a Blue/White G3 300mhz tower with the matching 17" Apple CRT monitor. The monitor, sadly, finally blew up, but the G3 B/W still runs (system 8.5.)

    I also have a functional Apple Imagewriter dot matrix printer - heavy as hell. I don't know where I'd get ribbons for it... or accordion fold paper with the rip off tractor drive holes - but I can't quite get rid of it, yet.

    What was so fun about the Mac Plus (and now the SEs) was all the little init software, and the sound effects you could set up for different functions like inserting a floppy, making an error, booting, shutting down, ejecting a floppy, etc. Most sound effects were audio bits from movies or tv shows, or silly stuff. Who needed games back then, the Mac was just a fun machine compared to the dull world of character-based 16 color computing in the DOS side of things. Even in b/w, the bit-mapped Mac 9" screen could simulate shadows, grays with cross-hatching, much like a pen sketch artist. The WYSIWYG text was amazing, and the professional looking documents that could be produced on an Apple Laser printer in those days was incredible. All with an 8mhz processor and 1meg RAM. And running a windowing user interface.

    Sometimes the old Mac stuff is really fun, especially when you think about how groundbreaking so much of it was. I'll probably never sell my Mac SEs.

Share This Page