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B S Magnet

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Things which do not mix — either well or at all.

I’ll start. :)

A workbench/desk where a Mac disassembly is underway, when one gets tired for the evening and turns in without making sure all the tiny screws are properly secured away…

…and a cat who, ever the opportunist, as cats are, knows you won’t tell her to get down from the no-go desk when you leave the room and turn in for the night…

…only to awake the next day to find one of two rare screws for a PowerBook is on the floor (a couple of metres from the bench/desk), whilst the other is just missing altogether — either batted someplace which won’t be found until next springtime or else chilling in the intestines of a whiskered lap companion who can, at times, be clever as heck, whilst at other times leaving you wondering how you ended up so lucky with a, um… special feline. :rolleyes:
 

crimsonRE

macrumors newbie
Mar 12, 2014
16
20
Virginia, USA
I still use several CRTs in my cave of antique computing devices (NeXT, Sun, SGI, Apple). Since I'm not in there most of the time I lay sections of bubble wrap atop the keyboards to get dust from accumulating in amongst the keys. Earlier this week, unfortunately, one of those sections slid down atop the rear portion of my SGI display (a rebadged Sony), causing the display to overheat. The image now occupies perhaps 1/3 of the center of the CRT and is very shaky. Sigh. Have to see if there are some old techs around town who can take a look at it....
I fortunately have a couple of spare CRTs around (I put together my set of UNIX workstations twenty years ago so, yeah...) so I can still see run my SGI Indigos, a beige G3 and NeXT TurboColor NeXTstation and an Apple Cube (though I could send the output for that to an Apple ADC LCD display that normally is hooked to a G4 MDD). But losing that nice big Sony CRT would be sad...
 
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B S Magnet

macrumors 68030
Original poster
I still use several CRTs in my cave of antique computing devices (NeXT, Sun, SGI, Apple). Since I'm not in there most of the time I lay sections of bubble wrap atop the keyboards to get dust from accumulating in amongst the keys. Earlier this week, unfortunately, one of those sections slid down atop the rear portion of my SGI display (a rebadged Sony), causing the display to overheat. The image now occupies perhaps 1/3 of the center of the CRT and is very shaky. Sigh. Have to see if there are some old techs around town who can take a look at it....
I fortunately have a couple of spare CRTs around (I put together my set of UNIX workstations twenty years ago so, yeah...) so I can still see run my SGI Indigos, a beige G3 and NeXT TurboColor NeXTstation and an Apple Cube (though I could send the output for that to an Apple ADC LCD display that normally is hooked to a G4 MDD). But losing that nice big Sony CRT would be sad...

I used to have one of those Sony displays from 1989. What they may have lacked in pixels (by the late ’90s) they more than made up for in a razor-sharp resolution, wide gamut and, well, mass. They were anvils.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
26,446
22,673
What doesn't mix. Well.

Me, tools and computers (or parts) whenever I am excited. More generally, that's a thing with just about anything when I'm excited. I've broken a lot of my own things because my excitement gets in the way of patience.

And even when I can contain that and work carefully and ploddingly, the process will always take a piece of me. If I am not bleeding somewhere when I'm done then nothing happened.
 

TheShortTimer

macrumors 68000
Mar 27, 2017
1,770
3,151
London, UK
Have to see if there are some old techs around town who can take a look at it....

I spent a year attempting to entice electrical engineers to repair my 80s/90s hardware and eventually I was forced to roll up my sleeves and tackle them myself. Hate to be the pessimist but I fear that you might have to fix it yourself if you're up for a challenge.
 

Doq

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2019
302
491
The Lab
Ok, bet.

A generic Windows laptop that is dead and being warranty repaired.... a recently acquired PowerBook spotted at a surplus shop, and.... community college.

After my main laptop hit the deck with board failure, I slotted in my just new to me PowerBook G4 for what was then just a temporary placement as my college laptop until I got the main back. What I didn't know, was that the RMA process for this company that I won't name was rather bummy, and I'd use that PB for the remainder of my college courses. Throughout that time, it had gotten a break in the clutch hinge, likely from age and use, and so I had a PB that suffered from floppy screen.

Next, I had dropped it. Not very far, mind, I was sitting on the floor waiting for my bus to arrive so it was just lap to ground. But, I dented the chassis, and despite my best efforts to put it back, was still warped near the combo drive always and forevermore. So I had a PB that suffered from floppy screen and had a dent.

And then, it suffered from Dead Bottom Slot Syndrome. Poor PB had gone through the ringer in just the last 6 or so months of college. But unlike Generic Windows Laptop, it'd still turn on and work and be a whole trooper.

I'm not sure when or where the Companion name came from, but I'd take it on another excursion after Generic Windows Laptop had board failure for the second time. That's a story for another time, though.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
26,446
22,673
But unlike Generic Windows Laptop, it'd still turn on and work and be a whole trooper.
This is essentially what caused me to convert to Mac, only it was OS problems and not hardware.

From 1997 on, I'd been on Windows. I was a DOS user before that, but my PC was stolen in '97 and the replacement came with Windows. Through a series of unfortunate events from 2000 to 2003 I managed to brick a motherboard and lose all my files because of a drive overlay. All this time though I'm using G4s at work to design ads and build newspapers.

I'm hating Windows/PC by this point and the only computer in the house now is a Mac that I was given for Christmas in 2001.

Around this time there's an update to OS9 for the Mac at work. At this point in my life I live on the bleeding edge of app and OS updates, so I install the update. Things get weird so I start removing extensions. That cripples the Mac, but it's still able to function.

I should mention that when I did this, I was on deadline. The newspaper had to be out the door that day. I had things I needed to do. So, I had no more time to troubleshoot this problem. I got my work done and the newspaper got out on time.

I learned two things that day. Being on the bleeding edge for updates to critical Macs when on deadline is dumb. Second, I fully realized that had this been a Windows/PC I'd have been dead in the water and my boss would have been asking me why I updated on a deadline day. I would not have had a good answer for that.

But because this was a Mac, it dealt with the issue and produced anyway. A crippled Windows install comes to a complete halt.

I went home and that Mac at home became my primary computer until 2009 when it died (the first time). After that day, I use Windows/PCs but they have never been my primary computer since.
 

Amethyst1

macrumors G3
Oct 28, 2015
8,382
9,820
[…] to find one of two rare screws for a PowerBook is on the floor (a couple of metres from the bench/desk), whilst the other is just […] chilling in the intestines of a whiskered lap companion who can, at times, be clever as heck, whilst at other times leaving you wondering how you ended up so lucky with a, um… special feline. :rolleyes:
Your cat sounds very adorable :D Joking aside, I’d be slightly worried that swallowing a screw might be potentially harmful to the cat. Is it?
 
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B S Magnet

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Your cat sounds very adorable :D Joking aside, I’d be slightly worried that swallowing a screw might be potentially harmful to the cat. Is it?

Oh, she’s an angel and I love her dearly. She’s made a cameo on here before.

For something that small (it’s one of those two, 4mm milled hex screws found on the top corners of the top case on the aluminium 15-inch PowerBook G4s) I doubt it’d be harmful. Cats, unlike humans, have a simplified digestive tract where things don’t hang around inside for too long. If you’ve been around a cat long enough, you know they have a tendency to eat things we wouldn’t dare, and they won’t hesitate to… give it back to the world it if it doesn’t sit well. :)

That said, and with 30 hours or so since I made the missing discovery, I’m fairly confident she didn’t eat it (namely because it isn’t very flavourful, obviously), and because — if you’ll indulge the euphemism — nothing special turned up in my morning maintenance of her litter box. It’s far more likely she batted both screws from the desk, then got excited when they made their tiny clinking noises as they hit the floor, then chased after one of them to bat it off into some dark corner whilst leaving the other one for me to step on and discover (ouch).
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
26,446
22,673
My G5 running Leopard trying to print to an Epson ET 8500. No amount of flicking with drivers work, just prints a bunch of code.
Usually when that happens its down to the PCL language not interpreting binary code that's in the file somewhere (EPS, AI, PDF). If there are any settings that allow you to send ASCII instead, try that.

This is one of the reasons postscript printers had it all over PCL. PCL type printers are much cheaper though, so more of them sold.
 

B S Magnet

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Things which do not mix — either well or at all.

I’ll start. :)

A workbench/desk where a Mac disassembly is underway, when one gets tired for the evening and turns in without making sure all the tiny screws are properly secured away…

…and a cat who, ever the opportunist, as cats are, knows you won’t tell her to get down from the no-go desk when you leave the room and turn in for the night…

…only to awake the next day to find one of two rare screws for a PowerBook is on the floor (a couple of metres from the bench/desk), whilst the other is just missing altogether — either batted someplace which won’t be found until next springtime or else chilling in the intestines of a whiskered lap companion who can, at times, be clever as heck, whilst at other times leaving you wondering how you ended up so lucky with a, um… special feline. :rolleyes:

Big update!

The rare screw for the aforementioned PowerBook was found! Even if it hadn’t turned up, my cat (who, of course, lost both of the screws) is still a very good kitty. :)

Edit: For the curious, it was one of the two milled Torx screws found in the top corners of the keyboard assembly of 15-inch aluminium PowerBooks, nearest the display.
 
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Alexis Trinquet

macrumors member
Mar 1, 2020
85
106
Gouvieux, France
I guess I should add that one to the list? Adding a SCSI device and forgetting about the pitfalls of SCSI voodoo.

Long story, I was trying to shoehorn in a Z100SI drive, chiefly because I have an external Zip100 drive for my LCII, and because well, my 7500/G300 (read: 7500 with a G3 card in it, a wolf in a sheep's clothing or rather, putting the "Power" in "PowerSurge"), as a bridge machine, I felt it would be convenient to have a Zip drive in it so that way I don't have to pull out my external drive and run more cables to the cable salad behind the 7500.

Well, that took an unexpected turn.

Firstly, to try and screw down the drive in the caddy, that was relatively straightforward, then, I had to shoehorn in a Molex to Berg adapter (and there is not much room for maneuvering in the first place), along with the SCSI ribbon, and finally sliding in the caddy, and with how brittle the plastics are on these Outtriger Macs, I smelled a disaster brewing from miles away.

Thankfully, I didn't snap any plastics (yay!), now to turn on the Mac and-- Uh oh...

It would boot to a grey screen, no pointer, followed by me yelling a couple of curses and other choice words that would probably make a Sailor blush. Can you see it coming? Because at this time, I didn't.

After thinking for a few minutes, and a cursory search on various forums... I thought, "maybe I configured something wrong?", and set off to try and take the drive out again, I know the drive showed signs of life on a Pentium PC (using an Adaptec AHA-2940U2W, the drive indeed was picked up by the boot ROM's device enumeration), so I figured it must work? I had the drive set to ID #2 or #3 (can't remember honestly as it has been quite a while...)

Then I tried to boot the 7500 without the zip drive connected, ran SCSIProbe, I didn't see anything unusual, so I shut the machine down, connected the drive back in, and bam! Grey screen!

At this point, I tried changing the ID jumpers, put the drive back in, fired the 7500 up aaaand, it booted!


That was it... The so-called SCSI voodoo... :rolleyes: Got me good and threw me for a loop. Just a plain ID conflict.

After buttoning back up the 7500 (and fearing the whole time that I'll break something), I just realized, that the drive is pushed in too far, as such, if I ever manage to find a Zip faceplate for the case, it'd have a huge gap between the faceplate and the drive. Oh well, I'll just wait until I can find a faceplate to readjust the drive.

Oh, before I forget, I managed to get 7.6.1 on the PM7500 at long last, but down the line I'll probably try and find the largest capacity SCSI hard drive I can (I have a few 300gb 10K RPM drives but these tend to be space heaters in their own right and need some drastic airflow to keep cool, I do not think this is a good idea to try and run them in the 7500's cramped case!)... I know I should probably go the SCSI2SD route, but I still want to retain the seeking noises of spinning rust (lol). Though had this been a PowerBook, I would've swapped in a SSD, but since it's a desktop machine and is going to stay stationary, I'll just wait until I run out of spares, I'm not in a particular hurry to replace the HDD on this machine.

I probably have another coming up, concerning my iBook G3 and its hard drive (swapping in a bigger SSD, just so I can dual-boot 10.4 and 9.2.2, although I'm still currently working up the courage of dismantling it and swapping the HDD, I took apart a PS3 before and a few iMacs (G3, G4) but they're a walk in the park compared to the iBook 😬
 

rampancy

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
478
578
USB 2.0 PCI cards with ALi chipsets and my Sawtooth Power Mac G4s. Ugh. Just about the only thing good about them is that if you plugged something into it, there would a slightly more than 50% chance that it wouldn't kernel panic them. But then again, it always seemed like the card would crash my Mac if you blowed on it. Or looked at it funny.

NEC chipset-equipped cards would generally work better and support deep sleep, but short of going on eBay they were almost impossible to reliably find in my area.
 

micahgartman

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2005
190
238
Houston, TX, USA
Have to see if there are some old techs around town who can take a look at it....
PLEASE be careful when working with CRTs. They continue to build up a static charge even if there's no power to the tube. Discharge the tube before touching ANYTHING attached to the tube. If not, you will explode ☠️

Other than that ray of sunshine, what's the model number for that monitor?
 

ifrit05

macrumors 6502
Dec 23, 2013
433
298
Near Detroit, MI. USA
PLEASE be careful when working with CRTs. They continue to build up a static charge even if there's no power to the tube. Discharge the tube before touching ANYTHING attached to the tube. If not, you will explode ☠️

Other than that ray of sunshine, what's the model number for that monitor?
Working on CRTs are easy as long as you take it slow and don't be stupid about it. To be extra safe you can leave it unplugged for a day before you discharge it. Also, remove the board from the CRT neck before servicing any CRT.
 
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B S Magnet

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Without opening another thread, one thing which can mix well:

Your quad-core G5 or 2.7GHz dual-processor G5 with a broken/faulty liquid cooling system… and putting the machine outside during the Great North American Cold Snap of 2022, routing long cords from inside to make it run nice and cool on just crisp, dry air alone.

Better get those video encodes and compiles queued up and ready! 🥶

EDIT: When I posted this reply earlier, the local air temperature was a toasty +4.1°C (39.4°F for you yanks). The current local temperature is now a mild -13.1°C (or +8.4°F for y’all metric-haters). Sure, maybe not as impressive as the plummeting thermometers in other parts of this storm’s reach, but cold enough to send your petulant quad-core G5 outside to go do some actual work. If you’re really up for a challenge, duct the exhaust back into your home, which miiiiight just be warm enough to match room temperature! :D

For folks not in North America, look at this absolute unit:

2022.12.23 bomb cyclone.png
 
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Doq

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2019
302
491
The Lab
I live in the west, so I'm pretty sure I speak for those outside of North America as well when I say

What the actual [Courage.] is that?? You mean to tell me there is an Almost Ice Age a couple timezones over? And I thought here was cold-- I'm actually considering putting the homelab on full tilt this season.

Y'all stay safe and warm out there though. Or, inside, preferrably.


Also, iPods and falls. I think I let some demon out of my old mini when I dropped it the first time and it's never worked since, even after replacing basically all the internal components. I keep that mini in a sealed box now to keep the demon from cursing everything else. Especially my 3rd Gen, which looks fantastic next to the Six Dollar eMac.
 
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B S Magnet

macrumors 68030
Original poster
I live in the west, so I'm pretty sure I speak for those outside of North America as well when I say

Not that the Pacific Northwest was spared last day: glazed ice on every surface in Seattle, I’m told, was legendary by its brutality. Then again, Seattle and Vancouver got hit with two major storms in one week — the earlier one being the one affecting the eastern half of the continent over the last couple of days. (Where I am now, it’s just cold af, but there’s no longer the serious wind or snowfall.)


What the actual [Courage.] is that?? You mean to tell me there is an Almost Ice Age a couple timezones over? And I thought here was cold-- I'm actually considering putting the homelab on full tilt this season.

Ha, not quite. It was, however, one of those rare cyclones beasts which’ll be bookmarked for generations of meteorologists to review and study — right up there in the same league as 2008, 1996, 1993, 1989, and 1983 — bur especially so 2008, 1989, and 1983, given how all of those happened at exactly the same time as this one.


Y'all stay safe and warm out there though. Or, inside, preferrably.

Except for G5s with chronic cooling issues! All of you fitting that bill, OUTSIDE NOW! :D


Also, iPods and falls. I think I let some demon out of my old mini when I dropped it the first time and it's never worked since, even after replacing basically all the internal components. I keep that mini in a sealed box now to keep the demon from cursing everything else. Especially my 3rd Gen, which looks fantastic next to the Six Dollar eMac.

:( That’s a heart breaker. If I didn’t know any better, a solder on the main board cracked, or else the board itself suffered a tiny crack created after impact with the ground.
 
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Doq

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2019
302
491
The Lab
:( That’s a heart breaker. If I didn’t know any better, a solder on the main board cracked, or else the board itself suffered a tiny crack created after impact with the ground.
Well, the board got replaced first because I saw the battery connector had snapped off clean. That worked for a bit, until the alleged demon I let out cursed that board too. After the second replacement board I decided it wasn't worth it.
 
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B S Magnet

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Well, the board got replaced first because I saw the battery connector had snapped off clean. That worked for a bit, until the alleged demon I let out cursed that board too. After the second replacement board I decided it wasn't worth it.

Containment of blue smoke is an essential component for smooth operation on all electronics.

Let out the blue smoke, and it’s curtains for the electronics.
 
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