What IS that 1980s Apple Macintosh smell?

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
I really hope someone knows what I'm talking about or this is going to sound crazy.

Even today, if I smell the top vents of my A500, the warm electronics or plastic give off a very nostalgic and very specific smell. I've only smelt it before on 80s Apple Macintoshes.

The smell is very hard to describe. Perhaps like a sweet burning? Or a plasticy pepper? It's very high up in the nose or palette. Smell yours. Your Macintosh Classic I mean.

What I want to know is why we don't smell it elsewhere and what it is. It's obviously a chemical or part that is no longer used.

Get smelling!...

Thanks!!
 

MacTech68

macrumors 68020
Mar 16, 2008
2,185
149
Australia, Perth
Could be many things, but I wonder if it's Ozone, produced by the corona of the high voltage stages for the CRT.

However, a strong Ozone smell could usually indicate an early sign of failure in a monitor. There are other sources where it's production is not indicative of a fault, such as laser printers. If you look at the LaserWriter II series, you'll find an "Ozone Filter" next to the upper fan.

Be careful if it IS Ozone - it's detrimental to mucus tissues in animals.
 
  • Like
Reactions: IIeBoy

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
Could be many things, but I wonder if it's Ozone, produced by the corona of the high voltage stages for the CRT.

However, a strong Ozone smell could usually indicate an early sign of failure in a monitor. There are other sources where it's production is not indicative of a fault, such as laser printers. If you look at the LaserWriter II series, you'll find an "Ozone Filter" next to the upper fan.

Be careful if it IS Ozone - it's detrimental to mucus tissues in animals.
Thanks for the heads up, however you could smell it before turning on a new Macintosh. And it's the Amiga keyboard CPU unit that smells like it, not the monitor
 

Gamer9430

macrumors 68020
Apr 22, 2014
2,203
1,116
Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
I smell it too... when i first got my 512ke, i just thought it was old plastic or some smell from sitting in a closet at the previous owner's house for 20 years... Then I got my SE from someone else and it had the same smell. So yes, there is this "1980s Macintosh Smell" that you speak of, LOL
 
  • Like
Reactions: IIeBoy

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
An Amiga friend says it's the smell of warming up ABS plastic. Who's got some Lego lying around to test?