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View Full Version : Woo-hoo! Picked up a 128K today - 1983 Manufacture!



Anonymous Freak
January 27th, 2010, 11:37 PM
To quote the message I posted on the 68kMLA (http://68kmla.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12647):

YES! :D

EDIT: Info that I found out after typing all of the below, but decided needs to be first: It's a 1983 manufacture! Serial number F352035M0001. And, at present, it is now the only 'full serial number' with a 1983 manufacture date listed in the M0001 Registry (http://www.mac128.com/m0001)! (Do I really have the oldest known 'production' 128 left in existence?)

Original post: It's an original "Macintosh", doesn't even say "128k" on the back. Complete with keyboard and numeric keypad, and mouse and external floppy drive that both have 'knobby' knobs. Plus a few disks of software (mostly shareware games,) on actual single-sided floppy disks. And, as a bonus, it has both directions of power cord ('right hand bend' and 'left hand bend') as well as a 9-pin to 25-pin serial cable, with old fashioned knobs on the 9-pin side.

The seller is a semi-pro musician, and he had bought this when it was new in early 1984. It was used for many years before being retired to its blue canvas carry bag (also included.) It has a bunch of his (now grown, full-pro musician) son's files on one of the disks. A resume and a couple of college papers, in MacWrite.

The actual computer works absolutely perfectly, and has a 512K RAM upgrade (I haven't opened it up, so I don't know if it's an in-place chip upgrade, or if it had its logic board swapped.) Sadly, the mouse appears to have broken off one of its optical interrupter wheels, as I can hear a rattle, and the left/right is VERY flaky. Also, the external floppy drive appears to be completely dead. It doesn't even TRY to work. So I'm restricted to a single floppy; and am using my Platinum 9-pin mouse.

Pics on my Computers (http://www.hurtley.info/newhome/Computers.html) web page. (Including the serial number)

Total cost? $260 cash plus about $5 of gas, and $40 lost wages taking part of the afternoon off.

P.S. I just spent half my iPad budget... I think I made the right choice.

Mr.Amiga500
January 28th, 2010, 05:27 AM
P.S. I just spent half my iPad budget... I think I made the right choice.

Congratulations! Yes, I'd say you definitely made the right choice. That Mac will only go up in value. The iPad will end up in a landfill somewhere.

Bah! I can't see the large pictures on your web page. I only see thumbnails. Is it flash or something?

Anonymous Freak
January 28th, 2010, 08:29 AM
Congratulations! Yes, I'd say you definitely made the right choice. That Mac will only go up in value. The iPad will end up in a landfill somewhere.

Bah! I can't see the large pictures on your web page. I only see thumbnails. Is it flash or something?

No, it's an Apple iWeb-created, MobileMe-hosted AJAX site. Works for me in Safari on OS X and Chrome in Windows.

Mr.Amiga500
January 28th, 2010, 10:09 AM
I'm using Firefox 2.0 in BeOS.

Anonymous Freak
January 28th, 2010, 11:46 AM
Eh.... Firefox 2.0 is old enough that I doubt AJAX works properly on it.

Here are direct links to the three pictures of it:
http://www.hurtley.info/newhome/Computers_files/Media/IMG_0061/web.jpg
http://www.hurtley.info/newhome/Computers_files/Media/IMG_0063/web.jpg
http://www.hurtley.info/newhome/Computers_files/Media/IMG_0064/web.jpg

Mr.Amiga500
January 28th, 2010, 02:58 PM
Ah, thanks. That's not too yellow - just a bit of a yellow spot on the back. (better than on front)

Starshadow
January 30th, 2010, 03:58 PM
Wait? There's a registry list somewhere that helps track the "survivors"? I need to post my 128k on there. Yours looks great btw. I don't have any original disk for mine, I just use my Mac Plus to format 800k disk as single sided disk, and I have a floppy image of my boot disk stored on the Plus. I found that the old Klondike Solitaire will work on a 128k, and maybe Shufflepuck.

Yzzerdd
February 4th, 2010, 09:19 PM
Very nice. I sold a non-functioning early 128K yesterday. Case was cracked, but internals were mostly good. Anyhow, traded it for a nice Macintosh SE with a non-installed Superdrive kit, keyboard, mouse, and an external 800K drive. It's an SE 4/40, that is, 4MB RAM and a 40MB drive. I feel like we both got a good deal. I was selling on fleabay for $50, and ended up selling to a watcher who was in the area, so did it off eBay.

Congrats on your purchase. The 128K is cool, but useless without the 512K upgrade. From what I've read, even at the intro for the 128K, they had installed a 512K upgrade prototype of some sort.

--Ryan

Anonymous Freak
February 5th, 2010, 09:45 AM
Yeah, if I remember the story correctly, (It's on folklore.org somewhere,) the original Macintosh was supposed to have at LEAST 256 KB of RAM, but cost concerns made them drop it to 128K at the last minute. And, yes, the one used during the launch demo was a 512K model.

bluethunder
February 11th, 2010, 04:10 PM
Took my old mac down from the shelf. Bought it years ago from the salvation army store.

Turns out it is an original mac (Macintosh.. no 128k). Too bad I don't have any disks to run it with.

My SN is F4284YEME0001. Not sure how the 2 compare age wise..

Wonder if I can make system discs with my SE/30 for it....

glitch
February 11th, 2010, 04:20 PM
Sure, you can make system disks with any Mac old enough to format 400K disks! Grab a copy of DiskImage from Apple's software repository (it's free) and the images for the version of the System Software you want (also free, for the really old stuff).

Anonymous Freak
February 12th, 2010, 08:32 AM
My SN is F4284YEME0001. Not sure how the 2 compare age wise..

The Serial number is easy to decode.

Letters at the beginning denote place of manufacture: F = Fremont, CA
First numeric digit is the last number in the year of manufacture: 4 = 1984
Next two numbers are the week it was made: 28 = Week 28 = July 8 - 14th, 1984
Next come three letters/numbers denoting the production order. This is in base 36 (aka, it uses all the letters plus the digits 0-9.) 4YE = 5726th manufactured that week
Finally comes the model: ME0001. Unless you have some heretofore unknown model, it's likely that you just duplicated the "E" from before the M, and it really reads M0001, which is the model number for all 128K Macs. (They didn't change the model number when they added the "128K" to the back.) The 512K is M0001W, the 512Ke is M0001E or M0001D, the Plus is M0001A. It isn't until the SE that the model is no longer "M0001" something...

vwestlife
February 16th, 2010, 06:17 PM
Yeah, if I remember the story correctly, (It's on folklore.org somewhere,) the original Macintosh was supposed to have at LEAST 256 KB of RAM, but cost concerns made them drop it to 128K at the last minute. And, yes, the one used during the launch demo was a 512K model.
MacWrite can only hold 8 pages of text in memory on a 128K machine, so it's no wonder that the demo needed much more than that.

Atari ran into even worse problems with their announced 130ST computer in 1985. The release version of the operating system wouldn't even fit in RAM with only 128K, so they upgraded the production model to 512K, and sold it as the 520ST. (With its 68000 processor, plentiful RAM, and dirt-cheap price, the Atari ST series gained some fame as an early platform for Macintosh emulation.)

Mr.Amiga500
February 16th, 2010, 06:37 PM
Yeah, lots of companies at that time tried to skimp on RAM because of the cost. The Amiga 1000 came out with 256K and there were complaints about that in early reviews. Even 512K is barely enough to be useable with GUI software.

Then there was the RAM shortage of '87 - when prices went up for the first time. I wonder how much that RAM shortage delayed the development of complex GUI software back then.

Yzzerdd
February 16th, 2010, 07:23 PM
Heck, my SE has 2MB and thats not even enough for alot of the 7.1 programs! Excel wants 502K more, and Word wants some amount more as well. I know for sure Excel WILL run though, just slowly. Thats with a disk cache of only 32K, whereas I would like it around 128K. I'm upgrading it to 4MB sometime this week for just that reason--it needs more memory to function on a higher level. OTOH, my Plus came with 4MB of RAM already.

It blows my mind that Apple made such advanced machines back then. 4MB of memory max when PC maxed out at 640K. Up to 3 1.44MB drives could be installed(maybe even more, daisy-chained) when most PC's still had 2 360K drives, or maybe even 1.2MB. Even the earlier 800K beat the crap out of 360K. (yes, I realize that the 128K and 512K had 400K and crap for memory. Hence why I'm not saying that THOSE were nice machines. The Plus and up were, though). Onboard sound sweetened the deal, as did the amazing GUI interface, time/date memory built in, high 20/40MB HDDs, standard mouse, and compact size. The compact size of the Macintoshes (and Macintosh Portable) didn't mean a crappy keyboard either. They were very respectable.

Just my thoughts.

--Ryan

vwestlife
February 16th, 2010, 10:53 PM
It blows my mind that Apple made such advanced machines back then. 4MB of memory max when PC maxed out at 640K. Up to 3 1.44MB drives could be installed(maybe even more, daisy-chained) when most PC's still had 2 360K drives, or maybe even 1.2MB. Even the earlier 800K beat the crap out of 360K. (yes, I realize that the 128K and 512K had 400K and crap for memory. Hence why I'm not saying that THOSE were nice machines. The Plus and up were, though). Onboard sound sweetened the deal, as did the amazing GUI interface, time/date memory built in, high 20/40MB HDDs, standard mouse, and compact size. The compact size of the Macintoshes (and Macintosh Portable) didn't mean a crappy keyboard either. They were very respectable.
To be fair, IBM really upped the ante with their PS/2 series in 1987: 286 and 386 processors, extended memory, a 32-bit expansion bus, plug-and-play configuration, hi-res (at the time) color VGA video, 1.44 MB floppy drives, built-in mouse port, etc. Unfortunately as well all know, while this clean-sheet design was certainly impressive for the time, it was quite expensive (some PS/2 models cost well over $10,000 when fully equipped), and was highly "non-standard" when compared to the well established (but increasingly obsolescent) PC/XT/AT design architecture that IBM itself had invented.

Also remember that all the while the Macintosh was making these great technical and ergonomic strides, Apple's top seller and cash cow was still the 8-bit, 1977-era Apple II lineup. Especially after the expensive failures of the Apple III and Lisa, Apple never would've been able to survive the 1980s if it wasn't for the lucrative Apple II series.

Anonymous Freak
February 17th, 2010, 01:56 PM
As for comparing Apples and Oranges... :-D

When Apple came out with the Macintosh Plus, with its 800K floppy drive and 4 MB RAM ceiling, IBM already had the PC/AT at that point (came out within a month of the original Macintosh,) which could take up to 16 MB RAM, had a roughly equivalent processor (6 or 8 MHz 286,) and came with a 1.2 MB floppy drive plus a 20 MB hard drive, and EGA (640x350 at 64 colors.) And at the same time as the Plus, Compaq released the first 386 computer, the DeskPro 386, with a 16 MHz 32-bit CPU with up to 64 MB of RAM. This was two years before the Macintosh IIx.

And as vwestlife said, the PS/2 series came out before the SE and Macintosh II, and were very competitive. Apple wasn't even the first with 1.44 MB floppy drives. They were a little late to the game, choosing to go with a PC-compatible 1.44 MB drive instead of continuing their custom GCR scheme that would have allowed higher density. (Apple was the first to use the 3.5" floppy drive, with the single-sided one in the original Macintosh, but IBM's PC Convertible was the first to have a two-sided 3.5" drive.)


Wonder if I can make system discs with my SE/30 for it....

And if your SE/30 has a copy of Disk Copy on it, you can write single-sided (400K) disk images to a double-sided (800K) disk just fine. There are a few places on the 'net to download old Mac System Software disk images, and you can get Disk Copy from Apple's "Old Software" repository.

One warning: If you use a double-sided disk in a single-sided computer, do not plan on using that disk as double-sided again. Some single-sided drives have had their 'backside pad' wear out, and will destroy the magnetic layer on the other side of the disk. Yeah, it's not a guarantee by any stretch, and I have had success moving from single-sided to double-sided again, but you should assume that you will be permanently relegating that disk to single-sided status.

dorkbert
February 17th, 2010, 04:16 PM
Then there was the RAM shortage of '87 - when prices went up for the first time. I wonder how much that RAM shortage delayed the development of complex GUI software back then.If memory serves, the shortage was self-inflicted no less; as a result of punitive action against Japanese DRAM manufacturers for dumping. Or how we taugh "them" to sell less and charge more.

Mr.Amiga500
February 18th, 2010, 08:29 AM
If memory serves, the shortage was self-inflicted no less; as a result of punitive action against Japanese DRAM manufacturers for dumping. Or how we taugh "them" to sell less and charge more.

That's right. My timeline is a bit off though - the RAM shortage was in '88, not '87. (That makes more sense. I remember standard RAM on new computers kept increasing until '88, then stagnated for a year or two.)

Here's a quote from Macworld "Scrapbook '88":
As the result of some Reagan administration trade policy efforts that may be charitably described as mistaken, the price of memory rose 150 percent.This was outstandingly bad news for software developers who, having seen prices drop for several years, figured that 1-megabyte SIMMs would soon drop below $100, opening the door for large, feature-rich programs.

vwestlife
February 18th, 2010, 02:13 PM
That's right. My timeline is a bit off though - the RAM shortage was in '88, not '87. (That makes more sense. I remember standard RAM on new computers kept increasing until '88, then stagnated for a year or two.)

Here's a quote from Macworld "Scrapbook '88":
As the result of some Reagan administration trade policy efforts that may be charitably described as mistaken, the price of memory rose 150 percent.This was outstandingly bad news for software developers who, having seen prices drop for several years, figured that 1-megabyte SIMMs would soon drop below $100, opening the door for large, feature-rich programs.
It must've seemed downright ridiculous for the Mac IIx and SE/30 to support up to 128 MB of RAM at that time!

tezza
February 18th, 2010, 03:26 PM
Also remember that all the while the Macintosh was making these great technical and ergonomic strides, Apple's top seller and cash cow was still the 8-bit, 1977-era Apple II lineup. Especially after the expensive failures of the Apple III and Lisa, Apple never would've been able to survive the 1980s if it wasn't for the lucrative Apple II series.

Yes, this fact is often forgotten. The Mac was the glamour machine but it was the good old Apple II line that kept Apple's bottom line in the black through most of the 1980s.

Tez