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View Full Version : what a bunch of well designed machines



vic user
July 20th, 2005, 07:57 AM
i have a ton of old mac's, like centris 610's, iisi's, plusses, that sort of thing.

anyway, i snagged a lcII for a couple of bucks at goodwill, and since it has such a slim case i wanted to use it for a certain project, but the previous owner installed norton antivirus etc.. and since i don't know the person's password and all that, decided to swap hard drives with another one of my mac's, and avoid the headaches of the norton protected hd.

i have never had any need to open up any of my mac's, so was a newbie at fiddling with the inards of the mac's.

quite literally, within 3 minutes, i was able to swap not only the hd but also the fd from a iisi to the lcii, and didn't even have to use any form of tool.

man, whoever designed those machines did a damn good job.

chris

Unknown_K
July 22nd, 2005, 10:54 PM
Try adding memory or vram to a quadra 800/840av and you wont think so (remove the case, all cables, and then the motherboard to get to the ram sockets).

vic user
July 26th, 2005, 10:36 AM
ouch!

is the cenrtis like a weakened version of a quadra?

the only thing i wish with the se and the se30, is that they should have been easier to replace the battery.

the mac plusses have a nice battery case on the outside, yet i will need a crazy tool to replace the battery in my se30

chris

carlsson
July 26th, 2005, 04:52 PM
As long as the memory module holder is made of steel or some other material that doesn't get dry and break(*) after a few years, I'm quite OK with disassembling half the computer to replace the module once in a while.

(*) IBM, do you hear me? I used to know some old PS/2 model 50-ish which were equipped with 72-pin SIMM sockets and plastic tabs. Ten years after production, it was very easy to snap off the handle. I solved it with putting tape on top of all the modules and secure it to the nearby PSU or so, but I realize it is a highly temporary solution as the tape will also dry out.

Blackcube
August 7th, 2005, 09:23 AM
Try adding memory or vram to a quadra 800/840av and you wont think so (remove the case, all cables, and then the motherboard to get to the ram sockets).

That is the worst case design by Apple - maybe one of the worst from a OEM ever.

Mad-Mike
August 7th, 2005, 03:29 PM
All my Mac's that I've had except the 6100/60 were pretty bad to work on...

I got a Power Mac 7100/80 at a thrift for $10, looked like someone had taken a screwdriver and wire cutters to the hard disk as the hard drive cable connector was all mashed up and broken off, and the wires to the power supply had been CUT!! I managed to patch it back together with the hard drive from the 6100/60 and duct taped the wires back together with some pretty red duc-tape, but there were two other problems, the CMOS battery and the RAM. The only CMOS battery I could get was a solder in type for a Mac 128, so I had to cut the wires off the ends and file them flat, then I had to take almost ALL of the case apart to be able to get my big fat fingers to manipulate the CMOS battery into it's holder. I ALSO had to do this to get to the memory and upgrade that.

Then there's the "Road Apple" (called that for some reason I can't explain), a Mac 5200/LC, which had a built in screeen! It was not even obvious how to open this thing! I took most of the back apart to find I had to unscrew a panel right below another plastic panel where the neck of the CRT should be, pull out a little metal handle, and yank the motherboard out the back. It was not even labeled or obvious. Not too long after installing a new battery and some RAM, I had to junk it due to the screen dying.

So that leaves me with what's left of my 6100/60, and the 7100/80 that sits right next to me on my desk. What frightens me most? Opening that 7100/80 again, If I ever upgrade it some more, I'm going to have to set about 2 hours for some "Macintosh Time".

animekenji
November 15th, 2005, 10:21 AM
I was looking for a PowerMac 7500 a few years back because of the expandability. I mentioned it to my brother (who works for the IT department of a major Wall street brokerage) and a few weeks later he got me one!!! I couldn't believe it!! They had a bunch of old computers headed for the recycle bin and let the IT guys take their pick on their way out the door. If you want an early PowerMac, the 7500 is one of the best ones to get, even over one of the 8000 or 9000 series machines.

Oh, the 'road apple' thing was created by a Mac website owner (www.lowendmac.com/roadapples/index.shtml) who used to write for a couple of the early Mac magazines to describe a Mac model that looked good on paper, but the real world performance was hampered in some way to make it less usable than you thought it would be when you bought it. Apple did a lot of strange things with the Macs like sometimes running 32 bit chips on 16 bit motherboards or mismatching the clock speeds so you would end up with something like a 32mhz chip running on a 16mhz board which doesn't sound bad when you think about the 486-DX/2 which did basically the same thing only we are talking about 68020 and 68030 chips, here. They were NOT designed as clock doubled chips. The 486-DX/2 was designed to deal with the bottlenecks caused by running a fast chip on a slow MB. The Motorola chips were not and they spent a LOT of time waiting for the bus to clear before they could send or receive new data. It sometimes resulted in a brand new Mac that ran slower than a model that was 3 years old.

The scenario usually went something like this:

Mr. Jobs notices one day that there are an awful lot of parts from outdated models hanging around cluttering up the office. Being the shrewd businessman that Mr. Jobs is, he naturally doesn't want to discard these parts or liquidate them at fire sale prices, so he brainstorms for a bit about what to do with all these leftover bits and says "Ah, we can take all these odd bits and bobs and design a new computer! So what if the parts are slower than our current models. So what if they have the wrong CPU socket on them. We'll clean them up, remove the 030 sockets, solder in PPC sockets (and if all the pins don't get connected up, we won't worry about that as long is it runs well enough to ship) and then we'll create so much hype in the media about them that maybe nobody will notice that they run about 1/3 as fast as they should until it's too late and we've gotten rid of all of this junk." They then proceed to market dozens of machines, all with a shelf life of about 6 weeks, (anyone else remember how short Mac sales cycles were during the late 80s/ and into the 90s?) creating mass confusion among the Mac users until the media is able to sort out what the hell just happened and tell us all how badly we were just ripped off by Apple.

vic user
January 6th, 2006, 03:21 AM
well, i was given an external hard drive the other day, and i connected it to my SE30 running 7.1, and no problems.

then i removed all the files from the external, dragged and dropped most of the se30's hd contents onto the external, and then plugged the external onto a SE running 6.03, and again no problems!

in fact, my SE ran 7.1 from the external, without any prompting, superceding the OS 6.03 on the SE, and then when i was finished with it, disconnected the external and was back using OS 6.03 on my SE again!

i'm sorry, but that was super simple and i didn't have to do barely anything.

that is good design!

chris

SmellyGeekBoy
July 26th, 2007, 09:31 AM
Don't forget the Mac Mini! I upgraded the RAM and HDD in mine, you need to dismantle the whole thing. Step one is jimmying it apart with an assortment of putty knives - ouch!

:|

Thrashbarg
July 26th, 2007, 09:56 AM
Mr. Jobs notices one day that there are an awful lot of parts from outdated models hanging around cluttering up the office.

I didn't know Jobs was at Apple during that time frame. Dark days though. I had a 6300 PowerPC a few years ago, it was a lemon. No GeoPort, poor performance, etc. I installed Microsoft Office 98 on it and the boot time went from about twenty seconds to about two minutes.

...well, I suppose that's to be expected.

SmellyGeekBoy
July 26th, 2007, 10:58 AM
I have a 5200, that was a pretty poor machine. No wonder Apple were struggling at the time!

Micom 2000
July 26th, 2007, 06:55 PM
Macs to me, were always unfriendly. They removed the operator from the OS even more than MS$ despite Apples claims. I have a bunch of Mac models and remember well my trials with a Mac +. My favorites are the IIci and the 7100 AV which I was lucky enough to get the proprietory monitor for. Otherwise you had to get a high-priced adaptor for it. The AV card addition was brilliant with the common video inputs.

I do believe however that the Macs were much superior with graphics and sound to MS$. Possibly why they became the computer of choice for most graphic designers. The Amigas actually were better with graphics and the Toasters confirmed their reign. The Atari STs were better with their sound programs, abetted by the midi inputs and the NEXT was likely the best overall but wasn't around long enough to prove itself.

Lawrence

Unknown_K
July 26th, 2007, 08:36 PM
Macs to me, were always unfriendly. They removed the operator from the OS even more than MS$ despite Apples claims. I have a bunch of Mac models and remember well my trials with a Mac +. My favorites are the IIci and the 7100 AV which I was lucky enough to get the proprietory monitor for. Otherwise you had to get a high-priced adaptor for it. The AV card addition was brilliant with the common video inputs.

I do believe however that the Macs were much superior with graphics and sound to MS$. Possibly why they became the computer of choice for most graphic designers. The Amigas actually were better with graphics and the Toasters confirmed their reign. The Atari STs were better with their sound programs, abetted by the midi inputs and the NEXT was likely the best overall but wasn't around long enough to prove itself.

Lawrence

The Amiga was better in NTSC graphics, anything VGA and up the Mac won hands down over the Amiga. The Macs became the computer of choice for graphic designers because of the machines ability to hold tons of RAM, had high resolution 24 bit video cards (mutliple if you had the slots and the money), and great software support.

SmellyGeekBoy
July 28th, 2007, 05:32 AM
Macs to me, were always unfriendly. They removed the operator from the OS even more than MS$ despite Apples claims.
Lawrence

In all fairness to Apple however (and I'm not an Apple fanboy by any means) I think that's pretty much what they were aiming for. The Mac has always pretty much been an "appliance" more than a computer, and removing users from the more technical side of the computers' inner workings was probably what most users wanted, especially in the early days when people weren't so familiar with them.

That said, OS X does have a great terminal program that allows full, unadulterated access to the underlying Unix system, which is about as close to the OS as you can get!

nige the hippy
July 28th, 2007, 06:14 AM
For ease of doing things to (& reliability & lack of noise and.....),
it's hard to beat the little Compaq Deskpros (I'm writing this on one) click, the lid's off, another click, the drives hinge up, another click and they slide out(if you need to remove one that is) card cage & psu just lift out... motherboard socket row hinges out (on another spring clip), and that allows the motherboard to slide backwards, off it's supports & then that comes out.
I reckon I could swap a motherboard in 5 minutes.
Only downside is that the floppy tends to get fluffy because air is drawn through it.
I should have snaffled the slightly more modern one I saw at the dump, just for the built in cd and increased drive space. (it may have had a faster processor in too I think i may be up to the limit at 1G)
OOPS a bit O.T. but...

nige the hippy
July 28th, 2007, 06:22 AM
Rambling on a bit more....

Isn't it odd that the the makers of the PC were a huge corporation with a great degree of "user hostility" & the founders of Apple were a couple of hobbyists, and yet of the two it is the internals of the Apple machines which are shrouded in mystery.
:confused:

SmellyGeekBoy
July 28th, 2007, 09:02 AM
Rambling on a bit more....

Isn't it odd that the the makers of the PC were a huge corporation with a great degree of "user hostility" & the founders of Apple were a couple of hobbyists, and yet of the two it is the internals of the Apple machines which are shrouded in mystery.
:confused:

Interesting thoughts, but you have to bear in mind that Wozniak was the hobbyist, Jobs was and always has been primarily a businessman.

Micom 2000
July 28th, 2007, 02:38 PM
[QUOTE=Mad-Mike;11058]

"Then there's the "Road Apple" (called that for some reason I can't explain), "

Don't know if this was facetious, but as a kid in northern Canada, "road apples" were horse droppings which when frozen we often used in street hockey as a replacement for pucks when not available. Similar to the derogatory designation of the DEC POS operating system. Piece Of Sh-t.

Lawrence

Starshadow
July 31st, 2007, 01:49 PM
Mr. Jobs notices one day that there are an awful lot of parts from outdated models hanging around cluttering up the office. Being the shrewd businessman that Mr. Jobs is, he naturally doesn't want to discard these parts or liquidate them at fire sale prices, so he brainstorms for a bit about what to do with all these leftover bits and says "Ah, we can take all these odd bits and bobs and design a new computer! So what if the parts are slower than our current models. So what if they have the wrong CPU socket on them. We'll clean them up, remove the 030 sockets, solder in PPC sockets (and if all the pins don't get connected up, we won't worry about that as long is it runs well enough to ship) and then we'll create so much hype in the media about them that maybe nobody will notice that they run about 1/3 as fast as they should until it's too late and we've gotten rid of all of this junk." They then proceed to market dozens of machines, all with a shelf life of about 6 weeks, (anyone else remember how short Mac sales cycles were during the late 80s/ and into the 90s?) creating mass confusion among the Mac users until the media is able to sort out what the hell just happened and tell us all how badly we were just ripped off by Apple.


I had a PM/5200. While it was slow , It never gave me any trouble durring the 3 years I had it. It was like an old Schooner durring a time of steamships, Not the fastest thing on the water, but it was darn reliable.

Another "Road Apple" I used and still own is the Classic II. Not a bad little Mac and i found it to be quite peppy among the old B/W Macs. I never had the Chips to get an SE/30 past 8 megs, so in my case, my Classic II had more ram.

SmellyGeekBoy
August 1st, 2007, 02:48 AM
Of course, Mr. Jobs didn't work at Apple during the days of the Power Macs. He left in the mid-80s and came back in 1997.