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View Full Version : Are Mac IIs getting rare?



falter
February 8th, 2011, 09:55 PM
Just a curiousity question -- for a couple years now, I've been looking on and off for an example or two of the compact IIs (IIci, IIcx). Have not seen one for sale in ages. In fact, I only very rarely see any II units at all. Are these units actually hard to get? Or are people perhaps not bothering to list due to low values?

Unknown_K
February 8th, 2011, 11:38 PM
The IIci is probably the most manufactured of the II line and the most likely to have been kept because of the PDS slot for 030/040 CPU upgrades. Plenty of IIcx were also made but that model didn't have a PDS slot. There are issues with bad power supplies and boards that need recapped that have thinned the herd a bit.

The rarest II is probably a IIx since it wasn't around long and many people upgraded them to IIfx boards.

IIci pop up on ebay every once in a while and don't usually sell for that much. Like most vintage computer gear you either have a dozen in the basement stacked like bricks or none at all because most were hoarded or recycled before you wanted one. They used to be common as dirt on ebay and cheap, but with higher shipping costs over the years and more ebay fees people don't bother to list them much anymore, but they do seem to sell when offered.

RetroHacker_
February 9th, 2011, 04:43 AM
Another thing that might make them a bit scarcer is that the earlier II's (II, IIx, IIfx, IIRC) won't turn on if the PRAM batteries are dead. This means that someone who doesn't know about them, plugs the thing in and hits the power button, it doesn't go *bong* and they just assume it's dead.

-Ian

NeXT
February 9th, 2011, 07:32 AM
A lot more that I have come across have dead power supplies. The IICi and IICx are really bad for this.

Unknown_K
February 9th, 2011, 07:38 AM
Those power supplies can be easily fixed. I have 3 IIcx (one with a modded IIci motherboard) and a normal IIci, should pick up another IIci someday.

falter
February 9th, 2011, 07:58 AM
Yeah.. that's what I figured. ALthough with other computers on ebay that hasn't stopped people from putting $100 shipping figures on their $0.99 computer. :)

I first got on the internet with a IIci in university so that's partly why I'm interested in them. Also just like the boxy shape!

Unknown_K
February 9th, 2011, 08:05 AM
The Mac II, IIX, IIfx machines are one of my favorites along with the Quadra 950 and 840AV. I still need a plain II for the collection after managing to get a pair of IIfx and a pair of IIx over the last decade. Boxy 68K that hold a ton of Nubus cards are very handy.

falter
February 9th, 2011, 10:38 AM
The Mac II, IIX, IIfx machines are one of my favorites along with the Quadra 950 and 840AV. I still need a plain II for the collection after managing to get a pair of IIfx and a pair of IIx over the last decade. Boxy 68K that hold a ton of Nubus cards are very handy.

I have the plain II.. but no other II units. Somehow I've ended up with a lot of LC units. There was a computer store I used to frequent, where I got the II from, that had all kinds of IIx, etc -- but they were in the mistaken impression that they were worth $500+ still.. which they weren't at that point. Company went bankrupt.. surprise surprise. :)

Unknown_K
February 9th, 2011, 11:35 AM
Who knows what the stuff will be worth down the road, could be collectors will only want G3 or newer like they had when they were kids. I would rescue any Mac II or Quadra I find locally (within reason on price), they were just cool machines (to me anyway).

akator
February 9th, 2011, 08:43 PM
I also love the IIci. I would love to get one with the Apple Portrait Monitor, then a second IIci with an Apple RGB monitor.

The CPUs aren't rare yet, because I often see them for sale online, however the right one hasn't come to my attention yet. High shipping prices, bad cosmetic condition, no memory, no hard drive, no keyboard, no floppy, "untested," always something that turns me off of the purchase.

The RGB monitor isn't rare either, however the Portrait Monitor is much hardware to find. I shudder to think what the shipping would cost for either one of those CRTs :(

Unknown_K
February 9th, 2011, 10:32 PM
Untested is not an issue since most sellers on ebay are recyclers and have no clue how to connect an old Mac to a monitor. RAM, HD, keyboard, etc are not an issue to somebody who has Macs since I am sure they have spares, but the auto inject floppy drives are hard to find working these days.

What I would like is a huge Mono full page monitor on a IIci or IIsi.

RetroHacker_
March 22nd, 2011, 11:55 AM
Hehe, speaking of how common these things used to be...

I remember a vendor at a computer fair I used to go to, that had all of his used expansion cards, parts, connector adapters, cables, used drives, etc - all in Macintosh IIci/IIcx cases. He had at least 30 or 40 of them - all completely gutted, used as storage bins. They worked perfectly for that application - they stacked nicely, and the covers popped on and off. And, at the time (late 90's), they were completely worthless as computers. At the end of the show, he simply popped the covers back on them, and stacked them up in his van. Sturdier than RubberMaid too.

So yes, I do remember when these things were as common as dirt. They might be slightly less common at the moment, but they're out there.

-Ian

Moonferret
March 22nd, 2011, 03:54 PM
When I worked for a company, a number of years ago that refurbished Apple kit, we did the same. IIci & IIcx cases were used as storage boxes for holding spares.

I managed to get a palette of IIfx bases before they were scrapped. Ended up selling them off on Ebay / Yahoo for about 20-30 each at the time. Kind wish I had kept a few back considering how much they are going for these days.

I'll agree, they are out there. However, finding a working one that is in good condition is a little more tricky :/

NeXT
March 22nd, 2011, 06:30 PM
I don't know how many IIci and IIcx systems I have at the shop actually work. All the ones I have tested so far had dead power supplies.

Scott Baret
March 23rd, 2011, 01:47 PM
It's a combination of shipping costs, the PRAM battery issue previously mentioned, the lack of "charm" found in the compact Macs, the origin of the systems, and the fact there just weren't as many II series machines out there in general as there were other Macs.

If you look on eBay, you'll notice a recurring thread--Classics, Pluses, SEs, and LCs are seemingly everywhere, with a good deal of other compact models tossed in there as well. This has been the case for years now. IIs of all types have typically been less common. The factor here is how many IIs there are/were relative to the lesser models, which sold in large quantities to home and school users. It seems more computers make it out of school surplus than business surplus (where the II series was mostly used). School surplus sales featuring 68Ks seemed to be huge in the early 2000s, and many of the compacts and LCs we see today are byproducts of those sales. They also cost less to ship, even LCs with monitors (compare the weight of the 12" Apple RGB sold with most LCs to that of the 13" Hi-Res RGB and you'll notice a huge difference).

Sellers also take note of the "charm" factor of a compact Mac. They are the ones we remember as distinctly being a "Macintosh"--the machines we used for MacPaint, Shufflepuck, and Oregon Trail. We recall them from school computer labs. They figure it's going to be easier to sell an SE/30, easily the best stock black and white compact produced, than to sell a comparable Mac IIx--which is larger and can be viewed by some as "a big old box".

There are generally more IIcis than anything, and as others have said, its long production life (3.5 years) contributes to this. So does its reduced size and ability to boot from a dead, unsoldered PRAM battery. IIsis are also more common, probably because they hit the home and school market more than the others did (and again due to small size and PRAM battery issues). We've determined the scarcity of the II, IIx, IIfx, and IIcx in this thread, but nobody has mentioned the IIvx yet. It took me years to track one down. I think its compromised design and metal casing caused many to reject it outright, dumping it if they had the chance. It's certainly not a favorite of collectors, although it's not a bad computer. The IIvi, every bit as crippled as an LCII, is also scarce (especially in the US, where it wasn't sold).

In a nutshell, yes, Mac IIs are becoming somewhat uncommon, but at the same time, they can still be found from time to time and don't yet command any sort of premium.

njroadfan
March 23rd, 2011, 06:49 PM
The IIvx was more popular then many think, it was rebranded the Performa 600 and sold just about everywhere. Slow as dirt though, and yes that case was dreadful and remained so when Apple recycled it for the PowerMac 7100.

commodorejohn
March 31st, 2011, 12:38 PM
The IIvx was more popular then many think, it was rebranded the Performa 600 and sold just about everywhere. Slow as dirt though, and yes that case was dreadful and remained so when Apple recycled it for the PowerMac 7100.
Ugh, yes. Whoever set down that look for mid-'90s Macs needed to be bashed in the head >=/

NeXT
April 2nd, 2011, 01:24 PM
BuMP.
FYI, this thread encouraged me to throw up some of the II systems we had in the warehouse. They are on ebay right now and most jsut need PSU/cap work.