View Full Version : Various questions about Mac Classic II

May 26th, 2012, 12:51 PM
I have a nice specimen of the above coming to me. I know the SE/30 is superior, but I like the look of the Classic II better. This will be my very first vintage mac (I've had OS X machines for the past six years). I wanted to ask a few questions about the capabilities of these machines. Is OS 6 the lowest OS I can place on this? Could I go down to OS 1 if I wanted? What are my storage options? I'm using CF cards in my vintage PC as a HDD replacement. Could I do something similar with the SCSI interface? Say SCSI->IDE->CF? Lastly, what kind of ram do these take? The one I'm getting has 4mb and I understand 10 is the limit. Is there 5 banks for 2mb each? Or is it 3 banks for 4,4,2? Thanks!

May 26th, 2012, 01:24 PM
lowendmac.com is a great place to get this kind of info, from the Tech Specs section. The page for the Classic II is: http://lowendmac.com/compact/macintosh-classic-ii.html

According to it, it looks like the Classic II has 2MB of RAM soldered to the mainboard and is further expandable using 2-30pin slots, for a total of up to 10MB. This would place it in the same catagory as the other '030 based Mac's with the 16bit limitation, such as the LC and Color Classic.

It also shows System 6 as being the earliest version of the OS supported. This is likely true due to the 68030 cpu.


May 27th, 2012, 10:02 AM
Yeah, I have seen that page. I didn't know if the os 6 designation was just a suggested Apple rule or if enthusiasts were able to get the other OSes on.

May 27th, 2012, 02:37 PM
I'm using CF cards in my vintage PC as a HDD replacement. Could I do something similar with the SCSI interface? Say SCSI->IDE->CF?

The easiest way to extend storage on these Macs is to get hold of a SCSI ZIP drive - they turn up quite often on auction sites or recycling places. SCSI external HDDs are harder to find. A Zip also gives you the opportunity to share data with other machines with either SCSI or Parallel Zip drives.

May 27th, 2012, 09:25 PM
I'm mostly concerned with getting abandonware from my macbook pro to the computer with the least amount of effort possible. Finding black and white mac software is harder than I thought. If something is color will it work on the b/w screen or is it going to be color only?

Anonymous Freak
May 29th, 2012, 10:07 AM
The Classic II can not run System 6 or below (other than the oddball 6.0.8L.) Only 68000 machines (such as the original Classic) can run system software below System file 2.0/Finder 4.1.

Most color software of that era also worked just fine on the black and white Macs - and the Classic II contains the QuickDraw library which lots of color software requires, so it will 'downsample' automatically.

May 29th, 2012, 03:18 PM
Mac B+W software isnt really that hard to find. Getting it onto the older machines in a readable/uncompressed format is the hard part! Software can be easily found @ http://www.macgui.com/index.php or http://macintoshgarden.org

Easiest way I found to transfer software back and forth has been a small ftp server on my network. Sneakernet works too, if you use HFSExplorer to copy the files onto diskettes. You can snag that here - http://www.catacombae.org/

Biggest problem you will run into is compression. Sometimes you will have to uncompress and recompress files on a different machine before they will be readable on the older Macs. For this I tend to use an emulator, Baslink II. I then take the virtual floppy images and use winimage to create physical diskettes.

As you can see it might take jumping through a few hoops, but it is possible. Not really hard, more just time consuming... :thumbsup:

May 29th, 2012, 06:39 PM
You're scaring me. I can't just copy apps from my Macbook to a 1.44 floppy via an USB drive and then use that disk on the Classic? Because that's my plan so far.

May 30th, 2012, 05:03 AM
...I'm using CF cards in my vintage PC as a HDD replacement. Could I do something similar with the SCSI interface? Say SCSI->IDE->CF?...
I have done just that in some Macs before, ACARD makes a good SCSI to IDE converter, and I can confirm it will work on a Mac with a IDE>CF adapter and CF card (though come CF cards can be problematic, I ONLY use Sandisk brand flash OR IBM/Hitachi Microdrive's for mine, I have had generic ones give me fits).

Its important to note, using ANYTHING other than an Apple ROM hard drive will require you to format it with a 3rd party util, or a "Patched" version of Apple HD setup program, stock HD Setup will NOT format anything but Apple brand drives.

I also concur with RickNel that ZIP (or JAZ) drives are a GREAT way to move large files back and forth, 1.44 floppys get to be a pain in the @$$ moving lots of files or large files. I keep full backups of some of my old Mac's (and SCSI enabled Apple IIgs) on JAZ drive cartridges.