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Thread: Is this a fair price for 2 Mac Classics?

  1. #1
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    Default Is this a fair price for 2 Mac Classics?

    Hi everyone!

    My university's FM radio station has 2 Mac Classics in their storage room and the guy who runs it(full time employee, not a student) said he's willing to give them to me for a donation. One is a Mac classic II, and neither have mouse and keyboards. The I has a very dim screen + burnin, and II has a glitchy logic board(Got black/white squares on first boot). I was also not able to test the floppy drive due to the lack of a way to control the computer.

    Given all of this, I offered $75 CAD for the 2 macs. However, he said he wanted $75 each, or $120 for both. Considering their condition, are they worth that much? I looked on Ebay and I can't find a keyboard or mouse for them anywhere. I also read that hotplugging them can fry the ADP port, so that could be broken

    Atm I may pick up the mac classic II (Logic board can be repaired easier than the screen). But as a poor uni student, I'm leaning against it especially as I will need to find a keyboard and mouse - an impossible task in Canada. Initially, I was planning on designing my own converter to go between ADP and PS/2.

    To summarize:

    Both Macs:
    -No Keyboard or Mouse
    -Could have leaky battery, dead RAM, dead floppy, dead ADP port, other problems(nothing can be tested)

    Mac Classic II:
    -Needed to be turned on a few times before it booted(Possibly power supply)
    -Logic board finicky - will probably need a recap at minimum
    -Doesn't beep when powered on(Did they remove this feature with the later macs? I know that no audio is often a sign of a leaky battery)

    Mac Classic I:
    -Screen very dim + burn in (At minimum will need a new tube, possibly needs the inverter fixed)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The guy is out of his mind if he wants that much money for worn out scrap machines, he's a scumbag trying to rip you off.

    Both machines were worthless even when new and with as many problems as they have, especially the burned and dark CRTs, they're worth nothing as they are. I wouldn't pay more than $20 or at most $40 for both of them because you're going to spend that in more in time and materials fixing them. And that's after you open both machines and verify they're not bombs of battery goop exploded everywhere.

    The Macintosh Classic is a mystery to why it even existed. It was released in 1990 with a bog standard 68000 @ 8 MHz, which is what the original Macintosh in 1984 had, as well as the 128k, 512k, Plus and SE did. Those models were obsolete and discontinued by the time the Classic was introduced, and the Classic wasn't to clear stock of old boards because it was a NEW board design with a crappy memory daughter card that was needed to get more than 1 MB of RAM.

    The Macintosh Classic II was basically a Macintosh LC slightly modified to fit in a crackerbox case. It had all of the same compromised design faults to make it cheap and slow (as to not compete with higher end models.) It has a 68030, which is a 32 bit CPU hobbled to a 16 bit bus and a memory controller which is artificially limited to 10 MB of RAM maximum. There's no NuBus or PDS expansion slot, so upgrading this machine is basically impossible beyond the memory.

    Any ADB keyboard and mouse should work with these machines, though if you get an extended or design keyboard with extra keys, those may not work. Here's the keyboard which would have shipped with the unit:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/323274327385

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    The Macintosh Classic is a mystery to why it even existed.
    I agree it's not really worth getting right now except to save from the dumpster.

    Someone else will pay his price cause they'll think it's more rare than it is and because it has an Apple logo on it, so I think you should let them.

  4. #4
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    I say let them be somebody elses headache.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  5. #5

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    FWIW the original classic might just have the brightness turned down. The CRT however is still ruined if you can see burn-in; but it might be less obvious with the brightness turned up.

    The brightness is a software setting in control panel. There is no 'knob' on the front like the SE and SE/30 had.

    I agree these two computers are very low end. They are still reasonable value though @ $20-40 for someone that just wants to relive some old mac games, but don't want to pay Mac 512k or Mac SE prices.
    System 80 Expansion Interface located! Thanks to all who helped out and the good people in the NZ vintage computer forums!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    The guy is out of his mind if he wants that much money for worn out scrap machines, he's a scumbag trying to rip you off.

    Both machines were worthless even when new and with as many problems as they have, especially the burned and dark CRTs, they're worth nothing as they are. I wouldn't pay more than $20 or at most $40 for both of them because you're going to spend that in more in time and materials fixing them. And that's after you open both machines and verify they're not bombs of battery goop exploded everywhere.

    The Macintosh Classic is a mystery to why it even existed. It was released in 1990 with a bog standard 68000 @ 8 MHz, which is what the original Macintosh in 1984 had, as well as the 128k, 512k, Plus and SE did. Those models were obsolete and discontinued by the time the Classic was introduced, and the Classic wasn't to clear stock of old boards because it was a NEW board design with a crappy memory daughter card that was needed to get more than 1 MB of RAM.

    The Macintosh Classic II was basically a Macintosh LC slightly modified to fit in a crackerbox case. It had all of the same compromised design faults to make it cheap and slow (as to not compete with higher end models.) It has a 68030, which is a 32 bit CPU hobbled to a 16 bit bus and a memory controller which is artificially limited to 10 MB of RAM maximum. There's no NuBus or PDS expansion slot, so upgrading this machine is basically impossible beyond the memory.

    Any ADB keyboard and mouse should work with these machines, though if you get an extended or design keyboard with extra keys, those may not work. Here's the keyboard which would have shipped with the unit:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/323274327385
    I don't think he's doing it maliciously, he probably just saw the Ebay prices.

    Thank you for the keyboard link! I had looked in the past but couldn't find one. I may offer him $30 for the II or $50 for both.

    While I realize the classic isn't a great machine, I'm a huge fan of the form factor. Definitely not worth $75 to me though! There was actually a fully working mac classic w/ keyboard and mouse in my local area about a month ago for $80; I didn't buy it because that's more than I'd like to spend.

    I appreciate the info! Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Hansberry View Post
    I agree it's not really worth getting right now except to save from the dumpster.

    Someone else will pay his price cause they'll think it's more rare than it is and because it has an Apple logo on it, so I think you should let them.
    Afaik he's not going to be selling them if I don't buy them. They'll probably stay in the storage room for years, if I had to guess. Could be wrong on that. Still, it's a waste! Definitely not willing to spend anything like $120 though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    I say let them be somebody elses headache.
    I'd love a project PC to work on, so I don't mind the work they may need.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3pcedev View Post
    FWIW the original classic might just have the brightness turned down. The CRT however is still ruined if you can see burn-in; but it might be less obvious with the brightness turned up.

    The brightness is a software setting in control panel. There is no 'knob' on the front like the SE and SE/30 had.

    I agree these two computers are very low end. They are still reasonable value though @ $20-40 for someone that just wants to relive some old mac games, but don't want to pay Mac 512k or Mac SE prices.
    The burn-in is very bad(visible when the screen is off). Not sure if the brightness is turned down, since I don't have a mouse or keyboard I can't check that in the settings.

  8. #8
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    Unlike some others in this thread, I am not immediately dismissive of the Classic series Macs. When I was in high school, the Mac lab was loaded with Classics and Classic IIs, plus a few SEs. When the Mac lab was being dismantled during my junior year, I saved a couple of examples of each model from being scrapped. It was obvious that the SE was built better, but the Classic and Classic II were still decent computers, and I got a fair amount of use from them.

    The Mac Classic and Classic II were the eMacs of their day; (relatively) cheap, and intended for the educational market and first-time Mac users. The base model Classic was the first Mac to sell for under $1,000; for that price, you got 1MB of RAM and no internal hard drive, same as the Plus (or a base model Mac SE). One neat feature of the original Classic was that you could boot into System 6.0.3 from ROM by holding down Command+Option+X+O during boot-up. The Classic II was a follow-up, basically a cut-down version of the Mac SE/30, but still fairly capable.

    As far as the two units in question are concerned, as others have stated, they aren't worth anywhere near what the seller is asking if not in perfect working condition. Both models, like many other late '80s-mid '90s Macs, are known to suffer from bad surface-mount electrolytic capacitors on the logic board; this generally causes the chime to fail to sound, sometimes accompanied by a checkerboard pattern on the screen. The low screen brightness on the Classic may indeed be due to bad PRAM batteries, as the software brightness control defaults to 3 of a possible 7 if the battery is dead; any burn-in, however, is not a good sign. As for the checkerboard pattern on the Classic II, it's likely due to bad capacitors, as stated above; the fact that it isn't there all the time makes me think the PRAM battery hasn't exploded, which is a plus. If the seller doesn't come to his senses and lower the price by a great deal, I would pass.
    -Adam

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAnt316 View Post
    Unlike some others in this thread, I am not immediately dismissive of the Classic series Macs. When I was in high school, the Mac lab was loaded with Classics and Classic IIs, plus a few SEs. When the Mac lab was being dismantled during my junior year, I saved a couple of examples of each model from being scrapped. It was obvious that the SE was built better, but the Classic and Classic II were still decent computers, and I got a fair amount of use from them.

    The Mac Classic and Classic II were the eMacs of their day; (relatively) cheap, and intended for the educational market and first-time Mac users. The base model Classic was the first Mac to sell for under $1,000; for that price, you got 1MB of RAM and no internal hard drive, same as the Plus (or a base model Mac SE). One neat feature of the original Classic was that you could boot into System 6.0.3 from ROM by holding down Command+Option+X+O during boot-up. The Classic II was a follow-up, basically a cut-down version of the Mac SE/30, but still fairly capable.

    As far as the two units in question are concerned, as others have stated, they aren't worth anywhere near what the seller is asking if not in perfect working condition. Both models, like many other late '80s-mid '90s Macs, are known to suffer from bad surface-mount electrolytic capacitors on the logic board; this generally causes the chime to fail to sound, sometimes accompanied by a checkerboard pattern on the screen. The low screen brightness on the Classic may indeed be due to bad PRAM batteries, as the software brightness control defaults to 3 of a possible 7 if the battery is dead; any burn-in, however, is not a good sign. As for the checkerboard pattern on the Classic II, it's likely due to bad capacitors, as stated above; the fact that it isn't there all the time makes me think the PRAM battery hasn't exploded, which is a plus. If the seller doesn't come to his senses and lower the price by a great deal, I would pass.
    -Adam
    Thank you! That's very helpful.

    The checkerboard pattern is exactly what I got. He thought it might just be dust, but I personally can't see any way dust would cause such a problem. Definitely sounds like it'll need a recap, which is annoying.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAnt316 View Post
    The Mac Classic and Classic II were the eMacs of their day; (relatively) cheap, and intended for the educational market and first-time Mac users.
    The Classic series can't be compared with the eMac because the eMac was not a compromised recycled design designed to cripple performance of the machine. The eMac was a respectable machine from release and received several upgrades through its relatively short life, I have a 1.42 GHz model and it offers stellar performance.

    The Classic on the other hand was almost a decade old design, no new software was designed to run on it and you were basically stuck in the past with it. The Classic II was no better.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAnt316 View Post
    The Classic II was a follow-up, basically a cut-down version of the Mac SE/30, but still fairly capable.
    The Classic II was a reworked Macintosh LC, not an SE/30. Apple used the LC motherboard and ASICs for several compromised designs like the Performa 200 and LC II, which just replaced the 68020 with a 68030 CPU.

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