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Thread: Bought an SE, what's good for upgrades?

  1. Default Bought an SE, what's good for upgrades?

    I bought an SE with 1mb RAM and a 20mb HDD. I am not a Mac person and never owned any back in the day but I have always wanted to pick one of these up.

    What is the current best option for modern mass storage and getting software onto the mass storage? SCSI2SD? https://store.inertialcomputing.com/...sd-v6-revf.htm

    Is 4mb ram and system 7 a good choice?

    The unit has not arrived yet, but looking at the pics there seems to be a round DIN style plug in the expansion port, any idea what this is?

    Any must do upgrades you suggest?

  2. #2

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    I would do the 4mb RAM and also clip the old battery off the board. Pretty sure on the SE it's a soldered battery and is at risk of leaking. You won't have to recap the logic board but the analog board is another story. SCSI2SD is a good option if you don't have any working spinning disk. On a compact Mac with a 68000 I'm inclined to run system 6 but system 7 is probably a little more friendly for new users.

  3. #3
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    OS 7.1 with 4MB is what I use.

    Radius made some nice 68020 upgrades for the SE and they fit easy enough if you have the later case (SE FDHD). There are also Ethernet cards for the SE that make life easier.
    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

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    There are some 68030 upgrades for the SE as well. I still have one from the SE FDHD I had that died in the late 90s, but have no idea who the manufacturer was. It also has a monochrome VGA adapter on it for an external display, but I lost the pigtail for it a long time ago.

    The most useful upgrade would be to a 640x480 display, but unfortunately the CRT driving circuitry isn't fast enough to do that. There are many programs that would run on a Mac SE, but will quit with an error that the display is too small.

  5. #5
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    I'd go with System 7.0.1 or System 6 on a SE, but if you go with 7.0.1 you can steal the PC floppy compat extension from a later System 7. If you can find an Ethernet card, a SE makes for a nice little network terminal. I don't know how SE Ethernet card prices are, but SE/30 PDS Ethernet has gotten stupid expensive.

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    I think SE Ethernet cards are a little more rare then the ones for the SE/30 (and not compatible). I only have one SE Ethernet card for my 3 SE machines (and an external SCSI to Ethernet module) while both my SE/30's have Ethernet. Then again I got those macs a long time ago before prices started to get crazy.

    The SE line has a ton of third party CPU upgrades, you could have a whole collection based on them. The Radius one I mentioned just seems to be all over the place (I have 2 of them) while the others are much harder to find.
    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

  7. #7
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    I'd bump the ram to 4mb, keep the 20mb if it's the Miniscribe because they sound great and stick with system 6.0.8 because system 7 strangles the 68000 too much IMHO. (and besides, what are you going to run on an SE that demands system 7?)
    SE's are naturally 800k machines unless marked as "Superdrive" or "FDHD". All the early 800k compact macs are a dog to write out floppies for unless you have a tweener mac.
    = Excellent space heater

  8. Default

    The system was delivered today and the case is super clean, as is the motherboard, no hint of corrosion or aging. The screen is super sharp and it is a great candidate. The bad news is that the HDD isn't detected but who cares as I am going to a flash memory storage solution. The mystery port is a HR/M Kodak datashow, probably the least sought after peripheral. IMG_1088.jpg IMG_1089.jpg IMG_1090.jpg

  9. #9
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    I thought the whole mystique surrounding the compact macs was the itty bitty 9" mono screen, hearing the whiiir whuuuur wheeer of the floppy drive (had to be reading an hfs disk), @nd the thok thok thok of the keyboard. And Macpaint, so quaint. What upgrades could add to that experience? Just have fun. It really should have been marketed as baby's first puter at Toys-r-Us. Don't get me wrong I had oodles of fun with my original Fat Mac. That I paid 45$ for in 1993. Because that's all the early Macs *were* about, fun. Didn't quite a bit of creative writing on it too.

    I sold all my fish tank macs. I still have a IIx and a IIcx, sometimes get a hankering for a quadra. But as far as early 68k goes, I'm all Atari. May pick up an emulator though.

  10. #10
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    Getting a 68020/68030 upgrade made them so much more usable. The 68000 CPU was heavily taxed by drawing the screen frame buffer, disk access and bit banging the floppy drive. Even later 68k era machines still had this problem, but it was compounded by higher screen resolutions and color depth modes. There were also screen upgrades for a few of the crackerbox macs which bumped the screen resolution up to 640x480 and made them more useful.

    One of the machines in the Macintosh II line had two 6502 CPUs dedicated to running the floppy drives to reduce the burden on the host CPU, too bad Apple didn't put this on all 68k machines.

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