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Thread: Macintosh Classic pick-up at recycling center

  1. #1

    Default Macintosh Classic pick-up at recycling center

    Hi all, it's been a while since my last post.

    I stumbled upon on a surprising find today at local recycling center.
    A Macintosh Classic! I have never had/used any Mac and I know next to nothing
    about them. Still, you don't see these every day here and I was immediately very
    interested. 100 euro price tag let me doubt for 15 minutes though. It does not even
    have a keyboard, but luckily a mouse was with it. I was thinking what to do about it and then
    it occured to me that I could turn it on and see if there is something on the screen to figure out if it
    is worth the price tag. Sure enough, the computer booted - even without any errors on screen,
    but right to the OS and then I decided that it's a deal!

    Along came a PC for 15 euro, perhaps a P1 that you see on the first picture, but that's a story for another topic.

    At home I turned it on again. I needed to google, where to plug the mouse - I did not want to try to put it
    to a wrong port and possibly damage something. I got it right, booted the mac and found out that the mouse is
    also working fine!

    The computer seems to have many games in it. Sorry about the menu, OS language is in Finnish.
    In the 6th picture I can see that it has "23293K containing disk" and "15 759K free", so I figure it
    must have 23 MB hard drive. It sounds normal to a small old HD.

    I don't know if the floppy drive works (or even if it exist inside the case).

    Is the floppy format compatible with IBM PC format, 720k ...probably at least not compatible with 1.44MB ?
    What is the simplest way of putting new media to a Mac, if the format is not compatible with a PC ?

    Well, my first concern may not be to add media, but to find a keyboard to the Mac. They said at the
    recycling center that they might have the keyboard there... somewhere. So, I will keep visiting the near
    weeks there, though I don't keep too much hope up to finding it there. Even if it is there, someone else
    might pick it up before I see it again.

    Curiosity in the back of the Mac: Manufactured november 1990.

    Last edited by VintageVic; October 7th, 2020 at 11:32 AM.

  2. #2


    Nice Find!

    This is a Macintosh Classic circa 1990-1992 outfitted with the Apple SuperDrive Floppy, which is capable of reading 1.44mb disks in addition to 400k and 800k old world mac floppy formats. A PC (such as the one next to it) should be able to read these 1.44mb floppies with additional software such as HFSExplorer. The keyboard needs to be one with an ADB Bus Connector, such as used on all Mac's of the era, it has the same connector as the mouse. You can genuine apple boards on ebay and the like but they are quite expensive usually as they contain Alps switches which are harvested by the custom keyboard community, driving the price up. You could likely find a third party rubber dome keyboard like a Kensington for less. Another option would be the USB Wombat which is a device that lets you use USB mice and keybaords on the ADB bus and vice versa. I have one but never got it to work but I seem to be in the minority.

    Some things to consider replacing/upgrading would be the SCSI hard drive to a SCSI2SD Adapter, replacing the capacitors on the logic and analog boards and replacing the PRAM battery. Remember that the unit is 30 years old and the battery especially is a ticking time bomb that will eventually leak and destroy the board.

    Happy Mac'ing!

  3. #3


    Thanks for your comments and advices Ignatio!

    I ordered a lot of 3 ADB bus keyboards from ebay. They are very dirty and sold as defective (not tested), hopefully I can clean and
    get at least one of them to work with the Mac.

    I have to open the case and remove the old battery. At least that is a must do.
    Must keep in mind to be extra cautious for possible remnant of high voltage in that analog board.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Connecticut, USA


    post a pic of the board and battery so we can see its condition. I never came across one in recent years that wasn't totaled by battery leakage.

  5. #5


    Battery leakage doesn't happen that often. I'm collecting Macs for 20+ years now and only lost a single PowerMac 7100 because of a leaked battery. If the system still works, the battery is not leaked - so just remove it and you're good.

    The SMD caps in the Classic are more problematic. They must be replaced, no matter if there is visible damage or not.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Connecticut, USA


    Im going to disagree. It happens quite often. I have a basement full of macs besides what I keep in my acutal "collections" from compact macs to more modern power pc's they have battery leakage problems. Not to mention how that is compounded by SMD capacitors leaking, they are just not long for this world. And I know its all subjective but I have never come across a mac classic that wasn't ruined by battery damage save for the color mac classic I own which did have extensive capacitor leaking which I did clean and fix.

  7. #7


    It's the half size AA batteries that are the real time bombs, the cylindrical ones. The wire lead ones are not as bad but still capable of DOOM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Austin, Texas


    It's really only specific brands that are susceptible to leaking, like Varta. I have a pile of 30+ year old 1/2 AA Tadiran clock batteries that have never leaked, and some even still hold a useful charge.

    The 4.5v Rayovac bricks used on Power Macintosh machines are alkaline pile cells and do have a problem with leaking if stored in a non-climate controlled environment.

  9. #9


    Different strokes I guess, I have an SE FDHD board that I had to rewire a dozen traces manually with wires because of an impatient purple Tadiran. It probably has more to do with storage conditions but you can't be too careful, they aren't making more of these machines after all.

  10. #10


    Thanks for your comments, everyone!

    I'm in the middle of moving process and have not yet opened the mac up. But I intend to do so, to remove the old

    However, I got some new (old) goodies from mail yesterday and I had to try them out.
    Three keyboards from UK, sold as defect. I was hoping that maybe one of them would work - or perhaps I could
    fix them. They cost me about 50 euro, shipping included. In this case I preferred price+practicality over originality.


    So, I tried out this one, that looked least dirty to me:

    It is working with most of the keys, but letters 3, e, d and c are not working. I'm thinking, perhaps
    a corroded trace inside, because they make a straight line on the keyboard. Probably one line in the key matrix
    is not working ?

    No time to open it up now, so I gave the most dirty one a shot:

    And it seems to be fully functional! Yesss, me likey =).
    The third one is completely dead. But it's okay, since I got one working unit here.

    Applied some water, cleaning solution and wiping to it:

    There is some degree of yellowing and to get it really clean, I should probably remove all the
    keys and wash them individually. But at least it is clean enough to touch now.

    Makes me wonder... perhaps these have been in some factory condition ? I have not seen
    such dirty units before.


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