Macintosh Network

My Macintosh Plus had the original 1MB of RAM when I got it.

I worked for a printer/publisher back in the eighties.  I did some word processing and database work, as well as some desktop publishing on a similar Macintosh.  Back then, the original prices for this equipment was very high.  A Macintosh Plus with just the internal 800K diskette drive, would have gone for around $2600 dollars, which would be just around $5500 in today’s money.

You could get and use an ImageWriter or ImageWriter II dot matrix printer for use on the Macintosh, but the print quality would not be the best.  When the LaserWriter printer came out, you could get what was then astounding quality, at 300 DPI.  The big problem with that was the very high list price of just under $7000 in 1985, adjusted to 2015, roughly around $15,500.  Apple had addressed this by building networking abilities into the Macintosh, so several people could share this expensive hardware.

When I got my Macintosh SE, it had an internal hard drive, which I wanted to be able to share with my Macintosh Plus.  I only had an ImageWriter II printer which I use with my Apple II’s, but I wanted to share it with my Macintosh computers.  That meant I had to look into networking the Macintosh computers.

For months, I looked on the internet for details on networking the Macintosh computers.  I was able to find very little.

I did find some notes that said in order to share files or hard drives, you needed System 7 or higher.  System 7 wants more than 1MB RAM, which is why I wanted to upgrade to 4MB.

I still didn’t have all the information or hardware to network my Macintosh computers, but did have enough information to look into upgrading the memory in one or both as noted in earlier posts.

Last Update: 30-Aug-15


Mac Memory Upgrade

I still wanted to fix my Macintosh, but didn’t know how.  It sat on the back burner of my mind, but one day I stumbled across an article that said the Sad Mac error 0F0003, although defined as an instruction error, sometimes meant there was a problem with the memory.

I looked on ebay and found a matched set of 4-1MB simms.  I bought them fairly cheaply (read that under $20) and several days later they came in.

I opened the case, pulled out the old memory and replaced it with the new set of matched simms and closed up the case.  When I booted up the Macintosh it worked.  I left it running overnight, using it occasionally and had no problems with it.

Last Update: 28-Aug-15


Mac Memory Upgrade Attempt

During the course of the last year I attempted to upgrade the memory in my Macs.  I have no electronics background or training, so I was learning as I went.

Starting off with a little research.  The upgrade can be similar for both models; open the case, switch the simms and cut a resistor.  Later models of the SE had a jumper you could change instead of cutting the resistor.  All the notes I ran across, said to cut only one leg of the resistor and move it to make a gap.  That way, if you want to return it to a 1MB system all you have to do is resolder the leg and put the old simms back.

I bought four 1MB simms on ebay and a long torx bit.

My Mac SE has a Prodigy SE upgrade by SuperMac.  The upgrade has a 68020 and 2MB of ram.  I opened up the SE and looked at the Prodigy board and the memory was soldered to the board as far as I could tell.  I closed it up and moved on to the Mac Plus.

I switched the memory, cut the resistor and put it all back together.  When I started it up, all seemed fine for a few minutes, then I got a Sad Mac error 0F0003.  Looking on the internet I found this code broken down  into 0F Exception (or software error), 0003 Illegal Instruction, which didn’t make any sense to me.  The Mac Plus worked fine before changing the memory, but the software kept crashing afterword.

The memory upgrade was a failure. I started looking for a replacement Mac Plus and found a working one that did not have a keyboard or mouse.  This worked out for me with a non working Mac, that I could borrow the keyboard and mouse from.

Last Update: 27-Aug-15



We Begin Again…

We begin again, or I do anyway.  I started this blog once before and lost it after a number of posts.  With no backup, it was just gone.

Here, I will write about my experiences with vintage computers.  Specifically, I have five vintage Apple Computers; a //e, a //c, two Mac Pluses and a Mac SE.  I’ve worked and used others, and will write about them as time goes by.

My first Apple computer was an Apple //c.  Following that, I was given an Apple //e and bought a Mac Plus and a Mac SE.

Last Update: 26-Aug-15