The Mac Plus lives

The sad story of the Exploding Mac  has a happy ending. Not just those groovy signatures … Number Three Child and I couldn’t see any burned out bits. Methinks maybe something in the hard drive went bang, not the beast itself … I wasn’t watching that closely. So we booted on the floppy … it worked ! Then for reasons I can’t really explain, I reconnected the hard drive and tried again .. it worked too !! Well… so now I have no idea what went bang and smoked … but everything is working perfectly.

Of course this leaves me nervous that it will explode again sometime soon. So I thought I should film it in action first. So there follows a wobbly grainy movie that only the diehard Apple Nuts need watch.

If it keeps working, I suspect I may get hooked on Glider all over again.

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17 Responses to The Mac Plus lives

  1. parv says:

    The phrase “Number Three Child” strongly reminds of me Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise in general, “You Are (Not) Alone” and “You Can (Not) Advance” in particular as I have seen them about 2-3 weeks ago.

    Start here:

    • andyxl says:

      Wow. That sounds deeply weird. I think “number three child” etc is just kinda faux-chinese

      • parv says:

        In case there is a misunderstanding, it was the use of number reference for a person and the capitalization of the words implying importance which made me to post a comment.

        Shinji is the third child, one of main characters, is introduced in the beginning of it all. In the anime franchise, there are also the “first child” (Rei), “second child” (Asuka) (obviously), and at least also the “fourth child”; each comes with different idiosyncrasies. (Them & others: )

        - – - –

        BTW, could you do something about this maddening shrinking & expanding comment writing area?

      • andyxl says:

        >>>>shrinking & expanding comment writing area?

        err.. eh wot pardon ??

  2. Since you’re not only a retro-computer but also use all of that newfangled stuff, you might appreciate this. Great company slogan as well:

    A twitter tweets a tweet. There are sheets involved, but the analogy is not exact.

  3. Monica Grady says:

    I was always ‘Number 1 daughter’ to my father. My youngest sibling was ‘Number 8′ child, because dad reckoned he couldn’t remember how many daughters and how many sons he had…..

    Happy memories of the Mac plus. Our dept had one that could be borrowed at the weekend. It was transported in an enormous black carrying case that weighed a tonne.

    Do you go back as deep into the mists of time as a BBC Micro?

    • I think I’ve posted this before, but it’s so much fun I’ll post it again:

    • andyxl says:

      BBC Micro is modern stuff. I am really an Algol 68 on a mainframe kinda guy. BBC Micros were fun but I never had one of my own. Phillip has his own Vax. How dedicated is that ?

      • That is an understatement. Like the father above who had lost count of the number of children, I don’t know how many VAXes I have. My guess is about 20. I’ve given some to good homes now that I have more than I need, or traded for other hardware. Actually, I don’t have any VAXes switched on anymore since I have an all-ALPHA cluster now (I had a mixed-architecture cluster for more than 10 years). But still VMS of course! I probably have about 40 ALPHAs. I just have 3 in the cluster, though. The others are mostly for spares (I have to keep going until I die, you see, which is hopefully several decades in the future), machines which don’t run all the time (like the satellite in my study in the attic which I boot when I work up there; the main cluster is in the cellar), new stuff I haven’t inventoried yet or old stuff which is too slow or has too little memory for the modern-day VMS enthusiast. Like my taste in music, I am not retro as a matter of principle, but just choose good stuff. All the computing I do at home is on VMS. However, there is also an iPad in the house since I bought one for my wife (mainly because it is more comfortable to use the iPad to read a newspaper while nursing a baby in the garden, say, than having to descend to the depths of the cellar and sit at the monitor).

        All of the machines are small, “PC-size” machines, though some have the fastest VAX and ALPHA processors ever made. The most memory I have in one machine is 2 GB, but that’s enough for what I do. VMS is VMS, so ALPHA or VAX or Itanium doesn’t matter. I really liked the VAX (and the early ALPHAs), though: built like tanks, easy to work on, extremely reliable (running continuously for 20 years is nothing unusual). However, I really do need something faster—not just processor speed, but also network speed, disk speed etc—which is why I have switched to ALPHA. Somewhat older but still reasonably fast Itanium machines are becoming available for free now. Maybe I will move to Itanium at some point, especially if there are VMS improvements there which won’t be on ALPHA (like now there are things on ALPHA which aren’t on VAX—basically anyone actually using a VAX wants stability so there has been no point in new VMS versions on VAX for 10 years now), but that will probably be a few years yet.

        After the Moriond cosmology meeting in March I drove to northern Spain where a fellow VMS enthusiast supplied me with some faster disks and related hardware, so I’ll be upgrading soon, especially since I need some larger-capacity disks.

    • Michael Merrifield says:

      Baaa… BBC micros… very nouveau! My first computer was a UK101 with a massive 4k of RAM. Bizarrely, the machine still has its fans:

  4. Tom Shanks says:

    My first personal compter was a Sinclair QL with a pair of Microdrives – still in the garage somewhere! I then went to a 1987 Distance Scale conference at UVic in Canada and won a Mac Plus at the conference dinner as a “door prize”. The Apple chap presenting the prize asked me what computer I used and off-mike I said a Sinclair QL. He ignored this and turned to the audience and got a laugh by saying that I used an IBM PC but not any more! I think some of the British computer companies could have done with this sort of salesmanship!

    And no I didnt travel to work on a Sinclair C5!

  5. Norman Gray says:

    I have a tear in my eye. I remember the 20MB disk, and Mac Plus, my wife and I both wrote chunks of PhD on; the disk is still wrapped up in a cupboard at home, though the Mac Plus is now long gone. Awwww.

    And I’ve just discovered that ‘Glider Classic’, complete with music, is on the iOS app store! Bang goes the evening.

  6. EricJuve says:

    Just a thought about your failed part, if the power supply had an inrush limiter based on a varistor then that is a likely culprit for your flash-bang. Given that the supply had sat idle for a long time the input electolytics may have needed reforming and caused an unusually high inrush. You may just need to replace the MOV or even the supply. Just a thought.

  7. andyxl says:

    Eric – as me old Mum used to say – I had one of them but the wheel come off.

  8. Never had a Mac, but this brings pleasant memories of me old Atari 1040 (ex-ROE Photolabs). Never thought I’d need to move to a PC, but I didn’t reckon on processing LROC images, did I? Protext, and before that, 1st Word, were my saviours: they made it possible for other folk to read anything I’d written. ‘course, there was also Super Breakout, which consumed a truly frightening amount of time, but I was *determined* to make it to the end. Still makes my palms sweat, thinking of some of those devilish levels. Hung on to my disks long after the machine had been sold, and I hanker for it still. Sold it with explicit instructions that I was to have first refusal should it move on again, but turned it down when the chance came up. Probably for the best.

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