Apple Mac

Apple Mac 128k


Hey, there is a handle to throw it away!

Who throws away a compact Mac? These small devices have the charme of simplicity, the advantage of being practical and the luxury of the pretty.


A compact Mac - and the 128k was the grandfather of the line and the first Mac at all - does not occupy more desk space than a phone directory - an US one of course. This was one of the design targets. And if even this is too much one day, you just unplug the power cord, grab keyboard and mouse with one hand and the Mac in the other - utilizing the handle - and place it elsewhere.


This Mac has been upgraded over time, so its decorated with a 512k label, but inside are 1024k - one full megabyte.

And if you don't place it in a corner?

The 9" screen (1.bit per pixel, so black or white) with its 512x348 pixels is just sufficient to display te menu bar and one "big" window, in which you can work. But you can enjoy different fonts plus you can paint and draw.
  Mac 128k
My Mac likes most running with MacOS 6.7. That fits on one 800k disk together with MacWrite and MacDraw, and with a full Megabyte RAM working is quite comfortable. Data is stored on the second - external - floppy disk drive. Such luxury was untinkable when the first Mac system was shipped. Then it had one internal 400k disk (single sided, 3.5") and 128(!) kilobyte(!) memory. That way you spend one third of your time swapping disk. The previous owner changed the floppy drive, bought a second one and upgraded the ROM for supporting the double sided floppy disk drives and wrestled with the soldering iron to add more RAM.

So whats so great about it?

The simple an intuitve use of hardware as well as software. One program runs at a time, the mouse has one button, the computer only one switch - not much you can get wrong.

And the rest of the world...

... should have a serial interface. With these the Mac did all. Besides ports for mouse, keyboard and external disk drive the Mac sports two serial interfaces in RS-422 standard, to which you can connect RS-232 devices too.


With them it does everything. Printing, modem, network ... and there's no other way because the system has no expansion slots. For the uninitiated user its even impossible to open the case, you need an "MacOpener" to do this. That leads to strange constructs like the HD20, a hard disk which gets plugged to the external drive port instead of the floppy. Performance is like you'd expect :-)

Powerbook 180 

On the Road again...

Powerbook 180
 ... take your Powerbook with you. And while it carries the Power in its name, there is no PowerPC inside but an good old MC68030 with 33MHz. With around 6.5 pounds it still is in the weight range for notebooks, allright, at the upper limit.

The ball rolls!

The full-size tarckball refreshingly differs from the moderen touchpads and rubber gimmicks and offers a superb mouse surogate. I had  acquired an extra mouse, but never plugged it in. Mounting the trackpad is possible because of the relative height of the device, at least the whole ball has to fit in - one half in the top, the other in the bottom shell. Above and below the two buttons are arranged, both with the same functions as the Mac mouses with a single button. This way you can use the one which fits your personal handling best. The mouse pointer moves about a LCD with 640x480 pixels, able to display four levels of gray with a backlight. The keyboard is nice to type on and has - thank to the thickness of the case - an acceptable key lift.

Plugging Games

Powerbook connectors
In extensibility the Powerbook shows its a real Apple. Difficult to exotic. There is an internal slot for a modem, which I own, but somehow it's not working. Otherwise the are the usual suspects: ADB for mouse and keyboard, an exotic port for an external display and two serial ports for printer and modem. No infrared, no PCMCIA and regretably no Ethernet. But there is a SCSI interface, with an strange and space saving HDI format. For data exchange Apple threw in a floppy disk drive - of course with motorised eject as it suits an Apple.

Weak hinges

This special Powerbook suffers from widespread desease. The strong springs holding the upper shell tend to tear out the holding blocks of the screws which are only pressed in. This can be mended with melt-glue, but that had already been tried with my one, so I had to choose a more radical approach. Drill two hole on the right and left side into the shell, and now you can use two two matching screws to attach it tightly to the clapping mechanics. The method might not be the most aestetical pleasing but has the advantage of being simple and succesful.