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Beginners Guide to the Vintage Macintosh

957 bytes added, 23:56, 10 September 2019
* Passive-matrix LCDs probably won't be suitable for gaming.
* Some models of power supplies are more prone to failure from age and may require repair.
* Memory upgrade modules, in particular the modules offering the highest capacity available, tend to be harder to find for some models. This will lead to higher prices on the used market.
====Desktop Considerations====
* If you're looking for a Macintosh capable of running [[Apple UNIX]] (A/UX), the system must be equipped with a PMMU, FPU and not be an AV model. No LC models are compatible. No PowerPC model will run A/UX.
* Early compact Macs which don't have an internal fan for cooling (128K/512K/Plus) may overheat if used for long periods of time. A third party "system saver" fan device is a recommended accessory.
* The [[Macintosh PowerBook 5300]] is not a very desirable model as the lack of L2 cache causes performance to suffer. You also cannot use a CD-ROM drive in the hot swap bay.
* The logic boards of the 128K/512K/Plus/SE models do not use the capacitors known for leaking, though the analog boards may still require repair.
===Do I Need A Hard Disk?===
If you don't already own a vintage Macintosh computer, you may want to consider a model which offers some modern conveniences such as Ethernet plus a CD-ROM drive and a floppy disk drive. This sort of vintage Macintosh can help act as a bridge for working with much older systems. For example, only another Macintosh computer can write to the 800kb double-density floppy disks used in earlier compact Macs. Apple used a sort of variable speed design which is not compatible with PC drives, so you'd need to already have the proper software disks to use an early compact Macintosh as your only vintage Macintosh.
Vintage Macintosh models with high-density floppy drives and are running System 7.x with PC Exchange can read DOS formatted disks. You won't find floppy drives on modern PCs but a USB floppy drive will work for transferring files. Zip drives were also popular for transferring data between systems and a few different Macintosh models such as the [[Power Macintosh 6500]] and [[Power Macintosh G3]] included this option at the factory. Zip drives could also be found on PCs either externally via parallel port and USB, or internally with IDE.
==Buying A Vintage Macintosh==
===Things You Need To Know===
* Most Macintosh models from the 1980s and 1990s will require logic board work due to leaking electrolyte from SMD capacitors. If this work has not been done, the system may still work but slowly die as electrolyte comes in contact with logic board components. If you are not capable of doing this repair work yourself, you should factor this work in to your purchase budget.
* The original PRAM batteries are notorious for leaking onto the logic board and in some cases completely destroying the board. If you're purchasing an "untested" Macintosh without being able to see the inside of the unit, be warned that you may end up with an irreparable systemdamage to the board. Most Macs will function without the battery but for units which require one, make sure you buy a brand new one with a recent manufacturing date and not one sitting on a shelf for 10 years.* The so-called "Spindler plastics" (term used by hobbyists to describe the brittle case plastic likely from cost cutting under CEO Michael Spindler's cost cutting) in a number of 1990s Macintosh models can sometimes result in units destroyed in shipping due to insufficient packaging. Unfortunately even with the most careful packaging, you may still encounter damage due to the age of the plastics. If you absolutely must buy a 1990s Macintosh with shipping involved, make sure the seller packs the unit very well.* The original hard disks in older Macintosh computers may still work but will generally have horrible bearing noise. SCSI hard disks in good running condition are hard to find now, and with age they will only get worse. Don't spend too much time trying to find a working hard disk unless you really want the vintage sound of spinning disk. Options such as the [[SCSI2SD]] are far easier to deal with. For IDE models, solutions such as IDE to Compact Flash or IDE to SATA should help.
===Where To Find Macs===
* Early versions of System 7 will have a 2GB partition limit on HFS. On larger disks you can either have multiple partitions or use a third-party utility such as [[FWB Hard Disk Toolkit]] to install a custom driver capable of larger volumes.
* If you plan on running an OS higher than [[Mac OS 8.1]]or newer, you should use the HFS+ filesystemas it offers some advancements over HFS. Note that this will require a fresh format, and no OS under prior to 8.1 will be able to read it.

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