Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Digital Defiance

Motorola 68000 CPU
800 KB Built-in floppy drive
800 KB External floppy drive

This is digital defiance. Great term, really. I have a number of new
systems I could write this on, but instead am choosing to write it on
this 20 year old Macintosh Plus, "Selena". This machine is a rebuild,
by the way; it is the composite of two different Mac's. My original
was dropped and the case cracked. There was also an issue with the
analog board (for those of you not in the know, it is the circuit that
converts the digital signal into something the CRT can understand.
Hopefully, I won't have to explain CRT...). She still has problems,
though. Every now and then there is an annoying flicker on the screen,
possibly due to old capacitors.
But the machine still runs, and I might add looks to be in very good condition.
There are a few other quirks, though, that add character. It has an
original Mac 512k keyboard for one; I picked it up with a dead,
rebuilt Plus some time back, along with the original tan carrying
case. This smaller keyboard fits in there quite nicely. The lack of a
number pad and arrow keys, though, gets old real fast. There are times
I'd kill for a full Plus keyboard.
I also tend to use floppies only when running Selena. Old fashioned
and very, very quiet. The only noise I hear right now are my heavy
fingers and the rain outside. It is amazingly fast and responsive.
I'm writing this in MacWrite, version 2.20. Not MacWrite II, not
AppleWorks, not Microsoft Works or Word (of which I have Version 1.0).
MacWrite. The original word processor for Macintosh, from 1984, less
than 55kb in size and requiring less than 400kb of RAM. No spell
check, no word count, but good, basic word processing.
Selena lives on a shelf in my living room, the only computer that
spends full time out there. I have other computers, many in fact, and
only one is older, but the newest one is still six years old. I prefer
Macs because of their quality, but I won't snub an old IBM or even a
Tandy. I prefer portability, though Selena hardly qualifies.
But she sits here, amongst my books and artifacts, proudly being
used to this day for light word processing. This article will be
posted via email on another of my old Macs, my PowerBook 5300c.
If I had my druthers, though, it'd go up by Selena.

1 comment:

Stargazer Wannabee said...

I have many times discovered that 'older' is more dependable. Of course, this predeliction may from my being (admittedly) an antique addict. Whatever the cause, older machines are easier to maintain, easier to repair (if one can locate the parts), and least likely to require them. Best of all, they are usually easier to operate. It is good that they have a vocal Champion...