Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Time To Put Aside

So, it has been some (many) months since I last posted here. Just been busy. Terribly so, in fact. Alas, that is life. Many things have changed, and some things not necessarily for the better.
One of those things that has gone wrong is Selena, my Macintosh Plus. There is a very real possibility that the flyback transformer has gone awry, and I simply am not up to doing the necessary repairs. Besides, some things about this machine, while wonderful, are now more of an inconvenience, like moving data from the Macintosh 800kb floppy disks to a more modern machine by way of intercessors. Not efficient though romantic.
Sadly, that is the fate of many of these older Macintosh classic designs. Parts will eventually breakdown, and the want for replacements goes unfulfilled. As is, the computer has not been fired up in three months at this time, sitting there on my living room bookshelf like an antique, which it nearly is by the regular measure of such things and definitely is in terms digital.
But letting it go is hard. This has been a loyal friend, always there, especially when I need access to something that will run only under System 6.
I have another computer of similar vintage, my Macintosh Portable "Galatea". While this machine lacks a backlit screen, it does at least boast a 1.44mb floppy drive. It may move into Selena's spot while my old friend is retired. Perhaps the spot will be filled by my PowerBook 540c "Excalibur", which is far more practical (and many times more stable). I may lose System 6 in the deal, though, and that is a hard bargain.
However, the fact is that, as I mentioned before, these machines do get old, and the earlier the design, the greater that possibility. It may be hard, but I may have no choice but to move forward, if only a little.
Last night, played around with Selena one more time to see just how long it would take before the screen flickers would begin. In total, around 25 minutes before they made the whole task of using the computer unbearable.
But as if that weren't enough, I decided to pull out Galatea (my Mac Portable) and power her up to begin the process of moving data over. The Portable simply would not boot; total power management unit failure. In less than an hour's time, I discovered that two of my oldest machines were either unusable or quite simply dead.
I have discovered one workaround, though. By using vMac, or its descendant mini vMac, I can at least continue using some of my System 6 software on a much newer machine. In order to accomplish that, I had to copy over the ROM image from Selena, so in a very real sense, the Plus is not dead, just a ghost inside another machine.