Post for Fans of REALLY Old Macs!

pigoo3

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So a couple weeks ago I see an ad in my local Craig's list for an OLD Macintosh computer + additional items. I contact the seller & they wanted $100 bucks for everything. I offered $25...and the seller said I could have it if they didn't get a better offer by the end of the week (about 3-4 days later).

Well I was the best offer. I was assured that the computer worked fine before I drove the 30-35 miles to pick it up. When I got there...guess what...the computer didn't work. Of course I was told that it worked 6 months ago when it was last turned on. Their guess was it might be the power supply (BIG ticket item)!

But the seller felt bad about it (my driving the whole way)...and said what the heck...I was a nice guy & could have everything for free!;)

Ooh...by the way...did I mention that the computer is a 1990 vintage Macintosh IIfx!!! For those folks that don't know, the Macintosh IIfx was "Wicked Fast" (for it's time of course)...but more importantly...it was the most expensive computer Apple ever sold! Even more than the LISA! It sold for a starting price of $10,000 dollars!!! Whoa!:eek:

In any case, I was very concerned about the computer not working, but since the seller seemed sincere that it worked 6 months before...so I had one possible long shot idea what might be the problem...I was thinking that maybe the PRAM battery was dead. Sometimes a dead PRAM battery will cause startup issues.

Long story shory...I get home, pop in a new PRAM battery...and wah-la...BONG...the computer boots up just fine!:)

VERY interestingly...the computer has TWO PRAM batteries...both were from 1991! Can you believe that 1 of the 2 PRAM batteries from 1991 still works...a 19 year-old PRAM battery!

Here are some photos of the computer & all of the stuff I got for FREE (everything on the table came with)! Take special note of the date on the purple PRAM battery of "3/91".

Enjoy,

- Nick

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What an awesome spot of "luck". No idea what you're going to do with it, but as a collectors piece it's very interesting.
Lets hope the seller never sees this post eh!
 
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Lets hope the seller never sees this post eh!

Hahaha, now that would be good!! :D


Seriously though at $10k new, that must've been some machine with very few made. Congrats on your find!
 
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pigoo3

pigoo3

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What an awesome spot of "luck". No idea what you're going to do with it, but as a collectors piece it's very interesting.
Lets hope the seller never sees this post eh!

Yes very lucky. As far as the seller...hey it was only $25 bucks...I was more than happy to pay them the $25 bucks!

And of course if the PRAM battery wasn't the problem...then I'ld have a fancy doorstop!;)

- Nick
 
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Seriously though at $10k new, that must've been some machine with very few made. Congrats on your find!

I'm sure the production number was low...and I did try to find out how many were made...but couldn't find any info!:(

- Nick
 
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Great photos, great good fortune story! It looks in splendid condition. If I'm not mistaken, that 'old' battery is SAFT brand. So lithium battery technology was up and running back then.

40 MHz the IIfx ran at (my first ever Mac was a IIsi that ran @ 25). For (nearly) complete info on the machine, refer to Mactracker; and I'll bet the Apple Museum would be interested.

I think I may have some software at home that will still run on that. Will check when I get back next w/end and PM you.

BTW - there are threads on other Mac forums that are dedicated to older Macs, so you may care to go searching.
 
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If I'm not mistaken, that 'old' battery is SAFT brand. So lithium battery technology was up and running back then.

BTW - there are threads on other Mac forums that are dedicated to older Macs, so you may care to go searching.

Hugh,

Thanks for the thoughts! I did a quick check...and it looks like one of the first Macs to use the lithium battery was the Macintosh SE...vintage 1987.

I'll have to check the other Mac Sites to see if I can come up with a production # for the Mac IIfx.

- Nick
 

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Nick, I have a IIFX. It's so large I keep it under my bed! :D

A friend bought it used in 1993/4 for maybe $300 from Weird Stuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale Calif. I was with him. He used it for a couple of years and gave it to me.

It's pretty mint but yours looks even better. And yes it has 2 PRAM batteries. I had to use the batteries in other Macs but want to get it working again as it's part of my old Mac collection.

Really good deal you got there for free!! I will post a pic later.

Edit: Wow 2 Cartridge load CDROM drives, SCSI even! :D I see a SCSI hard drive and a floppy. You got a lot of stuff and all those large SCSI cables! Any terminators? Scratch that as I found them in the pic! :D

I see an external Zoom modem. 14.4 or 28.8?
 

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What amazes me is that those batteries didn't leak.

Am I looking at that right - does it have both a 68040 some kind of co-processor? Or is it a 68030 and a 68881/68882?

EDIT: I see that it used a 40MHz 68030 and a 68882.
 

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I have never seen a SAFT PRAM battery leak, at least not in any of the Macs I have worked with.

CPU: 40 MHz 68030
FPU: 40 MHz 68882 FPU
bus: 40 MHz - fastest until Quadra 840av

Mac IIfx

And Nick, I think you are correct about SE being first to use that PRAM battery like that.
 

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OK, I am speaking from my knowledge of Amigas.

My last one that had a battery similar to that was a 1993-vintage Amiga 4000/040. When I finally sold the motherboard, the battery was just starting to leak. That was in 2001 or so. I know, that was a common thing with that particular style.
 
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Agree with dtravis7. My LC, 1990 vintage, purchased brand new with an RBG monitor, from memory was a little over $5000.00 Australian Dollars, still runs the original battery. It came withb a HDD, 160MB, and was maxed out with 8MB RAM and really flew and the joy of saving things to the hard drive which would NEVER EVER fill up!

Came with System 7.0 floppies, about eight white floppies, and the upgrade to 7.0.1 was another twelve floppies.
 

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OK, I am speaking from my knowledge of Amigas.

My last one that had a battery similar to that was a 1993-vintage Amiga 4000/040. When I finally sold the motherboard, the battery was just starting to leak. That was in 2001 or so. I know, that was a common thing with that particular style.

Not a problem at all. Maybe some have leaked, just I have been lucky I guess. I hope my wording did not seem like I was talking down to you because I would never do that.

The IIFX was Noticeably faster at the time than any other Mac I had used. When I first got mine I thought it was a 68040 because it just flew but it's an 030 with separate Math Co-Processor.

The only thing I HATED about the IIFX was the non standard 64-Pin RAM in Matched Pairs I believe! Hard to find and very expensive! :D

I am wrong on the dual channel part but the rest is correct.
 

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I dunno why, but I love vintage computers. I found an old IIsi in a storage closet at work a few years back. Loaded it up with 64MB of RAM that I found on eBay for a good price and was playing around with it for quite awhile. Then, the basement in my old house flooded and it was a total loss. Darn you Hurricane Ivan!
 

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I dunno why, but I love vintage computers. I found an old IIsi in a storage closet at work a few years back. Loaded it up with 64MB of RAM that I found on eBay for a good price and was playing around with it for quite awhile. Then, the basement in my old house flooded and it was a total loss. Darn you Hurricane Ivan!

That is a shame. I owned a IISi. Was my first Color Mac. Only thing I hated was the video shared system ram and the whole thing dragged. Later I got a PDS to NuBus converter board and a nice NuBus video card. That made a large difference in the machines responsiveness!

I am with you, I love messing with old computers! It's a hobby of mine.

The Amiga was so ahead of it's time with many Co Processors and custom chips! Nothing was like the Amiga.
 
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Nick, I have a IIFX. It's so large I keep it under my bed! :D

A friend bought it used in 1993/4 for maybe $300 from Weird Stuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale Calif. I was with him. He used it for a couple of years and gave it to me.

It's pretty mint but yours looks even better. And yes it has 2 PRAM batteries. I had to use the batteries in other Macs but want to get it working again as it's part of my old Mac collection.

Really good deal you got there for free!! I will post a pic later.

Edit: Wow 2 Cartridge load CDROM drives, SCSI even! :D I see a SCSI hard drive and a floppy. You got a lot of stuff and all those large SCSI cables! Any terminators? Scratch that as I found them in the pic! :D

I see an external Zoom modem. 14.4 or 28.8?

Wow...given the relative rarity of the Macintosh IIfx I didn't really expect anyone else to have one here on Mac-Forums...pretty cool that you have one!

Your friend getting one in 1993/1994 for $300 was a pretty amazing price. Considering what they cost originally...and in 1993/1994, the IIfx was still a very usable computer.

As far as the condition of mine...I wouldn't say it's in that great of shape (the pictures probably make it look better)...but I will say it has very little of the ugly "yellowing" that older computers suffer from.

Externally I cleaned it up pretty good...but it had all sorts of property/inventory stickers on it, and a good number of nick's, ding's, scratches, etc. But nothing was broken on it. The computer actually came from a local company...and it was well maintained by the companies IT department...but I'm sure it has plenty of hours on it...so no telling how long the power supply may last...so I'm keeping my eye out for a used one.

Yes...you spotted a bunch of other "goodies" in the photo. Yes on all of the drives you identified, all of the cables, and yes terminators...including what's supposed to be the "special black" terminator for the IIfx. Why it's special I don't know.

The only disappointment was that the seller of the stuff said that software was included. Although there were a bunch of floppy disks included...they were boring stuff like software installs for the modems, and other bring stuff. I was hoping for some original OS install floppies.

Not sure if you noticed in the photo of the motherboard...but it also has two video cards in it. One full length "Supermac" video card with 4 slots for additional SIMM ram...and a shorter length generic looking video card.

I think that the fastest modem there is a 56k...I know one of them is a 14.4. Talking modems seems funny!;) These things really are ancient in today's wireless high-speed world!:)

It's great someone else on Mac-Forums has one...do you have any idea how many were made?

Thanks,

- Nick
 
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pigoo3

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What amazes me is that those batteries didn't leak.

I'm still absolutely flabbergasted that a 19 year-old PRAM battery still works...but it seems from Harry's post...his 1990 LC is still running with one as well!:)

- Nick
 
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pigoo3

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My LC, 1990 vintage, purchased brand new with an RBG monitor, from memory was a little over $5000.00 Australian Dollars, still runs the original battery.

Thanks for adding that detail Harry!:) I was REALLY surprised to see that a 19 year-old battery was running in my computer...but you've definitely confirmed with your LC that it is possible as well.

I usually think about dead PRAM batteries being a solution to some folks computer issues here on Mac-forums if the computer is 5+ years old...who would have thought you could get 19 years (and counting) out of a PRAM battery!

- Nick
 
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It has always been my belief Nick, and I may be wrong, these little machines did not draw much from the PRAM battery and the best part of the OS was rebuilding the desktop and disabling extensions if one had problems, bringing 'em in one by one until the culprit was nailed. A bit simpler then!
 

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