Sometime ago I was given an old Macintosh Portable computer. This was the first model, which does not have a backlight, and was the first portable computer that Apple Computer Inc. ever commercially released. The machine ran surprisingly well; the battery still held a charge, the floppy drive would read disks, and it had 4MB of RAM. The only problems were that the trackball needed new rollers and there were 2 lines of bad pixels on the display. It also had a power adapter from a powerbook 1xx which works a lot better than the original underpowered adapter that came with the Macintosh Portable. I replaced the rollers in the trackball with some I swapped out of a powerbook 1xx; they made excellent replacements.

It did not have a hard drive but I could create a 2MB RAM disc, leaving the other 2MB for use as system RAM. Back in the system 6 days 2MB was plenty of RAM, and since most programs fit on a single floppy 2MB of disc space is also more than enough to run some applications. And thanks to Apple using battery backed SRAM I could copy the OS into RAM and boot from it. So the lack of a hard drive is annoying but I can make do without one. I proceeded to play Wizardry 1: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, and I started some crazy hardware projects with it.

[Picture of Macintosh Portable]

Sometime later (after beating Wizardry for the first time) I got a job and did not have the time to goof around with the Macintosh Portable. Ten months later when I finally got back to the Macintosh Portable I found that it no longer worked! Most of the time it would not turn at all and the rest of time time it gave a sad Mac with some cryptic hex codes.

This leads me to my first major project: Replacing the Capacitors on a Macintosh Portable.