RetroMacCast

Where great old Macs live again!

Hi all! I've used Macs on and off for years. First ones I used were in kindergarten, and I believe they were LCII's (not positive on that.) I still remember when the school got Bondi Blue iMacs, which were very different and seemed cool.

Didn't have any contact with a Mac (or anything Apple related) from about 2001 on, until I got my first iPod (a green 2nd Gen 4GB Mini) in the summer of 2005. Upgraded to an 8GB Touch Christmas of 2007, shortly after they'd come out.

In 2008, when I was in a computer repair class they had some extra money in the budget, and we convinced them to order an iMac. We ended up getting a 20" model with Leopard. It was nice to work with, but time on it was limited.

Last summer, I decided I wanted a vintage laptop, which pretty well meant that the only decent choice would be an Apple product.

I ended up getting a Clamshell FireWire iBook, 366MHz, in pretty good condition. Has the yo-yo power adapter, a 10GB HDD, and had a fair amount of software. It was running 9.2.1 (I upgraded it to 9.2.2) and apart from a dead battery works well. There are no cracks in any of the plastic or the handle. The only signs of wear is some of the top coating coming off the rubberized section on the lid, but it's small. Cost was about $70 shipped.

Of course, it didn't stop there:

And soon I got this MP130 for all of $29 dollars. It came with a 2MB memory card, power adapter, original stylus, etc. I picked up a Keyspan adapter to hook it up to the iBook, which cost me almost as much as the Newton itself.

I hadn't planned to get anything else, but I was browsing eBay and saw this 17" PB G4 for sale.

The listing was for a broken 15.2" PBG4, but it was pretty obvious it was the 17" model. They were listing it as broken because the SuperDrive didn't work, and the battery was dead. I bid on it and won it for $53 shipped. It was in fairly rough shape. There are dents on the two front corners and most of the aluminum on the edges is tweaked in one way or another, it had clearly seen more than a few owners. The entire thing is slightly bent as well, as if someone sat on it at some point.

Quickly discovered that the battery did work, just only for about 30 minutes, and a disassembly revealed that someone had shoved a business card in the SuperDrive, which is why it didn't read discs. It still doesn't work terribly well (getting discs in and out is a hassle), but I never really planned to use the drive anyway. It came from a Florida pawn shop who must have had it for a while, they had left a price tag on it of $250. The HDD has been replaced at some point with a 160GB model. It's the first revision, 1GHz model. Unfortunately it's running Leopard and not Tiger, so it's not the fastest machine in the world, but I mainly use it for light browsing with TenFourFox as well as some occasional word processing.

I later bought a 1.8GHz DP Power Mac G5 to replace my Dell desktop, which appeared to have died at the time. It was just too slow for my everyday machine, and the heat output was excessive (especially in AZ in the summer!). I fixed the Dell and sold the Power Mac.

The one I'd always wanted to get was an eMate, but I either didn't have the budget or there weren't good models available.

I finally found one for about $60 shipped. It had the original stylus, the power adapter, and the best part is that the OEM battery pack actually holds a charge of about three to five hours. I plan to recell it eventually. I've only had it apart to oil the hinges. I use it daily to keep a journal (the iBook was performing that task prior to this).

Finally, today, I decided that the time was right to make the full switch and replace my Dell desktop. It was free, so I haven't been in a hurry, and it works well for my needs. But I wanted OS X for my daily use, and I wanted an Intel machine to run something newer than Leopard. I bought a Mac Pro 1,1, a 2.66GHz DP model, with a nice for the time GPU. It's not quite retro, and it only runs Lion, but I'm excited for it, as I'll finally have a more modern Mac.

Other than that, I currently have an iPhone 4 and an iPad Air. Love them all. And love the podcast!

Views: 103

Comment by Jeremy Barr-Hyde on February 19, 2014 at 4:41am

Thanks for posting!  I don't think the Newton / eMate range was popular in Australia as they never seem to come up for sale much.  YouTube videos here I come.  

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