Sad Mac

Back in 2002, cyantist gave me a Macintosh 128K, which was totally awesome. But then a few months later, the chain-gang sweatbox that is my office took its toll, and its monitor stopped working; it only displays a horizontal line now.

Does anyone still repair these? Failing that, what's the easiest way to get a new one that doesn't involve using eBay? (I hate dealing with auctions.)

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38 Responses:

  1. Is the inside of the case signed? At least the oldest ones (not sure when they stopped) have the project teams signatures molded into the plastic.

    • jwz says:

      It's an M0001, so I assume so, but I haven't checked (the Mac and the Magic Tool are not in the same building...)

      • duskwuff says:

        It almost certainly does. Even the Mac SE had a visible inscription.

      • I have an SE/30 you could have if you give up on that machine. Granted, it has the full 32MB ram, and ethernet, you can use it for modern tasks.

        I do remember the 128, a friend got one, poped the case after 90 days, and upgraded it to 512k fairly soon.

        • jerronimo says:

          FYI, you can put 128mb of ram in a SE/30. 8 16mb 30pin simms. (it'll cost an arm and a leg to get them though. hehe.)

          • Damn, finnaly time to upgrade! Less that $100 for 128MB on eBay. A friend caught the low point in memory prices for such systems in the summer of 1992, just before the fire that burned the plant that made half the plastic for the packaging, and memory prices trippled, coming back down to those levels three years later. He paid about $100 per 4MB simm. $3200+ for that much ram.

  2. whumpdotcom says:

    That's what failed. I went through two of them on my first Mac (1985-1990.)

    Who would stock the part, I don't know off the top of my head. I'll ask around and see what I can learn if you're interested in the replacement.

    • duskwuff says:

      @parent: Would the flyback from the SE be identical? (I expect so.)

      @<lj user=jwz>: I might have a spare around somewhere from when I tore apart an old SE, if that's indeed the problem.

  3. ammonoid says:

    AAaaak ok some point long long ago I had to take my totally ancient mac clone in to be fixed and the shop had a bunch of old macs for sale. I mean working old, all in one maquarim style macs.

    I think it was Happy Mac:
    1830 San Jose Ave
    San Francisco CA

    (415) 337-4090

    It was either them or Total Mac on Geary.

  4. nonameyet says:

    Horizontal line on display ?
    Sounds like something any TV repairman can fix.

  5. also_huey says:

    Cyan? No shit. The world gets smaller every day.

    At one point, in a basement just outside of Detroit, my cousin had a pile of Macs he fished out of the UofM's property disp dumpster. I don't know what his current stash of obsolete soon-to-be-fishtanks pile looks like, but I'll be there in a week, and I'll get back to you.

  6. hatter says:

    If you get desperate, but still want to avoid the actual auctioning, you could mail a couple of vendors from ebay explaining that you hate auctions, but will give them $X if they'll end the auction now and sell it to you.

  7. ewindisch says:

    A good number of my clients have old macs of that vintage, they're (literally) used as door-stops. These are schools -- they *still* have more of the machines lying around than they know what to do with. It might be worth calling some of the local area schools and seeing if they have any available.

  8. bifrosty2k says:

    Way back when I used to actually do component repair on these, I worked at a place called "Total Mac". I don't neccesarily reccomend them, but the owner (when on enough drugs) knew how to repair every piece of them.

    If that doesn't work, I think I might be able to procure one of these.

  9. internebbish says:

    You might be able to find someone through bmug. Looks like they still exist and might repair it just for kicks.

  10. jerronimo says:

    The Plus, 512k and 128K all have the same analog board, IIRC. You can get a Plus for $5 and pull the analog board out of there. Any TV repair place should be able to do this for you if you fear the high voltage of the flyback (which is intimidating...)

    If i were in the bay area, i'd offer to do it for you.... but I'm in the Rochester, NY area. :(

    If you want a new one, I believe Sun Remarketing has new 128k macs for around $150, although their site seems to be down right now.

    • king_mob says:

      And I've got a Plus, although I do not have the Magic Tool.

      • jerronimo says:

        Hop on over to Sears, and get a long-handled Torx T-15 screwdriver. That's really the only tool you need to buy. The case splitting can be done by setting it face-down on a surface protected by a towel (to keep it from scratching up the front), and lifting quickly on the back of the case. You may need to have someone hold down the faceplate.

        Just be careful of the flyback. If the machine was on within the past few days, there could be a pretty strong charge still in it (10,000volts or so). there are tutorials on the net that explain how to discharge a CRT. It's scary the first few times you do it, but you get used to it. ;)

        • darkengobot says:

          Another option is to use one of those freebie screwdrivers that have a clip like a ballpoint pen on the barrel, with a short Phillips head at the top and a long flat-head at the bottom. Then you turn the little bit of the barrel sticking out with a pair of Vise-Grips. The flathead just fits in the Torx slot. I did this to put the guts of an SE/30 into an SE case. Using inapproriate tools to do pointless work owns.

          Cracking the case is also doable with kitchen knife, standard, one (1), so long as boogered plastic doesn't curl your toes.

          • jerronimo says:

            The tool is only like $5, and will be sure to not damage the screw heads... i could understand using a home-made hacked tool for the job if the 'real tool' was $20, but it's so cheap, it's not worth using the wrong tool for the job.

            There's no reason to need any tools for cracking the case. if you use a knife of some sort, there's a better chance of damaging the plastic, which you won't want to do on something as collectable on the 128k.

            • darkengobot says:

              I fail to see the fun in doing it the right way.

              In any event, Sears is closed at 11PM which is when I'm usually moved to do things like this.

            • moof says:

              'Collectable'? I still see them turn up in the thrift stores every couple of months. I haven't see one not in working condition, either.

              • jerronimo says:

                the 128k's are. how else do you account for the fact that the 128k sells for ~$150-$200+ on ebay (unupgraded) compared to the 512k or plus selling for $5?

  11. divelog says:

    A very common problem with older macs: I used the instructions here to fix my own mac classic.

    If you don't want to DIY, I'd just ebay a new one; it's going to cost you more to get it fixed, but if you must try or they both used to do repairs on older macs.

    • jerronimo says:

      as much as I like to restore old equipment, in this case, it might just be easier and cheaper to replace the entire analog board with a working replacement. any of those radio shack parts will be a few dollars on their own, plus a few hours of work... an entire Mac Plus with a replacement analog board will set you back $5... plus you get a spare case that you can use as a fishtank or lite-brite or whatever...

    • duskwuff says:

      That's the wrong problem, though. That's for loss of horizontal deflection - similar, but slightly different, problem. See #6 at

  12. scullin says:

    I have one gathering dust at the moment, the last time I tried it it worked, and I know of another one that's probably up for grabs, as well. I also have the case cracker and hex wrench somewhere.

  13. jackbrinks says:

    Some place down the street was trying to get rid of a bunch of old Macs a few months ago so I came back with a dozen of them. After making a few clocks for people, I have:

    1 512K Mac and
    7 Mac Classics

    left that you're welcome to. Physically they look fine (no missing parts) but I haven't plugged them in or tested them in any way. They're in Santa Clara.

  14. mattbot says:

    Hmmm, a 128K with a bad screen? Did you check the pilot light? Is it low on lamp oil?

  15. cwilllu says:

    I've got some old atari hardware (with the addition of the 128k mac roms) which is capable of read/write/format to mac format and pc format double-density disks (and I believe single-density as well).

    Just in case you ever need to do that again, and somehow get the impression that sending/receiving disks/old hardware is easier than the alternative.

  16. divelog says:

    Hey, I'll sell you my old Classic II for $100,000. That includes shipping.

  17. cyantist says:

    Why don't I just get you a new one? :)