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Macintosh Plus – 22 Years Later

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Mac PlusEvery couple of years, I take out my old Macintosh Plus to boot it up and play with it. It is, quite frankly, amazing how many things are exactly the same in OS X today as they were in System 6. For instance, I couldn’t find an OS X Finder keyboard shortcut that didn’t work in System 6, barring of course, those that pertain to technologies no availble in the mid-80s. I just realized that it is amazing that this computer is now 22 years old, and still works. Sadly, it is on it’s last legs. The CRT is going and the floppy drive no longer works.

In this video, you will see a Macintosh Plus with these following specs:

System 6.0.4, Finder 6.1.4
1 MB RAM
30 MB External Hard Drive

You will see it run Shufflepuck Cafe, Control Panel, and Microsoft Word, as well as some of it’s desktop applications like Calculator. Also keep your eye out for the error dialogues that I get. Notice how human the errors are. Its apologizes to me for not finding a file. This is a truly intuitive computer.


Video by Adam Fisher-Cox ©2008

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  • NichM

    Nice! I've got a Mac Classic and those old things rock

  • Zach K

    Wow. Mac was cool even back then. I can't believe how good everything works 22 years later.

    Great video.

    Dugg.

  • Gordon

    Does it have a 68020 processor or that new ultra fast 68030. Zoom.

    In all seriousness the '30' was much better for everything from Word to Crystal Quest. Do you remember how much the Apple printer's were? Made it hard to throw them out even though they were busted but good.

    And then there was SCSI, "scuzzy" or small computer serial interface. Ugg. Plagued with VooDoo curses I think, and home to small computer gremlins known as Bowgons. Never mess with them, they eat files and laugh at you.

  • Toto

    It is probably a fake

    You can see 2560 Ko of ram – only the mac SE could have this amount of memory

  • Wes G

    I miss Shuffle Puck, and I wish we hadn't thrown out the old Plus.

    Great video, nice to take a trip down memory lane!

  • Scott Baret

    I too have a Mac Plus, I actually use it on a regular basis. And yes, a Plus can have up to 4MB of RAM for those who doubt it–mine does. I also have an 80MB external hard drive and programs like MacWrite Pro, MacDraw II, and a few others running on it.

    A few questions/comments about yours:

    1. What INIT are you using to get applications in the Apple menu under System 6?

    2. You say your CRT is going. It could be the analog board, which drives the CRT.

  • Alex Taylor

    2560KB of RAM = 2.5MB

    The Mac Plus has four 30-pin SIMM slots, which have to be filled in pairs. A 2.5MB configuration would therefore be a pair of 1MB SIMMs in one bank, and a pair of 256KB SIMMs in the other.

    The Plus's base configuration was 1MB, installed as 4x256KB. A 2.5MB upgrade would involve removing a pair of the original SIMMs and replacing them with a pair of 1MB ones, and cutting the appropriate resistors on the logic board.

    I have a pair of Pluses – one with 1MB, the other with 4MB (4x1MB), which is the maximum.

  • Julian

    I have a 4Mb Mac Plus back at my parents house. Still works, but seems to be a bit unreliable with the 270Mb HD. I have great memories of the machine; The University trusted me with taking one home during the Easter vacation in 1988 to learn HyperCard… but I think I spent most of the time playing Crystal Quest :-) Great keyboards with an amazing clacky feel and the clunky mouse.

    It's true though you could do anything with a Plus. I used one for programming (in Pascal/C), games, sequencing (using Cubase Lite), office stuff, emailing and even using the Web (using MacWeb). If only Apple would release an ultra-light PlusBook: 6.5" mono LCD (100dpi), 4Mb RAM; 256Mb Flash with a detachable flat optical mouse that looks mostly like the original. I'd buy it in an instant just for the sheer retro-nuttiness of it all!

  • Plan K

    I haven't cried at a film like that since Field of Dreams. It reminded me of my own Mac Plus and the roads we traveled together, five Macintoshes ago. Oy, the sweet pain of nostalgia. And the line: "You may now switch off your Macintosh safely." It put a lump in my throat.

    I sold my Mac Plus to my sister for $100 in the early 90s. I'm afraid to ask about its status because I know she's probably thrown it away. But what wouldn't I give to have that Mac Plus back to see if I could fire it up? … Well, I'd probably give Sis her $100 back.

  • Michael Yurechko

    I feel so left out, all you guys have cool retro Macs and the oldest one I have is the original iMac – which will soon be a file server :)

    The Mac Plus looks truly awesome, amazing video Adam. Now I need one *looks on craigslist*…*scowls at prices*…*goes back to using MacBook*

  • BScholin

    Gee, I think I have you all beat! I have an original Mac from 1984, which still works very well. I upgraded it to a Mac + many years ago, so I could go above the original 128k memory. But it still has no model name on the front, which is its most endearing feature, to me. Its original shipping box is really a work of art, though it has suffered over the years.

    I also have System 3g, which shipped with it, and I can assure you it makes your system 6 demo look very modern indeed. But knowing what's in the "future" for Mac OS makes OS3's quirks not seem as significant as its promise.

    My machine has had a few parts replaced (logic board, two power supplies, keyboard), but the most amazing thing is that it still has its original, 24 year old, alkaline PRAM battery. Not sure I could get a new one of those….

  • Alex Taylor

    Having the original battery in an original Mac is amazing! Although I think that one of my Plus's batteries might still be working.

    And you're right, that battery is long discontinued. You have to adapt the holder, or fit a smaller modern battery in a home-made adapter.

  • Adam Fisher-Cox

    Thanks for all the comments. I am glad that everyone liked it.

    As for you, Toto, not sure why I would put time and effort into a fake video. Keep in mind this has a 30 MB external SCSI drive.

  • Robert Little

    I have a Plus, and… I use it. Quite a bit in fact. Love the machine, and I fly on floppies alone.
    I've written about it at http://yesterdata.blogspot.com/2008/01/digital-defiance.html. When I was setting it up on this shelf, and this should be a warning to others as well, make sure that you have plenty of ventilation space on either side. Since it uses passive ventilation, those lower vents are mu importante to leave unblocked.
    It was recently joined by an original condition Apple ][e… on the shelf next to it. I just them old computers.

  • Tony Sabonge

    Cool video, as soon I saw it went to the basement and found my old Mac Plus in a box under some old books from college.
    The hard disc does not function (Humidity affected maybe) but the single unit worked fine with diskettes.
    An amazing PC indeed, if I visit the Apple headquarters someday would like to post a message of congratulations for such a good computer.
    Video also made cry.
    Bye!

  • Spuffler

    Lets see…
    Mac Plus? I got 3 of them (1 works but has a bad analog board, is destined for parts, 2 work decent).
    Mac SE? 1 or 2, I forget.
    Mac SE 30? Yup, one.
    Quadra 650? Yup.
    Mac performa? Uh-huh, 1.
    Powerbook 520c, dead battery pack, warped AC adapter, works otherwise.
    Power PC 7500/100? Yeah got one.
    External SCSI cdrom and hard disc…
    and…
    21" RGB monitor for the Q650… woot! 1024 x 768 resolution at 21" has icons the size of the Macintosh Lisa's whole screen!!

  • Old Macs Rock32

    I got one of these a couple of weeks ago. The old macs are cooler than the new ones. I still need a keyboard and mouse:( for it but i will be getting a boot disk soon :) . Cool vid!

  • Old Macs Rock32

    by the way its a plus

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