January 25, 2012

Mac Classic

Eric Griffin

Mac Classic

A friend of mine was cleaning out his childhood bedroom and under the piles of clothes, baseball cards and CDs (remember those?) he found a diamond in the rough: a 1991 Apple Macintosh Classic. This happened to be the first computer I ever owned as a kid. Anxious to see if it worked, even though we had no mouse or keyboard yet, we set it up in an office and sure enough we got a happy face on the boot screen. More impressive than the fact this 20 year old computer booted up after being off and in a closet for more than 15 year was the fact that it had remembered, and restored, what was on screen the last time it was turned off – a ClarisWorks text file titled “Some Kind of History”.

To give you a sense of what kind of computing power we’re talking about, this Mac Classic has the following specs:

1MB RAM, an 8 MHz Processor and a 40MB Hard Drive. The mouse and keyboard connect via ADB (Apple Desktop Bus), which of course no one makes peripherals for anymore (interesting enough, Apple used ADB for internal mice/keyboard connections in laptops up until 2005). It’s running Mac OS 6, and sold for $1,500 when it was new.

About a week later, our original Apple ADB keyboard and mouse showed up:

ADB Keyboard and Mouse

The ADB keyboard worked great, but the mouse couldn’t “click” – you could press the button, but nothing happened on the Mac Classic. Fortunately one screw (under the serial number sticker) is all that holds the mouse together, so we took it apart to see if we could fix the button:

Fixing the ADB Mouse

The plunger on the mouse button that comes down and presses the internal button wasn’t pressing hard enough. Nothing a little duct tape couldn’t fix! A little extra padding was all it took to get it up and running.

Now that the keyboard and mouse were working, we could see what kind of applications were on it:

Alarm clock
Chooser (for picking a printer)
Control Panels
Key Caps

I couldn’t help but to think back to the original iPhone in 2007, where you couldn’t add on additional applications and it came with a core set of apps built in. Of them, the iPhone and Mac Classic both shared the alarm clock, calculator, notepad, control panel (settings) and scrapbook (photos). Apple really does stick to their roots.

Here are some more shots of the Mac Classic in all it’s original glory. Now the question is – should we make a Clear-Coat for the Mac Classic screen?

Join in on #MobileOutfitters

Follow @mobileoutfitters on Instagram to see what we are up to and tag your own #mobileoutfitters adventures.