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My Macintosh SE

I've always had a soft spot for the old compact Macintoshs. Initially I was interested in buying a SE/30 (like everyone else) but already having a Power Mac 6100 / 66 that emulates later 68k software at decent speeds, I decided to jump on the SE bandwagon.

There was one thing to make sure however, and that was to get the FDHD version which features a 1.44 MB floppy drive versus the 800k floppy drives in older SE models. Getting floppies and replacements for the later is getting hard.

When I received the Mac SE, it was full of dust on it inside (so I gave it a good clean with compressed air). Also the floppy drive wouldn't accept any disks anymore, wanted to initialize all of them (which would then fail). I was able to fix that by opening up the floppy drive and cleaning it thoroughly from the inside.

It seems lots of these broken floppy drives actually just need a good clean in order to be working again. This is especially true if they weren't in use for a couple of years.

I've tried to make it accept a SCSI2SD v5.1, but neither Lido nor Disk Tools would bring it or be able to format it. The SE's have been known to be a bit picky about SCSI2SDs, so I've just put an old 240 MB hard disk into it. Fair enough for me and the clicking of the drive makes me really nostalgic. (initially, it came with the working original 20MB hdd (those in extra thick format) and contained all the original documents, faxes etc. from a company in the sports sector.)

I'm running a version of System 6.0.8. on this machine and even though it is fully equipped with 4 MB of RAM (which is max.) I won't ever go System 7 for performance reason. The 68000 CPU simply is better suited for System 6.

At times I'm using my external SCSI Apple CD 300 on this Mac for CD-ROM capabilites, which is usually when I go through some really old early 90s shareware CD-ROMs. Always on the hunt to add some of the shareware classics from yesteryear, which we still lack lots of on the Mac Garden.

I also use my Mac SE to play some of the old games that won't run on anything newer than System 6 or simply don't have the same feeling. So apart from classics like Shadow Keep or The Colony, I also play those old interactive fiction text adventures on it and just completed Jinxter as of April 2019. It's really great fun to play on this 9" black & white screen and the system I feel these games were made to play on.

It is also great fun to try out some of the old business software in these machines. Albeit they're in black & white (which has its own merits!) they're surprisingly capable and you can still do stuff with it. Wish there was a way to connect this one to a printer and use it for writing letters.

As for more upgrades, I have no plans for this machine right now. Given that network cards are just too bloody expensive, it will probably stay in this configuration. It is also noteworthy that it has not been recapped and won't be until it is necessary. Apparently the Mac SE computers suffer much less from the dreaded exploding caps problem then e.g. the SE/30 models.

Would I recommend this Mac to others for 80s Mac fun? Heck, yes I would. Just make sure you're not paying premium, because many sellers (especially on ebay) seem to have this fixed idea that these machines are rare (which they are not) or in high demand (not true either). So don't pay 200+ euros for your unit, please.