Re: Kinda OT: Any value to an old Macintosh?

by WolfFan

It's probably an old classic Mac: a Mac 128/512/Plus, a SE or SE/30, or a Classic. If it's yellow-beige it's a 128/512/Plus. You can tell the difference between a Plus and a 128/512 by looking at the keyboard, if it plugs in the front with a connector that looks like a phone jack it's a 128/512 (and effectively worth zero, except to a museum) and if it plugs into the back with a circular connector it's a Plus (and not worth much more). I bought a 128 on 17 May 1984 (yes, I even recall the exact date...) and it became, in succession, a 512 then a Plus before I sold it just short in seven years later. The person I sold it to got five years use out of it and sold it to someone else who got another three or four years out of it and I don't know what happened to it after that, so it lasted at least 15 years, not at all bad for a computer. (There's a 512e as well, but that's just a 512 with a 800 kB floppy drive, like that of the Plus, instead of the 400 kB floppy drive that other 512s and 128s had.)

If it's silver-grey ('platinum', in Apple-speak) it's a SE or a SE/30. The SE was basically a Plus with a new case and a factory, as distinct from 3rd-party aftermarket hacks, internal hard drive. Early SEs had 800 kB floppy drives, later ones had 1.44 MB drives. It's impossible to find 400 or 800 kB floppies and very difficult to find 1.44 MB floppies. (Some SEs had two floppies instead of the hard drive. I could never understand why.) The SE/30 was an uprated machine, with a 68030 (hence the '/30') CPU, about equivalent to a 80386. It was the finest 'classic' Mac ever built. It could take 128 MB RAM. It had a 40, later a 80, MB hard drive. It ate 386-based computers alive and growled defiance at 486s. SEs are still worth a few, a very few, dollars. SE/30s are actually still used by a few (a very few) people.

If it's whitish-grey it's a Macintosh Classic, essentially a re-issue of a SE only cheaper, in many ways. It's worth less than a Plus.

The printer is an Imagewriter (note common 'w') or an ImageWriter II (note cap 'W'...) if it's a dot matrix, unless you're unlucky and it's one of the few surviving ImageWriter LQs, possibly the worst printer ever produced by a major computer vendor. (No, the 'L' did not stand for 'Lemon', no matter what some people who had to use may say.) If it's an inkjet it might be a StyleWriter or a StyleWriter II. If it's a laser it's some early LaserWriter, probably an original LaserWriter, LaserWriter Plus, or a LaserWriter II, of which there were numerous subtypes. A LWII is still usable, the others are dead meat except when connected to a computer of that vintage. IWLQs were pretty much dead meat out of the box.

Posted on Jul 1, 2011, 3:51 PM

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  1. Re: Kinda OT: Any value to an old Macintosh?. Anonymous Coward, Jul 3, 2011
    1. That was me.... J. Cook, Jul 4, 2011

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