[NTLK] Off Topic: Macintosh SE/30 - to buy or not to buy?

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 19 22:52:25 EST 2012


>I checked all the others. Only two lit up the screen, both with 
>checkerboard problems. While these had supposedly worked before, it >turned out he had last powered these up during the summer. Thinking hard, >I recalled seeing a YouTube video of a guy who acquired a
>vintage PC but was unable to boot the machine. After letting
>the machine warm up to room temperature, the hard disk
>expanded and became readable in the warmer environment.

If the problem was limited to a bad hard drive, chances are good you would have gotten a floppy icon with a flashing question mark in the middle of the screen as the Mac sought a floppy disk/HD with a viable system folder.

Unfortunately, as this thread indicates:


...hooking up, say, an external HD to a Mac Classic isn't likely to yield any positive results as far as the checkerboard screen problem is concerned.

The problem -might- be resolved by reseating the ROM and/or cleaning the ROM connectors: that's Step #1.  Step #1/2, however, is to get the cases open.  I say this because the odds are that the problem you're seeing is caused by the leaking capacitors mentioned earlier in the thread. 

Meaning: getting the cases open sooner rather than later would probably be a good idea.  If the capacitors are indeed leaking, the logic board is peacefully rotting away as you read this and will continue to do so until the board is cleaned up.  Cleaning up the board being, of course, a temporary fix: the long-term solution is to replace the leaking capacitors.

At any rate, the thread I linked to above discusses the Classic.  This one talks about the checkerboard problem as seen in a Classic II:


> Keeping in mind the comments in here about caps and such, I
> took the plunge and acquired a Macintosh Classic, a Classic
> II, two mice, and a single keyboard for $17. 

You can't get much fairer than that, at least. :)

Is the keyboard one of these:


(Stephen Edmonds' picture, not mine, of an Apple Extended Keyboard II.)

...by any chance?

>If this does not pan out, at least they will become the greatest hipster
>doorstops of all time. 

Looked at another way: you've got two chances to walk away with a viable compact Mac.

>Thanks for your help guys. Will keep the updates coming on here as these >guys warm up and I find a torx screw set. 

Since you are now a compact Mac owner (as opposed to a prospective purchaser), you might want to check out 68kmla:


It seems to be the go-to place for compact Mac owners with wayward machines.  With any luck, the two threads I've linked to will be enough to get you started, at least, but once you have the machines open and have looked around inside, your best bet is to start a new thread on 68kmla to get the expert advice you'll need to carry you through.

While I think of it: if you are really low on dough, and can only manage to borrow a T15 Torx bit (or, slightly better, a Torx bit set) from someone (as opposed to borrowing/buying the appropriate long-shaft Torx screwdriver to get the case open), you might want to give the following better-than-nothing method a try:

(After this caveat, of course: the following is NOT the way you want to open the case if you have any alternative whatsoever available.  However, sometimes there is a pressing need to do things without the proper tools being available [for whatever reason].  You decide if this is one of those times and whether you want to assume the risks inherent in getting into the case this way.  In other words: you can potentially ruin your Mac by doing this, so please treat this only as the last resort it is intended to be.)

And with that out of the way...

[Begin quote]

You need:

1 Torx bit, size T-15. This can be the short kind, about 3/4 inch long with the standard hexagonal body used for interchangeable-bit screwdrivers. 

1 other bit with the same hexagonal body. The type of tip doesn't make any difference. If you can find the kind that is about 1 1/4 inches long that will work better but it's not necessary.

2 Bic Round Stic ballpoint pens. These are the kind with round (usually white) semi-flexible barrels. The barrels are the same diameter for their entire length with no taper. These used to be called Bic Biro, but now they seem to be called the Round Stic. The Round Stic Grip will also probably work if that's all you can find.

Dissasemble the pens till you are left with the barrels.

Push or hammer the T-15 Torx bit into the end of one of the pen barrels. Try to keep it as straight as possible.

Push the other bit about half way into the other end of the barrel and then push the second barrel onto the back of that bit.

You should end up with two pen barrels connected by a bit, with the Torx bit sticking out the end.

You can now use this to reach the two recessed screws. You will probably need a pair of pliers (or vise grips) to turn it. Be careful because the screws may be tight. In my experience, they are not tight enough to overcome the force holding the bits in, but it may be close.

When you put the screws back in, put them in the holes and turn them backwards until you feel the threads drop into their original grooves. The tighten them normally. This will keep them from cutting new threads, which will tend to chew up the plastic.

[End quote]

Alternately, you can try substituting a standard wooden pencil for the torx bit linking the two Bic pen bodies if all you have available is the T15 Torx bit itself.

(NB: the above hack is not mine.  There are many variations on the same basic theme, but the specific hack above was, I believe, created by Jamie Stotz.)  

With any luck, however, you will have access to the proper T15 torx screwdriver to get the case open and needn't resort to the above.  The only reason I bring it up at all is because the cases need to be open sooner rather than later if your goal is to try to get two working compact Macs out of this deal as opposed to a couple of doorstops.


James Fraser

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