The invincible Apple IIc

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Joined: Nov 21 2005
Posts: 12

Hi all! I just stumbled across this forum and thought I'd drop in. I've been an apple nut since about five years ago when I stumbled upon a mint IIgs Woz edition. Never could afford one back in the day. Now I love 'em.

Anyway, I scored this trashed IIc awhile back. Real dirty with a bad drive and a big burn mark on the underside. I had to fix it, you know? Poor little thing.

So, after pulling another drive out of a 5.25 unidisk spare I had, I managed to swap drives and fire the thing up. It worked great for about five minutes. Then (after popping Magic Candle in) it suddenly went HAYWIRE. I mean, we're talking friggin' possessed here! Bleeping, screaching, lights flashing eratically, and the disk drive going nuts, all of which terminates in 'ZNNAAAKK-POP!!!' and a plaintive howl from the speaker. 'Yaaaah!' I cried (almost dropping it), and switched the thing off. I pop open the case, don't see anything, reseat all the connections and fire it up again.

No noise. Whew. Oh wait, I think it's on FIRE!!!! No kiddin'! Smoke comes billowing out of the drive area. DANG it! I killed my poor IIC! What the heck is going on here?

I tear it apart again. This time, I find the problem.

You see, some numbnut twenty years ago dropped a little keychain inside the unit. It was wedged over by the power supply, and almost invisible. It was shorting everything out.
'Aww crap' I thought. 'This thing's gotta be toast by now'.

I fire it up again, with my finger hovering over the power switch, waiting for the end.

The IIc was having none of that retirement crap, though. It worked just fine. I played Magic Candle for an hour. Crazy.

Show me a PC that'll survive that kind of abuse, and I'll eat my hat (if I had one). Apple II's are built like tanks.

Nice to meet ya'll!

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Joined: Aug 15 2005
Posts: 27
Woah, that's awesome. I've ne

Woah, that's awesome. I've never seen or dealt with Apple IIs, but all older Apples were definately built to last. I've had a few old Macs, and the only one that died on me was a Plus suffering from battery corrosion to the degree that circuit tracks had lifted from the board and broken. Compare the number of newer PCs that I've been through in the same timespan, and it really says something. You just look inside the case and see the quality - the thick steel frames, tough plastics and clever design just scream "built to last". The sheer weight of most of the modular Macs gives that impression too.

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Joined: Jan 23 2005
Posts: 595
I agree.

I agree! Almost all of the old 8-bit computers were built like tanks. Have you ever seen the old Atari 400 and 800 computers? Or, the matching 850 floppy disk drive? If those things weren't built for use in war zones, I don't know which computers were.

Although, I think the apparent better quality of older machines is more to do with the technology of the day, and not any real planned longevity. The advances in plastic technology over the last two decades have been phenomenal. These newer and cheaper plastics mean that manufacturers don't have to use as much plastic, or metal, as they once had to. The downside, in my opinion, is that these newer plastics, in addition to being cheap, also look cheap.

woogie's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 267
Apple II's and tanks...

I have mentioned in previous threads over the years...
We had Apple IIe computers at my workspace (DoD Fire
Service) where they were used, mis-used, abused...you
name it and they just kept on going! They were (and
maybe still are to this day...I've since retired) used
on test sites where they were exposed to high temperature
and hazardous environments (test burns, test explosions,
chemical reactions, etc.) and they worked no matter what!

I'm a firm believer in well-built simple machinery that
will just plain DO THE JOB! The Apple II family of computers
is just such a machine.

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Joined: Mar 19 2005
Posts: 320
The Apple //c - Rock Solid, And Built To Stay That Way...

A few months back, was given an Apple //c; this would be the second one I've owned (had a Laser 128 for a while, though), and tonight, decided to fire 'er up. Incredible... runs fine (no software, though). Look at the underside - this was an original model A2S4000, but at some point was upgraded, a new serial number code over the old one. Newer ROM, per chance?
I decide to open her up. Oh, yes, real easy... like trying to shave a lion. Finally, remembered - there's a latch at the front that has to be pushed in. I do that, and piece-o'-cake. I look at the board. Clean, though there is evidence that roaches must have visited it during its storage. I remove said evidence, and still amazed at the board. Clean, simple. I check the ROM... yes, it is the later one (342-0033).
Put it back together again... piece-o'-cake. Fire it back up, go to BASIC prompt, type "PR#7", press enter, get "AppleTalk Offline". Amazing.
The //c and those roaches have something in common. They both might outlive us all...

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Joined: May 2 2005
Posts: 31
Tough Computers

I remember a commercial way back when with this guy who was talking about his PC being the only thing that survived in his business after the building was vaporized by the giant Edmonton tornado of 1987. I can't remember if it was an Apple or an IBM PC, but it still worked afterward. But I think the commercial was pulled because it upset people still mourning the loss of their loved ones.

MacIndows's picture
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Joined: Feb 6 2006
Posts: 12
Not invincible

Apples aren't quite invincible - I recently heard of someone who had 2 glasses of wine spilt over their G4 PowerBook - the hard drive and logic board got dissolved and they had to get a new one (they managed to get someone to recover their data from the hard drive on the same day and apparently this was just in time before it got too badly damaged by the wine) ...

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Fun (my vintage Macs, all got for free): Mac IIci, Mac LC, 2x Mac LC II, PowerMac 6100

Yet more stuff: IBM PS/2 Model 30 and 50, and 3 old laptops

Jon's picture
Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
But...

that's a newer Mac. The old Apple ][ series was built to take some real abuses.

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astro_rob's picture
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Joined: Mar 19 2005
Posts: 320
Old n' Tough

I have a machine that's pretty old, though not the same vintage of my //c; my trusty Tandy Model 102 laptop. Wine's nothin'. I spilled good Kentucky bourbon on it once, and after a little cleaning... well, still have it (see signature). Nope, they don't make 'em like that anymore. Viva la 8-bit!

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Tinker Ergo Sum!
iBook G4 "Snowy", iBook Clamshell "Tang", Tandy Model 102 "Tandy", Tandy Model 200 "Deuce", Palm IIIxe "Xerxes", HP Jornada "Jordana"