[vcf-midatlantic] Donations requested
hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Mon Oct 24 14:47:33 EDT 2016
> A bridge mac system... something running System 7 or 8 with working
> superdrive, ethernet and a cdrom. Transferring files to our 800KB floppy
> based Mac IIcx, Mac SE, and Apple IIc+ is next to impossible otherwise.
I would not call it "next to impossible" to provide these capabilities.
I'd simply state that supporting these capabilities on System 7 Macs is
limited compared to 21st century computing standards. Why? because in
those days, support was very specific to brands and models of devices;
and because networking was "siloed" to either Apple/Mac or IBM; and of
course pre-Internet. System 8 was "better" but had many of the same
problems, and is too big for some of the oldest Macs. and, some of these
Macs came out before CD-ROMs, or Ethernet, were in common use.
I'll grant, this may be too much work for your school's interest in
vintage computers. Copying floppies is the most straightforward way.
These constraints have been forgotten in the "plug it in and it works"
world of the 21st century. (shrug) there's hobbyist work-arounds and
products that provide "Internet connections" to most any vintage
computer - I'm not referring to 21st C products in my remarks below.
(And please don't pick nits - I'm trying to provide some directions
here, answer questions.)
In your photo, the Mac between the IIc and the iMac with the Dell-brand
LCD, is an old 68K Mac of some sort - I'm guessing that is your IIcx. It
should have a 1.4M floppy drive, and should be running System 6 or 7.
Later System 7 on that machine can create 1.4M Mac-format disks as well
as 800K Mac format disks; it should be able to format "PC" S-DOS 800K
and 1.4M too, and transfer files.
OS 7.5.3 was released by Apple decades ago as a complete set of
installable disk images. a later version of (I think) Disk Copy would be
needed to mount disk images. Or they may be as a self-expanding set of
files. Ask around for such a set of images or a CD disk. YOu may need
Apple CD-ROM extensions too.
Earlier Macs which did not have 1.4M drives could not of course read or
write 1.4M Mac or PC disks. The SE "superdrive" model had different ROMs
and IWM chip from the SE model and 1.4M drives were supported by those
chips. There's other compact Macs with 1.4M drives.
I think the Apple II 3.5" disks are "ProDOS" format, and of course 800K.
Ask someone in the Apple II community about transfers with 68K Macs, and
appropriate 800K drives for Apple II models.
As for Ethernet: older Macs with NuBus slots can accommodate NuBus
Ethernet cards. But "Ethernet" doesn't give you magic "transfer"
capabilities, especially between Macs and Windows/MS-DOS systems; or "to
the Internet". It's complicated, and beyond me too.
CD-ROMs: older SCSI based Macs may be able to accommodate some external
SCSI CD-ROM drives. However, System 7 as Apple supplied only supported
Apple CD-ROM products with specific brand/model of CD-ROM drives. One
needed specific "extensions" to support CD-ROMs at all, and also to
support other specific brand/models of CD-ROM drives. And...that's "read
only". Writable CD-ROM drives were supported in OS 8, but again specific
My suggestion? Use Iomega ZIP-disk technology, in Mac or PC formats.
Many Macs can operate external SCSI ZIP 100 drives, from Mac Plus and
up. Even more recent Windows systems can use IDE or USB ZIP drives. And
older Macs with IDE (PATA) supported ZIP drives. Those provide 100
megabytes of space, plenty for 1980's and 90's computing. I don't know
of an Apple II ZIP drive solution with 20th century technology.
Serial file transfer is tedious, but it works when nothing else will.
But of course, the popular solution for mass-file storage, is modern use
of flash-drive technology. Typically SD-card reader/writers made for
various vintage systems. Likewise, for "internet access", there are 21st
century Ethernet or WiFi adapters that hobbyists offer for specific
vintage computers. I do not keep track of these, so that's all I can say
about them. I'm busy enough (obviously) with the old stuff.
Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
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