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Questions about Modernizing and using my Mac LCIII


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#51 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 6:02 PM

Thanks.  I am not at home where I can try it at the moment.  The problem is *before* it tries booting.  The screen is all black.  Eventually the tone comes on and the screen turns on and then it attempts to boot.

 

I have unplugged both the SCSI2SD and the floppy and had nothing plugged into the external and it still would hang on startup.  Once it works once, it boots quickly after that.  I noticed last night that sometimes it doesn't boot (after the tone comes on)when the SCSI2SD is there and it has a floppy symbol with a ? on it.  The fix for that was to unplug the power cord from the back and plug it back in.  I also noticed when the power was plugged in but the switch was off that if I connected or turned on the external CDROM that the SCSI2SD light would flash.  This tells me that there is power to the motherboard even when the switch is off.  Something is probably getting stuck with this low power state that is causing the hang, so maybe I should use the powerstrip switch to power everything off.

 

Also, I have been having read errors with my Floppy Emu, and I asked the creator about it and he said this:

I’m guessing there’s electrical noise in the data connections to/from the Emu board. Often this is the result of a Mac with some internal problems, like a power supply that’s out of spec or fluctuating, or failed Bourns filters on the disk I/O lines, or a second connected disk drive that’s faulty. These can introduce excess noise into the digital signals that wreak havoc and cause errors in unpredictable places. If you have another Mac you can test with, that’s the easiest way to check that theory. It’s also possible there’s a defect with the Floppy Emu or its cable. I do test all the hardware before shipping it, but if this is a rare/infrequent error I might have missed it. You are covered by a 1 year warranty if there’s a hardware problem.

 

So I am wondering if I might have jittery electrical signals going around that might be caused by bad capacitors and/or a bad power supply.  I will try disabling the RAM check.  And yes, the battery is dead because the date keeps going back to something like 1956.  This might be the cause of issues after it has been off for awhile and then starts working again once the battery comes to life a little bit.  Not sure.



#52 Iamgroot OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 8:52 PM

For a dead battery and computers that have sat a long time, this is how I start them.

 

Turn on the power switch, wait 10 secs with power switch on, flip power switch off then immediately back on.

 

Normal power up should resume in under 10 secs.

 

 

as for the noise, I am finding that older computers like these tend to somewhat corrode on the connections, and yes, although there could be certain parts giving out, but over 75% of the time noise can be attributed to poor ground.  And it is also the cheapest and quickest thing to fix.  All that is needed is to solder a wire from the power supply ground to the motherboard ground to supplement the poor connection of the pins.



#53 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 8:55 PM

dont forget beer can filtering caps, I had to replace all mine on my LC2 due to system stability and a super annoying whistle coming from the speaker



#54 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 6, 2017 9:55 PM

Just got home and that worked!  It wasn't turning on but I left it on.  Then, I read your post and turned it off and on and the tone came on.  Before this, I tried unplugging it and plugging it back in, but that didn't help.  Sounds like I need a new battery to help my power on issues. 

It also sounds like I can do some things to help with the noise, so I will look into that too.  Thanks!

 

I checked there was no option to disable the memory check.  Virtual memory was turned off. I just turn it on and set it to 40 MB (double my RAM).  I tried King's Quest VI yesterday and it had a memory issue when playing the intro video.  It said I can play the game with the amount of memory I have, but not watch the intro video.  Now, maybe I can watch the whole thing.  Edit: nope. Still fails at the same point.  Oh well.


Edited by thorr, Mon Mar 6, 2017 10:05 PM.


#55 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 7, 2017 4:12 AM

Just ordered a new battery, and a 32MB SIMM from Ebay.  Hopefully the battery will help with the poweron issues.



#56 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:08 AM

I just tried initializing a second drive on the SCSI2SD and it keeps failing to complete.  Using the CDROM works sometimes and sometimes not.  The Floppy Emu often has read errors.  I decided to get new capacitors for both the power supply and the motherboard, so hopefully this will clear up all of the flaky issues in addition to the battery.  Hopefully I don't destroy anything in the process...



#57 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:30 AM

The 32MB memory arrived and when I first installed it, the mouse movement was very jerky.  A reboot didn't fix it, but after powering down and powering back up, it's fine.  Strange.  I tried King's Quest VI again and it didn't make any difference.  The Opening video always fails at the same point.  I also had enough memory to create a RAM disk big enough to hold the whole game and the video seemed to run just a tad smoother.  Of course it still failed at the same point saying there was not enough memory.  I think it is just a bug.  I am looking forward to getting the new capacitors and battery and seeing if they make things more stable with the rest of the system.



#58 Iamgroot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:03 AM

The 32MB memory arrived and when I first installed it, the mouse movement was very jerky.  A reboot didn't fix it, but after powering down and powering back up, it's fine.  Strange.  I tried King's Quest VI again and it didn't make any difference.  The Opening video always fails at the same point.  I also had enough memory to create a RAM disk big enough to hold the whole game and the video seemed to run just a tad smoother.  Of course it still failed at the same point saying there was not enough memory.  I think it is just a bug.  I am looking forward to getting the new capacitors and battery and seeing if they make things more stable with the rest of the system.

 

There are different reasons for an out-of-memory error.  It is probably not because of the Ram you installed but the amount of Ram that is allotted for the program.

 

You can change that by clicking on the application and doing a Get Info.

 

Increase the memory usage for the program you see there.



#59 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:07 PM

Thanks!  That did the trick.  It was set to 2000.  I bumped it up to 8000 and it worked.  Strange that it doesn't grow by default.  I think I will go through all of my games and bump it up to like 20000 since I have 36 MB. 

 

I took apart my power supply when I was figuring out what capacitors I needed and there is leaky stuff on the board.  After physically pushing on the capacitors so I could read them, it seems like the computer got more stable.  I measured the voltage it was producing and it reads well at the moment. Also at the moment, I haven't been having read issues with the Floppy Emu and the SCSI2SD was able to format the partition I was having problems with, although I used the newer patched 7.3.5 HD Setup which may have made the difference (that was what worked before, but then I was trying the older non-patched one afterwards and it was failing).  So, I am hopeful that I will have a stable computer once I replace the capacitors.

 

I am debating about overclocking the computer.  I haven't read anywhere how reliable that is.  I have a 25 MHz CPU, so it would be risking it plus all the other parts.  Most likely I will not overclock it unless I come across an application that I really want to work well that doesn't at 25 MHz.



#60 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:02 PM

Just turned on the computer and it wasn't booting, and I tested the voltages on the power supply and they were way out of spec.  I am going to leave it off until I can replace the capacitors in the power supply.



#61 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:30 PM

I just replaced the capacitors on my power supply.  I think previously I was measuring the wrong pins, but anyway, the voltages look good now so I didn't break anything.  Also, it is behaving the same way (taking forever to turn on), so the power supply isn't the issue. Still waiting for the battery to arrive.  I will try that next before replacing the capacitors on the motherboard.



#62 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:29 PM

I got the battery and it solved the startup delays completely.  This is really nice.  The clock doesn't stay in sync though when the computer is off.  It gets off quickly by several minutes, but maybe after it has had more time to charge, it will work better, but I don't really care.  I also replaced all of the capacitors on the motherboard and they were leaky underneath so I am glad I did it.  Despite this, I still have the same issues with the Floppy Emu read errors and my CDROM won't read any of the new CD's I burned, but will read old ones burned years ago.  It seems like my old CD-R's are not reliable or something and they work the day they are burned and are fresh but then quickly degrade to the point that my drive won't read them.  I guess I can live with that since it is just temporarily needed to get data over to the Mac hard drive.  I will probably have to send the Floppy Emu back for evaluation.  It works well enough that I can deal with it as long as I copy the contents to the hard drive before trying to install anything.  That way if there is an error, I can just recopy it again until it works.    

 

I also installed 7.5.3 on a second SCSI drive on the SCSI2SD and updated it to 7.5.5 (which was a painful but ultimately successful process) and got the Apple IIe card working.  It works at speed, but for some reason I only have 6 MB of usable memory and 30 MB is used by the system.  I have no idea what is eating up all the memory.  On 7.6.1 I have only 3 MB used by the system.  On 7.5.5, I have it set to 24-bit addressing and the IIe software (latest version) is installed.  Is there some kind of utility that I can use to see what is eating up 30 MB of memory (what extension or whatever)?  

 

Something interesting that I tried was hooking the Floppy Emu up to the Mac's internal floppy connector and setting the Floppy Emu to Apple II mode with both 5.25" Apple III drive emulation and 3.5" 800K Apple II drive emulation.  The 5.25" drive mode didn't work and the Mac popped up something asking to initialize it as an 800K disk which I didn't attempt to do.  In 3.5" mode, it actually worked with Apple II 3.5" disk images.  This is cool because I was able to copy some of my Prodos stuff to a 3.5 dsk image file and run it on the Apple IIe card.  I don't have the Y-cable anymore, and because I have the Apple IIc, I don't really need the Apple IIe card to work anyway, but it is nicer than the Apple IIc in that it allows for accelerated speed and the graphics are pristine (which is actually a bit of a turn off - I can just run an emulator if I want either of those things).  I am still thinking about putting a network card in there so I won't have to deal with CD's, but I will do it so rarely that I don't know if it is worth the trouble.  One nice thing about it though is being able to get data back off the Mac if I ever have anything I want to back up.  Right now, there is nothing I need that my Floppy Emu can't handle for backup purposes.  

Thanks!

Michael



#63 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:34 PM

1) what X speed is your cd rom, it may have issues if your burning disks at 900x and its being read back at 2x, try slowing down the burn speed to like 8x or something 

 

2) if you choose about this macintosh from the apple menu it will give you an idea whats eating ram, if its system its extensions, if 7.5 is not your main OS disable just about everything, also keep in mind 2^24 = 16777216

 

3) network cards are generally stupid cheap for this series of machine (I got mine for like 12 bucks + postage last year off ebay and didnt really shop around a lot) and its not super hard to swap cards out though you do have to disconnect everydamn thing on the back and scoot the mobo forward ... or other voodo to do so ... if you have a desktop around it might be worth getting a pci scsi card, cause maybe its easier to yank the drive and make an image of it ... dunno I have a garage computer setup that its entire existence is split tween electronic design, cad work, retro computers, and watching tv while I mod game systems, so its always got a scsi card (along with 3.5 and 5.25 inch pc fdd's, a IDE drive bay, sata drive bay, card reader blah blah blah every slot stuffed with some crap)



#64 Iamgroot OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:14 PM

ditto on the cd burn speed.  Also I think I remember having better luck with the older cd's rated at 650 Mb and not the 700 Mb ones and also the make of cd.  At the time I had TDK and Sony cd's,  that were the best luck with.  Memorex and noname, not so good.

 

When unplugging all the cables to open up the lid, you should at least plug the power cable back in and put your hand on the power supply to prevent accidental static discharge before plugging any cards into the slot.

 

That was what I noticed about too, that OS 7.5.5 is both a disk hog and memory hog and OS 7.6.1 was very efficient with both.  You can alleviate quite a bit of memory usage by dragging all the unneeded printer, video and obsolete extensions to an EXTENSIONS (DISABLED) folder.

 

Remember the program usage adjustment in the GetInfo window?  That amount of memory is allotted whether it is all used or not.  So, opening a couple of Kings Quest games can eat up your 32 Mb pretty quickly if set at 8 Mb.  I will try to located the control panel I have that frees up some of that memory and adjusts the memory usage dynamically.  But in the mean time, don't open too many applications at once, or lower the usage for programs like MS Word, and most games like Kings Quest, when 256 colors is needed, doesn't need to be larger than 4 Mb.



#65 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:07 AM

Thanks for the tips.  My CD's are all 700 MB Sony's, but I did have one Imation 700 MB left that I used first and both types are unreadable after the initial success.  My drive is an 8x.  Next time I burn one, I will try a slower speed.  I think I may have tried this already once, but since I am not sure, I will definitely try again.  The older CD I have been testing with that was burned years ago an seems to always work is a 650 MB Sony.

 

As far as the memory goes, I am not opening any applications after a reboot or power-on and it uses 30 MB of memory for the system.  I wonder if it is a memory leak with the IIe card software or something.  I will experiment with disabling the extensions and see if I can figure out which one is causing the issue.

 

I have been in touch with the creator of the Floppy Emu and he offered to swap it out for a different one if I pay for the postage.  It works fine on my IIc which is primarily what I use it for, and given the prices of buying new 650 MB CD's, shipping the Floppy Emu both ways, or buying an Ethernet card for the Mac, they are all pretty inexpensive.  I will probably swap the Floppy Emu just in case it is actually defective and won't cost much to find out, and will probably get an ethernet card also since I don't plan to use the IIe card very often and most likely won't buy any new CD's.  The one thing I wish I had for the IIc is an accelerated option like I had on my Laser 128/EX.  I don't know if they make zip chips or whatever for the IIc.  Playing games is a bit slower than I would like in some cases like walking from place to place in King's Quest but it sure is special on the real hardware.  On the Mac, I love the CRT VGA screen and on the IIc, I love the composite video.  Flat screens are just that - flat.  They don't have any warmth or character like the older monitors and are too perfect to have that retro feel.  I probably wouldn't mind eventually getting an adapter that would let the IIc work on the Mac monitor just for fun. 



#66 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:49 PM

Got the Floppy Emu working a lot better by using an older firmware.  I only had 1 read error out of 34 disks.  This is compared to 1 out of every 3 to 6 disks before.  I am currently writing a CD and the slowest my drive supports with writing is 16x.  Hopefully my media supports speeds that fast, lol.  

Edit: It won't read the CD or even my old reliable one at the moment.  I guess I will get an ethernet adapter.  I am going to be traveling for a few weeks so I will wait until I get back to order one. 


Edited by thorr, Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:02 PM.


#67 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:22 PM

Just a quick update.  I burned a few more CD's with an older USB DVD burner and it supports 10X writing.  I think its the media itself that doesn't support slower writing in this case.  Anyway, it worked with these CD's, but I had to reboot with the CD in the drive for it to mount it properly the first time.  Subsequent CD's worked without a reboot.



#68 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:09 AM

Just an update.  I got back from my travels and bought an ethernet card.  It took me a bit to get it working. I couldn't ping it even when setting the IP address manually.  DHCP didn't seem to do anything as far as I could tell.  I ended up installing IPNetRouter and it started working with DHCP.  This is demo software that will expire on May 7, and I don't yet know if there is a way to get it to work without it.  I installed iCab for a browser and it was slower than molasses in January and buggy when viewing web pages.  I ended up just installing Transmit for an FTP client and Filezilla on the PC side as an FTP server.  I download software on the fast PC, then on the Mac, FTP it over.  It works pretty well this way.  I have no idea if the Mac is susceptible to hackers/viruses so I unplug the network cable while I am not using the network.  I also disable the FileZilla stuff in the firewall settings and stop the FTP server when not using it on the Windows side.  I am happy I got the network card because it is much better than burning unreliable CD's, but I am worried it will break on May 7.  

 

For games that have Toast CD images, is there a way to copy these to the Mac Hard Drive and mount them from there or do they have to be burned to a CD?  I don't have a way to burn them to a CD since I only have a CDROM on the Mac and PC software doesn't know what a Toast CD image is as far as I know.


Edited by thorr, Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:11 AM.


#69 Iamgroot OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:21 AM

Just an update.  I got back from my travels and bought an ethernet card.  It took me a bit to get it working. I couldn't ping it even when setting the IP address manually.  DHCP didn't seem to do anything as far as I could tell.  I ended up installing IPNetRouter and it started working with DHCP.  This is demo software that will expire on May 7, and I don't yet know if there is a way to get it to work without it.  I installed iCab for a browser and it was slower than molasses in January and buggy when viewing web pages.  I ended up just installing Transmit for an FTP client and Filezilla on the PC side as an FTP server.  I download software on the fast PC, then on the Mac, FTP it over.  It works pretty well this way.  I have no idea if the Mac is susceptible to hackers/viruses so I unplug the network cable while I am not using the network.  I also disable the FileZilla stuff in the firewall settings and stop the FTP server when not using it on the Windows side.  I am happy I got the network card because it is much better than burning unreliable CD's, but I am worried it will break on May 7.  

 

For games that have Toast CD images, is there a way to copy these to the Mac Hard Drive and mount them from there or do they have to be burned to a CD?  I don't have a way to burn them to a CD since I only have a CDROM on the Mac and PC software doesn't know what a Toast CD image is as far as I know.

 

I never played with ethernet on 3-digit Macs and OS7.5.5, so can't help you much there.

 

I remember there being extensions for mounting .iso files or Toast cd images but not sure what the lowest supported computer or MacOS was.  I also had a SCSI 1x cd-writer, but never tested it.  (Mostly didn't need it as was using a USB 1.1 cd-writer on a PPC quite a bit).  I believe the SCSI cd-writer required a 4-digit Mac and not sure of the lowest OS.  And didn't have cd writing software for OSes lower than OS 8.5 anyway.  And I think there was also a minimum RAM requirement that exceeds the LC III to use a cd-writer.

 

I mostly just used the Mac Toast software I had, to mount .iso or Toast cd images.

 

There is also a version of Toast for the PC that one could mount cd images, but I mostly use Iomega Hotburn Pro on the PC for burning.  I came across this software while searching for Iomega software for Zip drives.  Excellent burning software.  Iomega seems to be shut down now and the zipped file is just about 50 Mb, so not sure if able to or best place to upload to.



#70 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:44 PM

Thanks for the information.  If there is a way to use Toast or any other way on the PC to mount CD images, I could then copy the files to the Mac and that might work, but it probably expects them to be on their own drive.  Maybe I could dedicate one of the SCSI drives on the SCSI2SD to pretending to be a CDROM.  Otherwise, if Iomega Hotburn Pro can burn Toast CD images, that would work too.  sendspace.com should be able to accept 50MB files (temporarily as always).

 

Thanks again!



#71 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:21 PM

I suppose I could also do this in Basilisk to get to the files potentially.



#72 Iamgroot OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:45 PM

Dont forget you can also use Cider Press to read/write to HFS images on a PC.

 

Have you tried formatting an SD card to FAT on your Mac yet using the SCSI2SD card?  You will have to boot off your internal hard drive to do this.

 

If you can do that, then create a HFS disk image using Disk Copy 6.3.3.  Save the image to your FAT formatted SD card.  If your PC is not too new, it should mount the SD card and drag the HFS disk image to Cider Press.  You will be able to read and write to it.



#73 thorr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:41 PM

Thanks.  I haven't had a chance to try messing with toast images yet.  Are they the same as HFS images and also can be manipulated by Cider Press?  Toast images are what many CDROM games are uploaded as on the Macintosh Garden website.  My goal is to be able to play them.  Probably my most successful way will be to burn them onto CD somehow, but not sure yet.

 

There is no FAT option on System 7 when partitioning the drives.  The SCSI2SD has no ability to use its data from a PC except if I hooked it up to a SCSI card and used it as a SCSI drive.  Putting the microSD card in the PC doesn't work in any useful way.  The newer version of the SCSI2SD card allows you to connect to the PC via a USB cable but the drives on the SCSI2SD still need to be recognizable by whatever you connect the USB cable to.  Basically this alleviates the need for a SCSI card, but you still need Linux or whatever to read Mac drives.





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