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Apple Macintosh LC Rebirth Project

By Paul McNally

Remember the 90s? I sure do. Even though I was born in 1993, the 90s were a good part of my life. Every day I came home from school, I would always catch the Disney Afternoon running Bonkers and Timon & Pumba along with playing on my Nintendo console. I also learned to use my first personal computer, which was a custom OEM PC running Windows 95. By 1996 I had learned to dial-up and browse the Internet, and the personal computer world was exploding with activity.  In the 90’s Apple became very active making computers even without Steve Jobs, and one of these computers was the Macintosh LC.

The Macintosh LC was released in October of 1990, and it was the smallest Apple Computer until the Mac Mini. It touted a Motorola 68k (68020) clocked at 16 MHz, 2 MB of RAM expandable to 10 MB, and ran System 6.0.7 to MacOS 7.5.5. It also had a 40 MB hard drive and a floppy disk drive.

We had recently acquired this Macintosh LC from a client, and I wanted to take a look at it to see if I could repair it.

Looking back, classic Apple computers were the most user-friendly of their time. This was when the World Wide Web was still in its infancy and near the end of the MS-DOS era, when people had high hopes for the future of personal computers and the Graphical User Interface. A lot of computers at the time had Windows because it was starting to catch on, but still ran on top of DOS. Anybody who wanted to not remember lengthy commands and have a no-fuss computer would get a Macintosh. It's also a coincidence because my aunt used to have this computer when I was a kid, and the Macintosh was widespread in my old public elementary school.

At first glance, the Macintosh LC looks like a standard Apple computer that is slightly modernized because of its curved front and easy serviceability. There looks like it could have the potential to have a second floppy disk drive, but why do that when you have 40 MB of built-in storage? The computer was also bundled with an Apple Display (don't know if its color or not) and a dial-up modem. I didn't find any system software disks with it, but ever since Apple officially dropped support for System 7 around 1999, Apple has since then offered System 6-7 for a free download off their website along with many other places on the Internet for those that clung to their classic Macs.

However, the computer didn't come without flaws. When I first powered it on, there was no startup sound and there wasn't any noise coming from the hard drive or the fans. I opened the computer up to take a look and I was exactly right. The fan wasn't spinning and there wasn't any power going to the computer, so I figured it might be the power supply. When the computer switches on, the faulty power supply started to get really hot and smelled like an electric range warming up. The SRAM battery was also shot too; it looks like died many moons ago and I think there might be someplace that still sells this type. There's this store called Batteries Plus on Cottman Ave., and I think they may carry this battery. The mouse is broken, too. It's missing the mouse ball and the cover for the mouse ball as well, and we had to get a replacement mouse, along with a new power supply and new SRAM battery. I also need to sacrifice some old floppy disks to get the new system software installed.

Along with the Macintosh LC and other peripherals, it also came with a printer, but when I turn it on, it gives me an error message. I checked the ink cartridge, and its dry, which means we'll have to get a whole new ink cartridge.

We are ordering some of these replacement parts on eBay and I hope to get this classic computer up and running, so stand by please. We will donate this great Apple computer to a good cause if I can get these systems repaired - Wish Me Luck! 

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