I haven’t been as active at writing content over the past year for a couple reasons.
In my January 2021 update, I discussed taking a hiatus from the website. However, it wasn’t until December before the hiatus finally materialized. Since, it has been a bit of a challenge to write content. I was working full time, and when not working I was resting or enjoying some of my other interests, one of which I’ll provide an update on in this update.
My vintage computers have taken a back seat to my other interests in the past year. I got more into following baseball (and, more specifically, my favorite team — the Kansas City Royals) and playing video games, such as Minecraft. (I’ve been working on building a new city in the same creative world I’ve been developing since December 2017.)
I’ve struggled with depression on and off over the last couple years. Getting more into baseball and finding other interests helped me briefly feel some relief last summer, but the depression started getting worse again in the fall.
The depression not only affects my mood, but has an impact on my motivation.
I recently left my job to focus on my mental/physical health and figure out what I want to do next. I’d like to use this period to lose weight, start writing more and get back into the vintage computer hobby without sacrificing my newly-found (last year) love for baseball. I’d like to focus on improving my anxiety and depression, as well as being more positive.
Even though I haven’t written a lot about computers since last fall, it doesn’t mean I haven’t played with my vintage Macs or other computers. In fact, as I write this, I’ve started to get back into playing around with vintage hardware and software.
I’m down to three vintage Macs now — the 1991 Macintosh Classic (which I used to write this), the 1988 Macintosh SE “SuperSE” with the Mobius ‘030 accelerator card, and the 1994 Macintosh PowerBook 165.
The PowerBook 165 is on my “to-do” list to be my next restoration project, which I hope to do as things calm down and I (hopefully) move out and have more space to properly tackle the work. It will be my first experience repairing a vintage laptop, which makes me nervous (especially with all the brittle plastic and tiny connectors). The PowerBook 165 clearly needs new capacitors, primarily in the power supply but also in the display. (When the PowerBook is connected to an external display, it sometimes crashes and follows the same “chime cycle” issue the Macintosh Classic faced when it suffered from bad, leaky caps. I suspect the display is causing it to draw more current, forcing the voltage down due to the dried capacitors.) I also need to clean the brightness/contrast control switches (they’re flaky) and replace its original IBM 80 MB hard drive with a laptop-sized SCSI-2-SD.
The SuperSE project isn’t completely done itself, either. Its double-density floppy drive needs a good cleaning and some new lubrication. I also need to figure out why the SuperSE will not print — which I believe is a hardware fault, unfortunately. After tackling the floppy drive, I also need to reinstall (and reconnect) the hard drive activity light (although not necessary, it would be nice to have it work) and give the machine a good cleaning.
There are other projects regarding my vintage Macs — such as my forgotten LaserWriter IISC. Due to my lack of space, replacement parts, or knowledge of laser printers, I’ve given up on this one for now. Hopefully at some point I can get this LaserWriter IISC printing again. Its original owner, a professor at my alma mater, said he has a second IISC, along with a Macintosh SE and later G3 PowerBook.
I’ve also been looking into the future and determining which direction I might want to go with my vintage computer collection: should I expand eventually with a pizza box Mac, such as an LC III or something, or go bigger with something like a Quadra 700 or IIci? (I’ve been thinking about writing a follow-up on my “Top 5 Wanted Computers” series.)
The T42 is dead.
Recently I pulled it out from storage to play around with OpenMPT. I plugged it in and powered it on, just to be met with no activity outside the num and caps lock lights briefly illuminating and the fan ramping up.
The computer hasn’t been used since I had it serviced to remove a bloated battery (or “spicy pillow,” as some call them) in February 2021. Maybe the technician who serviced it forgot to reinstall a connector or something else happened?
The T42 isn’t in the best shape. It has no batteries and has broken plastic in spots. Depending on the issue and the damage, it might not be worth repairing.
If I can get it back up and running, I’m contemplating installing Windows XP on it, or at least making it a dual-bootable computer.
Last, but not least, there’s the MintTin II — the “next generation” of my personal file server.
The MintTin II project has been placed on hold, partially because I’m stuck between using it as a file server or keeping it strictly a Linux Mint machine for use every once in a while.
Based on the Dell Inspiron 620, the MintTin II is already used as a file server, although I also have an external hard drive used for additional storage. However, the MintTin II is quickly filling up (it currently uses its stock 500 GB hard drive) and lacks the security I’d prefer.
My plan is to greatly increase the storage and fix the security issues if I decide to keep it going as a file server. Otherwise, I’ll probably stick with my external hard drive (which is always plugged into my Mac mini and is much faster) and use the MintTin for those times where I have a sudden urge to play around in Linux or use TiMidity++.
The Royals Corner
As I mentioned earlier in this post, my new found love for baseball and the Kansas City Royals MLB team has grown significantly in the past year. So much so that I started collecting memorabilia, such as bobbleheads and pins, last fall.
In the past couple months, I’ve also started collecting cards for both current and former Royals players. I didn’t anticipate getting heavily involved in cards, but just like the pins and bobbleheads, you can’t just stop at one.
My passion for the Royals hasn’t been as “stable” lately, for a few personal reasons, likely including my depression. It hasn’t helped the Royals record, as I write this, is 16-30 (.348), the worst in the American League and the second worst overall. (There’s a very good chance they fall into last place overall soon.) It has been a frustrating time to be a fan.
However, my collection reminds me that following a team isn’t just about paying attention to wins and losses, records and stats. I’ve been able to meet so many great people, have so much fun, and make many memories by being a part of the fandom.
I’ll get through this, just like the Royals will break out of their slump. It might take time, but it will happen.
As for an update on the collection, I’ve added some additional shelves to show off more of my stadium give-away (SGA) bobbleheads. This freed up the little plastic spice rack on my dresser to display some cards and more valuable, larger FoCo bobbleheads. Tiny acrylic easels work nice to show off my more favorite cards, as well as buttons and other small items.
In my recent “Bury me a Royal” post, I didn’t mention my card collection in much depth because it’s something I’ve got into only in the past couple months. The “dozens” of cards I referenced on Opening Day (when that post was published) has turned into nearly 200 cards.
My main personal collections (PCs, not to be confused with personal computer) consist of: Salvador Perez (my favorite current Royal), George Brett, and rookie Bobbie Witt Jr.
I have started placing my cards in top-loader and magnetic cases, which work well with those aforementioned acrylic easels.
Overall, the collection is continuing to grow and improve, despite the Royals bad start to what will likely be one of their worst seasons on record. Without injecting my opinions into this post, I hope the necessary changes are made and 2023 goes smoother.
As with my computer hobby currently, being confined to a bedroom limits the way I display everything. Hopefully in the near future I can move and have more space for an actual display case and to display everything I have.
As I wrap up writing this, I have a couple different projects in the work for the blog, so more content should be online relatively soon.
As always, thanks for reading!
Written using Microsoft Word 4.0 on a 1991 Macintosh Classic.