Update – 6/24/2020

Just an update on multiple things, including: a new sidekick, the 1991 Macintosh Classic and the Sedona.

Meet Gidget

Back in December 29, 2017, we lost our beloved five-year-old Chihuahua, Rico. Rico was a loving dog we adopted from the local humane society. You can learn more about Rico here.

Ever since Rico passed away, I’ve been wanting another pet. I’ve been thinking about getting one a lot lately, particularly a cat. That was until Gidget came along.

A couple weeks ago a friend of a neighbor had a bunch of puppies she was looking to re-home, and I “adopted” one. Gidget is a 4-month old Chihuahua.

Gidget during a nap… she isn’t very photogenic

So say hello to Gidget.

In case you’re wondering, Daisy is fine and healthy. Daisy is our 13-year old pug. Both Daisy and Gidget get along, although they’re both certainly jealous. (Especially Gidget.)

1991 Macintosh Classic

Another update would be on the 1991 Macintosh Classic. Rather, there isn’t much of an update. It still needs to be repaired.

In part 2, I was finally able to use the machine after acquiring an ADB keyboard/mouse for it and having the logic board recapped. However, I didn’t have the analog board recapped – which turns out to be a mistake that would come back to bite me.

The machine worked flawlessly (or near flawlessly) for nearly a week. I was having fun playing around with MacWrite, MacPaint, Crystal Quest and a bunch of other period-correct software titles.

And then, one night, the machine was having problems booting. Initially, the CRT was behaving oddly, and the hard drive didn’t even attempt to spin up. Thankfully, doing a couple hard reboots allowed the machine to spring to life.

I wasn’t so lucky the next day. Unlike the night before, no amount of time or rebooting would cause the CRT to stop behaving oddly, or allow the hard drive to spin up. Ever since, the computer has been problematic and unusable. The CRT continues to behave oddly. The hard drive will not spin up. After a while, the machine will boot to the flashing “?” icon. After booting into the version of Macintosh System 6 contained in ROM, I’m able to get to an OS. Unfortunately, I can’t run any software as loading a floppy crashes the machine and throws the machine into a phenomenon I’ve dubbed the “chime cycle.”

A video depicting the Classic’s odd behavior, including the “chime cycle”

Remember when I said I didn’t have the analog board recapped, and that decision came back to bite me? This is what happened.

In a compact Mac, the analog board does two things. First, the analog board serves as the power supply for the computer. Second, the analog board drives the CRT.

My guess is that the 28-year-old capacitors on the analog board finally decided it was time to fail. The failed capacitors have caused the CRT driving circuitry to act erratically. As for the hard drive issue, I have a suspicion that there isn’t enough voltage to operate the hard drive. And when the floppy drive seeks, the current draw causes the voltage to drop, restarting the machine and throwing it in a chime cycle. (When the machine attempts to reboot, it tries to spit out the floppy after chiming. This crashes the machine yet again, and it starts the cycle over.)

The individual who recapped the logic board isn’t available yet. There was another person who did recapping that I contacted, but they are not accepting boards at this time. There are additional people who recap boards, but they’re located in Australia and Ireland. The cost of shipping the analog board to and from Australia or Ireland would be extremely expensive.

I’m currently waiting to hear back from the individual who recapped the logic board, and I’ll ship him the analog board to be recapped when he’s available.

I was expecting to purchase a FloppyEmu for the Classic so I could transfer files between the Classic and my modern MacBook. However, it appears the FloppyEmu is going to have to wait.

Sedona Update

About a week ago, the Sedona went on its longest excursion: a 10-mile bike ride. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it is – especially since I usually just ride around town. The Sedona usually spends its summers in storage, alongside the 1987 Free Spirit Pinnacle and boxes of stuff.

The Sedona on the 10-mile ride

I made another 9-mile excursion two days ago (Tuesday, 6/23.) This time I went further, but my ride came to an abrupt end when I got a flat tire. I had a spare tube, but it wasn’t very helpful because the valve was messed up and kept leaking. Thankfully, I was on my way back to the trailhead when the tire went flat, and I was in an easily-accessible area. A family member was able to pick me up and take me and the bike back to the trailhead.

If the tire was tubeless, I would’ve been able to finish my ride as the small hole would’ve been easily sealed by the sealant.

Which brings me back around to a subject I’ve covered numerous times and I’m clearly on the fence (and very indecisive) about. If the tire was tubeless, the puncture would’ve been sealed. No fuss, no muss. I’ve also already burned through three of the five inner tubes I bought. Two of the original Kenda tubes have failed (one was caused by me accidentally messing up the valve, which was the one I had on me. The other Kenda tube had a seam randomly split open) and one of the two Continentals has failed (due to a puncture that could not be patched easily.) Perhaps going tubeless would be more economical?

Every time I say I’m going back to tubeless, though, I realize the pitfalls of it – the ones I’ve mentioned numerous times, including multiple times in the previous Sedona update. The dreaded mess the sealant makes of the tire casing and rim, and having to use an air compressor and cross your fingers that the tire eventually seals up and holds air. People on the bike forum where I posted a poll asking whether I should go tubeless were extremely vocal in favor of keeping tubes, and the 18 of 24 people who took the poll said to keep the tubes.

I think I’m going to start keeping a log of failed tubes to see which would be more economical.

But on a positive note, yesterday (Wednesday, 6/24) I went on an even longer ride that broke my previous distance record: 13.75 miles.

Moving on from the tubeless vs. tubes debacle that always manages to surface, there are a couple things I’d like to change/add to the Sedona. One of them is a water bottle. I would’ve loved to go further on my ride yesterday, but I had to turn back as I was starting to get thirsty. Because of COVID-19, most of the water fountains have been shut off. The only water fountain that is still turned on spits out hot water. An insulated bottle isn’t too expensive, so that may be my next mod to the Sedona.

Another thing I’d like to do is get a pouch to carry my tool kit, spare tube and patch kit in. I do have the basket, which makes carrying things nice. However, I’ve employed using a couple old grocery bags to keep everything together. Not only is it ugly, but the bags usually flap around in the wind. And often times the tools and contents will fall out when I go to remove the bag, if I’m not careful. A nice zip-up pouch or bag would be good.

Lastly, I’d like to purchase a better portable pump – one that interfaces better with Presta valves. My current Bell hand pump doesn’t really do a good job on Presta valves (I have to use the Presta adapters with it, which can leak if the valve isn’t tight. Often times more air leaks out than goes in unless you’re pumping quickly.) The current pump takes forever to inflate a tire, even one with a Schrader valve. I’ve heard of Carbon Dioxide inflators, but they’re expensive. And the single-use cartridges are not cheap.

I’m also happy to announce that the “Great Tire Problem” is solved. The new rear Schwalbe Marathon was stuck to the new rear rim. Swapping the tire with the front Marathon (which has been broken in) fixed the issue, and the tire separates from the rim just like it should. I no longer have to worry about getting a flat tire that I can’t repair in the field. Both tires have been holding up fine.