Midnight Macintosh Adventures: Follow-up and improving the SE’s volume

I typically don’t start tinkering with my vintage computers until late at night. While I typically don’t have any issues with doing this, sometimes I tend to overlook the simple and obvious.

And, therefore, the Macintosh SE has proven that point on a few occasions. In a recent post, I mentioned that the version of Word 4.0 on the Macintosh SE lacked features such as styles, word count, and the ability to export files to rich-text format (RTF) files. A couple days later, I discovered a little option in the “Edit” menu that magically enables all of those functions.

The Macintosh SE proved it again last night. When trying to install more fonts on the SE, I learned the original 100 MB volume for the SE on the FloppyEmu was almost full. I thought I could just copy over all of the files from the old 100 MB volume to a new 224 MB volume I downloaded from the Gryphel Project.

I was wrong.

Booting the machine revealed a major issue – it wasn’t booting into System 6.0.8.  Instead, it was booting into System Version 1.1 – the same version that shipped with the original 128k and 512k Macintosh models in 1984 and 1985. Oops!

The copied volume booted into System 1.1

After going to bed, I had an Epiphany when I woke up. I didn’t even bother installing System 6 on the volume. I expected just copying the files between the two volumes would work fine.

I opened up Mini vMac and brought in the new 224 MB volume. The FloppyEmu also contains floppy disk images for the four floppies required to installed System 6.0.8. Using Mini vMac, I successfully installed System 6.0.8 – properly – on the new 224 MB volume.

A test boot in Mini vMac revealed that going the proper route was the right choice – it booted right into System 6.0.8. I finished copying all of my software and games from the old volume to the new one using Mini vMac.

Now time for the actual test: booting into the new volume using the 1988 Macintosh SE.

The Macintosh SE, just like Mini vMac, booted perfectly fine into System 6.0.8. There was one problem – Pyro (the screensaver software I use on the SE) was missing. Fortunately, a copy from the system folder on the old volume to the new volume fixed that quickly.

In some ways, the proper installation actually makes it better than it was before. The Macintosh SE now seems to have the full control panel. It has the full Apple menu with all of the desk accessories already loaded. And, it appears it comes with a set of many of the standard fonts that were missing before. (And Helvetica at 18 pt. size no longer causes weird glitches.)

Properly installing System 6 enables the full System 6 control panel.

And, of course, the 224 MB volume gives me plenty of more breathing room. A majority of the 99 MB used in the old volume was software that came pre-loaded – not all of which I used. I copied all of the software and utilities from the old volume to the new one, just in case I find a use for some of them in the future. The 224 MB volume will give me plenty of space for documents and blog entries (like this one – which is being written on the SE) and additional software.

In regards to the 4 GB microSD card itself, I was shocked to see that majority of it was still free. The microSD card came with tons of old Macintosh software, games, utilities, and system software versions – along with stuff for the Apple II and Lisa. In the Macintosh department, it came with two HD-20 emulation volumes that also contained software and utilities. I created a third HD-20 emulation volume to use with playing around with System 7 on the Macintosh Classic. Despite all the files and disk images on the FloppyEmu, over 3 GB is still remaining.

The microSD card still has plenty of growing room… 3.5 GB worth.

Then again, 3 GB was an astronomical amount in 1988 – or even 1991 – to most computer users. Even the 224 MB volume I downloaded would be way more than most computer users would have had access to in the 1980s and early 1990s, when these computers were in daily service. After all, the Macintosh Classic still has its original 40 MB Quantum ProDrive hard drive.

Why am I using the SE?

Over the past couple of weeks, the SE has been receiving most of my attention and use – despite the 1991 Macintosh Classic being the computer that has been (mostly) restored with the boards been recapped.

Over the past couple of weeks, the SE has been my go-to vintage machine. In fact, this post – along with many of my other recent posts – have been written on the SE.

The special FloppyEmu volume I feel is the answer to this question. I can easily add software and files to the SE’s HD-20 volume using Mini vMac and not have to worry about swapping floppy images or transfer files to the Classic’s internal hard drive volume.

I’ll admit it. In a sense, I’m worried using the Classic more will wear down the original 40 MB hard drive. The original hard drive has the factory install of System 6.0.7 intact, along with many of the original owner’s files (which I’ve been on the fence about deleting) and even the Classic’s likely build date. (The “Get Info” panel on the Classic’s hard drive claims it was “created” on May 2, 1991 – which lines up with the date code in its serial number.)

On the flip side, I don’t have this worry with the SE – since I use the FloppyEmu for it.

I do plan on using the Classic more in the future, so stay tuned. I also plan on “planning” the Macintosh SE’s own restoration soon.

This post also marks the beginning of my month-long Winter Break, which will give me more time to post on the blog. I’m currently planning on editing two “introduction” videos I made, writing reviews on some vintage Macintosh software and games, write a ThinkPad T42 update, write a Sedona update, and possibly a 2020 “year in review” post. In addition to all of this, I’m hoping to resume the site maintenance and break ground on a refresh for the Kewanee Boiler section.

This post was written on the Macintosh SE using Word 4.0.