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The Mac Classic awaits its fate
The Apple Mac is one of the most famous and easily recognizable personal computers ever manufactured. In this Cracking Open Photo Gallery, TechRepublic examines just what went into a Mac Classic — and what technology was like in 1991.
Cracking Open the Mac Classic is deceptively simple. Just loosen the four screws circled.
However, the screws have Torx heads.
Deep dark recesses
And to make matters worse, the two Torx screws on top, under the handle, are down deep, tapered holes. It to took two days and four trips to various stores to find the right screwdriver.
Apple really didn’t want you to open the Mac Classic up yourself.
The correct tool
After much searching and a small fortune in gasoline, I was able to find the right Torx head screwdriver with the proper length at Sears. In retrospect I should have gone to Sears first — it is the tool place.
First look at the inside
The Apple Mac Classic is laid out efficiently. Of course, three are limitations when much of your computer is really a black and white television.
I found it odd that the power systems for the CRT were for the most part unshielded. That is, unless you want to count the cardboard warning system.
The warning is to the point. Jumpers are used to indicate voltage input — interesting.
In the Dinosaur Sighting Gallery, I wondered about the yellow sticky stuff leaking out the back. You can see a pool of it on the case. The unit must have been sitting on its backside for a long time.
Approaching from the back we can get a good look at the Cathode Ray Tube.
Guns a blazing
Even though the Apple Macintosh Classic display was black and white, it is still basically a television attached to a computer.
The power management systems for any CRT are not to be taken lightly.
The hard drive sits in the Mac Classic upside down. Notice the standard ribbon cable and Molex power connector.
On board plus two
Looks like we have one row of RAM and two expansion slots.
Do the math
The math says that each set of RAM chips is one megabyte — so we are looking at 3MB of RAM. There should be another 1MB of RAM on the motherboard.
Our mystery goop looks to have flowed down the SCSI cable toward our hard drive.
The substance is sticky, and felt slightly acidic when I accidentally touched it.
What makes it an Apple
The highlighted chip was Apple’s proprietary ROM chip. The chip that makes an Apple Computer an Apple Computer.
The highlighted chips are from VLSI and we have seen them in previous cracking opens. This are basic logic chips, handling Input/Output, video, etc.
A tour of the motherboard
Here is a close up shot of the bottom half of the motherboard. Notice the battery — no watch battery here.
The upper half of the motherboard.
Perhaps someone could help us out — what function did each of the VLSI chips perform in our Mac?
Where the brains are.
Looks like we found our other 1MB of RAM. That makes 4MB.
Something unexpected can be seen in this image. I can understand VSLI, Motorola, and NCR, but AMD? I didn’t realize they’d been around that long.
Adaptec — now that is a familiar name.
Cirrus Logic is another name you don’t see much anymore.
This Conner hard drive looks to be very complex with dozens of chips and lots of connections.
A closer look at the numerous chips found on our hard drive.
Recognize these chips? It took a lot of work to be on the cutting edge.
Here is the other side of the the Conner 40MB SCSI hard drive.
A close up of the Conner sticker reveals the drive model is CP 3040A.
The Apple Macintosh Classic does have a fan and ventilation system to dissipate heat. This makes since because CRTs do get rather warm during operation.
A CRT display requires more power than you might think. We are looking at capacitors with ratings of 250 and 220 Volts. Discharging either one of those would hurt.
Underneath the previous capacitors we find a few more.
The Mac Classic uses a heat sink to dissipate some of the heat generated but the CRT power system.
Even flow of power is also a major part of the system.
All cracked open
Here is a shot of the Apple Macintosh Classic all disassembled.
A fine machine
You can see how the Mac Classic benefited from previous versions of the Mac. The Classic is built to last. However, it is not built to be opened by the user. In the early 1990s, if your Mac had a problem you were supposed to seek professional help.