• apple //e,  classic mac os,  macintosh,  vintage

    Mac LC III Restoration and Upgrade

    As part of this year’s #MARCHintosh event (yes, I’m late, or am I really early for the 2024 event?), I started a project to restore and upgrade a vintage Apple Macintosh LC III. Originally released in 1993 at a starting price of $1,349 for a 4MB/80MB system, this Low Cost Color computer was intended for home users who wanted and inexpensive color Macintosh and at schools who needed a way to leverage their Apple II software library through the use of the optional Apple IIe Card, a $250 add-in expansion peripheral.

    This repair was more work that I originally expected. To get this old Mac back up and running, I needed to replace the 80MB Quantum ProDrive ELS hard disk drive with a BlueSCSI v1 hard disk emulator. Then, I needed to take apart and service the 1.44MB SuperDrive floppy disk drive to remove the old grease. Thankfully, getting the Apple IIe card and Motorola 68882 FPU co-processor working was straight forward.

    Overall, this was a fun project to work on, but there is still more work to do. While restoring this Mac LC III, there was plenty of evidence that I’ll need to address the issue of leaky capacitors to get the internal speaker working normally, perhaps add some more RAM, and wow! is that internal fan loud! It sure would be nice to have a quieter fan in there. However, that will be work for a future video.

  • apple,  macintosh,  retro computing

    Servicing a Macintosh 12-inch RGB Monitor

    Apple Macintosh RGB Monitor, via RecycledGoods.com

    Apple’s Macintosh RGB monitor was intended to be the companion monitor for the company’s Macintosh LC-series of computers.

    Before I could set about working on my Macintosh LC III #MARCHintosh2023 project, I needed to service the monitor that my LC (Low Cost Color Computer – I know, the acronym seems to be missing a few letters) was going to need.

    Come watch the roller coaster ride of will he or won’t he repair this monitor but stay to see if I electrocute myself!

  • apple,  iphone,  security,  tech tips

    Securing iPhone Control Center

    Control Center is a handy way for accessing various settings on your iPhone, including wireless radio control, Apple Pay, and Music playback.

    By toggling a setting on your iPhone, you can restrict access to Control Center with Face ID, limiting casual access to your iPhone’s Apple Pay wallet and controls.

    Step 1: Open the Settings app.

    Step 2: Scroll down and tap on Face ID & Passcode.

    Step 3: Enter your iPhone’s passcode.

    Step 4: Scroll down to Allow Access When Locked section.

    Step 5: Tap on Control Center.

    If you happen to have an iPad or iPad Pro with Face ID, this tip will work for those devices as well.

  • archive,  linux,  mac os x,  windows

    Archiving CDs and DVDs with .ISO Files

    I wanted to start going through my Apple, Palm, and Microsoft CDs and DVDs and convert them to .ISO files for backup and archival purposes. In a way, I wanted to give back to the Internet for being able to download and use floppy disk archives of Apple II, 68k Macintosh, and Newton software.

    This post will outline the steps to create an ISO 9660 archive disc image file.

    I will be using my Mac Studio (M1 Max CPU, macOS Ventura 13.2), an Apple USB SuperDrive with an Apple USB-C to USB adapter, and the Disk Utility program.

    Here is my .ISO image file capture process:

    Step 1: Connect the SuperDrive and insert your disc.

    Step 2: Launch Disk Utility and select the disc from the pane on the left.

        Step 3: In the Save As dialog box, enter a title for your .ISO file, and set Format = DVD/CD master.

        Step 4: Click the Save button.

        Step 5: Open Terminal and then run the following command:

        hdiutil convert /home/username/original.cdr -format UDTO -o /home/username/destination.iso

        where /home/username/original.cdr is the Save As path and filename from Step 3 and where /home/username/destination.iso is the hdiutil .ISO file output path and filename

        Step 6: Rename the file so that .iso is the only filename extension.

        Step 7: Test out your .ISO image by mounting it on another Mac, a Windows PC, or Linux machine.

        Don’t forget to preserve any important information in companion files, such as the full software title, CD keys or serial numbers that are necessary to re-install the software, and version numbers and publication dates. Bonus points are awarded if you go the extra mile and scan the face of the CD/DVD, packing materials, or paperwork that came with the disc.

      1. macintosh,  retro computing

        Apple Macintosh 12-Inch RGB Display

        Better get a Band-Aid because I don’t think a Magic Eraser can buff that out!

        I purchased a Macintosh LC III (1993), the companion Macintosh 12-inch RGB Display (1990), and an ImageWriter II printer (1985). What can I say? The Mac had an Apple IIe Card (1992) installed.

        One of the things that you will inevitably have to deal with when you get into retro computing is tracking down technical information about the equipment to repair and service it.

        As for my monitor, well, as you can see from the picture above, old brittle plastics don’t always hold up to the stress of being shipped around the country. I’m using PAPPP’s blog post to help me take apart and get inside my monitor so I can replace the CRT housing.

        I wanted to share the information that I collected and downloaded. Hopefully, if you are looking for more information about the 12-inch RGB Display that has found its way to you, this will help.

        Apple Macintosh 12-inch RGB Display: Technical Specifications

        Apple Monitors and Mass Storage Service Guide from October 1992

        LowEndMac.com’s Macintosh 12″ RGB Display write up, including a list of compatible Mac models and product details.

        PAPPP’s Rambling – Apple 12″ Macintosh RGB Monitor Recap discusses how to open and replace leaking electrolytic capacitors.

        Console5 Apple 12-inch RGB Display Recap Kit contains all the replacement capacitors necessary to service the display.

        Good luck with your repair! A serviced CRT display is one less CRT display headed for a landfill!

      2. laser,  vtech

        The Laser 3000, My First Computer [Updated]

        VTech Laser 3000 via Bytecellar.com

        Thomas Fuchs, @thomasfuchs on Mastodon, posed the question, “What was your first #computer?

        Seems like a good time as any to post my reply, both on my blog and to my Mastodon account.

        My first computer was the VTech Laser 3000. It was an Apple II “compatible”. I learned, by playing games, “Apple II compatible”, felt more like an Apple II or Apple II+ compatible rather than being an Apple //e compatible. This was likely due to the software that had to be reversed engineered to make the computer work. Interesting, the Laser 3000 manual has been scanned an uploaded to the Internet Archive if you are interested in that sort of thing. The Laser 3000 was followed up by the Apple IIc clone, the Laser 128.

        I remember getting the Laser 3000 for Christmas 1985. Or was it 1986? In any case, it was the “family” computer. Any preconceived notion about who’s computer it was were dispelled by the reality of who’s bedroom the computer ended up in. In addition to the computer itself, we also had an amber screen CRT monitor, the external floppy drive, and an Epson LX-86 dot matrix printer. I loved it. The Laser was a good machine to get started on. Cracks in compatibility started showing up as stores in the local mall started selling software. New software was being written and released for the Apple //e and I started noticing that the software that was being used at school wasn’t working. So before long, I started begging for an Apple //e. Which I eventually got. Second hand, but I took it.

        The Apple //e gave way to the Apple IIGS. And then, in 1990, the Macintosh Classic. The reset, as “they” say is history.

        Thanks, Mom and Dad. Your investment in the Laser 3000 has paid off well.


        A fine fellow on the Internet, replied to the Mastodon discussion, mentioned above, that the VTech Laser 3000 was also sold as “The Cat” from Australian reseller Dick Smith – similar to the now defunct Radio Shack chain here in the US. Below is a picture of the complete color system. In the picture, the Laser 3000 badge is replaced with a Dick Smith The Cat badge.

        The Cat image provided by Craig Bradley