Accession to Mac OS 8.1

1999: Working with the Macintosh has proven harder than I thought it would be. Having to relearn such minuscule tasks as adding drivers, changing settings, and adding new hardware have all taken their toll on me. After many nights that I should have spent sleeping, several cups of coffee, and an ashtray full of butts, I rub my unshaven face in awe. I think I understand how to think different!

Mac Metamorphosis

Like a painting that has a picture hidden beneath its chaotic surface, you need not look at certain parts of the picture to understand it. You need to look at the picture as a whole.

I understand now that working with a Mac was meant to be simple. Not “do this, then do that, then install this.” Merely, “do this and you’re done.” As difficult as it has been, it feels extremely good to be doing something new and exciting. The Macintosh has really rekindled that childlike wide-eyed look and the love for technology that I lost to the PC many years ago.

Quadra 605My first project is to get Mac OS 8.1 running on a Quadra 605. The machine was given to me with 20 MB of RAM and System 7.5.5 installed on its 230 MB hard drive. Immediately after getting it home, I opened the case, removed the 16 MB 72-pin SIMM, and dropped in a shiny new 64 MB 72-pin SIMM.

After looking at the machine in awe at how quick and easy it was to install the memory (5 minutes!), I decided to turn it on. I reached around the back and flipped the on the power switch. A brief chime sounded, and the LEDs on the Apple Extended Keyboard II flashed.

Happy MacWaiting patiently for the screen to come on and the little “happy Mac” to pop up (a character I have become quite fond of), I realized something was wrong. The screen never lit up, and no “happy Mac.”

Feeling somewhat depressed, I gave it another try, and to my dismay, it was the same result. I decided to turn it on and leave it on until something happened. Maybe it knew I was a PC user and was mad at me.

The Quadra 605 was left on for about 10 minutes, but the screen would not come on. I noticed one other thing – when I turned it on, the hard drive would not spin up. It was getting late by this time, but I had to make my little Mac work. While it was still running, I flipped the power switch off and then flipped it back on. After about 15 seconds the screen flashed, and there was my “happy Mac”! System 7.5.5 booted, and all was well for about 5 minutes. While just clicking on random things and getting to know my new friend, it decided to lock up on me. “No problem,” I thought as I turned off the power and turned it back on.

I ran into the same problem as before, where the screen would not come on. While the system was still running, I again flipped the switch off and on, and it booted just fine.

I came to find out later from Quadlist that the PRAM battery was dead. If you turned on the power, waited for the chime, and then flipped the switch off and on again, it would work just fine. I have been doing that for a couple of weeks; it works every time.

sad MacMy second task was to get a CD-ROM drive working on the Quadra so I could install Mac OS 8.1. I had a Panasonic SCSI-2 CD-ROM drive lying around and decided to use that. After daisy chaining it with my hard drive, I did my little power on trick and saw the most depressing and horrific sight my eyes have seen. It was a black screen with a “sad Mac” on it. I immediately turned off the power and stared at the screen as if I had seen a ghost. After poking around a bit, the problem presented itself. The CD-ROM was on the end of my SCSI chain but was not terminated.

Now with the CD-ROM drive terminated (I also disabled termination on the hard drive), I felt it was time to proceed. The power trick worked yet again – there was my “happy Mac”. I was a little teary-eyed at the sight of it. However, System 7.5.5 did not mount the CD-ROM drive. After rechecking all the hardware and assuring that I did everything right, a huge question mark lit up over my head.

Thus began my deep, dark, accession into Apple ROMs and extensions.

keywords: #macos8 #quadra605 #happymac #sadmac