Restoring a Macintosh Plus from 1988


Lo and behold, a Macintosh Plus from 1988. Complete with all original receipts, hardware, and software. 

A nice introductory message I sent to a friend


The Macintosh Plus was way before my time, but my fondness of pure computing keeps me interested in old hardware like this. I picked this up from an older gentlemen who used this computer during his studies at UBC (Vancouver).


I don't recall his area of study, most likely computer science related, but he kept all the original receipts. The computer itself, AppleWriter (dot matrix printer) and the AppleCrate (external SCSI harddrive) cost $3980 in 1988....would cost $8816 in 2023. Unreal. 

 He upgraded the RAM from 1MB to 4MB, totally $680 in 1988 money ($1503 in 2023) 

 I am simply blown away at the condition of the unit and the record keeping. All original software, pristine. There was an unopened letter from 1988 with his Apple Care coverage. Wonder if I can still claim it? ;) I figured some work would have to be done on this unit, as I have read about the solder joints cracking. There seemed to be no specific area of where the joints would crack, after the unit was picked up and down for years on end. Nor were there any photos of what a cracked solder joint would look like. You would think it would be quite obvious to the eye? No, apparently no. For documentation purposes, here's a picture of a joint that needs to be reflowed: 

 After touching just a tiny bit of solder to the joint, I was back in business. Most people discharge the CRT monitor for risk of....death. Well, perhaps I have a knack for my mortality, but I declined against doing that for a lack of a discharge tool. I perhaps could have used a screw driver but well, I didn't. Do not do what I did. The unit turned on and I was able to load OS 6 via floppy. Thankfully the floppy drive still worked, as the internal gears are prone to cracking over the years. 

The computer came with an AppleCrate, which was a external harddrive connected via a SCSI port on the back of the unit. Unfortunately the harddrive was unreadable, and attempting to repair and install OS 6 onto the harddrive resulted in failure. Thankfully there are many new projects to overcome this, the one I found most interesting is ZuluSCSI a hard drive emulator for vintage computers. With this, I can use a microSD card (how amazing haha) as a hard drive with the Macintosh Plus. As much as I wanted to use the AppleCrate, sourcing a working SCSI drive (80 pin) would be expensive, nevermind tiresome. The AppleCrate unit itself is quite large and loud, having an internal fan of course (how hot did harddrives get?) So, my next step is to purchase a ZuluSCSI drive and install the OS onto it. Swapping out floppy drives had a novelty at first....but now it's getting bothersome. Although, it does feel like the complete computer experience and I'm enjoying every second out of it.