One of my readers sent me an email and asked me if I wanted his Performa 575 with StyleWriter II. It came with the keyboard, mouse, software, and manuals. Everything is in great working order. How could I say no?
Physically, it’s in pretty good shape too. It could use a little retr0brite, but overall it’s not bad. These machines are pretty heavy, so they usually get kicked around and banged up pretty easily.
It just has a little crack on the bezel. I’m hoping I’ll be able to swap the front with my LC 520. That machine is dead as a doornail. It’s been sitting in the corner of my room for a year and a half. The analog board is toast. I picked up a few other boards in the hopes that I’d be able to fix it. Unfortunately, they were all dead too. I didn’t want to sink any more money into it, so it’s just been sitting there as a donor machine. It only cost me $5 bucks, so it’s actually not too bad. (The drives alone were worth it.)
The StyleWriter II is also in pretty good shape. It just needs a good cleaning.
There was no shortage of manuals and software.
The previous owner also threw in a 4MB RAM stick. This 575 has 4MB onboard, with a 16MB stick installed. So this must have been a previous upgrade.
The keyboard is a little different that the one I was using on my Power Mac 5200. They are both the same exact model number. From the top they look identical.
However, from the bottom, they look very different. The one that came with the 575 is dated 1994 while the other is dated 1996. The kick stands are different, the rubber feet, the screw placement, as well as the placement of the text panel and bar code. It’s strange the revisions Apple makes to a product over the years for no apparent reason. I’ve seen this on other keyboards as well as mice. What was wrong with the old one that the bottom needed an overhaul?
Anyway, onto the unit...
The 575 maxes out at 36M. So I could swap out that 16MB stick for a 24MB one if I need to.
The 575 supposedly shipped with a stock 250MB hard drive. However, this looks to be about 180MB. There was a ton of software installed. The user must have deleted of all his personal information before shipping it out. There was nothing on the drive but programs. I usually wipe the drive and reinstall the OS as the first order of business, but seeing as this doesn’t have any old user data on it, I might just leave it be for the time being.
I was really contemplating using the logicboard to give my Color Classic a “Mystic” upgrade, but now I don’t think I’m going to bother. I think I’m going to set up the 575 and retire the Performa 620. The monitor on the 620 is a piece of junk, and I’ve never been a huge fan of the “pizza box”. I really like the fact that this unit has a CD300 built right in. True, I have a SCSI CD-ROM drive connected to the Color Classic, but this is just way more convenient. Besides, I could always put my 520 board in the Mac TV, and take the 575 board out of that for the Color Classic. Everybody wins!
Just to test out the hardware, I popped in a CD and let ‘er rip.
The audio-quality off this video probably doesn’t do it justice, but it’s pretty loud. I even had the volume down to not even half way.
With all of the hardware pretty much working, it was time to see if the printer was still up to the task. I figured the ink was dried up, so I grabbed one of the vintage cartridges that I bought back in 2009. They’re from 1995, so hopefully they still work.
I popped one in and crossed my fingers.
Now that I think of it, I should have just printed a test sheet. Meh, this is more fun! Looking at the Chooser, it appeared as if the software was already installed. I opened up a piece of clip art, and printed it.
After a short wait, the StyleWriter II came to life and started printing! Awesome!
Not bad for a 20 year old inkjet. Gotta love that old-school tech. Run out to Walmart and pick up one of those $39 HP inkjets and let me know in 2035 if it still works.
OK, one more. I can’t resist.
It reminds me of the ’80s and printing school work on my ImageWriter II. I think I was the only kid in school with a computer and printer, so the teachers were always blown away when I’d hand in book reports and stuff filled with wacky fonts and clip art.
I’ve only had this machine for a few hours and it’s already time for an upgrade: Ethernet!
I popped the logicboard out and looked it over. It’s in pretty good shape. Ah, one of those huge 4.5V battery bricks... I know just what to do!
It’s amazing that the 68040 CPU can run at 33 MHz and not need a heatsink.
I grabbed one of my spare Asante Ethernet cards....
...and popped it in. Of course, the 4.5V battery pack was dead. Since I retired my PowerMac 5200 (needed the space for the Apple ///), I pulled the homebrew battery pack out of it and used that.
I slid the board back in, screwed the cover back on, and powered it back up.
I then fired up the Asante NIC driver.
It detected the NIC without a problem.
After the NIC installation was complete. I tweaked my TCP settings and installed Fetch.
I’d like to run a web browser, but that’s not going to happen right away. Even with 20MB, I only have about 5MB available. It’s not enough to run Netscape. Netscape is asking for 7MB of free RAM. Even lowering the resolution to 16 colors, killing the Extensions, startup options, and Desk Accessories, I was still a few K short. That’ll be a project for another day. Right now, I just want to be able to transfer files via FTP.
I launched Fetch and typed in my credentials to connect to a shared folder on my website.
I grabbed my Lenna “Hello World” image and pulled it down. Success!!!
Now I just have to set it up on the credenza in place of the Performa 520.