time travel is not an option.
September 1, 2010 10:23 AM Subscribe
After a visit to my parents' attic, I have in my possession a Macintosh computer that is old enough to drive a car. It has on its hard drive everything I did in middle school and early high school. What can be done.
posted by millipede to computers & internet (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The computer is a Macintosh Quadra 605, purchased in late 1993. I do not recall completely, but I think it runs MacOs 5 or 6. It has only a floppy drive. Hooking it up to a monitor and putting everything on floppies and putting the floppies, one by one, into an external floppy drive and then onto another computer is not possible, because we do not own a monitor anymore. The strange and exotic cords necessary to connect this computer to anything else are also not available in this house. The computer is in South Florida, and though I would do it if there were no other options, I'd really prefer not to have to mail it somewhere or put it in my suitcase and take it back to Philadelphia when I go home next week.
So I called the Apple store at the nearest mall, and I flummoxed them completely. Then I called the guy at Mactech Pro and did not flummox him, but he said he didn't want to deal with it, though he claimed "it's probably possible to extract the data." The other authorized service providers in the immediate area seem to be focused on training people to repair machines.
This computer has not been turned on since 2000, when its monitor died. It was fine then, but it has spent the last decade in a closet and then in an attic (within a giant sealed tupperware container, so there's no water damage or insects or anything like that). The stuff on the computer is just writing I did in high school, pictures from high school, old emails from high school*. It would probably all fit easily on a thumb drive. I guess I'm wondering how likely it is that the information will be able to be taken off the machine, how much it is likely to cost me, and whether anyone knows of a place that actually will work on a machine this ancient, preferably in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area, and if not that, Philadelphia. Or if not that, anywhere.
* and yes, i know there could be compatibility issues with word processing documents from 1993 opening on a modern computer. fortunately i have a middle-aged computer, too--a second generation blueberry imac that has already proven its ability to open ancient documents created in clarisworks.