Going under Mac the Knife.
January 26, 2011 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Is this Mac 128k fixable, and can I fix it myself?

Due to a Long, Painful Story™, I recently received my household goods from when I was discharged from the Army in 2006, and now I'm trying to sell most of it to both get it out of the way and avoid going more broke.

One of the things in this stack of stuff is the original Mac 128k that my dad bought in 1985. All I have is the Mac itself, and I was hoping it would work well enough that I could get a couple hundred dollars for it. Unfortunately, instead of getting a flashing question mark icon when turning it on, I get this screen after ~10 seconds, then this screen (a scrambled version of the first one) after about ten more, then back to the first screen, etc.

The 4.5V battery seemed to be the original one from 25 years ago so I pulled it out, but from what I can find a dead battery shouldn't prevent startup.

Are there any things I can do to fix this and increase its value? Is there any way to gauge how much it would be worth unfixed? How much would it be worth if I could fix it?
posted by Evilspork to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unless there's something super special about that particular Mac, it's unlikely that you'll get much for it. They're not particularly rare even now. If it was mint condition, with all the peripherals, you might be able to get $25 - $50 from a geek who wanted to play games on the original floppy.

(we used to bowl with the 128k Macs at the e-waste recycler/computer repair place I volunteered at)
posted by lekvar at 1:19 PM on January 26, 2011

Dust off an old copy of the Dead Mac Scrolls to diagnose it, grab a soldering iron and go to town. But do it for edutainment, not for profit. This computer will not pay the bills.
posted by thejoshu at 1:33 PM on January 26, 2011

I'm sorry, but at this late date, the best and highest use for a Mac of that vintage is a Macquarium. (That's assuming you aren't interested in the edutainment of repairing it.)
posted by Hylas at 1:39 PM on January 26, 2011

Sorry man, but there's no real value to that machine other than die-hard Mac collectors.
posted by hollisimo at 1:50 PM on January 26, 2011

Ah well, I thought I'd seen them sell for more. Thanks!
posted by Evilspork at 2:04 PM on January 26, 2011

How are your copy writing skills? Advertise it as a decorative conversation piece. A slice of computer history for your home office. Perched high on a shelf, surrounded by toy robots, it's a charming addition to any game room. A fun accessory for your man cave.

As a glance through any women's magazine will tell you, there is no accounting for what some people will call "decor." And there's always Applebee's.
posted by sageleaf at 2:10 PM on January 26, 2011

I'm slightly envious. Someone will be willing to buy it, but not for $200. Not yet, anyway.

If it's unfixable I'd swap the screen for a cheap tablet or 9"monitor, then use it as a second display. There's a DJ who wears an old Mac case like that as a mask (complete with 9" LCD screen) but I can't find a link to it.
posted by BinaryApe at 4:13 AM on January 27, 2011

BinaryApe may be thinking of Kid Chameleon.
posted by reptile at 4:25 AM on January 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was! Thanks reptile!
posted by BinaryApe at 4:38 AM on January 27, 2011

Be careful if you open that thing. That CRT can hold quite a (lethal) charge. Articles abound on CRT discharges.
posted by chairface at 2:58 PM on January 27, 2011

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