Friday, March 06, 2009


It looks like Demolition's about to begin at the abandoned Firestone Building by Oak Park 'Maul'.

I took the later bus this morning. I was up pretty late working on some pet projects, the results of which I'll share with you at the end of this post. This allowed me to watch the sun come up. That makes me happy.

This is The Blackintosh. It's a Mac SE/30 From 1989 or thereabouts. Yes that means it's about 20 years old. I took the photo about 10 years ago before I went to DefCon 7 in Las Vegas. I used an Apple QuickTake 100, which was cutting-edge at the time. I did 'photoshop' this (I used GIMP, actually) to remove some unsightly clutter from the left.

Why am I posting a photo of a 20 year old computer on my bike blog? Well, because I had to carry a ton of parts for it (more like 12 pounds) on my way to work today, and I'm heading to the CCCKC Cave after work to hopefully get this beast back up and running for a presentation on using old computers.

I've got a LOT of really old computers. I happen to have two fully-functioning Mac SE/30s like this. I painted this one for reasons unknown. While both of them boot, I've found that MacOS 7 isn't really conducive to getting anything done. When you throw something like Linux (in my case, NetBSD) on it, though, you end up with a cute, tiny machine that can do basic text-only things such as email, light-duty web surfing, word processing and other fun stuff.

A lot of midnight oil was burned into the wee hours of this morning in an attempt to get things working properly for the little Blackintosh. Here's hoping the presentation goes smoothly this evening...


Pat Ring said...

The Blackintosh cracks me up. I bought my first PC around that time, too. A Packard Bell 8088. It had a 40MB HD and 640K RAM. I bought a Panasonic KXP1124 24-pin dot matrix printer, which at the time was pretty decent hardware. The problem with this stuff is that it accumulates until it's no longer "donatable." There are only so many linux-based browser PCs one can have in a home. I have about five of those indestructible IBM keyboards in the basement collecting dust, a few Dells, etc. It's hard to get rid of and even charities are reluctant to take stuff anymore unless it's good hardware.

Ben said...

Hah, that SE30 is badass. Once, a couple years ago, I picked up a Quadra 800 at a university surplus auction. It had A/UX (Apple's Unix) on it. I about cried for joy, I'm not kidding.

Pretty cool, entirely useless, but still pretty cool at the time..:)

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