Modifications (was Re: my objection to recent postings)

From: Frank McConnell <>
Date: Wed Apr 8 18:29:59 1998

Van Burnham <> wrote:
> ps...Upon reading the thread regarding the justification in
> maintaining "modifications" made to a 128K Mac, I was reminded of a
> nightmare I witnessed at a vids auction. It appears someone had
> decided that it would be considerably more "state-of-the-art" to play
> something new instead of a slow-ass game called Computer Space...and
> proceeded to destroy the original board and monitor casing in order to
> convert the sleek fiberglass metalflake cabinet to play Pac-Man
> instead. I don't see why defacing a classic Mac (or "Frankentosh" as
> they say) should be regarded as any less horriffic. Am I totally off
> here? Anyone?

No, you're just mostly off.

The 128K Mac in question was one that had been upgraded with
contemporary modifications during its useful service life, with the
intention of making it do its thing, only better. It wasn't defaced,
it was enhanced, with things that were designed for just that purpose,
by someone using it for its intended purpose. And at its core it's
the same 128K Mac.

Gutting a 128K Mac to fit an SE/30's works inside would be stretching
this notion of "enhancement" a bit more than I'm comfortable with,
because so far as I know Mac users didn't do that sort of thing and
that sure isn't what SE/30 works were designed for. (But I'm not a
Mac guy and maybe someone did do this back then.)

And if I knew of someone planning to do something like what you
describe to a Computer Space machine today, well...I think that
stretches this notion past the point of fatigue. I'd certainly
encourage him away from such a course of action. What would I have
done in, say, 1982 though? I don't know, I might have even helped do
it, though I really don't think I'd have seen any point to it even

Now, that said, the goals of collectors don't necessarily have much to
do with the goals of the computer's contemporary users. Original
unmodified 128K Macs will probably be of more interest to some,
because they were The First Macintoshes (available for public sale,
anyway), and being first does have a certain cachet. And the fact
that many of their original users felt the need for such upgrades has
made unmodified 128K Macs that much rarer today.

-Frank McConnell
Received on Wed Apr 08 1998 - 18:29:59 BST

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