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#1 2015-05-28 02:29:40

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
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Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

A. Apparently, three.

http://www.floodgap.com/iv/2575

Here's where I get ranty.

I paid $4500 for a IIci with a MacIvory 3 "guaranteed not DOA." It came with a Radius card and a Apple Ethernet card, and a 7200rpm drive (wasted on the IIci) with two partitions, one for Mac OS 7.6.1 and one for Genera 8.3. Or, at least, I found this out later, because the machine WAS IN FACT DOA. The power supply started up and ... nothing happened. Examining the board shows some telltale cap residue. Good job, David K Schmidt. Way to sell a boutique item. (Incidentally, the keyboard provided did not have a Symbolics overlay. It came with stickers. Printed on an inkjet printer. That smudge when you try to clean it. #$%&.)

So I get out one of the recapped IIci's uniserver sent me a few months ago and labouriously move everything over to that. It bongs and dies. (Charles, we need to talk about this.) I removed everything and stripped it to memory and the board, no other components. It still bongs and dies. I tried two different power supplies with the board. It still bongs and dies. I cussed a lot at this point.

I get out the other recapped IIci and move everything over to that. It does start up, except the Radius card does not like my LCD monitor and insists at displaying everything at 640x480. However, the Lisp card does work:

Login screen
http://www.floodgap.com/iv/2576

Document Examiner
http://www.floodgap.com/iv/2577

(defun test () "hello world")
(test)
http://www.floodgap.com/iv/2578

Now for the other great aggravation -- IT DOESN'T SHUT DOWN. Holding in the back button doesn't power the machine off. 7.6.1 seems to think it's a Generic Macintosh, and selecting Apple System Profiler throws a this-system-is-not-supported error, which makes me wonder if a clone install was botched. So now I need to fix the Mac OS install without destroying the Genera Mac libraries, and I bet this system board is bad too.

I'm really angry.

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#2 2015-05-28 02:51:29

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 815

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

That really sucks. You paid thousands of dollars for that machine (I understand most of it was for the board, but still), it should have been as advertised. Hope you get at least one of your IIci's sorted soon.

Also, I have a Pioneer demo LaserDisc (Laser Optics II) from the late 80's with a short film that Symbolics did, its 3D animated, goes for about 5 minutes and looks awesome. I don't know anything about them but from what I gather they seem like they were ahead of their time back then.

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#3 2015-05-28 02:59:27

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

The movie you're referring to is probably this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bTqWsVqyzE

Symbolics' computer graphics division was ahead of its time. Much of that software, ported to Windows, survives as the Mirai graphics suite and it's all still written in Lisp.

I'm trying to remember if 7.6.1 identifies the computer correctly in About This Macintosh or if it had gone to a generic "Macintosh" by then (that still doesn't explain why System Profiler doesn't like it, and why holding in the power button doesn't shut the IIci down).

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#4 2015-05-28 03:18:14

TheWhiteFalcon
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Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

Wasn't 7.6.1 when they went to the generic because of the clones?

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#5 2015-05-28 04:40:10

dougg3
Member
Registered: 2014-05-27
Posts: 28

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

Just wanted to add my thoughts about the shutdown problem. Gamba's website has a IIci startup circuit diagram. This diagram also describes the shutdown circuit (the bottom half of the diagram, connected to the bottom pole of the power button, is the shutdown circuit). Just for a quick and simple summary, pressing the power button or going to Special->Shut Down goes through a couple of components (UB13, UD13) to turn on transistor Q3 which tells the power supply to shut off. Those components are all nearby several electrolytic caps (C10, C11, C12, C13). In fact, on my IIci which I already recapped, I can see that those components' leads are looking pretty nasty from the original leaky caps and probably should be cleaned/replaced (it was my first recap job...sosumi!).

Capacitor leakage over in that section of the board (near the power button) has probably damaged some of the connections between the components in that part of the circuit, so the control of Q3 is probably broken. I've been working on a few old machines lately and it's become clear to me that recapping is only part of the issue...if there is leakage, nearby ICs should also be removed and cleaned underneath because the nearby stuff suffers damage from the electrolyte :-( A IIx I recently repaired had several similar problems over in this part of its analogous circuit.

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#6 2015-05-28 05:01:05

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

I've concluded it has to be the board as well, since the behaviour persists regardless of power supply or punching the rear switch.

If I can't clean it, I may make it the designated spare for thule (the IIci server) since that machine runs 24/7, and find this damn card another host. It should fit in a Quadra or maybe a Centris 650.

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#7 2015-05-28 06:53:21

volvo242gt
Member
From: Duvall, WA
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 406
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

My IIfx also had that issue.  Same thing.  Caps leaked, and components became dirty.  It's fine now...  Got recapped by James1095.  Had him put tants on.  Alas, he reused the electrolytic cap pads, instead of just soldering them to the tant cap pads.  But, it works.

-J


modern: Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8-core 6GB/500G/DVD-RW, A1150 MBP 2GHz CD, 2GB/80G/DVD-RW
Pre-Mac: ][+, //e
other: iPhone 6s 128GB Space Gray

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#8 2015-05-28 08:39:30

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 815

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

ClassicHasClass wrote:

The movie you're referring to is probably this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bTqWsVqyzE

Yep! Thats the one.

ClassicHasClass wrote:

I'm trying to remember if 7.6.1 identifies the computer correctly in About This Macintosh or if it had gone to a generic "Macintosh" by then

Apart from PowerBooks (which were identified as "Macintosh PowerBook"), System 7.5 onwards identified all 68ks as simply, "Macintosh".

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#9 2015-05-28 14:05:34

uniserver
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From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

man sounds like some fucked up luck.!

Last edited by uniserver (2015-05-28 14:05:47)


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#10 2015-05-28 14:39:56

uniserver
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From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

this is the last contact i had with you.

gust 30, 2014 11:11:37 PM EDT
Hi Charles,

A while back you sold me a IIci with a recapped board. That came in handy,
because my very important IIci server blew its logic board tonight and I
installed it and got back in action in a short time. Whew!

But that means I'm without a spare. I'd rather buy another board from you
recapped (or another system, whichever is convenient). I don't mind paying
more for that. If you have no more IIci logic boards, I will send you
a couple that I have in my storage closet for testing and recapping. Let me
know.

Do you recap the IIci power supplies, btw?

Thanks again, buddy!


I got back to you then with a price to recap 2 more boards and a psu, that was the last i herd from you.
unless i am missing something.


#I Re-Cap √Mac √NeTX √Amiga Boards - A/B - PSU# (MacCaps.com)  Modern SCSI HD's - For Old Macs - Pre Cfg'd - 10k RPM! 73gb!! $50 + free shipping  -- Mac 128K Re-Ram kits (16 Chips) $35 + shipping, Floppy Issues?-> Bourns Filter Solution 128k - SE/30, $16 + shipping

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#11 2015-05-28 15:20:13

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,407

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

ClassicHasClass wrote:

.  .  .  I'm really angry.

Ooooh yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bat Rastard!!!! The fake stickers alone would push me over that particular edge! Make sure he sends you the file to have a set (sets!) printed at your local sign emporium  .  .  .  at his expense!

ClassicHasClass wrote:

.  .  . except the Radius card does not like my LCD monitor and insists at displaying everything at 640x480. However, the Lisp card does work:

Thank heaven for small favors! roll What's the Copyright date on the LISP card and the driver rev? Put it into an appropriately dated machine.*****

ClassicHasClass wrote:

.  .  . except the Radius card does not like my LCD monitor and insists at displaying everything at 640x480.

As a certifiable Radius collector: I've just gotta know why  .  .  .  smile

Card?
_____Copyright date?
ROM?
_____Rev?
_____Copyright date?
Drivers? (shouldn't really need any)
Mac->VGA Adapter?
_____Adapter Settings?
MultiSync LCD?

.  .  .  and get it up and running! wink





***** TLDR Commentary/Opinion:

The IIci may have been the long term workhorse of DTP, but that very ubiquity makes it less than interesting to me. It pales in comparison the the rest of the II series but for a couple of questionable advances:

Intro of built in Video (lousy Vampire Video as opposed to horrid in the IIsi, but using system memory for Video was inexcusable until fairly recently.)
Intro of Cache: The upgrade slot only barely qualifies as a PDS implementation, which was truly introduced in the IIfx. Check the docs for confirmation, I was "impolitely (read nastily) questioned (read: ostensibly corrected)" for pointing this out elsewhere. I quoted GttMFH, which clearly contrast the  differentiation, to shut the ID10T up when he insisted that it was a PDS. Heh! smile

I will say this though. the IIci's very ubiquity made its Cache Slot implementation of ALMOST PDS a somewhat less than convenient Rosetta Stone for translation of accelerators to available wedge points in the rest of the lineup. Had they predicted this, Apple would surely have lamed the slot to Cache only utility as much as possible. Pikers!

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#12 2015-05-28 15:30:06

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

ClassicHasClass wrote:

So now I need to fix the Mac OS install without destroying the Genera Mac libraries, and I bet this system board is bad too.

For $4,500 you didn't get a copy of the install media?!


Flap Different.

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#13 2015-05-28 15:54:25

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

Yup. Screwed with a rusty razorblade sideways.

Plus, someone on Nekochan pointed out that you need a Revision I card or later to make it work in a Quadra. I have a Revision C.

This just gets better and better.

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#14 2015-05-28 15:58:20

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

uniserver wrote:

this is the last contact i had with you.

gust 30, 2014 11:11:37 PM EDT
Hi Charles,

A while back you sold me a IIci with a recapped board. That came in handy,
because my very important IIci server blew its logic board tonight and I
installed it and got back in action in a short time. Whew!

But that means I'm without a spare. I'd rather buy another board from you
recapped (or another system, whichever is convenient). I don't mind paying
more for that. If you have no more IIci logic boards, I will send you
a couple that I have in my storage closet for testing and recapping. Let me
know.

Do you recap the IIci power supplies, btw?

Thanks again, buddy!

I got back to you then with a price to recap 2 more boards and a psu, that was the last i herd from you.
unless i am missing something.

No, you recapped these -- we came to an arrangement on the price and I sent you the two, along with the PSUs. I examined the won't-power-off IIci and the board is clean around the components dougg3 indicated, although that doesn't mean the electrolyte leaked under imperceptibly. That unit does at least power on, but I'd like to talk off line about the other one that doesn't, and possibly reworking two more since apparently the card revision I have is Mac II series or bust.

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#15 2015-05-28 16:04:04

TheWhiteFalcon
Member
Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

How about a IIcx?

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#16 2015-05-28 16:15:42

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

ClassicHasClass wrote:

Yup. Screwed with a rusty razorblade sideways.

Plus, someone on Nekochan pointed out that you need a Revision I card or later to make it work in a Quadra. I have a Revision C.

This just gets better and better.

Damn, Shake.

You know, it seems to me that if you want to bail on this you totally have the "item not as described" out. The *system* he sold you was indeed DOA... how badly do you really want it?

Here's an emulator for an old MIT CADR Lisp machine...


Flap Different.

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#17 2015-05-28 17:24:36

uniserver
Member
From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

Ah ok cool.
i should consolidate my 3 email addresses,  or i need to just put in more time at the plumbing store.  its so much easer punching a stupid time clock.


#I Re-Cap √Mac √NeTX √Amiga Boards - A/B - PSU# (MacCaps.com)  Modern SCSI HD's - For Old Macs - Pre Cfg'd - 10k RPM! 73gb!! $50 + free shipping  -- Mac 128K Re-Ram kits (16 Chips) $35 + shipping, Floppy Issues?-> Bourns Filter Solution 128k - SE/30, $16 + shipping

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#18 2015-05-28 17:46:05

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

Eudimorphodon wrote:
ClassicHasClass wrote:

Yup. Screwed with a rusty razorblade sideways.

Plus, someone on Nekochan pointed out that you need a Revision I card or later to make it work in a Quadra. I have a Revision C.

This just gets better and better.

Damn, Shake.

You know, it seems to me that if you want to bail on this you totally have the "item not as described" out. The *system* he sold you was indeed DOA... how badly do you really want it?

Here's an emulator for an old MIT CADR Lisp machine...

I know, and I was strongly considering it. However, this is probably the cheapest I'll pay on a Lisp machine I can live with (I can't live with a 3600-series machine) and at least it sold for less than some of the others. I have that emulator and it's cool, but it's nice to have the real hardware to experience, so I'm going to swallow hard and make this my first and last such unit. At least I have enough IIcis in salvageable condition that I should be able to get this fully working at some point.

Anyway, caveat emptor to anyone considering one. Another one popped up on eBay. It'll sell like the others.

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#19 2015-05-28 18:15:22

uniserver
Member
From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

all i have right now for extra boards is 3-IIsi's, 1-IIvx, 1-IIcx
i don't know why for what ever reasons, I really wanted a nice IIci, so i traded one of my color classics for one.
The IIci is nice, and it even has a 33mhz LC68040 upgrade in the PDS.
But now i kinda miss the Color Classic :-)


#I Re-Cap √Mac √NeTX √Amiga Boards - A/B - PSU# (MacCaps.com)  Modern SCSI HD's - For Old Macs - Pre Cfg'd - 10k RPM! 73gb!! $50 + free shipping  -- Mac 128K Re-Ram kits (16 Chips) $35 + shipping, Floppy Issues?-> Bourns Filter Solution 128k - SE/30, $16 + shipping

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#20 2015-05-28 19:12:30

uniserver
Member
From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

i should try to compile a list of all the different machines that i re-cap then give a precentage ( likely to work after a re-cap ) but really the variables are all over the place to say that.
because i get boards all the time that still work, even with out a re-cap.

I think this is the most true statment.

if you run it till its DEAD.  then at that point a re-cap being all that it needs is a 50/50…
but if you catch it early,  like when the sound is really low… or the Softpower start acting up….  or maybe get glitchy, but once it ' warms up ' then its fine kinda thing..
if you are rolling on caps that have not been changed yet… change them.  or else its just going to cost you more in the end… its just like the
breaks on your car…  You can change them when they hit the squealers…. but if you keep rolling on them….  it going to cost you more and more… goes from a set of pads… to rotors, maybe bearings from the heat of metal to metal… Calipers… maybe master cylinder from pushing your peddle to the floor through the debris and sludge… maybe proportioning valve… it popped and won't go back. then your are jamming your foot to the floor to panic stop and you end up blowing up the 2 working break lines that are proportioned at increased pressure.  blow out your rear wheel cylinders… etc can turn into a fucked bad day!


#I Re-Cap √Mac √NeTX √Amiga Boards - A/B - PSU# (MacCaps.com)  Modern SCSI HD's - For Old Macs - Pre Cfg'd - 10k RPM! 73gb!! $50 + free shipping  -- Mac 128K Re-Ram kits (16 Chips) $35 + shipping, Floppy Issues?-> Bourns Filter Solution 128k - SE/30, $16 + shipping

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#21 2015-05-28 20:27:56

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

ClassicHasClass wrote:

Anyway, caveat emptor to anyone considering one. Another one popped up on eBay. It'll sell like the others.

Yeah, good luck, I hope you get it sorted out. One thing, though... I'd definitely recommend imaging/cloning the hard disk with the only copy of your software before popping it into another potentially flaky old II. (I'm sure you have something with a SCSI controller you can DD-it with, if nothing else.) hmm

I'm still sort of mystified how these sell for this price. I mean, sure, there are still the nuggets on the web claiming that these are "still in use" for X/Y/Z but those mostly date back to the early 'aughts and it looks like Symbolics itself has essentially been dead as a doornail since 2005 (other than the weird shell company that seems to do nothing but "exist"), while OS development stopped almost 10 years before that... but, hey, I've heard there are still people running Windows NT for "real things" out there in the woodwork so anything's possible.


Flap Different.

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#22 2015-05-28 23:45:45

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

Eudimorphodon wrote:
ClassicHasClass wrote:

Anyway, caveat emptor to anyone considering one. Another one popped up on eBay. It'll sell like the others.

Yeah, good luck, I hope you get it sorted out. One thing, though... I'd definitely recommend imaging/cloning the hard disk with the only copy of your software before popping it into another potentially flaky old II. (I'm sure you have something with a SCSI controller you can DD-it with, if nothing else.) hmm

I do indeed and that was the plan -- I have twin Quadra 605 systems running NetBSD specifically for this purpose. I'll just connect it to the external SCSI and whisk /dev/sd1c over the network to the RaQ fileserver (also running NetBSD). That'll easily get all the partitions and Genera bits.

I'm still sort of mystified how these sell for this price. I mean, sure, there are still the nuggets on the web claiming that these are "still in use" for X/Y/Z but those mostly date back to the early 'aughts and it looks like Symbolics itself has essentially been dead as a doornail since 2005 (other than the weird shell company that seems to do nothing but "exist"), while OS development stopped almost 10 years before that... but, hey, I've heard there are still people running Windows NT for "real things" out there in the woodwork so anything's possible.

This unit appears to have been sold by David K Schmidt himself, so I guess they're liquidating now or something. There's no other explanation for why so many of them have started appearing in so short a time.

Ironically, I just got a copy of Tru64 for my AlphaPC 164LX, which I'm putting my case mod mojo into (stickers for the case ordered, including a very nice 11" leaping cat Alpha decal, if I do say so myself). I could run OpenGenera on that ... if I ponied up another $ungodlyK for a license.

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#23 2015-09-14 05:29:29

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

So!

uniserver recapped my two remaining spare IIcis (the won't-power-down IIci is now going to be thule's body double, my NetBSD server, since it doesn't ever get powered down unless I'm servicing it). Those came back and they work fine.

But the drive turned out to be worse than I thought. I imaged it to a new hard disk and tried to customize the 7.6.1 partition and got an error -127. I rebooted the Mac and got a question mark. Disk First Aid said, "This is not an HFS volume." DiskWarrior could not repair it. FWB HD Toolkit and HDSC Setup couldn't even initialize it! It looks like DKS has been cloning disks with bad partition maps or something because the original HD was completely, utterly, hosed. I eventually loaded the tainted new hard drive into NetBSD, blew the disklabel and partition map off with a direct dd to /dev/sd0c, managed to reformat it and loudly questioned whether his parents were married and whether he was actually theirs.

A couple days ago I got a Genera 8.3 CD from ... a friend ... for ... reasonable ... consideration. So I decided to rebuild the system from scratch and make it kick butt. I got out one of the IIcis and installed 64MB of RAM, the MacIvory, an Apple Ethernet NB card, a Daystar 50MHz '030 PDS accelerator and an 8*24*GC with 4MB of VRAM set to 1152x870, then repartitioned the drive and put System 7.1 on the boot partition. This side kicks butt. It's so snappy and quick with the accelerated video, the faster CPU card and the low-footprint OS.

I then installed the MacIvory support files from CD and built the Front End Processor (FEP) partition, and started up the Breath of Life application that installs Genera into the special partition. After it makes the file system and tries to load the Genera image, it fails. It fails resoundingly. It wants ... a 1x CD-ROM. All I had were 300s, which are 2x.

You've got to be kidding.

I found one on eBay. To be continued.

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#24 2015-09-14 15:19:13

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

Man, you must really, REALLY want to run Emacs bad...

I totally don't get the part with the CD-ROM drive. Why/how could it possibly care?! Even if it's "stealing" the task of driving the SCSI controller from MacOS with its own steaming bundle of code I don't get why it could possibly care unless it's running some SCSI "Identify" command and chokes out if it doesn't exactly match what it expects. For all the data transfer-related functions shouldn't they pretty much be the same no matter if it's a 1X CD-ROM drive from 1988 all the way up to, I dunno, Ethernet encapsulated iSCSI?


Flap Different.

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#25 2015-09-14 17:37:42

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: Q. How many IIcis does it take to make a Lisp machine?

That...  Is crazy.  The epic saga continues.  I've got no real idea why it'd be needing a 1x cdrom drive either.

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