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#1 2018-08-16 20:04:35

Pheonix
Member
Registered: 2018-08-16
Posts: 5

Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

I find myself faced with owning a MAC Plus and/or a MAC IIx.  But, I'm also faced with the fact that I have never actually worked with either one of these personally.  I played some games on one (not sure which model, exactly, but it was a compact version,) in the mid to late 80's at a friends house, but that's it.  From web searching, they both use the same OS (thought the IIx is compatible with later revisions.)  So, would everything that would run on the MAC Plus also run on the MAC IIx?  If so, I see no reason to keep the Plus sad  Also, the SCSI drive in the IIx is missing, must have been pulled at some point.  My current choices are 40 MB, 2 GB, & 16 GB for the drive.  Did the MAC have the 4 GB problem that so many systems of the era had?  Does either system really need a large amount of HDD space?  My Amiga (for example,) has 4 GB of HDD space, and I've yet to go over 1% usage with everything I own installed in one manner or another.  I also seem to have a HDD unit for the MAC Plus, but haven't pulled it out & checked it to see what it has installed (assuming that wasn't pulled as well.)  In many respects, I like the look of the compact systems (MAC Plus,) but I like the power of the IIx as well (getting away from monochrome is a major plus for me.)  Any information, advice, and/or help would be appreciated.

Thank you smile

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#2 2018-08-16 20:27:03

baumerang
Member
Registered: 2016-11-08
Posts: 2

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

These are two very different machines. To answer your quesitons:

1. Yes, everything that "works" on the Plus will run on the IIx.
2. The SCSI drive, no matter the size, will need to be "blessed" to work on any 68k mac.
3. Yes, there is a partition limit to HFS, and yes, you will not need it.
4. The Mac Plus doesn't have an internal HDD; must be attached via SCSI.
5. RAM limit to Mac Plus is 4MB; IIx is 128MB.
6. Mac Plus uses 800k floppies only, these are rarer and harder to find than the 1.44MB "Superdrive" in IIx.
7. Mac Plus is the last of the fan-less Mac's.
8. IIx needs a video card, external monitor, etc.

Comparing these two computers based on "which one you should have" is impossible to answer. What do you want to do with it? Outside of nostalgia, from a pure "collectors" perspective, a working Mac Plus is gem. The Iix is a little more ho-hum. But again, these things are subjective.

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#3 2018-08-16 21:38:23

Pheonix
Member
Registered: 2018-08-16
Posts: 5

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

1) That's good to hear smile  Will make my final decision a little easier.

2) What exactly do you mean by "blessed"?  They were pulled from my Amigas when I converted them to IDE (a 68000 & a 68060 machines,) if that makes a difference.  They are probably still Amiga formatted.  In case you are curious, I would have only 1 Amiga, except there a games that won't run on the later model natively sad  Yes, there are system degraders, but I prefer to run on original HW when I can.  I guess I need to do a search for hard drive compatibility.

3) So, 4GB limited.  If I don't need anywhere near that, then the 2.1 GB is probably the drive I'll use.  Assuming it's blessed smile  And assuming it will even fit.  The 2.1 GB drive is actually a full height drive.  Until I pulled it from my Amiga, I didn't know there were any full height drives that large.  Well, not sure about full height, but it's a little less than twice as tall as the drives I'm used to (half-height drives.)  Its a Seagate ST12400N drive, in case you're curious.

4)  Yes, I have an external unit (20SC I think,) don't know it's condition or even if there is a drive in it or not.  I remember the IIx had the drive removed, but don't remember about the 20SC.  Don't even have the computers themselves right here with me (in storage, but will be pulling them out when I have a plan laid down.)  I had to put all my vintage computer parts into storage years ago and have been taking them out one system at a time to get them up & running.  Since I can run everything on the IIx, I will probably sell the Plus to get the parts to get it up & running (with whatever upgrades I can manage.) smile  Will have to pull them out of storage & test them first, though.  If the HDD unit for the Plus had the drive removed, I'm wondering if the 40 MB drive will work in it.  Will have to dig into that later.

8) Plenty of monitors, even a 1084S (RGB 15Khz, digital & analogue) if needed.  Just hope neither is proprietary sad  Then I might need to reconsider (or look into adapters.)  Shipping on monitors makes them a little prohibitive sad

Ack... Meant to also state that they are mainly for playing the games I remember playing.  For completely pure nostalgia, though, I would need to play in monochrome.  I'm not "that" much of a purist, however smile

Last edited by Pheonix (2018-08-16 21:41:55)

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#4 2018-08-18 22:03:44

baumerang
Member
Registered: 2016-11-08
Posts: 2

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

  • Classic Mac used non-standard DB-15 display port. But adapters converting this for VGA monitors are abundant and cheap online.

Good luck!

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#5 2018-08-19 00:05:05

Pheonix
Member
Registered: 2018-08-16
Posts: 5

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

Thank you everyone smile

Looks like I'll be using the IIx as my Classic MAC system.  Will be putting this 2.1 GB drive in it, if it fits.  Otherwise, I'll probably sell it & the 16 GB drive for the money to buy a more appropriate drive.  The Plus will be tested then probably put up for sale along with the HDD unit.  This should allow me to track down & buy anything needed to max out the IIx & get whatever I need to get it up & running smile

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#6 2018-08-23 14:22:46

La_Porta
Member
From: CT
Registered: 2018-08-22
Posts: 4

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

How is your IIx coming along? I've got a II I need to work on big time myself...

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#7 2018-08-23 15:57:05

Pheonix
Member
Registered: 2018-08-16
Posts: 5

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

Trying to get a ride to the storage place right now.  Cheapest climate controlled with online paying was 10 miles out of town.  I'm paying for that now that I'm no longer allowed to drive sad  Amazing how fast friends find themselves too busy when promised rides turn out to be more than a few blocks away.  One of the reasons I wanted to have a plan in place before hand.  This way, when I do get a ride, it's a quick open it up, grab what I need onto the card, then close it back up and off we go smile  Also have a couple of minor tweaks needed for my TI & Atari computers.

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#8 2018-08-27 16:22:20

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,434

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

IIRC, max partition will be 2GB. Good choice, with NuBus you get a very significant bump in hardware playtime over the Plus.

External SCSI cases can be very pricey, SCSI2SD a bit less so, but UltraSCSI/SCA to lameass Mac SCSI adapters are dirt cheap. The IIx can house and power an old 5.25" or 3.5" server drive which was a plentiful and inexpensive option the last time I looked. That's flexibility not available in the IIcx form factor/PSU.

If you want you can do a lid-pop access CD hack and hang your HDD upside down in a batlike orientation under the HDD chassis. There's documentation of that floating around somewhere in the hacks forum over there. wink

Last edited by jt (2018-08-27 16:24:29)

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#9 2018-08-28 03:04:57

Pheonix
Member
Registered: 2018-08-16
Posts: 5

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

Got a ride to storage today, and couldn't find any of it sad  Going to have to call my sister and see if I left them down there with her.  This is rather frustrating... Sure, my Amiga can emulate a MAC, but I prefer to use real HW whenever I can.  Now I feel like I've wasted everyone's time, and I'm sorry for that.

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#10 2018-08-28 04:31:35

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,434

Re: Choice between MAC Plus & MAC IIx

It's never a waste of time to compare relative merits or our toys.

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