30th Anniversary Macintosh
February 3, 2014 9:39 AM   Subscribe

30th Anniversary Macintosh
Rather than let an old Mac SE with dead drives go to waste, I built a new ARM motherboard running Linux for it that reuses the classic 9" 512x342 monochrome monitor and power-supply. Luckily many X11 applications still support 1-bit visuals, so it is fairly usable with modern programs, although the low-resolution makes me wonder how we used to work with such minuscule displays.

This Mac SE is the same one that I found in the trash in Brooklyn and reverse engineered the ROM Easter Eggs. It had been sitting idle since then, and like my new motherboard for the Tandy Model 100, I wanted to put a modern CPU into it to make it useful in the modern era.

The non-standard resolution and timing on the CRT required custom firmware in the BeagleBone Black's PRU to drive the CRT. For the more technically inclined, detailed timing diagrams, wiring schematics and source code are also available to build your own.
Role: programmer
posted by autopilot (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

This is really cool, and though way above my technical abilities, explained in a way that totally made sense.

Also -- 1-bit cat videos!

Thanks for sharing it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:20 AM on February 3, 2014


May the spirit of the great Woz bless you for this!
posted by JHarris at 2:50 PM on February 6, 2014


I've just added support for original ADB keyboards and mice. Why did Apple put the raised dots on the wrong keys back in those days?
posted by autopilot at 8:49 PM on February 8, 2014


Why did Apple put the raised dots on the wrong keys back in those days?

If it weren't for the calluses on my middle fingers, I would cut you.

(Used my Extended Keyboard II, with the dots in their proper position, right up until last year when I finally had to replace it with a Model M due to a failing ADB cable.)

Sweet project. I've always wondered what I could do with my ancient Classic II; maybe something like this could be arranged. I'd never thought of actually reusing the monitor with a new mobo.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:32 PM on February 16, 2014


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