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The Macin-Clock

I saw this on the Internet years ago and thought it was a cool idea. The idea is to take an old Macintosh computer, set the screensaver to the clock, and unplug keyboard/mouse and it turns into a retro geek clock. Pretty neat!

This "project" has been on my back burner for years and I finally decided to do it. It started off going to eBay and finding a good deal on an old Macintosh computer. Thing is, I don't know much about Macs and couldn't tell you the difference between a Macintosh 512K and the Macintosh SE. So I bought one that reminds me of the first Mac I got to learn how to type on while in middle school.

I got it pretty cheap and it finally arrived in the mail. Wow, a piece of computing history. This Macintosh SE ORIGINALLY came with 1MB RAM and (2) 800K floppy drives, no hard drive. But the one I won on eBay was "upgraded" to a 85MB hard drive and 4MB RAM. It came with OS 6 too.

I start this thing up and it boots fairly quick for as old as it is. From button to full functionality within 30 seconds. After poking around on it for about an hour, I realize the ONLY screensaver on this anchor is something called "ZoomIdle" which closely resembles "Mystify" on Windows computers, only its square and in black and white. Shit, I need screensavers! What's the top dog of screensavers back in that era...AfterDark!

I get back on eBay and find AfterDark v2.0 and eventually win it. This software is no where to be found on the Internet, and even if I found it, there's really no way of getting it over to the Mac. The floppy drive is 800K, no where close to 1.4MB like regular computers. You can't format a floppy disk to 800K in Windows, and even if you could, it would be in Windows format and the Mac couldn't read it. Besides, after reading about it, those old 800K drives use variable speeds to read/write which is unique to those drives and unlike all modern day floppy drives. To sum it up, the only way to copy a file from one computer to this Mac is if the source computer was another Mac, and an old one at that. There is no networking option on this Mac, just a port for an external modem.

Anyways, just today I finally get AfterDark in the mail, and man, is was in pristine condition, almost looked like I bought it new from a store! I pop in the 800K floppy drive and get it installed. Reboot the Mac and ta-da...there's AfterDark. I find the clock screensaver and it's either a digital clock or a VERY small analog clock, I chose the digital. I turn off sounds, set it to move VERY slowly and there's my clock.

I think this would be great in my basement by the entertainment area. We need a clock down there and you can see this one in the dark too. My roomie complained only about 2 things from it, it was too bright and too loud. The brightness was adjusted by a dial in the front and was fixed. It's really not that loud, my XBox is louder than the Mac, but the fan inside is a bit noisy, so my next plan is to replace it with a quieter, adjustable fan. The thing is, the air blowing out the back is almost like an AC, very cold. I might be able to get away with no fan. The damn thing uses Torx screws and two of them are so far deep under the handle I don't have a screwdriver long enough to reach it, so I need to pick one up before I crack it open.


Normal operation.


Mac with screensaver on.


Mac with screensaver on in the dark.

Copyright 2005 djdingo All Rig

Copyright 2005 - 2008 All Rights Reserved


Macintosh SE

Apple Macintosh SE