eBay Purchase #17 – Macintosh System 7.5

macsystem75-8eBay Purchase Price: $100 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

The mid 1990s was a challenging period for Apple. Steve Jobs had long been absent, a fragmented Macintosh product line existed (e.g. Performa, Quadra, Centris, and Power Macintosh), Windows 95 grabbing the attention of the media, and the difficulties pursuing the Copland project.

Obviously Steve was far from pleased.

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eBay Purchase #16 – Apple Macintosh LC II

maclc2-1eBay Purchase Price: $200 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Good

It’s been years since owning a beige Macintosh, and I had an itch to own one again. A little while ago I picked up this Macintosh LC II off eBay, from the state of Queensland. Getting a Mac from the LC series wasn’t my first choice, having preferred finding a Quadra or Performa instead. Between price, condition, and the models out there to choose from it’s hard pickings. Nevertheless there was some sentimental value towards this model – it was the model I experienced using a Macintosh for the very first time.

The LC family began with the original Macintosh LC released in October 1990, and the  series continued up until 1997 with the Power Macintosh 5200/75 LC in an all-in-one form factor. The earlier LC models were commonly referred to as pizza boxes, given their slim design, and in hindsight could be seen as the then Mac Mini. I’m not fully certain on officially what the LC represented, whether it was “low cost”, “low cost colour”, or from the name of Project Elsie in which the objective was to build a more affordable Macintosh with a colour screen. Whichever it may be, the LC was aimed for families and the education market as a lower cost alternative to the Macintosh II.

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eBay Purchase #15 – Philips Apple Video Adapter

philips-apple-video-1eBay Purchase Price: $30 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Good

Macintosh computers up until the introduction of the iMac in 1998, were known for having proprietary ports, which at times was inconvenient in a PC-centric world. Fortunately these days it’s more seamless.

I recently picked up an old Mac (which I’ll show in a later post). Everything was included, even down to having the original install disks and manuals, with the exception of the monitor. It was claimed to have been working, but there was a slight problem. None of the older LCD monitors I owned with their VGA and DVI ports was going to just plug in. So since owning it I had left it in the its original box out in the shed.

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eBay’s Fee Structure – An Unattractive Option for Casual Sellers

ebay-1

On April 30, 2004, I officially joined the growing number of users on eBay. Initially the first few years my account wasn’t particularly active, and it was only to purchase random cheap stuff. At the age of 19, priorities certainly weren’t on purchasing old computer bits and pieces.

This decade though the account has been more active, both for buying and selling. The buying experience has generally been positive, with only the occasional hiccup along the way. There was a time I successfully bid on some enterprise level software, including an early version of Microsoft Exchange for the lowly amount of $1. The software was never received and the seller was not responding – I guess they felt it wasn’t worth it.

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eBay Purchase #13 – Adaptec 2906 SCSI Card

adaptec2906eBay Purchase Price: $25 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: New Old Stock

In the way Creative Labs were a major player with sound cards, Adaptec were the equivalent in regards to SCSI cards. Here I picked up Adaptec’s 2906 still in shrink wrap.

SCSI (pronounced “scuzzy”, and meaning Small Computer System Interface) was the interface of choice for devices where faster data transfer speeds were of benefit. This typically meant hard disks, CD-ROM drives, scanners, and Zip drives, as an alternative to the slower IDE and parallel cable options available.

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eBay Purchase #12 – Honeywell 101WN AT Keyboard

honeywellkb-1eBay Purchase Price: $20 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

Lately I haven’t been trawling through eBay until only just a few days ago. When I did this keyboard was found, known as a Honeywell 101WN.

In more recent times of owning 486 and early Pentium PCs, I didn’t find much in the way of keyboards. IBM mechanical keyboards have the reputation as being the best, with ones in excellent condition easily going for $200 or so, sometimes more. Alternatively I took the approach of picking up a couple of new Microsoft PS/2 keyboards, as they were cheaper and easier to find. These would then be plugged into an adapter to convert PS/2 to the old 5-pin DIN connector on the motherboard.

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eBay Purchase #11 – Matrox Mystique 220 PCI Video Card

MatroxMystique220-1eBay Purchase Price: $275.50 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

Purchased from the same seller as the Creative SBS10 speakers, this was a highly contested item at auction. The desirability of the card was based on a combination of factors, though was a rather uncommon example of finding one with retail box and all. Here I’ve installed the card in one of my 486 PCs.

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eBay Purchase #10 – Creative Sound Blaster SBS10 Speakers

sbs10speaker-1eBay Purchase Price: $20.50 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: New Old Stock

After scoring a brand new sound card for my 486 build, a Sound Blaster AWE 64 Gold, it crossed my mind as to the likelihood of finding a PC speaker set of similar vintage. After searching for a while on eBay, the chances looked rather slim. Then out of the blue, these new set of speakers came out of nowhere and fortunately I had won the auction. With the lack of thrift stores compared to North America, finding items such as these makes it all the more challenging.

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eBay Purchase #9 – Microsoft BackOffice Server 2.0

msboffice2-1eBay Purchase Price: $60 AUD

Country of Origin: United States

Condition: Very Good

Long since discontinued, BackOffice was a suite of server orientated products in combination with Windows NT aimed at business. Originally released with Windows NT 3.5 Server included, the final version had Windows 2000 Server.

This particular version is 2.0 released in April 1996, and was the last to include Windows NT 3.51, just four months prior to NT 4.0. I grabbed this copy among some other newer versions of BackOffice from the same seller. The postage was pricey given their size and weight, though finding complete copies of these isn’t that easy.

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eBay Purchase #8 – Symantec pcAnywhere32 7.5

pcanywhere75-1eBay Purchase Price: $25 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Just recently I picked up a complete copy of pcAnywhere32 7.5 remote access software. The good news is the manuals are in excellent condition, and the original parallel port cable is included which can often go missing. The bad news is that out of the four floppy disks for the software itself, the second disk couldn’t be imaged due to bad sectors. Fortunately I could retrieve this elsewhere.

Symantec’s strategy in the late 1980s and early 1990s had been one of company acquisitions. One such acquisition was announced in August 1990 with the purchase of Peter Norton Computing Inc. who had a stronghold in the DOS disk utilities space. Symantec retained the Norton branding and had done so for a number of years.

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