eWorld again

Apple eWorld

Image from Vintage Computing & Gaming

Last year on this day I forgot to update this blog with the traditional eWorld mention. eWorld was Apple’s ill-fated online service that debuted in June 1994 — almost 20 years ago — and was shut down on March 31, 1996. Every March 31, from 2010 on, I published an eWorld-related post with some interesting links and resources about eWorld. Here are a few more:

Past eWorld entries here on System Folder:


Hello, iPod

Hello ipod

To sweeten the vintage weekend, I just wanted to share a couple of iPod-related things. The first one is the video Apple made available on its site in October 2001 when the original iPod was introduced. I found it in one of my backups, possibly lying there for the past 13 years. It’s not hard to get hold of it if you look around on the Web (I’m sure YouTube is your friend), but I’d like to offer a direct link here for documentary reasons: iPod introduction video.

I must say, of all the Apple videos featuring Jonathan Ive, this is the one where Ive looks the most excited and possibly smiles the most. You’ll also notice someone who later left Apple to work with Palm…

As for the second thing, I thought I could assemble a useful table listing which iPod models can be managed by PowerPC Macs running Mac OS 9.x to Mac OS X 10.5.8 and which system software and iTunes version are required. I still don’t understand why more modern iPods — such as the 7th-gen. iPod nano or the 5th-gen. iPod touch and later — support Windows software as old as XP but require Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (and an Intel Mac, of course).

In case you acquire an old iPod model, in this table you can easily see your Mac/PC’s minimum requirements to be able to manage it.

System requirements (Mac OS, Windows, iTunes version) iPod models
Mac OS 9.2 or later
Mac OS X 10.1 or later

iTunes 2.0 or later

Original iPod (iPod with scroll wheel)
Mac OS 9.2.2 / Mac OS X 10.1.4 or later (Mac OS X 10.2 or later recommended)
Windows Me, 2000, XP (Home or Professional)

iTunes 3.0 or later

iPod with touch wheel (2nd-gen. iPod)
Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X 10.2 or later recommended)
Windows Me, 2000, XP (Home or Professional)

iTunes 4.0 or later

iPod (Dock Connector) (3rd-gen. iPod)
Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X 10.3 or later recommended)
Windows 2000 (SP 4), XP (Home or Professional)

iTunes 4.2 or later

iPod mini
Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X 10.3 or later recommended)
USB 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.4 or Windows 2000 (SP 4) or Windows XP Home or Professional

iTunes 4.6 or later

iPod (Click wheel) (4th-gen. iPod)
iPod U2 Special Edition
Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later (for FireWire)

USB 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later or Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 4.7 or later

iPod photo
iPod colour display
iPod U2 Special Edition (colour display)
Mac OS X 10.2.8 or Mac OS X 10.3.4 and later (Mac OS X 10.3.6 or later recommended for use with low-power USB ports)
Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 4.7.1 or later

iPod shuffle (1st gen.)
Mac OS X 10.2.8 or Mac OS X 10.3.4 and later (Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later recommended)
USB 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.4 or later or Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 4.7.1

iPod mini (2nd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.3.4 and later
Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 5.0 or later

iPod nano (1st gen.)
Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later
Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 6.0 or later

5th-gen. iPod
Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later
Windows 2000 (SP 4) or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 7.0 or later

5th-gen. iPod (U2 Special Edition)
5th-gen. iPod (late 2006)
5th-gen. iPod (U2 Special Edition – late 2006)
iPod nano (2nd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 7.0 or later (2006)
iTunes 7.4 or later (2007/2008)

iPod shuffle (2nd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 7.4 or later

iPod nano (3rd gen.)
iPod classic
Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 7.4 or later

iPod touch (1st gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 2) or later

iTunes 8.0 or later

iPod touch (2nd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 3)

iTunes 8.0 or later

iPod nano (4th gen.)
iPod classic (120 GB)
iPod shuffle (3rd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP 3) or later

iTunes 9.0 or later

iPod shuffle (3rd gen. late 2009)
iPod nano (5th gen.)
iPod classic (160 GB – late 2009)
iPod touch (3rd gen.)
Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later
Windows 7, Vista, or XP Home or Professional (SP 3) or later

iTunes 10 or later

iPod nano (6th gen.)
iPod touch (4th gen.)

(Data collected using Mactracker.)


The Apple Network Server resource

ANS

From Wikipedia:

The Apple Network Server (ANS) is a short-lived line of PowerPC-based server computers manufactured by Apple Computer from February 1996 to April 1997, when it was discontinued due to poor sales. It was codenamed “Shiner” and originally consisted of two models, the Network Server 500/132 (“Shiner LE”, i.e., “low-end”) and the Network Server 700/150 (“Shiner HE”, i.e., “high-end”), which got a companion model, the Network Server 700/200 (also “Shiner HE”) with a faster CPU in November 1996. They are not a part of the Apple Macintosh line of computers; they were designed to run IBM’s AIX operating system and their ROM specifically prevented booting Mac OS. This makes them the last non-Macintosh desktop computers made by Apple to date. The 500/132, 700/150, and 700/200 sold in the U.S. market for $11,000, $15,000 and $19,000, respectively.

Apple Network Servers are not to be confused with the Apple Workgroup Servers and the Macintosh Servers, which were Macintosh workstations that shipped with server software and used Mac OS; the sole exception, the Workgroup Server 95—a Quadra 950 with an added SCSI controller that shipped with A/UX—was also capable of running Mac OS. Apple did not have comparable server hardware in their product lineup again until the introduction of the Xserve in 2002.

Last month, my friend the excellent Cameron Kaiser has updated a section of his awesome website. The section is called Floodgap ANSwers: The Apple Network Server Resource and it’s dedicated to this very machine. In the introduction, Cameron writes:

In 1998, I was a working stiff at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and the bookstore had an Apple Network Server 500/132 for their inventory system which the vendor wouldn’t support anymore. It was pristine and barely used, and sat in a corner. They asked me if I wanted it for anything, and I thought it would be fun to play with, so I wiped it and started its new long life. stockholm served as my do-everything server for 14 years until I finally decommissioned it in 2012 for an IBM POWER6, but it still works today and has a place of honour in my machine room. It was never flawless, but it was dependable and fascinating and a machine deserving of more than a footnote in Cupertino’s corporate history. This site, therefore, is my weak attempt at a memorial to the best enterprise-class machine Apple ever disowned.

Make sure to check out the various links Cameron provides on his page. I enjoyed the ANS FAQ and the AIX on ANS FAQ because, admittedly, I didn’t know much about this particular line of Apple servers and the operating system they run. I hope you’ll enjoy Cameron’s resource as much as I did. And remember to add his main website to your bookmarks, too. The typical System Folder reader will find a lot of valuable information and projects there.


In defence of the PowerBook 5300

PowerBook 5300

Whenever I stumble on some article listing Apple’s ‘worst Macs’ — sometimes called Road Apples, sometimes called lemons — even before looking at the list I already know that there’s one particular Mac I’m going to find: the PowerBook 5300. I won’t say that this PowerBook was completely issue-free, but I believe that its ‘lemon’ fame is in part undeserved.

Somehow, there’s a common denominator between the PowerBook 5300 and the Newton. Both got a bad reputation for what essentially was a non-issue, and from there it was just throwing the baby out with the bathwater. With the Newton it was the handwriting recognition (yes, it was not extraordinary in version 1.x of NewtonOS, but got amazingly better in version 2.x). With the PowerBook 5300 it was mainly the famous issue with the exploding batteries. As Dan Knight of Low End Mac writes (emphasis mine):

Originally designed to use LithIon batteries, Apple recalled the 5300 after some of the new batteries burst into flames on the assembly line. Not only was this an embarrassment to Apple, but the PowerBook 5300 became the butt of many jokes even though none of the troublesome batteries ever made it to market.

The PowerBook 5300 got included (obviously) in this recent article by Stephen Hackett, Some of Apple’s Lemons, which is otherwise a very well-informed and spot-on piece.

I strongly suspect that, among the tech writers who have written such lists of ‘worst Macs ever built’, there isn’t a single one of them who has actually used a PowerBook 5300 for as long as I have. I acquired my 5300ce second-hand in late 2001. It has a 117MHz PowerPC processor, 64MB of RAM and a 1.1GB hard drive. The original owner got it new in 1995 and took good care of it, to the point that when he sold it to me, the PowerBook was in mint condition after being in use for five full years. (Only the piece of plastic covering the ports on the back was missing, but I wouldn’t consider it a big deal.) The battery still held a 40-minute charge.

I’ve been using this PowerBook for the past 12 years without issues. Amazingly, the battery still holds enough charge to allow the PowerBook to complete the boot process.

Apart from my specific PowerBook 5300 unit, I have a certain expertise with Macs of this vintage because during the 1990s I did a lot of freelance Mac tech support, so I handled quite a number of these laptops.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the issues summarised by Hackett and review them one by one:

Cracks in the plastic casing.

I’ve witnessed this issue on very few PowerBook 5300 models. Comparatively, I’ve seen cracks in the plastic casing occurring much more frequently on clamshell iBooks, particularly around the small Apple logo beneath the screen; a problem possibly caused by tight hinges.

My PowerBook 5300 has started showing a small crack in the casing a couple of months ago, therefore 18 years after being manufactured. I’m willing to cut it some slack at this point, eh?

Vertical lines present on the display due to pinched ribbon cables in the hinges.

I’ve never seen this issue in person. I was told about one case by a fellow Mac consultant years ago. I personally saw this happen a lot with PowerBook 180 and 190 models, though.

Cracking hinges.

A few cases, yes, and in all of them the owner admitted to not treating the PowerBook with much care. I’m not denying the issue, of course, but let’s just say that in my career as a Mac tech support freelancer, I’ve seen more cracked hinges on Titanium G4 PowerBooks than on PowerBook 5300 units. Strange that the Titanium PowerBook G4 never gets a mention among the ‘road apples’ for that, no?

Poor performance due to the lack of a L2 cache.

Here I can only speak subjectively. At the time it was introduced (1995), the PowerBook 5300 wasn’t certainly as fast as some of the desktop Power Macintoshes of the same era (especially the 8500 and 9500 series), but as far as laptops went, it wasn’t exactly sluggish either. Having the maximum RAM installed (64MB) and upgrading to System 7.5.3 or 7.5.5 helped a lot, too. Theoretically, the PowerBook 5300 supports system software versions up to Mac OS 9.1, but in my experience you’ll want to stop at Mac OS 7.6.1 or 8.1, and I suggest going Mac OS 8.1 only if you have maxed the RAM.

Having used my PowerBook 5300 rather frequently over the past 12 years, I can say that, while it may not be the fastest pre-G3 PowerBook, it has proven to be a capable and reliable machine. For example, at the moment I’m writing this very article in BBEdit Lite 3.5.1 on the PowerBook 5300 itself, and there are a few apps opened in background as well:

  • Internet Explorer 5.1.7, opened on my main website.
  • Acrobat Reader 4, which by the way opens in less than 2 seconds and with two PDF documents open it only takes up less than 10MB of memory.
  • iCab 2.99, opened on Low End Mac’s website.
  • Graphic Converter 4.01, with a PICT file I needed to crop and convert to JPEG.

There are still 39MB of contiguous RAM available, and switching from an app to another is rather seamless, considering I’m on a 19 year-old machine using Mac OS 8.1.

Fires due to a bad Sony lithium ion batteries that overheated while charging.

As I emphasised at the beginning by quoting that bit written by Dan Knight, that problem happened internally during production and therefore did not impact users directly.

In conclusion, I’ve written about my personal experience with a PowerBook 5300 over 12 years of use and recalling the direct experience I had with these laptops as a freelancer doing Mac tech support in the 1990s, when these machines were new. I’m sure there are other experienced Mac users and technicians out there who will have different stories to tell; but from my perspective, I really can’t count the PowerBook 5300 among Apple’s lemons.


Checking on my Quadra 950

Quadra950 bezel close cc

 

It didn’t boot.

Compared to other Macs in my collection which have been in storage for a longer period (the LC II, for instance, or the Performa 630CD), I used this Quadra 950 for the last time around the second half of 2011, so it’s been a little more than two full years. Of course everything was working fine and, knowing I wouldn’t use it for a while, I stored the Quadra carefully, taking particular care in covering vents and other holes to avoid the excessive formation of dust bunnies.

Before connecting the Quadra to keyboard, mouse and display, I opened it to take a cursory look at the amount of dirt that accumulated inside of it since the last time I used it, but finding it rather clean overall, I went on and flipped the switch (actually I pressed the Power button on the keyboard).

The Quadra’s response: “KH-POP”, and nothing else.

Typically this beast of a computer, with a power supply capable of delivering 303 watts of maximum continuous power (you can, for example, connect an external display to the Quadra 950 PSU and the Quadra will power itself and the display), would make a sort of “KH-DUM” sound when powered on, followed by the spinning up of the various drives and the large fan mounted against the power supply. Instead all I got was a “KH-POP,” the power light would briefly turn on, and nothing else. The Quadra 950 has a security keyswitch on the front, with three positions: OFF, ON and SECURE. According to this archived Apple Knowledge Base article,

When the keyswitch is in the SECURE position, the ADB devices and floppy disk drive are disabled. For example, the keyboard does not generate characters, or the mouse moves but no menus can be pulled down. Also, when power is applied to the computer while the keyswitch is in the SECURE position, the computer automatically starts up.

Turning the keyswitch in the SECURE position made my Quadra 950 cycle in a scary loop of “KH-POP KH-POP KH-POP” — it was clear that the Quadra tried to power on but could not. A very faint burnt smell was not a good sign, either.

My first thought was: The power supply has bitten the dust, but I had my reservations. True, long periods of inactivity aren’t good for vintage Macs (or any computer, for that matter), but the Quadra 950′s power supply is considered one of the most robust, and I found it unlikely that it would give up the ghost this way. It’s just a feeling, of course, but something that happened later in my investigation may corroborate my instincts.

Cleaning out

I disconnected everything and started the cleaning process. I wanted to be as thorough as I could, and that meant removing the drive shelf and the power supply, then removing the large fan mounted on the power supply, inspecting each part and cleaning it gently. Then I removed all the connected NuBus cards and dusted them one by one; then I dusted the motherboard.

Power supply

As you can see, the power supply occupies a large part of the Quadra 950′s interior. In that empty space above it there’s the drive shelf (which I had already removed when I took the photo).

The amazing thing to note with regard to disassembling the Quadra 950 is how simple and straightforward it is. To remove the drive shelf I only had to remove two screws. To remove the power supply — just three screws. (Of course you also have to disconnect the various data cables and power cables).

Quadra950 inside motherboard

Here’s the Quadra without drive shelf, power supply, speaker bezel. I also removed one of the NuBus cards (the second from the top — I have four slots occupied of the five available) to be able to disconnect all data cables with greater ease.

This photo was taken before I dusted everything. As you can see, the Quadra was already rather clean inside.

The NuBus cards

For documentation purposes, let’s have a quick look at the four NuBus cards installed.

Asante Ethernet 2

1. AsanteFAST 10/100 NuBus Ethernet card by Asanté (Manufacture date appears to be 1996)

Paintboard TurboXL 1

2. Paint Board Turbo XL video card by RasterOps (Manufacture date appears to be 1993)

4 serial ports card

3. This one was hard to identify. It basically adds 4 serial ports to the Mac. After some digging, it appears to be either a Lightning or a Hurdler serial NuBus board manufactured by Creative Solutions, Inc. (“CSI”, as you can see on that label on the chip next to the large Zilog chip) in 1994. Here’s the related page from the original website (now archived).

Macintosh II PC Card

4. This one, instead, was very easy to identify. It’s a Macintosh II PC Drive Card by Apple Computer (part No. 820-0213-A). You can find more photos of this card here. It’s a rather old card (1987) that lets you connect an Apple PC 5.25″ floppy drive. I don’t have such drive — this card was already in the Quadra when I acquired it in 2003.

After the cleaning

After dusting and cleaning everything, I reassembled the Quadra and tried booting it again. And again, the Quadra’s response was “KH-POP,” just like before. But this time, since the room was darker, I could notice a spark on one of the NuBus cards every time I heard the “KH-POP” sound. I am not an electrician, but I’d say that this behaviour suggests that the issue may be on the motherboard (or on something connected to it, such as RAM chips or one of the NuBus cards, etc.) and not in the power supply. It looks as if every time I try powering the Quadra on, something creates a short circuit, interrupting the process. Perhaps a piece of dirt or a ‘dust bunny’ has lodged somewhere and I didn’t catch it, or a RAM chip has failed. Searching on the Web, I found someone having a very similar issue with his Quadra 950, but in his case the short circuit was caused by a pin of the main processor chip that he bent when he reinserted it after cleaning the motherboard. I haven’t touched any chip, and every RAM and VRAM memory stick looks firmly in its place.

I have already tried booting the Quadra after removing all the NuBus cards, but it went “KH-POP” again on me. Tomorrow I will try removing all RAM chips and even the PRAM battery, and see what happens.

I’m quite fond of this Quadra 950. I’ve used it on a regular basis from 2003 to 2006, and occasionally up to 2011. It’s the fastest 68K Macintosh I own (it has a Motorola 68040 CPU at 33MHz, two 400MB hard drives, and it used to have 28MB of RAM, which I expanded to 40MB by adding the RAM sticks I salvaged from the Quadra 700 when it died in 2005) and acted as a server in my vintage Mac LocalTalk network. I don’t want to give up on it yet. I’ve described the issue the best I can, so if you have any insight or suggestion, please do chime in — I’m all ears.

 

Quadra950 rear label


Checking on my Macintosh LC II

Mac LCII 2014

When you have a collection of vintage Macs, even if it’s a small and unassuming one like mine, you have to perform periodical checks to verify the state of the machines. Especially when you don’t have enough space to leave all the Macs laid out and plugged in permanently.

Due to space constraints, I only have two CRT monitors. One is a relatively modern 17-inch Belinea display with a VGA connection, which is currently connected to my Power Macintosh 9500/132 and can be used as an external display with a wide range of Macs. The other is a 14-inch Macintosh Color Display, an 11-kilogram beast with a DB-15 connection that is essential to be able to use three specific machines in my collection: a Quadra 950, a Performa 630CD and a Macintosh LC II (and a PowerBook Duo 280c if I had a working DuoDock).

Yesterday I finally dusted off the Macintosh Color Display because it was time to check on those aforementioned Macs, which sadly haven’t seen much action as of late. The LC II, in particular, was last checked in 2007 (I know, mea culpa, etc.). I had also attached a label to the display with a ‘Last used’ date, and discovered it was last powered on in April 2009. I connected everything with trepidation, basically expecting the LC II’s hard drive not to spin up.

I’m glad I was wrong. As soon as I flipped the switch on the back of the LC II, the Mac booted up as if it were last used just the day before. No problems with the display either. Whew.

This LC II has 4MB of RAM, a 40MB hard drive and of course a 1.44MB floppy SuperDrive. I’m always amazed at how fast these vintage Macs boot up. It took the LC II about 20 seconds from the moment I switched it on to displaying the Desktop. I know it doesn’t have much to load, but it’s always a 16 Megahertz machine booting from a hard drive manufactured in 1993.

Speaking of hard drive, I checked it using the Norton Utilities for the Macintosh, whose version 1.1 was installed on this Mac by the previous owner (sorry for the moiré effect):

Norton Utilities 1

And Norton Disk Doctor reported no issues. Other software on this Mac includes Microsoft Word, HyperCard (both version 1, visible in the opening photo, and version 2) and the then-ubiquitous ClarisWorks. Among the utilities, a file compressor/archiver called Disk Diamond, and TattleTech. Now, according to TattleTech, this LC II was manufactured in February 1989, making it 25 years old exactly — but it’s a mistake, obviously, since the Mac LC was introduced in October 1990 and the LC II in March 1992. TattleTech checks the manufacturing date against the Mac’s serial number, which has to be manually inputted. Evidently I had transferred this copy of TattleTech, along with its preferences file, from my Macintosh SE. The label on the bottom of the LC II says that it was manufactured in 1993, so it’s ‘only’ 21 years old. And works just fine.

During the weekend I’ll clean it inside and check the floppy drive, which has become a bit unreliable, then I’ll proceed with the Performa 630CD and the Quadra 950. By the way, I’m always interested in SCSI hard drives for these machines, so if you have some working units lying around, let’s talk about it.


30 years of the Mac: peripherals

These days of celebration of the Mac’s 30th anniversary really had a deep ‘going down memory lane’ effect on me. Coincidentally, I was doing some major cleaning in my studio, and I found some things worth scanning. To avoid posting just a bunch of photos and images, I’ll try to make a series of posts, separating my findings in a more coherent way.

First off, I found a great book I thought I had lost when I relocated: The Graphic Designer’s Basic Guide to the Macintosh, Written by Michael Meyerowitz and Sam Sanchez. The book was published in 1990, and it’s full of very nice photos of Macs and peripherals of the time (too bad the photos are black and white, and not colour). Instead of focusing on the various Mac models portrayed therein — nothing really new to the vintage Mac enthusiast — I thought I’d scan and publish here a few images of interesting peripherals (monitors, printers, etc.). I’m doing this for ‘educational’ purposes and I hope the copyright owner will consider this fair use of the images.

Apologies for the quality of the scans. The original photos weren’t much better. I also scanned the captions, which should be perfectly readable, but I’ve transcribed them anyway just in case. I’ve also added links with additional information where possible.

Apple CD SC
The Apple CD SC is a front-loading disk drive that reads information from specially formatted compact disks. One compact disk can hold an entire encyclopedia.

 

Apple monitors
Apple monitors for the Macintosh II, IIx and IIcx. They include a 13-inch Apple Color RGB monitor, a 21-inch Apple two-page monochrome monitor, a 15-inch Macintosh portrait display monitor and a 12-inch monochrome monitor.

 

Bernoulli
The Bernoulli Box is one of several cartridge systems that stores information on a removable disk.

Further reading: The Bernoulli Box A220H

 

Linotronic
Linotronic laser imagesetters produce professional-quality text, line art and halftones on film, paper, or press-ready plates. The Linotronic is one of several high-end machines that can be used to produce camera ready layouts.

 

Montage FR1
Presentation Technologies’ Montage FR1 film recorder with optional TC1 camera back for creating overheads and instant prints of work created on the Macintosh.

 

Original Mac  accessories
The original Macintosh with mouse and keyboard. Add-ons included the ImageWriter dot matrix printer, external disk drive, numeric keyboard, a modem, and carrying case.

 

QMS ColorScript 100
The QMS ColorScript 100 color laser printer. Although expensive, color laser printer technology is moving forward rapidly and prices are starting to drop.

 

ScanMan SE
A ScanMan hand-held scanner by Logitech for the Macintosh Plus, SE and II. Hand-held scanners are inexpensive, easy to use, and provide a quick way of scanning small pieces of artwork.

Watch an edition on scanners from the TV programme Computer Chronicles, made available by the Internet Archive. Originally broadcast in 1991. (30-minute video)

 

SE30 Radius
Radius two-page monitor for the Macintosh SE/30. The obvious advantage of this size monitor is its ability to display a double-page spread at actual size.

Further reading: Radius Full Page Display at 32by32.com

 

Thunderscan
An inexpensive scanning option: Thunderscan replaces the printhead of the Apple ImageWriter with an electronic eye that reads the image as it rolls through the printer’s paper-feed mechanism.

Further reading: Andy Hertzfeld on the Thunderscan at Folklore.org


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