Yesterday I was looking for some photos in my archive of backed-up CDs and DVDs, and among other things I found a photoshoot I did after receiving a marvellous gift from my friend Claudio (who sadly passed away last year): an almost-functional Macintosh 128K. I met Claudio in 2002 and it was instant friendship: he ran a small company called Data-Project whose main activity was Mac technical assistance, and we both loved to spend hours chatting about vintage Macs. He was a true master of Mac repairs and there was nothing he couldn’t fix. And I mean it. I enjoyed his company and his stories very much. He was a great, generous guy. I learnt a lot from him and I was immensely saddened by his untimely death.
Over the years he gave me a few of the Macs in my collection, such as the Macintosh SE FDHD and the Apple IIGS. He was my vintage hardware ‘pusher’, and I used to ask him for help when something didn’t work (and I regularly paid for his expertise, although he — being the utterly honest guy he was — never charged me the prices other Apple repair shops used to charge at the time), and every now and then I helped him put order in his crammed, messy (in a beautiful sort of way) laboratory; he called me when he meant to clean it up a bit, and gave me a lot of interesting pieces. When I was looking for a PowerBook 100, he gave me three dismantled units and told me: Here you have all the pieces to build one functional PowerBook 100. When he knew I acquired a Colour Classic, he gave me a motherboard of an LC 580 so I could use it to replace the original Colour Classic motherboard and have a slightly faster computer (the CC had a Motorola 68030 processor at 16 MHz, the LC 580 had a 68LC040 at 33 MHz). When some old SCSI hard drive broke down, he helped me with some spares (he had a whole shelf of hard drives, most of them working pulls or drives he repaired).
Then in January 2003, when I told him I was looking for the original Macintosh, he gave me the unit you see in the pictures. Like the previous PowerBook 100 deal, this Macintosh was dismantled because it needed a new analogue board, but he gave me all the pieces and a spare functional analogue board, and assured me that once I desoldered the old one and soldered the spare board he gave me and put all the pieces together as instructed, I would have had a fully functional Mac 128K (I know that because I tested every part myself. I thoroughly cleaned and greased the 400K floppy drive too! — he said). Too bad I never owned or used a soldering iron. But I still have this Mac and all the necessary pieces to make it work. And now it also has sentimental value. Enjoy the photos.