EEVblog #414 – Apple Macintosh SE Teardown

What’s inside a vintage 1988 Apple Macintosh SE?

Forum Topic HERE

Teardown photos HERE

And a follow-up showing the Easter Eggs

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  1. How about a Rasberry Pi SE you put a whole portable electronic dev lab and the pi in that case

  2. Wow – great to see one of these again. My father worked at a newspaper in the 80s and had one of these.

    I still remember him bringing it home in a GIANT blue padded carrying case on occasion, was great fun playing balck and white games in those days.

    I’m fairly sertain that the hidden images of the developers in the rom were known about even back in the 90s. I recall reading about them in an “easter eggs” section of some books about the mac published back then.

    Also, I think that if you held the CMD key (either side of the spacebar, with the apple or cloverleaf symbol) and pressed the triangle ‘reset button’on the keyboard, one could bring up the same debug menu without having to hit the programmer’s switch through the holes on the side of the case. The triangle key you called a reset button was used as a soft power-on button for later macs, though this SE and similar only had the hard physical power on / off switch at the back.

  3. Those two tact switches are the reset and interrupt buttons. There’s actually a small plastic piece that snaps in on the side of the case that lets you push those buttons from the outside.

    The reset button does what you expect it to, and it’s functionality is mirrored by the reset button the keyboard.

    The interrupt button breaks into the system debugger – either the built in one with a minimal command line, or if you have installed it, MacsBug (which was created by Motorola to debug the 68k, the “mac” part of it being a coincidence), which is an enhanced system debugger.

    You can’t fix the flickering – it’s what happens when you film a CRT screen whose refresh rate is not locked to your framerate. TV studios have all sorts of expensive gear like genlocks that generate sync signals so cameras and CRTs are all synced up (when they aren’t, you can see a slow rolling band of brightness crawling up or down the CRT). This is caused by the camera not catching a frame of the CRT at the same time it shuts the shutter, so areas that were not scanned are dimmer, areas double scanned are brighter, and flickering. These days, LCD monitors don’t do this, so film away without flicker. (NOTE: OLED screens do flicker, but usually the refresh is so high that it’s a lot less noticable).

    • >The interrupt button breaks into the system debugger

      Did you take the time to look at the follow-up video (posted two days before your post)? Because Dave does exactly that.

    • @ Worf
      Actually you can film without flickering.
      I don´t know what kind of camera he is using, but if he is filming with a dslr he can use the shutter speed to fix the problem. Even with point and shoot cameras is it possible, when they have a video mode.
      The GoPro is also capeable of variable shutter speed.


  4. Ah, the old MC68000 DIP package. The “Aircraft Carrier” of microprocessors.

  5. Not sure about that Mac, but all my equipment turned that yellow when I was a smoker over 20 years ago. Don’t use any chemical stuff though, some cleaning with dish soap will bring it back like new.

    • Vincent Trouilliez - France

      About “whitening” yellow old computer gear, unfortunately soap and water hardly does it… might suffice for smoke as you said, because it’s fairly superficial, but 99% of the time the desease is more severe. I have managed to recover an ancient “intellipoint” Microsoft and IBM mouse by sanding them down with super fine grit paper, but this is not changes the “texture” of the surface, which is not called for, and is sadly often useless because it can not preserve all the printing/marking, like logos, letters on a keyboard etc… So if there is indeed a chemical way of doing it, I would love it Dave/M. EEVBLog if you could do a video on this.. because I just love old “beige” Apple computer from the early days, up to all the last of the beige G3 Tower jobbie.
      But I haven’t bought any to date just because tehy suffer terribly from yellowing and it turns me copletely off. If there is an efficient way to restore there original colour, I can forsse I will collect dozens of them… I just love them. 😀

  6. Ah, those deep Torxes. Apple really didn’t want anyone getting inside the cases – their own shops had a special long thin Torx driver, but they wouldn’t sell it to anybody else, because then other people might have been able to repair the things. (Torx itself wasn’t always easy to find.)

    The screw-in feet on that extra bottom plate look as if they’re designed for levelling.

    My favourite Mac error: “The application ‘Unknown’ has quit (-1).”

  7. I’m still using an ADB keyboard… an Apple Extended II… back when the iMac first came out with only USB; an adapter was sold for a while by Griffin; I’m still using that with my fairly new MacBook Pro… and OS X still recognizes the old oddball keys (like the power key), too…

  8. “Am I buldozing everything… ahh terrific.”

    Thumbs up for doing the “Don’t turn it on, take it apart” for once.

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