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The victim

The old Macs my parents had while I was young were all gone now, so I needed to get a 'new' second-hand one. I responded to an ad offering two of the critters: a vintage Macintosh Plus and the Macintosh SE/30, one of the more kick-ass Macs in that form factor.

The Mac Plus booted up happily, but the SE/30 gave a weird image on its display while playing the 'death chime'-sound, an indication that there's a serious hardware error.


After opening, the hardware problem did indeed seem to be 'serious': One look at the mainboard of the machine indicated that the battery to keep the internal clock running went bad and oozed all over the main board. I tried to clean it up and re-solder the affected PCB traces. Unfortunately, it was to no avail: probably the acid seeped in between the PCB layers and did some damage there. The SE/30 officially was dead. On the plus side, this made my choice of which Mac to hack a lot easier.


I had to clean it up a bit first: the battery did spread its corroding contents everywhere. After that, I'd had to integrate the Dockstar, and if it would be at all possible find a way to interface the original keyboard, mouse and monitor to it.

The choice for the MacSE/30 as the object to hack also sorted out the choice for the name for the project. The MacSE/30 was called that because it is a Macintosh SE with a 68030 processor, in contrast to the less powerful 68000 in the older Macintosh SEs. The motherboard containing the 68030 wasn't usable anymore and the processing power of the beast would be provided by the 1.2GHz ARM-core inside the Dockstar, so the name MacSE/arm seemed logical.

So, what would I do with this little piece of antique engineering? With the mainboard broken, the Dockstar would have to do some heavy lifting pretending it is a Mac. It would have to have some way to get input from the mouse and keyboard, as well as a way to display the Macs user interface. I also would like to re-use the floppy-disk in some fashion, so it would have to be hacked too.

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