This page is a wiki. Please login or create an account to begin editing.


15 posts / 0 new
Last post
Antonin29's picture
Offline
Joined: 2018 Apr 10
Advice for a PowerBook 190cs

Hi! I've obtained my first 68k recently, a 190cs. I've been using it for the past days as is, making floppies on my Win98 machine while waiting for my CF-related orders to arrive. In the mean time, I have a few questions:

1. Are the proprietary Apple SCSI adapters rare? Because I saw one for a few bucks (w/t shipping but still) but I don't have any SCSI peripherals for the moment, but if it's a catch, please tell me.

2. It's running System 7, and I'm all too happy with, except I don't know WHICH S7 version pick: right know, it's running 7.5.2, the version it shipped with. But should I go with 7.5.5 or even 7.6? I've seen figure showing how S7 was faster than 8.5 or 9 but haven't found any definite arguments when it comes to 7.5 vs 7.6.

Thanks for reading through this!

PS: I'll be uploading the French 7.5.2 version found in my HD when I'll image it.

Comments

Bolkonskij's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Congrats to your new 190cs! Smile
One of the biggest mistake by people is to automatically put the latest OS a Mac can support on that machine. Often, there is little gain but a lot of performance loss. 7.5.2 was a big buggy if my memory serves me right, but it has been so long that I'm not 100% sure. Someone else? Anyway, upgrading to 7.5.5 might be worthwhile.

Although a bit PowerPC centric, here's a website with a wealth of information for your System 7 notebook.

Enjoy the trip back to the 90s Smile

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

As Bolkonskij pointed out, while the stock Mac OS is suitable, it's not optimal. And 7.5.3 was quite good for this model, but there are some advantages with upgrading to Mac OS 7.6.1 or 8.1, although hard drive space will play a factor.

I've added multiple OSes on various Macs with great results; this way you can test and compare which applications run with which OS and how your Mac runs with each OS. For me, 8.1 was more of Mac OS 7.7 w/a few niceties, but 7.6.1 is truly stellar, which you will learn a lot about on the website Bolkonskij gave a link to. I personally would add both 7.6.1 and 8.1 to a 190cs and boot each OS based on the programs/extensions I'd want to run. OS Speed should not be an issue at all with 7.6.1, but 8.1 should also be pretty zippy on your new 190cs.

fogWraith's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Oct 23

As an owner of a 190cs, they are quite nice, even the keyboard is alright... though the internal battery needs to be changed and the battery pack itself needs to be re-celled. There are some boot issues due to the internal battery being dead and all, but nothing that can be manually set when back in the OS.

I've never really needed anything SCSI for this one, it runs 7.6.1 quite nicely and has a PCMCIA ethernet adapter, so it serves as a Hotline server / internet gateway for my Macintosh Classic most of the times. Also, get a couple of the SCSI adapters while you can, you never know when you need them Smile

Be on the lookout for RAM upgrades, they may be horribly expensive, but you might also be very lucky to get your hands on one or more for a decent price.

IIGS_User's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 8

quite nicely and has a PCMCIA ethernet adapter,

Also bought this this machine when it was new.
Some months ago, I made an experiment with PCMCIA (later called "PC-Card") adapter for CF media, it was the first time I've used this slot, and I scratched something within the machine. Kaputt.

External SCSI devices to be used with this machine are very good (ZIP Drive, CD-ROM drive).

So I bought another PowerBook 190cs now, it comes with Monitor to VGA adapter made by Apple itself. I can't remember that this adapter was available at the time of the machine, but this is also a great extension to that machine.

Before scratching my original 190cs, I experimented with hard disk replacement as well, but I think I'll leave out replacing internal hard disk drive and PCMCIA options (see the reason above), so only external SCSI solutions are left: Bought some SCSI2SD devices for use on these old machines (Apple IIGS, Macintosh 68k).

I started to create a 2 GB SCSI2SD drive for the PowerBook 190 with a number of partitions on it, one for Mac OS 7.5.5 or 7.6.1, one for Mac OS 8.1, a small HFS Standard volume, and the remaining space.

But I still need to re-activate the PowerBook 190 yet.

papichulo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2018 Feb 21

I sold my 190cs im really regretting it. It had 7.5.2 on it but i updated it to 7.5.5 and it ran really fast. Just update to 7.5.3 then 7.5.5

capt_chuckl3s's picture
Offline
Joined: 2019 Sep 17

Congrats on the 190cs. I've never owned one so I can't really say anything about them. If I did have one I'd probably take Bolkonskij's advice and put 7.5.5 on it because I've never had anything with System 7 prior to that point.

Antonin29's picture
Offline
Joined: 2018 Apr 10

Thanks for the feedback everyone!
I've completely disassembled the computer to clean a """moderate""" battery leakage (the part of the PCB close to the battery was caked in crystallized acid, but otherwise it looked brand new apart from the inevitable small plastic parts freeing themselves from the rest of the chassis and so on), currently waiting for some stuff I glued back to adhere well before turning it back again.
I wrote an article about the computer and soon going to add a part about the restoration (that I didn't visually documented as I wanted to because of a lack of equipped at the beginning). The cleaning part took something like 2 4 hours sessions, and in the end I only had to throw away the metal shield between the case's bottom and the motherboard.

So for the OS, I'm going to take everyone advice and update to 7.5.5, mainly because it's not a lot a floppies away to be installed (still waiting for the adapter crap to arrive...) & even though I got a 1gb CF ready to go, for the moment I'm going to stick with the og HD because it doesn't feel like it's slowing down the computer (unlike my iBook G3 which is a slug because of his).

I guess I'm going to buy the SCSI adapters in fear of it becoming unobtainum.

As for connectivity, I'm going to try buying a Compaq Orinoco card. I found one brand new for 10 bucks shipped, which isn't a bad deal considering that the Lucent ones are currently selling for around 35/50€ shipped on eBay (a price I'm not ready to pay at all haha that more than what I paid for the 190cs).

And yeah, the 190cs is actually awesome. I found that my model was used for a long time but only for word-processing (and light Doom II uses too), and the HD probably wasn't ever entirely filled. The case is in very very good shape, especially if you take into account that it had battery leakage inside. I wrote the whole article about the computer on Claris Works and I tried out Civ I & Doom II obviously (which wasn't the best Doom experience I had, especially because of wierd keybinding (using IJKL and the Trackpad was impossible and even with a ADB mouse it wasn't great either).

Also, I bought the French version of Word 6 to add it to the garden as soon as I receive it.

Antonin29's picture
Offline
Joined: 2018 Apr 10

And it died (edit: it boots but shut itself randomly so it needs to be serviced). It booted first when I reassembled everything but then it would shutdown randomly and try to chime before being sharply cut. I'm pretty sure the problem are the caps close to the battery leakage (I had plan to change them ASAP but since it worked before...). As anyone the refs of the caps? If I disassemble once again the thing I can see the cap's refs but I have no idea to know what the resistors' refs are if I need to change them. (I will post the same message on LEM FB page.) The main culprits are C114/15/6, LX02, C97, C98, C100, C101, C111, C259, C234, C243, CZ03 C230, L18, CZ04, are the priority I think.

http://images.macintosh.garden/2020/06/19/caps.jpg
http://images.macintosh.garden/2020/06/19/caps2.jpg
http://images.macintosh.garden/2020/06/19/caps3.jpg
and here's a good looking mobo for reference:
http://www.alksoft.com/projects/scans/190_bottom_superhires.jpg
http://www.alksoft.com/projects/scans/190_top_hires.jpg

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Sorry to hear about your 190s shutting-off issues; it's hard to see a good old computer go through component-age issues. I have a few in that state, but personally, I'm no good at any board-level fixing.

Antonin29's picture
Offline
Joined: 2018 Apr 10

I used the computer for a while and it didn't shut down by itself yet. I guess it's alright for the moment but soon those caps will be totally dead, so until then I have to find and buy replacement.

adespoton's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Meanwhile, if you've got the original install disks, it'd be great if you could image them. I'm not sure we've got that particular set stored anywhere; there's multiple versions of 7.5.2, as Apple was a little haphazard about version control from 7.5.0 through 75.3r2.2.

Antonin29's picture
Offline
Joined: 2018 Apr 10

I don't have the original install floppy disks but their images were in the HD. I copied them on a CF for archival and future upload but I just don't have (yet) anything to connect a CF to a modern computer (waiting for the thingy to arrive in the mail.).

IIGS_User's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 8

I don't have the original install floppy disks but their images were in the HD.

This is the only way they shipped back in 1995 on this computer.

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

It's conceivable that the original owner made a copy of his floppy disks for safekeeping on his hard drive, or decided to keep his floppies and make copies of them before selling his Mac; this way he has them available for another Mac or he could choose to sell them online separately for more money. Thankfully, the images of the floppies are still available on his drive and CF card!