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snes1423's picture
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How to get files on to a mac 512k

What is the easiest and cheapest way for me to transfer my files from my imac mid 2007 to my brand new in box 512k also it weirdly enough does not have a cable for the keyboard can i use a standard gray phone line cable to connect it

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WhosIt.There's picture
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Joined: 2014 Aug 23

I don't know that there is a particularly cheap and easy way. Any hardware like adaptors and / or external drives you add to the Mac 512K is likely to be expensive due to the rarity.

Possibly add a USB floppy drive to the iMac, but I don't know if your Mac 512K can actually read high enough format disks ... plus you then have to find working floppy disks.

IIGS_User's picture
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To connect USB input devices (Keyboard/Mouse), there is USB Wombat by BMOW.

He also offers to sell a ADB Cable, 3 ft, but he gave a hint what to use instead to connect ADB devices to ADB-capable Macintosh models:

When using USB Wombat along with USB keyboards and mice on a classic Apple computer, an ADB cable is needed for the board-to-computer connection ... Standard male-to-male S-video cables from eBay work too.

WhosIt.There's picture
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The Mac 512K doesn't have ADB though, so you'd then also need an adaptor to change that to ye olde plug. Smile

24bit's picture
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I dare to say that a phone cable with western plugs would do for the keyboard.
Of course you want one with the four needed pins wired.

For creating floppies for the ´84 model, you will need a second vintage Mac capable of writing 400k disks.
The ´86 "Mac 512K enhanced" could read 800k floppies even!
Did you look here already? https://www.bigmessowires.com/floppy-emu/
The better choice after all, instead of swapping floppies.

fillbus's picture
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@snes1423
Do you like homework? This guide might give some ideas
http://www.applefool.com/se30/

max1zzz's picture
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Joined: 2010 Oct 3

Don't use a phone cable! they are wired differently than the mac keyboard cable and will damage the controller in the keyboard if used! If you are handy with a crimping tool there are guides on the internet on how to modify a phone cable to work

I second the Floppy EMU being the easiest way to get data onto a mac of that age if you have no intermediate machine, it also means you will not have to service the floppy drive (Pretty much all mac drives of that age will need cleaning and regreaseing, if you don't do this you risk damaging one of the gears in the eject motor assembly)

24bit's picture
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Thanks Max! Totally forgot about the cross-over.
Here is a nice solution with a 4P4C extension:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Apple-M0110-Keyboard-Crossover-Adapter/

cbone's picture
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I saw your question and I knew the right team would jump in to help. The Mac 512k / Plus era was one I never participated in, but it is part of the Mac's origin story, so it is a very special period indeed, so you now have a piece of that narrative… a very special thing indeed! Smile

With 512 kilobytes of RAM, the OS, system addons and programs will be quite old too, which is perfectly appropriate for you equally antique Mac Wink although the enhanced model, if yours happens to be, I believe has a nice upgrade potential, which I'm sure a lot of folks back in the day made sure to take advantage of (and perhaps your Mac was one of those).

snes1423's picture
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is there a way to simply use appleshare and a transceiver to connect to my imac running tiger

Bolkonskij's picture
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You need to be aware that a hard disk was a rare thing in the days of the Mac 512K. Support was rudimentary. OS and software were booted from floppy disks. Most older software is intended to start from floppy even and won't run properly from hard disk. I second what has been said above, use the linked floppy emulator for the most hassle free transfer of files.

max1zzz's picture
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In theory if you have a system disk for the 512k with a appropriate terminal program on it you can copy data over the serial port using a cheap USB to Serial adapter. I can't be much more specific on this as it's not something I have ever done but there are a few guides online showing how to do this. The main issue with this is you need to already have the disk with the correct program on it and if you don't have this by the time you have got something that can make the disc you already have a better way to transfer data.

In my opinion your best options are either get a Floppy EMU or get a mac to act as a intermediate, any mac with a internal floppy drive should be able to write 400k MFS disk images (Later versions of Mac OS can't read MFS formatted disks, but should be able to write MFS disk images with disk copy. I'm not sure which version of Mac OS is the last to be able to directly read MFS disks) so something like a Beige G3 Desktop which is not hugely collectable might be able to be picked up cheap

Bolkonskij's picture
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Now that you mention it Max, I may have been mistaken. I know for sure that you can format DD (800kb) floppies as 400 kb MFS floppies. I don't think you can do that using HD floppies, I seem to remember there were certain problems.

Last time I tried to write an old software image to floppy I got an error about it not being supported. My problem might have been related to using System 7 though. Apple has an article about its limitations with MFS formatted media. I may have to try again. In any case, the floppy emu is the way to go. Smile

max1zzz's picture
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Yeah HD disks aren't reported to work well when formatted as DD disks, I say "well" as I have done it before (At least as 800K disks, but they are the same type of disk as the 400K's just with two sides) but can't remember how well they worked long term

And you might be correct about writing them, I have never actually tried it (As the 512k in my collection is a 512ke and the original mac predates me by almost 20 years so I never used them while they where current...) and was just assuming it worked like it did on a modern system

snes1423's picture
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is there a cheaper way i could get one of these otherwise i am going to have to wait until November i was also thinking about collecting old floppy's from ebay possibly even using rescue my classic mac

Bolkonskij's picture
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Rescue my classic Mac will help you out with system disks, yes. Not sure about other software.

Be aware that no modern device is able to write to 400k floppies. So even if you have an old 400k floppy, none one of those cheap USB floppy drives on your iMac will be able to format it properly / write. The 512K is tough in that regard. Which is why the Floppy Emulation is probably your best choice.

snes1423's picture
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maybe with ebay or some sort of alternative device

24bit's picture
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BMOW has the only up to date solution I am aware of.
Maybe you can trade the 512K for a SE with SWIM upgrade or a decent Mac II?
Once you have SCSI HBA, AppleTalk and a 1.4MB floppy drive, things begin to look usable. Wink

snes1423's picture
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Would this be a good choice to get into programming on my macintosh 512k https://www.ebay.com/itm/1984-Macintosh-M0001-128K-Macintosh-PASCAL-1-0-... i am not sure if it would function or not but it has a lot of watchers for something that is "non functioning" also does this serve as a boot disk????

24bit's picture
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Not quite sure, but could it be this one?
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/turbo-pascal-10

Description

From a short look there does not seem to be a System included.
It was not uncommon to boot from one floppy and swap with the application disk.
Many floppies had a minimal "system" phased into the app though.

krausjxotv's picture
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The disk on eBay appears to be version 1.0 of Think Pascal, https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-pascal-73e

Duality's picture
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It's an early version of THINK's Macintosh Pascal. Not to be confused with Borland's Turbo Pascal or THINK's Lightspeed Pascal.

Beware old and seldom-tested floppy disks especially from eBay, I have lost entire floppy drives to badly damaged disks.

My opinion on the matter is that it's better to save your $25+ for a Floppy Emu to avoid the risk of a bad floppy.

snes1423's picture
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it does say MacPascal so maybe...

MikeTomTom's picture
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How to get files on to a mac 512k

Is your purchase a Mac 512K or a Mac 512Ke ?

The difference being, the 512K has a 400K SD floppy disk drive and the the 512Ke has an 800K DD floppy disk drive.

Additional 400k SD floppy disks will be much rarer to find than 800k DD floppy media. Tho' I suspect that you can use 800k disks (using only the single 400k side in a Mac 512K).

If your Mac 512K (or 512Ke) is an unmodified stock issue:

Neither models have internal hard drive support. Neither have external SCSI support, so adding external storage will be an issue. There was at the time an external drive for the 512K called an "Apple HD 20 Hard Drive" signifying it's 20MB of storage. It wasn't a SCSI device, and it will be extremely rare to locate one in working condition.
This site also has parts for sale which may be of interest.

There are no ADB ports, so standard connectors for classic Mac's that came after the Mac 128K, 512K, & Plus, will not be usable, such as ADB keyboard & mouse connectors.

512K = the amount of RAM on board. There is no RAM expansion beyond this.

The maximum OS version either can support is SSW 6.0.8 - This is due to System 7.0 requiring more than 800k space to install onto to boot.

If your model is the 512K, then getting System 6.0.8 onto a 400K floppy disk would leave approx. 42K of disk space left available on that 400k floppy disk. Once an OS has loaded you can eject the disk and load in additional floppy disks to run programs. You will experience "floppy disk swapping hell" as the Finder will ask for the start up disk to be reinserted constantly. - There was an Apple external floppy disk drive for these Mac's that helped alleviate the disk swapping dramas, as the system boot floppy was always available for the Finder while the other floppy drive could be used for running programs.

There used to be a great resource called "The Mac 512" which, if it has moved I don't know where to, but it seems no longer at it's old address. Here's a page on the Mac 512K and here's a Q & A sheet from the old site (Web Archive links), which may be of use. With a LocalTalk network it would be possible to access files on another Mac from the 512K.

Personally, I think you would be much better off getting a Mac SE with a 1.4MB floppy + HD (or a Mac Classic, Classic II, or SE/30), if you really want a 1bit mono compact Macintosh, as they are a lot easier to work with connectivity wise, with later Macs and PC's.

Dog Cow's picture
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Joined: 2009 Apr 16

MikeTomTom, you could learn a lot by reading The Mac 512K Blog.

MikeTomTom's picture
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@Dog Cow: Thank you. The blog is a beautiful resource. I'll be spending some time in there from now on. Thanks.