My Apple Macintosh SE/30

The Macintosh SE/30 is one of the most famous models proposed by Apple in its line of computers. It is the most powerful version available in an enclosure similar to the one of the very first Macintosh. It was proposed in 1989; among its specs, we find a Motorola 68030 processor with a 16 MHz clock. This meant performance level at the state of the art (gentle reader: that is not a typo, I'm really meaning MHz, millions of cycles per second: o tempora o mores!). The system was very expandable thanks to a PDS connector, eight sockets for 32-pin RAM modules, a 40 or 80 MiB internal hard drive and an external SCSI connector.

I found one of this computers several years ago, and I was lucky enough to find in expansion connector a network card Asante MacCon + SE30, with an AUI adapter that allowed me to connect this machine to an Ethernet network 10 Base-T. Playing with this computer, I therefore installed OpenTransport 1.1.2, Netscape 2.02 and (very important) Defrost Netscape 0.9b2 extension, which allowed to use smoothly the classic browser. Connected to the Ethernet port of my ADSL modem, the little SE/30 can surf the WWW without troubles, send emails and browse newsgroups. There are limitations, of course, mainly due to the small screen in black and white, but I managed to connect to the forum Macitynet and send messages without difficulty, but just a little patience.

Questo sito visto da un Macintosh SE/30 del 1989

Surfing the Internet with a computer from 1989 is an interesting experience that leaves quite astonished. Of course, you lose most of the bells and whistles that come with the WWW pages of nowadays, which appear a bit austere without any CSS formatting. However, most of the text content remains accessible. You can do a Google search, read the articles of a newspaper, and as I said above, sign up and participate to a forum. The technology is continuously progressing and, in a world in which a cell phone from last year is just a clumsy scrap compared to the latest glittering models (they will sadly go the same way in a while), using a computer in this way is a source of inspiration and reflection.

This website, from a Macintosh SE/30 built in 1989. The startup of MacOS 7.5.3. The famous Google webpage, as seen by the small SE/30. The Wikpedia page dedicated to the SE/30 itself. A picture of the desk and a game which become a classic.