THE SE/30 PROJECT

I'm not going to spout a bunch of history about this computer, either. You can find out about them all over the Web. Where the Color Classic could only hold 12 MB of RAM and recognize only 10 MB, the SE/30 could be upgraded to 128 MB and with a ROM upgrade is supposed to be able to run OS 8.1 The processor was the first to run 32 bit but it had to use software to achieve this. Apparently the ROM upgrade makes the system a "clean" 32 bit system.

The coolest site I have found for this legendary Mac was created by a Japanese guy. He even shows how to add multiple cards and has a modified SE/30 "Minitower" he created with, accelerator, network card, video card, CDROM drive, and zip drive!!

It has been quite the project getting at least one of these in tip top shape, much less two of them. I began with one that instantly showed motherboard issues and was in the final throws of what is known as "SimasiMac", which I have discovered was coined by the Japanese to mean, "Zebra Mac" (Repair Macintosh SE/30). It would only boot to the horizontal striped screen. I of course believed I could fix anything and proceeded to butcher the motherboard trying to fix/replace its blown electrolytic capacitors.

I then purchased another machine and the case and keyboard were extremely nice so I began to build it as my seminal machine. The board was in the early stages of SemasiMac, but I could get it to boot every time by switching it off, letting everything spin all the way down, and then switching it back on again. In this particular machine I have placed the hard drive from my first ever Macintosh (PowerPC Performa 6112 CD), which I purchased new for college in Florida in 1995 (I think build date was like 1994). It's only a 250 MB drive, which was small even for those days, but hey, I didn't know any better yet. I had upgraded that machine to a 4 GB drive before it was stolen, so I had the original drive in a box someplace. I finally had an SE/30 that would boot and it had 20 MB of RAM, a good floppy drive, and hard drive.


128 MB of RAM, 250 MB hard drive, and Asante network card.

I then decided I should look for another motherboard for the other case. It is slightly darker than the first machine but still very clean. I bought a board with clear sound but no video. The video chip fell off in the box in shipping. I spent a fortune on it and is the only time I have ever heard the full sound on one of these models. I was devastated, but at least the seller accepted the return and I was only out the return shipping cost. Then I bought a board with 32 MB of RAM and a network card. I purchased the motherboard from a great guy on Ebay who even sent me some extra RAM chips and the Asante drivers disk when he found them later on. The board has some sort of wire soldered onto the bottom jumping something, but it works so what the heck. I was pleased to find that it runs versions of Netscape 3.x and I was able to send e-mail with the Netscape mail client. Lately it has on occasion shown the stripes, but after warming up I have been able to get it to boot. So now I had another machine with networking and a 500 MB hard drive.

32 MB of RAM, 500 MB hard drive, and Asante network card
(Needs a clean keyboard)

Just recently I saw a sad Mac SE/30 on Ebay with a network card in it. $50 plus $17 shipping. Heck, the card was worth that much. Once it arrived I was amazed to find out the card looked as if it had just come out of the box and the motherboard looked preety good too. But the kicker was that it has 128 MB of RAM!! I had never even seen a 16 MB chip much less 8 of them. I think I might have broken the retaining clip on the first slot trying to get the board back into my machine, because it came up with strange artifacts pointing to a RAM issue (according to the Repair Mac page). I didn't think that the taller chips would be souch a tight fit. So I placed a rubber band around them to hold it all in place. Who knows how long it will hold but hey, it works. I forgot to transfer the CMOS battery to the new board (I switched out boards with my seminal machine), so I had to open it again. This time I remebered to take some pics. So now I have a machine with 128 MB of RAM, a little bit of sound still, and a network card. Very cool!! These machines can still fetch good money and were around $6,000 when new. I have upgraded both to system 7.5.5, they have black and white screens, and they never fail to amaze me with how fast they run for a classic Mac.

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