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Friday, November 5, 2010

Mac SE reborn as a server and Mac emulator - Hack a Day

Mac SE reborn as a server and Mac emulator

posted Nov 4th 2010 1:00pm by Mike Szczys
filed under: macs hacks

[Sprite_TM] cooked up an amazing hack by resurrecting a Mac SE using a Dockstar and ARM processor. The retro hardware had a bad mainboard thanks to the corrosive properties of a failed backup-battery. He had been wanting to do something with the Seagate Dockstar and decided it would find a nice home in the Mac. But what fun is a dead machine housing a headless server? To add to the fun he included an ARM processor running a Mac emulator, along with all the bits to make the screen, keyboard, and peripherals work. When the Mac is off the Dockstar still runs as a server.
But one of the best parts is the floppy drive. It still takes floppies, but there’s no magnetic media inside of them anymore. Instead, he’s added an SD card slot and some protoboard in the space for the read head. The drive itself has had the read head transplanted for some pogo pins (hey, we saw those earlier today). When you insert the floppy, the pogo-pins raise up and contact the protoboard, connecting the SD card to a Teensy microcontroller.
There’s so much going on with this project we just can’t cover it all here. Things like a chemical cleaning to return the original color of the classic case, and building a converter so that the peripherals are USB compatible are just some of the pleasures awaiting you in [Sprite_TM's] post. He’s also filmed a demo video that we’ve embedded after the break.

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Go there and see the Video in full Screen...


I've always been fond of the server I have at home. It makes backing up and storing files a lot easier, and stuff like making embedded machines boot from NFS would be quite a lot harder without it.
I've actually been through a few incarnations of my current server, and they never have been housed in an ordinary ATX-case: the first incarnation consisted of not much more than a couple of planks, which were later kept in place by quite a lot of rope. Four years ago, I decided on actually housing the hardware inside something, which at that moment was an old television (Warning: dutch text) The TV actually worked: while the internals were acting as a full-blown server, a laptop LCD and a TV tuner card made the device still functional as a TV.
Nowadays, a lot has changed. For one: I don't live in my student digs anymore. That means no more 100MBit pipe to the Internet anymore, and I have to pay for the electricity I use. I already moved most of the Internet-facing services (like hosting for to a colocated server, so the Duron 1800 in my server ended up not having that much to do; it was just eating electricity and generating heat. Time to swap it out for something a bit more efficient.
Enter the Seagate Dockstar. This is basically a teeny little Linux-server, based around an 1.2GHz ARM-processor, combined with 128M of RAM, GBit Ethernet and a few USB2.0-ports. The best part: It only uses 5W or so. I picked one up for 30 Euros.
But how about the housing for the project? The TV my old server was in would be way too big, but I still liked the idea of putting the server inside something not immediately obvious as a server. After a bit of thought, I decided to give the honours to the Macintosh SE, a small integrated Macintosh computer with which I grew up.
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.
Go there and Read More (you will land on page 1 and will need click on Next page to go to page 2 to continue)...

Mac SE reborn as a server and Mac emulator
Mac SE reborn as a server and Mac emulator - Hack a Day
More OpenWRT image building for the Dockstar - Hack a Day
Matzes Bastelbude » Seagate Dockstar mit OpenWRT
OpenWRT on a Seagate FreeAgent Dockstar - Hack a Day
Adding a serial port to a Dockstar - Hack a Day
Test Beds and Jigs with Pogo Pins - Hack a Day
YouTube - Macintosh SE/ARM casemod
I really like his creativeness and Tech abilities:) I hope I can learn to do these things with PCB's and the old Electronics that I have and still love;)I didn't really know what a DockStar was. I have seen it in several HackAday Posts lately. And some of them have been quite interesting, with all of the Possibilities. So, I finally got my self informed!;) I found out that DockStar has a little more to it, than just an Hard Drive Doc with some USB Plugs. The FreeAgent DockStar network adapter allows you to share your digital life with anyone, anywhere. According to Segate, the makers of DockStar. It runs a file server on it's embeds OS and you can connect to it via your Local Network LAN or via the Internet WAN. Pretty Cool little Device:)

Here's the links on what I found...

DockStar The FreeAgent DockStar network adapter
DonsDeals: Mac SE reborn as a server and Mac emulator - Hack a Day
freeagent go drive - Google Search
FreeAgent Go drive - Google Search
FreeAgent DockStar - Device server
Revive a DockStar and get so much more - Hack a Day
More OpenWRT image building for the Dockstar - Hack a Day
Matzes Bastelbude » Seagate Dockstar mit OpenWRT
OpenWRT on a Seagate FreeAgent Dockstar - Hack a Day
Adding a serial port to a Dockstar - Hack a Day
dockstar - Google Search
FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter | Seagate
Dockstar - Google Search Seagate FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter STDSA10G-RK (White): Electronics: Reviews, Prices & more
FreeAgent Go: Sleek & Stylish Portable & External Storage Hard Drives | Seagate

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