I saw this on the Internet years ago and thought it was a cool idea. The idea is
to take an old Macintosh computer, set the screensaver to the clock, and unplug
keyboard/mouse and it turns into a retro geek clock. Pretty neat!
This "project" has been on my back burner for years and I finally decided to do
it. It started off going to eBay and finding a good deal on an old Macintosh
computer. Thing is, I don't know much about Macs and couldn't tell you the
difference between a Macintosh 512K and the Macintosh SE. So I bought one that
reminds me of the first Mac I got to learn how to type on while in middle
I got it pretty cheap and it finally arrived in the mail. Wow, a piece of
computing history. This Macintosh SE ORIGINALLY came with 1MB RAM and (2) 800K
floppy drives, no hard drive. But the one I won on eBay was "upgraded" to a 85MB
hard drive and 4MB RAM. It came with OS 6 too.
I start this thing up and it boots fairly quick for as old as it is. From button
to full functionality within 30 seconds. After poking around on it for about an
hour, I realize the ONLY screensaver on this anchor is something called "ZoomIdle"
which closely resembles "Mystify" on Windows computers, only its square and in
black and white. Shit, I need screensavers! What's the top dog of screensavers
back in that era...AfterDark!
I get back on eBay and find AfterDark v2.0 and eventually win it. This software
is no where to be found on the Internet, and even if I found it, there's really
no way of getting it over to the Mac. The floppy drive is 800K, no where close
to 1.4MB like regular computers. You can't format a floppy disk to 800K in
Windows, and even if you could, it would be in Windows format and the Mac
couldn't read it. Besides, after reading about it, those old 800K drives use
variable speeds to read/write which is unique to those drives and unlike all
modern day floppy drives. To sum it up, the only way to copy a file from one
computer to this Mac is if the source computer was another Mac, and an old one
at that. There is no networking option on this Mac, just a port for an external
Anyways, just today I finally get AfterDark in the mail, and man, is was in
pristine condition, almost looked like I bought it new from a store! I pop in
the 800K floppy drive and get it installed. Reboot the Mac and ta-da...there's
AfterDark. I find the clock screensaver and it's either a digital clock or a
VERY small analog clock, I chose the digital. I turn off sounds, set it to move
VERY slowly and there's my clock.
I think this would be great in my basement by the entertainment area. We need a
clock down there and you can see this one in the dark too. My roomie complained
only about 2 things from it, it was too bright and too loud. The brightness was
adjusted by a dial in the front and was fixed. It's really not that loud, my
XBox is louder than the Mac, but the fan inside is a bit noisy, so my next plan
is to replace it with a quieter, adjustable fan. The thing is, the air blowing
out the back is almost like an AC, very cold. I might be able to get away with
no fan. The damn thing uses Torx screws and two of them are so far deep under
the handle I don't have a screwdriver long enough to reach it, so I need to pick
one up before I crack it open.