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Douglas Adams's Mac IIfx

 
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MacOS
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Joined: 19 Jan 2005
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Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:17 am    Post subject: Douglas Adams's Mac IIfx Reply with quote


Quote:
Douglas Adams's Mac IIfx - found at http://www.vintagemacworld.com/iifx.html
Picturecourtesy by Phil - used with friendly permission.

At the end of 2003, I was looking to buy a Mac IIfx for some hacking. I needed a Mac with six NuBus slots and the IIfx is the fastest model that fitted my requirements. One turned up on eBay and I was able to win the auction at a sensible price. The seller was a computer scrapper who had no knowledge or interest in the history of the system.

When switched on for the first time, it was clear that the last user had little understanding of how to store files on the hard disk. The root directory contained hundreds of MacWrite documents. Scrolling through them was a pain and, as I have no interest in other people's private affairs, I selected the lot and deleted them. That was mistake number one. I left the applications folder intact to have a look at later.

The applications software installed on the system didn't look very interesting. All of the files I had deleted were MacWrite documents and it appeared that the IIfx had been used as a glorified word processor. However Retrospect Remote was installed for backups so somebody had been using the Mac for serious work previously. The last backup was performed on 02-02-1997 but, according to the last modified file dates, the system remained in use until March 1999. Some power user utilities from CE and More were also installed.

I started up MacWrite Pro and noticed that it was registered to "Douglas Adams, Serious Productions Ltd". I paid little attention to this as I had seen warez copies of Claris software where the registered user was Douglas Adams. I then started Claris Resolve, ignoring a warning dialog (mistake number two), and noted that this software was also registered to Douglas Adams. The copies of Claris Works 4.0 and Now Up-to-Date were registered to Jane Belson; I was unfamiliar with the name but a quick web search determined that she is Douglas Adams's widow.



Deleting all those files suddenly seemed like a dumb thing to have done... To undo mistake number one, I popped an ethernet card in the IIfx, mounted an AppleShare volume and ran Norton Utilities to recover the files onto the server.

The results? I recovered hundreds of documents relating to Jane Belson's professional work and precisely two that bear the hand of Douglas Adams. I doubt whether the copyright lawyers would chase me for publishing his Idiots Guide to using a Mac but you wouldn't be thanking me either. For now at least, the draft of a TV sketch called Brief Re-encounter is strictly for my personal enjoyment.

And mistake number two? I should have paid attention to the dialog box when I'd started up Claris Resolve. In twenty years of Mac use working on literally thousands of systems, I've only seen viruses half a dozen times so I ignored the warning. How wrong can you get... A precautionary scan a few hours later using the old Disinfectant application showed that Claris Resolve had been infected by the MBDF A virus and that every application that I had subsequently run was infected too. Cheers, Douglas!

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Last edited by MacOS on Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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adrian



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, you might find the stranges of things on eBay.
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MacOS
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Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adrian wrote:
Wow, you might find the stranges of things on eBay.


I found this at http://www.vintagemacworld.com/iifx.html

have a look to that page - some more infos.
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