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Resurrecting A Macintosh Quadra 605

Quadra 605
Quadra 605
A while back I inherited an old Macintosh Quadra 605 from my uncle. He was in the process of moving so he needed to get rid of it and another old Mac. More on the other Mac in another post. I was a little leery of taking it as it was sitting on the floor, upside down in his closet when his basement flooded some earlier time. Looking at the machine you could see a bit of water damage so I thought the thing was shot and almost passed on it. I'm glad I didn't.

The Macintosh Quadra 605 is a damn cool machine in my opinion. First off it has the stylish "pizza box" design that I liked back in the early 90s. It is a cool form factor and I really, really wish it had never gone away. Unfortunately the desktop paradigm went the way of the dodo and the massive tower became the norm. I really never got that. The CPU in the Quadra 605 is the Motorola 68LC040 and it's clocked at 25MHz. The 68LC040 is a "l"ow "c"ost version of the 68040. What makes it low cost is the fact that it doesn't have a Floating Point Unit (FPU). It comes with 4MB of RAM but is expandable up to 36MB officially. It is possible to expand it up to 132MB. Video memory was 512kB but was expandable up to 1MB. All in all it's a nice little computer.

The first thing I did when I got it home was to pop the top off and take a look at the interior. There was rust and water damage on some of the components including the main board, the floppy drive, and the main speaker as well as a few other areas. There was gunk on the main board, the power supply and the hard disk drive. I took some cotton swabs and some alcohol and did my best to clean off as much of the gunk and rust as I could.

After I cleaned it up a bit and got the computer back together I wanted to test it out. I didn't have the original Keyboard but I did have a keyboard from an earlier Mac that would work with it. I did have the original mouse though and was thankful for that. Looking at the back of the machine I noticed that it had an unusual adapter to hook up a CTR. It wasn't the standard VGA 15 pin adapter that is standard. I bit of research online revealed that I could buy a special adapter and hook up a standard VGA monitor to the computer.

After a few days wait the video adapter I ordered arrived and I was able to turn on the machine while it was hooked to a monitor. It works. It booted up to the hard drive, load various drivers and was ready to go. A quick glance on "About This Mac" revealed that it was running System 7.5 which is fine by me.

When my aunt and uncle bought this thing it was around 1994 and during the birthing process of the Internet. The Quadra has Netscape 2.0 installed and there is a folder for Internet Explorer but I didn't see the actual binaries. I believe at one time my relatives connected to the Internet via a dial up modem back in the day. I would like to get it Internet ready again but I do not wish to subscribe to a dial-up Internet provider just so I can surf the net. Broadband and home networks are where it's at these days. Fortunately there is an ethernet card upgrade I can buy for ~$100. I'll then be able to hook it up to the Internet and see about upgrading some of the software.

So, what's the future hold for this Macintosh Quadra 605? Upgrades of course! I want to upgrade the networking capabilities like I mentioned. I also want to buy a proper keyboard for it and not have to use the older one. There are a couple of upgrades that I need to make such as a new battery for the clock and, possibly a new power supply as I don't know how well I trust the old one after it was in the funky, wet environment for all that time.  When I do get it working properly I'm going to try and see if I can use it for my general Internet usage computer for a week. I'm sure Netscape 2.0, or whatever version I get working on it, will absolutely love the new web 2.0 World Wide Web.

In short, it's a great computer and I'm glad I got it. Can't wait to get it running at a normal capacity.


  1. Replies
    1. Haha, not all the fun toys! If I had the the fun toys I wanted I'd be one broke feller.


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