Thursday, January 21, 2010


Trapped In The Steam Engine

Macintosh SE: Back in the 1990s I bought one, used, an upgrade from my Mac Plus (also used; I think I paid $400 for the Plus). Modern technology that made publishing my zine, The Ray X X-Rayer, a lot easier.

Now in 2010 that Mac SE is steam engine tech, relatively speaking. A self-contained small box with its undersized black and white screen and floppy drive for external storage.

I liked Apple but with my budget its units were more expensive, even used, so I ended up going with a PC.

So here I am, my early work trapped on that Mac SE, no real compatibility with PC units. And to add to the problem, most of the 3.5 floppies created on my Plus and SE units are 2-sided DD (double density), not the later HD (high density).

I had planned to scan in the hardcopies of the first ten RX XR issues on the my PC. I could save them as PDF files and also rescue the text by OCR scanning. I carefully filed away the first ten issues. So carefully that I can't find them in the piles of junk around here.

So I hook up the old Stylewriter printer to the SE and try printing out new copies. Blank sheets go in and come out still blank on the other side. Most likely the inkjet is dried out -- or something is wrong with the printer. I won't know until I get a new cartridge.

Another way around the problem is to email the SE files to my PC. But I dropped my dial up service when I switch to DSL. And I don't know if I have the right AC adapter to power up my 14.4 LineLink modem even if I do try the dial up route.

How about reformatting some of the files as plain text and having a friend email them to me from his Mac? Sorry, his Mac is too new, can't read the floppies.

Another option: I sit down and read the text from the SE's B&W screen and retype it into my PC notebook. It's works but's it's a pain in the ass; I'm a slow typist.

The adventure continues...


Off By A Year

February 1995. The month and year I started my X-Rayer zine.

Or so I thought. I dig out my Mac SE, dust it off, and fire it up. Then I notice the file info for the first issue: Created February 1994.

It's been sixteen, not fifteen years, since I launched my pseudonymously written zine. I'm been off by a year. No wonder I feel so tired -- I've been carrying around an eXtra year without knowing it.

4 comments:

X. Dell said...

When you do something for a long time, all those years begin to meld together. Fifteen, sixteen...not much difference.

BTW, many happy returns.

X. Dell said...

Ray, check and see if you have MacLink on your hard drive, and see if there is a setting for your SE layout program.

I found this system, MacBinary which is supposed to make the conversion easier. You might want to check it out.

Ray said...

ThanX for the info. For now I'm printing out hardcopies. After all, over the years computers may change but not print on paper. (And paper doesn't crash.)

X. Dell said...

Perhaps it might be more efficient to scan your Mac printouts into jpeg.files?