Plenty of Amiga A500s but at £90 - £120? No thanks. What about an Amiga A1200? For three hundred quid?? That's almost back to it's original retail price (untested, worked when I put it away..)..
So imagine my surprise when I won an eBay auction for two iMac G3 computers from the late 90's for the princely sum of five of your English pounds. Yes, a fiver. Five knicker. The cost of a couple of large coffees. To be fair, they were collection only, as they are so heavy, and I was fortunate that they were located only about 25 minutes away.
|A Right Pair of Beauties|
My first investigation focused on the bondi blue model. This one is actually an early version of the first generation and I had a vain hope it may include an accelerator card. Sadly, it did not. However, it certainly contained a surprise - but I'm getting ahead of myself.
So, the first thing I did was plug it in and switch it on. I had half expected either nothing, or a loud bang. Fortunately, the only sound was a happy 'bong' that indicated a correct initial startup. The screen lit up and the machine proceeded to boot. Unfortunately, this one had Mac OSX installed which requires a password, long since forgotten by the previous owner. I googled how to sort this out but the method refused to work. In fact, on restarting the machine, it failed to boot, leaving me with a black screen. After a couple of hours of leaving it unplugged I tried again, and it booted!
But then I also noticed that the screen would 'tick' every now again and the screen would flicker slightly. This is bad news as it almost certainly means that the flyback transformer is on the way out, which is a major known issue with these things. There is a slight chance it could be capacitors on the analogue board but this is unlikely. In any case I decided to strip it down to have a look inside.
And then the horror began....
First, the rear cover was removed which revealed....a perfectly clean arrangement of CD and hard drive tray, power cables and monitor cable.
|Nothing unusual here|
OK. So next, remove the drive bay unit and see what's HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!
|WHAT. THE. HELL.|
|Oh. My. Goodness.|
|Battery. Feckin' battery...|
|Graphic image. Discretion advised.|
|The worst battery I've ever seen..|
|Wow. It cleaned up OK.|
After wiping and drying out everything that was wet, I decided to dig deeper and see if there was any obvious (!) issues on the analog board. This required me to discharge the CRT and dig much deeper into the guts and is a story for next time....