Apple Lisas

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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:30 pm

Yes, I managed to get one fully working. I'm confident that eventually I'll get that Lisa 2/10 going as well. Philip Lord (Nama) is going to call around at some stage to assist with this. I has some ICs I can use to swap out the ones I think are causing the boot-check to fail. After I get past that I'll be able to see if the drive actually works.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:02 pm

Hi Guys,

Progress on the Lisas. Thanks to Gavin's (gavo) IWM donation the Lisa 2/10 boots. However both the floppy drive and the widget have issues. Unfortunately further repair looks difficult.

The widget certainly spins and I can hear a definte clack when the break comes off. I can hear drive seeking noises and the light flashes. I then get an "Error 82". From what I can read this is a fairly generic error which just means the internal drive is not working properly. I've tried to install the Lisa Office Suite and Macworks XL 3.0 from floppy. In the former case I'm told there is no suitable hard disk to install on, and the latter throws up an error 96. I've reseated all socketed chips to no avail. It could be a case of just requiring a low-level format, but I can't find anything on the web that suggests anyone actually knows how to do this. For those who have never seen a widget, this is what it looks like:

Image

The floppy drive has a issue where the motor simply doesn't turn sometimes. I've done some diagnostic work. It's not the switch or lubrication but it seems to be a problem on the circuit board. Oddly my spare 400k drive (from the spare-parts Lisa) has exactly the same problem? This means between my three Lisas I only have one working 400k drive.

The plan at this stage is to seek another 400k drive rather than try to repair it. I'm also looking at this item to replace the widget.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Profile-Widget-Emul ... 0494480628. Philip Lord loaned me his older (Profile) model for the working Lisa 2 and I'm impressed. Very pricey though. I'll need to sell some of my other stuff to justify it to the significant other.

What I'm aiming for is one working Lisa showing the Lisa Office Suite which I can exibit. The Lisa 2/10 is best for this as I can hide the widget emulator inside and it still looks (although not sounds) just like it did in the day. The restored Lisa 2 I'll try and sell to help finance what I've spent on the project so far.
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby nama on Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:04 pm

I believe low level formatting on widget drives can be done, but you will need an apple III with a special rom fitted...so it ain't an easy thing to do. I think I know one person in germany who can do it.

Phil
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby Carcenomy on Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:31 pm

Dag yo, that Profile/Widget emulator board is pretty neat. Someone's put a lot of time into that PCB... you intending on getting one?
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:41 pm

Yes, I've ordered one. It should be winging this way to New Zealand as I type :) .

The money from the Ozzy Trade Me sale will go someway towards paying for this one.
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby gavo on Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:16 pm

tezza wrote:The widget certainly spins and I can hear a definte clack when the break comes off. I can hear drive seeking noises and the light flashes. I then get an "Error 82". From what I can read this is a fairly generic error which just means the internal drive is not working properly.


Bugger - Larry Pina (seeing as I had the book handy) talks about 3 common HD problems on the Lisa - error codes 81, 84 and 0F0064 - not 82 tho.

A possible fix for 84 (damaged boot blocks) is apparently to boot from MacWorks Plus version 1.0.14 or later, hold down the apple and left option keys and double click the MW_Install Icon (to open it in expert mode), then re-initialize the disk. As I think I saw Nama say in a post in this thread, a low level format appears to only be possible on an Apple III (wish I still had mine!) with some additional special hardware.
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:28 pm

No worries. The widget emulator I've ordered will be a good substitute and is likely to be far more reliable. As I can install it internally, the outside of the machine will look as it should.

It won't have the whirr of a spinning widget of course. Maybe I should wire the widget up to the power so it spins up anyway? :) On second thought, no. Lisa power packs seem delicate enough as it is. I don't want to tempt fate with an overload.

Good news on the 400 disk drive front. With the help of the classic computer mailing list, I think I've diagnosed the problem in the two non-working Lisa floppy drives. Just waiting for a couple of ICs to come from Hong Kong before I can be sure.

Terry
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby nama on Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:00 pm

Any updates on the lisas?
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:25 pm

Hi Phil,

No, still waiting for both the X/Profile emulator and the Floppy disk motor IC to arrive.

In fact they are probably already here. I haven't checked the box since Saturday. Even if they are I can't see myself having much time to play around with them until the weekend though.

Hopefully by this time next week I'll have two fully working Lisas, a Lisa 2 and a Lisa 2/10! I'll let you know when there is progress.

In the meantime I've been having fun getting the TradeMe Mac Classic 2 ready for sale. Checking everything is ok and Installing and playing Battle Chess. I've grown quite fond of these baby Macs. Small, compact and very user-friendly. Of course people used to tell me they were in the day but I never really appreciated just how much. Not that good for your uber-geek of course as you can't get that close to the hardware.
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby Carcenomy on Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:28 pm

I hear that, I've got a straight Classic and she runs like a top, although it has a crazy looking startup sequence unlike any other Mac I've ever encountered. Looks like an aftermarket HDD bootloader type deal... who knows, not game to pull it apart for fear she never runs again. ;)
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:29 pm

Whoo hoo!

The X/Profile emulator has arrived. This the replacement for the widget drive in the Lisa 2/10. Something to play with in the next few days. I'll post some pics or write a blog article once I've checked it out.

No sign of the parts to repair the 400k drive yet.
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:44 pm

I've wired up the X/Profile. It's mounts nicely in the space where the widget was.

It's brilliant!! The Lisa 2/10 is now working perfectly. I've played with the Lisa Office suite. A lovely piece of integrated software...very task and document focussed. These machines were WAY ahead of their time in the day. I'll write a blog article on this and add lots of pics.

It's funny, but without the widget in there the machine is almost TOO quiet! (as you remarked on this in regards to your older Profile emulator Philip). The widget was quite noisy and I believe the profile drives were even noisier! The widget emulator is running on compact flash cards. However it can also use IDE drives and I almost feel like putting one in there just so it sounds like it's alive! :D

The packaging and documentation for the X/Profile was excellent! Real quality. This purchase has been worth the money IMO.
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:59 am

Well, not good news on the 400k drive Lisa drive front. The new parts didn't cure the problem in these two Lisa drives, and the general consensus is that the problem might be right inside the motor itself. A bridge too far for me I think.

Well, a least I have one fully working Lisa 2/10 (with it's working 400k drive "stolen" from the previously fixed Lisa). It would have been nice to have the two Lisa's fully working. They are lovely machines. So near yet so far....

If anyone has a junked parts Lisa with a working (or suspected working) 400k drive to sell or is interested in a swap with something I might have, let me know. I've done a bit more reading and there seem to be differences between the early Mac 400 drives and the Lisa ones. They may be compatible but I'm not sure.
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:12 pm

I've written up my adventures with the Lisa 2/10 (Macintosh XL). The URL is below for anyone interested in the full story..
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blo ... sa2-10.htm
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Re: Apple Lisas

Postby tezza on Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:13 pm

Good news on the Lisa front.

I had another crack at repairing the two drives I had. A night with a scope and a complete disassembly yielded no result. It seems this repair was beyond me. However, a fix is no longer necessary. I've been gifted a 400k Lisa drive from John Woodall, the maker of the X\Profile emulator. In fact he gave me three for the price of shipping only! I'm much obliged to John! I've tried two of these drives and they work just fine. So I've even got a spare. The third drive is a little different. I suspect it's a Mac 128 one.

This means I now have both a Lisa 2 and a Lisa 2/10 up and working. I'm stoked! All the remains now is a little more deyellowing (I might process the keys in one of them) and to get a four rubber pads for the feet (two each) and I'll be done with the Lisa project!

Of course it would be nice to snaffle a Profile drive to turn the Lisa 2 into a Lisa 2/5, but I think that's just wishful thinking! :)

These Lisas are a lot of fun. I was aware of their historic significance but they are also very easy to take apar...unlike the Macintosh! There is still the ghost of WOZ's Apple II's open hardware about the Lisa, as opposed to Steve Job's "closed applicance" mentality with the early Macs.
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