|The Apple Macintosh Plus was the first Mac I owned. In 1988 my first Macintosh Plus cost more than $2,000 and came with a keyboard, mouse, and a CPU unit with a built-in, 9 inch black and white screen. It also came with 1MB of ram, an external 800K floppy drive and an imagewriter dot matrix printer. A few months later I bought a 45 MB hard drive and a laser printer.|
Running applications that are optimized for System 6 (or earlier), the Macintosh Plus is a very capable computer. System 6 requires very little hard disc space, can run on the 4megs (or less) of ram with room to spare. Application programs of this era were quite small and run very well.
The Mac Plus was quite a trooper enabling people all over the world to become bonafide desktop publishers. The Plus was an ideal system when coupled with the first Apple LaserWriters to crank out some pretty darn good looking publications. Early versions of Pagemaker and Ready-Set-Go were extensively used on the Plus and later Mac SE computers for production of newsletters, advertising, flyers, books and anything else that needed to be printed.
The Plus can be networked with newer Macintoshes. With System 6 I use Public Folder, a chooser application that was once published by Claris, the former Apple subsidiary. An older version of AppleShare also enables Plus's and other System 6 Macs to network with each other.
The Bad Power Supply
Despite the kudos the Plus gets from its many users, it's one major flaw is the lousy power supply. The Mac Plus has no internal fan for cooling the system. Because of this, the power supply can be strained to such a point that they die after a few years of regular use. On my original Mac Plus, I spent $200 not once but twice to get the power supply fixed. Plus users can almost be guaranteed that at sometime during their computer's lifespan, the power supply will fail.
To get around the power supply problem some Mac Plus owners have opted to get the Kensington fan which sits atop the Plus. Others have built makeshift chimneys to vent out the warm air.
A sign that your Mac Plus power supply may be giving you problems are anomolies with the display. The first indication of a failing power supply is the arrival of the "wavy screen" syndrome, a phenomena where the screen display seems to wavering or swimming in water... after a while, this can/will become worse when the screen fails to display or shows up with only a white line down the middle.
The Mac Plus was introduced to Apple's line-up in 1986 and remained in production until late 1990. It was the first Mac to feature a SCSI port and 1MB of RAM. It was the last Mac to use the non-standard keyboard connector cable.
The Mac Plus can run the following Apple operating systems: System 3.2, System 4.2, System 5.x, Systems 6.02, 6.03, 6.04, 6.05, 6.07, 6.08 and Systems 7.01, 7.1 and 7.5.3. While Systems 7.5.x can run on a Plus, it is not recommended unless you like your computer to crawl like a snail. Since I have a lot of legacy applications, I choose to run System 6.08 on the Macintosh Plus.
How Much is a Mac Plus Worth?
While the Mac Plus sold for a couple of thousand dollars in the late 1980s and 1990, today they are almost worthless unless you can find one in pristine condition, with the original box, discs, keyboard, mouse and manuals. Most Plus's are given away for free or can be found at garage sales for about $10. You should not pay more than $20 for one... For $20 that Plus had better be in great shape!
Mel's Mac Plus Hardware.
Apple Macintosh Plus
Apple 800k external disc drive (added 9/99)
Apple Macintosh System 6.08
Article: Three Faces of a Mac Plus Boot-Up
Photos: More Photos of Mel's Mac Plus
Article: Sold On the Mac For Ten Years
Visit Mel's MacPaint Gallery
Article: Low End Mac - Care for a Mac Plus
Article: How to Download Mac Files With a PC
Copyright 1998-2007 by Melvin Ah Ching Productions. Last update: May 12, 2007.