My favourite Mac story: the Mud Macs

My favourite Mac story: the Mud Macs

The strange-but-true Mac stories are coming in thick and fast, all in the running to win the latest Mac Office suite, worth $900. It seems as though old Macs have a certain charm renovators can't resist. While last week's Mac story ended up in a somewhat watery grave, this week's story gets a little deeper in the dirt . . .

Hello Tabloid people,

Five or more years ago, a man was walking alongside a creek in a bush reserve when he recognised the distinctive shape of a Mac in the mud.

Closer inspection revealed not one but two Macs dumped in the creek, along with cables, keyboards and mice. Being a resourceful man, he soon located a washed-up, white plastic bag. All the bits went in the bag and the two Macs were lugged home, dripping all the way.

He took them to the local police station, where he was told that they were his if nobody claimed them in 30 days. Of course nobody did claim them, and after 30 days he was the rather bemused owner of two (now dry but dirty) Macs. This man worked with my father, and he suggested I might be able to rebuild one working system out of the two. Which is how I came to have two filthy Macs.

I rather tentatively examined the Macs and soon came to the conclusion that there wasn't much hope for them. However, it was an interesting challenge, so I stripped them down and carefully washed the silt off each item (case, boards, screen, etc) in the kitchen sink - not a troubleshooting technique I had used before or since!

After leaving it all to dry for a few days, I put the first Mac back together. I connected the power cable and activated it from across the room, expecting the lights to dim and a shower of sparks. No sparks; just a Mac icon on the screen with a question mark. The hard drive (20 or 40MB?) did sound like a mixmaster though. I rebuilt the second Mac, and it also started. Truly amazing!

After everything they had gone though, the only things not working were both hard disks, one floppy and one keyboard. After replacing these, and reloading the Mac OS, both Macs booted and worked. I kept one and the other was returned to the original finder.

My favourite Mac story is true, and I still have the working Mac to prove it!


Richard Litchfield

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