An unexpected discovery
Guess what was inside the Macintosh SE
When I opened up the Macintosh SE to pull out the motherboard to start recapping I was surprised to see another board in the “processor direct slot” on the logic board. And this expansion board had a connector cable running to a third, small board mounted by the rear chassis.
It’s a network card! I didn’t expect one because the port isn’t visible on the back of the computer.
Even with the case off, I didn’t spot it right away, yet here it is.
Based on some preliminary reading, Ethernet networking cards for the SE are fairly rare. The PDS slot isn’t an expansion slot in the true sense of the word. It’s more of a local bus with direct access to the CPU, and cards had to be made specific to the hardware. In other words, only a PDS card made for a Macintosh SE will work in a Macintosh SE. Cards for the SE/30 or other Macintosh models wouldn’t work, no matter the general similarities.
I don’t know the maker of this network card. There aren’t any names on the either the small or big expansion boards. The small, rear-connector board has the only writing, “Connector Card A Series BD-020B”. Searching for that turns up some old discussions which may indicate it was manufactured by Farallon. If that’s the case, someone also wrote that a third-party driver wasn’t necessary under System 7.5.5 — the last operating system available to this computer. That would be great, because finding old driver software seems to be very difficult.
This is a fun find, and now I’d really like to get this computer running again to see about getting it online. Just the other day I was reading about Frogfind — a search engine that runs on vintage computers. Yes, even the Google landing page is simply too technologically demanding for a computer made in the late 80s.
No pressure at all, since this is the first computer I’m going to recap.
Supporters, any other ideas for next step projects when this computer is up and running again?