You'll find some Classic Mac Games here, as well as my technical (but not too technical!) question and answer column.

If you have any technical questions that you would like me to answer, please e-mail me and let me know!



Chi-Chi's Game Stop

Now, I'm a gamer at heart, but since I can't play Quake III Arena on my Mac 512K, I've included some of my favorite vintage Mac games on this page. These are all believed to be now in the Public Domain. If anyone knows of a Copyright problem with one of these games, just let us know and it will be removed.

Arkanoid
Cairo Shoot Out
Full Metal Mac
King's Quest 1
Lode Runner
Shufflepuck Cafe
Space Invaders
Stunt Copter
Great games are built on great ideas, not astonishing graphics or authentic sound. Just as a blackjack
game
really can’t be improved, Arkanoid, King’s Quest and Space Invaders reach perfection.

Chi-Chi's Macintosh Q & A

Q: I just purchased a Mac Plus on eBay, but with no startup disk. What system software originally ran on this Mac?

A: One of the most confusing and mysterious aspects of the vintage computer hobby is trying to unravel the system software puzzle. "Which software came with my computer" is a question we often hear from collectors. So I'll try to shed some light on this subject with the timeline below.

1984 Mac System Software (0.0) Released for Macintosh 128K (1984)
1984 Mac System Software (0.1) Maintenance Release (128K), Added Mountain scene, About box, Clean Up Command
1985 Mac System Software (0.3 & 0.5) Finder Update (128K), later shipped with 512K
1986 Mac System Software (0.7) Release for Macintosh Plus, Later shipped with 512Ke
1986 System Software 1.1 Maintenance release for 128K, 512K, 512Ke, Plus
1987 System Software 2.0 Shipped with Appleshare File Server
1987 System Software 2.0.1 Update to System Software to include Appleshare Client Feature
1987 System Software 2.0.1a Maintenance Release for 512k, 512ke, Plus. Later shipped with II and SE
1987 System Software 2.0.1b Maintenance Release for 512k, 512ke, Plus, II and SE
1987 System Software 5.0 Added Updated LaserWriter Driver, Easy Access, Color CDEV, etc.
1987 System Software 5.1 Updated LaserWriter Driver. Also added new version of Apple HD SC Setup
1988 System Software 6.0 Update to System Software to include: Updated Multifinder, SuperDrive Support.
1988 System Software 6.0.1 Release for Macintosh IIx
1988 System Software 6.0.2 Maintenance Release of System Software
1988 System Software 6.0.3 Maintenance Release. Later shipped with Macintosh SE/30 and IIcx
1989 System Software 6.0.4 Release for Macintosh Portable and IIci
1990 System Software 6.0.5 Release for Macintosh IIfx
1990 System Software 6.0.6 Not ever officially released. Intended for Macintosh LC, IIsi and Classic
1990 System Software 6.0.7 Official release for Macintosh LC, IIsi and Classic
1990 System Software 6.0.8 Updated Printing software to match Printing software of System 7.0
1990 System Software 6.0.8L Limited maintenence release for Pacific customers.
1990 System Software 7.0 Major Update to System Software to included TrueType, FileSharing and other Features
1991 System Software 7.0.1 Release for Macintosh Quadra 700/900 & PowerBook 100/140/170
1992 System Software 7.0.1P Released for Macintosh Performa Computers
1992 System Software 7.1 Update to System Software to include Fonts Folder, System Enablers, WorldScript,etc.
1992 System Software 7.1P Version of 7.1 for Performa Computers
1992 System Software 7.1.1 (Pro) Update to System Software to include AppleScript, PowerTalk, Quicktime
1992 System Software 7.1.1 Subset of System 7 Pro for PowerBook 250, 270c, 280, 520, 520c 540 and 540c
1994 System Software 7.1.2 Release for Power Macintosh 6100/7100/8100
1994 System Software 7.1.2P Release for Performa/LC/Quadra 630
1995 System Software 7.5 Major update to System Software to include QuickDraw GX and over 50 New Features
1995 System Software 7.5.1 System 7.5 Update 1.0 released to fix several issues
1995 System Software 7.5.2 New release specifically for the new Power Macintosh 7200/7500/8500/9500
1996 System Software 7.5.3 System 7.5 Update 2.0, System 7.5.3 Revision 2, System 7.5 Version 7.5.3
1997 System 7.5.5 Upgrade stability
1997 System 7.6 MAJOR upgrade
1997 System 7.6.1 Maintenence upgrade
1997 System 8.0 MAJOR upgrade

This list does not indicate the newest system software that can run on a Mac, just the original system that was released for each Mac. For more info on the newest system software that can be used on your Mac, along with lots of other information, I suggest downloading a nice little app called MacTracker here: http://www.mactracker.ca/


Q: I just spilled beer/tea/coffee/cough syrup on my keyboard (well, ok, my cat threw up on it). Now what?

A: My original advise was to shut down, unplug the keyboard from the computer, and turn it upside down. Wait a day or two for it to dry. It may be okay now. If not, bring it in for service. (Former Byte columnist Jerry Pournelle says just take it in the shower with you and rinse it thoroughly and then dry it for a few days. He also believes in Big Foot.)
If it's a PowerBook, remove the battery and the power cord and bring it in for service immediately. Don't turn it on! The internal backup battery can cause electrolytic corrosion and lead to an expensive motherboard replacement.

As added clarification, viewer Dean wrote in:
"Regarding your q&a about spilling stuff on the keyboard... the better advice is indeed to rinse it with water, warm water actually. This is because the sugars in most beverages will go sticky when they dry (ever spilled a drink on the kitchen floor and not cleaned it up?) leading to all sorts of trouble. Very sugary beverages like cough syrup or soft drink will actually leave residue that corrodes. Water is the least harmful liquid, so it's preferable to have water in there than anything else. It's unlikely to cause too much damage if it is allowed to properly dry. Tip it upside down after rinsing to get the water out (which I thought would go without saying, but maybe not) and use a hair dryer to accelerate the drying process (a damn fine idea!)."

And with what sounds like quite sound advice, Tony Williams writes:
"Just a quick note to say that water is not the perfect liquid to rinse out your keyboard. Isopropyl alcohol (the same stuff used to clean tape heads) is even better. Isopropyl is an excellent cleaner for almost all computer stuff and you can get almost pure (good enough for everything but tape heads) isopropyl if you look at rubbing alcohol in your local drug store or market. Here in Australia it's marketed as 'Isocol Rubbing Alcohol'. When I was on the help desk at a large company we used to have a couple of bottles of the stuff ready for the keyboard spills. Quickly pop off all the keys (these can certainly be washed in luke warm water and well dried before replacing) and pour a bottle of Isopropyl over the keyboard, slosh it around and then invert the keyboard. Give it a day or so to dry (the alcohol evaporates fast), put the keys back on and you've got a fair chance your keyboard is fine. Keep a bottle handy for cleaning keyboards that are just dirty or screens and cases that are showing some grime."

Thanks Tony, that's a great tip!



Q: Why and When Should I "Zap the PRAM"?

A: ZAP the PRAM by holding down the Command, Option, 'P' and 'R' keys at startup until you hear the Mac startup chord at least 3 times.

NOTE: Zapping the PRAM will set several of your Control Panel configurations to default. You will need to reset your Memory Cache setting back to 512 or
728, reset the AppleTalk configuration to "Connect via: Ethernet". and then restart your Mac.

• PRAM stores the settings of several Control Panel items and information regarding the status of the ports of your Mac. The battery inside the Mac keeps the PRAM powered at all times. Information stored inside
• PRAM can get corrupted. Some of the symptoms are when...
...you get persistent system errors, and freezing,
...you select Shut Down from the Special menu and the Macintosh restarts instead of shutting down,
...your Mac starts up in black and white even though you have selected Color for your display mode,
...your monitor's screen will not come up at startup,
...you are unable to bootup. Symptoms as serious as a "Sad Mac" or an inability to wake from sleep may occur,
...a ported device such as your Network connection or printer cannot be seen from Chooser,
...you get any error message indicating a problem with a serial port

A PRAM problem is not the only cause of many of these symptoms, but it is a common one.


My latest pithy quote:

"We used to think that a hundred million monkeys at a hundred million keyboards eventually could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true."

Well, that's it for now!

See ya soon!





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