Macintosh LC520 Liberation

I have had a bit of an opportunity to use the LC520 for any amount of time, and after a bit of writing about it, pondering it, and doing some research and reading the documentation, I’ve decided to a) write an actual blog entry about it and b) write a blog entry using this interesting machine. So here it is, a blog entry that I am writing on a Mac LC520, using a cool old word processor called MacWritePro 1.5v3, which is only about a year newer than the 520 itself.

My particular example of the LC520 comes in a stock 5/80 configuration, which means it has 5 megabytes of memory, and an 80 megabyte hard disc. Think about that for a second. Five megabytes of system memory. And the thing was expandable to a total of 36MB. An 80 meg disk too, maybe it’s only me, but I think that that’s amazing. Add to that, the fact that after installing the operating system (Mac System 7.1), two word processing apps, a popular graphics application and a popular desktop publishing application, the disk still has nearly 48 megabytes left over for user data.

Although the ratio isn’t the best one ever, this is including the fact that “user data” was a whole lot smaller in 1993 (when the machine was manufactured) anywa, and the fact that I’ve got awful disk space management skills. So if I were to go through and delete things like sample docs, extensions I’ll never use, and actually optimise everything, (including removal of one of the two word processors), I would probably end up with about 20 to 30 megs used, which is much closer to the ratio of my modern computers.

It’s a usable machine overall, words appear on the screen as I type them, the whole thing boots to a desktop and allows me to launch and use applications. As a whole, it’s a great little system really, the 14 inch Trinitron display surpasses most modern CRT and some LCD displays in text readability, the built-in stereo speakers produce reasonably nice sound, and in fact, I think the only downside of this system is that the keyboard leaves a little something to be desired, but I chose this one (as opposed to an AEKII, which I could’ve gotten) for the authenticity.

I may at some point bring this machine to the university. It’s good for writing, and since it’s floppy drive works, it is easy enough to transfer such little bits of data (as documents and screenshots) back and forth between the two machines. Even if I don’t bring it to the university, I do have it here and it is set up on my desk here at dad’s house, in the spot my iMac used to have.

No comments: