#MARCHintosh: Partial Success

10 Mar 2024

#MARCHinstosh I’ve not had much time to tinker since the start of the month, but in the time I have had I’ve had some partial success: the Mac SE is now talking to the Internet!

Screenshot of a successful MacTCP Ping

This turned out to be pretty straightforward, mainly following along with the instructions from BlueSCSI. The one wrinkle I hit was that I couldn’t mount the image with the drivers with the software I had. I worked around this by duping it to an actual, honest-to-goodness 3.5” floppy disk. Running from that, everything went smoothly, and pretty soon MacTCP was talking to my router, and from there the world.

So, why am I only calling this a partial success? While, strictly speaking, I’ve already achieved my stated aim, it doesn’t match the picture I had in my mind. When I said “on the Internet”, I was really meaning “browsing the web” — I want to be able to access this very blog from the SE. The networking layer is solved, but when I came to installing Netscape Navigator 2 (which seems like a reasonable baseline), I found that, rather than MacTCP, it requires OpenTransport (an alternative TCP/IP stack — yes, you needed to bring your own back in the day). BlueSCSI/DynaPORT also supports that, so I’m optimistic I’ll be able to sort it out.

Side note: while taking screenshots in System 7 is trivial (just Command-Shift-3), I’ve yet to figure out a smooth way of getting them off the SE in a form readable by modern software. My current workaround is to mount one of the SE’s hard drive images in InfiniteMac, open it there, and then take a screenshot of that. Hence, the above image isn’t of the highest fidelity. I still have the original PICT, and will replace it with a better version once I’ve fixed the workflow.

Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf wearing T-shirts reading I didn't invent the internet and I didn't invent the web

This site is maintained by me, Rob Hague. The opinions here are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone else. You can mail me at rob@rho.org.uk, and I'm @robhague@mas.to on Mastodon and robhague on Twitter. The site has a full-text RSS feed if you're so inclined.

Body text is set in Georgia or the nearest equivalent. Headings and other non-body text is set in Cooper Hewitt Light. The latter is © 2014 Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and used under the SIL Open Font License.

All content © Rob Hague 2002-2024, except where otherwise noted.