A Macintosh SE with dual floppy drives.
|Macintosh SE FDHD
Macintosh SE SuperDrive
|Manufacturer||Apple Computer, Inc.|
|Product family||Compact Macintosh|
|Release date||March 2, 1987|
|Introductory price||US$2900 (dual floppy)
US$3900 (with hard drive)
|Discontinued||October 15, 1990|
|Operating system||System 4.0 -|
|CPU||Motorola 68000 @ 7.8 MHz|
|Memory||1-4 MB RAM
(4x 150ns 30-pin SIMM)
|Display||9 inches (23 cm) monochrome, 512x342|
|Dimensions||Height: 13.6 inches (35 cm)
Width: 9.69 inches (24.6 cm)
Depth: 10.9 inches (28 cm)
|Weight||17 pounds (7.7 kg)|
The Macintosh SE was a personal computer designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from March 1987 to October 1990. It marked a significant improvement on the Macintosh Plus design and was introduced by Apple at the same time as the Macintosh II.
The SE retains the same compact Macintosh form factor as the original Macintosh computer introduced three years earlier, but with slight differences in color and styling. An enhanced model, the SE/30 was introduced in January 1989; sales of the original SE continued, with an update following in August of that year to include a SuperDrive. The Macintosh SE was replaced with the Macintosh Classic, a very similar model which retained the same central processing unit and form factor, but at a lower price point.
The Macintosh SE was introduced at the AppleWorld conference in Los Angeles on March 2, 1987. The "SE" is an acronym for "System Expansion". Its notable new features, compared to its similar predecessor, the Macintosh Plus, were:
The SE and Macintosh II were the first Apple computers since the Apple I to be sold without a keyboard. Instead the customer was offered the choice of the new ADB Apple Keyboard or the Apple Extended Keyboard.
The Macintosh SE shipped with System 4.0 and Finder 5.4; this version is specific to this computer. (The Macintosh II, which was announced at the same time but shipped a month later, includes System 4.1 and Finder 5.5.) The README file included with the installation disks for the SE and II is the first place Apple ever used the term "Macintosh System Software", and after 1998 these two versions were retroactively given the name "Macintosh System Software 2.0.1".
Processor: Motorola 68000, 8 MHz, with an 8 MHz system bus and a 16-bit data path
RAM: The SE came with 1 MB of RAM as standard, and is expandable to 4 MB. The logic board has four 30-pin SIMM slots; memory must be installed in pairs and must be 150 ns or faster.
Video: There is 256 KB of onboard video memory, enabling 512x384 monochrome resolution. The built-in screen has a lower resolution.
Storage: The SE can accommodate either one or two floppy drives, or a floppy drive and a hard drive. After-market brackets were designed to allow the SE to accommodate two floppy drives as well as a hard drive, however it was not a configuration supported by Apple. In addition an external floppy disk drive may also be connected, making the SE the only Macintosh besides the Macintosh Portable and Macintosh II which could support three floppy drives, though its increased storage, RAM capacity and optional internal hard drive rendered the external drives less of a necessity than for its predecessors. Single-floppy SE models also featured a drive-access light in the spot where the second floppy drive would be. Hard-drive equipped models came with a 20 MB SCSI hard disk.
Battery: Located on the logic board is a 3.6 V lithium battery, which must be present in order for basic settings to persist between power cycles. Macintosh SE machines which have sat for a long time have experienced battery corrosion and leakage, resulting in a damaged case and logic board.
Expansion: A Processor Direct Slot on the logic board allows for expansion cards, such as accelerators, to be installed. The SE can be upgraded to 50 MHz and more than 5 MB with the MicroMac accelerators. In the past other accelerators were also available such as the Sonnet Allegro. Since installing a card required opening the computer's case and exposing the user to high voltages from the internal CRT, Apple recommended that only authorized Apple dealers install the cards; the case was sealed with then-uncommon Torx screws.
Upgrades: After Apple introduced the Macintosh SE/30 in January 1989, a logic board upgrade was sold by Apple dealers as a high-cost upgrade for the SE, consisting of a new SE/30 motherboard, case front and internal chassis to accommodate the upgrade components.
Easter egg: The Macintosh SE ROM size increased from 64 KB in the original Mac to 256 KB, which allowed the development team to include an Easter Egg hidden in the ROMs. By jumping to address 0x41D89A or reading from the ROM chips it is possible to display the four images of the engineering team.
Introduced March 2, 1987:
Introduced August 1, 1989:
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