The Macintosh Portable was the first 'portable' laptop from Apple. At the time it was sort of luggable but by todays standards it's a brick. Still it had some
pretty interesting hardware for it's time like the active matrix screen either backlit or not and trackball.
At least you got your case for the multiple thousands of dollars you spent at the time!
It had quite the bevy of plugs including monitor, floppy, SCSI, optional internal modem, ADB, printer, modem, audio and power.
Opening the back is easy, just press in the two square tabs and pop off the lid. The internal 3.5" hard drive is on the far left, slots for ram x2, modem and batteries as well.
Nice 'little' 4mb memory card, these little puppies are very hard to find. On a side note, putting another one of these in the second ram slot didn't work so I suspect a special
card is required.
This is the 2400 baud internal modem, also the fastest I believe you could buy to use internally in this Mac. It also has a standard 8pin mini din modem plug on the back though.
Now the bad news, the hard drive is not a standard SCSI drive but is hard wired to it's ribbon cable! There are wiring diagrams on the web that explain how to wire a normal SCSI drive
but that is quite the job. Also I think many folks give up at this point because I've noticed that with a dead internal battery the stock AC adaptor doesn't have the amps to kick over
the hard drive. I have a work around, I've modified a 12v high power adaptor which will run a Portable just fine and is able to spin up most of the hard drives I thought were dead.
Nice doorstop, these were sealed lead acid packs and most likely long since deceased. The cells are Gates, same type used in Quantum 1 battery packs. You might be able to find replacement Quantum cells
on eBay. Apex batteries list this replacement which could be hard wired into your portable
if you must go battery powered. I'm sure other places may have them as well, just search for Quantum 1 battery replacements.
To get at the keyboard and trackball you need to remove the front trim. A screwdriver can be used to pry up the cover which is clipped across the front.
Once the trim is removed you can access the plugs for the screen, floppy(s), and hard drive. This particular Portable is a backlit version which you can determine from the colour of the ribbon cable/plug.
This blue plug indicates that this Portable is not backlit, I'm pretty sure you can't just swap screens.
This is a better view of the various plugs inside the portable. You could run two internal floppies and sadly that SCSI plug is not standard!
To remove the screen just slightly twist and pull out these endcaps, one on each side of the Portable. Of note, the plugs are completely different between the backlit and nonbacklit Portables.
Now lift out these clips.
And slide out the hinge. The screen now lifts off in one piece, just unplug it.
Keyboards and trackballs are very easy to remove and replace. The are connected with ribbon cables and clipped across the top. An interesting bit of trivia, you could have a numeric keypad installed in the spot
that the trackball was located. I have several Portables with this specific configuration.
The trackballs on the portables were also quit problematic and by now I suspect the rubber rollers in many are worn out. A lot of crud also rubs off the trackball over time and this builds up in the mechanism. You
might just need to give it a good cleaning to get it working again.
This of course is the EXTREMELY rare non trackball Portable. Ok I'm kidding it's just a version that swapped the trackball for a numeric keypad. Since the Portable has a standard ADB plug on the back you can just plug in a normal Mac mouse.
For some the beauty of the Portable was that it had a really nice screen (backlit) and a full size keyboard. A friend of ours who is a writer used one for many years writing several screenplays and novels and was sad
to part with it when it finally died.
Comments? Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.