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Dayna MacCharlie in Action

I had owned MacCharlie for a couple of years but had no software, so I had no idea whether it worked...

Early Days

The photos below show MacCharlie running for the first time in my hands. My thanks once again to Daniel A for supplying the required software. Click on a thumbnail to view a photo in more detail.

Hooked up for the first timeMy MacCharlie Plus, hooked up to a Mac 512K. As it was the first time that I have tried using it, I didn't install the little platform that physically joins the two system boxes.

Keyboard extensionThe MacCharlie keyboard extender assembled with a standard 128/512 keyboard.

StartupScreenThe MacCharlie StartupScreen image that is displayed while the Mac boots.

MacCharlie boot screenMacCharlie has successfully booted and synchronised its clock with the Macintosh system. The software did not refresh properly while I made the screen dump which is why the memory check reports 101KB. This MacCharlie has the full RAM quota of 640KB.

About dialog boxThe "About MacCharlie" dialog window.

Getting MacCharlie Working

The photos above may give the misleading impression that MacCharlie worked properly first time. Alas that was not the case. The notes below may be of use to other people trying to get a MacCharlie working. Take care if you open the lid on a MacCharlie as the power supply is not shielded and its capacitors may retain very high voltages.

Extending MacCharlie

I haven't been able to lay my hands on a replacement 360KB 5.25" drive and a 1.2Mb drive will not work -- the drives have a different rotational speed. Fortunately I spotted an old external 3.5" drive unit from a BBC or Atari in a skip which looked as if it might work. A 720KB 3.5" drive runs at the same speed as the 360KB 5.25" drive and was a common upgrade for early IBM PCs.

MS-DOS 3.10 that shipped with MacCharlie does not support 3.5" drives but I had already established that MacCharlie would run MS-DOS 3.30 (IBM packaged version). DOS 3.30 is the first version that supports 720KB drives and also includes the DRIVE.SYS driver to patch a PC BIOS that doesn't support such drives.

MacCharlie must still boot from the 360KB 5.25" drive but the extra storage on drive B is handy.

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