Macintosh SE FDHD Macintosh SE FDHD

Macintosh SE FDHD Explained

In the ever-evolving landscape of personal computing, certain devices leave an indelible mark on the industry. One such device is the Macintosh SE FDHD, a compact personal computer introduced by Apple on August 1st, 1989. Although its lifespan was relatively short, lasting just over a year until its discontinuation on October 15th, 1990, the Macintosh SE FDHD remains a significant part of Apple’s illustrious Macintosh series. Let’s delve into the features and impact of this groundbreaking machine.

The Macintosh SE FDHD boasted impressive specifications for its time, earning its place as a high-end computer. Equipped with an 8 MHz Motorola 68000 processor, the SE FDHD delivered remarkable processing power. Its 9″ monochrome display, although limited in size, showcased Apple’s commitment to delivering high-quality visuals. Users could choose between 1 MB or 2 MB of RAM, allowing for efficient multitasking and smooth performance.

Storage options were also robust, with the choice of a 20 MB or 40 MB hard drive, providing ample space for users’ data. Additionally, the Macintosh SE FDHD featured one or two 1.44 MB floppy disk drives, enabling easy data transfer and backup. Running on the dedicated System Software operating system, the SE FDHD was a reliable and user-friendly machine.

Despite its relatively brief availability, the Macintosh SE FDHD made a lasting impression on consumers. Priced at $3,900 upon its release, it was undoubtedly a premium offering. However, its advanced features and capabilities attracted tech enthusiasts and professionals who sought a dependable and powerful computer.

The SE FDHD held a special place in Apple’s history as the first compact Mac with a built-in fan. Its compact form factor made it a popular choice for those looking for a space-saving option without sacrificing performance. The Macintosh SE FDHD quickly became an integral part of Apple’s Macintosh series, representing the company’s commitment to innovation and technological advancement.

One interesting aspect of the Macintosh SE FDHD is its support for color, albeit not on the internal display. While the SE FDHD’s built-in monitor was monochrome, the device could output 3-bit color to the ImageWriter II printer’s color ribbon. Some enterprising companies even created SCSI video output devices, allowing users to display 3-bit color on an external monitor. This capability added a touch of versatility to an already impressive machine.

Furthermore, the introduction of the FDHD (floppy drive, high density) or SuperDrive, as it was commonly known, was a significant development. This drive not only provided a capacity of 1.4 MB but also allowed the SE FDHD to read and write 3.5″ DOS disks with the help of special software. It was a notable step forward in terms of compatibility and expandability.

The Macintosh SE FDHD, introduced in 1989, may have had a short lifespan, but its impact remains significant. With its powerful specifications, compact form factor, and innovative features, it solidified its place as a sought-after computer for tech enthusiasts and professionals alike. Apple’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology is evident in the SE FDHD’s inclusion of a built-in fan, expansion slots, and color support, albeit through external means.

As we celebrate 34 years since the Macintosh SE FDHD’s introduction, we recognize its role as a pivotal device in Apple’s storied history. While technological advancements have brought us far beyond the capabilities of the SE FDHD, we cannot overlook its contributions to the world of personal computing. It will forever hold a cherished spot in the memories of those who witnessed its brief but impactful presence in the market.

Macintosh SE FDHD
Source: retroviator.com – Macintosh SE FDHD

Macintosh SE FDHD Details

IntroducedAugust 1, 1989
DiscontinuedOctober 15, 1990
Model Identifier5
Order NumberM5011
Original Price$3,900
ColorsPlatinum
Weight17 Ibs.
7.711 KG
Dimensions13.6” H x 9.69” W x 10.9” D
34.54 cm H x 24.61 cm W x 27.68 cm D

Mac SE FDHD Tech Specs

Processor

ProcessorMotorola 68000
Processor Speed8 MHz
Architecture32-bit
Number of Cores1
System Bus8 MHz
CacheNone
CoprocessorNone

Storage & Media

Storage20 MB
40 MB
Media1 or 2 – 1.44 MB Floppy drive

Memory

Built-in Memory1 MB
2 MB
Maximum Memory4 MB
Memory Slots4 – 30 pin SIMM (Groups of 2)
Minimum Speed150 ns
ROMUnknown
Interleaving SupportNo

Display

Built-in Display9” monochrome display
Resolution512 x 342
Pixel Density72 ppi

Graphics

Graphics CardNone
Graphics MemoryNone
Display ConnectionUnknown

Expansion

Expansion Slots1 – SE PDS
Hard Drive InterfaceSCSI

Software

Original OSSystem Software 5.0
Maximum OSSystem 7.5.5
FirmwareMacintosh ROM

Connections

EthernetNone
ModemNone
ADB2
Serial2
SCSI1 – DB-25
Floppy Port1 – DB-19
Audio InNone
Audio Out1 – 3.5-mm mono output jack
DisplayUnknown

Accessories

Power

Backup Battery3.6 V lithium
Maximum Continuous Power100 W
Line VoltageUnknown

Further Reading and References

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Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.

Last updated: May 20, 2023