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Macintosh SE

Macintosh SE

The original expandable Classic Mac!
• An internal expansion slot for cards!
• A SCSI port for connecting hard drives plus the capability of having an internal hard drive!
• Included a 800K double-sided double-density disk drive - you could have two internal (no internal hard drive) and one external!
• Another model was introduces with an internal hard drive of 20 Megabytes called the SE/20 (unoffically)
• A SE with 1MB of RAM and a 40MB hard disk was referred by SE 1/40. Other configurations existed like 2/80, 1/20, 4/40, etc.

Mac SE
If you are interested in upgrading the Mac SE, make sure you see the Premiere Issue of The Mac 512 User Group's Newsletter!
SE Tips see:

If you are having problems powering on your Macintosh SE class, try to: • reset the PRAM - Command(the Apple key)+Option(the Alt key)+P+R
• replace the PRAM battery
• let the SE sit for 60 minutes with the dead battery installed and try to power on (sometimes this works)

Close of Mac SE
Here is my Macintosh SE, note that the open slot is the floppy drive and the upper slot is filled in by an internal hard drive.

Back of Mac SEThe Back of my SE. The expansion slot is on the left of the Mac.

The Mac SE had more ROM code than its predessors, 256K instead of 128K or even 64K. This allows theMac SE to use the extra code directly from the ROM instead of loading it into memory. 128K is 128K...

The SCSI routines in the Mac SE lets it performs faster while accessing a hard disk than the Mac Plus and such, 20% faster. If you wanted to now have a hard drive, this is the only model which lets you have three floppy drives! 2.4 MB (800K version) of floppy-based storage.

A Tale of Two Keyboards:
Small Keyboard Large Keyboard
You could use the smaller one, or the larger one. The larger one had the same setup as the IBM PC series of computers.

A key concern was to allow the Mac SE to have a larger or smaller keyboard, which one the user determines.

A picture of the Mac SE with two floppy drives.


The big reason for the Mac SE to exist is its expansion slot. This 96-pin slot allows you to add cards to further expand its capabilities. There were Accelerator cards, AST MS-DOS PC cards, and network cards.

The Mac SE was one of the first Macs to use the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) for its mouse and keyboard connection. It was created so the Mac would have a consistent hardware interface for input devices. The total limit is 16 ADB devices.

This was one of the first Macs to come equipped with an internal fan. As the power supply was larger, an internal slot, plus an internal hard drive meant more heat. A common problem with the eariler Macs were power supply problems from the Mac overheating.

For AppleShare use: System 6.0.x and Finder 6.1 are installed by the AppleShare Client 6.x Installer disk. This machine can be used as an AppleShare file server.

For telecommunications use: Can use 9600 baud modem or lower, anything higher may cause problems. Stock Macintosh SE can be placed on the Internet, with maxed 4MB of RAM memory upgrade.

Hard Drive use: Can use the Apple's HD20 - plugs into the floppy port. Stock Macintosh SE can use any SCSI hard drive (25 pin port on back). SCSI only - Use a 2:1 interleave.

Color use: Aura Systems created an external box which outputted color from a Macintosh SE. I looked into this at one point, very expensive, about $2500.

 Quick answers to your questions here!

Apple official specs


  • Introduced: 3/2/87
  • Discontinued: 8/1/89
  • Floppy Size: 800K
  • Internal HD: none - 40MB
  • Upgrade From: none
  • Upgrade To: SE FDHD, SE/30 (There are many accelerators available from and )
  • Form Factor: SE
  • Weight: 17 lbs.
  • Dimensions (in): 13.6 H x 9.69 W x 10.9 D

Logic Board

  • Main Processor: 8 MHz 68000
  • PMMU: none
  • FPU: none
  • Data Path: 8 MHz 16-bit
  • Secondary Processor: none
  • Slots: 1 SE PDS


  • Memory on Logic Board: none
  • RAM Range: 1MB to 4MB
  • RAM Slots: 4 30-pin SIMM
  • RAM Type: 120 ns 256K, 1MB SIMMs in groups of 2
  • Notes: This system cannot use two-chip 1MB SIMMs.


  • Built-in Display: 9" monochrome CRT
  • VRAM Configuration: built-in CRT
  • VRAM Speed: n/a
  • VRAM Expansion: built in
  • Color Bit Depth by Screen Resolution:
  • 512x384: 1-bit
    (1-bit = Black & White, 2-bit = 4 colors, 4-bit = 16 colors, 8-bit = 256 colors, 16-bit = thousands, 24-bit = millions)
  • The maximum color depth listed for 640x870 is 8-bit, reflecting the capabilities of the Apple 15 inch Portrait Display
  • Notes: Screen size is 512x342.


  • Sound In: none
  • Sound Out: mono, 8-bit
  • Microphone Port: none


  • ADB: 2
  • Video: none
  • Floppy: DB-19
  • SCSI: DB-25
  • GeoPorts: none
  • Ethernet: none
  • Microphone Port Type: none
  • Ports: Printer, Modem, Speaker


  • Max Watts: 100
  • Amps: 0.83
  • BTU per Hr: 342
  • Voltage: 90-270
  • Freq Range: 47-63 Hz
  • Battery Type: n/a


  • Addressing Modes: 24-bit
  • Original System Software: 2.0
  • Original Enabler: none
  • ROM ID: $0276
  • ROM Version: 0
  • ROM Size: 256K
  • AppleTalk Version: 48
  • System Software Supported: 2.0 2.0.1 5.0 5.1 6.0 6.0.1 6.0.2 6.0.3 6.0.5 6.0.4 6.0.7 6.0.8 7.0 7.0.1 7.1 7.5 7.5.1 7.5.3 7.5.5

All technical information from

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