Using TurboGopher to Access HappyMacs Archive

I mentioned in my last post that perhaps the most “classic” way to access the HappyMacs software archive was to do so from a classic Mac, via the TurboGopher application.

TurboGopher About Screen

I have TurboGopher, which is a FAT binary, running on both my 68K Macs and my PPC Macs, and so it should work for any classic Mac you may have. I have tested it from Mac OS 7.6.1 onwards.

This post is a mini tutorial on how to access the HappyMacs gopherspace from TurboGopher, and how to set the default font in TurboGopher so that the HappyMacs gopherspace renders nicely on your Mac.

Default Font and Size

Let’s start with the default font. Like many gopherspaces, the HappyMacs gopherspace uses some ASCII art to make the site a bit more visually attractive. In order for this art to render properly, it is key that the Gopher client (TurboGopher in this case) uses a fixed width font. I have settled on the Monaco font for no particular reason other than that I like the way it looks, but you can use any fixed width font that appeals to you. However, all the screen shots below feature Monaco.

To set up Monaco as the font to render gopherspaces with, go to the Gopher menu in TurboGopher, as shown below:

1 - TurboGopher Prefs

From the Preferences dialog, drop the Other Preferences list in the middle of the window and select Default Font & Size, as shown below:

2 - Default Font, Size

Now navigate the font and size list to select Monaco 12, as demonstrated below:

3 - Monaco 12

When done, the result should look like this:

4 - Resulting Screen

Accessing HappyMacs Archive

Now that you have the default font and size set properly, accessing the HappyMacs gopherspace is a breeze. Once more go to the Gopher menu in TurboGopher and select Another Gopher, as shown below:

1 - Another Gopher

In the resulting dialog, type in “happymacs.ddns.net”, as demonstrated below:

2 - happymacs.ddns.net

If all is well, you will be greeted with the following display of the HappyMacs gopherspace:

3 - Resulting Screen

That’s it! Note that the image of the classic Macintosh, and the “Welcome to HappyMacs” banner are both examples of the ASCII art I mentioned above.

Bookmarking the HappyMacs Archive

One last thing. All of us live in the modern age, even if we have a certain fascination with vintage Macintoshes and MacOS, and so we are attuned to the idea of web browser bookmarks. Wouldn’t it be nice to bookmark the HappyMacs archive so that you did not have to type in the address every time you wanted to access it? Well happily, TurboGopher lets you do just that, although it is not entirely obvious how to do this until you have walked through it the first time. So… let’s walk through the procedure here.

When you start up TurboGopher, it presents two windows – the Home Gopher window and the Bookmark Worksheet. This later window is the bookmark list that we want to work with. By default it comes preset with a number of what were helpful gopher links back in the late 1990s. These days, they are all dead links, and need to be replaced with more current ones. Let’s add the HappyMacs archive to the list, and then delete all the others.

To do this, follow the procedure above to arrive at the HappyMacs gopherspace site. Next, position your cursor on the window’s top bar and type Opt-c. This copies the gopherspace’s URL to an internal copy/paste buffer. Now, position your cursor on the top bar of the Bookmark Worksheet window, click once and type Opt-v. This pastes your HappyMacs gopherspace URL into the bookmark list. Finally, to get rid of the preloaded and now dead links, position your cursor on each of them, one by one, click once, and type Opt-x. This deletes them, one by one. When done, you should be left with just the HappyMacs gopherspace in your list.

Bookmarking the Floodgap Systems Gopherspace

There is one other site you might wish to add. I think of it as the father of all current gopherspaces – gopher.floodgap.com. I have made it my Home Gopher in TurboGopher. gopher.floodgap.com is the gopherspace of the same Floodgap Systems people who bring you the Overbite plugin for Firefox and act as the general champions of Gopher in today’s world. You can follow a procedure similar to the one for arriving at the HappyMacs gopherspace to get yourself to the Floodgap gopher page and then add it to your bookmarks list. You may also wish to make it your Home Gopher, which you can do by editing the Home Gopher definition, available as the first selection in the Preferences dialog under the Gopher menu of TurboGopher.

4 - Resulting Screen

Editing Gopher Bookmarks

One more “last thing”! Like any good bookmark, you can rename TurboGopher bookmarks to anything you want as opposed to having the actual URL show up in the list. To do this, highlight the bookmark of interest, go to the Gopher menu of TurboGopher and select Edit Gopher Descriptor, as shown below:

1 - Edit Descriptor

In the resulting screen, type in the name of your choice in the Title section of the editing screen, as demonstrated below:

2 - Editing Screen

I did this for both HappyMacs and Floodgap, and here is my current Bookmarks Worksheet:

3 - Resulting Screen

…and that really is it for this TurboGopher tutorial!

Happy Gophering!

 

HappyMacs Software Archive is Open!

Over a year ago, I posted about my plans to make my collection of vintage Mac software available online via a Gopher site. I am pleased to announce that this has finally happened. The HappyMacs Software Archive is now open and ready for your use.

HappyMacs Software Archive

As planned, and in keeping with the “vintage” nature of HappyMacs, the HappyMacs Software Archive can be accessed via Gopher at URL:

gopher://happymacs.ddns.net

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Gopher, it was an early contender for the crown that was won decisively by HTTP (and the web in general). Gopher is a purely text-based environment, which makes it wickedly fast, but puts it at a serious disadvantage relative to the text, image and other capabilities of HTTP. With its richer mix of media, HTTP won the day and Gopher slowly faded from view. The good news is that it remains alive and vibrant to this day, albeit with a smaller audience.

Using a vintage protocol to present a vintage software archive had a certain poetic wholeness to it, and so I chose Gopher as the publication mechanism for the HappyMacs archive. As time allows, I may also put up a web interface to the same library. Please rest assured that when I do so, I will take care to ensure that it operates correctly when accessed using vintage web browsers such as iCab. In the meantime however, and by design intent, Gopher it is!

How do you get access to this archive? You can’t exactly go out and get a current Gopher browser, so what do you do? Well perhaps you can’t get a modern Gopher browser, but you can endow a modern web browser with the Gopher protocol and thus gain immediate access. The good people at Floodgap Systems (www.floodgap.com) support the Overbite project, which delivers a plugin that upgrades Firefox to Gopher-capable status.

Picture 1

To get Overbite, visit URL:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/overbiteff/

Then simply press “+ Add to Firefox” button and then restart your browser. Voila! You now have access to Gopher URLs!

Unfortunately, Overbite is not available for Chrome, IE or Safari, so you will need Firefox for it.

HOWEVER, you are not tied to Firefox for long, unless you want to be. You are only interested in using Gopher to access the HappyMacs Archive because you have an interest in vintage Mac software, and that implies that you have and can use a vintage Mac. SO, use Overbite to visit the archive and download TurboGopher, a FAT binary Gopher browser that runs as well on a 68K Mac running System 7 as it does on the last of the PowerPC capable Macs that could run Mac OS 9.2.2 natively.

TurboGopher About Screen

Once you have TurboGopher installed, you can now access the HappyMacs archive directly from your vintage Mac environment, using TurboGopher to do today exactly what it was meant to do all those years ago.

Enjoy!

Failing Floppies – An Update

Something of a breakthrough occurred yesterday in my quest to understand what was causing pretty much all of my vintage Macs to behave erratically with respect to mounting, reading and writing floppies.

Floppy Disk

In my last post on this topic, I had more or less concluded that the age of the media itself was the likely culprit, and that after all this time, it simply could no longer hold its bits. Yesterday I conclusively proved that this was not the case, thus pointing the finger squarely back at the drives themselves (or at least the combination of the older media and the older drives).

I was reorganizing the Happy Macs lab, tying to simultaneously tidy it up and make room for more equipment. I was successful in this endeavor and was able to bring back to life the very first vintage Mac I had acquired, a Power Macintosh 7500/100 (upgraded with a NewerTech 400 MHz G3 accelerator).

20170526_132034-1024x652

I was lucky enough to have purchased this Mac from its original owner, who had used it to manage a printing business for some time, and then retired it to the back of a closet for the next 20 years or so before deciding to list it on eBay. I thus had the beginners luck to acquire a lightly used and carefully preserved vintage Mac, and one that didn’t even have to endure the rigors of shipping! The owner’s location was only 10 miles or so away from my work and so I simply drove over and picked it up.

The thought occurred to me – lightly used, well cared for original Macintosh hardware, including the floppy drive; would it be more successful with my “failing floppies” than all the others? I had to try it out and was very pleased that I did.

As you can probably guess from the above, my 7500/100 mounted, read and wrote every floppy I threw at it with no issues whatsoever. It even formatted floppies successfully, something I had only ever managed successfully once before.

SO, the verdict is in. It is NOT the media. It is the drives. The same media that fails miserably on the rest of my vintage Macs works like a champ on my 7500/100. I can only assume that age, less than optimal care, and prolonged original usage have de-rated the floppy drives on the rest of my Macs. The 7500/100, gently used during its original service lifetime, and then carefully stored until I purchased it, it closer to its original state than the rest, and thus more successful with floppy media.

As I reported earlier, I have purchased another floppy drive on eBay, and will try this out on my G3 AIO. There is no reason to believe that this hardware will have been any more gently used, or any better cared for, than the rest of the floppy drives in my other Macs, but now that I KNOW that it is the drive and not the media, and I have this “new” drive in hand, I simply have to try. I will report the results here!

The Mystery of the Failing Floppies

Some months ago, I acquired a Power Macintosh G3 All-In-One, the so-called Molar Mac, and posted about it here at the Happy Macs blog. As I indicated then that I would, I have spent some time upgrading it, principally adding a much larger hard drive and installing an Iomega ZIP-100 drive into the option slot for it. I partitioned the hard drive such that I now have three bootable partitions and one major “My Files” type partition. I installed Mac OS 8.1, 8.5.1 and 8.6, one into each of the bootable partitions and now have all of them happily co-existing on my AIO. But I digress…

With these hardware and OS upgrades complete, I began a serious “shakedown” of the new AIO. I was not pleased with the results! My “new” ZIP drive is erratic at best, and almost non functional at worst. ZIP disks are only rarely detected when inserted, and in this invisible state, nearly impossible to eject.

Zip 100

Even the time honored insertion of a paperclip into the drive’s mechanical ejection hole fails to deliver the goods. Some research on the web turned up the fact that this is fairly common in older, used Zip drives. Iomega used plastic internal parts for the detection and ejection of disks, and over time the predictable tends to happen – these parts break and the associated functions no longer work. Sigh… I guess I am back in the market for another ZIP disk.
What is more vexing however is the state of the floppy disk drive, or of the floppies themselves, or both! I still haven’t determined where the real culprit lies.

Floppy Disk

For the most part, when floppies are inserted into the drive, they are recognized as being there, but are presented as “not readable”, accompanied by Mac OS’ ever helpful offer to format them. I say “ever helpful” somewhat sarcastically since accepting this offer results in the usual minute or two of the floppy formatting procedure, terminated by the not so helpful, and definitely not very useful, message that the formatting has failed – no explanation, just that it has failed. This always occurs at the very end, after Mac OS has wasted the full amount of time needed to format the disk.

Initially, I was sanguine about this. “Not a problem” I told myself. “Just a bad disk – I’ll try another”. When that “another” also failed, and then another, and then another, I began to get worried. My first conclusion was the obvious one – the drive must be flakey in some way. The most probable modality of this flakiness was simple “dirt” on the read/write heads and so I acquired a floppy head cleaning kit from eBay (you can get ANYTHING on eBay it seems!).

Floppy Cleaning Kit

These kits consist of what looks like a normal floppy disk, but with a cloth circle in the middle where the disk media would normally be, and a bottle of cleaning fluid that can be applied to the cloth circle a drop at a time. After placing a few drops of fluid onto the cloth, you insert the “floppy” into the drive and in blissful ignorance of the real nature of the disk it is now spinning, the floppy drive attempts to read it. This effort brings the read/write heads into contact with the cloth surface, now suffused with cleaning fluid, and this results in cleaning of the heads.

This all sounds very promising, and after repeating this two or three times, I hopefully popped a real floppy into the drive. The initial results were encouraging. The floppy was properly recognized, and was mounted on the desktop. Problem solved, correct? Not so fast. More testing was in order and so I tried writing a file onto the floppy. This did not succeed, failing with a disk write error. Then I tried to format the floppy. This failed as well, in the same way as above. Well, I reasoned, there has been improvements, but just not enough. So, I reran the cleaning process several more times. However, at the conclusion, the results were scarcely better. Now and then I could actually write a file onto the floppy, and now and then I could even read it back, but never, ever could I get the floppy to format successfully.

Still, incremental progress had been achieved, and the conclusion seemed obvious enough – the read/write heads were not being sufficiently cleaned by the cleaning kit. What was needed was a more intensive approach. I needed to remove the drive, disassemble it, and clean it thoroughly. YouTube provided several videos that showed how to do this in detail, and so I undertook the task, armed only with Q-tips and the cleaning fluid from the floppy cleaning kit.

Q-tips and Cleaning Fluid

The process was quite simple. After extracting the floppy from the AIO, I used a small flat head screw driver to gently pry the top off of it, as shown in the YouTube videos, and ended up with what you see below:

Dissassembled Floppy Drive

Then, moistening a Q-tip head with cleaning fluid, I carefully swabbed back and forth across the inside of the read/write head assembly, as shown below:

Cleaning Read-Write Heads

When done, I reversed the process, reassembling the floppy drive and re-inserting it into the AIO. I now had the ultimate in clean floppy heads, and surely read/write success must lie ahead.

Unfortunately, this was not the case. Same errors, same erratic behavior! This got me thinking. At this point, I could rule out the floppy drive itself as the cause of the issue. This left only the media. Could the floppy’s media surface have degraded to the point that it was no longer usable? I decided to test this theory with my other vintage Macs.

I decided to start with the best-preserved media I could find, so I went out on eBay and found a factory-sealed box of Macintosh formatted 1.4MB floppy disks, still in the original shrink wrap plastic. Then I turned to my trusty PowerMac 7300 as the normative test of whether the floppies were good or not. I was surprised to find that some were, some were not. Even my best machine was having trouble with floppies!

On to my next best machine – my Quadra 840AV. Similar results. Some floppies worked well, some were not recognized as formatted, and there was no consistency in anything. I have a variety of other vintage Macintosh and Power Macintosh machines and I found the same result across almost all of them. Floppy usage is really “touch and go”, and most definitely not reliable. I have only ever successfully formatted a floppy once, that being on the Quadra 840AV. What is going on here?

I titled this piece “The Mystery of the Failing Floppies” and for now, that is where I have to leave it. It IS a mystery, and I am not sure what to chalk up the continual failures and erratic behavior to. I am guessing that it is a combination of age, dirt and media degradation over time, but I cannot be sure. Various sources online indicate that the life expectancy of floppy media is 10-20 years, and both the machines and the media I am using are well beyond that. This is likely the major contributor to the problems I am observing. Perhaps I should be happy that they EVER work!

As to my G3 AIO, I am taking one more crack at the hardware, even given the above. I acquired another floppy drive on eBay and will try it to see how it works. If this fails, I will just need to accept that at least for now, and perhaps forever, I do not have a reliable way to read and write floppies, or I do not have a reliable set of floppy media, or both! As I learn more, I will keep you posted!

Macintosh Repository – A Great “New” Mac OS Archive

I love serendipity. Today I was searching for a copy of Power Windows, a great Mac OS system control panel that provides a number of goodies such as full window dragging, translucent menus and more. Much to my surprise, the first entry that showed up in my Google search results was a file in a new (to me anyway) site called “Macintosh Repository” (www.macintoshrepository.org). In all of my travels through Mac Classic space, I have never encountered this site before.

macintosh-repository

A quick check around the site made it clear that this is a serious repository of Mac OS abandonware, one with an enormous collection of software titles, many of which I have never seen before anywhere else. I have added this site to the Recommended Links list here at Happy Macs, and would encourage you to surf on over to the Macintosh Repository and have a look if you are on the hunt for a particular piece of software you are having difficulty locating.

I did NOT find Apple’s Firewire 2.0, something for which the search continues, but I am still delighted to have stumbled upon the Macintosh Repository. This will not be the last time I visit. As for Firewire 2.0, I suspect that it will be found on one of the many Mac OS install disks I have – it will turn up sooner or later.

A final note – Power Windows IS a great addition to any Mac OS installation with sufficient CPU horsepower to drive the effects, and will be the topic of an upcoming post. Until then, happy hunting at the Macintosh Repository!

The Power Mac G3 All-In-One (Molar Mac)

One of the rarer Macintosh models these days is the Power Macintosh G3 All-In-One (AIO). Challenged in the beauty department, the G3 AIO is an odd looking duck, whose overall shape, when viewed head on, is not dissimilar to a human tooth, leading to its “popular” moniker of “the Molar Mac”.

power-mac-g3-all-in-one

These machines ARE fairly rare these days. Introduced on April 3rd, 1998 (and discontinued less than a year later on January 1st, 1999), the G3 AIO was very quickly succeeded in the market by the wildly popular iMac, which itself was introduced only two months after the launch of the AIO, on May 6th, 1998. This all by itself probably doomed the AIO to relative obscurity, but the effect was magnified by the fact that the G3 AIO was only sold into the educational market, severely limiting available all these years later.

The relative rarity of the Molar Mac is reflected in the price it commands on eBay. One sees these machines show up from time to time, typically priced in multiples of thousands. This is a true collector’s item. Consequently, when a new listing for a G3 AIO appeared on eBay a few weeks ago with a starting price that was relatively modest by AIO standards, I couldn’t help but jump in, fully expecting however to be outbid in moments. I am sure that the low starting price was just the seller’s effort to get the bidding started, but the higher bids simply never materialized. A week later, still the only bidder, I won the auction at the original starting price. I was dumbfounded!   … really pleased, but dumbfounded nonetheless.

My “new” G3 AIO was delivered last week, and immediately reminded me that it was the heaviest Mac that had ever been made to that time, weighing in at a hefty 59.5 lbs. I have read that it is the heaviest Mac ever made, but I have not been able to verify that fact.

molar-mac

The Molar Mac really is an “all-in-one”. Setting it up was a breeze. Connect power, keyboard/mouse and internet and turn it on. It was that easy. Everything else that would typically need wiring is included in the package.

I turned it on, not really knowing what to expect, given the odd form factor and the limited intended market. The first thing I noticed was that it is FAST… really fast. It slices through Mac OS 9.2 like a hot knife through butter. I have a 7300/200 that I have upgraded with a Sonnet 500 MHz G3 card, but it is the new G3 AIO, equipped with only a 266 MHz G3, that feels “twice as fast”.

The G3 AIO is not just fast, it is loaded as well… really! Unlike its successor, the iMac, the AIO features three PCI expansion slots, upgradeable video, an ADB port, an external SCSI port, two external headphone jacks AND an integrated microphone and finally, an optional integrated Zip drive. Both USB and Firewire can be added via the available PCI slots, and both can be used with any version of Mac OS from 8.6 upwards. I have read that Mac OS 8.5.1 may be able to support both as well, but have not yet been able to confirm the USB portion of that – Mac OS 8.5.1 definitely supports Firewire, via Firewire Enabler 2.0.

For those interested in “just the facts”, here are some key G3 AIO specs:

  • CPU: 233/266 MHz PPC 750
  • Bus: 66 MHz
  • RAM: 32 MB, expandable up to 768MB
  • VRAM: 2 MB SGRAM, expandable to 6 MB
  • Video: supports resolutions to 1024 x 768, uses ATI 2D/3D 64-bit accelerated chip set
  • Hard drive: 4 GB EIDE drive standard. Maximum IDE drive size is 128 GB without third-party support.
  • CD-ROM: 24x maximum throughput
  • 3 PCI slots
  • Microphone: standard 3.5mm mini-jack, compatible with line-level input including Apple’s PlainTalk microphone
  • ADB: 1 port for keyboard and mouse
  • Serial: 2 DIN-8 GeoPorts on back of computer
  • SCSI: DB-25 connector on back of computer
  • 10Base-T Ethernet connectors on back of computer
  • Supported Mac OS Versions

I am delighted to have this new addition to the HappyMacs Lab and am looking forward to a modicum of modification to the unit I received. For one, the optional Zip drive (internal, SCSI) is not equipped, and so I have ordered one on eBay. For another, at 4 GB, the original hard drive is a bit limiting, and so I have ordered a new, larger one. Finally, I plan to equip two of the three PCI slots with USB and Firewire cards, respectively. The resulting machine will be an incredibly fast, powerful, connected and very definitely unique addition to the lineup of Macs hosted in the lab.

I will report on progress as time and opportunity allows!

Yellowing, Retr0bright and Sally Beauty Supply

Those of us who enjoy tinkering in the world of vintage Macs often have to deal with an unfortunate consequence of the passage of time that leads a Mac to be called “vintage” – the yellowing (and even browning) of part or all of the Mac’s case, monitor or keyboard/mouse. At times, this can be minor, at times major, but it is always an unfortunate blemish on a fine piece of older technology.

A little Google’ing around will reveal that the yellowing is the consequence of UV light (usually from prolonged exposure to sunlight) interacting with a fire retardant compound integrated into the plastic of the case – usually bromine and like chemicals.

Happily for vintage computing enthusiasts, the yellowing need not be permanent. The good folks at the Retr0bright project (www.retr0bright.com) have come up with a solution that they have named eponymously “Retr0bright”, which can be used to reverse the yellowing. Fundamentally, Retr0bright is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and an “Oxy” type laundry booster, often coupled with one or more additional ingredients such as Xanthan gum or arrowroot to make the mixture a paintable gel. The result is painted onto yellowed plastic, which is then exposed to UV light for several hours (typically simple sunlight), and the reported results have been quite spectacular.

So, where can you buy Retr0bright? The quick answer is “nowhere”. If you do find it for sale, which you may, you should not buy it. Why is this? Again the good folks at Retr0bright have the answer, and I have reproduced it below:

“Hydrogen Peroxide is classified as a hazardous substance and, as such, is not accepted by many postal services and couriers without declarations and special handling procedures. It also has other uses besides hair bleaching and Retr0bright, so we strongly advise caution on where and how much of this you buy.

This site’s founders and authors do not sell Retr0bright for these very reasons and do not endorse or recommend any resale of premixed Retr0bright. If you see it for sale, it is not with our blessing or consent and we strongly advise caution: if you order some for delivery and it leaks in transit, you and the supplier could have some interesting questions asked of you.”

As a result, you will find lots of DIY Retr0bright “recipes” floating around the web, but not a lot of places that will actually sell you the finished product. To be safe about this, you pretty much have to mix up your Retr0bright yourself.

I was about to try just that when one day I stumbled upon an article somewhere out there on the web (regrettably I have lost the link now) that suggested that Sally Beauty Supply (www.sallybeauty.com) had a hair product (40 Volume Creme) whose composition was so similar to Retr0bright that it could be used quite effectively for the same purpose.

sally-beauty-supply-40-volume-creme

Google Maps revealed the location of a local Sally Beauty Supply outlet and armed with this knowledge, I navigated to the store and picked up a bottle of this hopefully magical elixir. If you live in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico or the UK, you too should be able to find a local Sally Beauty Supply store – if not, you may be able to order their products online.

This being my first experience with Retr0bright, or any similar product, I decided to try it out on a “disposable” piece of discolored vintage Mac hardware – an old, and very yellowed, keyboard. I did this just in case the 40 Volume Creme Retr0bright stand-in failed miserably and further discolored, or even worse, damaged, the target plastic. This is what the keyboard looked like at the start of this experiment.

01-keyboard-at-start

I laid the keyboard out on my back deck on a nicely sunny weekend afternoon and with a simple low cost paintbrush, I applied a light coating of the 40 Volume Creme to just over one half of the keyboard, and also to the area that had the brightly multi colored Apple logo (to see if it would impact the colors in any way). I wasn’t particularly careful as I painted – some of the creme got in between the keys and I did my best to brush it out, but the job was anything but perfect.

I left the keyboard out in the sun and busied myself with other matters. About an hour and half later, I went back out to check on it. Wow! There was clear and dramatic reduction in the yellowing in the painted areas. The results were so gratifying that I got the 40 Volume Creme out again and painted the remaining parts of the keyboard. Again, I left the keyboard out in the afternoon sun and returned to my prior task.

Two hours or so later, as the sun was starting to wane in the late afternoon sky, I went back out on the deck again and was amazed to see a keyboard that looked almost new. Except for the edges, where I had forgotten to apply the creme, the yellowing was pretty much completely gone. There were some very minor yellow streaks, where the paint brush had not provided complete coverage (I will try a foam applicator next time), but the result can only be described as amazing. Here is the “after” picture:

05-keyboard-at-end

I donned rubber gloves (Hydrogen Peroxide is nasty stuff, and getting it on your skin is not recommended; hence the gloves), got some paper towel, and brushed down the keyboard to remove the residue of the creme. I was left with a totally transformed keyboard! What had earlier in that day been only a “disposable” bit of kit was now a clean and valuable vintage keyboard. Of course I will take a few more runs at this particular keyboard, to get all the edges as well, but the result was simply stunning. Here are the “before” and “after” pictures, side by side:

before-and-after

So there you have it. If you have a valuable but yellowed piece of vintage computing equipment that you would like to clean up, I can wholeheartedly recommend Sally Beauty Supply 40 Volume Creme as a wonderfully effective “get the yellow out” solution. Happy painting and Good Luck!