20 year old floppy disk

So I just bought (off E-Bay) a copy of Music Construction Set for the Mac, published in 1985.

The packaging is in good shape - it’s been well stored over the years.

I only paid ~$5 for it, but to get it running, I’d have to sink ~$30 into an external floppy and hook it to either my miniMac, or a G4-400 iBook (OS-X 10.2) that I have.

My question is, what’s the likelihood that
A) the magnetic media still works
B) that it’ll actually run under OS-X 10.4 or 10.2

And, now that I own the media and a legal copy of the game, am I in the right under U.S. copyright law downloading a copy from the 'net?

does the eula say you can transfer copies or licenses?

Unless you run Classic Mode, and Classic Mode lets you run a 20 year app–I mean that’s almost dating back to the days before the Macs did HFS–I doubt it’ll run.

Run an Amiga emulator with a HF image with proper Workbench, and then
run a Mac Classic emulator in that. It’ll work, but the question is whether
you want to spend a whole day making it run ;)

Also, Mac’s back then used 68000 chips, not PowerPC. It won’t run on a modern Mac unless there’s an emulator for old Macs.

Why do you want to run the Mac version anyway? The C-64 had a better sound chip. Get the C-64 version.

I remember the old days of dragging notes onto the staff with my joystick. Dissecting EA’s sequence of “Flight of the bumblebees” taught me that I would never be able to play concert piano.

That’s what Classic is for – it comes with Macs (for now). Sort of a VM type thing.

Geez, why did they need so many?

That’s what Classic is for – it comes with Macs (for now). Sort of a VM type thing.[/quote]
Ok, I just read up and the Classic environment does have a 68000 emulator. I did not know that.

So, I just plunked down $40 for an external disk drive to read the $5 disk.

Unfortunately, the disk did not work. I also tried it on a Windows machine - neither can read it. I verified that the disk drive worked with a known good 3.5" floppy.

And so, given that I had a legal copy of the software, albeit defective media, I went looking on the 'net for a downloadable copy, but couldn’t find one there either - oh well.

Are you trying to install this to open some early files created with the program? Because I’m pretty sure the reason it’s no longer available was that it was pretty quickly usurped by Finale–the music notation and midi program we used on our university Macs in the early 90s. And the latest version of Finale runs on Os X (although at $500 it’s a bit more pricey than your $5).

Finale Notepad, however, is available as a freeware download:

BTW, there is a DOS version of Music Construction Set available for download:



The Amiga version of DMCS was better. The Amiga had the best audio of the era – 4 channel stereo digital. Should run fine under WinUAE, and you’ve bought a license for the program at this rate. They both use the same SMUS music format.

PC drives can’t read 800K Mac diskettes, just 1.44MB disks. Different encoding scheme. Wouldn’t surprise me if a modern Mac drive would have the same problem.

Well, my interest in MCS was that it was a music creation program geared at non-musicians, and was very simple to use, even though it was also rather limited. Sometimes, it’s more interesting to look at well-crafted early examples of a genre rather than the over-featured modern counterparts.

Same thing goes for regular games, too - the original Command and Conquer is a better example of how to reach and appeal to an unsophisticated casual consumer than the latest uber-RTS is.

I may check out some of the other programs you recommend, though.