The Portable featured a clamshell design with the same easy-access style of case that other Mac's of that time had. Pressing two places on the rear of the computer allowed the rear half of the case top to come off, revealing (from left to right) the battery compartment, expansion slots, and 40MB hard drive (on top of the floppy drive.) Unfortunately, the easy access ends there. (I haven't tried opening it further.)
To use the computer, you must push in on the handle, and lift the screen. This reveals the screen, keyboard, and built-in trackball. Pressing any key turns the machine on, and in a bit you have a standard 68000-based Macintosh. If...
There is something decidedly odd about the Macintosh Portable -- If you do not have a working, charged battery installed, it simply will not boot. Doesn't matter if you have plenty of power coming in from the wall-wart, if that battery isn't there, the Portable isn't happy. It seems the computer always runs off the battery, and the power supply is only used to recharge the battery.
Now, there are ways around this problem. First, replacement batteries are available, though pricey. Second, the battery is supposedly a simple 6v lead-acid battery, and any such battery (that physically fits) will do the trick. Third (and I've tried this) applying 6v directly to the battery terminals will power the computer.
Lastly, I saw a note from someone (I've since lost the reference) that if you put enough juice in through the power connector, the machine will boot. However, I have not tried this, and I do not recommend you try it! However, if you know what you're doing, and you try it anyway, do let me know what happens. Just don't expect me to replace your Mac Portable!
Still, all things considered, these are nice machines, and quite fun to play with.
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