It would probably be a better idea to try to get in touch with an Apple User Group in your area.
Is the Macintosh Classic working? If so, one possibility could be to transfer (smaller) files to 1.44 MB floppies, and then read these disks through another computer. Another alternative may be a serial (null-modem) link. If you need additional assistance, please post back with information about the installed operating system version, other available computers, et cetera.
I recently had to do this with a Classic II that lost its SCSI bus. After several expeiments that failed, I decided to gut an old external SCSI drive and use the case.
I had to remove the drive from the Classic - ugh.
I put the drive in the external case, attached the whole thing to a Mac with a SCSI card in it and proceeded to pluck the files I needed off of the Classic disk.
I had the spare parts in my collection of "junk" but all of the "unusual" components are available on ebay.
Thank you, Jan and Gary, for your helpful suggestions.
Jan: The Classic works perfectly, unlike my many dead Toshibas and Dells from more recent vintages. I'd prefer not to use the 3.5" if avoidable, most of the files I care about are larger than 1.4MB. I also have a PowerBook G4 and a MacBook Air. All of that is connected via Wifi. I wonder if there is a way to hard connect (via a wire) the Classic to one of the others and "see" its HDD so I can move the stuff to one of the newer ones...
Gary: I wonder if there a SCSI to USB connector I can use. Then perhaps I can use a ZIP drive as a peripheral and move the paltry 40MB onto a 2GB pen drive?
If wishes were horses ...
One way of moving files could be through the aforementioned serial (null-modem) link. The other computer would have to have a serial port. You would find a (typically, DB-9M) serial port in many semi-old PCs. With more recent computers (Mac or PC), a USB-to-serial adapter would be required. The link can be completed by combining a Mac hardware handshake modem cable (MiniDIN-8M to DB-25M) with a standard PC-style null-modem cable (often multi-head, DB-25F to DB-9F). Normal communications software (terminal emulation software with file transfer capabilities) would be needed on both sides (such as the communications section of ClarisWorks on a Mac, and HyperTerminal on a Windows PC).
Alternatively, if you have access to an old external serial modem, that device could be used for transfers over the phone lines.
Another Zip drive solution could include two (100 MB) drives, one SCSI (for the old Mac) and one USB (for a modern computer). However, finding suitable driver software for a System 7.0.1 Classic could possibly present a problem today.
> I wonder if there a SCSI to USB connector I can use.
The short answer is: NO.
The longer answer is: while it is technically ;possible to build a SCSI <--> USB device, no one actually did it due to the almost non-existent market for such a thing.
But it IS possible to attach a SCSI ZIP 100 drive to your Classic (assuming it has a SCSI connector on the back). You will need a driver for the ZIP drive (usually found on the ZIP Tools disk).