Is interest in 68K macs dead?

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Seems to me now that 68K macs are related gear is harder to find (even on ebay) people here and over at the 68kmla have been focusing more of free PPC machines to add to their collections while drooling over the x86 Macs.

What I want to know is do you still collect 68K Macs, do you actively look for hardware upgrades, software, magazines etc for them? Has the focus of your collection changed to PPC? have you liquidated your 68K Macs recently?

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coius's picture
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I *LOVE* 68k Machines

But I have no real need for them, and I have no room for them in my already cramped house. I don't really have any way to make them useable in my home business, so I just stick with my B&W G3 for legacy stuff (I am still looking to get a SCSI Card for my G3 for free) and tbh, a 68k wouldn't do well on my network.
I have 2 Peecee's (1x Homebrew, 1x Dell latitude CP Laptop), a B&W G3 (for apple legacy) and a G4 iBook, which I use all of them on a regular basis. Even my Dell at 233Mhz can run XP Pro (which I have on it with 128MB Ram) and I can't really say the same for a 68k. They just aren't as useful as I need them to be.
If I had room for them, i would keep them around (1 or 2 of them, mostly 040's, maybe 1x 030) and would tinker from time to time. I am not saying they don't any use around modern day times.
I almost want to think of it as being around for naustalgia anymore. They can still do stuff, but as far as todays world, they just don't cut it. No one develops for them. A lot of services for internet and stuff don't support them (like instant messenger, IRC Clients, other online stuff) and they are just limited to what they can do now.
This is not a "Get over it and get with the times" post, I think they mostly are around because of the naustalgic part of us. That, and they thinks are hard to kill. I wish I could say the same for modern hardware...
68k's are still around, because apple *actually* used quality components (ok, there were a few lemons, but not with as severe problems we have today) and they just stick around longer than modern machines. I would like a Quadra 840av, as I think they are the coolest things, and you can do so many upgrades with them, But even for video editing, they are quite limited. Especially when a Beige G3 can do more, capture more fps, and can edit them quicker.

I Like them all-in-all, and think they are the neatest machines when it comes to simplicity, and seeing that some old machines can learn new tricks, but even my iBook at 1.2Ghz is going to be over-obselete because of the x64 machines that are now out, and within a few years, development for the PPC's will be stopped as it will be too much hastle to write for both intel AND PPC. mainly, without the PPC Code, the x64 machines will run a LOT faster, since it doesn't have to worry about which instruction set in the app it will have to run (I might be wrong on this). Also, there really were no upgrades after the G5 was put out, and the G4 TiBooks.

Sorry to say this, but 68 is dead. and it's nice to have them as naustalgia, but they really have no use anymore. but don't get rid of the nicer ones. One day they will become worth something. Much like the 128k that I had, went for $200 w/o the extras (OS, Keyboard, Mouse) and it's screen was starting to shrink. IIRC, it was japanese guy at an electronic planner company that bought it on eBay. Not sure what he is going to do with it, but I *Wish* i could have really played with it. But then again, it's not worth much to me when it is half-missing.

I have a goal someday that will NEVER be fulfilled, but that is to own a part of either the UNIVAC, or the ENIAC. Those things are the only things I will EVER want to own. Too bad they are now in the smithsonian, but I can always drive there to see them (even if it is a 2k Mile trip there from where I am)

Anyway, sorry for the long rant, but thought I would add my thought

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iantm's picture
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68k Macs

I think the market is beginning to cool on them. Frankly, it was only a matter of time. Also, it's only natural for the 68kmla to start on powerpc machines as those machines are a bit easier to get useable on the net and because of the fact that they are increasingly being disposed of by people.

At home, I have a pair of SE/30's (a pimped out one from catmistake - the other an all original vintage model for $2 at a flea market), a PowerBook 180, and a PowerBook 540c. I also have an 8600/300 that I'm in the process of getting up to speed. The SE/30's and PowerBooks are pretty handy for me for playing the occasional vintage game or as a terminal when I finally get that Sparcstation up and running. My father is still using my old SE inside IBM as a terminal to interface with the AIX boxes. Just gotta love Clarisworks 2.0 and System 6.0.8!

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astro_rob's picture
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Obsolescence Is A State Of Mind

Considering that Apple has now gone through three generations of CPU (68k, PPC and now x86), it is only natural that, sooner or later, the early ones will fall out of favor as the second generation becomes "obsolete".
The thing is, how does one defines "obsolete"?
In a purely technical sense, wooden pencils and internal combustion engines should be obsolete because there are more efficient items out there (mechanical pencils and diesel engines). However, when you look out in the parking lot at your brand spanking new Ford/Audi/Vauxhall/Peugeot/Hoopdoodle and realize the amount you just spent on it (usually gobs and gobs), it certainly doesn't seem obsolete, does it? Course not.
Computers are, of course, another story. We define obsolescence by how usable they are to us. If we do a lot of web-based stuff, of course anything slower than 100 mHz is going to be out of the question. The fact is that the Internet has become the primary way we measure obsolescence. If the machine can not choke down that bandwidth or load the latest iterations of Flash and Java, well then it's to the curb with it.
There are areas, though, where older computers are still useful. Writing immediately comes to mind. I still use my 540c for writing. Then there are more prosaic jobs that the machines can be used for. My Centris is used for astronomy imaging. That's right; I hook up a modified security camera to it, and it does the job very well. In fact, it was a Quadra 950 that captured one of the last images of Columbia prior to its breaking up.
However, the truth is now that the PPC Macs are considered pass

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I'm still very much intereste

I'm still very much interested in 68k macs, i'd much rather have a IIfx or quadra than some mid 90s powermac. The 68ks just seem to have more soul

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Re: Is interest in 68K macs dead?

Oh yes, dead, dead, dead.
So everyone should drop all their worthless 68K toys off at my house.
Wink

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ive been looking around forev

ive been looking around forever to find a LC475 to replace the LC475 that died a wile ago. i want to replace this system so bad. the LC475 was my first Mac and want to get another one.

its way hard to find a LC475 oe equivlent model to the LC475

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I first noticed this was happ

I first noticed this was happening over at http://www.macgurus.com which used to have a special area for Vintage Macs. Then I hung around http://www.lowendmac.com and one day their forums disappeared-- or maybe they never existed and I am in an episode of The Twilight Zone-- then I found likeminded individuals at http://www.68kmla.net/ and here.
I'm afraid I haven't spend any money on 68k since I bought my LC520, the rest has been donationware. And stupidly I lent out my Quadra 800 which has never returned- curse my metal body!
Tis true what the other posts say, obsolescence is in the eye of the beholder, and the problem was not so much the machines, it was rather the lack of websites and IM clients conforming to open standards. We should be able to use Lynx on a 68k if we wanted to, but alas, we cannot because there is too much AJAX and Flash and CSS that do wonderful things that we think we need.
No my 68ks don't have any real jobs, but I am considering using an 840AV as a monitor for a security camera, and I still haven't finished Zork Zero on my Powerbook 145B.

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Not uninterested, just selective

With over 50 Macs sitting in my basement, I'm not uninterested in acquiring "new" older machines, I just have to be selective in what machines I choose to adopt. If someone offered (for example) a Mac 128k, 512k or Plus for a reasonable price, I'd be hard pressed to turn it down. But I've only got about so much room for Color Classics, IIsi's and LC II's.

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coius's picture
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does the 68k DragonBall work?

I got a Palm M100 which uses the 680x0 Dragonball CPU. Does that count as a 68k machine?

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It's getting harder to find 6

It's getting harder to find 68k machines, in general. PPC is getting extremely cheap. I just came from my fav. computer resellers ( www.surplusexchange.org ) and they've currently got Beige G3 systems for $10 a pop. That's the nice 300MHz towers with a PCI network card, or the upgrade ATI 8MB PCI card. Heck, they even had an untested slotloader 350 iMac (no RAM or HDD) for $10. There has come the point where most people have aleady moved them out, or it not worth much to be in the parts business for them. Now would be a good time to warehouse some stuff and hold it for, say, 10 years. Getting ahold of great PCI PowerMac items in a decade will be like the 68k market was several years ago.

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Re: It's getting harder to find 6

Jon wrote:

Now would be a good time to warehouse some stuff and hold it for, say, 10 years.

Barring some mass conversion to Star Trek-style sliding doors I'm sure the doorstop market will still be going strong a decade from now.

--Peace

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Heh, I know what you mean. W

Heh, I know what you mean. What I'm talking about is the useful stuff. Like good video cards, CPU upgrades, RAM, etc. The stuff that people who have a machine later or who pick up an old machine will want to make the machine more useful. If someone can get a nice stock of upgrade parts for cheap...

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Re: It's getting harder to find 6

Jon wrote:

It's getting harder to find 68k machines, in general. PPC is getting extremely cheap. I just came from my fav. computer resellers ( www.surplusexchange.org ) and they've currently got Beige G3 systems for $10 a pop. That's the nice 300MHz towers with a PCI network card, or the upgrade ATI 8MB PCI card. Heck, they even had an untested slotloader 350 iMac (no RAM or HDD) for $10. There has come the point where most people have aleady moved them out, or it not worth much to be in the parts business for them. Now would be a good time to warehouse some stuff and hold it for, say, 10 years. Getting ahold of great PCI PowerMac items in a decade will be like the 68k market was several years ago.

I can't see paying for a wearhouse for 10 years and then making any money selling beiege g3 macs. PCI Macs are about worthless now because they are too new to be very collectable and too old to be very usefull without dumping more money into them then would be better spent on something newer.

Besides a few model 68K most people want I dont see them being worth that much down the road, I think the rarer add-on cards are about as dirt cheap as they will ever get now, and those might rise in value someday (as long as apple still sells new machines people will collect old ones). Finding drivers for those old cards is a bitch now, let alone 5-10 years from now.

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68k Macintoshs

I really like the 68k macs they do have that classic sense to them. the ppc's are ok. but i really am kind of running short on room but if i saw a older 68k for free i would take it i mean its free! but a ppc i would have to think about that. the only macs i would pay maybe a little for are classics like from the 128k-SE nothing really else unless it was more of a rare one like a Macintosh TV.

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I didn't suggest warehousing

I didn't suggest warehousing whole machines. Wink I did put "PCI PowerMac items". I was referring th ethe cheap G3s as a point that current prices for decent hardware are reaching spare change levels. I didn't mention the B&W G3 450 they had too, because at $50 for a stock config (128MB, 13GB, orig ATI PCI card) it's not that much of a better deal than the $10 Beiges.

Of course they also had a TRS-80 Model III for $20. It didn't even have the optional floppy drives. If someone was a Trash-80 geek, the floppy drives would be worth more than the $20 machine itself is.

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Re: I didn't suggest warehousing

Jon wrote:

Of course they also had a TRS-80 Model III for $20. It didn't even have the optional floppy drives. If someone was a Trash-80 geek, the floppy drives would be worth more than the $20 machine itself is.

I could be wrong of course (it happens) ;^), but I just don't really see there being that much of a market in ten years for "old" Power Macintoshes unless they're something *explicitly* collectable. (Like 20th Anniversary Macs. Perhaps Bondi iMacs might be worth something someday too, once they're rare enough..) To be honest, they're just, well, boring.

Computers from the 1970's and 1980's will probably always have a certain attraction, particularly as working examples become rarer and rarer, because they really were *different* then what we've come to expect from a computer today. By the mid-90s, however, a computer was basically the same thing you go to the store and buy now. It's a box with a CPU and a mouse that runs a windowing GUI and talks on a network. Barring some revolution that shows no sign of happening yet that's probably what a computer will be a decade from now. (Unfortunately.) Plain PCI-era Power Macintoshes are about as plain-vanilla a representation of what we've come to expect a computer to be as you can imagine, so why will they ever be collectable? They were produced in large numbers, weren't particularly distinctive except *possibly* from a marketing standpoint (Apple's wild speed claims about the G3s and G4s might be memorable, I suppose, but it doesn't really make the hardware itself more interesting.), and haven't aged particularly well. Hoarding them in hopes of profiting from them (or from parts for them) seems a bit like a car collector stocking up on mint-Condition mid-80's Ford Escort sedans in hopes they'll be worth something someday. Just doesn't seem very likely. Even the die-hard Ford collectors are going to want Pintos instead, simply because they're more interesting. I won't rule out the possibility, of course, that somehow PowerPC Macintoshes will attain some sort of Amiga-ish cult status, but it just seems doubtful. Power Macs are a lot less interesting then Amigas. The might be marginally more interesting then a Windows machine of similar vintage, but... emphasis on "marginally".

Of course, the real difference between Ford Escorts and Power Macintoshes is a Ford Escort will probably at least be a workable (if brutally unexciting) "Daily Driver" a decade from now. (Assuming emmision laws arn't drastically revised to push them off the road.) Even thoroughly upgraded G3s are pretty much Internet roadkill *now*. (Well, maybe not quite roadkill. They're that rusty dump truck doing 35 MPH on the freeway and driving everyone stuck behind it crazy. Figure that's what Quad-Core G5 Towers will be in 2016.)

--Peace

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My criteria for collecting co

My criteria for collecting computers is that I won't take anything that costs more than the whole machine is worth to repair, I won't have to risk death with opening a CRT, the product name doesn't contain the words "Centris" or "Performa", and I'll actually be able to use it to do something.

The PowerPC macs were hopelessly dull. OS 9/8 isn't old enough to run most truly old programs, and it's useless on the internet.

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Re: I didn't suggest warehousing

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Even thoroughly upgraded G3s are pretty much Internet roadkill *now*. (Well, maybe not quite roadkill. They're that rusty dump truck doing 35 MPH on the freeway and driving everyone stuck behind it crazy. Figure that's what Quad-Core G5 Towers will be in 2016.)

--Peace

Not quite a rusty dump truck. More like a Ford Tempo or Hyundai Excel. Besides, no one really gets behind anyone else on the Information Super Highway... more than enough lanes (and if they did, those masses out there still using dial-up would be the equivalent of bicyclists...).

Peace,
Rob

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...Which Brings Me Back To...

Usability. The fastest computer I own is a G3 B&W, cruising along at 400mHz. I do have an HP Pavilion laptop that I run Ubuntu on and that moves along at over 600mHz, but it isn't my main machine. I get so baffled whenever I hear people talk about machines being "useless". Streaming video? Not interested. Games? I prefer chess. I find that it comes down to the end user, they decide what it is they need and/or want. For me, my G3 running 10.3 is sufficient because I am not a "power user", whatever that means. I can work on my blogs and my different websites and still do image editing. For that matter, I can do some of that on my 5260 or, gasp, PB 5300!
If you feel that you have to have the latest, greatest machine out there, that's okay. I simply do not feel the need to go into debt every year for the sake of being current. For me, having grown up on a farm, my needs can best be summed up in this little ditty...
"Buy it new, wear it out,
Make do or do without"
(probably a disastrous philosophy to adopt in our mass consumer oriented society...)
Peace,
Rob

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