Old LC / LC II / CL III as simulated CISCO 2500 / 2600 like router

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Joined: Oct 5 2005
Posts: 10

OK, here's the deal... I'm an I.T. person, so routing is important to many of my functions. I'm an I.T. person, so I also have everyone and their mothers begging I.T. services from me. No one I know ever seems to have enough money to actually buy the real solution (like just buying a real Cisco or whatever). I've got access to tons of working Apple Mac LC / LC II / LC III units. They all have a 68k processor, just like the Cisco 2500 / 2600 routers. All I (and these low budget people) need is Cisco-like routing and 2 network connections - which I have parts to accomplish with the LC's. Most of the Linux distros that I've seen for the old 68k Mac's suck or are too difficult to setup for these people.

Does anyone know if there's a way to run the Cisco IOS on non-Cisco hardware or a Linux-based IOS like software that would run well on a 68k Mac? Any Linux people out there interested in donating your talents to make these old machines 1) useful again, 2) prevent working systems from going into a land fill, 3) helping broke people with modern tech needs like routing?

Hit me back -

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zeos's picture
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Joined: Mar 23 2009
Posts: 1
freesco, maybe. ebay, definitely.

you should just go to ebay, the 2500 series price have dropped a lot. I tried to sell my two 2507's for $100 (half what i paid in 06) and i ended up selling them for $45.

http://www.freesco.org/

i doubt that you could run cisco ios on apple hardware, for one thing the 2500 series routers have two 68k cpus. also there is some other specialized hardware on the boards.

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1204
I'd say NetBSD or OpenBSD would "work"...

Both of the BSD's mentioned in the subject line have a reputation for being more mature/stable on 68K Mac hardware then the much-neglected Linux port that exists for it. And both make good routers/firewalls. OpenBSD's "pf" firewall, which has been ported to NetBSD, is a good piece of work (used it for years in a corporate setting) and relatively easy to configure.

That said, well... exactly what "Cisco-like routing" features do these people you're working with need? (And how low is the bar for ease-of-use? Configuring IOS isn't any easier then configuring NetBSD for basic routing if you're starting from zero on either.) If the goal is to put together basic "it talks to a DSL line and does NAT" boxes such appliances sell for less then $30 if you keep your eyes open. (you might even get wireless as part of the deal.) Even if you need something fancier then a "residential gateway" product NetGear's new WGR-something "Open Source Router" has a street price of about $44. (And again, includes a wireless AP.)

I suppose it really comes down to what you think your time is worth, but knowing what a pain in the neck it is to make 68K macs boot anything but MacOS and work reliably I'd say $30-$50 a head starts looking pretty cheap. If that's really too high, well... 486 through Pentium II-class PCs are free now, and there are scads of pre-built Linux/BSD routing distributions already built for those. Swap each LC straight across for an PC, load, and go.

--Peace

gsmcten's picture
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Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2616
What about Linksys?

ct,

Would Linksys equipment work for your system? The components are ralatively inexpensive (Routers / Switches). The only thing is that I am not sure if there are any MAC drivers for Linksys.

Good Hunting!

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DrBunsen's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 946
While I can't help in any way

While I can't help in any way, I applaud your efforts. Although a 486 will do the job, an LC saved from the trash is better Smile If they were able to serve a configuration web page which handled all the tricky stuff for the user, all the better.

Just curious, how do you plan to get 2 NICs into the LCs?

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