My new Mac Q950

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355

I am now the proud owner of a Macintosh Quadra 950. The machine has a floppy, no CD, 2 500MB SCSI drives, 128MB RAM, and a Farllon 10T card in it. I have 4 open NuBus slots and three open banks for memory. The machine is running BeOS and I think 7.1 (may be Pro). The CPU is stock.

I would like to up the processor, the OS, the memory, add a CD-RW and anything else. The primary usage for this machine will be a file server, with the ability to burn stuff to a disk. I do have an Apple L-TV device to allow me to hook it up to a TV, and I plan to try to do some X-10 stuff.

I need some ideas from folks experienced with these machines. I do not fully understand what all of the limitations to this machine may be, since the oldest thing I have every really messed with is the 8600/9600 machines (and even then, I never got into the limitations to much).

TIA

--DDTM

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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Barjack's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2004
Posts: 30
The Quadra 950 is a fine mach

The Quadra 950 is a fine machine indeed, although limited in what operating systems it can run.

You can put up to 256 MB in it, and the onboard SCSI supports 36 GB hard drives, at a comparibly fast xfer rate (for a 680x0) of 5 MB/s. Mine has the Apple PowerPC card in it, which doesnt need drivers as long as you have the MacOS (it installs a software "toggle switch" that engages the PPC chip and even changes the startup noise).

You will not want to get a very fast CD-RW for the system, it won't matter because of the slow memory and transfer rate. You can attain a 4x CDRW for 10-20 bucks. In my opinion, there are only a few upgrades you want to get:

1) PowerPC Chip (601), app 15-30 bucks on eBay, ranging in speed from 66 MHZ to 100 MHZ (also lookup "Daystar" on eBay as they also made upgrade chips)

2) 16 MB 30-pin SIMMS. They are usually 15 bucks-per-four on eBay, get as many of them as possible.

3) 9-18.2 GB SCSI drive and Jackhammer SCSI Nubus- The drive is easy, they're 10-30 bucks on eBay, adapted from 80-pin to the more Mac-friendly 50-pin. If you want to make your newer, larger hard drives go faster, get a Nubus Jackhammer SCSI card... if you can find one and find it for decent money.

Here is my Quadra 950's setup:

Quadra 950- $5.00, Goodwill
PowerPC 601- $10.00, LowEndMac.com email swap list
12x SCSI CD- Free, pulled from another Mac
Rare CD-ROM bezel- $10.00 LowEndMac.com email swap list
64 MB 30-pin- $10.00, eBay
9 GB UWSCSI HD- $5.00, Goodwill
Radius Thunder (nubus accelerated video card)- $10.00, eBay

TOTAL: $50.00 invested. Granted, I could have bought a Beige G3 desktop for that, but 1) I already have one, and 2) as I'm sure you've seen, the Quadra 950 is a BIG BADASS LOOKING BEAST. I run MacOS 8.1 on it because unfortunatly the architecture of the board was designed to run A/UX, thus will not run NetBSD as I had hoped. If you want to have fun, try getting Debian Linux to run on it... it's very hard.

Even the stock 68040 was a fast chip, and with it you can still have fun with Bryce, Photoshop 3, and tons of old 68040 games like Marathon, PacMac, or The Oregan Trail.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
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Re: My new Mac Q950

doug-doug the mighty wrote:

I am now the proud owner of a Macintosh Quadra 950. (...) The machine is running BeOS and I think 7.1 (may be Pro).

BeOS won't run on anything less then a 604 PCI Powermac. (Aka, 7600/8500/7300 or better.) Are you *suuuure* it's running it? ;^>

--Peace

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Joined: Jul 23 2004
Posts: 3
Q950 does run NetBSD

I've used NetBSD on my Q950. If I recall correctly, the only important piece of hardware which isn't supported is the keyboard. But the ethernet and serial ports work so you can do work on the machine.

tmtomh's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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BeOS

BeOS certainly cannot run on a Quadra 950.

However, BeOS can run on a 603e CPU in addition to a 604e.

Matt

dankephoto's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
A/UX?

" The machine is running BeOS and I think 7.1 (may be Pro)."

Well, it's probably not running BeOS, but might it be running A/UX?

Dan K

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Barjack's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2004
Posts: 30
I should have clarified mysel

I should have clarified myself. You're totally right, the Q950 DOES support NetBSD, but you have to terminal in through the serial port which is a pain in the butt for me, who's all about interface. It's fine once you get it up and running as a remoting routing machine, but the setup process is a little bitch.

Barjack's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2004
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BeOS has hardware issues with

BeOS has hardware issues with Mac motherboards PERIOD. It's funny, the 133 603 BeBox I have ran the BeOS faster than the 300 Mhz 604ev.

The real problem is once you have BeOS up and running, what exactly do you do with it that's useful? Wink I just bought the computer (the bebox) for the sexy case with the weird lights on the front.

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
BeOS

Well, I bought this off of davintosh who said it did. I may have misunderstood. I have not been able to power it up since I have been needing to go out and buy a power cord that will fit and get a monitor back from my in-laws. Once I have these two 'critical' pieces, I will now for sure.

Hopefully, davintosh will chime in on this thread and give some more info on BeOS.

Since I know so little about it, I probally won't do much with it, but if it really is there and actually works, I may just keep it to be different! Then I could say I have a BeOS Q950 and you don't! Ha-Ha! I will call it my little Be-OSQ (get it it? - Be-otch, Be-OSQ).

--DDTM

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
Thanks!

This is good stuff. What is the max storage per HD I can have. If I read you right, it is 36GB, per HD. So how many devices can I put in the chain? and my CD-RW, does it have to be SCSI? Looking inside the case, between the NuBus slots and the front of the box, there is a black port and it is long and slim. What is this? Where can I get a good diagram of what all the internals of this beast are and what can be plugged into it (I like to plug things in and add stuff - if there is a plug, surely something was meant to be there).

--DDTM

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 67
It'll run Linux, although I'm

It'll run Linux, although I'm not sure about the internal video, you might have to buy a different card in order to make nice-nice with the software framebuffer.

You should consider finding one of the Daystar 601 accelerators for that machine, they add a lot of stuff to the box. You also can look out for external SCSI CDR drives (quite a few were made, although at extreme prices, you can probably find them at thrift stores). They'll satisfy a backup need once in awhile, but you won't be doing press jobs at high-speed and high-volume unless you luck out and find one of the giant CDR pressing towers I used to drool over in the mags.

Good luck, the 950 is an amazing machine and I'd like to see how far you can take this thing.

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
Wow!

Well, I finally got the neeeded power plug for the Q and a secon one to feed power to the monitor, which is a Performa 13" I got free a while back but never used. I felt luike I was behind the wheel of a real machine. I had plugged in an original Apple Design full size key board and a the original mouse that came with the Q. I sat in my chair and made sure everything was set right and checked my mirrors (jk). I turned the key. It started up. The suction from the fan pulled the first layer of dust off of the furniture in the other room. The beast gasped a breath of life and made its chiming call of Ktulu. I sat back in my chair like the guys you see on Discovery Kids in the top of those Catepillar 9000 trucks that are like ten damn stories high. I could feel the energy of this legacy beast as it went through it's boot cycle. But something was wrong...

I could see nothing, just like those little tiny soccer moms driving their huge ass H2 Hummers down the road having to look through the steering wheel to see the road. My monitor was dead. I suddenly remembered, just like that guy who gave a light to the guy next to him at the bar that he had forgotten to light his own pilot light earlier that morning, the monitor my friend gave me 4 years ago that had sat off to the side boxed safe and snug in my garage all this time, was non-functional. I remember it had something to do with the power cord socket and giggling it or something. So I gave it the old reach-around and tried to my best to get something, but to no avail.

So I now sit and consider some of the hacks I have planned (many alluded to in other posts):
- I have a dead iMac plus a case for an iMac and a Performa monitor with a bad PSU
- I have an AppleTalk microphone, plus a mic that works with a Q
- I have countless NuBus E-net cards
- I have a box FULL of memory to older machines, most of it I cannot identify, non of it identifiable as specific to any machine I own.

I is not much to work with, but I think my best approach at this time is to attempt to convert the dead iMac into a Monitor case with accomodations for the mic and use the existing speakers as external spearkers. I may be able to make something out of this... I will need a way to convert the CD to something usable for the Q, that will be a chhallenge. My work has only just begun...

I think I need a cold shower...

--DDTM

__________________

--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'