Have you all read the post at Kroll's Blog about a guy who recently brought his old Mac SE (or SE/30) into an Apple Store because he finally decided it was time to upgrade? He'd been using the thing since it was new, and since it apparently did what he needed it to do, he hadn't seen the need for anything more.
Of course, the thrust of the original post is that the guy is an oddball for still using such an old machine. When I read about it my thought was, "Cool! Here's a guy who has been content with his Mac's capabilities for that many years." Around the 'Fritter, we all know that an old Mac isn't obsolete; its still just as useable as ever. As my sig line has said for the last two years, obsolescence is just a lack of imagination.
If you're like me, you've got more than one Mac in your home or office. Hopefully, you do better than I, and your old iron does more than sit on a shelf. If so, how's about sharing what it does and how it does what it does. (By old iron, I'm talking machines with 68K processors) Games? Word processing? Home automation? Let's show each other how these old machines can be kept productive and out of the recycler's chop shop.
When I acquired my Classic II two years ago, it was from the second husband of the mother of a friend of my wife (Don't ask... I get lost in the multi-family roadmaps...)
Anyway, the were moving, and his wife said that she wanted a knew computer in her new house, so being a good husband, he gave up the Classic II. He gave it to me because I had been to his house two years before and was gushing over how cool it was that he still used his computer for everyday stuff: Word processing, basic household accounting, and keeping a database for the little league team he coached.
I now use it for writing. When the muse strikes, I fire it up, and spend a couple of hours tapping away in Symantec GreatWorks II.
Oh, and I still use my Duo 2300C everytime we go out of town to check email. I also have MacSSH on there in case I need to connect to my companies web server.
In my family, we still have a few 68k macs hanging around. Back in 2001, I gave my father my old Mac SE 4/40. He still uses it to this day at work as a terminal for installing AIX on the RS/6000's and other Unix servers in his lab at IBM. I have a PowerBook 180 that I have mostly for sentimental value. I fire it up on occasion when I have a flash of nostalgia, or when someone brings an old school 68k mac wanting repair to the store. (there are still people bringing SE's and LC's wanting repair).
I've got a classic II in my office which we use to monitor lan rover connections. Also play Jigsaw puzzle on it!
Warning: This post contains an attempt at humour. The attempt at humour can be found in the first paragraph immediately following this warning. You will be able to identify attempts at humour by the wink symbol immediately following the attempted humour. End of warning.
I haven't really been using mine at all. That is, until I discovered NetBSD. Now, nary a day goes by that I'm not playing with a BSD config file, screwing with X servers, or building packages to install. I can't believe how much my life has changed since NetBSD has come into our home. I went from a size 40 waist all the way down to a size 32... Ooops, wrong infomercial.
Anyway, I haven't really been using my 68k machines too much. Now that I've installed NetBSD on two of them, I'm using them quite a bit. Although, a lot of this time is spent waiting for the 25MHz processors to compile applications.
Unix on 68k Macintosh computers breathes whole new life into the aging demons. I highly recommend NetBSD to any of you 68k neophytes that are looking for rhyme or reason to keep the old 68k around.
I use my Macs all the time for various tasks. My PB540c is stil my main word processor. I use my Centris 660AV for video astronomy work. My PB5300c is used for my outreach work. Then, there is my recently rebuilt PB150, which is going to be used for astronomy work as well. My iBook is still being rebuilt, but I do use it with an external keyboard and CD for the web. The 5260 is a multiuse machine, serving as my email machine and TV/CD player. Finally, I have an SE FD/HD and a Plus that I use to fire up the occasional System 6 application. In storage, I have a Quadra 605 that really could use a home, and my old Portable, that just seems to be dead of late. It might be resurrected. Hopefully. I hate dead computers.
Heh heh, I have an old Performa 5200 that I use as a television too. Now, if there were only something on TV worth watching...
Sorry, no warning on this post -- There's no attempt at humour in this note.
My Blueberry iMac (500 MHz, Panther) is my print server and my daughter's games computer (she's five, and Bob the Builder doesn't require a whole lot of performance).
My PowerBook G3 Lombard (400 MHz, Panther) is my main backup Mac for when I'm using my iBook G4 (1.2 GHz, Tiger) for video rendering or other processor intensive tasks.
My Strawberry iMac (333 MHz, Jaguar) will eventually be my daughter's computer for school work. Meantime, I use it for noodling in Jaguar.
My PowerMac 6500/275 (Mac OS 9.2.2) is used for noodling in Mac OS 9.
My Beige G3 (266 MHz, Mac OS 9.2.2) is used for noodling in OS 9 and to run Photoshop with my UMAX SCSI scanner -- you can't find a scanner with a 14-inch bed anymore!
My PowerBook 5300ce (117 MHz, Mac OS 9.1) is used for noodling. It has a little brother, a 5300cs (100 MHz, Mac OS 8.5) for noodling in Mac OS 8.
My Macintosh LC III (25 MHz, System 7.5.5) is used for noodling in Mac OS 7.
My Macintosh Classic II (16 MHz, System 6.0.8.) is used for noodling in Mac OS 6.
I'd love to get my hands on System 4 or System 5 to run on one or both of my Mac SE's.
My other Macs (I have a total of 37 of them) are used for parts when one of my "babies" is sick.
Wait a minute. Unless I was using some really weird and funky Classic II, my machine wouldn't run anything earlier than System 7. How did you get your Classic II to run System 6.0.8?
Woops. My bad. Classic I.
I *have* a Classic II, but it's currently not working -- dead HD.
oh man, it was my old Biology teacher who got me interested in macs. I mean, in my elementary school, we used Classics and Classic IIs, and some other compact macs back in 1993-1998. Hell, we even had a lab full of these old beasts. but then, that lab got converted into a 5th grade classroom. The compact Macs got shelved on a bookcase next to the bathroom. I should have asked if I could have one (or all of them), as to the last of my knowlage, they all still worked. But then one day, they myteriously dissapeard. I was young, so I didnt give them a second thought. thay were all replaced in 1998 when the new Media Center and all classroms got brand new Bondi Blue Imacs, and a Teachers (non desktop) beige G3. hey, they are getting kind of old, maybe I should drop by my old Elementary/Middle/Junior High (K-8) school, and snag me a bondi before they get dumpstered...
but I digress. My Biology teacher said there were a few computers he saved from the dumpster, and asked if I wanted one. beeing the geek I am, of course I said yes. I thought they would be an old PC, but they were an old Plus (which I got), with mouse/keyboard, 2 SEs, and a couple of classics. I got one of the SEs as well, but it needs a new tube. when I was tinkering with it one day, I think I broke it, because I hear a blast of air, and ran our of the room for 10 minutes. that tube never worked before nor since. it is a classic school computer, with writing, and a "hello my name is" sticker that says something to the effect of "no food or drink near the computer". That biology teacher loved old apples. his classrom had about 10 Apple //e's (a mix of platnium and biege ones) with matching Monitor ///'s. he did all of his classrom computer things on them, and had a tonne of software for the 5.25 drives, including some he wrote himself, the rest he got when it was new. Also, every classroom on the 3rd floor had an all in one (5500/100) or whatever it was, and one had a 7200 in it. they most likely got dumpstered when the school moved into a new building last year, because they got new wifi laptops and HP desktops (yuck). I tried convincing the teacher to pack his //e's, and I dunno if he did (dont go there anymore). Oh, all the teachers had Dual USB iBooks (the first white ones), and the art teacher had Powermac G4s, and Clamshell iBooks that she used fro Photoshop. I know one teacher had a Powerbook G3 though.
but yeah, since I got that Plus (which is an upgraded 128k/512k, becasue there is now "macintosh Plus" label on the front), and it "just works", I have been a switcher, slowly working my way through apple's historic machines, adding an LC III, Powerbook 100, and Powerbook 145 to my collection. I also got a 20mb floppy port HD for the Plus, that only has 7mb of stuff on it. And yes, I do use it every day. hell, if it would connect to the net, I would be happy as can be. but dispite my addage of a Asante EN/SC device, it still wont connect. so I use my LCIII for my web browsing, nothing else. My plus is my centeral word processor, I have excel, paint, and a barrage of other programmes on it that do all what I need it. But right now, I am typing this on my LCIII. But enough about me.
Oh, and I have been thinking of bringing in the 145 to the Genius Bar to get a new inverter board. the battery still takes a charge, for about an hour.
the 100 needs new legs, rubber plugs for the bottom, it has some writing on it, it needs a new LCD (blotch in the centre), and a new battery. other than that, I also want to see if I can get a reaction.
I also have a couple of Classic II's. I use them as bookends.
Nobody uses old macs better than the SE/30 gang. Most of you have probably seen the video wall installations and SE/30 game cafes. I know a couple of guys who use them as video servers. Sorry, I can't find my links to those sites.
I've got quite a collection...
-Classic II, SE/30, SE - found in dumpsters in absolute mint condition a few years ago. I still use them as semi-portable machines for word processing and games due to my lack of a PowerBook (damn that person who sniped my auction bid for a Duo 230c
-LC III - used for 68k games that need colour
-IIci - used with 24 bit video card for basic Photoshop work
-IIfx - used with 2 Radius 2-page displays as a PageMaker, A/UX machine and occasional web server
-6100 - set up with DOS card for old Pee Cee and Mac games
-5200 - tuned to boot as fast as possible and used as TV/radio/CD player
And I suppose you'd consider me old-fashioned if I told you my main computer is still a PowerMac 9600...
Unfortunately, Apple stopped making parts for the venerable 140-180 series machines a few years back, and from what my friends at Apple stores have told me, they won't touch anything older than a bondi iMac. I recall a few occasions where I was sitting at the genius bar when someone brought in 1400s or 3400s and the staff not really knowing what to do with them. The next time I come across a 180, I'll snag it. Never know when I'll need parts for the one I've got.
The kids long ago took control of my Rev A iMac for their educational games.
The |Rev A iBook is my main machine.
The G3 upgraded PM 8600 is my main sync box for my MP100, MP130, and MP2100, these being unused (until I rebuild the battery pack), waiting on new batteries (I am cheap), and my main PDA.
The PM 7200 clone is running AppleShare IP and is my main repository for MP3s (not that many) and some files I have been replicating/syncing between the iBook and the 8600.
Every thing else I have (the two Quadra 950's, the two SE's, the IIsi, the LC475, and a few miscellaneous others) is really unused or being used as foundations for forthcoming projects (but no special software oriented purpose).
I've got an old 25mhz powerbook that has more cool games than you can shake a stick at, and it also gets used (frequently) as the server/hard drive for my Apple IIgs. It has enabled me to get practically every bit of IIgs software ever published on to actual disks.
I have a classic, a classic II, and an SE which get used for word processing (although my IIgs has kind of taken over in this regard), as well as a GREAT net-gaming setup. You can get three computers going head-to head all at the dining room table. I have had Halo nuts rave about how much fun Bolo and Netwars are.
The classic II is my favorite. Such a neat, compact little setup. Makes a great, portable pc. It's far more capable than you might think. In fact, the thing actually can get on the internet, and it's a great way to get online without worrying about viruses and the like. I've actually had a full Mac network setup in my house before.
Great machines, and still useful. Personally, I like using older computers because you have full control over them, and the software usually isn't bloatware. Who needs all those ten million gizmawhatchit's in MS Word? I'll take Appleworks or MacWrite anyday.
Amen to that! And to think that MS is releasing yet another upgrade to MS Word (for Winders anyway; haven't heard if there is a new release for Mac yet) that will likely be even more bloated and unusable than the last. The thing that gets me with their "improvements" to MS Word is that it just takes an app that most people can use only a fraction of its capabilities and makes it that much more complicated. And unusable. I seriously doubt that any useful additions have been made to any word processing software in the last five to ten years.
The only motivation for upgrading it is to get users to fork over more cash. And make it more difficult to install, in the name of copy protection.
I suppose you've all been to http://www.softwarearchives.com/macintosh/
If not, lots of softwares for old macs are there.
I've recently reached a level of frustration with two beige g3's [upgraded to 1ghz PowerLogix processor] that when started don't boot 4 times out of 5. Problem persists when the old 233mhz processor swapped in so I don't know what the problem is....I don't want to run X yet, I'll continue with 9.1 but may downgrade to pre-g3 box like 9600 to get better startup. I don't know what the deal is with the g3's but in this house they don't keep working well and I don't know why.
I still use my PM 9600 (upgraded to G4/700) as my main audio DAW, along with a PM 7500 (upgraded to G3/400) and some more gear:
I was trying to use a PB Duo 280c (upgraded to PPC603e/100) as a MIDI editor/librarian, but I'm having problems since the Duo doesn't seem to be capable of managing the MIDI interface - so probably I'll end with using my Classic Colour for that.
I'm still using a Plus for word processing, from time to time. I do that because 1) the Plus is totally silent, so I can concentrate on writing in a perfect silence, or with some ambient music playing low 2) I can use only one application at a time, so I can't be tempted to check the mail, browse the news, and generally get lost in serendipity 3) a Plus loaded with Mac Write or Word 4 is just perfect for the job (hey, I even find the Plus keyboard's noise particularly pleasing!). By the way, I have three of them, one beige and two platinum grey.
I have also a Classic II which used to be my favourite until it ceased to work properly (I'll open a thread about this sooner or later), a PB100 which I was using with Galaxy Plus until recently before the internal drive died (and which I was trying to replace with the Duo), an LC 475 sitting there collecting dust, and finally a IIfx with a glorious 19" monochrome monitor collecting dust (and rust, I presume) in the garage.
Used my Duo 2300c for note taking in University, which I'll probably continue to do so when I finish it. I've got a 12" PB and had a 12" iBook prior to it, but the size of the duo still makes me happy.
I use my Classic II as my test machine for 'A webpage must render readably on this before I'll hand it to a client'. My LC 630 gets the same treatment.
Hello from Canada
I got started a couple of years ago thought I would pick up a compact Mac before the twentieth anniversary and got hooked. Have all the compact Mac's except 512ke, five out of the eight Macintosh II's, most of the Apple II's except Bell & Howell and IIc+. My main Mac is a G3 All in One with Jaguar upgraded CPU to 400 MHz. They all keep me busy. Sometimes I think I should have collected stamps take up a lot less space.
My family visited my great-uncle this summer, and he took great pride in showing us his father's old 1951 International tractor -- or shall I say, the pieces which were (and eventually will be again) a 1951 International tractor.
His garage and three rooms in his basement are littered with carefully-preserved tractor parts. the chassis takes up half the garage (his wife insisted that she be able to park her car in the other half); he has a work area where he strips/sandblasts paint and rust off the old parts; another station where he primes and paints; and a third area where he stores the parts, carefully catalogued, for later reconstruction.
As we got in the car to come home, my wife sat silent for a minute, then looked at me quite calmly and said, "Curt, ... I'm glad you collect computers."
i basically keep my AIO machine for the original series of the game called Marathon. i have my G4 for the updated OSX version of this game that runs OpenGL and various other tweaks. i dont have them on the internet yet because i havnt had the money for the PCI wireless adapters. sad part of this all is that i have no place set up to use these machines, they are in the closet and when i use them they get set on the table wish i had a room big enough for all of them, could have a nice multiplayer game going im sure someone on this forum has played marathon multiplayer. i mean com'on its been out since 94'
I rescured my SE from the garbage at the Leon County Property Management building years ago. Oh the poor dear. They throw away the greatest stuff there. I haven't done anything with it for a while but I was experimenting with it for a few months just to see what I could get it to do. Unfortunately the ethernet card in it was bad so I couldn't get it online. I just recently found a site that sold those and am waiting for my purchase to ship (it's taking quite a while).
My LCIII I think my friend Shaun gave me when he skipped town. He was the guy that infected me with Mac obsession. I was thinking of setting it up as a webpage server or something.
The LCIII would make a bit**in' web server with NetBSD and Apache installed. Debian is sluggish on the 68k's, but NetBSD hauls posterior...
The first time I set my hands on a Mac was in 1998 when I had to wait on my aunt to get off work so she could drive me to the airport, as I was heading for Texas to visit a relative. She works at the Munich University Hospital (Germany), and while I was waiting in the nurses "launch" (for lack of proper term), I was allowed to use the internet on their unit PC. I quickly found out it wasn't a PC at all... can't tell the precise model but I think it was a one of the earlier PowerPC desktop machines running OS7 (I assume Performa). It was really weird, having been strictly a DOS/Windows-only user, to work with MacOS for the first time, hehe. The Hosptial used Macs all over for their paperwork, orders etc. until they got replaced by Windows NT machines a few years back (unfortunately), as the Macs didn't seem to be "quite up to snuff"... But then, as we all know here, OS7 on PowerPC is pretty slow due to heavy emulation, so an OS upgrade may could have solved the issue of speed...
Anyways, now I have a Colour Classic modded to a PowerPC Takky (it was ideal because of its low footprint, built-in screen etc - I don't have all too much space to spare). It does all kinds of things such as internet, gaming, word processing, music, video. I'm planning on installing either NetBSD or one of the PPC Linux Distros onto it to see how well it performs. If I succeed, it will be doing --all kinds of things--. I may take a look at the SE's or Mac Classic for nostalgica, and see what one could do with them (I love built-in machines).
I use my PowerBook 145B/25 for B&W Games on the go and for word processing with BBEdit 3 and ClarisWorks 1.0 (Who needs M$ Word when I can use BBEdit and Clarisworks?)
I use my 1400c/166 for old color games on the go.
I use my Performa 450/33 for classic color 68k games that don't run on my 1400c.
I use my Performa 6360/160 for playing Windows 95 games (I don't use PCs.)
If I ever get my poor, broken Mac SE FDHD working (The display doesn't light up, I think it might be a loose connection (hopefully) or a bad tube :()
(This may be a little too new, but I use my MacBook/2.0GHz for Windows XP and OS X games.)
My oldest mac that I have runs at a whopping 400Mhz and is a G4 Blue & White (G3 w/ a Yikes! CPU and the firmware upgrade) and I use it with Tiger (still runs fast!) to do simple stuff like surf the web. Java stuff is usually kept for the PC (Sempron 2800+) or my 1.2Ghz iBook.
The Blue & White is going to stay with me for a while. I have grown rather fond of the machine. Incidently, does anyone want to trade with me for a front Zip bezel (the part that sticks into the front removable faceplate) and maybe an IDE Zip drive?
I have a ton of these old Macs, some of which I use daily.
ON MY DESK
iBook G3 (Tangerine): This is still my "go-to" Mac for a lot of things. I use it for word processing, spreadsheets, playing music, Photoshop, graphics, etc. It runs OS 9.1 and I'm more than content with it. It has an Airport card but I don't use the web all that often on it. Usually it's for forums, Wikipedia, etc. It does get used as an AIM client.
Mac Plus: This is sort of a "custom" machine. It's an upgraded 512K, has an 80MB external hard drive that I put together myself out of an old 20SC case (with a Quantum ProDrive LPS inside, pulled from an LCII), still uses the 512K keyboard, and has an Apple IIc mouse (I've never seen another Plus user with one of these on their Mac). This one gets used for word processing even more than the iBook. Right now I'm using an ImageWriter II but I may also get my old StyleWriter out of the mothballs and refill its ink. This one has 4MB of RAM, uses the Backdrop program to display a nice dithered bitmap of my friends and I on the desktop (under System 6!), and may soon be getting a CD-ROM.
IBM PS/2 Model 30 286: I like old-school games, and many of my favorites (Earl Weaver Baseball and Freddy's Rescue Roundup most notably) are DOS programs. I also love the IBM Model M keyboard and this gives me an excuse to use it, even if I have to use WordPerfect 5.1 (which I actually like because of the reveal codes function--I sure wish Word had this).
ON MY BACK COUNTER
Mac Classic (five of them): These are my "lab" computers. All have educational software on them as well as some games and a few productivity programs. They will eventually be used in classrooms, education camps, etc. For now they are my computers that people play around with when they come over (we had a Mac party at Christmas).
Mac IIci: The boss. It does all the colored monitor things that the others are incapable of. I also have a CD-ROM on this one.
Mac IIsi: The server of the group in the back. This one stores all the documents and a few of the seldom-used programs.
IN THE CLOSET
Mac Classic: This one needs an analog board but is yet another one along the lines of the first five. It can be used if they travel.
Mac SE SuperDrive: Also equipped like the Classics, but an SE. Note that all the Classics and SEs are 4/40s.
Mac LC II: Needs a new power supply, which I have and will install soon. An inactive machine right now.
Mac LC III: Pretty much inactive.
Mac LC 475: Ditto.
Power Mac 5200/75 LC: Another inactive.
iMac 333: A blueberry machine that I may set up somewhere else around the house.
IBM PS/1: Gets out periodically when I need Windows 95.
Toshiba T1200: Inactive. Will be moved and boxed soon.
IN THE OTHER CLOSETS
Mac Classic II: Needs a CRT and an analog. Inactive right now but will become a portable server for the Classics when they travel places.
Mac LC: Boxed. Also has 12" boxed Apple RGB.
Mac Plus: Boxed.
Mac SE: Boxed, though box is not original.
Mac 128K: Boxed.
Mac Color Classic: Will be boxed in the next week, though not in the original box...the box is for a Monitor III which I don't have.
eMate 300: Boxed.
Lisa 2: Boxed.
Apple IIe: Awaiting box. May move to garage temporarily.
iMac 233: Original iMac, also awaiting box as well as keyboard.
IN THE GARAGE
Mac Classic: Shell. Needs everything except drives.
Mac Classic II: Shell. Needs everything except logic board.
Mac SE FDHD: My workbench Mac. Right now is not on the workbench.
EduQuest Forty: May be disassembled soon.
Compaq Deskpro 2000: Needs keyboard and a few cards to be put back inside of it.
Epson Equity II: Disassembled. Future project.
Apple IIc+: Destined to be sold. Watch for it on eBay sometime.
iMac G4: On loan to my mother.
To reflect with joy on the days gone by when I once was so captivated by a Mac 128k in the mid-80's. Funny, I'm still captivated by these old Macs today.
It's far more enjoyable to fire up an old Mac and run the original software on it than it is to use a modern machine and emulator for that task. And of course, to run UNIX or some other foreign OS on these machines is simply unthinkable for me; although I applaud those who have done so in order to keep these old machines useful for themselves.
MacBook Pro 1.83GHz 768Mb -- This bad boy is used every day.
B&W G3 450 ovrclk from 400, 896Mb -- My previous main Mac. Still used pretty regularly and has more hard drive space than any other, so it holds lots of data and serves as a backup computer.
Powermac G3 Desktop 350MHz overclk from 333MHz, 320Mb -- not used.
iBook G3 366, 320Mb with hacked glowing logo -- HA! im on it now! this baby still gets daily use.
Powermac 7600 upgrd to G3 333 -- not used anymore
Powerbook G3 233 Wallstreet 256mb -- used every now and again for OS 9ing
Performa 6400/180 -- In my brother's room. Never uses it anymore
Powermac 7500/120 -- Former main computer. Gets turned on maybe once every 5 months.
Powermac 7100/80 -- I think It died
Performa 6115/66 -- used as a server for a while, not anymore.
Quadra 800 -- fire up every now and agian to get old documents. This one served as my main Mac for a long time and sports 4 hard drives.
LC III x 2 -- stacked downstaris
LC 520 -- Don't think I've even turned this one on
Performa 400 -- Used to hold up the monitor for my G3
LC II x 3 -- Stacked in a cabinet
Classic II -- Acuatlly boot this one every now and again to sync my Newton
Macintosh Classic -- Never use it.
SE x 2 -- in a closest
Powermac g4- use it every day for almost everything
Powerbook 1400cs- typing and light web browsing
SE/30..vintage black and white games
Color classic ( not working :() sits on shelf
Powerbook 180 black and white typing on the road!
I have a mac classic! i've only had it for three days. I found it a salvation army for $3.99. It has Claris Works and things like that. A member of our community is sending me some software. Anyways I'm having a lot of fun with it but its kind slow but its fun to use. I'm trying to "upit" to system 7. But ill probly wait till i get more ram.
What do you mean by noodling? Do you mean programming? Just hoping, since I have a Mac SE that I try to write assembly code on occasionally, and if you have any tips, (especially on how to set up and use resources from assembly, but any would be welcome), I'd love to hear them.