New Article--Which System Software for my 68k Mac?

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Last seen: 16 years 11 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 82
New Article--Which System Software for my 68k Mac?

I've seen a lot of editorial written about system software choice for 68k Macs, but most of it has been lacking in one way or another. Some articles just boil down to "Choose based upon how much RAM you have" which is silly considering how cheap RAM is; Others only cover some System Software versions and neglect others.

This aims to correct that shortcoming by covering every 68k MacOS version and every 68k Mac I could think of. Check it out--I hope you'll like it, and find some useful advice!

The article is available at

dankephoto's picture
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 1899
nicely done!

I've bookmarked it, it'll be much easier to pass the URL along than try to write out the same (or nearly so) advice myself whenever these questions come up.

dan k

AG-Wolf's picture
Last seen: 14 years 6 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 136
System 7.6.1

"Unconfirmed rumor has it that 7.6.1 is buggier than 7.6 and unstable."

This was the only thing that really rubbed me the wrong way. In all my time and experience with 68k macs, ANY instance of 7.5.x has always had nothing but problems. As a result, I have steered clear of 7.5.x on any of my own classic Macs, favoring either 7.1 with a slew of more up-to-date extensions, or simply 7.6.1. 7.6.1 offers better compatibility with a lot of programs that were created after OS 8's release, but is nowhere near as RAM intensive or bloated as OS 8..and if you throw Appearance or Aaron in sys 7.6.1, you get the same pretty OS environment as OS 8.

I've been a die-hard 7.6.1 fan because it allowed me internet usage on an -LC 580-, followed by a Quadra 605. While 7.1 could accomplish this on older models, it was not compatible with more recent software that was required when online (newer browsers, email, communications programs, etc). As I said before, my personal encounters with 7.5.x were consistently negative... my only choice was 7.6.1

On top of usage, a friend of mine had an SE30 that we tooled around with about 5 or 6 years ago... he got an ethernet PDS card for it, and we managed to scrounge up 64mb of ram because we wanted to make a web server out of it. He was a firm believer in 7.5, and took it upon himself to load a fully updated 7.5.5 onto the unsuspecting little machine. The machine worked, to one degree or another... but we still had problems with things getting corrupted, or freezes if we tried to use it a lot. In contrast, my Classic II (while not ethernet compatible) worked flawlessly with a bare-bones install of 7.6.1. Yes, with a maximum of 10mb RAM on the poor little thing, 7.6.1 still hummed along perfectly.

heh, find it kinda funny that I just fired up the SE30 again for the first time in a couple years, and right in the "about this macintosh" box, there's a corrupted icon too Blum 3

Sorry, that wasn't a very structured response, I know. It's just that 7.6.1 gets overlooked all the time, and it's actually a very stable and capable option for the mid-level classic Macs. I eventually went to OS 8 on that Quadra 605, just for further compatibility (hahaha, I just modded it last month to use a 33mhz 040 processor...sorry, tangent), but 7.6.1 not only worked great on it, but ran really fast too. Maybe 7.6.1 doesn't get a lot of credit or comment because it's not as widely known. 7 itself was the big milestone in the Mac OS history, 7.5.5 is freely available from Apple's site, and 8 (Copland, which was originally supposed to employ a lot of the features we only finally saw in OS X) was the last real milestone before 10. Don't poo-poo 7.6.1 quite so willingly, I've relied on it a TON in the past, and it was always willing and able to do whatever I wanted.

Just a quick note about 7.1... It introduced the "Fonts" folder, which 7.0.1 previously did not have... it also had better menu hierarchy management, was friendlier to third-party and newer first-party extensions and control panels, and the finder functioned a bit quicker as a whole. There was also some obscure disappearing file bug in 7.0.1... it required a specific chain of events to occur, but through varied use, a person could unintentionally go through the proper sequence of commands/actions and trigger it. 7.1 fixed this problem.

Last seen: 18 years 4 months ago
Joined: Aug 15 2004 - 19:24
Posts: 359
OS 7.6.1 rocks


I totally agree with AG-Wolf. 7.6.1 was a great system and I don't know of any bugginess (unless you're talking about "bluets and granola") that is system related. My 500-series laptops will all end up with 7.6.1, updated OT and appearance extension. I don't know where that information came from but it is totally incorrect, imnoho.

merty's picture
Last seen: 13 years 11 months ago
Joined: Jul 9 2005 - 03:20
Posts: 71
7.6 rocks

Mac OS 7.6 is a brilliant os I had it on my Powerbook 190cs until i had to format after the file sharing extension became corrupt and i didn't have the disc and I couldn't upgrade to Mac OS 8 because it didn't have enough ram 8mb when I wiped it i installed System 7.5.3 and updated to System 7.5.5.
Why won't Apple release 7.6 like they did with 7.5.3 it's way better than 7.5.3 anyway Smile

eeun's picture
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 17:34
Posts: 1895
Thanks for sharing the articl

Thanks for sharing the articles on your site. They're definitely a great asset for those still meddling with old hardware and software.

I do remember my workplace having a lot of trouble with 7.6, and the 7.6.1 update solved the main problems (plenty of error of type 10, error of type 11, IIRC), but they still cropped up now and again - same as they did thoughout 7.5 onwards.

But you did credit your notes about 7.6.1 as unconfirmed, so I don't see that as criticism - just passing on what you've heard.

Keep up the site! I don't see as much of this sort of information in the Post-Trash80toG4 Mac world. Wink

Last seen: 16 years 11 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 82
I wasn't meaning to knock 7.6

I wasn't meaning to knock 7.6 at all. Here's what I think about it:

Pros: Includes several updates that 7.5.5 needs seperately, such as a decent OpenTransport version.
Comes on CD instead of silly .part files. Bootable, doesn't need a disk tools floppy.
Doesn't have that annoying "missing icons" bug.

Cons:"Custom Installs that really aren't" bug
Installs OpenDoc, and you can't decide not to.
Not freely available.
Doesn't support 32-bit dirty Macs.

By the way, I hate that 7.5 bug, too. It is fixable by rebuilding the Desktop a couple times.

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