How would I go about upgrading from OS8 to OS8.1? The OS will not read Mac_OS_8.1_Update.smi.bin. What does one do with this?
The .bin extension indictes the file is compressed - like a zip file.
You'll need do download a copy of Stuffit Expander, and drag the 8.1 upgrade onto it. That should leave you with an update file with just the .smi extension, which you can double-click on and mount.
Is there a version of AIM or any messenger I can use on OS8.1?
Which model of Macintosh are you using E-Werd?
If you're using something that can run 9.1 fairly decently, I'd strongly suggest that you upgrade. As for messenger clients for the Macintosh, I am totally out of the loop. I don't do online chat so I don't have any interest in any of the instant messenger clients available for the Mac. I did, however, play with something called Mac Messenger for a spell. It does Microsoft Instant Messaging.
Or, if you're in a fix to play with one of the free Unixes, there's some IM clients available for X11.
It is a Power Macintosh 5300/100 LC. A tad old... the manufacturing date was in January 1997. It has 48mb physical RAM in it. I am a big Linux person but not sure how to go about installing it and I have a problem anyhow with uninstalling OS8.1 because I have no OS cd as I inherited this mac from a friend and got it as-is.
If I had linux on it I would be in great shape, I am just new to MacOS.
Supposedly this machine can run 9.0 (and I would assume it could upgrade to 9.1), but 1) I am not able to go to eBay to get it (no credit card) and 2) not sure it would be even run acceptably good.
^Info about my mac.
you need a credit card to use ebay? well you can get os 9 from LEM, the trading post here, megamacs.com, and hardcoremacs.com. But if you want linux try debian or Yellow dog.
IIRC, the 5300 is a pre PCI, Nubus architecture machine. AFAIK, There's no simple, install it and run it Linux for those machines.
You best hope for linux is to see if you can find an old copy of mkLinux, or better yet, LinuxPPC