I ran into an article over at MacUser that got me to looking around the old Rat’s Nest…
Even though there are relatively modern Macs at my house… We keep and maintain a few older Macs that just won’t give up the ghost… The oldest one we run regularly came off the assembly line in 1997 and I can say for sure that there are definitely older (working) machines stashed away around here. I imagine that lots of folks think that these machines are pretty useless and are falling apart by now… Not True!… These machines are all built rock solid and I can easily get parts for all of them. Even the oldest machines described here will competently run at least Mac OS 10.2 with a readily available little piece of software called XpostFacto. Imagine trying to run XP on a machine that was designed to run Windows 95… To illustrate my point …see this comparison of Windows and Mac OS’s over the years to see the equivalents.
Here’s our little menagerie of senior citizen Macs.
We have an old all-in-one 5400/180 with a TV card that still does duty as a tv (with remote) and happily surfs the web in OS 9.2 using iCab.. It’s got Office 98 on it and PhotoShop 4 and tons of OS 9 games and kiddie programs… It even runs a Playstation 1 simulator… This machine has a 7.5.5 partition on it (Lemmings!)…We keep toying with the idea of dropping OS 10.2 onto this machine… But other than a 40gb hard drive… we want to keep it as close to stock as possible.
Most pictures courtesy of Herb’s Power Mac Stuff
Then there’s a G3 All-in-One (AIO) that lives under our LAN rack… It lives down there because it weighs 60 pounds!.. My oldest son and I tweaked it with a G4 500 Sonnet and two 10,000 rpm scsi hard drives… We used to sell these by the carload! But since they’re getting rare… We decided to tweak this one as high as we could and keep it… Superdrive, Zip 250, FireWire, The high end graphics card, the works… If for some reason my main machine goes down… This one goes on my desk… This machine runs Panther and is amazingly fast… Apple would have done well to sell these to the public.
Then… There’s a Power Mac 8600 still on patrol in the corner of my son’s room… This was my old machine… This beast has 8 RAM slots... There’s a 128 chip in each… She runs OS 9.2 usually… But can boot into 10.3 Panther or OS 8.5 … This machine is stuffed to the gills with a G4 upgrade card and lots of other goodies… 250 Zip drive, Combo Drive, etc… There’s a high end SCSI flatbed scanner hooked up as well as the last of the Paperport SCSI sheetfed scanners… She’s got an old OnePhoto snapshot scanner hooked up too… All my SCSI stuff lives on this machine… Two 10,000 rpm, 36GB scsi drives and a 60GB ATA hard drive make plenty of room for big scanned files… I don’t think there’s anything I can’t scan with this old girl. This machine runs Illustrator, PhotoShop, PageMill, Premier and a few more Adobe titles that I paid good money for… I was King of the Block when this machine was in it’s heyday… I can’t bear to part with the old girl.
Then there’s the old Power Mac 6500… The one with the sub woofer that bounces off the desk… He lives on the shelf in the laundry room and gets hooked up to run some crazy Mac software I brought back from Asia years ago… This machine is upgraded to a G4 500 with Sonnet and runs OS 10.2… Although we prefer to run 9.2 in order to run the floppy drive, Zip 250 and a few other goodies… As dependable as they come… This one has a TV card too… But that only works in OS 8.5
My 6500 doesn’t have the fancy cut out on the side though…
There’s a Strawberry, a Snow and an Indigo iMac packed away for posterity… The Graphite iMac 700 still gets used when the kids have company and want to play LAN games… The Snow and Graphite run Tiger.
It’s not unusual for me to travel with my Blueberry when I don’t feel I need the horsepower of my G4 iBook… That little blueberry has a matching sheetfed scanner and a portable HP printer that all fit into it’s laptop bag… I maxed out the RAM and crammed in a 60gb hard drive… The kids DO NOT get to play with Dad’s Blueberry iBook!.. It lives in my bedroom.
Of course… My main machine is a Quicksilver 2002 1ghz DP loaded with Leopard, Tiger & OS 9 and is stuffed to the gills with goodies… I’ve described my machine in my Leopard review… I’ve never tried it… But I hear that this model will boot in OS 8… Funny… My kids machines all are higher end than mine… But I won’t give this one up for anything less than a Mac Pro Quad… And since this machine does everything I ask of it… I can’t justify the cost of that Mac Pro… Yet.
I wanted to put up a pic of my system (I’m VERY proud of it)… But Mama says that if I dare to put up a picture of my rat’s nest of a workspace… There’ll be early and prolonged PMS around here… She Wins!
Here’s lots of comments from other folks running older Macs over at MacUser