I'm kind of new here, but not new to Macs. They've been my life and carreer for the last 10 years. This is my story of my latest project: The resurrection of an old 68K mac.
It started out as my LCIII, purchased brand new back in 1993 or thereabouts, where it did awesome duty as my main computer workhorse writing up papers in grad school, handling email, websurfing, usenet surfing, answering my telephone, MIDI sequencing, and music score editing. It took sidelines when I upgraded to a used IIfx, but it came back to life as a hand-me down first computer for my retired parents. But the demands of modern computing life forced me to upgrade them to a PPC, first a PowerMac 6100, and later a 7500 so they could use modern USB printers via a PCI USB card. (most recently I gave them a G3 upgrade card, but that's a different project.)
The LCIII sat gathering dust for a number of years. This computer deserves more. The time was right to perform a resurrection. The goal was to make this thing as useable as possible.
The Prep Work:
eBay, the bastion of cheap obsolete computer parts, as well as a stockpile of dead Macs for parts, became the main suppliers for my project. Items needed and acquired:
(1) Quadra 605 / LC475 motherboard. eBay, a few $.
(2) Real 68040 processor (none of this 68LC040 nonsense, we want that math coprocessor!) Again, eBay, a few $.
(3) Floppy drive. LCIII floppy died from eating too much dust. Junk pile, freed from dead Quadra 700.
(4) 1.2 gig SCSI hard drive. Junk pile, freed from PowerMac 8500 that got upgraded.
(5) 1 meg VRAM (512K upgrade to on-board 512K). Data Memory Systems. A few $.
(6) LC-PDS Ethernet card. Ebay, around $5.
(7) NEC 17" monitor. Lying about unused after upgrading to 19" models.
(8) 128 Meg RAM SIMM. Data Memory Systems, about $65.
(9) New 3.6 volt battery. Radio Shack. Surprisingly Expen$ive.
I installed all the components. I also flipped the fan over so it sucks air into the case from the bottom, generating more airflow over the CPU, and helping to prevent the problem where the floppy drive slot sucks dust into the computer case. Also, I didn't buy the 128 meg RAM stick until later, after everything else was working. For the resurrection I used a 32 meg SIMM. When I first tried to start the computer, it wouldn't start. Turned out to be a dead 3.6 volt battery. One trip to Radio Shack and several $$$ later we were in business and the machine booted up off the System 7.5 Network Floppy disk.
To really set the machine up properly, I hooked up an external CD drive, booted off the OS 8.1 CD and clean installed OS 8.1.
I installed all the whiz-bang software upgrades I could think of: Speed Doubler 8, CoolViews, DragThing, Network Time, Program Switcher, Kensington Mouseworks (for my Orbit Trackball), Default App, SpellTools, Decor, ATM, etc.
. . .and I was left with a completely unstable system that crashed if I did so much as double-click a folder. So I started from scratch with a clean 8.1 install, which was stable. From there, I've been very cautious about 3rd party add-ons. I add them one at a time, then use the computer to check stability. So far I've added CoolViews, Default App, Network Time, SpellTools, and ATM with no problems. I suspect Kensington Mouseworks and SpeedTools as the most likely problem-causers, followed by maybe DragThing. So far everything is fine without those.
For Web Browsers I ran individual tests and wound up rejecting most. here's what I tried, along with my results:
Internet Explorer 3.x: slow, but functional. Too slow for most uses.
Internet Explorer 4.x: even slower than 3.x. Unacceptable for real use.
Netscape 3.x Gold: functional, not compatible with modern Java. Limited features.
Mozaic: unstable, crashes almost immediately. Unuseable.
MacWeb: wouldn't even launch before crashing.
WannaBe: oh-my-god awesome, text-only browser, wicked fast, uses Sherlock search plugins. Fabulous for text-only browsing needs. A Keeper!
For Email I tested everal apps and rejected most. Here's what I tried, with my results:
Eudora Pro 4.x: functional, no Pop authentication for using mac.com mail. Rejected.
Outlook Express 4.x: functional, no Pop authentication for using mac.com mail. Rejected.
Claris Emailer: doesn't have clickable URLs in mail, no Pop authentication for using mac.com mail. Rejected.
Green Mail: claims to have Pop authentication for 68K macs. Crashes on use. Rejected.
Musashi 68K: BLISS. Pop authentication. More powerful filtering than Eudora. handles multiple users and multiple email accounts. Clickable URLs. Keeper! (Added Spell Checking via SpellTools).
Internet Chat: AOL Instant Messenger. (whatever the last version was that runs on 68K) Keeper!
Adobe Acrobat 3.x
QuickTime 4 upgrade.
QuickNailer image & media cataloger
AppleWorks 5.x for word processing, spreadsheets, database, and basic page layout.
So far, I use it mostly for eMail and AIM chat, and a couple spreadsheets and databse to organize some stuff. I only use it for web browsing if I need to locate a file to download, or to read HTML-formatted email.
I'm really not sure what else I should use it for. I don't need to run a web server. FTP server, or eMail server. It's not good for multimedia (I have PowerMacs for that). And I'm not much into gaming. Anyone have any brilliant uses they use a 68K for? Also, just doing this project shows that it can be done, and that a Q605 really can run with 132 megs of RAM. Now I just need a good use for it.
Macs in use: 17" flatscreen iMac 800MHz, Beige G3 (G4/525), Quadra 605, Duo 2300, PowerBook 190cs.
Macs temporarily not in use: 8500 (G3/366) 8100 (G3/180), IIfx, IIci, Duo 230, SE/30, SE.
Edited by - Bugsi on 23 Oct 2002 15:24:55