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LaPorta

Mint 8100/100AV: Looking for a job.

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Hi everyone,

 

I've got my 8100/100 AV here that I just hauled out of the closet. I got it in 2001 from the school I was then attending (Loyola College). For some reason, they had it in their storage in the basement, and the thing looked absolutely brand new. Once I got it home during the summer of 2002, I found out why they had stopped using it: no matter what I started up from, CD-ROM, HD, anything, I would get random startup address errors, and if I made it to the desktop, it would freeze not long thereafter. Well, I changed colleges, went to med school, residency, got a job, family, kids etc...and now we are in 2019 and I hauled it out of the closet. With knowledge I have now that I didn't have then, I nailed it down to some bad 3rd party RAM. Removing one of the pairs of RAM stopped all the crashing. I was then able to install a new copy of 7.5 on it.

 

In the process, I made the idiot mistake of breaking off the plastic tab from the PDS slot opening. I have since super glued it for what it's worth (see photo). Felt like a moron doing that even after following the service manual. I now know why everyone says this series is a pain to deal with, and the next gen (8500, etc) is far easier.

 

Here are a few questions. I have a Newer Tech 400 MHz G3 upgrade coming, which I hope will make this somewhat speedy. It has a still working 1 GB HD inside of it. First, is there any way to increase it's video capabilities (i.e. supporting greater resolutions). Second, outside of playing some kick-ass Marathon games on it, what else would you use it for? This, where can I obtain another slot-blanking cover for the open NuBus clot? Fourth: that little trace bypass on the mother board photo: is that normal? Looks like a factory job.

 

I appreciate all comments.

 

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Very nice!

 

The AV card should be able to do a bit more, the information on what the various PDS cards can do is here: http://www.kan.org/6100/graphics.html - you should be able to do 1152x870, but you'll need to go to a 4-meg HPV card to up it to 24-bit color at that res, and you'll need to put a NuBus card in (and deal with the attendant slow-down).

 

Upgrading  to 7.6.1, then 8.1 will make it feel faster (and go on VTools). It should run up to 9.1 with no real problem, but the general thought seems to be that 9.1 is fairly heavy on older machines like these.

 

Depending on what else you've got, this would make a nice daily vintage system 7/8 Mac, you could try your hand at video capture, although it probably isn't much better than on the 840. It's definitely tough finding uses for individual machines when you have a crowded-ish collection. I'm supposed to be cycling things in and out but it takes me a fair while to do so, so I end up with one thing on my desk for a little longer than I intend.

 

As far as the trace repair: That's pretty normal at least up through 1994 or so. I don't know that I've seen one on a PPC Mac before, but I'm not extremely surprised by it. As far as I can tell, those are part of a fairly normal factory quality control process, or perhaps an applecare repair process.

 

As to handling these machines, physically, my personal strategy with my 840 is going to be to have it recapped and do any other relevant maintenance/upgrades to it all at once, to reduce the number of additional plastic bits I break.

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Nice machine - the early PPCs need more love, considering the massive jump in performance they provided over 68K models released just prior.  While the 8100 is an annoying machine to upgrade, it at least looks good from the outside!

 

With your G3 it'll run OS 9.1 happily (and would be my OS of choice) however your slow stock 1GB HD would be a huge hindrance, I'd grab a SCSI2SD V6.1 to max out the throughput.  Alternately, a secondary Nubus graphics card would be fun for some dual-display goodness.

 

Apps such as Virtual PC, SoftWindows and most early 3D shooters would run well on this machine.  Even iTunes.

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Ah the dreaded 8100... used to loathe them, but now I remember them fondly and have a soft spot for the series. Yours looks great. I have not seen one that grey since the mid 90s! ;) 

 

The upgrades I used were AsanteFast 10/100 cards, MP340 Graphics cards. Radius Thunder IV would be terrific, but they have become über rare. We used VideoVisions back then to edit Hi8, and SVHS videos. 

 

I think an 8100 would make for a great mid System 7 system to try and use the stuff from the early to mid 90s. 

 

 

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I can't speak for the NewerTech G3 card but with the Sonnet Crescendo card, I couldn't get either my FWB Jackhammer or my ATTO SiliconExpress IV SCSI card to work with it. They both work without it though.

 

With the accelerator card, you have probably the fastest system 7.1.2 machine you are ever going to get. I'm running mine on either System 7.1.2 or Mac OS 8.6 depending upon the need. The latter will be my new AppleShare server. The former is just a System 7 machine. Use the PDS card with 4MB RAM. Lots of RAM helps with Mac OS 8.6 too (browsing Macintosh Garden and other such sites, for example).

 

The 8100 is good for games of the era but anything that requires 3D acceleration is jumpy. @Cory5412 is correct, Mac OS 9.1 will run well on this machine and you can get 9.2.2 on to it too with OS9Helper.

 

Do be warned about the plastics! They are very brittle. Mine is in such a bad state, I 'm planning to make a new case for it.

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NewerTech had compatibility with the JackHammer.   I can't remember if they ever fixed it with the SEIV.   Sonnet either never had compatibility or did not achieve it until very late in the product life of the NuBus PDS upgrades.   NewerTech was always a better engineering company than Sonnet, yet Sonnet survived longer.  Sigh.   They also hired some NewerTech engineers when NewerTech closed, which is how they solved their six-slot compatibility problem on their G4 700 - 1000 MHz upgrades.

 

It's really too bad that more of the old XLR8yourmac.com data isn't accessible.  This kind of information was really the strength of that site back in the day.

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Idly, as one of the faster shipping 601 machines, I would personally consider running this machine with its stock CPU - even if that means reverting back to 7.6.1 or 8.1 - and saving the G3 upgrade for something like an 8100/80 or 7100.

 

As to 7.1.2 compatibility, IIRC 7.1.2 is only officially listed on the very first set of machines, 6100/60, 7100/66 and 8100/80. I know there were minor architectural changes to the 8100 at some point that should make it outright impossible to run 7.1.2, but I don't remember if that was on the 8100/100 or the 8100/110.

 

It wouldn't be a lot of effort to burn a 7.1.2 restore/install disc and give it a try though, definitely worth trying.

 

Thinking about 9: it should work, but whether or not it will work well probably depends on what you're planning to do, the software you're planning on running, and the rest of the load-out of the machine. It's absolutely worth trying out.

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8.6 is likely the best OS for 601 machines provided they have enough RAM and fast storage. I was able to run 7.1.2 on a 6100/66, but that board didn't see much revision.

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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Indeed, I do not have much need of it as a power machine: my souped-up PowerTower Pro handles all of that. The system I installed (7.5) was from the 8100 CD, and, yes, the 100 and 110 need 7.5 at minimum according to documents.

 

I'll think these over and see what I want to do. I'd still like to hear any other suggestions!

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Does anybody know off hand what RAM usage looks like on 8.6? I need to put it on one of my machines. I've used 8.1 and 9.x more than 8.5/8.6 and as such my take tends to be that you should go for 8.1 if you want something light-weight and 9.x if you want its features, have hardware that needs it, or have particularly high end hardware where it'll work well.

 

Like, in my experience there's no reason to go for 8.6 on, say, an 8600 for its light weight, but I know an 8600 and an 8100 are a couple generations apart.

 

I also tend to favor 7.6.1 as being the newest presentation of the old system 7 interface, but there are a couple really nice quality of life improvements in 8.1, too.

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If I'm not mistaken 8.6 requires at least 24MB of physical RAM and at that level there was a fair amount of disk thrashing because of virtual memory.  In practice I felt like it used only slightly less than 9.1 when running with a similar set of extensions.  On the speed side of things, the only time I noticed enough of a difference to stick with 8.6 over 9.1 was on two original PPCs, which in this case were a 5200/75 I used to have and the 5260/100 based Takky Color Classic I presently have.

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Now I think is a good time to refurbish my 14" AudioVision to pair with this. The screen projects on about a 20 degree tilt, so I think the yoke needs to be rotated. The thing was a pain to get open years ago, and I don't think I ever did get it open. I suppose I need the service source document for it.

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