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CVKealey

Opinions on "companion" machine for a compact-only collection

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So, I used to collect all manner of old computers, mostly Macs but some others as well. Given the need to minimize storage space and maximize nostalgia, I've decided to pare my collection down to compact Macs only. The shelving in my storage area allows 6 per shelf with space for keyboards, mice, etc., so if I aim for one good example of each model of compact, I shouldn't need more than a couple shelves. So far, I have:

  • an original Mac (512k, I think) that was upgraded to a Plus
  • SE FD/HD
  • SE/30
  • Macintosh Classic
  • Macintosh Classic II
  • Color Classic (upgraded to a Mystic)

 

Pretty much all of them need to be recapped, which I hope to work on as an exercise to teach my son how to solder. The question I've come to, though, is that few of these have any kind of network connectivity (the SE/30 and CC have ethernet, but no others), so I'll need to keep around some other machine for the purpose of downloading software, creating floppy disks, etc. To fill that need, I currently have an LCIII, a Powerbook G3 Lombard and a couple G3 iMacs (ingido, 2001). 

 

Obviously, the PBG3 or iMacs better go along with the "compactness" of the collection, but I feel like I'd run into some situation where they wouldn't work. For example, testing some 68k-based applications may not work, or I may not be able to format some disks. 

 

The LCIII would take up a bit more space than the PBG3 (probably about the same space as the iMacs, factoring in the monitor), but being a 68k processor, I feel like there's less chance of compatibility issues. And, the other consequence is that this, too will need to be recapped (I redid the power supply a few years back, but haven't touched the logic board).

 

So, for those of you that curate compact collections, how important is it to keep a "transitional" or "translational" machine around, and would something with a 68k CPU be a better choice than the others for any particular reason?

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Wouldn’t it be easier/quicker to use a separate modern machine to download software etc., then FTP into it from the CC or SE/30 and move files among your compact collection from there via floppy?  (This is what I do, any way). I guess my question really is, why do you need another “Translational” machine given that you already have an SE/30 with Ethernet?

Edited by Crutch

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It depends on just what you want to do. Is software via floppy ok? Can you set up a simple serial AppleTalk network? Use Zip disks? What sort of function do you need?

 

Where are you getting your software? If from macintoshgarden, they have an FTP site you could access even from the SE/30. If you have a server like I do, a step-down machine will help. I use my PT Pro since it has floppy, CD, ZIP, Jaz, SCSI, FireWire, Ethernet, serial, etc so it can connect to almost anything.

Edited by LaPorta

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48 minutes ago, LaPorta said:

I use my PT Pro since it has floppy, CD, ZIP, Jaz, SCSI, FireWire, Ethernet, serial, etc so it can connect to almost anything.

I guess this is kind of what I was getting at. I'm looking at the situation like a prepper...I want something that will allow me to retrieve stuff from or write things to old (400k) disks or SCSI drives, or just about anything else. It's probably not going to be just one machine, so I need to justify (to others in the house who shall not be named) why I need to keep "all those old computers" around. :-/

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Another option is to get a SCSI-to-Ethernet adapter like the Asante EN/SC.  Then literally all the Macs you listed could connect to Ethernet/WiFI and FTP into whatever modern machine you want.  They show up on eBay from time to time.  Cheaper than getting an extra transitional machine.e

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1 hour ago, Crutch said:

Another option is to get a SCSI-to-Ethernet adapter like the Asante EN/SC.  Then literally all the Macs you listed could connect to Ethernet/WiFI and FTP into whatever modern machine you want.  They show up on eBay from time to time.  Cheaper than getting an extra transitional machine.e

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about getting another machine, just deciding which of my current machines would be best to keep and which I can let go. Not that any of the ones I'm considering selling off have much in terms of value. And somewhere, I think I still have an Asante LocalTalk-to-ethernet adapter, which is probably just as good an option for connecting any of the compacts.

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AsanteTalk won't get them TCP/IP, it only bridges AppleTalk from LocalTalk to EtherTalk.  So it would be difficult to get files to and from a modern machine without something like MacIPgw or MacIPpi.  If your Mystic Color Classic has an ethernet card, it'd perfect as a server and gateway machine for all your other Macs.  You could install Apple Internet Router or AppleShare IP and use that to get the rest of your machines on TCP/IP.  You'd use the AsanteTalk to bridge your Macs to ethernet, then use the Color Classic for MacIP encapsulation.

 

If you don't want a server, you could alternatively use a device that supports MacIP such as the EtherWave (not transceiver), FastPath, or GatorBox.  If you know how to program, the MacIPpi could work, too.

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I use my rev b imac circa 2001 to download from mac garden, this is networked to both my 6200cd and SE/30 so I download from the imac file transfer to the 6200 and for nostalgic purposes zip drive to the se/30. I could file transfer between those but choose not to  

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I do something similar to Neil. I have my iMac G4 with OS X/9 setup, PT Pro setup next to it. This way, I can access Macintosh garden via the iMac if needed, and easily transfer to the PT over AppleTalk to unstuff, make disks, etc. More specific to me, I have a RAID drive connected to my house 2014 Mac Mini server, and every piece of classic Mac software I own is stored there. I need the iMac with OS X to easily get at that.

 

More specific to you, a similar setup consisting of a G3 iMac setup to dual boot with 9/X, combined with an Ethernet equipped machine of any variety with a Super Drive (800k/1.4 MB capable) floppy drive and SCSI/serial ports (like your LCIII) would give you maximal flexibility.

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13 minutes ago, LaPorta said:

I do something similar to Neil. I have my iMac G4 with OS X/9 setup, PT Pro setup next to it. This way, I can access Macintosh garden via the iMac if needed, and easily transfer to the PT over AppleTalk to unstuff, make disks, etc. More specific to me, I have a RAID drive connected to my house 2014 Mac Mini server, and every piece of classic Mac software I own is stored there. I need the iMac with OS X to easily get at that.

 

More specific to you, a similar setup consisting of a G3 iMac setup to dual boot with 9/X, combined with an Ethernet equipped machine of any variety with a Super Drive (800k/1.4 MB capable) floppy drive and SCSI/serial ports (like your LCIII) would give you maximal flexibility.

I forgot to mention like laporta my g3 imac also has osx and os9 on it. 
 

agree ethernet is key having them all connected makes all the difference

Edited by SE30_Neal

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