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I recently picked up a Workgroup Server 8150/110 from a friend, who had trash picked it along with several other Macs outside a printing business, who were moving. It Had a  ZIP drive, a super long supermac Thunder II card and a Newertech G3 upgrade. The RAM slots are fully populated, thankfully, taking out the motherboard on these does not seem fun.

 

It did not power on and the front buttons are missing, I also got a 850 Power supply which i tried, along with my spare 9500 PSU to no success. But when i plugged the original PSU back in and tried it chimed!

Sadly my office is being redecorated so I cannot play around with it yet, but it will just serve as a motivation to finish up painting.

 

I am currently also waiting for a bunch of conquests to arrive, including a Sonnet Crescendo G4 800/1M, Sonnet Encore ST 1400/2M and a bunch of LC630s, 6XXXs, 7XXXs and G3 desktops in various states of disrepair.

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Edited by ThisAwesomeCOLA
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Cool!  Looks to be in good overall cosmetic shape and i think will clean up really nicely.

 

It's amazing what sits around in offices for decades; just waiting to be discovered. 

 

My perfect find is that one-owner computer that someone unplugged 20+ years ago and stored in their basement and there it has been ever since, love those! 

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1 hour ago, Rick Dangerous said:

Cool!  Looks to be in good overall cosmetic shape and i think will clean up really nicely.

 

It's amazing what sits around in offices for decades; just waiting to be discovered. 

 

My perfect find is that one-owner computer that someone unplugged 20+ years ago and stored in their basement and there it has been ever since, love those! 

 

I actually find these ones to be worse a lot of the time. reasoning: computer hardware is engineered in a very complicated manner and a lot of factors get considered. two big ones are humidity and temperature. this is one of the reasons why so many of the macs of these eras are falling apart, when they get stored and put away, the places they get put are often cold and humid (basement, outdoor shed, etc) or hot and dry (next to a furnace or water heater in a storage area, shed). they aren't engineered to withstand seasons. apple computers seem to be even more susceptible to this, beyond the brominated plastic used being particularly prone to brittleness. the internal ESD shielding rusts very easily, as do the I/O port shields, undersides of the sony floppy drives, CD-ROM drive housings etc. even the case screws rust

 

a computer that is used is a computer that is maintained and stays in a temperature regulated area. mechanical parts may wear out faster, but those are trivial to replace.

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15 hours ago, Libretto said:

that isn't a zip drive, it's a DAT drive, probably DDS-2 4/8GB capacity

 

I had no idea, I guess I am too used to the third slot being a ZIP drive. If it could take an 8gb tape that is quite impressive for the time, It could not be specced with any more than a 1gb hdd. I might buy one of those drive for fun, there does not seem to be much information about them, I guess they were mostly used in businesses, not by consumers.

 

15 hours ago, Libretto said:

 

I actually find these ones to be worse a lot of the time. reasoning: computer hardware is engineered in a very complicated manner and a lot of factors get considered. two big ones are humidity and temperature. this is one of the reasons why so many of the macs of these eras are falling apart, when they get stored and put away, the places they get put are often cold and humid (basement, outdoor shed, etc) or hot and dry (next to a furnace or water heater in a storage area, shed). they aren't engineered to withstand seasons. apple computers seem to be even more susceptible to this, beyond the brominated plastic used being particularly prone to brittleness. the internal ESD shielding rusts very easily, as do the I/O port shields, undersides of the sony floppy drives, CD-ROM drive housings etc. even the case screws rust

 

a computer that is used is a computer that is maintained and stays in a temperature regulated area. mechanical parts may wear out faster, but those are trivial to replace.

 

I think it is a bit hit and miss, even the computers from this business varied wildly, some were pretty good, but with a dead PSU, and some were barebone and had been affected by the exploding battery so he just salvaged the parts. I would guess some businesses take good care of these computers when they are replaced, in case they need to be taken back in if the new one fails, while others just put them in the basement because they cannot be bothered to recycle them.

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Pretty sure the WGS95 came with the original DDS drives (2/4GB) (and the WGS80 should as well). DDS-2 came out sometime in 1993 so it might have made it into machines since the WGS line was sold for a few years.

 

Since all Quadras had SCSI ports an external DDS drive would be more useful since you can use it with multiple machines. Retrospec works well.

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First off, congratulations! That is a great find and would cost many hundreds of dollars if purchased on eBay. And it would probably arrive broken.

As an owner of an 8100, I can testify how brittle the plastics are, especially the bezels.

I would take the PRAM battery out, if you can, and either replace it with a new one or leave it empty, then put the cards back in and leave it closed.

You have a superb Mac there.

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7 hours ago, Unknown_K said:

Since all Quadras had SCSI ports an external DDS drive would be more useful since you can use it with multiple machines. Retrospec works well.

I used this combination to back-up my Mac systems back in the day (I had an external HP DDS-2 and later a DDS-3).

 

Congrats on the find - that is a terrific looking machine.

Edited by Juror22
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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2021 at 8:26 PM, ArmorAlley said:

First off, congratulations! That is a great find and would cost many hundreds of dollars if purchased on eBay. And it would probably arrive broken.

As an owner of an 8100, I can testify how brittle the plastics are, especially the bezels.

I would take the PRAM battery out, if you can, and either replace it with a new one or leave it empty, then put the cards back in and leave it closed.

You have a superb Mac there.

Thank you, all of these server machines seem very hard to find, I am very glad to have picked it up locally as you say. The plastics are not so bad on this one, definitively better than my 9500/200, the only casualties so far being the already missing interrupt reset buttons and the thing between the drives and PSU, luckily I was able to put that one back together. The PRAM battery did not stay long, though I was a bit surprised that it is in a different spot than my 9500s and even being able to put the battery cover back on without removing pulling out the board. I get why you would leave it closed, mine is super hard to fit the case back on, I dont understand why it is so much more difficult than my 9500s, which are not particularly fun either.

 

20 hours ago, Juror22 said:

I used this combination to back-up my Mac systems back in the day (I had an external HP DDS-2 and later a DDS-3).

 

Congrats on the find - that is a terrific looking machine.

 

Thank you, the internal one on this one seem to be a HP DDS-2 as well, specifically the C1533A, I would love to have an external one as well, but I will have to wait for a good deal since they are not cheap. I have ordered a NOS Sony DDS-2 tape, but I am not quite sure how the compression works to store 8gb, but i might have to connect the HDD to my 9500 anyway and back it up to an external firewire drive since the HDD has 8.5gb with only 20mb free.

Edited by ThisAwesomeCOLA
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So i ran out of patience and set up in the kitchen, it has a whopping 204mb of RAM and a 8.5gb HDD, so they spared no expense when upgrading this one. The G3 card sadly only runs at 195,6mhz due to the bus speed. It runs OS 9.04, but is a bit sluggish considering the specs, but has only 20mb free, so I will try to back it up and install 8.6 or even 9.22 since it has a g3 Processor. Not quite sure which is the best fit for this computer. 

 

I also tried some CDs, and though they played just fine, they got some weird sticky residue on the inside ring. Anyone have suggestions for a fix which does not involve opening the CD drive up?

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Mirroring what everyone else said, this is a super fun machine. Those upgrades make me think that it got cascaded into workstation use after its life as a server was done, whether that's something someone did in the late '90s or early 2000s  will of course be tough to tell, but still, very fun.

 

The DAT drive is really fun but I don't know if it's particularly practical these days, you can just back files up onto a netatalk or apple file server volume using the networking. It's probably worth leaving it in even if you disconnect it from the SCSI bus just for the looks though. (Unless you come up with something better to put in that bay like a scsi2sd or a second hard disk.)

 

6 minutes ago, ThisAwesomeCOLA said:

Not quite sure which is the best fit for this computer. 

 

My recommendation tends to be to try a few different versions. To be honest, on any NuBus PowerMac, you might even be best served by looking at 7.6.1 or 8.1, which are both meaningfully lighter-weight than 8.5-9.2.2.

 

I don't know if this machine will run 9.2, even with patches, but 9.1 is "Good enough" in terms of software compatibility on this machine anyway.

 

What I'd say is:

use 7.6.1 if you want maximum possible performance and want to leave the most possible overhead for applications, or if you prefer 7.6.1 for aesthetic reasons

use 8.1 if you plan on putting a really large disk in and want to use HFS+

use 8.5-8.6 if you want compatibility with some but not all newer software and are willing to give up on some performance to get it

use 9.1 if you want the most compatibility with late 9-era software and are willing to give up on some performance to get it

 

 

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8 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

The DAT drive is really fun but I don't know if it's particularly practical these days, you can just back files up onto a netatalk or apple file server volume using the networking. It's probably worth leaving it in even if you disconnect it from the SCSI bus just for the looks though. (Unless you come up with something better to put in that bay like a scsi2sd or a second hard disk.)

I wouldn't use a DAT for any modern backup just because most new systems don't have SCSI and even if they did the amount of storage is minimal at best.

 

On older systems DAT is great to get an archive of a whole system (back when you could store a whole HD or more on one tape) and the tapes themselves are fairly reliable and cheap to source. Like any kind of archiving system you should have more then one drive that works in case of one dying and keep images of the backup software around as well.

 

 

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as old tape drives go nowadays, a 40/80GB DLT or 20/40GB DDS4 DAT drive in an external box are easily found for $50ish or less and sealed old stock media is pretty cheap and common. these are probably still a more viable way of backing a system running an old OS up because SCSI is faster than ethernet in it. you can then free up a nubus slot for something else and use the onboard AAUI for old multiplayer games or getting on the internet.

 

it's also simply more fun in my opinion.

 

10 hours ago, ThisAwesomeCOLA said:

Thank you, all of these server machines seem very hard to find, I am very glad to have picked it up locally as you say. The plastics are not so bad on this one, definitively better than my 9500/200, the only casualties so far being the already missing interrupt reset buttons and the thing between the drives and PSU, luckily I was able to put that one back together. The PRAM battery did not stay long, though I was a bit surprised that it is in a different spot than my 9500s and even being able to put the battery cover back on without removing pulling out the board. I get why you would leave it closed, mine is super hard to fit the case back on, I dont understand why it is so much more difficult than my 9500s, which are not particularly fun either.

 

 

Thank you, the internal one on this one seem to be a HP DDS-2 as well, specifically the C1533A, I would love to have an external one as well, but I will have to wait for a good deal since they are not cheap. I have ordered a NOS Sony DDS-2 tape, but I am not quite sure how the compression works to store 8gb, but i might have to connect the HDD to my 9500 anyway and back it up to an external firewire drive since the HDD has 8.5gb with only 20mb free.

 

the compression algorithm for tape formats varies and I can't recall exactly which one DAT used, but most of them are based around LZW or stac, which are ancient algorithmic data compression technologies from the 1980s. these compress ASCII extremely well, but binary data like executable files, stuffit .sit files, jpeg files etc are already compressed via their own algorithms so cannot be compressed further.

 

therefore, if you try write 8GB of text documents and raw bitmap files, you may achieve the advertised 8GB. if writing 8GB of stuffit archives and jpeg files, you will not achieve greater than 4GB.

 

the easiest way to back the drive up is to run the machine in target disk mode off the 9500, by setting the SCSI ID of the 9GB disk in it to something that isn't being used by the 9500's disks, connecting the two via a DB25 to DB25 SCSI cable, then using the interrupt switch during the 8150's startup. then start the 9500 and the 8150's disks will be mounted as additional volumes once the 9500 is started.

Edited by Libretto
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10 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

What I'd say is:

use 7.6.1 if you want maximum possible performance and want to leave the most possible overhead for applications, or if you prefer 7.6.1 for aesthetic reasons

use 8.1 if you plan on putting a really large disk in and want to use HFS+

use 8.5-8.6 if you want compatibility with some but not all newer software and are willing to give up on some performance to get it

use 9.1 if you want the most compatibility with late 9-era software and are willing to give up on some performance to get it

Or create one boot volume per version of the system software and run all of them. Choose the boot volume according to need.

I have a 400MHz G3 Sonnet Crescendo (I got it NOS from Sonnet in 2010 yay!) in mine and it runs System 7.1.2 very quickly. I also have 8.1 (to access large volumes) and 9.1 (to use Classilla and thus access the Macintosh Garden) on mine. 9.1 isn't bad but it's not super fast either. It lets me upload & download but it requires patience.

By means of MacOS9Lives (I think it is called), I was able to put 9.2.2 on it but I saw no benefit and wiped that volume.

 

You may find that other NuBus cards don't work btw. I have the choice of either the Sonnet accelerator or the NuBus cards. I don't know how it is with the NewerTech card though.

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6 hours ago, ArmorAlley said:

Or create one boot volume per version of the system software and run all of them. Choose the boot volume according to need.

 

That's definitely a way to do it. To be honest, that recommendation doesn't cross my mind because I have enough Macs that I have a modern mac for getting files and putting them on the 10.4 server and then all my other macs connect to that or the asip6 box to get things.

 

I would probably get more into booting more than one OS at a time if I only had room for one system.

 

Though, even then I'd probably go just for 7.6.1 for speed and 9.1 for newer utilities and not bother with anything else, but that's mostly my own preferences and needs.

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