View Full Version : what is the oldest mac you can surf with comfortably?

Aug 3, 2004, 01:25 AM
...or the oldest browser?

netscape 4.x on my ibook quits too much
netscape 6 freezes since it's too fancy for my machine and os
ms ie 4.5 kicks me offline a lot

and all this, of course, under os 9 on a nearly 5 year old ibook (rev a)

i guess i am getting kicked off the internet ;) but i wonder if i could get some sort of browser that will work or if i need a new ibook

Aug 3, 2004, 01:36 AM
I have found that Internet Explorer 5.1.7 under OS 9 to be a decent Internet browsing experience on a 400 Mhz Ruby iMac.

Aug 3, 2004, 02:03 AM
If I had my choice of macs to surf with, I'd go with a dual 2.5ghz G5 :p :D :rolleyes:
Actually though, i.e. 5.x works surprisingly well on OS9, at least better than netscape. I think the oldest mac I can remember using it on was 333mhz... something. I could be wrong though

Aug 3, 2004, 02:19 AM
I've got a PowerMac 7600 (120mhz OS 9.1) that does alright with the versions of IE and Netscape that came with 9.1. These browsers are only alright though. They won't get any better since they're not being developed anymore.

So it's not your iBook exactly. It's the browsers--but you don't have many choices. That computer will run Panther and it'll run it decently if your primary uses for it are internet and word processing. That would open you up to many newer and better browsers and it's a lot cheaper than a new Mac.

Aug 3, 2004, 02:22 AM
put os 10.3 on your ibook, i have it running on my ibook300 & imac 233 fine, the only problem is its a bit tight for space on the ibook ( install it with out all the language & printer options). then you can use Safari. :) or ie5.2

Aug 3, 2004, 02:55 AM
Powermac 7500 with Netscape 4.7

Aug 3, 2004, 03:45 AM
An old beige G3 233 Mhz with MacOs system 8.1. This is one of the Mac's we use at work for medical image processing. It has an external 33Kbps modem and with that speed, we can retrieve yahoo mail and do some general web surfing.


Aug 3, 2004, 07:28 AM
I've got a Beige G3/266 with 160 mb ram and os 9.2,
i'm using netscape 7.0.1 (it's the most compatible browser for os 9.)
I've also used mozilla (1.2.1 i think) but it was crashy..
I've heard that its a Mozilla 1.3 build called Wamcom for os 9 too,
never used it though.
iCab is also worth taking a look at.


Aug 3, 2004, 08:35 AM
thanks for the tips

it looks like i should try netscape 7.1...perhaps version 6 is just not that compatible and i have heard a lot of complaints about it

it's too bad there's no support for os 9 anymore...i don't want to put put os x on my ibook since it only has a 3 gig hard drive and 160 megs of ram maxed out on it

if i had a computer running panther, i would want no less than 512 megs of ram...i have one gigabyte of ram on my dual g4 and i will eventually put os x on that machine and i think it will run it fine

Aug 3, 2004, 08:57 AM
This is a little off topic, but the first mac I remember browsing the internet on was an LC 520 using netscape 1.1. I remember when netscape 1.2 came out, we downloaded it at 1 kbps and just stared at it the whole time. Oh man that was cool. I guess it was a pretty comfortable browsing experience, it never crashed or anything. It was just really SLOW because that was eight years ago.

Aug 3, 2004, 09:11 AM
my powerbase/200 runs Netscape 4.5 just fine, except a few sites that are too advanced and wont let me in.

incidently, i still have my Netscape personal ed box/cd in my closet :)

Aug 3, 2004, 09:17 AM
my powerbase/200 runs Netscape 4.5 just fine, except a few sites that are too advanced and wont let me in.

incidently, i still have my Netscape personal ed box/cd in my closet :)

really, just fine? and how many is a "few" ;)

Aug 3, 2004, 09:17 AM
when i had my beige, i used mozilla. i didn't have too many crashing episodes at all... and it actually ran decent. much faster than IE.

anyhew, despite the slow beastie, when hooked up to a cable modem, it was suprisingly fast... though not break-neck speed, it went fast.

King Cobra
Aug 3, 2004, 10:40 AM
iMac 233MHz, OS 9.2.2, Mozilla 1.x

Aug 3, 2004, 11:17 AM
it's too bad there's no support for os 9 anymore...i don't want to put put os x on my ibook since it only has a 3 gig hard drive and 160 megs of ram maxed out on it

You may want to check this but I think you can put a bigger chip in your Rev A iBook. OWC lists 128mb, 256mb and 512mb SODIMMs for all G3 iBooks. Low End Mac says that your iBook can support 576MB. http://www.lowendmac.com/pb2/ibook.shtml

It may be worth it to spend $50 - $100 for either a 256 or 512 and get Panther installed on the iBook. You'd have a very usable internet terminal.


Aug 3, 2004, 12:15 PM
really, just fine? and how many is a "few" ;)

well, i haven't used it in about a year, but back then i think about 80% of the websites i went to were okay. certain java frames didn't work well, but it was tolerable. But the powerbase doesn't have a ethernet card now, so i dont use it anymore.

Aug 3, 2004, 02:29 PM
I have learned over the years that it is always best to keep software updated. Many times I learned the hard way. It just seems that the Mac OS knows when something newer is out there.

Aug 3, 2004, 04:24 PM
The Campus I go to has 333Mhz iMacs w/ 128MB of RAM and Jag on there and it surfs the web adequately. Had IE on there.

Aug 3, 2004, 04:52 PM
My 6500 runs IE 5.1.5 on mac os 8.6, maxed out at 128MB ram. I installed a 10/100 nic and access 256K broadband. And guess what .... it runs really well. The kids use it to access multimedia children's sites, with no probs at all.

Aug 3, 2004, 07:21 PM
I'd say in my experience, a ~200MHz PowerMac with OS9 and either the latest version of Mozilla that will run in Classic (1.2 I think it was?) or IE5 is about the oldest you can be comfortable with. Mozilla is very slow on anything that old, so I'd probably go for IE unless the computer is at least 400MHz.

Netcscape 4 is still a standby for a lot of people, but honestly, it crashes constantly and from a web designer's standpoint it is TERRIBLE--far worse than even old versions of Mozilla or IE5. More importantly, until recently enough people were still clinging to NS4 so web designers would usually make an effort to accomodate it, but at this point use has dropped below 0.5% and will be negligible by some time in 2005, so a lot of designers ignore it completely. Personally, at this point I usually just code a relatively ugly bare-bones version for it so people can get at the content, but it won't be pretty.

That's why I say IE5 or Mozilla is a must; those both have solid enough standards support that while you may get some funky looking pages occasionally, anything written really well and not trying to show off too much should look passable.

Ideally, a 400MHz G4 with Panther and Camino, Firefox, or Safari is the way to go--that way, you can run most of the fun stuff without problems.

Aug 4, 2004, 12:25 AM
With an Internet connection I could surf on a PowerBook 170 or so -- would be no worse than a Palm Tungsten C, which on occasion I do use to browse.

Aug 4, 2004, 03:45 AM
WamCom is the latest Mozilla build for Classic Mac Os,
its based on the 1.3 version.
(newest stable is 1.7 but only for osx)

here is the link:


Aug 4, 2004, 05:04 AM
I used to surf with a mac II cx a couple of years ago. I believe I used NCSA Mosaic and maybe Netscape later on. But I wouldn't call it a comfortable experience :)