Plaintalk

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by Bobdude161, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. Bobdude161 macrumors 65816

    Bobdude161

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    N'Albany, Indiana
    #1
    I was trying to connect a generic microphone to my Beige G3 and it didn't seem to work. So I tried another one and that one didn't seem to work either. I looked it up the Mac OS 9 help guide and it told me to use either a USB microphone or a PlainTalk microphone. Why is this? What's so different about PlainTalk than a regular microphone??

    And to solve this problem, I have the video input/output personality card in my G3. In this case, couldn't I use a microphone jack to red/white stereo cable converter and just use the input sound from RCA In?
     
  2. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    All I know is PlainTalk microphones have a longer jack than generic microphones. I'm not sure if anybody made PlainTalk hardware other than Apple.
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #3
    I believe that the PlainTalk microphone works at line levels, not microphone levels.
     
  4. Bobdude161 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Bobdude161

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    N'Albany, Indiana
    #4
    Weird indeed. eBay sells them. And I can see the in the pic that the jack is longer. Quite a nuisance though, Apple not using a regular microphone jack.
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #5
    They came at a time when Apple was using NuBus and Processor Direct Slots, their own video connections, and a proprietary operating system that wasn't compliant with any outside technologies. What's your point? :p
     
  6. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    Just a few misconceptions to be cleared up here...

    On NuBus:

    32bit NuBus was developed by MIT and standardized by Texas Instruments years before Apple ever selected it, and it was far more advanced than the 8bit or 16bit PC ISA alternative available at the time. Apple probably assumed that this would become the standard in the future. NuBus did not last long after PCI appeared on the scene, and Apple barely made any attempt to keep it alive. It's Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) number is 1196. So yes, it was an industry standard.

    On PDS:

    Computers with PDS slots were not considered aftermarket "expandable" as most PDS slots were filled with Apple coprocessors, Apple networking cards, Apple video cards, or Apple modems. Third party developers only created upgrades for the PDS slots of various machines at their whim and were not really inclined to do so since the only machines that had PDS solely and no NuBus slots were "consumer" and "educational" machines - systems not meant to be taken apart by the user. All professional machines had NuBus slots.

    You'll find that all the PDS-only systems, such as the IIsi or LC III were also extremely small compared to the average PC at the time - this was also a selling point to many consumers who wanted computing power in a small space. And unlike the average PC, they still included sound, color, and built in networking! When the Mac microphones were introduced in the late 80s, how many PCs had a microphone port? How many PCs even had sound?

    On DB15 ("Macintosh Video"):

    The DB15 connector was just Apple's video signaling choice, but wasn't really "different" from the PC method, other than physical adapter - it could be converted for use by PC displays (or visa-versa) with simple and relatively inexpensive adapters that switched signal locations and modified frequencies, and were about the size of a matchbook.

    On the Macintosh System as a Whole:

    For other hardware, for example SCSI, RJ-45 ethernet (via AAUI), modem technologies, display resolutions, floppy disks, CD-ROM drives and their speeds, Apple pretty much followed along with the PC industry and varied very little from "standards."

    The question is, what exactly is "proprietary" and how do you define it? Is it simply by installed user base? In those earlier days, PCs running DOS and Windows were equally proprietary as Mac OS, and the Mac OS actually had more users than Windows itself. Remember there were lots of other OSes too at that time. It was up to developers to decide which OS to make compatible hardware and software for, based on what technologies were available to each OS (generally, for example, ISA, IDE, and Parallel for PC as opposed to NuBus, SCSI, and, well, SCSI for Macintosh). Since obviously there were way more PCs, and would be for the foreseeable future, it was more financially sound to develop for the PC architectures.

    So it's not fair (in my opinion anyway) to just pass Apple off as being "so proprietary" because it wasn't a PC, that was the whole point of it! I mean, wouldn't you much rather have NuBus slots and and external SCSI drives over what the alternative was at the time?

    Conclusions:

    Most everything any company has ever created could have been considered proprietary at some point. Only some have caught on (FireWire) while others didn't (AAUI). That's how innovation occurs - when new superior technologies are introduced with the intention of replacing older ones. But if you pass off every new invention or application as being "proprietary" then what enticement does anybody have to push technology further?
     
  7. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #7
    I'd add that NeXT, Sun and SGI were all using SCSI and that they were all using "nonstandard" video connectors (13w3). All my Suns and SGIs have AAUI ethernet, my Indy and Indigos all have Apple serial ports for connecting LaserWriters, and later NeXT hardware used ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) for their keyboards and mice.

    By comparison, PCs came with next to nothing. Most PCs couldn't handle drives larger than 500 MB in the early 90's and some PCs into the late 90s couldn't handle more than 2 GB. My Quadra 950 (from 1992) has a 9.1 GB drive in it and has room for three internal drives... and thanks to having two SCSI buses, I can have many more than that connected externally.

    What PC of that period could do that?

    Throw in the fact that my 950 tops out at 256 MB of RAM (an amount that was unheard of in the PC world at the time... and was rare in the workstation market too) and that this system also has three 21" displays (PCs couldn't handle more than one display until Windows 98 as I recall... may have been 98SE).

    And some of the things that NuBus let Macs do was incredible... there were cards that would totally accelerate many tasks in Photoshop or allow for high end video capture. You couldn't do anything like that on a PC with their "standard" equipment.

    PCs were for home users and offices... they were little more than type writer replacements before the late 90s. Anyone with serious tasks to perform would never have given a standard PC a first thought because they really weren't even considered "real" computers back then.

    Companies like DEC, HP and IBM that made high end Intel based systems often used stuff like SCSI because it was the only way to compete with Apple, Sun and SGI... and those companies were also making non-Intel based Unix workstations too.

    It has only been within the last 10 years that PCs have been adequate for more advanced computing tasks.


    When it comes to technology, I find it hard to fault Apple (or any of the high end computer makers of the late 80's early 90's) for their choices. They made it so you could do things back then that PC users are only now starting to do on Windows machines today.
     
  8. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a

    madmax_2069

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    Springfield Ohio
    #8
    i have a Beige G3 AIO which has a built in Mic. and it works great in OS 9.2.2 but in OS X it dont work untill i plug in a normal Mic in the Mic port on the Personality card. but the external Mic dont work but it enables the internal Mic within OS X. weird huh

    on these Beige G3 system's i think you can use a standard Computer Mic but i dont know since the external Mic dont work only enables the built in Mic in OS X i havent tryed it in OS 9
     
  9. Bobdude161 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Bobdude161

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    N'Albany, Indiana
    #9
    bousozoku = pwnt. lol. I too thought Apple was proprietary, but I just thought that because I was living in my own Mac world back then (9 years ago). Sheltered from the world of PCs. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

    Anyways, back on topic :p . I ended up buying a 2 port USB PCI card and a USB mic. I haven't hooked it up yet, but we'll see how it goes.
     
  10. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    I really enjoy PC commercials that exclaim "you can even configure a computer that will allow you to edit home movies!" Like wow, that is such a new amazing incredible technology.

    I've never used a USB microphone, it always felt like that would be overkill for microphoning. Be sure to tell us how that works out with OS 9.
     
  11. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #11
    If I'm not mistaken, the PlainTalk microphones incorporated phantom power, hence the longer plug with additional conductors.
     
  12. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #12
    The only misconception was your assumption that I was saying more than I did.
     
  13. Bobdude161 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Bobdude161

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    N'Albany, Indiana
    #13
    It's pretty simple. Installed the USB card turned on the computer, connected the mic and automatically found it. It is listed under "external mic" and except of using "built in" driver, there's something called "USB audio". presto pasta, mama mia! same quality, maybe even better.

    as for quality, i bought an analog logitech mic and it sounded like crap on a PC and then tried the logitech usb mic and it rocked!!! It does a good job of not picking up environmental noise.
     
  14. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #14
    not more, just longer. holding one right now. its .75 inches long from base to tip, and has 3 seperate bands/conductors just like a standard headphone plug. there were two different versions that i have seen (probably more) the stand version, and the monitor top edge version. i have the monitor top edge version here. it sat on top of the monitor at the front edge, and the cord ran down over the back to the tower. worth millions now, i'm sure...:rolleyes:

    i'd offer to send it to you, but sounds like the usb thing is working well.
     
  15. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #15
    Well, yeah, but I was comparing to the earlier Apple mics, which didn't require a phantom power source and used only two conductors. ;)
     

Share This Page