Want an old Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shaun.P, May 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #1
    Hey guys,

    A bit of an odd request, but I am looking to buy an old Mac for the sole purpose of word processing.

    • I would like the machine to run OS 9.2.2 or lower,
    • It must be capable of running ClarisWorks/AppleWorks (my favourite piece of software ever),
    • I need to be able to print the documents I create (perhaps I could hook up an old LaserWriter with cheap replaceable consumables still available)? Or perhaps I transfer the files to my MBP to print from my modern printer?
    • The main task on this machine would be word processing. Any other bonuses would be nice.

    Why don't I just word process on my MacBook Pro like everyone else?

    I like the idea of using an old computer for one basic task.

    I loved ClarisWorks/AppleWorks. Such a powerful, easy to use piece of software. I am a maths teacher - drawing maths related diagrams is relatively easy in the drawing package and items can be easily dropped into the word processing package. Moreover, Pages stil opens ClarisWorks/AppleWorks files.

    I would also find that such a machine would be so limited by today's standard, meaning I will be more inclined to get my work done instead of browsing online!

    I specifically remember using an all-in-one beige Performa that had a floppy disk drive and CD-ROM drive than ran OS 8.6. Memories!

    Please recommend machines and potentially the quirkiest, best Macintosh OS. It would be a bonus to be able to pick up plenty of software cheap from eBay.

    Shaun.
     
  2. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #2
    Here are a list of OS 9 compatible machines:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_9

    There are some specific models of G4s that will run OS 9, the iMac G4 would be the quirkiest. :) But you have to find the right model.

    The keyboards on the laptops are great. I would highly recommend one vs a desktop. I don't know if you still have CRT screens hanging around in your house, but I don't. So my beige desktop is just sitting here. The display connection is different to the studio displays Apple had for the G4 and G5 (well, I couldn't get mine to fit in there anyway :eek:).
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #3
    Thanks for the advice! I don't even think that I want something as new as an iMac G4 (or even G3). I want something that reminds me of the mid-nineties.

    Although I do love the look of the iMac G4 and it must run OS 9 extremely quickly...! Hmm!
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Location:
    Escape from New England
    #4
    Mid-90's is going to give you something like a tiny 640x480 display, no ethernet, 14.4k modem, no USB, boring beige cases. I remember using those "blazing fast" 75 Mhz PowerPC 603 machines and the one thing that stands out is that it was great to move up to the G3 and G4 because they were just so much faster especially with MacOS 9 and could connect to the outside world so much better.

    If you're going to be printing, I would go with something like from a Blue & White G3 up to maybe the Gigabit G4 and get a nice ADC display. You can connect to your modern network by ethernet and possibly have a chance at printing right from your machine without the dance of exporting your file so that your newer machine can print it.

    I can't imagine that any supplies, if available, for old LaserWriters are at all reasonably priced.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #5
    Thanks for all your useful advice. I can see you have some old Macs!

    See the way I'm looking at this is that I only need the most basic machine as I am only going to use it for one task. I was thinking that for printer - using a floppy disk and connecting to my MBP via an external USB floppy disk drive (quite cheap to buy!). I am looking for a rustic experience here!
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Location:
    Escape from New England
    #6
    Oh, I don't have the really old ones anymore. I kept the Mac IIvx around in the closet but I don't know what ever became of it.

    BTW Pages, Keynote, and Numbers will apparently open Appleworks files without too much fuss, so the USB floppy drive would be a quick way to print, assuming you have the iWork apps.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #7
    how about emulation?

    I run OS9 on a 2012 27" iMac through SheepShaver.

    Yep, OS 9 on a 2560x1440 monitor.

    I have networking and the printer saves out PDF files which is stored on a desktop folder of my OSX. You can set up shared folders easily.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #8
    I did not know about this... I'll investigate it!
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #9
    Actually, that's not necessarily true. I remember working on Macs in my high school desktop publishing lab in the mid-90's that had *tremendous* CRTs -- I think 21" 4x3 running at, if I had to guess, 1600x1200. That's more than enough for word processing.

    That said, finding a compatible monitor for something that old could be a chore, and LCD is much easier on the eyes for extended periods.

    I agree. The blue and white's have plenty of cachet. Another option would be those colorful clamshell iBooks from that period.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #10
    you can't get much more mid ninety's than a performa 6400/200 and even that machine with its big tower is bested by the slowest ibook g3,
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    I actually have a 6115 sitting in my closet with the monitor and keyboard, as well as a printer, though not sure the printer still works, the printer cartridges are likely old. I haven't booted it up in years, so I'd actually give it to you if you could figure out how I'd get it to you, I hate the idea of technology just getting trash canned.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
  13. macrumors newbie

    JCsHands2

    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    #13
    Maybe fastforward to the year 2000 and go with the Pismo? I still have the desire to buy one, max the RAM and buy a 500 Mhz Sonnet CPU upgrade.

    I told my wife about this, just last week, she shook her head at me.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #14
    You're the second person in this thread (and the third person in total) to recommend a Blue & White G3. I think I was hoping for more of a seamless setup rather than having to connect an external monitor.

    The speed isn't important to me as it will be just for word processing. A colleague of mine uses an Acorn Archimedes A3020 for a similar task!

    That's very generous of you. However it is a long way to Omicron Persei 8 (Scotland)!

    I am the same. I think it's nice to find a use for old technology.

    I think I'd prefer a desktop - but thank you for the recommendation.


    Is anyone here a ClarisWorks/AppleWorks fan? I truly think it's the best word processor I've ever used. So simple, yet with so much functionality. I find using it so much fun. I wished Apple just updated it. It has a lot more class than Pages / Numbers.

    I am potentially considering an iMac G4, but unsure if it'll run OS 9.

    What about this from 1993? Or this (what I used at school).
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Lucky Country
    #16
    Yes, I am. Although I've updated to Bean, I still like to use my original WP files in Sheepshaver. As you say, simple, yet complete.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Location:
    Galvatraz, TX
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #18
    Had one of those in my school media lab. It was a blazing fast machine at the time. Should serve you well.
     
  19. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #19
    "I run OS9 on a 2012 27" iMac through SheepShaver.
    Yep, OS 9 on a 2560x1440 monitor."

    Could you point the way to a site(s) that explains how to do this?
    That is, where to get the needed software, and how to install it?

    The time I tried using Sheepshaver, it was "a bear" to set up.

    A set of "layman's instructions" would help….
     
  20. macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #20
    I think it'll start collecting dust after a week or two. The old Macs are just a pain, use SheepShaver and work out your nostalgia bug (they don't last long).
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #21
    Hey there,

    Looked into SheepShaver but found it far too complicated to understand.

    Think I'll use it quite a bit. If not, I've not wasted too much money!!!

    Are these quite upgradable? Thinking of adding an additional 512MB of RAM for £10. Graphics worth updating?
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #22
    E-maculation.

    http://emaculation.com/doku.php/sheepshaver
    http://emaculation.com/doku.php/sheepshaver_mac_os_x_setup

    There is a forum and some third party utility that allows you to make a VM with point-n-click as same as if you were doing VirtualBox.
    In the prefs, the UNIX root is the shared folder. For example, I share my OSX desktop to drop files back and forth. There is also examples of how to get printing working.
     
  23. macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #23
    For quite a while, even up to about 2007, I used a PowerBook 100 for word processing. Running off a RAM disk, the battery lasted about 8 hours, and was dead silent.

    I also used a PowerBook Duo 2300c for time tracking, quote and receipt printing for my on-site business (with a Color StyleWriter 2200 to print.)


    If you want the ultimate "type on an old Mac in style" computer, find a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. It was the height of late '90s chic.

    If you don't want an LCD, then you want to make sure to get a CRT with a high refresh rate. Old CRTs are hard on the eyes at lower refresh rates. Of course, a large one with a high refresh rate will be a power hog, too.

    If you want REALLY retro, find an old Apple Portrait Display. Nice vertical (portrait) orientation, purely grayscale (so even an old one won't have any color separation issues, and grayscale is plenty for word processing,) and a decent 75 Hz refresh rate.
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    #24
    got an old mac

    hate to give up old macs myself, got an blue and white in the closet
    interested? email me
    Carol
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Lombard, IL
    #25
    +1 for the Pismo.

    That was a fantastic machine. Two swappable bays for double the battery life if you didn't need the optical drive, sexiest laptop shape ever ("BatMan's Laptop"), decent screen. Expandable to a gig of RAM, could run OS X just fine, and I often used mine with an external monitor. It was the pinnacle of Apple's pre-aluminum laptop design.

    If only they had MagSafe connectors for their adapters! A clumsy swing of my black lab's tail sent mine crashing to the hardwood floor of my kitchen, destroying the display. Sold it on eBay for parts and the guy who bought it had a screen and fixed it--probably still in use right now. I know I'd be using it for writing today if it hadn't been smashed.

    If you want great retro Mac vibe with enduring productivity, take another close look at the Pismo. Sexiest laptop ever.
     

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