Getting files onto an old Mac

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by daniel-b, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. daniel-b, Mar 24, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012

    daniel-b macrumors member

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    #1
    Hi all,

    I've been trying to work out a solution to this little conundrum and can't quite get the details.

    I have two very old Macs: a Powerbook Duo 230 and a Macintosh Plus. How can I get files from the Internet into them?

    Here are the details:

    The Mac Plus has an external SCSI harddrive.
    The Duo has an external floppy drive (untested for 10 years) and I _might_ have a SCSI dock in the attic.
    I have a 2011 Mac Mini (probably useless for this task), an iBook G3 (original blue toilet seat) with System 9.0.4, a SCSI zip drive and a USB zip drive.

    The obvious solution is to connect the iBook to the Internet, download files, save on the USB zip drive, and then use the SCSI zip drive to get the files onto the old crocks.

    So here are the questions:

    - Does an iBook G3 work with a USB zip drive; can it format disks and does it need a special driver?
    - If so, can it format disks so that the Mac Plus and the Duo can read them?
    - Can the Mac Plus read zip disks without a special driver? I believe I read it needs a special driver to format them and to boot from them but as a first stage I just want to read them.

    Any suggestions or comments will be welcome.

    Thanks,

    Daniel
     
  2. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    #2
    The iBook will use the USB ZIP drive without a hitch. As for the Duo and Mac Plus, that may take some work. Both of them will run OS 7.5.5 which is a free download from Apple and I know for a fact that I used ZIP drives and discs under that OS years ago. Even so, if they're running something older that should still be okay in theory, but I wouldn't know for sure when Iomega started supporting ZIP drive software. You should be able to read and write to any HFS formatted disk without a hitch until OS 10.6 which killed off support for writing to old HFS formatted drives.
     
  3. MacTech68, Mar 24, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

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    #3
    If my old notes serve me correctly,

    There are two periods of Iomega driver installs.

    OLD: ZipTools

    ZipTools v4.2 installs onto System 7.0.x and later (the driver extension will work with System 6.0.8 or higher). get it at MacDriverMuseum. Download the "Iomega Zip Package v4.2 (948 k)"

    NEW: IomegaWare

    IomegaWare v4.0.2 installs on MacOS 8.6 to 9.2.2 (There is also a version for MacOS 10.1.x to 10.2.8)

    One reason for using the Iomega driver and utilities is the ability for the Utility program to "Format with surface verify" which from my experience is essential. It takes a little longer, but will lock out bad sectors so they're not used. NOTE: FORMAT ERASES EVERYTHING ON THE ZIP DISK.

    Once you get to MacOS 10.3, whilst the drive works without drivers, you will not be able to format the disk with surface verify using Apple's Disk Utility.
     
  4. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2012
    #4
    Thanks everyone.

    I'll let you know how it goes when I try it out.

    D.
     
  5. daniel-b, Apr 2, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012

    daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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  6. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Hi all,

    I just had a "so near and yet so far" moment with the Mac Plus and the zip drive. The drive is a zip plus, BTW, if that's relevant.

    Here's what I did:

    Downloaded the iomega tools onto my iBook, and formatted a zip disk using standard HFS in the USB zip drive.

    I changed the SC20 SCSI id to 6, and set the zip drive on 5.

    I connected the SC20 to the zip drive and the zip drive to the Mac. The SC20 has a SCSI terminator on it.

    The result was that when I start the mac with a zip disk in the rive, I get a system error crash during boot. It manages to reach the "Welcome to Macintosh" screen(and loads the screen saver extension, if that helps)

    If I start the Mac with no disk in the zip drive, it boots OK, but then when I insert a disk nothing happens and I have no way to mount it.

    My Mac Plus does not have a functioning floppy drive at the moment, so I have no way to add software to it and no way to upgrade the system. It is running an incredibly ancient system at the moment - I think it's 4.1 - so that may be the reason for the problem.

    I was hoping I could use the zip drive to get software onto the Mac, but it looks like we may have a chicken and egg situation.

    Does anyone have any suggestions how to proceed?


    Thanks,

    Daniel
     
  7. MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

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    #7
    Yup. It's difficult to remember exactly these details but this is rather an "explainer":

    If the Zip disc has a hidden driver on it, and the disc is inserted before boot up, the Mac will attempt to load that hidden driver from the Zip disc. One of two thing can happen.

    1. The driver is too new (could be PPC code or require SCSI manager 4.3) this generally causes a system crash as you are getting.

    2. Depending on the version of Zip utilities used to format the disk (and this applies to "IomegaWare" only) some did NOT place a hidden driver on the Zip disc when formatting and some versions did. I can't recall which versions but I remember investigating this years ago. If there is no hidden driver on the Zip disc, and none in the Mac's System Folder, the disc will not mount.

    There are other software tools that can dynamically load a driver on a disc that isn't loaded at boot time. SCSIProbe v4.3 can do this. Again, IIRC, this may require SCSI Manager 4.3 (which comes circa System 7.x).

    Any other suggestions I have involve getting software or at the very least a System Extension onto the Mac. I do fear that System 4 is going to be way too old for a Zip drive. The best action at this stage is to make sure you used "Zip Tools" to "erase with surface verify" and NOT "IomegaWare".

    Really need to get that floppy drive going. :(

    Also, be careful with the Zip Plus. IIRC, it is capable of SCSI or Parallel interfacing. You MUST always use the Iomega supplied SCSI cable for these drives or you risk damaging your SCSI interface on the Mac or the Zip drive.
     
  8. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2012
    #8
    Thanks,

    Here's what I am thinking of doing next:

    - Get the floppy disk running or replace it with a working internal or possibly external floppy drive.

    - Get a System 6 boot diskette with the zip drivers on it.

    - Boot from that and as far as can see, everything should work.

    Yes, the zip plus has it's own original cable. I normally use it with a hold Emax sampler and it works very well on that.

    Rgds,

    Daniel
     
  9. daniel-b, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Hello again,

    Possible solution to the problem: can a Quadra 650 read and write 800k disks?

    I may have found one for almost free, and if it does so it will not only give me a huge nostalgia trip to the 1990s when I had one on my desk at work for several years, but will also give me a solution for downloading files from the internet onto my Mac Plus.


    Thanks,

    Daniel
     
  10. MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

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    #10
    Yup, It will.
     
  11. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    Excellent! CD-ROM, Ethernet and a floppy compatible with 800K disks, what more can you ask? (assuming it all works ... )
     
  12. MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

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    #12
    Ethernet will only work if you have an AAUI to Twisted Pair transceiver. :(
     
  13. daniel-b, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    :eek:

    Thanks for remaining me about that.

    It still seems to me one of the better bridges between old computer and modern ones though . . .

    D.

    EDIT: One more thought that occurred to me: will the Quadra be able to read and write the Mac Plus hard disk directly?
     
  14. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2012
    #14
    Hi all,

    I got the Quadra. It came with a an old Mac 14" screen, a Macally keyboard and an Apple mouse. The seller had a basement with several old Macs. He offered me a IIci and and Quadra 700 in various stages of decay for approx $10 each. I passed (I want to stay married) and just took the Quadra. He did throw in a big bag full of old memory SIMMS and a SCSI terminator though, which was nice.

    The Quadra has 40MB of RAM and a 4GB IBM hard disk. It has System 7.6 installed on it. Its floppy drive will also need work or replacement, but at least this type is easy to find. It has no CD-ROM which I was quite surprised at because I thought they all had them.

    So, it seems these are my options for getting files on and off the various Macs in my modest collection. Please correct any inaccuracies here:

    - I can share floppies between the Quadra, the Duo and the Mac Plus, although I believe System 7.6 does not support 800k floppies, so I will need to downgrade the System. (Does System 7.5.X have a problem with my "huge" hard disk?)

    - I can connect the Quadra to the Internet and also do file sharing with the iBook (System 9.0.4)(?) Weird Apple network connector adapter needed.

    - I can connect the Zip drive to the iBook, the Quadra and the Mac Plus (with appropriate drivers)

    - I have a SCSI card reader which I bought years ago to use with a sampler and never used it. I think this will work with the Quadra and the Mac Plus.

    - Possibly, I can read and write the Mac Plus hard drive with the Quadra directly (???)

    I also intend to ditch the old Apple screen and connect the Quadra to my 24" Samsung LCD with a VGA adapter. Is this going to work?

    Have I forgotten anything?

    Thanks,

    Daniel
     
  15. MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

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    #15
    I would have grabbed the Quadra 700 for sure. No leaky capacitors on the motherboard on these and with upgraded VRAM can support some pretty high resolutions.

    System 7.6.x is the last to support 400K. Up to MacOS 9.x.x supports 800K & 1.44MB, so this system is perfect. Since you can safely use System 7.6, the 4GB drive is a non-issue.

    I'm assuming you have a USB Zip drive for the iBook, so yes to these (with the AAUI adapter).

    I'm not sure what you mean by this. You mean it reads memory cards? This may not work.

    Yes, this is possible. Just be sure to connect SCSI devices with everything powered off.

    Possibly, but you may get a fuzzy looking display since it may have to use a lower than native resolution. Also, a widescreen aspect ratio isn't supported so the display will either stretch the video or you'll have black bars left and right. Finding the adapter might be troublesome, but there is a simple way to make a generic VGA adapter.

    Yup... go and grab the Quadra 700!!! ;)
     
  16. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2012
    #16
    I'll think about it....

    Excellent!

    Yes

    It's one of these:

    http://a4000t.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=180

    I was thinking either of mounting it inside the Quadra, or putting it into an external enclosure.

    Excellent.

    I am aware that the video will be fuzzy, but the Apple monitor takes up half my desk, and weighs about half a ton.


    Maybe ;)

    Thanks very much for you help, again,

    Daniel
     
  17. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2012
    #17
    This works. I was able to read the disk, back up the important parts (I'm seriously wondering whether this might be the only working copy of this version of the system - System 4.1 in Hebrew - left in the world.) and save a text file on it which I could read with the Mac Plus.

    Definitely a victory of sorts :)

    D.
     
  18. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    Hi all,

    Another success! I managed to get my Quadra 650 connected to my network, and, just for a lark, I'm writing this posting using it.

    The first thing I did was get old-school Mac file sharing going between my blue iBook and the Quadra. This allowed me to transfer the iCab browser over, and then I was on the Internet.

    To be honest, it is a fairly harrowing experience. 33Mhz is SLOW, and so is 1993 Ethernet. The files transferred fairly quickly between the two Macs, but the poor old thing is not really up to handling modern web sites.

    Anyway, this will allow me to get drivers and stuff for the Quadra, and software for the Mac Plus (even if I download them with the iBook, which is still fast enough to be somewhat useful), which hopefully I will be able to transfer once both machines have working diskette drives.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Daniel
     
  19. MacTech68 macrumors 68020

    MacTech68

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    #19
    Well done! Yes, it's painful at 33Mhz.

    You could try setting up a LocalTalk network between the Quadra and the Mac Plus.

    You may even be able to bridge the Ethernet Appleshare and LocalTalk to share files directly between the iBook and Mac Plus using the Quadra as the bridge.

    See http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1258?viewlocale=en_US

    It's a little buggy in places but I used to use it in the workshop for certain tasks. It's even slower than AppleTalk over ethernet but gets the job done. It requires at least System 7.1.
     
  20. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2012
    #20
    Thanks. I might try that.

    Here are some more observations on the Quadra's ability to perform, post-1993.:

    - I got the zip drive to work. I can boot from it, but I installed System 7.5.3 on it and it can't mount my hard drive, because it claims the partition is too big. Since 7.6 obviously can do this, I'll try copying the system folder from the hard disk to the zip drive and see what happens.

    - I downloaded files from the Internet at speeds that would have been considered crazy in the mid 1990s (up to about 160k/s). Since I won't be downloading multi-gigabyte movies onto the Quadra, this is perfectly adequate. The slowness I mentioned above is presumably in rendering websites rather than downloading data, which means that simple websites and ftp should work very well.
    BTW, the browsers on my iBook get a bit confused with modern Internet speeds. Mozilla is not prepared to admit that it downloaded a file at more than 1MB a second . . .

    The Q650 still seems versatile and connectable, even today, as long as you don't push it beyond its limits.


    D.
     
  21. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Small question, does the USB Zip Drive not connect to the Mac mini?
     
  22. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    Good question. There's a very good chance it will work under Windows (it definitely worked on my old PC laptop under Windows XP).

    Whether it will work under Mac OSX Lion on an i5 Mac Mini is anybody's guess, but I think it's kind of doubtful.

    In any case, Lion does not support HFS, so the new and old Macs will not be able to share disks.
     
  23. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Have you tried Classilla? It seems to be about the only browser still supporting OS 9 these days.
     
  24. daniel-b thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    I had never heard of this, so I looked it up.

    It's only for those new-fangled PowerPC Macs.

    D.
     
  25. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    :D:D I meant for the iBook.
     

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