How do you use your old Macs

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by munkees, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. munkees macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    i use my iMac g3 350 running mac os x 10.2.8 with my proscope as the front end, snap images from my lab desk store them on my share drive(until i build a server).

    ibook g3 300 192 mb ram mac os x 10.2.8 used for Genealogy research and old classic programs.

    ibook g3 700 mac os x 10.4.4 is dispatched to parents so they can iChat with my daughter, that because they suck and won't buy a mac yet.

    powermac g4 macos x 10.4.5 My main machine used for surfing, email, all thing i would like to do.

    iMac Dual Core 20" pretended to wife it is hers, I spend 95% time on it doing all things that might need the extra preformance.

    In the future my own high speed $5000 dollar Mac, so my wife can have the iMac.
  2. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I threw my Bondi iMac in the dumpster a moth ago.

    I needed closet space. ;)
  3. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    PowerBook G3 (Wallstreet)- 09/1998 - This is my primary system, I use it for most of what I do. I've upgraded the processor to a G4 at 500 MHz (1 MB of cache), upped the RAM to 512 MB, it has two internal hard drives (40 GB and 20 GB) and an internal CDRW.

    Power Macintosh 8600/300- 08/1997 - Running Rhapsody 5.6 (Mac OS X Server 1.2), this is my main Rhapsody workstation. Beyond giving me access to all my Rhapsody apps, it also lets me use most of my older Mac apps (running in Blue Box). The system is still using it's original processor, a PowerPC 604ev running at 300 MHz with 1 MB of cache. The RAM is currently at 416 MB and it has a 9 GB hard drive. I maxed out the onboard VRAM to 4 MB and put in two ixMicro TwinTurbo 128M video cards (8 MB VRAM each), which are running two 17" displays. I have Blue Box set up to run on the second display when it is on so that I can see both Yellow Box and Blue Box apps at the same time.

    iMac G3/350- 10/2000 - Actually this is mainly a back up for the PowerBook, and is used for watching DVDs, playing games and iTunes.

    Power Macintosh 8100av- 03/1994 - This is my primary classic application system. Along with the Apple AV Video card is another 32 bit NuBus video card, these are running two Apple 16" displays. The system has 208 MB of RAM and has been upgraded to a G3 running at 500 MHz (with 1 MB of cache).

    Macintosh Quadra 950- 05/1992 - Currently I run this system for burning CDs and playing some older games, though I have also used it for page layout projects in the past. It has three 21" Radius displays connected to it, the RAM is at 136 MB, it has almost 10 GB of drive space, two CD-ROM and one CDR drives, and an Apple PowerPC 601 upgrade card running at 66 MHz (with 1 MB of cache).

    Power Macintosh 7500- 08/1995 - This system was my main Rhapsody system until it was replaced by the 8600. It still has the 9 GB drive from back then, plus an additional 3 GB drive, and has been put into use as a server (this marks the first time that I've ever used Mac OS X Server 1.x as a server oddly enough). It is powered by a PowerPC 604e daughter card running at 225 MHz and has 256k of cache.

    PowerBook Duo 2300c- 08/1995 - This is mainly a school system. I have Mac OS 8.6 running on it with Mathematica and Theorist installed. It is also used by my wife for playing same of here older games. I maxed out the RAM to 56 MB, and it is running on a PowerPC 603e at 100 MHz.

    PowerBook 3400c- 02/1997 - Running with a PowerPC 603e at 200 MHz, it is a nice system for running my classic apps while on the road... and I have a ton of older apps. I actually set the system up as a training system. With 40+ major apps, I made sure that pretty much all of them are accompanied with training materials. Even though the apps are older versions, you could learn Flash, Photoshop, QuarkXPress, Premiere, and more on this system. In fact, someone is borrowing this system right now to learn GoLive. It can also be used for school (as Mathematica and Theorist are installed on it too), but it weighs twice as much as the 2300c and that makes a difference in a bag full of books and papers.

    Most of my other Macs are cadavers. Systems that I use for learning how to service systems. I was given two Beige G3 mini towers, which I've been using to put together one very good system. The final case already has 448 MB of RAM, a ATI Radeon 7000, a Sonnet Tempo ATA66 card and a USB card and is running 10.3.9. I haven't decided what processor to use for the upgrade yet. And it has a nice flat 20" CRT display.

    On the non-Mac side...

    Silicon Graphics Indy- 1993/1994 - This system is used for all my video capture. Even though it is one of my older systems, it can capture video at full frame rate at full frame size. This is due to specialized video capture hardware (Indy Video and Cosmo Compression boards) that I added to it a number of years ago. I also upgraded the processor from it's original MIPS R4600sc (512k of cache) at 133 MHz to an MIPS R4400sc (1 MB of cache) at 175 MHz, and placed the original 1 GB drive with a 9 GB drive. There is still room for another drive, but I've been considering replacing the 9 GB with a 36 GB drive I acquired last year. The Indy uses 50 pin SCSI, so I need an adapter for the 36 GB drive (which is 80 pin).

    IBM ThinkPad 760ED- 1997 - This is my main system when out on service calls. It is usually running Rhapsody 5.1 on a 6 GB drive... which is full of technical documentation on just about everything Apple. Because of the case design I can swap out drives very quickly (less than 30 seconds), so I keep a 2 GB drive with OPENSTEP 4.2 installed that I also run on this same ThinkPad. Beyond the different operating systems, I use Rhapsody for work and OPENSTEP for school (it runs a number of math apps I need, including Geomview).

    I also have a couple more SGIs, a couple Suns and a few more PCs, but these are rarely used.

    And other systems in my home that could be considered older...

    PowerBook G3 (Pismo)- 02/2000 - This is my wife's primary system. It is running 10.3.9, and serves as both her main computer and DVD player. In some ways it is faster than my Wallstreet (it is running on a G3 at 400 MHz, but has twice as much VRAM), but I love my Wallstreet too much to give it up, so when we got the Pismo, it became my wife's system (before that we both had accounts on the Wallstreet and would fight for time on it).
  4. jihad the movie macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2003
    Smugtown, NY
    We usually just keep passing them around the family, but right now, we have a few LCIIs, a Quadra 605, a Mac II FX, a 6500/225 and a whole slew of other beige macs ready to move on out to the computer recycling center.

    I used the 6500 for a whopping 3 years, and my brother used it for Two, but now it is truly beyond the point usability. I purchased a Quicksilver 800 for $1,200 back in 2002 and used it until I got a Dual 1.8 G5 for Graduation in 2004.

    When I got my G5, my Quicksilver 800 went to my little brother and mom, and when I got my 12" PowerBook, my Pismo went to my mom.

    The Quicksilver does everything it does when I got it back in 2002, it edits video, does Photoshop, etc, but it is really beginning to show it's age. We upped the ram to 1.25gb, gave it a 801.11g card, threw in larger HDs, everything short of a processor upgrade, and it is still pretty slow on some tasks. We have considered a Processor Upgrade, but I think we can wait two more years with it as is. My brother will be going to college soon, and I think he wants to get a brand new mac. So in that case, I will probably give my G5 to my mom, help my little brother get a MacPro, and possibly get a desktop for myself as well.

    The Pismo is used mainly for wireless internet and Claris Works (yes, Claris Works, my mom still loves using it). My brother never gets off the quicksilver, and my mom doesn't like to fight with him to use it, so she does all of her email, web browsing and word processing on the Pismo. I can't stand using it anymore, but she thinks it is lightning fast, so more power to her. The HD clicks sometimes, and the machine locks up. If/When I upgrade my 12", the HD from my 20 GB portable external drive will be going into the Pismo, and the 60GB in my PowerBook will go into the external drive. Once the Pismo finally goes, which will probably be around that same time as my brother goes to college, I will give my mom my 12" and I will get myself a MacBook Pro.

    And that is how we use our old macs.
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Power Mac 8500/150 2.0 GB of drive space and 160 MB of RAM. It's running 8.6 and I use it to play around with old Classic games and web browse. It's mostly to relive the Classic era.

    Power Mac G3 B&W I overclocked my 400 MHz G3 to 450. It's used for iTunes, watching anime, and web browsing. I just bought a Radeon 7000 PCI and a Linksys PCI Wi-Fi card for it. I'll be taking it off of the wired ports and putting back into my room. I'm thinking about upgrading it to a G4 or a crazy fast G3. I love watching video on it and I use my huge 21" CRT on it.
  6. munkees thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest

    Wow, you have some old computers, my oldest is 2000. It is so cool how you get so much productivity out of all those systems. You place must be a ton of screens. It really found that what you do with those systems is truely amazing. I would like to find more out about blue and yellow box, I have hard about these before and have yet to know and understand exactly they are.

    In 1997, a friend of mine was working on a secret squire project at apple with Raspsody, i believe it was Raspsody, it was unix with is swtichable interface to a classic look and feel. It was cool, we were going to develop a game together, I had just writen an simulation engine.

    Do you have plans to get an G4 / G5 or intel in the near future ? what are you studying ?
  7. Jason Bourne macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2005
    I gave my upgraded Sawtooth G4 (1GB RAM, 120GB HD, 1.4GHz G4, Radeon 9000 Pro) and it's 23" ACD to my wife (don't think she's ever used it though). I have 2 old white iBooks (500MHz G3) one of which is occasionally used for couch surfing, the other makes a good paperweight. Assorted older macs (powerbooks, a 7200/90, etc...) were donated or are sitting in storage somewhere. I'd love to make better use of my older macs, but I have a work laptop PC and a Quad G5 with 30" ACD and honestly, have very little need for anything else. If I could use it for work, I'd swap out the PC laptop for a top-spec MacBook Pro in a second, but our corporate IT wouldn't support it and it would be difficult to get it to work with corporate email, blackberry, etc...
  8. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Well, you know if you look at things from, say, 10 years ago... like magazines, movies and the like, the quality of the workmanship isn't really any less than today. So even old equipment and software should be able to produce quality work... even if it takes a little longer or a few more steps.

    My SGI Indy, in it's current configuration, would have been a $27,000 system back in 1996. Between the time I bought it in 1999 to today I've spent about $1,100 on it (I just spent $25 replacing the power supply that died last week). I've more than earned that much from using the system in that time.

    As for the monitors... yeah, I have a lot. My friends refer to my computer area as Mission Control. This is a quick diagram of my computer area (what should have been the living room of our apartment):


    and this is a quick set of images of the room (remember, I'm sick and wasn't expecting company :D ):

    Actually the best place to start learning about Rhapsody is my web site...

    I've been using Rhapsody for years and realized that a lot of the sources for information that I had are long since gone, so I've been trying to make sure that there is still one place on the net that people can find out about this operating system.

    I actually spend most of my time in Yellow Box in Rhapsody. I own a lot of Yellow Box software, so I can do quite a lot of things with it. And as it turns out, most of those Yellow Box titles are still around today (as Cocoa apps) and are what I use in Mac OS X.

    I have been spending a lot of time in Blue Box lately, mainly because I'm usually already sitting at the 8600... and it handles memory better than the regular Mac OS 8/9 (memory management is handed over to Rhapsody).

    Rhapsody would have been a nice environment for developing games. John Carmack worked with the Omni Group on Quake II for Rhapsody, and even got it ported to Rhapsody before it was ported to Mac OS 8. Carmack was an early fan of Rhapsody, which isn't surprising as he was also a NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP user too. He developed DOOM on a NeXTstation, and continued to use the platform for aspects of the development of Quake.

    I was planning on getting an older G4, but two of my clients gave me Beige G3s, so I've decided that I'll see how far I can push those. I'm sure that some day I'll get a G5 and an Intel based system... I just tend to not get new systems.

    Oddly enough, the reason for getting the Quadra 950 originally, and the reason it is still around today, is that it was my dream machine back in the early 90's. It was faster than any Mac before it, it could take twice as much RAM... and it was just an impressive piece of hardware to see in person. But at almost $10,000 I sure couldn't afford one (I had an SE/30 back then). This one I got for $150 back in 1999.

    I would say that the original dual processor G5 is my Quadra 950 of today, so I'm sure someday I'll have one. Plus I'll need a new(ish) system sometime in the near future (my iMac I bought new in 2000), so if the Minis are Intel based, then I'll have an Intel system.

    Thing is, most of my most used software is already Universal (and was back in the Rhapsody days, which is why I get so much use out of my old ThinkPad), so a change in processor isn't going to effect me too much.

    Mathematics. I started out as a Physics major back in the late 80's (in fact it was an ad for Theorist in Physics Today that got me started on using Macs), but switch to mathematics when I found that I had an aptitude for visualizing aspect of geometry and topology.

    With the help and encouragement of my professors I was quickly taking graduate courses and doing research (at first in differential geometry, then later in differential topology). I even got work doing math for some engineers and got a summer job at the NSF Geometry Center (on a combination NSF/Dept. of Energy grant).

    The problem was that I got so caught up in my math that I sorta forgot about the reason I was in school to begin with... to get a degree. I have enough undergraduate math for a bachelors and enough graduate course work (along with my research) for a Ph.D.... but I didn't finish things like a couple writing courses, a visual arts course, a US History course... the little things that Universities want you to finish before you even start on the things I was spending all my time on.

    Add to that a painful divorce in 1997 (I married one of my high school teachers back in 1987... but that is another story), and my education came to a stop. I came out to Minnesota in 1997 to see a professor... and ended up staying (I needed to get away from San Diego for a while).

    About two years ago I started talking with the mathematics department at the U of M (which was the school my main professor at UCSD had gone to) and they seem to think that it would be best to skip the whole bachelors thing all together and just start back in on my graduate work. Plus my professor retired from UCSD and moved here.

    So after years off from math I'm getting back into the swing of things... slowly. Plus I don't have a lot of money for classes yet.


    Well, I bet that was a lot more information than you wanted. :D
  9. munkees thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    Thanks for the information, I love hearing about stories like yours, very imspiring. I glade I am no the only one, I plan to return to university. I am in the Army at them moment but I am going though a difficult medical speration, due to injuries sustained in iraq.

    PS I once had 25 sun computers, it was so cool.

    I pruchased an Ultra Sparc 5 with a 19 inch monitor,
    I had an ulta sparc 2 dual processor with a 21 inch
    also 1 ultra 1 21 inch
    2 * sparcstation 10 both dual processors, 21 inch monitors, one dual network cards too.
    then I ahve 20 sun Sparc LX's with 32MB ram in each. I clusted these into a small beoworlf cluster for my AI project. the dual network sparc 10 was the master and node control. I developed on the Ultra 5 and ran test on the ultra 2 and ultra 1 was my main file server. the other sparcstaion 10 was a file server for the cluster. I also had a PIII runing linux and windows.

    All i was missing was a unix laptop. That i got with my first mac purchase in 2001 (prior year purchase my wife a clamshell).

    In under 2 week I have sold all my sun equipment(to raise capital) and purchased a g4 cube and g4 733 tower(was top of the line). I like to purchase when apple bring out a new line. the demo systems in stores get major discounts so you walk away with atleast 1500 off the tower and 800 of powerbooks. Paid 1499 for my g4 15" 1.5Ghz, the only difference to it replacements it 0.167Ghz clock speed and that the 512MB ram was in one chip, instead of 2. demos work well with the applecare. 3 years coverage.

    I found that the Mac OS X look and feel, plus the expierence was so pleasurable I truely new this was better than anything else I had every expericenced. Then I read up on the company it people where they went when they quit. I am a little pissed now, when I work in R&D for ericsson, we were looking at putting our lab next door about 3 ft away from NEXT.
  10. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Eh.. pardon me for asking, but did she at some point make you choose between her and your macs? :eek:
  11. macEfan macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Forbidden, you do not have access to that server
    wow, what a collection! Its nice to see this stuff is still getting used!

    I have :

    Mac LC II- for alll my vintage apple games/programs
    120mb hard drive
    10mb ram
    system 7.5

    Powermac 7500-
    132mhz processor upgrade card
    1gb hard drive
    108mb of ram
    -in the closet- I need to upgrade it more

    Powermac g3 beige
    512mb of ram
    40 gb hard drive
    Radius 8mb graphix card
    Needs a CD burner though!
    OS X.1
    This is my music computer for storing all of my itunes songs- i have no ipod
  12. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Hope you get better soon.

    The funny thing about school for me was that it got me addicted to studying. I'm constantly reading up on all sorts of things. It is a compulsion.

    Part of why I love Rhapsody is that the answers are never easy to find. I like having to work through those types of problems. While Apple, Sun and SGI are similar, there are still tons more people involved in those which makes them easier... and less fun.

    Plus I kinda like being the last Rhapsody user on the planet (actually I know of others, but know one who spends as much time as I do in it :D ).

    I've always envied people like you.

    When I was at the Geometry Center I was the only person not using computers for their research. I was looking at aspects of tight immersions of surfaces, both smooth and polyhedral, which took mainly gaining an understanding of the definition of tight for both types of surfaces.

    But during that time I watch friends link up all of our NeXT, SGI and Sun systems to work on major calculations (I was there mostly at night... we didn't have any set hours, or responsibilities, so we could come and go as we pleased)... and I thought it was great.

    Part of the reason I spend as much time with computers now is that I figured I missed out on an opportunity that summer by not learning more.

    I know a lot of people who were third party NeXT developers who are now working at Apple. While I'm happy for them, I always worry a little about Apple running rough-shot over the developer community with some of their software releases (the Watson/Sherlock case comes to mind).

    Oddly enough... I wasn't into computers that much back then. I had an SE/30 at home, used Sun and NeXT systems at school, and SGIs while at the Geometry Center. So computers weren't the issue...

    This is a photo from the Fall of 1994. I'm sitting at my SE/30
    with my mother-in-law's IIcx on the desk in the background.

    But I was very much into computers in 1999 when I met my current wife. And she gave up the living room for me when I moved in with her... which pretty much made me realize she was the woman for me!

    Even though she doesn't work with computers (she is a chef), she is still very good with them. In fact she has helped some of my clients in training with office apps (MS Office, AppleWorks, NeoOffice/OpenOffice and even Star Office) as those aren't apps I'm really good with.
  13. andrewag macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2005
    I've got plenty of older macs, but they just sit there being collectables.

    The macs i have in use around the house are:

    PowerMac G4 400mhz
    Pismo 400mhz
    iMac DV 500mhz
    iMac G4 800mhz
    Powermac G5 2x2ghz
    PowerBook G4 1.67mhz
  14. mark! macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2006
    I use mine to play dvd's & update my iPod, but that is the only thing, sometimes I might use it for typing word documents & printing things, since it's only a 450MHz processor, but this was my main computer until like...3 wweeks ago. But soon my MacBook will be my main :D
  15. Shaun.P macrumors 68000


    Jul 14, 2003
    Omicron Persei 8
    I don't have any older Macs as I have sold my older Macs to pay for the cost of the new ones I buy.

    I would love some older Macs to play around with - I have been thinking about buying some from eBay but have never gone through with it.
  16. munkees thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    I got my iMac 350 from my father-in-law, he upgraded to an eMac 1.25Ghz with 768MB ram. The iBook G3 300 came from my wife, I purchased it for her summer 2000.
  17. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    My old PowerMac gets use when I feel like playing my old games. It does the task quite well. :)
  18. thegreatluke macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2005
    I don't.

    I have an old Sawtooth, but the power supply died on me and it would cost more to fix it than the machine's worth, so it's basically a doorstop for my bedroom door until I sell all the parts in it. After that, I'm going to save it (possibly use it in a mod one day... maybe.)
  19. Dane D. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2004
    Run educational programs

    The Performas I own run educational programs and lots of games. They run great, only thing I ever did was replace battery and add a extra RAM chip. Sometimes the old computer is a step back in time when things were simpler. My G3 is my daily home computer, lots of extras. Mac are quality machines, and if cared for, can run for a long time. Plus, they just work.
  20. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    All my machines are "older" in the eyes of a lot of people here, but this thread has made me feel kinda hi-tech (and low-mod)...

    Powermac G4 Sawtooth: Main workstation; bumped up from 400mHz to 1gHz about two or three months ago, pushed to about 1.75g RAM, 80g HD, jump in the bus speed, and a bunch of fans to keep it cool. Stock video card. I run my company off this, so it does everything from basic apps (OpenOffice, Apple Mail, etc.) to CS2 with no problems. A great machine, I've had it since it was released (I bought it new in early/mid 2001).

    Ibook G4 1gHz: home comp, all I've done with it is up the RAM to 640 and replaced the HD with a 7200rpm 80gb. It's everything in one, I use it as my main tv/dvd player/etc, mail and web stuff, graphic design, etc.

    Powermac G3 B/W: Actually a G4 550mHz now, originally a G3 350mHz. RAM is up at 1gig, 80g HD and 250g backup drive. used for audio recording and video editing.

    Ibook G3 700mHz: Great running machine, our interns used to use it as a portable. Hinge broke, so I'm looking to mod it into a shell (haven't picked one yet).

    Imac G3 400mHz: Intern machine, used for web, mail, database work, etc.

    Mac Classic: Video games mostly. Kept for kitsch, though I may use the shell to mod the above ibook.

    Apple //c: Still use this! Fun to write pointless programs, or play old games (like the best game ever made, Wasteland).
  21. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    PM me, I'd be interested in the parts...
  22. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The only "old" Mac I have is a Macintosh II with a 40 MB hard drive, 2 MB of RAM running System 6.0.8. I use it for the occasional game, and that's about it. I also have slowly been using it to transfer stuff from old 800 K floppys off to zip disks for archival to CD. It was surprisingly easy to acquire a SCSI zip drive, hook it up and get it running under System 6 when I did so last year.
  23. GyroFX macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2002
    Los Angeles and NorCal
    hmm...all of our old computers are either not being used anymore or thrown away. Right now, my dad has his G4 1.5 powerbook as his main computer and uses a PC desktop for other stuff. My main computer is the G5 Quad and I use my old Quicksilver as a back up "server" with it's 200GIG HD...that contains a bunch of DV footage. I sometime turn on my PC laptop for whatever it is i may need...
  24. Elle macrumors newbie


    Jan 21, 2006
    Southwestern USA
    I am not using either of my old apples. My Color Classic is in a box (has been for 6 years). My Apple IIe is still at my mom's. When I visited her a few years back, I did fire her up to get a recipe and to play a game.

    I don't recall the name of the game but I use to love it. It was some sort of murder mystery where you explore the grounds of an estate looking for clues.

    This iMac core duo is my journey back to apple after a hiatus.
  25. Glenn Wolsey macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Nov 24, 2005
    New Zealand
    Do you have some sort of automated back up set to the Quicksliver or is it all manual?

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