The oldest Mac that can "surf"

h4lp m3

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 29, 2011
424
22
New Orleans
My PowerBook G3 works comfortably, but my Macintosh SE can't even load a single picture. What do you think is the oldest Mac (with upgrades) that can surf the internet?
 

MacTech68

macrumors 68020
Mar 16, 2008
2,185
149
Australia, Perth
Surf? Hmmm.

All I can say is that I once got a Mac Plus online with text-based internet.

But that was back before websites became overburdened with scripts and flash.

YMMV ;)
 

mkjj

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2003
806
18
Liverpool
My TAM can get online with no problem, depends on the website really.
As you would expect Apple's site works pretty good :)
 

tevion5

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2011
1,707
867
Ireland
My Power Macintosh 8600/250 (damn Amelio and his terrible product names...) running Mac OS 9.2.2 can browse pretty well with Classilla. Even loads Facebook and can handle messaging etc. :)

IE is a meh experience however...
 

tevion5

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2011
1,707
867
Ireland
Someone got their Mac Plus online with the help of a modern computer: http://www.keacher.com/1216/how-i-introduced-a-27-year-old-computer-to-the-web/
That is awesome. It even looks very legible! I've seen an SE load google and it was a code ridden mess. Wikipedia looks very clean. Shame it requires so much hardware and coding though... :/ (although it was nice of them to share the code).

Seems the only thing holding back my 512Ke is RAM. How easy are those old MacSnap ram kits to install and remove does anybody know?
 

h4lp m3

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 29, 2011
424
22
New Orleans
Many websites can detect when you're on a mobile device and direct you to an optimized version of their website... I wonder if the same can the same be done to detect older operating systems?
 

Graveyard

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2009
108
0
Romania
The oldest one i have that i still use on the web from time to time is my PowerBook 3400c. It does however have 144MB of ram...
 

firewood

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2003
7,634
869
Silicon Valley
My PowerBook G3 works comfortably, but my Macintosh SE can't even load a single picture. What do you think is the oldest Mac (with upgrades) that can surf the internet?
If you don't need the pictures, then a 512Ke could probably connect using MacTerminal via modem to a dial-up remote Unix system (are there any of those left?), and run lynx in VT100 mode for text-mode web surfing. In lieu of a finding a remote Unix dial-up, a serial-to-USB plug on a raspberry pi might work.
 

tevion5

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2011
1,707
867
Ireland
If you don't need the pictures, then a 512Ke could probably connect using MacTerminal via modem to a dial-up remote Unix system (are there any of those left?), and run lynx in VT100 mode for text-mode web surfing. In lieu of a finding a remote Unix dial-up, a serial-to-USB plug on a raspberry pi might work.
I might make that the next adventure for my 512Ke. I've already made it a server over a forwarded FTP server. I can take pics on my iphone and and them straight to my 512Ke and see them! Also, I use my PM8600 as a file server to give my 512Ke a free hard drive solution. Connecting to the internet shall be my next conquest!
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,779
211
UK
OS 9 machines have Classilla which apparently browses the web just fine. My G4 is still going strong with TenFourFox and TenFourKit.
 

BJonson

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2010
829
108
I have all the macs and the oldest one I have that is actually barely useable is my quicksilver g4 upgraded with a sonnet encore duet 1.27ghz. Before the upgrade it was at 867mhz and it crawled through stuff now its kind of useable. Youtube videos are still choppy but playable kind of. Opening Netscape on my 9600 results in a million errors popping up on apple webpage so unusable. Quicksilver is running 10.5.8.
 

benvw99

macrumors member
Apr 29, 2014
41
0
Selby, SD
Kudos to the guy who got the classic working on the net.

Oldest computer I got on the web is... iMac g3 9.2? My grandparents have a really slow windows xp, and their wifi doesn't work very good, so whenever I visit I haul up my ol' bondi blue G3 from the basement and give it an Ethernet cable. Perfect sites every time. Not too slow either.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,120
432
Cascadia
A few definitions are required...

"with upgrades" - do you mean only upgrades that substantially keep the computer the same "basic computer" as it started, or do "rip the guts out and replace them" upgrades count? A Color Classic with PPC upgrade would be a usable surfing machine. As would an original Macintosh with its guts ripped out and replaced with a modern small-form-factor PC (like a Mac Mini.)

"surf" - do you mean use a web browsing program natively on the OS, or is simply finding a way to display websites on the internal screen sufficient? I have gotten my original Macintosh to "surf" by using a serial terminal program, and connecting to my Linux server. Then using a text-based command line browser.

I would say the oldest "usable" machine for browsing would be the Macintosh IIx. With a 68030, it can run iCab 2.9.9, which is still reasonably useful. Or, for a more "classic" experience, an SE/30. Slightly newer, but as a compact Mac, it gives a more vintage feel. (I used an SE/30 for web browsing for quite a while after it was "obsolete", as it fit in a cubby in my kitchen perfectly.) And, of course, you can get an Ethernet card for the SE/30 just fine.
 

JustinePaula

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2012
147
1
Netscape, when this most brilliant browser was killed off, was the day I went off that operating system that is most popular, that runs on my new HP laptop, with tiles and has a touchpad called surface...
 

sideshow23bob

macrumors member
Jul 29, 2005
57
0
Powerbook 100

Also connected an old Powerbook 100 and it worked slowly but steadily on the net. Great thread OP.