RetroMacCast

Where great old Macs live again!

Hello I am Brian Hedley a computer geek of many years … I have had several computers over the years and this is my column documenting the trials and tribulations of running an Old Mac. I would like to say it would follow a regular schedule but known me it won’t.

So I now sit at an iMac 400mhz Indigo G3 it is far from a speed demon to be honest with you, but it is functional I suppose. Running Panther is probably not the best operating system for as it struggles along. 128Mb is the bear minimum it can really run with so I am going to have to either pull the 128Mb from the G3 Beige in the shed and it will make it up to 192Mb as the iMac has only 2 memory sockets currently occupied by two 64mb sticks.

The memory slots seem much easier to access on this model as on the original iMac they were not fun to access at all. This keyboard I am using is far from responsive but I am not going to but a new flat keyboard from Apple as they cost £30. As nice as they are I doubt I will use the keyboard enough to justify such an investment for a £10 Mac.

I was considering investing in a Airport adapter for this machine as I have an old Airport compatible card from when I had my G3 Wall Street but I missed the eBay auction never mind.

The Wall Street suffered a major screen problem so I disposed of it. I seem to be amassing a small collection of dead Macs… I have a Powerbook 140cs with 16Mb but the screen is broken it works fine I just cant afford $70 for a new screen for it. I was given an 8100 AV which I never did get to work so I gave up on it. The G3 Beige sits in my shed gathering dust after the hard drive had a major coronary and I am yet to sort it out.

The only functioning Apple items are this G3, my 80Gb iPod Classic (when I remember to charge it), my iPhone and my Newton 2100 (also needs charging).

I must be evil to the world of computers as my other laptop (a Fujitsu Siemens PC) is also screen damaged. That is going to cost £110 to fix so that will be a long time coming for that one.

So what are my plans for this Mac other than upgrading memory and maybe wireless. Well as of yet plans are rather sketch as to be honest its not a power beast so it will never really be used as a gaming machine.

However I may try it with Durandal (Marathon 2) just to see how it performs.

I am yet to put the machine in Classic mode, which is quite ironic considering I have got quite a few games and applications that run in Classic Mode.

I like playing with the old Macs and in time I will try to run something like Fuse it worked on the G3 Beige if a little slow so hopefully I can play TLL (a Spectrum game) with not too many glitches.

Who knows as this G3 has Panther I may download Xcode not that I can code for toffee but will be interesting to play with it. Who knows I may take programming back up after over seventeen years of non-programming. To prove how long ago it was I was programming in Turbo Pascal 5.5 on a 486 in DOS scary.

If I am feeling really adventurous I might push the machine up to Tiger but to be honest I think it would seriously struggle.

I did attempt to Hackintosh my laptop but then the screen died. I managed to get up to 10.5.5 with no major errors then I attempted to get to 10.5.6 and it locked out the keyboard and mouse. Never mind one day if I ever repair the screen may give it another try.

I have tried hard to be a Mac person but it has not always been straightforward I started on a Classic II at college but it decided to kill my project disks (including backups) with the CDEF virus.

I admit knowing that Douglas Adams used a IIfx Mac always inspired me to want one but I obviously could never afford one. I finally got a G3 Beige many years later and it caused no end of amusement I tried upgrading it and caused absolute hell.

I installed Jaguar on it but then I discovered no programs really worked with it. I installed a USB card and spent about a week trying to find drivers that worked. Fun ensued then I made the move to upgrade the CD drive.

This caused its own set of problems… I gave up on it eventually after several hard drive problems.

Someone has offered me an SE/30 but as of yet I am yet to find a way of getting it from him. He is over 300 miles from me and he does not want to post it can’t blame him. Now that will be an interesting machine to work with but I don’t think I will be upgrading it.

Well I hope that I can have many fun adventures with this machine good, bad and indifferent… I will document any strange quirks I have along the way.

Well that’s it for me this column installment … Since the machine is new to me it has yet to cause any major problems with the exception of the “e” and “s” keys being kind of temperamental at times … looks like I may be investing in a new keyboard after all

Take care … Bri

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