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Older, but still very useful Macs

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  • Older, but still very useful Macs

    Although we have both G4 and G5 dual processor machines that are our mainstays, we still have an old PowerMac 8600 300Mhz machine that remains a very solid old workhorse.

    It has been running OS9 for years and has 1Gb of RAM on board. I guess it has remained in service with us because it has proven to be so damn reliable plus it has hookups for our SCSI scanner. It is also the only Mac we have that can read a floppy or a ZIP disc (although it can only work with the 100Mb ZIPs). While this all may seem like a moot point, we do still on rare occasion have the odd client that might have some text or a minimal graphic available only a floppy so it does still come in handy.

    About three years ago, I added a USB/Firewire PCI card to it which allows it to host even more peripherals, one of which is a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 slide scanner which utilizes Firewire. For some reason, I can't get any of the OS-X equipment to recognize the scanner hardware even though they do recognize its software drivers.

    Without question, it does not have the speed or the storage capacity of a G5 nor is it anywhere nearly as sexy, but it certainly carries on as a benchmark of reliability and stability. All of which is not bad for an eight year old computer, by any measure.

    Anyone else have any similar experiences with older Macs?
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  • #2
    One of the best topics I've seen on an internet forum was about a year ago...someone asked"When did computers get "fast enough'?"

    ie- for almost all your basic daily needs, excluding hard-core **************** like video editing or heavy softsynth use,etc.

    Everybody basically agreed it was the G3 era. Me too.Nice machines.

    My old Beige G3 is quite pleasant to be in the same room with for recording /mixing compared to the G4 because it's so quiet.Runs all the old ****************, plus can run soft samplers and load 500 MB pianos if it has to. After throwing some expansion cards and a 500 Mhz upgrade into it, it was/still is quite a capable audio machine.

    Those old Macs were built like tanks,too. They just keep on chugging. I also have an old Centris hanging around but it seems to be more of a nostalgia item these days. But it's a nice reminder of the days when you could run the OS and Photoshop with 8 Megs of RAM and still have some left over.

    Ok, it has 56 Megs now, courtesy of an old Performa someone gave me which was only useful for parts. I'm sure Apple and everyone who had one would like to forget about those.
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    • #3
      I just reverted my wife's old original Tangerine iBook back to OS9.2.2 for use with some older 9-only software apps that I have and still use.
      It's got 288M RAM and a lowly 3G hard drive but that's plenty for what we're using it for.

      I still chug along with a Quicksilver Dual Processor 800 G4 as my main machine. It's plenty fast enough for all that I'm doing (ProTools/Nuendo/etc) and 1G RAM and 240G of storage is enough speed and space...for now.

      I'd think that anything back to a beige G3 is still worth using and even a couple of the pre-G3 machines can still be of value to many folks.
      My name is Dave and I play guitar.

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      • #4
        It is also the only Mac we have that can read a floppy


        For about $15 you can get a USB floppy drive that can be used by any computer with a USB port, old or new.

        Our Dual 1 Ghz G-4 Quicksilver would be considered old in most circles today, but still performs fine for our uses. We run Protools Le and Tracktion on it, and it can take PTle 6.4 to it's limits with no sweat. It is rock solid, never crashes, and with it's 1.5gb of RAM and 3x120gb 8mbcache internal HDD's, it's got plenty of power to perform a multitude of tasks simultainiously.

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        • #5
          ive got a g3 OC'd to 300MHZ. It runs osx.2.8, 384MB ram, 10gig hdd. I ran it awhile when my main video editing rig went down (dual 1.4ghz, watercooled, raid 0 arrays) it held me a good month or so just doing photoshop and website work...moved it to the basement for my dads HP scanner and a pair of large format printers i was given.

          It started acting up, so i think ill be putting OS9 back on it, since its got that sweet personality card with audio/video/Svideo I/O thats unusable under osx

          oh, and lets not forget, i have a 266mhz wallstreet i carry with me to college every day. I use it for just typing, and i managed to get photoshop 7 running on it....96MB ram, 2gig hdd..HARDCORE! haha

          i love macs. im on my dual g5 right now. fine machines imo! I used to be all windows. I tried linux, but you cant run 3D compositing progs and video editing apps on it..so..i hadda move
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