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TimeTrap
June 27th, 2011, 11:50 AM
I'm looking for a vintage mac (Mac SE - Mac LC if possible) that I'm hoping to go online with. I found these instructions (http://www.jellico.com/fwoodward/), but they talk about getting jellico account (which I believe is dial-up).

1. Has anyone been able to go online with an older mac? Is it worth the effort? There probably aren't too many websites that still have text-only versions any more I imagine.
2. Do you have to go with dial-up? Is this a hardware issue? The only Macs don't have network ports, right?

RetroHacker_
June 27th, 2011, 12:00 PM
1. Has anyone been able to go online with an older mac? Is it worth the effort? There probably aren't too many websites that still have text-only versions any more I imagine.
2. Do you have to go with dial-up? Is this a hardware issue? The only Macs don't have network ports, right?

Yes, I've gone online with an older compact Mac. Is it worth the effort? Depends. Lots of stuff is still usable in the limited or text only modes, but it's not pretty, and some things are completely unusable. There are graphical browsers that will work - ancient versions of Netscape, etc. An SE/30 is signifigantly faster than a Plus or an SE, so you'll have better luck with that. Also, remember, there is a lot more to "going online" than using a web browser. You can use telnet sessions, email and usenet fairly easily.

As for connectivity, you don't have to use dialup. While these older machines don't have Ethernet ports, you can add one - either with a SCSI-Ethernet bridge box (I used to use one on a Plus), or on the SE and SE/30, you can add an internal Ethernet card in the PDS slot. The LC series also has it's own expansion slot, Ethernet cards were available. Even without an Ethernet card, you can connect the serial port over to a modern PC and do a slip connection.

If you step up to a more powerful machine, like, say, a Centris 610, you get the benefit of built in Ethernet and a faster processor/more RAM, and you can do much better with the graphical web browsing. It's not quite as "classic" though.

-Ian

TimeTrap
June 27th, 2011, 12:49 PM
Awesome--thanks Retro. Good to hear someone's experiences. I think I might set my sights on an SE 30. And good point about email and other options. I think I just want to be able to move any work (mostly text-based stuff) that I compose on my vintage machine to other places, so email would do the trick. (Also buying a vintage machine makes a little more practical sense when you can connect to it virtually. Although a private network is another possibility?)

RetroHacker_
June 27th, 2011, 01:15 PM
I think I just want to be able to move any work (mostly text-based stuff) that I compose on my vintage machine to other places, so email would do the trick. (Also buying a vintage machine makes a little more practical sense when you can connect to it virtually. Although a private network is another possibility?)

For slinging text around you don't even need a network card. A null modem cable to another box works just as good. Kermit is a standard protocol/terminal emulator package that supports file transfer over the serial ports. Versions are available for pretty much every OS and computer combination.

Also, if you have an SE FDHD or an SE/30 (or anything else with a HD floppy drive, LC series, etc.) you can read and write DOS formatted floppy disks with no problems on the Mac. (Early macs use 400k or 800k floppy formats, which are compatible with nothing else). All Macs from the Plus on up have SCSI, so a SCSI Zip drive makes file transfer easy too.

If you're a UNIX geek, old compact macs make for great little terminals - you can cable the Mac to a PC (running Linux or BSD) through the serial port and have the Mac act as the console terminal. Therefore you can do anything text-mode UNIX can do through the old Mac. You can then easily compose things on the Mac (Say, in Microsoft Word for Macintosh or ClarisWorks), save the file locally, then Kermit it to the Linux box and use the Linux box to email it - all while sitting at the Mac's keyboard.

Lots of options. If, for example, you are happy using text mode *NIX, you could run a Linux box headless (say, a small form factor PC), and have it cabled to the Mac using the Mac as the serial console. You could have a perfectly workable computer, capable of doing anything Linux can do from the console (Pine for email, BitchX for IRC, Lynx for web browser, tin or mutt for news, emacs, vi or nano for word processing, easy access to FTP, etc), and the only interface would be, say, a Mac Plus. All text mode, of course.

Macs are nice because they're common, and there's a lot of software for them. And, the classic little all in one models are so cute :D

-Ian

aoresteen
June 30th, 2011, 04:22 AM
I've used a lot of the old ethernet adapters for 68000 Macs. The SCSI ones and some of the PDS types will NOT work in a 10/100 MPS ethernet hub. They MUST be used in a 10 MBS hub only. Drove me nuts with an Asante SCSI ethernet adapter for over a month until I figured it out. I bought a couple of old 10MBs hubs just for my 68000 based Macs. Watch eBay.

TimeTrap
July 3rd, 2011, 09:02 PM
Thanks for all the information guys. I ended up getting a Mac Classic off eBay. It's not an SE/30, which I just read is the easiest machine to go online with (it has an ethernet jack I believe), but I think they're going for a little more than the Classics.

Aoresteen - Are you able to connect the 10MB hub to your home network? Anyone know where I can find a SCSI-to-Ethernet bridge? Have googled and searched on eBay but haven't found much luck.

RWallmow
July 4th, 2011, 05:54 AM
Thanks for all the information guys. I ended up getting a Mac Classic off eBay. It's not an SE/30, which I just read is the easiest machine to go online with (it has an ethernet jack I believe), but I think they're going for a little more than the Classics.
SE/30 Doesn't have built-in ethernet, but it does have an expansion slot. The classic you picked up is slot-less, your only options are serial/modem or SCSI based ethernet. The only compact macs that support ethernet "cards" are SE, SE FDHD, SE/30 and Color Classic.

And the other poster is right some modern hubs/switches don't like some early 10mbps adapters, I too keep a 10mbps hub around for my vintage PCs.

TimeTrap
July 8th, 2011, 05:55 AM
Thanks for the info RWallow--very good stuff.

I picked up a Classic last week, although I'm thinking about putting it back on eBay and trying to find a Color Classic. If I'm going to have to track down the hardware to connect this thing to my hardware, I'd like it to be in color.

RWallmow
July 8th, 2011, 07:19 AM
Thanks for the info RWallow--very good stuff.

I picked up a Classic last week, although I'm thinking about putting it back on eBay and trying to find a Color Classic. If I'm going to have to track down the hardware to connect this thing to my hardware, I'd like it to be in color.

Color classics are kind of the holy-grail of macs, even a few years ago before vintage was chic they would fetch some decent money, lots of cool things you can do with a color classic, it uses same mobo layout as certain performas, so with a new motherboard and the right upgrades you can get a G3 running in a color classic (http://homepage.mac.com/wtnb/G3-1.htm). This guy did A LOT of mods, including analog board mods to allow 640x480 res on internal screen among other things.

AppleIIfan
August 14th, 2011, 08:53 AM
I mainly collect Compact Macs, Ive had a Plus, SE, SE/30 online with relative ease. I use a DaynaPort E/Z Serial to Ethernet adapter for them. And yes a 10MB hub is needed.. Alot of the old ethernet cards do not support autonegotiating hubs.. I picked up an Asante 10mb one for 8 bucks on eBay, I had the same issue with my DaynaPort E/Z drove me nuts trying to get it connected to my 10/100 switch.. I put a hub in the mix and it worked right away. I hosted a webserver for a while on a Classic II.. Worked nicely.
Another nice mac for internet is an LC III.. I have one with 36MB RAM in it and an LC ethernet card.. Runs system 7.6 nicely and browses the web pretty good with iCab.. Definitely usable.

RWallmow
August 15th, 2011, 04:05 AM
...And yes a 10MB hub is needed.. Alot of the old ethernet cards do not support autonegotiating hubs.. I picked up an Asante 10mb one for 8 bucks on eBay...
I know exactly what you mean, I did the same thing, picked up a small 8 port 10-base hub, and as an added benefit its also got coax on it, so I can also connect coax 10-base devices (I have a handful of coax etherlink 2 PC ISA cards).

Haemogoblin
August 19th, 2011, 12:30 AM
Just to add my $2 :P

I used an Asante SCSI ethernet adaptor to get my Mac Plus online via our broadband. As someone has already said, there are some inherent problems using one of these network devices with a 100 base network. The solution i found was flicking a little switch back and forth on my Asanta until it tripped my router and allowed them to talk to each other. It was annoying but once done the two would talk till shut down.

As for uses, my Plus was maxed out with 4mb of ram and used for word processing. So naturally i thought using it for Email would be a great idea. I did succeed in sending and retrieving my mail on the little system. However once you have your Mac, HD floppy drive, Asante, Hard drive all plugged up, you end up with A. very few empty plug sockets in the house B. A big pile of wires and things on your desk! :P My advice would be without a doubt to go for an SE/30 or Classic, oh and finally best of luck getting your project off the ground! Its lots of fun when you finally get online for this first time :D

James

RWallmow
August 19th, 2011, 07:07 AM
...My advice would be without a doubt to go for an SE/30 or Classic...
The SE/30 would be a GREAT choice, but the Classic, like your Plus, is not internally expandable, 4mb RAM max, no slot for network, For all intents and purposes the Classic is almost the same machine as a plus, just slightly updated with ADB, internal hard disk and "Superdrive" floppy. An SE or SE-FDHD would make a better "online" machine than the (newer) Classic, due to its expandability (PDS slot).

Anonymous Freak
August 19th, 2011, 08:57 AM
Yeah, a decade ago, I had an SE/30 as my 'morning email and news' computer in my breakfast nook. I'd just telnet in to a Linux box and use pine and lynx.