Posts tagged “imac”.

Cleaning out my Mac closet

October 4th, 2010

Updating to OS X 10.3.9

It’s decluttering time around Newton Poetry headquarters, which means I’m cleaning out Macs that I either rarely use or that have become redundant.

This includes my PowerMac G4, iMac G3, Mac SE, and Apple Studio Display (the above CRT model that matches the G4). All of them are taking up more space, and less attention, these days.

The Bondi blue iMac may be the exception. It’s an always-on machine for testing Newton stuff, playing games, and doing my household budget. But after digging into the PowerMac G3, I find that a lot of what I do with the iMac can be done with a more flexible, powerful G3 in the Blue and White. It’s not important to have a Mac with every OS on it anymore. The PowerMac G3′s Mac OS 8 can do most of what the iMac’s OS 9 can do (run games, test software). And even though the iMac takes up less space, I’ve been thinking about getting a flat-screen monitor to use with other computers and recycle the ungodly-heavy CRT.

My plan is to either give away or recycle all the Mac stuff. I have to warn local friends that these are older Macs, and so maybe aren’t appropriate for anyone but a dedicated hobbyist.

Except for the PowerMac G4, since it runs OS X 10.3 Panther and handles web browsing and basic computing pretty well. I’ve even tackled some graphic design projects on it using Adobe CS2, which it handled nicely. Having that G4 as an everyday machine, as loud as it is, is still better than having no Mac at all.

These days I’m finding less and less time to devote to my Mac hobby, so weeding down the number of machines will help me dedicate the time I do have to the remaining Macs. To me, there’s a twinge of guilt that happens when a Mac is left off for too long – especially when I can’t think of a good reason to turn it on.

My original plan for the Mac SE, one of two that I own, was to turn it into a Macquarium. But that’s a project I don’t want to think about for a long time, and I’d rather scrap a non-working classic than this perfectly capable Mac.

All this leaves me with my new iMac, an iBook G4, an iBook G3 blueberry clamshell, the B&W PowerMac G3, the other Mac SE, the LC 520, and two Newtons. That’s a collection with a good mix of OSes, software, and desktop-vs.-portable variety. Most of all, it’s a collection I can handle.

With these Macs out of the way, I’m getting ideas on projects to tackle next, like stealing one of the PowerMac G4′s hard drives (or even the iMac’s, with OS 9 on it) and installing it as a second drive in the Blue and White. I’m using the one Mac SE as a writing station, the iBook G4 as an iTunes jukebox in my bedroom (With a fantastic JBL Creature speaker system), while the iBook G3 mostly collects dust.

Newton Poetry readers that are interested in getting their hands on one of these machines would only have to worry about shipping, if you’re interested. Drop me an e-mail and I’d be glad to send you one.

The perfect design: iMac G5

September 13th, 2010

Dan Knight at Low End Mac makes a bold statement:

With the G5 iMac, Apple got things just right. The optical drive and USB ports are right there with the monitor, and it’s a design we can expect Apple to stick with as long as there are desktop PCs.

As much as I love the iMac G4, I’m inclined to believe him: the G5 and beyond iMac design is one that’s built to last. Even today’s aluminum iMacs are basically the G5 fancied up.

The one thing I wouldn’t mind changing is the layout of the ports on the back. It is kind of a pain to reach around and pull USB dongles out. Maybe put them under the chin? Or on the side? I don’t know, but putting the ports on the back is clumsy.

But the G5 design is simplicity at its best. People talk about the iPad being a “window” into the Internet world; I feel the same way about my iMac. The screen, the Apple logo underneath – and that’s it.

Growling at the iMac G4

July 9th, 2010

Thank you, Growl, for the nod to the iMac G4 in today’s update.

Touch screen iMac G4 idea

June 29th, 2010

iMac Touch?

Austin Leeds at Low End Mac:

Apple could revive the design of the iMac G4 (with sharper angles, a thinner display, and integrated speakers – all in unibody aluminum, of course). By utilizing the oh-so-ergonomic display design, touchscreen computing could be made quite comfortable. And cute.

Well there’s an idea – although I wonder if you need a G4-style body, with the domed based and swivel neck. Wouldn’t another version of the current iMac do just as well?

Part of me (okay, all of me) would love to see the old G4 design return. Practically, it would be nice to bring the screen closer if you need to touch it. Or maybe tilt it a bit to do some drawing.

File this in under “what happens if/when iOS and Mac OS combine.”

Macs @ work: Dueling Macs

June 28th, 2010

Yummy Gum office

App Storm has a bunch of nice-looking Mac work setups. The little shelf with the Macbook Pro is genius.

This one made me think of how stale the 30″ Cinema Display, with the plain aluminum frame, looks these days. It makes me think of OS X 10.4 Tiger. The new displays scream Snow Leopard.

[Via Minimal Mac.]

System 7 update

June 21st, 2010

Funny how one little driver can set your plans back.

Here I was, all ready to begin the week-long experiment using nothing but classic Macs and Newtons, when I discover that I lost my Entrega serial-to-USB dongle’s driver disc. The CD came in a little white envelope and was next to a bunch of other RAM sticks, adapters, Firewire cords, and software CDs. Now it’s gone.

A search through the Internet yielding absolutely squat, and the Newtontalk list didn’t offer any suggestions. The closest I came was one of those sleazy driver sites that makes you wade through stupid ads to get to what you need. When the driver download came up, it still wasn’t what I needed.

Apparently, Entrega was bought out by Xircom, who was in turn bought out by Intel. Intel posts a bunch of downloads for the old Entrega/Xircom adapters, but only an old manual for the one I needed (model U1-D8). The driver is nowhere to be found.

The Entrega adapter was a marvelous piece of technology, helping me to connect to my iMac G3 and becoming my go-to gadget for all things Newton. Even though it’s a USB adapter, it needs a driver to operate correctly. And the usual Keyspan adapters don’t work on my pre-OS X Macs.

My hope in this system 7 experiment was to have my PowerMac G3 run as the hub of the whole operation, syncing my Newton, doing most of the heavy lifting, and connecting with the outside world. It’s true that I could simply connect my Newtons with my iMac G3, but I’d rather have just two Macs running during the experiment: the PowerMac, and the LC 520.

So everything’s on hold for now, until either that Entrega disc shows up (after a fifth or sixth sweep of my apartment) or I give up and go with the iMac for everyday tasks.

The hello Show, episode X.5

June 10th, 2010

Making magic happen

My podcasting pal David and I have hit the 10 episode mark over at The hello Show. If you’ve stuck with us this long, there’s no turning back now.

Our listeners must be like cranked-up “Lost” fans who have a backup generator for the DVD player – you know, just in case. Only replace “DVD player” with “iPod” and you have the typical profile of a The hello Show fan.

David and I, we’re not experts on much of anything. David has strong opinions, while I tend to waffle, but the magic is made in the middle: UK keyboards, an inane obsession with the iMac G4, and cross-pond currency conversions.

Coming soon, though, we have some real fun planned. Guests, where we throw some third sap in the middle of our lion’s den, should make things interesting.

Follow the show on Twitter, rate us on iTunes, and let us know what you think.

Organize your Mac museum

May 26th, 2010

Adam Rosen at The Vintage Mac Museum Blog:

In a Major Step Forward each model now gets its own shelved box in the attic (photo above) – a MUCH easier system than digging through a bag or box of old stuff and trying to remember if this unlabeled power supply belongs to a IIci or a Quadra. It took a few years but now I should be able to better manage growth via the addition of shelving and boxes. At least, to a point.

Organization is super important, especially with something so esoterically weird as a vintage computer collection.

I’ll admit that my own system is lacking. I have Macs scattered everywhere, with my two every day Macs (my G3 iMac and new 21.5″ iMac) getting prime spots in my office/dining room. From there, however, things get weird.

To help, I’ve dumped most of the equipment, pieces, and RAM chips I own into a box. That way, if I need something, there’s one place to get it. Software and hardware, however, are another thing entirely.

Then again, I don’t have nearly the collection that Adam or some others have. It’s a degree of scale, but organization is needed no matter the size of your obsession.

So thanks for the inspiration, Adam. Surely I need it.

Seven days of System 7

May 6th, 2010

Seven Day of System 7

Low end Mac users are masochists. There’s no easy way to take a classic Macintosh and do modern, enjoyable work without some pain or effort involved. Everything is a project.

Now, for most of us that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s why we work with classic Macs. Either that, or we know low end Macs so well that using anything prior to OS X comes as second nature. Also, it’s a hobby.

With this in mind, and as I shared on The hello Show this week, I’m undertaking a bit of an experiment: spending an entire week with nothing but my low end Macs. Specifically, I’ll be using:

…as my main computing machines.

I’m leaving my new 21.5″ iMac switched off, using my iPhone 3G for phone calls only, and relying only on Apple products that were released in the 1990s.

I’ll call it Seven Days of System 7.

That’s not totally accurate. I’ll also be using OS 8 (on the PowerMac) and OS 9 (on the iMac). For portability, contact management, and calendar duties, I’ll use my Newton MessagePad 110 and eMate. And I might pull out my iBook G3 and boot into OS 9 for some portable Macintosh.

The experiment, inspired by Morgan Aldridge’s and Riccardo Mori’s experiences, will be me attempting to get by – or even be productive – on non-Mac OS X machines. This includes any writing, web browsing, scheduling, graphic design, and web development. For the week, I’m setting up a special page here at Newton Poetry that will be a sort of proto-blog – where I can post updates through the week. The entire thing will be made on my PowerMac G3 sporting Adobe’s classic HTML editor, PageMill.

Right now, I’m collecting other applications that I might need through the week, including:

  • Claris Organizer for my to-dos, contact management, and calendar, synced to my Newton
  • Corel Graphics 8 for design work
  • PhotoShop LE for image manipulation
  • Panic’s Audion and iTunes 2 for music
  • AppleWorks 6 for spreadsheets or heavy-duty word processing
  • BBEdit Lite for text editing
  • The latest build of Classilla
  • Adobe PageMill for web stuff
  • Panic’s free version of Transmit for FTP’ing
  • A bunch of games for recreation, including SimCity 2000, WarCraft II, and (for the first time) Marathon

Because it’s only a week-long experiment, I won’t need much more than that. I’m not going to do any heavy graphic design lifting, or attempt to do a whole lot. It’ll simply be a week to see how easy it is to be productive and live day-to-day on low end Macs.

There are a bunch of sources I have to credit for the help, including my podcasting pal David Kendal (for the links to Panic’s free offerings), System 7 Today for some game ideas, UNNA for Claris Organizer, and eBay for PageMill and WarCraft II.

The experiment will take place in the next week or two. In the meantime, if you have any ideas or software to try out, let me know.

Most of all, wish me luck.

iMac G4 as clock

April 29th, 2010

iMac G4 as clock

minimalmac:

simpledesks:

Nouveau (by mĪ±xsmith)

There are several things I love about this. The old “Luxo” iMac. The tin cans for office supply holders. The 10 dollar task lamp. But something about the composition and lighting are so full of win that I am forced to reblog.

Indeed. I’d get another G4 just to do this. Or do the eMate version.