First available in Canada (1993), and then Asia and Europe (and never sold in the home US market), the Colour Classic II (also known as the Performa 275) shares the motherboard design of the LC III. Running at a relatively fast 33 MHz, memory can be expanded as far as 36 MB.
The CC II/Performa 275 and Performa/LC 550 share the same motherboard. If you ever need to perform a motherboard transplant, a 550 makes for a very inexpensive donor.
This is what the Color Classic should have been. It is also quite rare on the used market and commands a premium price, especially in the US.
The Colour Classic II was the last Mac with a built-in 10″ (9″ viewable) color monitor.
- Colour Classic II introduced 1993.10.21; discontinued 1994.09.01
- Performa 275 introduced 1993.10.31; discontinued 1995.11.01
- Gestalt ID: 83
- model no.: unknown – if you have one, please email
- upgrade path: none officially, though some have successfully installed a 575 motherboard.
- requires System 7.1 (with System Enabler 403) to 7.6.1
- addressing: 24-bit or 32-bit
- CPU: 33 MHz 68030
- FPU: 33 MHz 68882
- ROM: 1 MB
- RAM: 4 MB, expandable to 36 MB using a single 80ns 72-pin SIMM
- 4.6, relative to SE
- VRAM: 256 KB, expandable to 512 KB for 16-bit color
- 10″ color screen, 512 x 384 pixels
- floppy drive: 1.4 MB double-sided
- hard drive: 80 or 160 MB
- ADB slots: 2 ports for keyboard and mouse
- serial ports: 2 DIN-8 RS-422 ports on back of computer
- SCSI ports: DB-25 connector on back of computer
- expansion slot: LC PDS slot
- size (HxWxD): 14.5″ x 9.9″ x 12.6″
- weight: 22.5 lbs.
- PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
- power supply: 100W
Accelerators & Upgrades
- MicroMac 640 x 480 video upgrade
- Sonnet Technologies Presto 040 LC (25 MHz 68040 or 68LC040), incompatible with extra VRAM, discontinued
- Sonnet Presto Plus (33 MHz 68LC040 or 68040, Ethernet, and 32 MB additional RAM)
- Color Classic Mini FAQ
- Guide to Compact Macs, a quick overview of Apple’s 10 models.
- Creating Classic Mac boot floppies in OS X, Paul Brierley, The ‘Book Beat, 2008.08.07. Yes, it is possible to create a boot floppy for the Classic Mac OS using an OS X Mac that doesn’t have Classic. Here’s how.
- The compressed air keyboard repair, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.24. If your keyboard isn’t working as well as it once did, blasting under the keys with compressed air may be the cure.
- A vintage Mac network can be as useful as a modern one, Carl Nygren, My Turn, 2008.04.08. Old Macs can exchange data and share an Internet connection very nicely using Apple’s old LocalTalk networking.
- Low End Mac’s best classic Mac OS deals. Best online prices for System 6, 7.1, 7.5.x, Mac OS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 9.0, 9.2.2, and other versions.
- Vintage Mac networking and file exchange, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.19. How to network vintage Macs with modern Macs and tips on exchanging files using floppies, Zip disks, and other media.
- Getting inside vintage Macs and swapping out bad parts, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.14. When an old Mac dies, the best source of parts is usually another dead Mac with different failed parts.
- Solving Mac startup problems, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2007.12.12. When your old Mac won’t boot, the most likely culprits are a dead PRAM battery or a failed (or failing) hard drive.
- Know your Mac’s upgrade options, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.08.26. Any Mac can be upgraded, but it’s a question of what can be upgraded – RAM, hard drive, video, CPU – and how far it can be upgraded.
- Why you should partition your Mac’s hard drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ‘emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Attractive and ugly Macs, discontinued MacBook Pro value, and writing with TextEdit, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.10.30. Readers weigh in on the good, the bad, and the ugly of Macintosh design over the past 24 years.
- Better and safer surfing with Internet Explorer and the Classic Mac OS, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.11.06. Tips on which browsers work best with different Mac OS versions plus extra software to clean cookies and caches, detect viruses, handle downloads, etc.
- Simple Macs for simple tasks, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2007.10.19. Long live 680×0 Macs and the classic Mac OS. For simple tasks such as writing, they can provide a great, low distraction environment.
- Interchangeabilty and Compatibility of Apple 1.4 MB Floppy SuperDrives, Sonic Purity, Mac Daniel, 2007.09.26. Apple used two kinds of high-density floppy drives on Macs, auto-inject and manual inject. Can they be swapped?
- Apple’s consumer Performa line, 1992 to 1997, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.09.14. Apple decided to pursue the average consumer by renaming existing Macs, bundling them with software, and putting their colorful boxes in regular retail outlets.
- Mac System 7.5.5 can do anything Mac OS 7.6.1 can, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.06.04. Yes, it is possible to run Internet Explorer 5.1.7 and SoundJam with System 7.5.5. You just need to have all the updates – and make one modification for SoundJam.
- Appearance Manager allows Internet Explorer 5.1.7 to work with Mac OS 7.6.1, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.05.23. Want a fairly modern browser with an old, fast operating system? Mac OS 7.6.1 plus the Appearance Manager and Internet Explorer may be just what you want.
- The truth about CRTs and shock danger, Tom Lee, Online Tech Journal, 2007.05.22. You’ve been warned that CRT voltage can injure and even kill. The truth is that this danger is overstated – and takes attention away from a greater danger.
- Format any drive for older Macs with patched Apple tools, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.04.25. Apple HD SC Setup and Drive Setup only work with Apple branded hard drives – until you apply the patches linked to this article.
- Making floppies and CDs for older Macs using modern Macs, Windows, and Linux PCs, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.03.15. Older Macs use HFS floppies and CDs. Here are the free resources you’ll need to write floppies or CDs for vintage Macs using your modern computer.
- System 7 Today, advocates of Apple’s ‘orphan’ Mac OS 7.6.1, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2006.10.26. Why Mac OS 7.6.1 is far better for 68040 and PowerPC Macs than System 7.5.x.
- 30 days of old school computing: No real hardships, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.10.11. These old black-and-white Macs are just fine for messaging, word processing, spreadsheets, scheduling, contact management, and browsing the Web.
- Mac OS 8 and 8.1: Maximum size, maximum convenience, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.09.11. Mac OS 8 and 8.1 add some useful new features and tools, and it can even be practical on 68030-based Macs.
- Misleading hard drive capacity and the WD settlement, long term Mac value, SCSI drive upgrades, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2006.07.05. Also thoughts on Color Classic upgrades, questions about Low End Mac’s online survey, iPod hard drive upgrades, and the value of a used iPod.
- Floppy drive observations: A compleat guide to Mac floppy drives and disk formats, Scott Baret, Online Tech Journal, 2006.06.29. A history of the Mac floppy from the 400K drive in the Mac 128K through the manual-inject 1.4M SuperDrives used in the late 1990s.
- Compact Flash with SCSI Macs, PB 1400 CD-RW upgrade problems, and Web incompatibilities, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2006.06.16. Suggested ways to use Compact Flash with vintage Macs and PowerBooks, problems getting CD-RW to work with a PowerBook 1400, and more thoughts on website incompatibilities.
- Moving files from your new Mac to your vintage Mac, Paul Brierley, The ‘Book Beat, 2006.06.13. Old Macs use floppies; new ones don’t. Old Macs use AppleTalk; Tiger doesn’t support it. New Macs can burn CDs, but old CD drives can’t always read CD-R. So how do you move the files?
- System 7.6.1 is perfect for many older Macs, John Martorana, That Old Mac Magic, 2006.03.24. Want the best speed from your old Mac? System 7.6.1 can give you that with a fairly small memory footprint – also helpful on older Macs.
- System 7.5 and Mac OS 7.6: The beginning and end of an era, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.02.15. System 7.5 and Mac OS 7.6 introduced many new features and greater modernity while staying within reach of most early Macintosh models.
- Turning an LC or other ancient Mac into a webcam with a QuickCam, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.01.25. As long as it has 4 MB of RAM and a hard drive, any 16 MHz or faster Mac that supports color can be configured as a webcam.
- Web browser tips for the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.01.03. Tips on getting the most out of WaMCom, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, iCab, Opera, and WannaBe using the classic Mac OS.
- Which system software is best for my vintage Mac?, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2005.11.22. Which system software works best depends to a great extent on just which Mac you have and how much RAM is installed.
- Why you should use Mac OS 7.6 to get the most out of vintage Macs, Thomas Ahart, The Productive Mac, 2005.12.12. Although you may be able to run OS 8 or 9 on your old Mac, you’ll generally find better performance using Mac OS 7.6.
- A history of the Color Classic, Tom Hormby, Orchard, 2005.10.31. The first all-in-one Mac with a color display had a bold new look but was crippled on the inside.
- 10 things new classic Mac owners should know, Paul Brierley, The ‘Book Beat, 2005.12.06. New to compact Macs? Ten things you really should know before you get too confused.
- The compact Macs, Matthew Glidden, Profiles in Networking, ATPM, 2002.06. LocalTalk and ethernet networking for compact Macs.
- Colour Classic Upgrade Mega FAQ, Chris Lawson. Want a 640 x 480 screen, 40 MHz 68040, or even a PowerPC in your CC? Learn more here!
- New Color Classic 640 x 480 screen mod, Chris Lawson, 2001.07.13. Modification requires 520, 550, or 575 motherboard.
- Colo(u)r Classic Forum, a message board for Color Classic users.
- Guide to LC PDS Video Cards. Includes Focus, Radius, and RasterOps cards for the LC processor direct slot.
- CD on CC, Stuart Bell, Colour Classic Compendium. Not one, not two, but three different Colour Classics beautifully modified with internal CD-ROM drives.
- Upgrading the Color Classic, Chris Lawson, 2001.05.23
- Best compact Mac for QuickTime, Chris Lawson, 2000.08.30
- A long-discontinued Macintosh still thrills collectors to the core, Paul Kunkel, New York Times, 8/24. Love of the Color Classic, “one of the most sought-after cult objects in the Mac universe.” [Registration required for this site.]
- Run Mac OS 8.1 on your ’030 Mac, Charles Moore, Applelinks, 2000.08.08. “Born Again enables certain 68030 Macs to support Mac OS 8.1.”
- Macintosh Color Classic enhancement page, Jamal Hannah.
- Games for ’030s, Brian Rumsey, Low End Mac Gaming, 2000.05.26. A look at games that run nicely on the old 68030-based Macs.
- Good Macs come in small packages, Wired, 2000.05.15. “…for some Apple enthusiasts, the company will never improve one of its earliest computers, the Color Classic.”
- Hands on: Sonnet Presto Plus, Mark Looper, 2000.03.02
- Building a Power Colour Classic, Stuart Bell. Finally, a helpful English-language resource for boosting the Color Classic to a 68040, 603, or even a G3.
- 72-pin SIMM memory pricing, ramseeker
- Information on 32-bit addressing
- Email lists: Classic Macs Digest, Compact Macs
- Color Classic Forever, an obsession
- Memory upgrade guide
- Macintosh Color Classic II Technical Specifications, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- Macintosh Performa 275 Technical Specifications, Apple Knowledge Base Archive
- Serial port normally restricted to 57.6 kbps; throughput with a 56k modem may be limited. See 56k modem page. For more information on Mac serial ports, read Macintosh Serial Throughput.
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