How Can I Upgrade a Classic II or LC II?

1998 – Readers ask about options to upgrade old 68030-based Macs, the Classic II and LC II.

What Are My Classic II Upgrade Options?

SE writes: While looking up info on old Macs, I came across your site. I have a Classic II. Would you advise me on the wisdom of any upgrading possible. I’d like email capability at the least, but don’t necessarily need speed. Is Net access a possibility? Is this machine worth upgrading, because I surely like it even though it’s 5 or 6 years old now. Can you help me out with this? Thanks very much.


Mac Classic IIMac Daniel writes: The Classic II was a competent little computer – and I’ve even heard of people surfing the World Wide Web with them.

Significant drawbacks include the small black-and-white (no grays) screen and 10 MB memory ceiling, meaning you can’t run browsers that eat up a lot of screen space or need a lot of memory. That said, Netscape 2 will probably do the job for you.

The 68030 processor is up to handling the Internet, although not with great speed. If you’ve considered using Open Transport networking, don’t. It chews up about 500 KB of memory and is much slower on a 68030-based Mac than Classic Networking.

A good Internet service provider can set you up with Mac TCP and everything else (except the modem) that you’ll need for email and Internet access. You may need to look for a Mac-friendly service provider, but they do exist. (There’s even a national Mac-only ISP, MacOnLine, that may be a good alternative to local providers.)

And if you haven’t already boosted memory to 10 MB, I suggest you do so. Ramseeker currently shows 4 MB SIMMs (you’ll need 2) at under US$10 each.

How Far Can I Upgrade My LC II?

AU writes: I have an LC II with an upgrade to 512 KB (we used a daughter board). I cannot seem to access AOL very quickly or efficiently now that the upgrade is complete. Can I get any more memory onto my poor old computer?


Macintosh LCMac Daniel writes: The LC II can handle no more than 10 MB of memory, but with a poky old 16 MHz processor, your problem is computer speed more than memory. (I’m assuming the 512 BK upgrade is video RAM.)

That memory shouldn’t set you back more than $30-40, but if you want to use the Internet, I suggest you look into a more powerful Mac – preferably something with at least a 68040.

On the other hand, if your particularly fond of your LC II, consider the Sonnet Presto Plus upgrade card, which includes a 33 MHz 68040 CPU, 32 MB of system memory, and an ethernet port.

Keywords: #macclassicii #classicii #maclcii

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