Triassic Macs? Since the creation of the Abandonware Petition in the late 1990s, the use of epoch terms for the evolution of life started to be applied to low-end Macs. The battle cry Allow Jurassic software to roam free became a common phrase among vintage computer users.
In the case of computers, advances in CPU hardware and accessories have been so rapid that a more disciplined use of the epoch classifications was needed. Since the term Jurassic had been used, I decided to name all pre-PowerPC Macs – from the Compacts to the Quadras – Triassic Macs, after the first age of the dinosaurs. The Apple II and the other 8-bit computers fall into the Permian period, the age prior to the Triassic. Later Macs can fall into the Tertiary period, post-dinosaur.
For much of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mac software made for Triassic Macs ran on more modern Macs. Computer users would transfer programs from the compacts to the Quadras with no difficulties. Many of the tasks that users do today – spreadsheets, word processing, and drawing – were perfected on Triassic Macs. This is the reason why many Triassic Macs are still at work in the new century.
Long live the Triassic Macs!
- Remembering HyperCard, 2003.08.11. Apple’s easy to use, powerful environment for creating media-rich interactive programs is fading away.
- The Web Has Left 68K Macs Behind, 2003.08.04. Those with older Macs are running into their own digital divide as ISPs drop support and Web and email standards evolve.
- To Err Is Human, to Correct Divine, 2002.11.21. More information on why the Mac Plus degrades over time – and how to fix it.
- Care for a Mac Plus, 2002.11.05. “Of all of the Triassic Macs, the Mac Plus has the most sentimental value among the Low End Mac community.”
- The Dying Art of Plain Text Email, 2002.10.22. Two types of email can make life very difficult for those with ancient Macs, other vintage hardware, and Unix shell accounts.
Mac Daniel columns by Manuel Mejia
- Media for Long Term Data Storage, 2002.02.18. The past, present, and future of archiving your important files.
- Flea Market Mac #2: The Plus Strikes Back, 2002.02.11. The years have done little to this air cooled survivor.
- Reviving the Lost Art of Archiving, 2002.02.04. If you’re not backing up, you risk losing everything to a hard drive failure.
- Early iMac Video Failure, 2002.01.02. Some tray-loading iMacs are experiencing video failure after just 2-3 years – what causes it?
- Picking a Computer for Christmas, 2001.12.10. Picking the right new or used Mac to meet your computing needs and budget.
- The Flea Market Mac, 2001.11.08. Replacing an LC, IIcx, and PowerBook with a Duo system found at a flea market.
- To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?, 2001.08.24. It’s time to bite the bullet; retire the old LC, IIcx, and PowerBook; and buy an iMac.
- Inside a Freenet, 2001.08.10. The key to any freenet’s success is the volunteers who donate their free time.
- The Pitfalls of Freenets, 2001.06.18. The joys and frustrations of using the Freenet.
- Mac Daniel Feedback, 2001.06.11. Reader feedback on file transfer and emulating the Apple Menu in System 6.
- From MacPaint to JPEG: File Formats for Computer Images, 2001.06.06. A look at file formats used for images.
- System 6 Tips: Emulating the Apple Menu, 2001.05.31. How to simulate the Apple Menu using System 6.
- Old Files on a New Mac, 2001.05.25. Moving old files to a new Mac – and updating them for current versions of software.
- Earth Day and the Mac, 2001.04.23. “…the newest items of trash to start moving into the nation’s landfills are PCs.”
- Children of MacPaint: Orphans and the 8-bit Video World, 2001.04.18. A brief look at second-generation paint programs for the Mac with a focus on Ultrapaint.
- Old Mac Users Not Nuts, 2001.03.30. It just makes sense to keep using old Macs until they die.
- Disabling At Ease, 2001.03.19. How to get rid of At Ease.
- Children of MacPaint, 2001.03.07. MacPaint was strictly b&w; these “children of MacPaint” gave us color.
- Beware Dust, Mac Daniel, 2001.01.31. Dust can reduce the life span of your Mac. Here’s how to fight this enemy.
- MacPaint Primer, 2001.01.19. An introduction to the Mac’s first paint program – samples included.
- Is a 2400 bps Modem Worth Keeping?, 2000.10.03. In the age of the Web, is there any reason not to replace an old, slow modem?
- The Land Before Silicon, 2000.08.16. Travels in Russia with a PowerBook 100.
- Classic Printing for Classic Macs, 2000.06.15. Why the best printer for a classic Mac may be the venerable ImageWriter II.
- Not Raising the Dead, 2000.05.22. Sometimes it doesn’t make economic sense to revive a dead Mac, but even in death their parts can save others.
- Field Testing the Carpenter’s PowerBook 100 Fix, 2000.05.09. Building and using a battery adapter with the PowerBook 100.
- The Carpenter’s Trade in the Computer Age, 2000.03.31. A carpenter, a block of wood, an R/C battery, and a resurrected PowerBook.
- Raising the Dead, Part 3, 2000.03.20. Ongoing work resurrecting a Mac II, plus the start of a PowerBook 100 project.
- Raising the Dead, Part 2, 2000.02.14. More on resurrecting a Mac II.
- Raising the Dead, Part 1, 2000.01.18. First episode on reviving a dead Mac II.
- Storage Devices for Older Macs, 1999.12.31. “If you happen to have a Mac without a hard drive, get one.”
- Why Should I Choose System 6 for the Mac II Family?, 1999.12.13. If they can use System 7, why use System 6?
- Why Should I Choose System 6 for My 8 MHz Compact Mac?, 1999.11.26. If they can use System 7, why use System 6?
- Surfing the Web with Low Memory Macs, 1999.11.09. Although you really need 16 MB for graphical browsing, there are alternatives.
- What Can I Do With a Mac Plus, SE, or Classic?, 1999.10.22. “The main point in using an old Mac is the fact that not every computer user is doing 3D rendering, high end spreadsheets, or video/music editing.”
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