Watch Out for SATA III Drives in SATA II Macs and PCs

SATA standards are all backwards compatible, right? Well, not necessarily. Researching upgrade options for the 2010 iMac on my desk has been a real learning experience. Some SATA III hard drives are auto-sensing and thus compatible with SATA II and SATA I ports, but some SATA III hard drives are fixed speed only and thus […]

PowerBooks with CardBus Support

The PC Card was originally called the PCMCIA card when it was launched in November 1990. It is compatible with the Japanese JEIDA memory card 4.0 standard and supports a 16-bit ISA-compatible data bus. PC Cards may be 5V, 3.3V, or both, and 3.3V cards have a key that prevents them from being plugged into […]

Does Hard Drive Orientation Affect Performance?

About a week ago, someone in the Low End Mac Facebook group posted the following question: Obviously we’re all used to the horizontal drive orientation, and the externals tend to have vertical orientation, but is the vertical really a safe orientation? Obviously there’s the chance of it being tipped/knocked over, but even a mild tilt […]

The Serker Files

The following collection of articles is adapted from postings by Scott L. Barber, an all around Mac geek, on our Quadlist email list circa 1998. Although a few of these are specific to 68040-based Macs, most have much wider application (or, at times, much narrower), and in some cases these look at technologies long since […]

macOS Sierra on Low End Macs

With macOS Sierra, Apple has once again raised the bar on which Macs can install and run the newest version of the Mac OS. But as sometimes has happened in the past, there are workarounds that make it possible to install Sierra on some unsupported Macs.

The Duo Dock Tick of Death

There are several kinds of Duo Docks of two main types: The full docks, such as the Apple Duo Dock, take the Duo inside much like a tape into a VCR; full docks provide ADB for keyboard and mouse, video, floppy, SCSI chain, two NuBus card slots, and two serial ports.

Apple’s 30-pin Dock Connector

When Apple introduced the third generation iPod in April 2002, it added a new 30-pin dock connector that could charge the iPod from FireWire, as with all prior iPods, and USB, which finally came to the iPod with the 3G model. While the plug and port were unchanged, over time some pin assignments changed.

The Apple Display Connector (ADC)

The Apple Display Connector (ADC) was Apple’s proprietary modification of the DVI (Digital Visual Interface) connector that combines analog and digital video signals, USB, and power in a single cable. Apple’s goal was to reduce cable clutter and simplify the process of connecting a new monitor to a Mac. This was especially nice with monitors […]

CPUs: Motorola 68060

If you’ve never heard of the Motorola 68060 CPU, there’s a good reason for it. Apple never used it. Atari never used it. And the only Amiga that used it only did so after Commodore had gone bankrupt and been acquired by another company. There have also been some processor upgrades built around the 68060.

CPUs: PowerPC G5

The G5 is a 64-bit member of the PowerPC processor family that is fully compatible with 32-bit code. It was first used when the Power Mac G5 was introduced in June 2003. Only three different versions of the chip were produced before Apple made the move to Intel CPUs in 2006. IBM was the only manufacturer […]