Vintage Mac Living

30 Days of Old School Computing

Computing at Work with a PowerBook 170

- 2006.09.12

Hello everyone,

Last time I talked about how I was having problems with my servers, and how one of my managers at McDonald's wanted to join me in 30 days of "old school" computing.

Well, I managed to get my servers running again, and so far I haven't had any more problems with them.

As for my manager, I don't know what the deal is. I set up the Classic II for him to use, but he has yet to come and pick it up. I'm guessing that he doesn't really want to proceed with the project.

Oh well, that's his loss, not mine. I'm sure there are plenty of other people out there that would love to join me.

Today I'm writing this at work while I'm on break. I bet you're wondering how I managed to pull this off.

PowerBook 100 SeriesI brought in my PowerBook 170, which still has a working battery. The wonderful thing about the PowerBook 170 is that I can turn down the processor speed, turn off the backlight on the screen (you can do that with color LCDs, but you can't see them too well), open ClarisWorks (or MS Word, or Word Perfect, or whatever you want to use), spin down the hard drive, and be able to type for a good long while.

I'm not sure just how long I will be able to pull it off, but I'm only on a 30 minute break. The battery should be able to hold out that long.

I must say that the PowerBook is doing really well. AIM, WannaBe, MacLynx, Eudora Lite 1.3.1, even iCab 2.9.9 work great.

iCab is by no means fast, but it works when I need to visit sites that WannaBe and MacLynx simply can't handle, like online forums, and sites where I need to see pictures.

WannaBe is my browser of choice: it's super fast and works great. The only problem I have with it is I cannot use Google or any other search engine, because you can't input data. When that happens, I just use MacLynx. It works without any problems, it's just slower a and doesn't look as good (it's the best browser for compact Macs).

AIM works really well on this PowerBook. Sure, it isn't as fast as running it on a Power Mac G3 (or even a 7500), but I wouldn't expect it to be.

And yes, email works just fine using Eudora Lite 1.3.1, with one exception: It likes to encode all attachments in BinHex, so no one can open any attachment I send. Oh well, that's only a minor setback.

So far everything seems to be working great, without any major problems at all.

Wish me luck, and stay tuned more Old School Computing articles are to come. LEM

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