Charles Moore's Mailbag

Power Mac 7200 Speed, WordPerfect 3.5e, Big SCSI Drives, and Buying Software

Charles Moore - 2002.02.18 - Tip Jar


From Bruce Smith

Hi Charles,

Funny, I just read your 2-year-old + article on upgrading a 7200/75. What's funny about that? Well, only today I dragged that very same machine up from the basement to see how it compared to the 6400/180 that friends gave us recently.

The 7200 came to no harm from its subterranean storage and with 128 MB RAM, 1 MB L2, 2 MB video RAM, and an internal SCSI hard drive seems faster than the 6400.

I may just get a Sonnet G4 card and see if the thing becomes a screamer! Since I already have monitor, keyboard, et al, all I'll really need is a larger hard drive. I'll have to find a SCSI one somewhere.

Nice article, thank you.

Bruce Smith

Hi Bruce,

It has always seemed to me that the PPC 601 chip was a lot more robust than the 603. My brother in law uses a 7200/75 as his main workhorse, and I think I would prefer it to a 6400.

You could also use an ATA PCI adapter and an ATA/IDE hard drive.

Glad you enjoyed the article.



From Alvin Chan

Good morning, the links for the WordPerfect 3.5e, the update for OS 8/9, and WordPerfect 2.0 conversion update links are not existing anymore. Where else can these three be downloaded?

God bless,

Hi Alvin,

WordPerfect 3.5e is still available at <>

The other two items may still be available somewhere, but I'm not aware of a source.


36 GB SCSI drives

From James Kachel


36 GB SCSI drives are indeed available and have been for quite some time now. IBM UltraStar drives in that capacity cost about $170 according to (before shipping, of course, and in USD). You won't, however, find a 50-pin drive for that price with that capacity. The UltraStars are Ultra160 SCSI, and have a 68-pin connector. However, with a nifty adapter from http:// they work fine in a machine with narrow SCSI (like all Macs before the Blue and White G3s). The adapter is $10, and its part number SC3TO50PIN (click Cables/Adapters, and then Drive Adapters.)

FWIW, I have one of these 36 GB UltraStars running in a beige G3 (actually, in an external case), and it's working wonderfully in both OS 9.2 and X 10.1.2. Before a few days ago, the drive was connected to my 7300/180 with a G3 upgrade, and it worked fine there, too. The one thing you have to watch is how you set SCSI IDs - drives with the 68-pin connectors can be set from SCSI ID 0 to 15, but the Mac won't see anything above 7. As long as you set the SCSI ID to some number below 7 (that doesn't conflict with another device), it should work fine.

If you factor in the prices for an IDE drive and controller (about $70 for an IDE card and about $70 for a 5400 RPM 40 GB Maxtor that won't be as fast as the IBM drive), the cost difference is quite minimal, about $20.

Hope this helps,

IBM UltraStar 36 GB SCSI 7200 rpm for $150 (updated)

From Steve Dienstbier


Just a pointer to information showing that a 36 GB SCSI drive isn't that much more expensive than an IDE (maybe twice?). Still more, but much cheaper in comparison than they used to be. Steve Dienstbier

You can read this online at <>

Several readers spotted the IBM UltraStar 36XP 36 GB Ultra2SCSI 7200 rpm internal hard drive, model no. 08L8421, for $179.95 at It's the lowest price we've seen for this drive by over $50, though as of press time, stock is down to four units. UPS Ground is $5.95. Update: offers the same drive for $149.99.

Cross-platform software

From Brian Miller

I agree with your comments on software companies allowing "cross-grades" when people switch platforms. Hopefully it's an issue they will have to be dealing with more in the future, right? One possible thought to help convince them: It's been documented that Mac Users tend to buy more, varied software, and purchase upgrades more often, so once someone switches, there are additional, tertiary software purchases.

Incidentally, we use Vectorworks from Nemetschek, and last time we upgraded they allowed us to convert a Windows serial number to a Mac serial number at the standard upgrade cost.

PC users don't "buy" software

From Michael Usry


I was reading some of the emails about why people buy/build PCs, and I came across an interesting word, buy.

I have my friends who use PCs, and I will tell you they "buy" nothing. They freely trade or download software like the MP3 craze of Napster.

Until the trumpet sounds,
Michael Usry

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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