Charles Moore's Mailbag

Upgrading a Power Mac, Using 2 Mice at Once, Older Macs for College, and Hacking Apple's CD Driver

Charles Moore - 2002.09.09 - Tip Jar

Upgrading a 200 MHz Mac

From Michael J. Mcnall

Dear Charles,

Thank you for your wonderful site. Your article on upgrading a 200 MHz machine gave me the push to redo mine. I have a 7300/200 obtained cheaply off eBay. It was agonizingly slow compared to the dual 800 Quicksilver, especially Web surfing. I went to OWC and bought the below:

  • Sonnet Crescendo G3/450
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • A 9.1 gig IBM UltraStar 7200 rpm.

I am hooked up to a cable modem through Roadrunner, and before the upgrade the speed test would read 23-27 K bytes/sec. After the upgrade I hit between 260 and 360 Kbytes/sec. The odd aspect is IE 4.5 seems faster than 5.1. Photoshop files spend less time time in the beach ball spin than before.

The main obstacle to the upgrade was terminating the hard drive correctly. I asked the tech help at OWC (very helpful folks) for the pin numbers. I counted from the wrong side, wasting much time. The drive refused to fit the case also. I ended up hack sawing a one inch gap in the metal frame behind the power cable in order to mount it. Am I now a true hacker?

There is a residual glitch on restart, the power light is, but nothing is showing on the screen, to save for another day. It may be the old 8 MB Twin Turbo is out of sync.

I am very pleased with the Mac now. I replaces my beloved Lombard 400, whose logic board and 256 RAM chip died recently, and I can't justify rebuilding at $700.


Hi Michael,

Thanks for the very encouraging report. There's lots of useful life in those old PCI Power Macs and clones, it seems.


Using two mice simultaneously

From Ken Watanabe


As always, I enjoy your commentary on LEM and elsewhere. I've been playing with Jaguar after installing it on a Pismo PowerBook recently. Apple has really hit a home run with this release.

Earlier today, I was playing with a Wacom Graphire tablet, and the very cool Ink handwriting recognition features, when I was somehow reminded me about your comments that Jaguar did not support the use of two mice simultaneously. Now, the Wacom tablet includes a cordless mouse, but it is a different type of device with its own driver. It looks like a mouse, but it works more like the tablet's pen. I thought perhaps it and a regular USB mouse might do your two-mouse trick where two regular mice would not.

The regular mouse I use is a Microsoft optical mouse. I seem to be able to use the Wacom tablet mouse and the regular mouse simultaneously. However, not knowing your specific requirements and what you mean by "simultaneously," I could not be sure if the bug you mentioned was there.

Do you own or have access to Wacom Graphire tablet (or one of the more expensive pro models)? If not, I'd be happy to confirm that a specific set of actions can (or cannot) be performed in Jaguar with a Wacom Graphire mouse and a typical USB mouse.

- Ken Watanabe

Hi Ken,

Thanks for your interest in this issue.

What I need is essentially to be able to hold down the button on one mouse (in this case, my foot operated mouse) and then be able to drag things around or highlight text, etc., using a second mouse.

If the Graphire Tablet will do the equivalent, that's encouraging news. I may be getting a Graphire tablet to test soon, but I would be very interested to hear if you can make this work in Jaguar (which I don't have yet).


Re: Using two mice simultaneously

From Ken Watanabe


I tried some things as you suggested. Good news. Most of the time, the two-mouse actions seem to work in Jaguar if one of the mice is the Wacom Graphire "pseudo-mouse."

If I make my USB mouse the "button" and the Wacom tablet mouse the "movement," it works most of the time.

What seems to work:

  • Single click actions (selecting a file/folder icon, clicking a link in browser)
  • Double click actions (selecting a word in a document, opening a file/folder icon)
  • Clicking and dragging to select text in document (a little inconsistent, worked correctly about 90% of the time)
  • Clicking and dragging to select icons in a Finder window
  • Menu actions (pulling down a menu and selecting a command)

What seems to not work:

  • Dragging an icon (or icons) after selecting it (them)
  • Dragging selected text in a document (worked a few times actually, but not very consistent)

If I switch the mouse functions - make the Wacom tablet mouse the "button" and the USB mouse the "movement" - it works even better. Almost everything I tried worked as expected. There seemed to be a short delay in recognition when movement after clicking was involved. A few times, the action did not work (mostly when dragging after selecting), but it worked if I tried again. So it's still not perfect, and that short delay could be annoying.

I can also confirm that with two regular mice (in my case using the USB mouse and the PowerBook's trackpad), the two-mouse actions just do not work. As I suggested in my previous message, perhaps it doesn't work because both mice use the same driver. However, I believe Kensington has a custom Mac OS X driver for its USB mice, so maybe it will also generally work when one of the two mice has a custom driver (and the other one uses the built-in driver).

You should definitely give it a try.

- Ken

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the research and suggestions.

No combination of regular pointing devices I've tried has worked, so the success you had with the Graphire is encouraging.

I'm wondering why this two-mouse thing seems to work without difficulty in OS 9, in which also, I assume, there is just the one mouse driver, but not in OS X. Wish I understood the underlying principles better.


Re; Re: Using two mice simultaneously

From Ken Watanabe

Well, on a final note, I retract my two-driver theory. After playing with the Wacom, I noticed that Microsoft had released their custom mouse driver for Mac OS X. I had been using the built-in driver because it handled the right-click and scroll-wheel actions fine. I dl'ed and installed it - works fine and gives a few extra options for the MS mouse. But for the two-mouse actions, it did not work any better than before when I just had the built-in driver doing all the work. So the Wacom may be unique in allowing two mice to work together after all.

I don't understand the technical aspects either - only that in Mac OS 9, the GUI is tied in to the OS much more closely than in X, where the GUI is more of a shell around the OS.

- Ken

Hi Ken,

Just a follow-up. I'm testing a Logitech Cordless Freedom Keyboard/Optical Mouseman combo for a review, and these products do have their own driver. Still no joy as far as simultaneous dual mousing goes.

However, these two Logitech products are wonderful! Lovely feel, all the bells and whistles you could ask for, and with the three programmable mouse buttons plus scroll wheels on both the mouse and keyboard, they go a long way toward easing the stress of mousing. The driver software works flawlessly in OS X by the way.


Re: Low-end PowerBooks for College

From Chris Smolyk


I enjoyed your article, particularly because I have come to do a fair amount of this kind of work with a lot of students from the campus nearby. The word is out to "talk to Chris, the Mac guy," and they call me up.

I evangelize the reliability and cost of old Macs for the basics.

Recently was given a 6500 (the Wintel onslaught, relentlessly driving Macs out of schools and campuses wherever they can - so the old Macs are often given away to those who will "find them a home"). It is a big improvement over my 6100, but I am noticing a few bugs. In moving to OS 8.6, I find that the Apple Menu cannot be accessed if I am in the Finder/Desktop - only if I select another application.

Then, and this is the one that bothers me, I am getting Type 11 errors in Eudora 3.1.3, which is an absolute first choice for me.

Have you heard of anyone having this error, or what the remedy may be?

chris s

Hi Chris,

As you're probably aware, there were not uncommon motherboard issues with the 6500s. Your problem is likely software, but you might start suspecting the mobo if you can't find a software cause for the erratic behavior. Eudora 3.1.3 is about as stable a piece of software as I've ever used. It still works great for me in OS 9.2.2 on this Pismo.


Apple CD Driver for Clones

From Steven Hunter

I'm sure you knew about this, but just in case:


Still works, even with 9.2, (albeit the locations of the target strings are different with the latest driver) so you can use a newer driver than the 5.3.1 you mentioned today.

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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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