Matt's Macs

My Performa Still Performa!

- 2001.02.22 - Tip Jar

This column was first published in the MUGOO Newsletter in May 2000.

My Performa still performa! And, with some tweaking, it does everything and more since it was purchased in 1994: Performa 635homework, music, multimedia, pictures, recording keeping, games, web page, surfing the net, keeping in contact with friends and relatives. The Performa 635 has served my family well over the years. By trading off cost and performance, the useful life of my Performa has been extended by several years.

My family continues to use our Mac to learn about things: what digital photos are, making movies, and what the Web is all about. To explore how to write a multimedia report, manipulate graphic files and get used to web surfing. To reflect on the pluses and minus on having the latest and greatest versus realizing my Mac's full potential. A low-end Mac still serving a useful purpose.

What a difference six years makes. OS 7.5, 7.5.5, 7.6, 8.1, 8.6, 9.0; 68040, 601, 603, 604, G3, G4. Reductions in prices for storage devices and RAM. Seeing more of the Mac OS software written in native PowerPC code. Along the way, the Mac that came out of the box has been transformed into a Mac that was a twinkle in my eye six years ago. The differences between the two are shown in the table below:

ITEM 1994 2000
OS 7.1.2P 8.1
CPU 68LC040 68040
RAM 5 MB 36 MB
Modem 2400/9600 14000/33600
Hard Disk 250 MB 4.3 GB
External Storage none 100 MB Zip Disk
Printer 2400 2500 (Software Upgrade)
TV Tuner/Video Card none Yes (New)
MPEG Card none Yes (New)
Presentation System none Yes (New)
Scanner none Yes (Refurbished)
QuickCam none Yes (Refurbished)
Speakers none Yes (New)
Microphone none Yes (New)
Video Camera (On the Shelf) Yes (Use with TV Tuner Card)

Bottom Line: Instead of vertical upgrades, the horizontal upgrades above have been geared towards maximizing the Macs potential, without which this web page http://home.att.net/~novash/index.html would not have been possible.

Next Time: Resources and Upgrading by a Weekend Warrior

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