The ARM Story: RISCy Business

Except for its earliest models, Acorn had built its computers around the 6502 microprocessor, which was also used by Apple, Atari, Commodore, and others. Seeing the end of the 8-bit era approaching, Acorn knew that it was time to move to a new architecture. However, the cost of existing 16-bit CPUs was prohibitive, and quite […]

Acorn 8-bit Computers

One of the early “home computers” was hardly known outside of the United Kingdom, but in its home country, Acorn owned the education market. Launched by Cambridge Processor Unit Ltd. (CPU) in January 1979, a little over a year after the Apple II, Commodore PET, and Radio Shack TRS-80 came to market, the Acorn System […]

CPUs: Intel 80186 and 80188

The Intel 80186 is based on the earlier 8086 CPU with the same 20-bit address bus as the 8086, allowing it to access up to 1 MB of memory. Introduced in 1982, the 80186 and 80188 are fully code compatible with the 8086 and 8088, but they also introduced 10 new instruction types.

Personal Computer History: 1995-2004

Although the World Wide Web had been created many years earlier, it was in 1995 that it rocketed into public view. Window 95 shipped in August, and Intel unveiled the Pentium Pro in November. Apple used the new PowerPC 603 CPU in its Performa 5200 and 6200 models, both running at 75 MHz. The 603 […]

Personal Computer History: 1985-1994

Microsoft first shipped Windows 1.0 in 1985, and this DOS shell was content to run even on old 4.77 MHz PCs, albeit slowly. That was also the year Aldus invented the fourth major productivity software category – after word processing, spreadsheets, and databases – by releasing PageMaker. Desktop publishing was born, and Apple found a […]

Low End Mac’s Site Structure

In nearly 21 years of existence, Low End Mac has been through a lot of changes. We originally had a very flat structure – files in the root level and one level down with folders for compact Macs, Mac II series, and LC series. And that structure kept getting broader and broader as we added […]

Review: Amazon Fire 7 (2017)

It was only $30 on Black Friday, and the 4″ screen on my iPhone 5 wasn’t particularly kind to my eyes. Facebook on a small iPhone is not a great experience, Clash of Clans and Euchre 3D, about the extent of my gaming, can be hard to read. Ideally, I’ll have an iPhone 6S someday […]

Review: QacQoc USB to USB Hub with Ethernet

QacQoc is making a name for itself for its environmentally friendly and very affordable line of accessories, most of them with USB-C ports. None of my Macs have USB 3, let alone USB-C, so when QacQoc contacted me about reviewing their very nice USB-C hub, I had to share my predicament. They sent two items […]

Installing Linux on PowerPC Macs

It’s not particularly easy to create a bootable USB flash drive so you can try running Linux on a PowerPC Mac. It took me a couple weeks of research, asking questions of our Linux on PowerPC Macs group on Facebook, and experimenting before I could finally boot into Linux 14.04 from a thumb drive. I […]

Micro Review: QacQoc Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter

QacQoc is making a name for itself for its environmentally friendly and very affordable line of accessories, most of them with USB-C ports. None of my Macs have USB 3, let alone USB-C, so when QacQoc contacted me about reviewing their very nice USB-C hub, I had to share my predicament. They sent two items […]

Apple IIe Card: A Tool for Getting Macs into Schools

If anything, Apple’s success in getting the Apple II family of computers into elementary schools was a mixed blessing. The education market kept the Apple II line going, prevented DOS PCs from getting a foothold in most elementary schools, but it also kept schools from buying Apple Macs because they couldn’t run all that Apple […]

Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to Our Compleat Guides

No, it isn’t a typo. Compleat is a legitimate, albeit archaic, spelling for complete. As Kenneth G. Wilson says in The Columbia Guide to Standard American English: “This obsolete spelling of the adjective complete suggests an air of antiquity that seems to please some of those who name things….” We find that fitting for Low […]

The 3 Laws of Low End Computing

The best thing about Macs is how long they can remain useful. I am typing this on an Early 2008 iMac. The 20″ model with a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU. And it’s running macOS 10.11 El Capitan quite nicely since upgrading from the 3 GB this used iMac came with to its maximum, […]

Throttlegate

Sad. Disappointed. Frustrated. Those are the words I would use to describe my feelings about “Throttlegate”, the recent revelation that Apple has indeed been slowing down older iPhones that have worn batteries.

Apple’s Tendency to Short Users of Enough USB Ports

Apple did a wonderful thing when it introduced the all-in-one iMac in 1998. It gave the world a fresh new colorful look at what an all-in-one computer could be with no floppy drive on the front. It included a built-in 100Base-T ethernet port and a 56k modem. And it forced the industry to recon with […]

Opera for Mac FAQ

The Opera browser was begun by Telenor, the leading Norwegian telecom company, in early 1994. In 1995, Opera was split off into a separate company, Opera Software SA, which remained in Norwegian hands until mid-2016, when the entire Opera browser business was purchased by a Chinese consortium for $600 million, leaving the parent company with […]