Should I Replace My Quadra 650 for Web Work?

1998 – NCS writes: I have a Quadra 650 running on System 7.5 with 56 MB RAM and a hard drive of 250 MB. I also have an external 3 GB hard drive. I use this machine at home, for surfing, and for administration purposes of my small business. I also use it to design Web pages in HTML and run Photoshop (for Web images).

So far it works okay. But now I would really like to buy a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver or use Netscape Communicators’ Composer, but all these are either not compatible or require a PowerPC to run. Even the recent upgrade from Adobe PageMill only runs on a PowerPC.

Is there a cheap way to upgrade to a PowerPC (I like the new G3 desktop series but am not ready to spend my money yet on them) or maybe I just should look for a 68040 compatible good WYSIWYG editor? (If they exist at all.)

My problem is mostly budget related at this moment. Sell, upgrade, or buy software?

Mac Daniel writes: I managed to do a fair bit of Web work on a 20 MHz Centris 610, which has about half the power of your Quadra 650. It wasn’t fast, but I could work in Claris Home Page (a nice WYSIWYG editor), Photoshop, and GraphicConverter. Still, the computer was a real bottleneck.

Umax SuperMac J700In June, I sold my Centris and bought a Umax SuperMac J700/180, the rough equivalent of a Power Mac 7300/180. It was a night-and-day difference. And I considered US$800 a very reasonable price at the time. Compared with adding a CD-ROM, larger hard drive, accelerator, and memory to my Centris, I came out several hundred dollars ahead by buying a new computer with much more power than the Centris could ever be upgraded to.

The used Mac market is pretty incredible. Prices are dropping faster than expected, thanks to the affordable iMac and the fact that nobody knows if Mac OS X will work on anything not designed around a G3 processor.

As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, the Power Mac 7500 is a great step up for anyone who doesn’t already have a Power Mac. It starts out with a nice 100 MHz PowerPC 601, but you can replace that very inexpensively with a used 132-200 MHz 604 card – or more expensively with G3 cards in the 220-400 MHz range.

I’ve seen basic 7500s for as little as US$550 (without CD-ROM) – and rarely for more than US$800. Other good buys would be the SuperMac J700 or S900; both have more expansion slots and drive bays than the 7500.

If you’re making money doing Web work on your Quadra 650, the increased speed of a Power Mac could pay for itself in a few weeks.

Reader Feedback

SW writes: I hate to see anyone convinced that they have to buy a Power Mac because Adobe is too damn cheap and lazy to make PageMill 3.0 68k compliant.

Granted, NCS did ask about economical Quadra 650 upgrades. And you did your duty and pointed out the practical side of buying a secondhand PPC over trying to max out a C650, but you should have also mentioned the alternative of doing nothing and saving a lot of money while still getting the same work done. The tools are out there.

NCS asks “. . . or maybe I just should look for a 68040 compatible good WYSIWYG editor? (If they exist at all.)”

PageMill 2.0 is a great program and runs great on anything. I built 80% of my website <> using PageMill 1.0 and 2.0 on a lowly Quadra 700. You can find second hand copies of PageMill 2.0 (complete with SiteMill and Photoshop LE) for $20.

Would someone please tell me what PageMill 3 (or any other HTML editor, for that matter) has to do that’s so processor-intensive that it requires a PowerPC? Besides, it is truly a dog in every sense of the word. It runs like a bad Windows port. PageMill 3 is slower on my 8100, even with 30 MB of RAM allocated to it, than PageMill 2 was on my Quadra – and that’s no joke.

Someone needs to tell NCS that he doesn’t need the latest and greatest of anything to build fine websites, especially if he’s on a budget (which he implies).

Just because Apple and Adobe think everyone has G3s, we shouldn’t let them brainwash us into believing that’s the only way anything can get done.

Just my two cents.

Mac Daniel writes: Agreed, there’s absolutely no reason to write a decent WYSIWYG HTML editor without 68k support unless you want to limit your market.

Keywords: #quadra650 #powermac7500

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