Triassic Mac

Triassic Macs? Since the creation of the Abandonware Petition in the late 1990s, the use of epoch terms for the evolution of life started to be applied to low-end Macs. The battle cry Allow Jurassic software to roam free became a common phrase among vintage computer users.

In the case of computers, advances in CPU hardware and accessories have been so rapid that a more disciplined use of the epoch classifications was needed. Since the term Jurassic had been used, I decided to name all pre-PowerPC Macs – from the Compacts to the Quadras – Triassic Macs, after the first age of the dinosaurs. The Apple II and the other 8-bit computers fall into the Permian period, the age prior to the Triassic. Later Macs can fall into the Tertiary period, post-dinosaur.

For much of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mac software made for Triassic Macs ran on more modern Macs. Computer users would transfer programs from the compacts to the Quadras with no difficulties. Many of the tasks that users do today – spreadsheets, word processing, and drawing – were perfected on Triassic Macs. This is the reason why many Triassic Macs are still at work in the new century.

Long live the Triassic Macs!

  • Remembering HyperCard, 2003.08.11. Apple’s easy to use, powerful environment for creating media-rich interactive programs is fading away.
  • The Web Has Left 68K Macs Behind, 2003.08.04. Those with older Macs are running into their own digital divide as ISPs drop support and Web and email standards evolve.
  • To Err Is Human, to Correct Divine, 2002.11.21. More information on why the Mac Plus degrades over time – and how to fix it.
  • Care for a Mac Plus, 2002.11.05. “Of all of the Triassic Macs, the Mac Plus has the most sentimental value among the Low End Mac community.”
  • The Dying Art of Plain Text Email, 2002.10.22. Two types of email can make life very difficult for those with ancient Macs, other vintage hardware, and Unix shell accounts.

Mac Daniel columns by Manuel Mejia

Keywords: #triassicmac

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