Announcing .lowendmac Services

Apple may be able to do amazing things with Xserve machines and Mac OS X Server, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who can offer affordable services to Macintosh users.

The Rumor Mill

In response to Apple’s .mac service, Low End Mac proudly announces .lowendmac, Internet services for Mac users that don’t require Jaguar, OS X, or even System 7.0. Dot-lowendmac services will be available to Mac users who have at least 1 MB RAM, System 6.0.3, a modem, and a spare 3.5″ SCSI hard drive.

The new .lowendmac services will be hosted on a host of low-end Macs set up in the basement at Low End Mac headquarters – anything from a Mac Plus through Mac IIs, Quadras, and even some PowerBooks, Power Macs, and clones. Your files will be stored on the hard drive you provide, so you’ll probably have no less than 20 MB of online storage.

Email will be handled by a Power Mac 6100 that also runs SETI@home around the clock. Mail services will be managed by SIMS, a fantastic freeware mail server program from Stalker. SIMS is easily capable of handling thousands of email accounts even on something as antiquated as a Power Mac 6100.

Email will be completely filtered for spam using the 20 best known as well as the most notorious blacklist services available. To prevent viruses and large attachments, the mailbox will be limited to 5K.

The cost of .lowendmac services will vary depending on the speed and value of the computer your SCSI hard drive is used with. If you only need Mac Plus performance, .lowendmac will cost you just $10 per year with a single email address. If you want your files hosted by the “wicked fast” Mac IIfx that originally sold for $10,000, you’ll pay $99 per year for the privelege.

Just imagine telling your Wintel friends that your files are being hosted on a $10,000 computer. Talk about bragging rights – that’ll make their multi-GHz Pentium 4s seem cheap!

To attain compatibility with even System 6, .lowendmac is based on Apple Remote Access (BTW, you’ll need your own copy of the software), and we will be installing a dedicated phone line just for .lowendmac subscribers. Note that due to the limited number of electrical outlets and the cost of keeping so many Macs running around the clock, you will need to phone us 5 minutes in advance to we can turn on the Mac containing your files and have it ready for you.

Because Low End Mac’s normal Internet connection is via a cable modem, and the terms of service say “No servers for you,” we’re completely bypassing the Internet and providing point-to-point service via phone modem at up to 14.4 kbps. This will also keep hackers out, since these computers will have no Internet connection whatsoever.

Sorry, but that does mean no

To sign up for .lowendmac services, please call us at 1-616-555-MACS between noon and 12:01 p.m. on Tuesdays.

As for virus protection, if Apple wants to offer it with .mac, that’s fine by us, but we haven’t seen a Mac virus in ages, so we’re just going to ignore the possibility.

– Anne Onymus

This was originally published in 2002.

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