AppleTalk, LocalTalk, and PhoneNet

From nearly the beginning, Macs have supported built-in networking using a protocol known as AppleTalk. While networking is common today, outside of large businesses and institutions, networked computers were the exception in the mid 1980s. Out-of-the-box networking was a major selling point for the Mac.

Mac OS 9 Isn’t Dead Yet

The final release of Mac OS 9 occurred ten years ago, in 2001. Mac OS X was launched that same year, and Steve Jobs symbolically buried his old nemesis in 2002. The old Mac OS survived for another few years, running on dual-booting G4s or as Classic Mode under OS X, until the release of the Intel […]

Installing Mac OS 9 on the Mirrored Drive Doors Power Mac G4

The Power Mac G4 MDD (Mirrored Drive Doors) was the last Mac capable of dual-booting into both Mac OS 9 and OS X. The last of the G4 towers, this model was originally introduced in 2002, briefly evolved into an OS X-only configuration with FireWire 800 in 2003, then returned to the original design for another year.

A Macintosh Undelete Odyssey

It happens to us all – accidentally deleting a file. Or a folder full of files. Or worse! This time it was at the end of a Friday afternoon with a new client, transferring data from his old computer to a new one. The process took many hours, the client left for a while, and […]

Finding a New Home for Your Old Mac

New Macs are cool. They’re shiny, fast, sexy machines that can turbocharge your work and play. Apple is happy to sell you a new one as often as you can afford it! But whether you stay on the cutting edge or live the full Low End Mac philosophy, you will inevitably reach the day when […]

Moving Files from Classic Macs to Modern Ones

As someone who works with classic Macs (Macs that can boot the Classic Mac OS), I get contacted occasionally by people who still have files on the hard drives of their old Macs but aren’t sure how to move them to a newer machine. These are typically SCSI-based systems with floppy drives. They might also […]

Multiroom Audio with iTunes

These days many people have some or most of their music libraries on their computers, and that is often managed with Apple’s free iTunes software. It’s very nice to have such quick and easy access to your music library, but by default this plays back only in the room where the computer is located. Wouldn’t […]

Step-by-Step Guide to Manual Mac System Migration

Since the early days of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, Apple has provided a wonderful utility – initially part of Setup Assistant and later (in OS X 10.4 Tiger) renamed Migration Assistant – to help move data between your old and new Macs. With this utility and a Mac booted into FireWire Target Disk Mode, or […]

Use FileMaker Pro Databases on Your iPhone

I recently joined the ranks of the iPhone enabled and am having a generally marvelous time with my new iToy. One of the best features is how seamlessly the iPhone works with my Mac’s Address Book and Calendar data via Apple’s Sync Services. No third party data conduit is needed – unlike Treo or BlackBerry […]

Tales of Old Mac Data Retrieval

2008 – Macs have been around for a long time, waxing and waning in popularity – 24 years as of this writing. Many people have used Macs in grade school or college, as business users, or personally, and have old data and software stored on floppy disks, SyQuest cartridges, hard drives, etc. from these Paleolithic […]

Software to Remotely Control and Reboot Your Mac

Part 1 of this series covers general considerations and Apple-supported methods available for remote system control that will generally work on any version of Mac OS X (Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, and Leopard) – and even OS 9. This article addresses some commercial solutions that also support multiple OS versions, along with how to force-reboot a remote Mac. Part […]

Remotely Control Your OS 9 or OS X Mac

Remote control of your Macintosh allows you to access a remote (host) computer across a network or the Internet from a local (client) system. The screen of the shared host computer appears locally, and you use your mouse and keyboard to control the other system from afar. Historically there have been fewer options to accomplish […]

Solving Mac Startup Problems

As readers of Low End Mac know, Macs are durable machines that can remain useable and useful a decade or more after they were manufactured. Whether in use to run legacy applications, old games, repurposed as systems for the kids, or acquired as collector’s items, many old Macs can (and do) see service long after […]

Mac Maintenance: Effective Backup Strategies

Everyone knows they need to backup their data, but most people don’t do so regularly (if at all). Backups are confusing and annoying. Besides, who has the time? Well, your perspective may change during a post-crash enlightenment: Most people become religious about backups after their first catastrophic loss of data.

Mac Maintenance: Solve Disk and Hardware Problems

The disk directory is the table of contents for your hard drive. Directory errors build up slowly over time – or quickly after a crash. Such errors can cause problems opening or saving files, and if severe enough they can prevent your Mac from starting up, instead displaying the flashing question mark. Fixing the disk […]

Mac Maintenance: Fix Glitches and Sluggishness

Sometimes your Mac just doesn’t seem as peppy as it used to, particularly if it’s been running for a long time. Memory and disk problems are the most common causes of routine glitches and sluggishness, especially the dreaded “Spinning Pizza of Death” (a.k.a. beachball cursor) that never seems to go away. Sometimes RAM and disk […]

Using ProTools Free 3.4 with Older Macs

ProTools v3.4 Digital Audio Workstation software was released on CD-ROM free of charge by Digidesign as a promotional effort in 1997. It is an older but fully-functional 16-track version of the program. Pro Tools v3.4 was only approved for use with some PCI-based Power Macs, but it is possible to run the program on many […]