Processors keep getting faster and faster. Hard drives and SSDs are getting faster and faster. System memory gets faster and faster. Graphics processors get faster and faster. Network speeds get faster too. So why does so much feel slow?
Category Archives: Low End Mac Tech Journal
SATA standards are all backwards compatible, right? Well, not necessarily. Researching upgrade options for the 2010 iMac on my desk has been a real learning experience. Some SATA III hard drives are auto-sensing and thus compatible with SATA II and SATA I ports, but some SATA III hard drives are fixed speed only and thus […]
Mac sales have been growing ever since Apple moved from PowerPC to Intel processors, in no small part because that made it possible to run Windows on Macs at full speed. No more Intel emulation. No more DOS cards. Boot Camp and then virtualization apps made it easy to run other operating systems on Intel-based […]
The PC Card was originally called the PCMCIA card when it was launched in November 1990. It is compatible with the Japanese JEIDA memory card 4.0 standard and supports a 16-bit ISA-compatible data bus. PC Cards may be 5V, 3.3V, or both, and 3.3V cards have a key that prevents them from being plugged into […]
Macs have had networking since the “Fat Mac” shipped in late 1984, but over the years Apple has changed the file sharing system, so not all Macs can share files with each other. This article provides a brief overview of which Macs can share files based on the system software they are running.
About a week ago, someone in the Low End Mac Facebook group posted the following question: Obviously we’re all used to the horizontal drive orientation, and the externals tend to have vertical orientation, but is the vertical really a safe orientation? Obviously there’s the chance of it being tipped/knocked over, but even a mild tilt […]
Apple made an unusual decision when it designed the original iBook, the one with the handle. Unlike most Macs before and since, iBooks do not have a PRAM battery. Neither does the 12″ PowerBook G4, which is based on the iBook G4. Instead, the parameter RAM (PRAM for short) is maintained by using the charge […]
Back in 2015, a proof-of-concept piece of Mac malware arrived under the name Thunderstrike. The name was chosen because the software specifically used the Thunderbolt port in newer Macs as its infection vector, and it was designed to use an ethernet adapter as its carrier. Apple addressed the issue with the Mac OS X 10.10.2 […]
October 21, 2016 will go down as one of the biggest cyber-attacks in the history of the Internet – perhaps the biggest ever. We’re going to learn a lot from this one, and we need to be sure to take steps to avoid it happening again.
Mac users have had networking since 1984 using Apple’s 230.4 Kbps LocalTalk hardware and AppleTalk protocol. However, there was an older networking standard with roots at Xerox PARC (which also inspired the Mac’s look and feel) known as ethernet that was destined to become the networking standard.
The following collection of articles is adapted from postings by Scott L. Barber, an all around Mac geek, on our Quadlist email list circa 1998. Although a few of these are specific to 68040-based Macs, most have much wider application (or, at times, much narrower), and in some cases these look at technologies long since […]
With the October 2005 introduction of the 2.5 GHz Power Mac G5 Quad, Apple had introduced the most powerful PowerPC Mac ever. Whatever was to replace it had to be a real powerhouse – and the first Mac Pro certainly was.
With macOS Sierra, Apple has once again raised the bar on which Macs can install and run the newest version of the Mac OS. But as sometimes has happened in the past, there are workarounds that make it possible to install Sierra on some unsupported Macs.
There are several kinds of Duo Docks of two main types: The full docks, such as the Apple Duo Dock, take the Duo inside much like a tape into a VCR; full docks provide ADB for keyboard and mouse, video, floppy, SCSI chain, two NuBus card slots, and two serial ports.
Earlier today in the Apple Macintosh Enthusiasts Facebook group, Charles Lott asked if an OS X Mac with a USB floppy drive could write disks that a Mac running System 7 could use. The short answer is, it depends.
Apple took a nice step forward when it introduced the first Aluminum iMacs (iMac7,1) in August 1997. The logic board uses the Santa Rosa chipset, and it has an 800 MHz data bus, up from 667 MHz on earlier Intel-based iMacs. The CPU sits in a socket (Socket P), so you can upgrade it!
The first three generations of Intel-based iMacs use the same Socket M to mount the CPU and have a 667 MHz system bus. The CPU is not soldered in place, allowing the Early 2006, Mid 2006, and Late 2006 iMacs to take the same CPU upgrades, bringing speeds as high as 2.33 GHz.
The first three generations of Intel-based Mac minis used the same Socket M to mount the CPU on a 667 MHz system bus. The CPU is not soldered in place, allowing the Early 2006, Late 2006, and Mid 2007 models to take the same CPU upgrades, bringing speeds as high as 2.33 GHz.
I’ve been using a standup desk in my home office, and my recent job manufacturing high pressure air hoses required me to stand most of the day. A standing desk makes it easier to move around than sitting in a chair, but it can be hard on your body in other ways.
In the past month, I’ve gone from only using an iPhone 4S to setting up an iPhone 5S for my wife and an iPhone 5 for myself. Looking back at iPhone history, there have been some big leaps forward in power – and some small ones.
Last week, I looked at whether partitioning or formatting USB flash drives in other ways made a difference, and I found out that the stock FAT format tends to produce the best results overall. Today I’m testing striped RAID arrays using the same flash drives in 2, 3, and 4 drive configurations.
When you buy a USB flash drive, it comes preformatted for use on Window PCs. But will it work more efficiently if its reformatted in a Mac-native format? We just had to find out.
When Apple introduced the third generation iPod in April 2002, it added a new 30-pin dock connector that could charge the iPod from FireWire, as with all prior iPods, and USB, which finally came to the iPod with the 3G model. While the plug and port were unchanged, over time some pin assignments changed.
The Apple Display Connector (ADC) was Apple’s proprietary modification of the DVI (Digital Visual Interface) connector that combines analog and digital video signals, USB, and power in a single cable. Apple’s goal was to reduce cable clutter and simplify the process of connecting a new monitor to a Mac. This was especially nice with monitors […]
If you’ve never heard of the Motorola 68060 CPU, there’s a good reason for it. Apple never used it. Atari never used it. And the only Amiga that used it only did so after Commodore had gone bankrupt and been acquired by another company. There have also been some processor upgrades built around the 68060.
The G5 is a 64-bit member of the PowerPC processor family that is fully compatible with 32-bit code. It was first used when the Power Mac G5 was introduced in June 2003. Only three different versions of the chip were produced before Apple made the move to Intel CPUs in 2006. IBM was the only manufacturer […]
With the success of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, Apple is a leading consumer of ARM processors, which it originally purchased from smartphone and tablet rival Samsung. Always looking for an edge, Apple has acquired a lot of design talent, which allowed it to produce its own CPUs.
I recently installed every version of Apple’s operating system that is compatible with the 1999 Blue & White G3 Power Mac – 11 major Mac operating systems: 8.5, 8.6, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, and Mac OS X Server 1.2.
If you’ve used the Shuffle setting on iTunes or an iPod more than a few times, you come to realize that it’s anything but random. Some tracks keep coming up while others are ignored. Why is that?
It was only last year that I got my first Power Mac G5. I have quite a collection of G4 Power Macs, several no longer working, and the G5 gave me several improvements, including a higher CPU speed, faster memory, built-in USB 2.0, FireWire 800, and a SATA hard drive bus.