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 […]
Category Archives: The Serker Files
I want to rattle on about this, since Dan [Knight] is testing out some of the things I’ve postulated about before. I keep seeing this dual RAM Disk/Disk Cache trend , and it astonishes me. I just haven’t figured out why everyone wants to equate them together, and then it dawned on me – some […]
“Although systems prior to Mac OS 8 can indeed do more than one thing at a time, OS 8 is also a better form of multitasking, a.k.a. Win95!”
1999 – I disagree about the G4 being a “marginally better” CPU than the G3. Given the 603 vs. the 604, where the 603 cannot handle multitasking properly and has a bus utilization rate that is so high that it cannot be configured for multiprocessing, nor can it handle intensive floating point calculations. The 604 […]
The following story is true. The names have been changed for the privacy of the parties involved. The author is a longtime consultant who works with Macs, Novell, and more and has over a dozen years field experience.
“One of the machines I have at the present moment is a Mac IIci, with a 68040 card, 128 MB RAM, 280 MB hard drive, and three empty NuBus slots. From what I have read on the list and elsewhere, it would make an excellent server.”
Last year’s article on SCSI component order generated some excellent feedback and dialogue. The following were written by Scott L. Barber of SERKER Worldwide, Inc., and Keith Bumgarner of MacInformed, the author of the original article.
I’m going to try to explain termination, because FireWire uses termination as well as SCSI, but very few people really catch on as to how.
As of 31 January 1999, Apple has posted System 7.5.3 for free download (19 disk images!) – and don’t forget the System 7.5.5 updater.
“Honest question: What are the specific performance issues for a separate Web and Email machine?”
1998 – Yes, Mac OS 8 takes up more memory than earlier Mac OS versions, but it’s not necessarily what you think. On a machine with 12 MB of memory, OS 8.x takes up less memory than on the same Mac with more memory installed. Here’s how – and Apple’s been doing things like this […]
Per a few private requests, I found enough interest to post a thesis for all to see about the SCSI ID 5 issue.
This was posted during a discussion of stripping PowerPC (a.k.a. PPC native) code from the System Folder for use on 680×0-based Macs.
1998 – There is no functional difference between the Power Mac 7100 and the Quadra 650 with the PowerPC upgrade card: They use the same ROM. As for the PPC Toolbox, that appears on all the 68040 Macs I’ve worked with, simply because the PPC Toolbox is 68k code.
Apple launched the Macintosh in 1984 with an 8 MHz 68000 CPU. When this list was published in April 1998, the fastest Mac was the 300 MHz Beige Power Mac G3. Here are Scott Barber’s picks as the best Macs from each CPU family Apple has used to date.
1998 – Okay, kind of a flame, but really specialized. I disagree that Apple should dump the 68k code simply because they want to isolate the 68040 machines from modern use.
1998 – I have this incredible desire to mention a few things about SCSI, seeing the wealth of posts that in some way or another ask whether this drive or that drive will work with this machine or that machine. This isn’t meant to be sarcastic, and it’s very serious – I have clients that […]
All Macintoshes are capable of achieving the 230 kbps (kilobits per second) transfer rate, since this is the speed of LocalTalk. The problem is, unless a device uses the LocalTalk protocol, the port cannot stream that way and is limited to normal serial modes.
1998 – “One topic you you didn’t address was VRAM. Since I use a lousy 15″ monitor, I’m assuming that increasing monitor size will be key to increasing ease of use/performance. Of course, I assume that someone in a prepress use already has two 24″ monitors….”
1998 – It sounds to me like you’re running the kinds and types of software that can create common crashes. I’ve noticed a considerable number of people on the list that don’t have crashes, but I’m not one of them. There are things you can do to shore up your system from crashes and eliminate […]
1998 – First, you’re going to need a lot of memory. All you can afford. Pump your Mac to the maximum memory you can get. Once you get over 80 MB, you’ll be kind of redundant – most CD-writing programs only provide for a 64 MB RAM cache. Aim for at least 64 MB of […]
By request, I’ve searched my personal archives and stumbled on my thesis. It’s rather short compared to the ones I write now, but it should get the point across. Now, there are two complete reposts here, so don’t get confused when the subject changes.
1998 – Long ago, as it has been mentioned, some companies used soft partition software.1 This was an overlay of the hard partitioning format. In some cases, this worked okay, but in most cases, it worked just like Stacker or eDisk2 (for more on these ancient utilities, see Miscellaneous Macintosh FAQ) – sooner or later […]
“How come my folders/apps inflated in size when I moved them from the old drive to the new one? The size of files has jumped by more than 25% across the board. Did I do something wrong in simply dragging the entire contents from the old drive the new one?”
“I’m using my PowerBook Duo 280c over Apple’s LocalTalk Bridge to get access to my ethernet network. What do I need to get TCP/IP to flow through that, too? Where can I get it?”
1998 – Go into your Preferences folder and remove Display Preferences and Sound Preferences. One of the problems when Mac system software switched over was that the engineering team at Apple created Monitors & Sound, instead of leaving them separate, when they created Mac OS 7.6. This created two separate versions of preferences files which […]
A Level 2 (L2) cache was a popular way to boost performance on faster 68030-based Macs, including the Mac IIci, Mac IIvx, and Mac IIfx. But none of the 68040-based Macs shipped with an L2 cache, although most were capable of using one. The L2 cache is automatically accessed by the 68040 series processor, whether […]
ISDN is a nearly forgotten service provided by the telephone company to provide digital transmission of voice, data, video, and more over a conventional land line. It is faster and more reliable than the 56k modems that have been in use since the late 1990s. [There was a time when we had ISDN service for […]
I have posted my answer to your question to the Quadlist, simply because it’s the most on-topic question I’ve gotten in a while. Contained within my answer are little tips that I think others need to know so that they can get powerful performance out of their machines as well. I have eliminated a considerable […]
1998 – Quantum makes the best SCSI drives for Apple or Mac clone branded equipment. I think they make lousy IDE drives though and vote for IBM or Maxtor when it comes to IDE.