The Serker Files

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 […]

How the G4 Compares to the G3

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 […]

Best Macs by CPU

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.

System Crashes in the Classic Mac OS

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 […]

Burning CDs on a Mac

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 […]

Beware ‘Soft’ Partitions

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 […]

Hard Drive Partitioning

“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?”

Level 2 Cache for the 68040

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 […]

Serious Classic Mac OS Performance Tips

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 […]