The Low End Mac Mailbag

Need IE for Mac, Looking for ADB Mouse, IIfx ROM in SE/30, Mac Family Numbers, and More

Dan Knight - 2006.06.06

Help, I Need Internet Explorer for My Mac!

Gara Gillentine writes:

Relative to the following: How Microsoft Could Profit by Selling Internet Explorer for Mac

Dear Dan,

I wanted to just drop a note to you concerning the above article and let you all know at least one person's feelings about IE and the iMac G5 problem.

I had been searching for Internet Explorer for my "new" refurbished iMac G5. After using my old Power Mac G3 since 1998, I just upgraded a few weeks ago to DSL and the iMac G5 and thought I'd finally made it to the world of speed and video. NOT!

I have come across so much video, all of which is Katrina related - I live in Mississippi and have a special interest in weather and this hurricane in particular - but I cannot watch any that I have found because it requires Internet Explorer!

I'm fed up with all of this mess that Apple and Microsoft seem to be unnecessarily creating, which causes problems for us Mac users. How disappointing that IE is no longer made for new Macs. What's their point in making things so narrow and difficult?

Every time I think I've upgraded and updated my systems and software, I eventually find (usually within a day or so of Web surfing) that it's never enough. Never the right software. Never the right version. Never anything!

It's extremely irritating, as is the email program that comes on the new iMacs!

What happened to the "good ole days" of web surfing when things worked with a Mac. I guess I'm trapped in a Mac warp, because I'll never use a PC - I hate them! I would gladly pay to have IE and Outlook Express on my iMac G5!!

Just wanted to let you know.

Oxford, MS

Nobody was at all surprised when Microsoft stopped updating Internet Explorer for the Mac. Microsoft has enough on its plate with Windows XP, security updates, Vista development, feature bloat, attacking open source software, and dealing with governments that don't like the way Microsoft abuses its position in the industry.

Besides which, there are plenty of good browsers for the Mac. In addition to Safari, we have Opera and Firefox, which are both excellent browsers. And then there are some Mac-only ones: iCab, Camino, and OmniWeb. I've used them all, and I'll take any one of them over Internet Explorer 5.2.x any day.

That said, none of them are Internet Explorer, and that causes problems because some websites aren't designed to Internet standards at all - just to Microsoft standards. Worse yet, many IE-only sites developed in recent years require IE 5.5 or later - which was never released for the Mac. And on top of that IE 5.2 for the Mac isn't the same as IE 5.x for Windows, so even a site that works with IE 5.x on a PC may not work properly with IE 5.x on a Mac.

You really can't blame Apple or the Mozilla Foundation when Safari or Firefox won't display a page properly. Except for IE, all browsers are designed to support Internet standards. The problem is multifaceted:

Like Netscape before it, Microsoft has created proprietary extensions to Internet standards. There are commands that only IE understands.

Microsoft's Front Page and server software are designed to create code specifically for IE. That makes it easier on page designers who use Windows.

On the one hand, there's the problem that these pages may not work correctly on non-Microsoft browsers (and older versions of IE, and IE for Mac). On the other, there's the problem that sites compliant with Web standards may not work correctly with IE.

For instance, we moved Low End Mac to a CSS-based format last year, and the new design worked beautifully in all the Mac browsers of the day, except for iCab. It even worked with older Mac browsers, including IE 5.1 and 5.2. But it was horribly broken with IE 5.5 and 6.0 - something that impacted 1/3 of the visitors to our site and that I couldn't see without getting a WinXP PC.

Even then it took weeks of Googling, experimenting, coding, asking questions, learning how nonstandard IE is, and discovering ways to work around IE's quirks before our standards compliant design worked properly on the world's most popular browser.

The problem isn't that Microsoft no longer develops IE for the Mac, nor is it that they won't even let you download the last version. The problem is websites that use IE-only technology instead of industry standards, figuring that the 10% of Internet users who can't, won't, or don't choose to use Internet Explorer can be ignored.

And if you do need access to those sites, Microsoft will gladly welcome you to the world of Windows. You have nothing to lose but you security, privacy, time, and productivity.

Looking for an ADB Mouse

From "the mac acito's":

My old Avid runs on a 9600. I need a mouse - any clue where I can find one? It's a pre-USB connection. I don't know what it's called.

From March 1987, when it was introduced to the Mac world with the Mac II and SE, and until August 1998, every Mac had ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) ports for both the mouse and keyboard. Every Mac since the iMac has used USB.

It's nearly 8 years since Apple abandoned ADB, and to the best of my knowledge nobody is making ADB mice these days. However, there are some dealers who support older Macs and have inventory. Here are a few:

Another option, albeit a bit pricey, is the US$25 Stealth ADB adapter from GeeThree that lets you use any PS/2 mouse with an ADB Mac. There's even a driver that lets you use the additional buttons and scroll wheels commonly found on PC mice.

Mac IIfx ROM in an SE/30

Steve Johansson writes:

I saw your request for information regarding the title of this email [in our Mac SE/30 profile].

Yes, it works. I have performed the operation and briefly ran Mac OS 8.1 on my old SE/30. However, I have a 68040 accelerator in the box that simply would not work with the new ROM.

The advantages of 8.1 at 16 MHz ('030) were vastly outweighed by the 40 MHz '040 and [System] 7.5.5. The performance difference is night and day.

Steve Johansson

Thanks for writing, Steve. Yours is the first report I've heard of IIfx ROMs in an SE/30 with an '040 accelerator. I'll add a note to the SE/30 profile about it.

If any readers have successfully used IIfx or IIsi ROMs in an SE/30 with an accelerator, I'd love to hear about it.

iMac Part Numbers, RAM Prices

Bill Taylor writes:

I own a Blue Dalmatian, iMac 600 model M5521. The specs match the normal: 40 gig HD, slot load CD-RW, etc. I have in my possession a graphite iMac 700, 60 gig HD, etc., again, M5521. This is at variance with the model rundown for CRT iMacs on the website.

But along with the feedback, is there any reasonable source for 512 MB memory boards that fit these machines for less than the usual ~$100 each. Requiring mirrored memory, this is an investment! To get the computers up to the minimum 512 megs memory or better required for OS X 10.4. The 1024 of memory would run my Photoshop nicer, too.

Bill, the part numbers we post on Low End Mac come from Apple's website where possible, Mactracker otherwise, and from LEM readers in cases where neither Apple nor Mactracker lists them.

M5521 is a family number shared by all slot-loading iMacs regardless of CPU speed or color. I'm updating all of the G3 iMac profiles to include family number.

As for the best RAM prices, I always check ramseeker. At present, you can buy 512 MB modules for US$59 shipped, a far cry from the US$100 you're seeing. BTW, you don't need to add matched sets of memory in the G3 iMac.

Bill replies:

Things just get curiouser and curiouser. But corporate policy just is. Thank you very much for the memory source. Far better prices than I've seen from my own browsing. I wonder why so many places have mentioned that 'aquarium' iMacs have mirrored memory requirements? But it's good to know I can upgrade piecemeal.

If you're too busy to answer, I understand, but I've 'acquired' a 700 MHz iMac (w/512 MB of memory!) that stopped working during or after a lightening storm. The assumption is that the power supply is fried. Do you know if all slot loaders, or even all iMacs, use the same power supply? If I can't find or install a new power supply, and have two functioning computers, the best parts of each will make a better unit than I had. There isn't a circuit breaker or fuse I don't know of that might be a simpler fix? If questions aren't really your favorite way to spend time, are there any decent websites for Mac repair and diagnosis? I probably learn more investigating a good link anyway.

I admire the aim of your website. Most of us don't need a $3,000 computer, and getting the best out of an adequate one is nice.

I can't imagine how much I've saved on memory upgrades through the years by using ramseeker. I can tell you that we've been linking to the site since the service was new.

To the best of my knowledge, all slot-loading iMacs (the M5521 family) use the same power supply. Assuming that's the problem, your best bet for picking one up affordably is probably the Low End Mac Swap List, followed by eBay and Mac dealers who support older models.

The focus of Low End Mac is value, and we updated the graphic at the top of the page with the phrase "How much Mac do you need?" earlier this year to reflect that. While an underpowered Mac can reduce your productivity, an overpowered one means you've spent more than you need to. Finding the sweet spot that balances price and power is what we're all about.

Use StyleWriter 2500 Drivers with 2400

Thanks to all the readers who wrote in to help Clarisse Leite Motter find the right drivers for her StyleWriter 2400. Here are some of the emails we received:

StyleWriter 2400 Software

Mark Casserley writes:


I hope this is the right address to use!

I think the link Clarisse Leite Motter (Low End Mac Mailbag 2006.5.31) was looking for - and may already have found - was probably:

That's the "StyleWriter Printers: Print Drivers and Cables Matrix" page on Apple's site. It confirms that the StyleWriter 2500 driver is the one to use.

Incidentally, this came up near the top of the Google page, but then I entered the search into Google via the browser's toolbar, and in any case I'm using Camino under OS X 10.2.8 (and running a G3-upgraded 7300, so very low end on the hardware side, too!).

Hope this helps,
Mark Casserley

StyleWriter 2400 Drivers

Dan Cheng writes:

Hi Dan,

In response to Clarisse Leite Motter's request for CSW2400 drivers, one can actually find them on Apple's website.

The hierarchy is: Apple Home Page -> Support -> Downloads -> "Additional Resources" column: Older Software Downloads

or here:

Apparently she needs to scroll down and find/download the StyleWriter 2500 driver (it works for the 2400 also).

If you can pass this on to her, that would be great, if no one else has made this suggestion.


Clarisse Leite Motter and the Apple StyleWriter

Claessens writes:

I decided that I would help the person that wrote the "Mad at Low End Mac" e-mail.

A list for all of apples Style writers can be located here: StyleWriter Printers: Print Drivers and Cable Matrix

Apple actually recommends downloading the driver for the StyleWriter 2500 for all models between the 2200 and the 2500. It can be downloaded here: Color StyleWriter 2500

Printing/ StyleWriter/Color_SW_2500_2.2.1-NetInst.sea.bin>

Also, a list of English North-American software downloads for Macintosh, Apple II and Newton released prior to Mac OS 8.1 in January 1998 can be found at: the Older Software Downloads page

Another place to look for drivers while it is still up is The Mac Driver Museum.

Hope this helps.

StyleWriter 2400 Driver

Dan Finegan writes:

Here's a link to the driver the lady is searching for . . . scroll down to "Apple Printers" and note that the StyleWriter 2500 driver is specified for the 2400. The link to the driver works.

Regards - Dan Finegan

No Longer Mad at LEM

Following up on some non-driver issues mentioned in Mad at Low End Mac, Clarisse Leite Motter writes:


Thanks for the info.

I'm not particularly fond of IE 5.0/5.1, (its "Security Zones" drive me insane).

Power Mac G3 All-in-OneAs for the lithium batteries, when I'm able to, I'll deal with that, and I appreciated your info. I'm not sure whether the (academically-oriented-only) All-In-One G3 ("Molar)" will have the battery located at the same place, since its monitor is built-in and its components slide out on a tray. Guess I'll find that out once I go digging inside it - as soon as I can get someone strong enough to get it up from the floor to the desk. I've never seen any computer as heavy as this one. It's heavier than my Kurzweil 81-note Digital Sampler (and I used to carry that, myself . . . until my back said "No More!!!")

Well! That's it, for now.

Clarisse Leite Motter

When it comes to Internet Explorer 5.x on the classic Mac OS, Charles W. Moore sums up my thoughts nicely: "While it pains me to say it, when iCab isn't a viable solution, the best alternative is probably Internet Explorer 5.1, which installs by default with OS 9. I find IE for Classic tends to cause stability problems, and I hate using it, but it does still work on most sites."

Updated Link for System 6 Downloads

After finding a broken link in The Joy of Six: Apple's Fast, Svelte, Reliable, and Still Useful System 6, Ryan Schmidt writes:

You list the link to download System 6 from Apple's website incorrectly. The correct URL is: Apple_Software_Updates/English-North_American/ Macintosh/System/Older_System/System_6.0.x/

You suggest that 6.0.7, 6.0.8 and 6.0.8L are downloadable from this URL. In fact, only 6.0.3, 6.0.5 and 6.0.8 are available now from Apple.

- Ryan Schmidt

Ryan, thanks for emailing this information. The link and information in the article were correct when it was posted last December, but Apple has the unfortunate habit of rearranging things on their servers (we're committed to not doing that at LEM). In this case, the big difference was adding one more level of folders, so Macintosh/Older_System became Macintosh/System/Older_System.

Thanks for not only pointing out the broken link but especially for providing a corrected one. I've already updated the article with the new URL and a note that only System 6.0.3, 6.0.5, and 6.0.8 are available for download.

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Dan Knight has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. Mailbag columns come from email responses to his Mac Musings, Mac Daniel, Online Tech Journal, and other columns on the site.

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