The Low End Mac Mailbag

Replacing Home Page, More Reasons to Keep a G3 iMac, Don't Forget iLife 08, Command Line Mac, and More

Dan Knight - 2007.08.27

Claris Home Page Replacement Progress

After reading KompoZer 0.7.7: Getting Closer to a Replacement for Claris Home Page, Jay Lichtenauer says:

Thanks for keeping an eye on this topic. I think it was by you (but certainly through Low End Mac) that I discovered SeaMonkey. I used CHP [Claris Home Page] right up to just a few months ago. I had tried Nvu years ago and found it to be awful. I reported the first few bugs I found but quickly found there were too many to bother with and threw it away. SeaMonkey has at least been stable and has enough advantages over CHP to have finally allowed me to switch to it exclusively. It would be nice if I didn't have to do a cmd-E and then mouse back to close a browser window every time I try to edit a page, but SeaMonkey has been perfectly stable.

I'll give KompoZer a test drive. You might want to compare it directly to SeaMonkey for advantages/disadvantages, since some of us like you are using SeaMonkey now for months.

It just seems that someone could have made themselves a millionaire had they just made a reasonable OS X CHP replacement and updated for some new Web standards. I have neither the talent nor time for it myself, but someone out there should have, you would think. Coffee Cup Software announced they were coming out with a WYSIWYG editor for Mac years ago, and then they just removed that text from their site and nothing came of it.

Funny how some things actually become worse and seem to never get better. I go back to the Macintosh XL as my first Mac experience when I moved from my Commodore 64 to a Mac. I have some romantic attachments to some of the user simplicity that has been forgotten. But things of course are overall much better than then. I also have a brand new HP Vista PC next to me, and that's about the worst user experience I've ever seen. XP was like Monk as it obsessed over things like my unused icons on the desktop. Vista is more like a witchcraft practicing high-maintenance paranoid neurotic mother-in-law.

- Jay Lichtenauer, MacinMind Software, Inc.


Thanks for writing. KompoZer seems to have everything Nvu and SeaMonkey's Composer module have, so I had no problem replacing both programs with it. I was tired of using SeaMonkey, which was more stable, for some projects but always having to go to Nvu to apply CSS styles. KompoZer gives me SeaMonkey's stability with Nvu's CSS support. The only loss compared with SeaMonkey is that I don't have a browser window in the same program.

I would gladly pay for a good WYSIWYG program that is as easy to use as Home Page and KompoZer, produces compliant code, has an excellent site manager with the kind of FTP support Home Page has always offered, supports Services such as Tidy HTML, has great editing tools (I'd love tools to change selected text to ALL CAPS, all lower case, Title Caps, and Sentence, for instance), and sells for no more than US$100.

I had high hopes for iWeb and bought the iLife 06 family pack specifically so I could try what should have been the perfect Home Page replacement. Boy was I wrong! With programs like iWeb, Pages, and Numbers, Apple has developed powerful creative tools but lost the elegant simplicity of Claris Home Page and AppleWorks.

As the late Tera Patricks of Mac 360 often said, "Nothing improves without change." Alas, not all change brings improvement. Vista is widely reviled, and a fair number of Windows users prefer Windows 2000 to XP. Mac OS X was a real learning curve for longtime Mac users, and there are still features we once had that OS X doesn't give us.

That said, there are still some great programs out there that don't try to do too much. They have a tight focus on useful features and avoid feature bloat. TextWrangler, SuperDuper, iPhoto, iCal, and GyazMail, all of which I use regularly, come to mind.

Until something better comes along, I'll keep experimenting with KompoZer and continue using a workflow that includes TextSoap, Home Page, KompoZer, TextWrangler, and Photoshop Elements.


The Macard Project

Sibley writes:

We were having a little discussion over at and wondered if you had considered this . . . seems like it might work:

While it would be a dream, as Dan Knight points out, someone would would need to write drivers for it, and I'm afraid anything less than a System 6 would not get much attention.

However, I have routinely used IDE to SCSI converters so I could use smaller, cheaper IDE drives on an old SCSI internal bus. Since there are ATA/IDE Flash drive interfaces, this may well be a solution with the right connectors. No special drivers, just connect your flash drive through the IDE to SCSI adapter and plug into your SCSI bus. Depending on the flash drive you may need a special application to format it before you can see it on a very old System (like with my Zip 100 drive), but once formatted it might work on any old System just like my Zip does.


Thanks for writing. I'd like to avoid the expense and complexity of stacking an IDE-to-SCSI interface along with an IDE-to-Compact Flash device. (Acard also makes some nice IDE-to-SCSI converters. Their AEC-7720U uses the traditional internal SCSI connector found in Macs for ages, but it's also $69.) I guess I'm not ready to spend over $100 so I can run a vintage Mac or PowerBook from flash.


LOL, oh I hear ya! I often have to make that decision when looking at vintage Mac stuff on eBay! However, I have to wonder what that Macard add-on of yours will retail for . . . but then it will do a lot more, eh? ;-)

Thanks also for the additional info on SCSI/IDE. And if you have a 128/512Ke w/Dove card or Plus, you'll need an additional converter, too . . . ah the price of Vintage Mac-ing.


More Reasons to Keep My G3 iMac

John Hatchett writes:

iSub1. After doing a clean reinstall of Tiger, the old sage beast has a new life. Okay, every once in a while I get the spinning beach ball of death, but . . . not very often. Applications launch faster, Internet surfing is quicker, and life is good.

2. Tragic news - for iSub owners. I took my iSub to work (my 60s collection need the bass), and it would not work with the new Intel iMac Dual Core I use. Horrors! My subwoofer/work of art has lost it's relevancy. I trundled it home and reconnected it to my sage G3. Now, if I can only find a pair of iSticks on eBay....

John Hatchett


Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm assuming you've got a lot more RAM in your 450 MHz iMac than the 64 MB it came with. How much RAM did it take to unleash Tiger?

Sorry to hear your iSub won't work with Intel-based Macs. It was a pretty awesome addition to the Mac realm circa 2000.


Possible G3 All-in-One Solution

Joe Leo responds to G3 All-in-One Problem:

Dear Dan,

I think I might know what that guy who wrote in about his G3 All-in-One, could have as far as a problem.

Bad video board.

My educational model All-in-One (the big old beige box) started doing that after two years, and I took it in to a Mac repair center (not Apple Authorized) locally, and that was their diagnosis and solution.

Though the clicking noise was from the monitor/screen, not the power supply.

Joe Leo, Columnist


Thanks for writing. I'm forwarding your email to Brian Bettenhausen.


2007 iMac Value: Don't Forget iLife 08

Chris says:

You forgot one important thing when comparing the old versus the new . . . iLife

The old ones comes with iLife 06. The new ones come with iLife 08. So when I factor that into whether it is worth it to get a refurb or a new one, that pushes it over to the new one.

Otherwise, looks good!


Thanks for writing. I guess I'm happy enough with iLife 06, but for anyone who works with video, the new iMovie plus the ability to post movies on .mac could swing things to the new iMac.


Problem Printing to a LaserWriter over AirPort

Hi Dan,

I have an old LaserWriter 12/640 (that I got for $9), which works great on my wired network. However I use an old graphite AirPort Base Station for my wireless network, and I can't print over the wireless network. I suspect it is due to the base station rather than the compatibility of the printer. If I switch to the new AirPort Extreme will that enable me to print over the wireless network? I know it is supposed to support USB printer sharing, but what about old ethernet printers like the LaserWriters?



I suspect the problem is that your AirPort Base Station isn't configured to handle AppleTalk traffic - or your Mac isn't set up to process the AppleTalk protocol over AirPort. Make sure both the computer and the base station are set up for AppleTalk and your problems may be over.


That was the first thing I tried, but it just doesn't work. After checking around some more, I found that I'm not the only one with the problem. See: MacBook: Possible workaround for printing via Graphite AirPort Base Station and MacBook: Update on AppleTalk over AirPort problem.

Oh well, at least I know that upgrading to APX seems to fix the problem.


I use a Netgear hub with my WiFi network, as it handles AppleTalk. Important when you use old hardware.


Command Line Mac Website

Hey Dan,

My name is Keith Winston, and I just started a new Mac related site called Command Line Mac. I recently migrated from desktop Linux, and my site is focused on how to do Unixy things, scripts, utilities, databases, etc. at the command line.

I have written frequently for and, and I founded (though it is now under new management). I enjoy Low End Mac, and considered making an offer to write for your site. However, you already have a long list of accomplished writers, and plenty of good content. Even so, I wanted to introduce myself and say thanks for a great resource.

Best Regards,


Thanks for writing. I think the hardest computing transition I ever made was from command line DOS to the Mac circa 1990. Of course, with the Classic Mac OS, there were no command line instructions hiding beneath the interface. With OS X, there's all of Unix (Leopard is even certified as Unix).

Welcome to the Mac side. A fair number of Mac users have discovered Linux as a good option for older hardware that won't run OS X decently, yet they want a modern OS so they can use up-to-date browsers such as Firefox.


Downloading Files for a Power Mac G3 B&W


Do you know if there is a way to get updates and downloads for a Power Mac G3 B&W on it using a different computer? I been having some trouble with that since I don't use the Mac as my primary Internet spot. Thank you . . . your site is the most help I can ever get .

- Christian

Hi Christian,

Yes, you can download updates and other software from any computer connected to the Internet. You could burn the files to a CD or save them to a flash drive or external hard drive to move them to your Power Mac.


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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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