Charles Moore's Mailbag

SuperMac & StarMax advice, WordPerfect downloads

Charles Moore - 2001.08.22 - Tip Jar

Time to open up the ol' mail bag again and attend to some questions and comments.

Umax C500 603e/200

From Joseph C. Brown


I'm Joe Brown, a Mac user in Oak Ridge.

Know of any sites on the web which have good troubleshooting advice for a Umax clone?

I've got a wheezing & groaning Mac clone, a Umax C500 603e/200 that really needs a pro to yank all the data off the whopping 2 gig HD and save it for me. I've already proved that I'm inept enough to not risk doing that.

Any help would be appreciated!

Joe Brown

Hi Joe,

You should be able to download your data onto a backup medium yourself. Methodology depends on what that medium would be. You could transfer the files to another computer's hard drive over Ethernet or some other network (if your machine supports Ethernet); hook up an external SCSI hard drive (or a PowerBook in SCSI Disk Mode); or use a Jaz or Zip or other removable media drive, a CD burner, or a tape backup drive.

Another method would be to remove the hard drive from the Umax, install it in another computer as a second drive, and transfer the files to that machine's hard drive, but you probably wouldn't want to attempt that yourself.

I can't think of any specific C500 troubleshooting sites offhand.

Good luck,

Editor's note: Your best bet it probably the SuperMacs email list, which has hundreds of experienced SuperMac owners. dk

Re: Umax C500 603e/200

From Joseph C. Brown


It's nice to know that I'm not the only person who's owned one of these computers! My precise problem is: upon startup, the screen will show the cursor, and then "freeze" right there.

No amount of praying, cursing, or arcane button-combination-pushing will get it past that point. I've tried booting from the Install CD, and from Norton's Utilities, to no avail. I wish I could say that I had done something stupid to the machine to have warranted this behavior, but that's not the case.

My current plan is to replace the motherboard's battery, and if that doesn't help, then haul it to the one person I know in the Knoxville area that is willing to tackle working on a Mac Clone. At this point, I'll be happy to salvage the data from the hard drive; none of it is irreplaceable, I'd just rather not have to go through the process of replacing it!

This Umax clone is "my" machine; my wife's is a Compaq PC of recent vintage. What irks me the most about this whole affair is fact that I could have transferred all of the data from my Mac to her PC back in January of this year; we had both machines on a 'home-network', both of them using Ethernet cards, and connected via a router to a cable modem. Just send my various text documents as mail attachments, or HTML. All the jpegs as, er, jpegs. Alas, I didn't think of that at the time!

I appreciate your response - thanks!

Joe Brown

Upgrading StarMax 3000/160 DT

From Ride


I want to know if I can add an internal Zip Drive to the Motorola StarMax 3000/160 DT?

I see an extra drive cable in there and what appears to be an extra 3.5" bay on top of the floppy drive.

I took out the front bezel and the inside metal piece, so it really does appear to be an extra bay, and the floppy is on the bottom of a supporter, so it looks like an internal Zip Drive can just sit on top of the floppy in the space.

If yes, can you also tell me what kind of Zip Drive to look for? Is it just called an internal IDE/ATAPI Zip Drive? I'm a little confused on the actual kind to get if it will go in there.



An internal IDE/ATAPI Zip Drive should work fine in your StarMax in one of the bays, of which it seems you have an empty one.

Just hook up the ATA cable and a power cable and you should be zipping nicely.


Ethernet card in StarMax 3000?

From Kevin Turcotte

Mr. Moore:

I would like to get high speed Internet service and I was hoping you could tell me whether or not my StarMax 3000 MT has an ethernet card? (I didn't see anything in the system profiler, and a Sherlock search for the word "ethernet" produced a system extension called "Apple Ethernet CS 11".) If I have to buy and install one, do certain kinds of ethernet cards work better with StarMax computers?

Isn't it unusual that a technical support guy for the Sympatico High Speed Access would say that Sympatico does not offer support when StarMax is involved. (According to him, any Mac or Mac clone built in the last ten years should already have an ethernet card)

If you can answer any of these questions or direct me to another Web site where I could pick up more info, it would be much appreciated.

Kevin Turcotte

Hi Kevin,

Your StarMax 3000 has PCI slots, so you should not have a problem installing an Ethernet card. Check with your local computer reseller or an online reseller and ask for a PCI Ethernet card that supports Macs.

The Sympatico guy is misinformed. There are many less than ten year old Macs that have no built-in ethernet support (my 1993 LC 520 and 1996 PowerBook 5300 are two specific cases in point).

I have found that with ISP tech support people, a bit of knowledge about Macs (which is all you can reasonably hope for - abject ignorance is the norm) can be a dangerous thing. All Macs since the PowerBook G3 and iMac (both introduced in 1998) have had on board ethernet.


Editor's note: Several clones did not include ethernet, the Motorola StarMax line and the SuperMac C500 and C600 among them. dk

Motorola StarMax RAM and Cache

From Andrew Hobson


May I ask you some advice for some L2 cache RAM?

I have a Motorola StarMax 3000/180 desktop computer with 256K L2 cache. I want to buy 512K L2 cache. I have absolutely no idea of the specifications of the RAM module I must buy.

Do you know exactly what RAM module I need and where I may find some online?

I also want to buy 4 MB of SGRAM for the Motorola; do you know where I may find some?

Thanks a lot.
Andrew Hobson

Hi Andrew,

Other World Computing has 3.3 volt EDO 168 pin DRAM for StarMax computers.

The L2 cache, I don't know.


WordPerfect 3.5 download

From David Porter

I recently went on a search of the fabled Corel free WordPerfect download without success. Is it no longer available? Please let me know if it is out there somewhere.

David Porter

Hi David,

Try <>.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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