Old MAC...help needed with Ethernet card

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AndyVX, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Hello,
    If anyone out there has any experience with old Mac's, I need your help with something.
    I managed to score a Macintosh Performa 6400 (which is 180MHz) for $5, but it doesn't have an ethernet card in it. And I am wondering where I could get one for it? Preferably a cheap one, as I really don't intend to spend money on this computer.
    Also, if anyone knows of any websites that will help me in setting up/installing the card that would be greatly appreciated. I have ZERO knowledge when it comes to Mac's!
    Thanks for any help anyone can give me...it's much appreciated.
    Andrew
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  2. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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  3. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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  4. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Mike,
    Thanks for the help. I'll be checking out ebay and see what I can find.
    The last time I booted it up was a few months ago, and I seem to remember it having OS8.5 installed, but it may have been 8.1 The only problem really is that I don't have the OS CD... so if something goes wrong, I'm shit outta luck.
    Hmm, when I install the card, will I need to put in the OS CD like you normally need to on a Windows system? Because if so, I will need to buy a copy of Mac OS 8.5 from somewhere also.
    Well, thanks again for your help.
    Andrew
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  5. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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  6. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    If you look on the spec sheet, the last "supported" OS by Apple for that machine is only system 8.0. That means that you shoulkd really just run that, or possibly 8.1 (if you can). There may be some hardware related drawback that will not allow it to run 8.5 effectively.
    Scan eBay for system 8.0 disc....man, they should also be dirt cheap. If you can't find it, or need help, email me.
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  7. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    UPDATE: Hey Andy, I just checked my closest and blam! I have a spare 10baseT PCI Ethernet card for you. I also have a spare Mac OS 8.0 CD as well.
    Got a DVD that you no longer like/watch anymore? If so, we could just work a swap or something. That way it won't cost you anything....let me know by email.
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  8. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    A Performa 6400 was my main computer for years before I bought a G3 tower. The reason Apple doesn't support anything above OS 8.1 on this machine is because they dropped support for the horrid software-based GeoPort modem in OS 8.5. I was fortunate enough to get a real internal modem in mine, and I never had any issues with OS 8.5 or 8.6.
    This site has all the 6400 information you'll ever need, or want:
    http://homepage.mac.com/zone6400/
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    He obviously misinterpreted what it means to "be bullish."
     
  9. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Thanks David for the links!
    Mike, I just sent you off an email.
    Just something else I wanted to ask about. I was reading about one of those G3 upgrade processors for the older Mac's, and I was wondering if people think they are worth the price? Since I will only be using this computer for web browsing(not primary computer... I have a P3 500 and am currently building a 1.4GHz Athlon for my primary computer) is it even worth it(needed)?
    One last thing. What Web Browser would people recommend that works with OS8.0 on a Performa 6400/180?
    Oh, I did a little messing around with the computer to find out the specs, and here is what I found aside from the 180MHz. It has a 1.0GB hard drive, 48MB Ram, and a modem(don't know what speed though). My only real problem with it is that the video memory is only 1MB which only allows me to run the monitor at 640x480 with 16bit colour. Any higher resolution and it drops down to 256 colours. grrr.
    Oh well, with all things considered I really shouldn't be complaining at all. I got the computer + monitor + keyboard + mouse for a grand total of $5.
    Thanks once again for all the help guys! It's greatly appreciated.
    Andrew
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  10. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    If your monitor supports the 800x600 resolution, the 1 MB of VRAM can display 16-bit ("thousands of colors" in the Mac world) color.
    I had a G3-L2 upgrade card in mine for a bit, which did make an appreciable difference in just about every aspect of system use. They were costly at the time, though, and probably still are. The upgrade cards for this machine actually plug into the Level 2 cache slot and disable the 603e processor on the logic board. If you only plan on using it for small tasks, I wouldn't worry about the G3 card.
    I would, however, definitely look into getting a Level 2 cache DIMM, since I don't believe the 180 MHz model shipped with one. The 1 MB cache will help the most, but it's probably still costly as well. The 256K is dirt cheap. I had a 512K in mine before purchasing the G3 upgrade, which helped out quite a bit.
    You might also consider getting another memory DIMM. The logic board has 16 MB soldered, and each slot can accept a 64 MB stick at most. This system does not use SDRAM, by the way...it uses 3.3v FPM DIMMs, so it may cost a bit more than what you're used to paying. You should be able to find a 64 MB stick for $50 or less, though.
    OS 8.1 would be the best bet if you don't get the G3 card. The 8.1 update is a free download, and fixes a lot of issues introduced with 8.0. The Internet Explorer 5/Outlook Express 5 combo is my personal choice for browsing and e-mail (although it took me a while to give in to Microsoft [​IMG]), and both run just fine under OS 8.1. You can download it here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/mac/download/ie/ieoe_combo.asp
     
  11. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    Well, I'd get it all up and running and see if you really feel a G3 upgrade is needed.
    In many cases, if you're sharing a Cable/DSL conenction, and if you turn off all the unnecessary extensions that you don't need (Speech, ColorSync, FileSharing, etc.) and bump up the memory allocated to the browser, then you should be fine.
    But speed of the HD (for caching images), and VRAM refresh speeds play a role, and those won't change even with a G3 upgrade card.
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