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15 Most Recent [RSS]

 Less work through Xcode and shell scripts
2011-12-16 @600
 
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2011-10-13 @359
 
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2010-04-12 @869
 
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More...

There's no step three !? *mad chuckle*

I first really realized how easy Macs are to set up and use, when my sister returned from Saarbrücken and we faced the problem of getting her old iMac 333 hooked up to the AirPort network (it has no slot for WLAN). We simply attached my iBook to it and had it share its internet connection via a cross cable.

All that this involved was the physical connection and a click in the Sharing section of System Preferences in the Start internet sharing button. Today the cornucopia of old Macs we have sitting around here reminded me that this is actually nothing new for the Mac.

A while ago my sister managed to get her hands on some old Powerbooks. A 140, a 1400, and a Duo 230. While she's been using the 1400, I made do with the PB 140. A friend and I replaced its broken hard drive and it was a nice machine for typing texts -- it has the absolutely crispest and clearest passive matrix display I ever saw. It puts some current active matrix displays to shame....

I didn't know about the Duo, and my sister didn't use it either. When today she mentioned it, I was surprised to hear of this better machine sitting around here unused, while I was limping along with the 140. When we took it out, we realized why:

The Duo was Apple's idea of making laptops smaller and lighter in a day and age where floppy and CD drives dictated rather clunky sizes for the machine. They simply left out all drives, offering a dock to which you could attach it to get those, while not lugging them around on the road. That wasn't news to me, but what I hadn't realized was that, apart from two AppleTalk ports and power, it only had one very thin specialized plug to connect it to the dock. There was no SCSI. That hadn't been a problem with the 140, where you just used floppies to move data on and off the Mac. But with the Duo that wasn't an option.

Luckily, we still had an old printer cable, and the installed system software included the File Sharing stuff. So, hook up the Duo to the PB, activate File Sharing ... and that's it. Two steps and I could mount the Duo's hard drive and copy my files onto it. No setup, no IP addresses, no subnet mask, no Rendezvous/Bonjour. Just plain old AppleTalk.

Now I only have to find a way to hook up that old PowerMac 7200 that owns the scanner right now to the G4 (supposedly it has Ethernet, but of course it's not Gigabit), and II'll have a fully integrated setup from 1991 all the way through to 2005 (well, 2001 plus a CPU that is equivalent to the Mac Mini's...).

Oh, and were you aware that there's such a thing as an SCSI Target Disk Mode? FireWire Target Disk Mode, may be fun, but Apple seems to have quietly shipped equivalent functionality with its older PowerBooks way back when... :-)

 
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