Mac SE/30: Nostalga for Retro

Back in the spring of 2006, which is incredibly already 4-1/2 years ago, I took my (at that time) 15-year-old Macintosh SE/30 — the most loved and capable of all compact Macs — out of storage and used it as my daily desktop computer for 30 days.

I posted my observations of the experience online at my then-active blog, That website is long gone, but the birth of AT has had me thinking more fondly of such things lately, so I went to the Wayback Machine, but sadly it was never archived there. I then dug through some old zip archives in the back-forty of my hard drive and found my original HTML account of my “usability experiment.” I still own the domain, so I un-parked it and, for your enjoyment, re-uploaded the web document to its original location:

For those who don’t wish to slog through it, I’ll give you the 10-word synopsis: Old software is a struggle, but old hardware sucks more.

  • chrystlubitshi

    that's cool man. i did read through the whole thing… i, occasionally, pull out my old devil box (666mhz celeron that has been upgraded to maximum capacity) to use as a media pc… b/c it's just enough… but….. the start up time is killer… and then i end up packing it away again…

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      I've decided now that it is worth seeing whether the running Inspiron 7000 (366 mobile Pentium II, 256 of RAM, 10GB, I believe) that was given to me sans power adapter can be made to work with a power adapter from something else entirely, then have Windows 2000 or Damn Small Linux put on to make it an mp3 player and Web browser for when my Eee's bricked itself again, since my Inspiron 9400 needs a battery and possibly a power adapter (if I'm not very careful fixing the frayed bit immediately adjacent to the plug) to be usable (the 7000 has some battery life left). I'd just need to plug a cheap USB hub into it and get drivers for my wireless dongle, since it doesn't have built-in LAN for some inexplicable reason. I know I should just get the 9400 working properly again – I love that machine dearly – but I'm broke and I like a challenge.

      • zaddikim

        +1 for DSL and its relatives #! and Puppy. I had a couple of OLD laptops (NEC and TI, believe it or not) and DSL/Puppy worked great as a 'reader' and MP3 player over the network.

        • FuzzyPlushroom

          Yeah, Puppy was the distro I'd forgotten the name of, and I've heard good things about Crunchbang too. Thanks for reminding me. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to tinker with it soon.

  • zaddikim

    I've got an SE myself, but without an adapter (or two), it's not networkable. I'd be up for it, but I'm pretty sure that it would require Imitrex on hand to deal with the inevitable migraine.

    The Apple Workgroup Server on the other hand, might be just as interesting as an experiment – 64MB(!) RAM, and (I think) 2GB HD. Since it is running 9.2.1 (9.2.2 requires PowerPC, and it only has the 604e), software is still a pain to find and trouble shoot. I might even have adapters to hook it up to my LCDs, although they might bitch about the odd resolution, requiring a browse through Kijiji or Freecycle to pickup an old CRT.

  • tonyola

    I still have a working LC 575 but I'm not going to even attempt to try to hook it up to a network.