anyone utilizing early Macs to access the internet?
mc at media.mit.edu
Tue Sep 30 22:53:38 CDT 2008
> I've been told using the compact Macs are an exercise in futility.
> But what about the Mac II's? (original II, IIx, IIfx, IIcx).
> I was just curious.
Right. For a pre-Mac II (e.g. Mac Plus), even Appletalk network file
sharing was an exercise in futility, let alone Ethernet. Until the
Quadras came along, an Ethernet interface was not built-in. You had
to buy a separate network card for you Mac II, and more likely than
not, it used "thin ethernet" (coax) not 10-base-T. I did use some 10-
base-T SCSI Ethernet adapters for non-expandable Mac laptops around
1975, but they were barely up-to-snuff.
While I was in grad school, from 1997 through 1999, I used a Quadra
700 running IE for browsing the web. It seemed unbearably slow even
then, and I think I switched to Netscape because its rendering engine
was more efficient (IE often had to redraw the whole web page twice--
e.g. to figure out how big the images were, and on a 68040 that was a
noticeable delay). Plus a lots of things have changed since then. I
don't think I even needed a Flash plugins at the time. Not that you
would even think of watching a YouTube video on a processor that
slow. For email I used GNU emacs RMAIL running on my group's Unix
server. I had to abandon it when MIME became the norm around 2000.
Bottom line: For small values of "access the internet" the older
Macs were serviceable. By modern standards, the old browsers are
curiosities at best. But if you need to transfer some old files off
your old Mac, the connectivity is there, and I have been grateful
that FTP still works even today.
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