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Classic Mac: The Internet on a Performa 630CD

19 April 2013 1,556 views 4 Comments

Is it possible to surf the 21st Century web on a 68K classic Mac and remain sane? At trip to his parent's basement led one Mac fan on a journey to find out…

Linus Edwards found the classic Mac of his childhood — Performa 630CD (33MHz, 8MB RAM) — in his parents’ basement and felt inspired. The result is A Computer of a Certain Age, a love poem and cautionary tale about using that ancient beast on the internet.

“So after many, many hours playing around with this old computer I had managed to read and send email, post to my blog, do some limited web surfing, check my RSS, and listen to a podcast,” writes Edwards. “In many ways it exceeded my expectations for a computer that was built while Bill Clinton was in his first term as President.”

But don’t get too excited about that. Edwards has no intention of dumping his new(ish?) iMac, which feels like an “impossibly fast futuristic computer,” after using the Performa.

Fundamentally, the iPhone in your pocket, regardless of age, is orders of magnitude faster.

The simple fact that he was able to function at all, however poorly, on the Internet using a Mac nearly 20 years old is a testament both to Apple build quality and the extant value in many of the machines from that era.

Classic Mac: From Deluxe to Debris

“One couldn’t actually use the Performa for real world modern computing and internet, at least not if they wanted to remain sane,” cautions Edwards. “While I would never encourage someone to use a 20-year-old computer, maybe using a five to 10 year-old computer is not the greatest travesty in the world.”

Which makes me feel better about the 2007 iMac on my desk. Nevertheless, the RAM is maxed out and time marches on…

What’s your take?

Via Minimal Mac. Reference: Apple-History.com, Inspiration: LowEndMac

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