Source: Antic – March 1987
- Category Archives Macintosh
This expedition took me out into the wilds of a community garage sale. It was, in fact, my own community and this is an event in which multiple households sell arcane artifacts of often dubious value out of their garage, or more often, their driveway or yard. As I picked through the corpses of a couple of CRT televisions at one such establishment, I discovered a tangerine colored curiosity that looked much like one of the above mentioned televisions but was actually something more. I asked the proprietor if it was in working condition and received an acknowledgement that it was in fact fully operational. At an asking price of $5 I did not even attempt to bargain lower. I grabbed it and awkwardly trudged a quarter of a mile back home with the iMac (including keyboard and mouse) that I had just discovered (along with my bike). If nothing else, the weight promised something wonderful…
I knew I was dealing with an iMac with a PowerPC processor that was >= 10 years old but I was not terribly familiar with the various models that were available. Despite assurances, I was not even really certain that it would really work. It was no SX-64 or Commodore 65 prototype but it was in good physical condition and for $5 it seemed like a pretty good find. As soon as I arrived home I took it inside, plugged in in and pressed the power button to see what would happen…
To my slight surprise it booted right up. It was running OS 8.5 and had a whopping 32 MB of RAM. After a little poking around I figured out it was an iMac 266 MHz G3 (Rev. C). Here are the stats from EveryMac:
Introduction Date January 5, 1999 Discontinued Date April 14, 1999 Processor Speed 266 MHz Processor Type PowerPC 750 (G3) System Bus Speed 66 MHz Cache Bus Speed 133 MHz L1 Cache 64K L2/L3 Cache 512k (backside) RAM Type PC66 SDRAM Min. RAM Speed: 10 ns Details Uses 144-pin PC66 SO-DIMM memory modules. Standard RAM 32 MB Maximum RAM 512 MB* Details *Apple reports that this model can support a maximum of 128 MB of RAM. “Unofficially” this model can support 512 MB of RAM (two 256 MB modules). Motherboard RAM None RAM Slots 2 Video Card Rage Pro Turbo VRAM Type SGRAM Details ATI Rage Pro Turbo video with 6 MB of VRAM. Standard VRAM 6 MB Maximum VRAM 6 MB Built-in Display 15.0″ (13.8″) Native Resolution 800×600* Details *15.0″ (13.8″ viewable area) display supports 640×480 at 117 Hz, 800×600 at 95 Hz, and 1024×768 at 75 Hz. Standard Hard Drive 6.0 GB Int. HD Interface: EIDE (ATA-3) Details This model does not support hard drives larger than 128 GB. Standard Optical 24X CD-ROM Standard Modem 56.6k (Internal) Standard Ethernet 10/100Base-T USB Ports 2 (1.1) Incl. Keyboard: Apple USB Keyboard Incl. Input: Apple USB Mouse Apple Order No M7345LL/A Apple Subfamily iMac – Fruit Colors Apple Model No M4984 (EMC None) Model ID iMac,1 Battery Type 3.6V Lithium Pre-Installed MacOS 8.5.1 Maximum MacOS X 10.3.9 Dimensions 15.8 x 15.2 x 17.6 Avg. Weight 38.1 lbs. (18.1 kg) Original Price (US) US$1199
I performed the upgrades I thought were within reason. I upgraded it to 512 MB of RAM (which it unofficially supports) with some dirt cheap PC-100 256 MB SODIMMs i got off of eBay even though it is a bit of a pain since you have to essentially disassemble the thing to get to the RAM. I also upgraded the hard drive with an old 60 GB ATA Maxtor I happened to have lying around. It’s not huge but it will give me a little more breathing room than the stock 6 GB drive. These upgrades made it reasonable to upgrade to OS X 10.3.9 (Panther). It really won’t be suitable for any significant internet browsing no matter what but OS X lets me run an older version of BOINC so I can generate a (very) few Gridcoin.
The Commodore 64 had a reputation for being a games machine and thus was often not taken very seriously but for at least the first several years of its life there were a number of productivity titles and even professional business software available.
This particular ad is from the March/April 1986 issue of Commodore MicroComputer and is for the VersaBusiness Series. This includes VersaReceivables, VersaPayables, VeraPayroll, VersaInventory, and VersaLedger II. I can’t claim to know anything about this software or what the difference was between the different versions for different machines but it was available for a lot of them including Apple II, DOS, CP/M, Macintosh, TRS-80, and of course the Commodore 64. It wasn’t cheap, $550 if you wanted it all, but they were running a special 50% discount for the Commodore version in this ad so you could have had them all for the low, low prices of $225.