• Category Archives Macintosh
  • Computer Arcana » Macintosh
  • The Isgur Portfolio System (DOS, Macintosh, Atari ST)

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    Source: Antic – March 1987

    This ad for the Isgur Portfolio System appeared in the March 1987 issue of Antic. This software is for managing a portfolio and was available on DOS based systems, the Macintosh and the Atari ST. Antic was covering the Atari ST at this point, hence why the ad appeared there.

    This kind of productivity software was not as common on the Atari ST or even on the Macintosh as it was on the PC. While each of those machines found their own niche (desktop publishing for the Mac and music and games for the Atari ST) other types of productivity, other than the basics (word processors, etc.) were not that common. It’s not that those machines weren’t capable, it just isn’t why people bought them.

    I’m not really familiar with this particular software but Batteries Included, the publisher, was known for making fairly high quality word processors and other productivity software for Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore 64 and even the Commodore 128. Isgur Portfolio System itself also got good reviews but it just isn’t the sort of thing home users were buying for their Atari ST.


  • Digital Archaeology – Expedition #5 – iMac G3 266 (Tangerine)

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    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.

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  • The VersaBusiness Series (Commodore 64)

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    Source: Commodore MicroComputer – Issue 40 – March April 1986

    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.