[NTLK] Off Topic: Macintosh SE/30 - to buy or not to buy?

Forrest newtonphoenix at mindspring.com
Sat Sep 8 05:45:12 EDT 2012

I have a Beige G3 tower that was my "everyday" Mac years ago (meaning it was always on, it was my go-to when I needed to look something up quick--that honor falls now to my iMac G4 Flat Panel). I think I had Panther (10.3) on the Beige G3, but it might have been 10.2. I know I overclocked mine as well.

It was a real pleasure to work with--as Gavin said, it was very capable. You could outfit it--as I had mine--with a CD burner, a standard CD reader, and a floppy drive (or iOmega Zip drive); so at that time (2002) you could copy most anything available. You could even run the "original" Apple TV application on it in OS 9, by connecting the three-cabled RCA setup to VIDEO IN, AUDIO (R) IN and AUDIO (L) IN. While most PC owners require an expensive separate card and software to process a TV signal, I watched TV on my Beige G3 with no modification, just run the RCA cables from a VCR connected to a cable feed (or the Dish).

OS X was written to shut down the floppy drive, so you had to run Classic/OS 9 (I had a dual boot with OS X/OS 9 set up) to access it.

I had an oh-what's-the-name-of-that-company (now defunct)'s PCI card with two USB ports. You had to have a Revision B ROM or better logic board to be able to even ACCESS a PCI USB card on that machine. I bought one at a secondhand store just to get a Revision B one (mine only had an A 'board).

It had AppleTalk and the standard Apple DB8 serial connection we've learned to value with our Newtons. That plus the USB was great. Gavin is spot on about it being a great "bridge" between old and new.


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On Sep 7, 2012, at 5:08 PM, Gavin Watson wrote:

> That said, I would recommend a beige G3 desktop as a bridge machine 
> between modern computers and Newtons or old Macs. They're reasonably 
> quick under OS 9 and officially support up to OS 10.2. They have 
> standard RJ-45 Ethernet jacks (as opposed to much less common AAUI 
> Ethernet jacks), serial ports, three PCI slots, a floppy drive, a CD or 
> DVD drive, and even an optional Zip drive. Mine was a 266 MHz version 
> overclocked to 333 MHz with 768 MB of RAM, the 6 MB VRAM upgrade, a DVD
> drive and the Bordeauxpersonality card. I loved that thing so much.

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