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Question: Macintosh IIci

I bought a Macintosh IIci from a school that was upgrading their computers a number of years ago and stored the computer for future use. Of course the school cleaned all the software and the operating system off the hard drive. My use for the computer would be for internet browsing and to be compatible with some teacher programs that my wife uses with a g-3 power book with an OS 8 or 9 operating system.
Two questions:
1. Is it worthwhile buying an operating system and getting software to make this computer work?
If so, where do I get the stuff?

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Oct 15, 2005 5:43 PM in response to Robert Hendrickson In response to Robert Hendrickson

You will find the technical specifications for the IIci, with the supported operating systems, here.

A full System 7.5.3 is available for download from Apple (e.g. a British and a US version).

The 68030 processor means that a text-based web browser (such as WannaBe) is the only realistic option. Email, via an older version of Eudora Light, will be fine too. As Miles has indicated, a modem can be connected (you will need something like MacPPP 2.5.3 here for the connection, if System 7.5.3 is used). Alternatively, a separately installed Ethernet card would allow the computer to be attached to a network.

For older software, have a look (for instance) here. A free word processor can be found here.

It would be a good idea to check the internal battery (see, for example, this page).


Oct 15, 2005 5:43 PM

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Oct 15, 2005 9:27 PM in response to Robert Hendrickson In response to Robert Hendrickson

The IIci was intended by Apple to be capable of work as a server, as is demonstrated by the provision to lock the AC power switch for autorestart after power restoration. Before the arrival of the IIfx, which was aimed instead at the graphics world, it was the 'wickedest' Mac in Apple's line-up.

I bought a IIci recently, principally for the excellent condition of the case, and what proved to be a good power supply, free from trickle-voltage problems. It now has a 'new' logicboard with decent metal RAM clips, together with a 50MHz 68030 DayStar PowerCache card, an Asanté NuBus NIC, a Radius NuBus 24AC video card and 8 x 4MB RAM cards. Add a cleaned-up floppy drive and a 4.4GB IBM HDD (partitioned 500MB and 3.9GB) with OS 7.5.5 on the smaller partiton, and boing! it was up and away. It drives an Apple MultipleScan 14-in AV display or a Mac Portrait Display (256 greys) according to the need of the moment, and, thanks to the video card, offers millions of colours. ('Vampire Video' is no longer an issue.)

The IIci could be hacked to run OS 8.1, which it would do without a hack if it had a DayStar 040 (instead of the 030), or easily up to OS 8.6 or 9 if it had a 601 processor upgrade. In your case, however, it will be much more advantageous to spend almost nothing on the IIci now, and devote the money to purchase of a beige G3 desktop or minitower, which is cheaper than chips. It will have the advantages of running your wife's software natively, of being able to exchange files with the G3 PB, and of being upgradeable to OS X if that is useful to you. Then you can treat the IIci as a fun machine, even if that means as the server to the other machines.

Oct 15, 2005 9:27 PM

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Oct 16, 2005 2:51 AM in response to Robert Hendrickson In response to Robert Hendrickson


The IIci will make a great retro games machine.

Like others have said, for basic internet browsing get an old iMac for £40. It'll run OS8 and OS9 (and all versions of X).

I'm usng an old Farallon iPrint Adaptor to connect my old macs to the new macs. It connects the AppleTalk (230kbps) to my Gigaabit ethernet router. Painfully slow, but still faster than what some sell as broadband (my rant for the day).

Put Macintosh Garden into google to find a ton, nah, two tons, of great macintosh software suitable for your IIci.

Oct 16, 2005 2:51 AM

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Oct 18, 2005 4:36 AM in response to Andy73 In response to Andy73


that was roughly what I should have originally paid for mine, but I got educational discount. I remember the 13" monitor was £640, the extended keyboard was £230, the extra 64M (4x16M) memory was about £1800, and I waited 3 months for it, I remember the conversation with the dealer - who I still use - "Which Mac do you want?" - "Anything you can get, IIsi, IIci, any disk size". I waited 4 months for the keyboard - the dealer lent me one for the extra month. Then I waited 8 months for an external Apple CD300e. Ended up going to the MacWorld Expo at the WTC to get another.

Surely they go for £15 - £20 on eBay ?

Oct 18, 2005 4:36 AM

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Oct 19, 2005 5:38 PM in response to Simon Teale In response to Simon Teale

Hi Simon,
If you really want one or both of those machines, I doubt you will have to give up your iMac. Try places liek the following: Low End Mac Swap list - An Email list that I have had a great experience with. AppleFritter has a For Sale forum and a Wanted to Buy section in their forums.

These can sometimes be better/cheaper than dealing through eBay.

Good Luck,

Oct 19, 2005 5:38 PM

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Oct 20, 2005 2:22 AM in response to Kyle Koerner In response to Kyle Koerner


Thanks for the links. Alas, I really do want to give up my old macs. I don't collect them, it's just my old kit and all of it is stll used.

My Bondi used to be my Acquisition and Direct Connect client, it now constantly monitors expected departure times for my usual flights / buses / trains if I have a dash to London / Bournemouth. It also receives backups of my Work In Progress from my PMG4 when Retrospect kicks in about 3am. The IIci and SE only get used for retro gaming and the occaisional bit of Algol programming.

Oct 20, 2005 2:22 AM

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Oct 20, 2005 6:56 PM in response to Denis Eddy In response to Denis Eddy

Hi Denis,
Just FYI - the LEM Swap list is still alive - and was accepting new members, at least as of this summer, when I joined. There was a big event about a week ago when a spammer impersonated a list nanny, and there was talk about closing the list down. However, no official update has been made, and it is functioning normally, for the most part at least.


Oct 20, 2005 6:56 PM

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Nov 19, 2005 12:23 AM in response to Robert Hendrickson In response to Robert Hendrickson

I have a Mac IIci, I set it up a few years ago with System 7.5.5 for my sister to get on the internet and have email to keep in touch. It ran pretty well with AOL version 4.0 which is still available. And of course there were a few games on it and corel wordperfect 3.5e (great progam, and free). (Old macs have a lotta potential, I'm running Adode Illustrator 5.5, Photoshop 2.5 and Pagemaker 6.0 on a SE 30 with no problems (Except for the color issue). )

Nov 19, 2005 12:23 AM

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Question: Macintosh IIci