This page tells the story of me, myself and my computers:
My first contact with computers was at the age of 9 or 10, that means in the year 1981 or 1982. It was an Atari 400 with a MOS Technology 6502 processor (9,000 transistors, ca. 0.25 MIPS), originally 16 kB RAM, later extended to 48 kB. It was mainly used for playing games like Space Invaders, Pole Position or Basketball, but also for starting first BASIC-programming attempts. My brother coded some sort of flight simulation / air traffic control-kind-of-game that, in its final versions, had to be shortened, due to the 48 kB RAM limit. If we succeeded loading it from the ultra-high-speed datasette, you had to wait about fifteen minutes for the data transfer from the cassette to the RAM having all the time the sinewy beeep-beeep of the speaker buzzing around you.
The years went by and the Atari 400 no longer was the cracker of my childhood. In early 1986, my dad again went to the dealer and brought with him an ST 520+. This is a machine with 1 MB of RAM running an 68000 processor from Motorola (68,000 transistors; probably that's the origin of the name, 0.8 MIPS) at 8 MHz. Additional equipment was the b/w-Monitor SM 124 (640x400 Pixels), a double-sided 3.5inch 720 kB disc-drive. Later we (in fact my daddy) invested more money in a printer and a 5.25-inch floppy (due to the price of 3.5 discs). Click to see a screenshot of the Atari ST Desktop. After connecting the ST with the TV as color monitor, an enormous world of computer games was to be explored by me. My most-played games were Super Sprint in the early days and later on Formula One Grand Prix by Microprose of 1991. In 1990, I first learned to know what a modem is and at that time I was proud of being able to transfer data from and to mailboxes at 2400 Baud.
As my daddy occupied the 520ST+ by running his packet radio applications and as I needed more RAM for my LP/CD-database, I bought a used MegaST 4 in early 1994. It had 4 MB of RAM ran also at 8 MHz, but had a blitter for accelerated video output.
In the late year 1994, I heard for the first time of PowerPC processors of the A-I-M trio (Apple, IBM, Motorola). More and more, I had to face the fact that the nearly ten year old AtariST-series was no longer up-to-date. In March of the year 1995, my daddy and I, we both lightened our bank accounts and purchased a Apple Power Macintosh 6100 running a PowerPC 601 processor at 66 MHz (1,600,000 transistors, 124 MIPS). Disregarding our dislike to the Wintel stuff, we bought the one with the 486DX2-66-DOS-card (1,200,000 transistors, 54 MIPS). The 15"-Apple-Multisync, additional 16 MB to the original 8 MB and since Xmas '95 a Syquest EZ135 completed quite an attractive package for that time. In July 96, I bought a 16MB-Simm for the DOS-card and since then the 80486 processor behaved like it should. In late summer 96, I finally needed a printer, the Epson Stylus Color 500. The new year 1997 brought me a 2GB HP SCSI-hard drive and enabled me to install MkLinuX. Later in 1997, I could speed up my temporary internet link by purchasing a used US Robotics Sportster 28.800 modem.
Finally, Apple Germany was able to satisfy my needs. After six weeks of waiting, the Power Macintosh G3 is on my desk since the 3rd of February 1998. It has a PowerPC 750 processor (6,350,000 transistors + cache onchip) running at 233MHz and a total amount of 64MB in it. I connected the 10BaseT plug with a cross-over cable to the transceiver that I attached to my 6100, but the network performance was still to be optimized. With the G3, a new monitor came onto my desk as well. An Iiyama Vision Master Pro 17 allows to use screen resolutions up to 1600 pixels and finally enables me to use the extra palettes that some applications encourage you to take advantage of. In June, I maxed out the memory capacity of my older PPC 6100 and installed two 32MB EDO-SIMMS summing up the real memory to 72 MB. Finally there is no need for virtual memory anymore. The next thing was a 3dfx card that I installed in my G3: Yes, it works! Simply install a "Diamond Monster 3D" originally intended for PCs and get the Mac system extensions either from www.techworks.com or from a 3dfx game. I tell you, the 3dfx-version of "Carmageddon" is really blasting. In order to take use of the ISDN-capabilities in the house, I bought an external ISDN-adapter "Lasat unique 1280i a/b" that works great with OT/PPP (no more configuration than telephone number, login and password necessary!!!). I had hoped this box would help me to reduce telephone costs. Since August, I hopefully will never again see the warning that there is not enough memory installed in my computer: With a new 64 MB SD-DIMM in my G3, the total installed memory summs up to 128 MB. Another problem will hopefully be cured by an Allnet Ether H9+ hub that should prevent the OS from switching the networking port from ethernet to printer port, when the second computer is not running. In summer '98, I've been playing with my new Formac ProTV-card. It allows not only to watch tv, but also record small quicktime movies. In October '98, a new 4.5GB Seagate ST34520N hard drive gave me room for MkLinux PR3 on my G3 as well. In late October'98, Apple released MacOS 8.5 and I had hoped that this could solve my ISDN connection problems that appeared in September. Sadly, it did not help, but miraculously I can reliably establish connections again since christmas '98. The next computer equipment expense was a Yamaha 400t CD-writer, that reads with 6x and writes with 4x speed. In May '99, the special priced PC compatibility card came across my way. It is a whole PC including a Cyrix PR166 CPU, 16MB RAM soldered, 256kB 2nd level cache, an ATI mach64 graphics chip and a Soundblaster all on one 12"-PCI card. June '99 saw my 27th birthday and I decided to plug a 32MB DIMM into the PC compatibility card that lets Win95 run quite nicely with a RAM total of 48MB. Finally, I made a long-desired wish come true. The Okipage 12i/n is a postscript capable laser printer that I could hook up to my little ethernet. In October '99, I could no longer withstand replacing the Diamond Monster Voodoo1 card by an STB Voodoo3 2000 PCI card. It is a combined 3D-accelerator and 2D graphics card. Though the beta Mac-drivers can't set free all performance that's in the card, it is the fastest graphics card on the Mac market. In November, I had the opportunity to get a used Belinea 10 50 60 15-inch monitor that is now hooked up to the onboard graphics card of my G3. Christmas '99 passed and I needed a lil' pressie for myself, so I got me a CD-ROM drive: Plextor PX-40TSI. Due to the slow SCSI-controller of the Mac, the drive is not always allowed to show its performance, but the Plextor drive can read any CD format (Q-codes, ISRC-codes,...). Due to Apple not supporting non-Apple drives, I had to hack the CD-ROM driver a little with the result that even the CD-writer can mount volumes without any further driver. In February '00, I thought I could need a larger hard drive, so I bought the Maxtor 92041U4, which is a 5400rpm 20 GB IDE-harddrive. I guess I won't suffer from a real lack of hard drive space for quite some time, even if I install Linux and several MacOSes at the same time.
A new chapter has to be started for an old computer: I could get my fingers on a used PeeCee. It's pretty old, but I hope it is still usable for some tasks. It has an Asus PI/P55 TP4XE motherboard with a Pentium 133 inserted. The amount of RAM is not quite decided yet, as the board accepts PS/2-Simms and I have to see which ones will stay in this machine. There is an ATI Mach64 GT-B graphics chip on a PCI card seated in the first PCI slot. The second slot is filled with my old Voodoo1 card already mentioned above. The third PCI slot received a no name sound card Asound Express. The lowest ISA slot is filled with the ethernet adapter SMC EtherCard Plus Elite 16 8013 EP which is connected via its BNC port to the hub. As CD-ROM drive I use the Apple/Matsushita 24x IDE drive and as hard drive I use the Apple/Quantum 4GB IDE drive - both devices were originally built in my G3. As monitor, I use the old Belinea monitor that was hooked to the onboard graphics card of the G3. This system is still pretty unstable, but probably this is just because it's a Wintel machine ;-). Meanwhile, I reduced the clock rate to 120 MHz and now the system is somewhat more stable. A Ultra-SCSI-controller Advance 2911U is moving from this old PC to the G3 and back since I bought it. Thanks to ebay, I could have 64MB in the old PC AND in the PPC6100, as I bought another two pieces of 32 MB PS/2 SIMMs. A little switcheroo of CD-ROM drives was initiated by the Mac OS X Public Beta: As it refused to install on the G3 with the Plextor 40x SCSI drive, I had to take the 24x IDE Matsushita drive from the old PC back in the G3, build the 2x SCSI-Sony drive originally from the PPC6100 into the old PC and buy a Plextor 12x SCSI CD ROM at ebay.
The year 2000 brought another old computer: In autumn 2000, I won an auction at ebay for an Apple Macintosh Colour Classic. It is already fully equipped with 10MB RAM, a 500MB hard disk, 512kB VRAM and a processor upgrade boosting the original 16MHz with a replaced CPU to unbelievable 33MHz. The Colour Classic is hooked up to my little LAN via a Cabletron EA 419 SCSI-to-Ethernet adapter, that I was able to dig out at ebay as well.
Finally, as Apple was unable to offer a product that meets my requirements and possibilities concerning performance and price, I had to do the long and feared move towards a PC system in early February 2001: It is an AMD Duron 800 MHz in an Epox EP-8KTA+ mainboard that carries a 128MB RAM SDRAM DIMM and features sound onboard. Drives are a Maxtor 40.9GB 34098H4 hard drive and a LiteOn LTD122 DVD-ROM. Video card is a OEM card with GeForce2 MX chip and including TV-out, supported by the Formac ProTV card used as video-in, that I originally bought in '98 for the G3. During a visit at a component dealer, I could not withstand to buy a 128 MB 133MHz SDRAM DIMM that is now installed in the G3 summing its memory up to 224 MB. In early August of 2001, a German food discounter offered very cheap LCD displays: I took the chance and bought a Natcomp @screen x14, which is a 14-inch model. Its default resolution is 1024by768, but it can also display the 800by600 and 640by480 resolutions, however only interpolated. The LCD is attached to the Duron-PC.
Another Mac found its way on my desk: I found a PowerMac 4400 at ebay for a reasonable price and saw an opportunity to finally run the Compatibility Card in the machine it was intended for. The machine runs a PowerPC 603ev CPU at 200MHz. The hard drive was the original 2GB model, but I need more space, so I rotated the 20GB Maxtor drive from the G3 into the 4400 and bought a new Maxtor 80GB drive and plugged that one into the G3. Soon afterwards I upgraded the memory of the G3 with two 256 MB DIMMs to 576MB and that of the PowerMac 4400 by 64MB to 96MB. During christmas time, I bought some 100Mbit PCI-Ethernet cards that are plugged into the Duron-PC, the G3 and the 4400. The G3 received another extension: The PC Compatibility card moved over to the 4400 and the freed slot was filled by a OrangeMicro 620, which is another Compatibility Card. This time not from Apple, equipped with an AMD K6-2 running currently at 375MHz, supplied with128MB of SDRAM, a grpahics controller that shares an adjustable amount of the system's RAM. The card integrates just as smooth into the Mac as my previous DOS and PC Compatibility cards did. As I moved into my own apartment, I decided to upgrade my network slightly with the 100Mbit network adapters, but they would be of no use, if had not bought a Netgear FS 108, which is a 10/100Mbit 8-port switch.
The new year 2002 encouraged me to give money to Apple again. But as there was still no sight of the much desired G5's, I ordered an iPod. The iPod is a mp3-player equipped not only with 32MB of memory, but more importantly with a 5 GB hard drive. The hard drive is filled via a FireWire connection from a Mac and can be used not only as a container for mp3's and other files, but can be used as a startup disk for the Mac as well. The iPod is said to have a battery lifetime of up to 11 hours and the batteries can be recharged over the FireWire connection while mp3's are loaded into the iPod. As none of my computers had the necessary FireWire interface, I had to purchase a FireWire card as well. I decided for the Cherri1394 LMP 6900, which is a combo card with one internal and two external FireWire ports and two external USB ports (USB 1.1 that is). The card does not require individual drivers, but runs with a plain MacOS. I plugged the card into the 4400 and removed the 100Mbit card instead. In March, I decided that burning CDs faster than with my Yamaha 400 CD-R was necessary. So I got me a Sanyo / Brainwave / Nichimen CRD-BP5N, which is a SCSI drive that can handle CDs at 24x/10x/40x speeds. ebay offered a AV-card for my old PowerMac 6100 for a reasonable price, so I took the chance. As my Seti performance was not as good as it could be, I decided to upgrade my PC a little. I got me a Duron 1.2GHz, an additional 128 MB SDRAM and a stronger, dual-fanned power supply Enermax 353W. For my birthday, my friends gave me a Logitech QuickCam 3000 Pro, which is a USB- camera, that can run connected to a Mac as well as in conjunction with a PC. This cam gives me fluent CIF videos and low-frame rate PAL movies as well as PAL images.
Finally, I could not wait any longer: The new Mac is here. In early October of 2002, I bought a PowerMac G4. This computer is driven by 2 CPUs, both running at 867MHz. The DDR-RAM sums up to 768MB. The machine features FireWire, USB, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio In, Audio Out, Video Out ports for 2 monitors. The machine perfectly integrates with my new Apple 17"-TFT Studio Display and the Apple Pro Speakers. Since the default mouse of the G4 was too slow and since I was keen on a scroll wheel, I bought a Logitech Cordless MouseMan Optical. In April, I could no longer withstand and had to get me a wheel for playing my favourite racing games. I ordered a Logitech Momo Racing Force Feedback Wheel and 80GB Maxtor hard drive for archiving music, films and snippets. At the end of April of 2003, Apple delivered the replacement power supply and the casing fan. After installing these parts, the G4 is much more silent than before. Now you can hear the hard drivers spinning and seeking, which was not possible before.
Weekend mobility caused me to have a closer look at the ebay auctions for a portable Mac. Possible models differed from low-end PPC-equipped PowerBooks up to current iBook models. Finally, I found my first portable computer in the middle: I bought a PowerBook G3 of the "bronze keyboard" series, how it was called officially. The name it is more known for is its codename "Lombard". This neat gadget runs at 333MHz and sports a G3 CPU. It is equipped with a lot of 320MB RAM. The previous owner added a FireWire adapter for the PC card slot that allows to attach the iPod or whatever FireWire device to the machine. A larger hard drive was necessary to run both MacOS X and MacOS 9, so I replaced the original 4GB Toshiba model by a more current 40GB Hitachi model. In contrast to what I expected, the battery still can run the machine for quite some time, depending on the application, but it should be more than an hour.
Meanwhile some new equipment came along my way: The PowerMac 6100 received an upgrade in the form of a Sonnet Crescendo G3 processor running at 233 MHz. The Colour Classic was speeded up dramatically from 16MHz to 33MHz by the Sonnet Presto Plus Upgrade. This upgrade not only replaces the original MC60030 processor with 16MHz by a MC 68040 with 33MHz, but also lifts the 10MByte RAM barrier to 32MByte and adds an 10BaseT-port to the motherboard. Recently, adding a 4GB SCSI harddrive to the CC opened some storage space: Wow! OS8.1 on a Colour Classic!! The PC received a Samsung SyncMaster 959NF 19" CRT display. I could not withstand to buy an Atari Portfolio including some 32kB Memory cards, a serial interface and a parallel interface, but I did not have the time to test these. The Lombard Powerbook is now equipped with a PCMCIA-Orinoco Gold WLAN card that could enable me to do some wardriving, if only I had the time. With dropping prices, it seemed reasonable to me to upgrade the LAN partly to Gigabit ethernet. That means I bought a no name switch and an Intel PCI network card for the PC. As the hard discs in my G4 from time to time are full, I opted for a larger drive and bought a 160Gig Hitachi drive and a new Superdrive Pioneer DVR109 as backup drive. After iLife '04 last year, iLife '05 and Tiger went from DVD to my hard drives. Nothing beats the discount on Apple software in their education online store!
Summer 2005 lead me to the decision to get a new PC: I assembled a MSI K8T Neo2 motherboard, an AMD Athlon64 3000+, some 512MB RAM, an ATI Radeon 9600, a DVD-ROM drive and a power supply with large but quiet fans together to a comfortable and noiseless system in order to have something like a current PC system.
In November 2005, I had to face the fact that the nearly 8 year old Lombard Powerbook was not fast enough to do a simple slideshow under MacOS X, so I monitored several ebay auctions for a more recent model, before I started bidding. Finally, I bought a PowerBook G4 12-inch model with a 1.33 GHz CPU, 768MB of RAM, built-in Airport Extreme, built-in Bluetooth, USB 2.0 ports for USB hard drives, FireWire for the iPod and the possibility to hook it up to a tv set. The machine is a little more than 12 months old and the package included Harman-Kardon SoundSticks.
During 2006, my damn-old scanner was replaced by a used AGFA SnapScan 1212 USB scanner, that performs much better than the old one. The G4 received a memory upgrade to a total of 1.75 GB of RAM and I installed a USB 2.0 compatible PCI-adapter. In spring 2007, the G3 machine received an Sonnet Encore ZIF G3 upgrade card that speeds the system up to 500MHz. Summer 2007 saw me winning the auction for a PowerMac G4 Cube at ebay. It is running at 450MHz and was equipped with a CDRW drive and an 32MB graphics card. As the graphics cards fan was noisy, I replaced it with a slightly less performant, but fanless 16MB ATI Rage 128 Pro. To be able to play DVDs and to be able to install the DVD-only 10.4, I bought an external LaCie DVD-RW drive with FireWire interface. Watching satellite tv on the Mac was something I was keen on doing, so I bought a used El Gato EyeTV 310 S. With it, I can not only watch TV on a Mac, but multicast the video stream into the LAN and decode it on every machine that is fast enough.
Autumn of 2007 was finally the time to get my first Intel Mac. My previous Macs were all the cheapest Pro model, this one is the first consumer machine; as I did not make any upgrades to the 2002er PowerMac besides an USB 2.0 card, RAM and hard drives, I decided that I did not need to consider the possibility of extensive extentability. Therefore I got me an iMac. 2.4GHz Core2Duo CPU, the max of 4GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive, all in a 20" screen case. The new flat keyboard and as an extra a wireless Mighty Mouse. With it came an iPod nano 4GB in grey. The saved price difference to the MacPro enabled me to get Office and the VMWare package that lets me try if I can get along without a real PC at all. With the year 2008, I became more and more aware of the fact that the Cube offers not enough performance for a living room media center. So I watched out for something better. Finally, at the end of March, I could get hold of a Mac mini with G4 CPU running at 1.25 GHz and with 1GB of RAM. The device is quiet still and can handle the flat panel tv in full resolution. Up to now, I have not seen that its performance limit comes in too early like it was with the Cube. Besides, the mini is my 10th Mac in the 13th year of using computers produced by Apple. In April, an auction at ebay for a Sonnet G3 CPU upgrade allowed me to have the 4400 as the last PowerMac equipped with a CPU upgrade. This one clocks at 300 MHz.
As my daddy needed a newer PC and as I will be the support and admin guy for that machine, I bought the very same machine for me to have it replace my PC machine. It is a Medion Akoya P4340 D with a Core 2 Duo E7400 CPU clocked @ 2.8GHz with 4 GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive and a decent Nvidia GeForce GT140. Meanwhile I replaced the power supply by a different model that emits less noise, added an external hard drive to its eSATA port that offers another 1 TB of space and did a parallel install of the original Vista Home, Vista Ultimate and - as I'm curios where M$ is heading - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.
Early 2010 lead me to replace the PPC mini in the living room by a faster one that very likely can handle HD video. The PPC was well overloaded by decoding H.264 in HD format, but I hoped that a Core2Duo CPU would be fast enough. I chose the early 2009 Mac mini model that clocked its dual core CPU at 2.0 GHz and could use 4 GB of RAM. This one has Gbit ethernet onboard, a GeForce 9400M graphics chip, you can control the device by a remote and it works very well with the aluminium Apple Wireless Keyboard. In combination with the ElGato EyeTV Sat, it is a decent combination of hardware for HD video reception. After some initial problems, it turned out that the CPU of the mini is jjjuuussst fast enough to decode the HD H.264 streams from SES-Astra. Later that year, out of curiosity for the Mobilygen 3500 CPU inside, I bought me an Elgato Turbo.264 HD stick to encode my lately digitized VHS videos slightly faster than with the CPU only.
In summer of 2010, I finally opted to replace the meanwhile 6 years old Powerbook G4 as my mobile laptop with a MacBook Pro 13". The model sports 4GB of RAM and its CPU is clocked at 2.4 GHz. To have it up and running as fast as possible, I did not hesitate to get the necessary adapters for VGA, DVI and HDMI output and one of the new remotes that were released lately. With it, I took the chance and added an iPod touch 8GB to my order. As it turned out, it is the 2G model with a slower CPU, but for the price I got it for, I do not dare to complain about that.
Late 2011 finally made me dump my nearly 10 year old mobile phone and replace it with an iPhone. Twas the iPhone 4S with 32 GB of memory. After my introduction to iOS more than a year before, I already knew quite some apps definitely to be installed on the iPhone, like the TomTom navigation, EyeTV, Rowmote Pro, Str8ts, 90elf, etc. As the model became jailbreakable, I tried that as well to allow more apps in one folder, WiFi scanning apps, VLC, SB Settings, Terminal and probably even a firewall. By installing Gridlee, which is a MAME derivate, Super Sprint is possible on the iPhone. Hello again 1986!! In early 2012, the hard drive of the iMac went defect. Luckily, I was able to backup all the important data and replace the drive by a 3.5 inch SATA drive with a capacity of 2 TB. But the possibility of data loss made me rethink my backup strategy. Therefore, I moved from Time Machining my main computer to an external FireWire drive over to a backup over the network to a Synology DiskStation DS 411 slim. The NAS system is run by a 1.6 GHz CPU on 256 MB of RAM and it has 4 slots for 2.5 inch hard drives, that are filled by 1 TB WD drives. The RAIDing leaves nearly 2 TB of the theoretical 4 TB, but gives me a better feeling of data security. In mid 2012, there was an occasion to get a Elgato Netstream Sat for a good price to enable tv streaming to every device capable of receiving in the network. A Trackpad was a try to get to know the new gesture based control of the Macs. To admit it: I am used more to the mouse and prefer the magic mouse with its touch surface.
As the 2007er iMac, after 6 years of flawless operation, showed some disturbing graphics artefacts and indicated to completely fail soon, I had to come up with an alternative quickly in spring 2013. The thought that another iMac with integrated display would lead me (after its period of desktop use) to a Mac that I can not put beneath the tv in the living room and not beside the beamer in the basement, due to its huge display, I went back to separate casings for CPU and display: The model from October 2012 of the Mac mini with the BTO quad core i7 running at 2.6 GHz, boostable to 3.6 GHz, containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chipset, equipped with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB fusion drive was my choice. It was accompanied by a Thunderbolt display, that would allow me to use it in connection with a Macbook Air 11", which probably will be the next mobile computer, and an external USB Super Drive. By the way, it is the 13th Mac in my 19th year of using Apple computers.
In early 2015, the iPhone 4S went to my wife and I ordered an iPhone 6 with 64GB of flash memory for me. LTE and a matching contract with the network provider make up a package that sounds right for 2015. The DSL modem was upgraded as well: The AVM FritzBox 7270 had to go and was replaced by an AVM FritzBox 7490. Slightly speeding up the DSL line and bringing more featured into the local network. At the end of July, we changed the DSL provider after nearly ten years, as the previous one was not able to offer any upgrades speedwise and the limit of 4.3 Mbit/s was not future proof anymore. The urge to change providers was even stronger as the new provider promised better infrastructure allowing up to 50Mbit/s. Sooner or later, a change had to come, as the ISDN system is said to be shut down in the coming two years, so I thought why not change now. Outcome is an IP-only phone and DSL link connecting at a downlink rate of 33 Mbit/s and an uplink speed of 9.5 Mbit/s. Probably I can achieve slightly more, as soon as I optimize my cabling and remove the old splitter. In summer 2015, finally, I tried to replace my two device strategy with a one device strategy: Not one laptop for mobility and one desktop for use at home, but instead one device for both use cases: I bought a used MacBook Air 11". It is the 2013 model, configured to the max: Intel i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD. This little beauty is connected to the Thunderbolt display I bought for the i7 mini in 2013. A Wireless Keyboard, a Magic Mouse and the Trackpad allow the lid to be kept closed, when on my desk. The device is not the fastest Mac that I have, but for CPU-intensive tasks, I can use the Mini, that currently still resides on my desk. After quite a couple of years, I can delete the entry of the MacBook Pro 12" in my wish list below, with only the SE/30 as collectors item left.
The year 2017 brought a new generation of iPhone to me: The iPhone 7 128GB came as the mobile provider contract had to be extended. As my curiosity for the rest of the world grew, I got my hands on a cheap Android phone: A Vernee Thor E allows me to take my first steps in the Android world. In the middle of the year, a long time dream came true: An Apple Macintosh SE/30 found its way to me. The 28 year old treasure sold for a fair price. Although the condition of the case is way from mint, the system seems to work. On initial startup, the computer ran MacOS 7.1. Installing network drivers on the system did not work on the first run, but I won't give up. As I've already seen packets in Wireshark from the MAC address of the SCSI-to-Ethernet converter, the hardware seems to be ready to go. Maybe something with the TCP layer... After around 20 years of being listed at the bottom of this page, I can now remove the SE/30 from my wishlist. Thanks to a friendly forum user, I was able to upgrade the memory in the SE/30 to 20MB, which is pretty much for such an old machine. Due to a bad WiFi coverage in the gardens, I opted for a Time Capsule 3GB, which I got via ebay. Now the WiFi signal ends only past the trampoline and before the swing. In summer, I was alerted to an offer of HomeKit compatible smart sockets from Koogeek, so I bought two of those and can now control the christmas decoration in the garden remotely. In order not to be dependant on an iPad being at home, I bought an Apple TV 4k 32 GB, that let's me use it as a HomeKit Hub and as a MediaHub as well. In the latter respect, in concurs with the Mac Mini. Both being hooked up to the TV set. Newest addition to my device zoo is a FingBox that let's me have some more insights into my network. In order to be able to have classic linear television at your fingertipps whereever I might need it, I got me a Geniatech Stream4Sat. Mainly it is an EyeTV-compatible receiver, that streams the received TV signals into the LAN. Besides it is Sat>IP compatible, though due to the lack of such a device, I was not yet able to test this. As the latest PC meanwhile entered its tenth year of service, it was time for an upgrade(s): The Athlon64-based got a slight memory upgrade to 2 GB of RAM. The more important upgrade was a new machine: Again from Medion, nearly in the same housing as the Medion Akoya from 2008, a MEDION AKOYA ® P56001 found its way under my desk. The machine runs an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU on 8 GB of RAM with an 128 GB M2-SSD and a 2TB SATA HDD. The GPU is a GeForce GTX 1050 TI with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. Quite impressive boot times of the Win10Pro. Autumn made me follow some ebay auctions to further complete my Mac machine park. And I found a gem: An Apple iMac (Flat Panel) with a G4 PowerPC CPU running at 700MHz, 768 MB of RAM, an Apple Airport card, 32 GB HDD and a DVD-combo drive and finally a build in 15-inch LCD screen. Very nice! It is the 5th G4 Mac and the 16th Mac over all in my little collection.
Early 2019 again saw a renewal of my mobile contract an with it, an upgrade device-wise: To an iPhone XR with 128GB of flash. I would have been happy with an XS model as well, but even if the functionality of the iPhones is still extending with every generation, Apple places prize tags on its products, that become beyond my scope. The XR has the FaceID feature as well, so I went for that one. Meanwhile 4 Homekit compatible devices found its way into our household: Two Koogeek plugs, an Osram LED light strip and a Yeelight lamp. To have a somewhat current Android device at hand, I ordered a Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro. As the iPad mini 2 became somewhat sluggish, when used as a navigational system in the car, and as Spanish Amazon offered the iPad mini 5 for around 150€ less than the list prize in Germany, I replaced the old with a current iPad mini. It is the one with less flash memory, but with LTE and GPS. Summer 2019 made me think about another addition to my collection and I found a Quadra 650 on ebay. This is a machine from early/mid 90ies with a Motorola 68040 CPU running at 33 MHz. This is the third addition to my collection from the 68K era. A couple of months before I got hold of the Quadra, I found a Farallon AAUI to 10bT-transceiver, to be able to connect a then potential old computer to the network. It fits perfectly to the Quadra. To handle the old Macs with a reduced number of keyboards and mice lying around on my desk, I found a source for a Dr. Bott MoniSwitch4/ADB. Strange that about 20 years after production of such a KVM switch, there is still someone, who sells em in new condition. After only few weeks, I maxed the RAM of the Quadra to 132 MB and in autumn, I replaced the mechanical hard drive by an SCSI2SD adapter containing a 4GB SD card. Late autumn brought me another masterpiece of Mac history: A PowerMac G5 from 2005. It is the latest Mac with a PowerPC CPU, which is clocked at 2.0 GHz and runs 2 cores. I added an Intel 320 SSD to the empty SATA port and maxed the RAM to 16 GB. This machine can still run MacOS X 10.4.11, which allows the classic environment. On the other hand it supports AFP over the network for the older machines, making it somewhat a bridge between the generations of Macs.
In early 2020, I won an ebay auction for an Apple PowerCD drive, which is a CD-ROM drive, that can be either connected as an external SCSI-CD-ROM drive or used as a standalone CD player including a IR remote control. This device dates back to the year of 1993, which is the time just before introducing the PPC CPUs to the Mac world. After the Synology Diskstation DS 411 slim from 2011 became more and more annoying over the time and just recently started to struggle with memory issues in the WebDAV implementation, I had to upgrade here as well: The new backup target is a Synology DiskStation DS620slim, which has 6 hard dirve slots for 2.5" HDDs and sports a dual core Celeron CPU @ 2 GHz. I maxed out the memory allocation to a total of 8GB DDR3L RAM. The HDD slots are filled with 4 SATA-HDD SEAGATE Barracuda ST2000LM015 with 2 GB each and 2 SAMSUNG 860 Evo MZ-76E500B with 512GB each as SSD cache. An auction on ebay lead me to a Newton 2100. Sadly the device refuses to communicate via IrDA and I am missing a connection cable. I'll try to use the Lombard Powerbook as some sort of bridge towards the Newton, as it is the only Mac in my collection including IrDA support. Therefore I took care for that machine as well in the way, that I maxed the RAM to 512 MB and replaced the 40GB IDE hard drive by an IDE to SD-card adapter including a card with 128 GB. The quest for upgrade parts for my old Macs lead me to two VRAM SIMMs, 256kB each, 80ns, that allow better resolutions on the Quadra 650. In early July of 2020, I learnt that the unreliable start behaviour of the Quadra can be overcome by using different RAM SIMMs: One pair of the SIMMs seemed to have been the reason for crash sounds upon turning on. Replaced by a different pair of RAM SIMMs, the Quadra starts like a charm (until now). On my way to this finding, I bought a PowerMac7100/66AV on ebay, as it has the same power supply as the Quadra and as I suspected a failing power supply for the unreliability. The 7100 itself is only a source of spare parts and started only on one evening, not on the next. At that point I was able to see, that it carries 72MB of RAM, an AV card and for networking only the AAUI port of that time. It was the dustiest computer case, that I ever saw. With the help of an Asante FriendlyNet AAUI adapter, I was able to hook it up to my network. Due to the condition of the machine, I moved it to the attic before I establish an emotional relationship to the machine :-). In order to transfer data to the old machines as fast as possible, I got hold of 2 SCSI ZIP100 drives, one USB ZIP100 drive and more than 20 cartridges for these drives. Sadly I was not able to get such a drive running, when hooked to the Quadra. Nevertheless on the SE/30, the beige G3 and the G5, they worked flawlessly until now.
Again another auction at ebay and here we go: The probably most expensive Mac found its way into my little collection, regarding the price at the time of its product introduction: It is a Quadra 950 from 1993. It carried 56MB of RAM and no hard drive, when it arrived at my place. Luckily the old machine was willing to boot off a Iomega SCSI ZIP drive. Thanks to a spare SCSI2SD-board, I could quickly install an operating system onto a 16GB SD card. This Quadra is hell of a machine, especially in its time of early to mid-90ies. Sadly this applies to the noise of the machine as well. It is probably the second-loudest machine after the MDD G4. About at the same level of the SE/30, probably slightly louder.
Being curious, how digital photography worked in its early days - I was not an early adopter at that time - I was keen on putting my hands on a QuickTake camera from Apple. Luckily, I found one for a reasonable price. It is a QuickTake 100, of course from Apple. It sports a sensor supporting a resolution of 640x480 pixels, which is 0.3 megapixels. Due to memory limitations, the camera can hold only 8 photos of that resolution, or 32 photos at 320x240 pixels.
Some upgrades: The iMac G4 received a 512 MB memory DIMM, summing up its total RAM to 1 GB. The memory module, that was removed in this process, carried a sticker claiming, that it is a 512 MB module as well, but the system recognized only 256 MB. When booting into MacOS9, the machine claimed, that there was a problem with a memory module, but no further problems were encountered during operation. With the new memory module installed, this error message is gone. Fine!
The Quadra 950 received appreciations from me as well: Via ebay, I ordered 4 VRAM SIMMs in the UK, so that the VRAM can be maxed to 2 MB, allowing some more colours in higher resolutions. And as well via ebay, I ordered the max amount of RAM: 16 pieces of 16 MB 30-pin-SIMM modules, maxing the RAM to 256 MB. I was curious, how long the memory check at bootup time will take. Meanwhile I know: It takes a reasonable amount of time, but only upon first bootup. Rebooting seems to skip the memory check.
Another round of upgrades in December 2020: The Lombard PowerBook received a memory upgrade to 512 MB and the hard drive was replaced by an IDE-to-M2-adapter with an M2 SSD of 128 GB. The iMac from 2007 exchanged a 2 GB memory module for a 4 GB one, reaching its max. capacity of 6GB in total. The 2009er Mac mini received new memory modules as well, maxing it out to 8GB and the 320GB magnetic hard drive was exchanged for an 512GB SATA SSD from Crucial. Left at 10.11.6, the machine became somewhat snappier.
Holiday Season saw a bunch of additions and updates to the device zoo: The ROMinator II arrived and was installed into the SE/30. Now the machine can boot within a few seconds to a minimalistic US System 7.1. Using the RAM disk feature needs to be explored still. (In more than 25 years of Mac usership, I never used a RAM disk. Only before on the Atari ST platform). Sadly, the boot issues, where the SE/30 (and some other of the old Macs) don't find their boot drive anymore or not instantly, did not go away. Don't know if that is related to aged capacitators, SCSI (termination) issues, PRAM battery or whatever. Affected are the Colour Classic, the SE/30, the Quadra650, the Quadra950 and possibly the Lombard. Not affected are the PPC machines. For allowing old Macs access to the network, I ordered two Nubus 10bT cards and two Apple AAUI-10bT adapters in England. Soon after ordering those, I found an Asante Fast Ethernet Nubus card, that found its way into the Quadra950. Luckily all of these fairly old devices seem to work. In order to have a network drive for the old treasures, I found a Synology DS-101g+ on ebay. This machine does support AppleShare in a version, so that even the SE/30 running System 6.0.7, as well as the macOS 10.15 equipped machine of my wife can can see and access the share folder. Bridging 30 years of Macintosh. Again ebay, I stumbled across a PowerBook 1400c/133, that the preceeding owner was not able to access due to a password. Thanks to his screenshots of the boot process, one was able to see, that the machine was pimped with a Sonnet G3 card. As it turned out, it indeed carries a Sonnet 333MHz G3 Crescendo card, already the max of 64MB RAM. Unfortunately no CD-ROM and no networking. I ordered a IDE to CF-adaptor and a fast CF card in order to replace the noisy hard drive with a more current solution, both capacity and speed-wise. I had to find out, that the 1400c did not want to accept the card reliably. Therefore I used the Transcend PATA IDE SSD with 64GB, that was taken out of the PPC mini, when I tried to install MacOS9 on that machine and ever since has not been used again. Thanks to the hint for the possibility to use mainstream PCMCIA 10bT adapters (Certain models of 3com EtherLink III) in a Mac with a somewhat experimental driver hack, I looked out for compatible devices and found a BNC card and a BNC/10bT combo card on ebay. After the announced crash upon first reboot, the machine came up with networking capabilities. A classic white iPod 2G with 10GB, that was reported to be dead due to a failing hard drive, was worth the risk buying it: A restore on an old Mac over a FireWire connection allowed to bring this one back to life. With 10GB, it can serve as a rescue boot drive for FireWire-based Macs. On the flea market of macuser.de, I found an AirPort card and a D-Link Bluetooth dongle. Need to find a machine for that.
Thanks a local, extremely skilled person, I got hold of a new Ethernet card for the SE/30. Finally this machine has stable ethernet access. I will see, if I can withstand his offer for a CPU accelerator card.
During the delay of the delivery of my new main computer, I checked ebay again for some precious treasures: Another Newton 2100, this time with a German OS, but a meanwhile sticky housing, accompanied by a 2MB memory card, a Longshine PCMCIA-Ethernet card and, most valuable, a Newton Interconnect adapter, that allows to access the Newton via serial port from a Mac to be able to transfer apps to the device. At the same time, I bought a Lombard Powerbook, as a spare part machine and a PCMCIA SCSI card to be able to access the SCSI devices from a mobile computer.
On black Friday in 2020, I ordered the Macbook Air with Apple Sillicon and at the end of February 2021, it was finally delivered. It sports an 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores clocked @ 3.2 GHz and 4 high efficiency cores, clocked @ 2.1 GHz. 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of NVMe SSD memory should be future proof.