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An important message from System 7 Today founder Dan Palka
 
 Topic: Not Exactly New... But Here. (Page 1 of 1)
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  NathanHill (Profile)
  4 MB
 
Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:28 am
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Greets,

I actually created an account sometime ago - don't remember if I introduced myself or ever posted.

Someone in my church just gave us an old Performa 5215CD. I did not want to spend any money on an old Mac like this, but my kids had been playing some old education games, practicing their letters and numbers. This machine, while a bit of a dog, is serving fine in that capacity. I did spend $20 for some RAM to max it out.

I followed System7's instructions and upgraded it to 7.5.5 with the various downloads since it was still running 7.5.1. So far, it's running fine with the stock 8 MB of RAM, which again will soon be upgraded to 64. It also has an ethernet card, which works beautifully.

I already have an OS 8 CD, so I might go ahead and upgrade to that. With these poorly designed series of Macs (52xx), OS 8 is supposedly a little more solid option than 7. We'll see. I wouldn't mind staying at 7.5.5 though.

Curious if anyone with experience on these Macs - have you compared and contrasted 7.6.1 and 8.1?
  
  feeef (Profile)
  64 MB
 
Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 4:25 pm
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Hi Nathan,

There is a system comparison page on this website here

8.1 should work well on your mac in my opinion.
  
  NathanHill (Profile)
  4 MB
 
Posted: Mon May 05, 2014 6:15 pm
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I couldn't get my System 7.6 CD to boot for some reason, so I ended up going with OS 8.1. It's running fine, rather decently once I finished updates. I forgot how achingly slow installation could be on these old machines.

I still wouldn't mind giving 7.6 a shot, because many of the old educational games that I use on this machine have some weird issues with Appearance Manager. We'll see.

To modify the machine, I thought about throwing in an old external DVD drive I had lying around in place of the stock drive, but these machines are weird. Hard drive on IDE bus - CD drive on SCSI. Seriously, Apple, why didn't you just pick one and stick with it? Frankenmac.
  
  NathanHill (Profile)
  4 MB
 
Posted: Sat May 10, 2014 10:14 am
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Quick, philosophical update:

I scavenged an old 3.1 GB IDE drive from some old PC at my work, and it is working fine. A slight upgrade over the 1 GB Quantum. Even though an 80GB IDE drive is like $8, I'd rather not spend any money on such an old machine.

And frankly, the plastic on these machines are just so brittle. I've lost three-four plastic tabs without applying much of any force to them. Awful.

I remain a big fan of 7.6.1, but I kept finding cryptic "hearsay" references to the stability of OS 8.1 or OS 8.5 on these frankenstein 52/62xx Power Macs. For example, Dan of Low End Mac tosses [url=
http://lowendmac.com/macdan/md005.shtml]stuff like this out[/url]:

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I have heard that the best upgrade for the Performa 6300 is Mac OS 8.1. This apparently improves stability and addresses some of the hardware issues which had hobbled the 6300 and its siblings. I suspect going to Mac OS 8.5 might further improve things.


I am curious why this is the case, since 8.1 didn't dump all PPC code and isn't exactly overflowing with feature changes from 7.6.1. But after some minimal testing, it may be more due to OS 8's improved multithreaded finder, which overcomes, through software, some of the hardware limitations on these machines that meant while network data was incoming, you couldn't input keyboard text or other things (see this well-referenced article). That's at least my best guess.

If you are willing to live without that, then 7.6.1 (and even 7.5.5) will still be very stable options.
  
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