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You might be surprised by how fast it is compared to, say, a basic iMac today, despite orders of magnitude difference in hardware power. Bill Atkinson's (true) genius of a graphics system was incredibly fast, and modern overhead is vastly more draining and complex.
Dan Luu measured the input lag, or latency, of keystrokes across a variety of hardware ranging from an Apple II and a TI-99 up through modern Lenovo ThinkPads, with interesting systems like an SGI Indy, a NeXT Cube, a Commodore Pet and others.

Computer latency: 1977-2017

The lowest latency devices were mostly the oldest. An iMac G4 running macOS 9 had only 60% the latency of the machine running OS X.

He also tested mobile devices' scroll latency. Apple's iDevices absolutely demolished all Android-based devices. Oddly enough, only a Gameboy Color from 1998 could match them.

The whole thing is great, but of particular interest are his analyses of the Apple II, the iOS rendering pipeline, and of general system complexity.
 


That's one of my favorite Macs, as well. I couldn't afford to buy one, but we had one at work and used the PDS upgrade slot to give it a lovely boost. It was a sweet machine (once some early software timing issues got sorted out - some software couldn't handle its speed initially).

I don't recall that model and didn't see it at Everymac.com. Is it a Mac clone? (What's the full name, exactly?)
Luckily, my employer had a 401K plan from which participants could take out loans. I borrowed $4000, if I remember correctly. For $3600 I got the IIci with that RAM configuration and an 80MB HD, from a company that advertised in MacWorld and MacUser. The 120MB drive was a silent upgrade. The Extended II keyboard was an additional $175. I had a "free" Apple 13" RGB monitor that a service tech had left behind in our office. He must have made up a good story to account for its loss, because when I called the service about it, they didn't want it back or to hear anything further about it. That saved me $800.

My 9600 was an eBay purchase. When it was new, it was way out of my price range. It has a much better case design than the 9500 in terms of accessibility.
 


The latency issue is fascinating. Long ago, probably in the 1970s, I recall reading that on the order of half the time on a time-sharing mainframe OS was used by the operating system, and much of that time was used to manage time-sharing operations, switching them in and out of the execution queue and such. There was no parallel processing at the time, just a single series of operations executed that included the OS overhead and the separate programs being executed. I recall being surprised at that time allocation, but apparently it made sense with the technology of the time. Judging from what I see in Activity Monitor, most of my Mac Mini's time goes to operations that are essentially internal overhead to keep the machine running, with the browser the most time-consuming app.

For those of us who are very fast touch typists, latency does matter. If you're typing 100 words per minute, that's on the order of 600 characters per minute, or 100 milliseconds per carrier. My speed isn't consistent, but I can go at that rate for brief spurts, and when I did, I was hitting errors because the machine couldn't keep up with me. Mail was a particular problem because a message would stay on screen long enough after I hit a key that my next keystroke would inadvertently act on that message, leading to accidental deletions with my old 2010 Mac Mini . It had slowed down as I loaded it with new versions of macOS. The new 2018 Mac Mini is fast enough for me now, but I expect new software to slow it down over the years. New versions of browsers similarly seem to make older computers slower.
 


My first "Mac" was one of they Atari ST's with a Magic Sac cartridge-port-using-thingy holding Mac ROMs....

My first real Mac was a IIsi. My, they were quick. (Well, after living with floppies...). It died quite a few years ago, just after I'd dragged it out, patted it on the case, and congratulated it on slill being operational. Sigh.
 


I still have my first Mac - a Mac IIci gifted to me by a previous employer. Last time I powered it up about 2 years ago, it still ran like a champ. It has a whopping 32MB of RAM and an 80MB hard drive and the 8*24 graphics card (and PDS card) - loved it for its size and simple design.

My Mac collection includes a couple of Quicksilvers, Cubes, PowerBooks, etc. Of those, I haven't powered any up in many years.
 


I transferred to the PC Support group at work after working 20 years in a lab. We had just started using computers in the lab, and I really liked working with them. We were using IBM PCs and compatibles (before Windows), and I had built some at home. One condition of the new job was that I was to be the new Mac support person. I had never used one, but learned and quickly became impressed. Apple even sent a technical support person to help me learn the system (we had around 2500 Macs in that facility at one point).

My first Mac in that job was an SE; they even loaned me one to take home. The first Mac I purchased was a IIfx. Next was a Power Mac G4, then two G5s, a Mac Pro (early 2008) and the current iMac. I still have the newest G5, which I used as a print server until I got the iMac early this year, but it now sees little use. The Mac Pro with its 30" display is now the print server for my wide-format printer.

I wanted another Mac Pro, but waited as long as I could before getting the iMac. Just as well, since no way I could justify the cost of the new Mac Pro. I agree with the article in yesterday's Daring Fireball; we really need a less costly easily expandable desktop model without a display.
 


I still occasionally fire up my 9600 and marvel every time at how responsive the Mac OS 8.6 Finder is.
Having started my career on an original 128K Macintosh + ImageWriter, I would say that System 8.6 was “peak Mac,” at least from a productivity standpoint. I kept my System Folder fairly pared down (few extensions), and it was very stable, especially compared to the Windows PCs we had in the office at the time. My last PowerPC Mac was a 9600. I later upgraded the processor and ran early versions of OS X on it.
 


My first "Mac" was one of they Atari ST's with a Magic Sac cartridge-port-using-thingy holding Mac ROMs....
I was into the ST scene when those came out... the Magic Sac was a damn impressive piece of engineering.

For those not in the know, the original Atari ST had the same 8MHz 68000 processor as the early Macs and supported both monochrome and color monitors. The Magic Sac was a cartridge that held the two ROM chips from a Mac (which you had to provide yourself). Plug the cart into your ST, and you could run Mac software on your Atari. And because the overall hardware design of the ST was superior to the Mac, that software would run (if I recall correctly) about 20% faster on the ST.

If Atari had played its cards right, the ST could have killed off Apple. Atari's slogan at the time was "Power Without the Price", and you could buy an ST for 1/4th the price of a Mac and give up nothing in terms of computing performance. But they didn't, and now we just reminisce about what could have been.
 


I found that OWC is also accessible through the MacInTouch link and that's what I ordered: 64 GB worth of RAM. I can't forget that the first real computer I bought was an Atari 800. On the box was a prominent sticker proclaiming: "Now with 48K memory."
My father ordered a Timex Sinclair ZX81 kit, and was actually disappointed when, instead, he got the fully assembled product. Came with a whole kilobyte of RAM!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
For those not in the know, the original Atari ST had the same 8MHz 68000 processor as the early Macs and supported both monochrome and color monitors. The Magic Sac was a cartridge that held the two ROM chips from a Mac (which you had to provide yourself). Plug the cart into your ST, and you could run Mac software on your Atari. And because the overall hardware design of the ST was superior to the Mac, that software would run (if I recall correctly) about 20% faster on the ST.
And, a decade before that...
Wikipedia said:
Steve Jobs
... In February 1974, Jobs returned to his parents' home in Los Altos and began looking for a job. He was soon hired by Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California, which gave him a job as a technician.

Back in 1973, Steve Wozniak designed his own version of the classic video game Pong and gave the board to Jobs. According to Wozniak, Atari only hired Jobs because he took the board down to the company, and they thought that he had built it himself.

... In mid-1975, after returning to Atari, Jobs was assigned to create a circuit board for the arcade video game Breakout. According to Bushnell, Atari offered US$100 for each TTL chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little specialized knowledge of circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the fee evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Much to the amazement of Atari engineers, Wozniak reduced the TTL count to 46, a design so tight that it was impossible to reproduce on an assembly line. According to Wozniak, Jobs told him that Atari gave them only $700 (instead of the $5,000 paid out), and that Wozniak's share was thus $350.
#stevejobs #Woz #AppleDNA #lies #atari
 


I still have my first Mac - a Mac IIci gifted to me by a previous employer. Last time I powered it up about 2 years ago, it still ran like a champ. It has a whopping 32MB of RAM and an 80MB hard drive and the 8*24 graphics card (and PDS card) - loved it for it's size and simple design.

My Mac collection includes a couple Quicksilvers, Cubes, PowerBooks, etc. Of those, I haven't powered any up in many years.
If anyone is interested, I have a Paintboard Prism graphics card that I got on eBay (new) and never got around to installing. Might still work, after sitting in its box forever?

My IIci died in its sleep, so to speak. Hadn't been powered on for a couple of years.
 


My father ordered a Timex Sinclair ZX81 kit, and was actually disappointed when, instead, he got the fully assembled product. Came with a whole kilobyte of RAM!
I had a ZX81, but my son lost it when he moved... all I have left is the 16k expander, Boy, was that big-time back then. Then I had a C64 – he also took care of that by leaving all the floppies on top of the TV. Made a good bulk eraser. Good kid otherwise.
 


I was into the ST scene when those came out... the Magic Sac was a damn impressive piece of engineering.
For those not in the know, the original Atari ST had the same 8MHz 68000 processor as the early Macs and supported both monochrome and color monitors. The Magic Sac was a cartridge that held the two ROM chips from a Mac (which you had to provide yourself). Plug the cart into your ST, and you could run Mac software on your Atari. And because the overall hardware design of the ST was superior to the Mac, that software would run (if I recall correctly) about 20% faster on the ST.
If Atari had played its cards right, the ST could have killed off Apple. Atari's slogan at the time was "Power Without the Price", and you could buy an ST for 1/4th the price of a Mac and give up nothing in terms of computing performance. But they didn't, and now we just reminisce about what could have been.
I got my first Atari 520 STfm back in '89, thanks to a loan at work - had it hooked up to an ancient black and white television, and used it mostly for word processing. Things vastly improved with the SM125 monitor I got about a year later, really crisp monochrome screen at 640x400.

My favourite ST had to be my 1040STe model I bought used at the swap meet we had with the club I belonged to, the Toronto Atari Federation. This model had SIMM slots so you could pop in up to a mighty 4MB of RAM. I ran a TOS-compatible OS called MagiC which allowed for true multitasking, and with a SCSI adapter built a storage tower with a number of drives and a CD-ROM. The built-in MIDI ports were also a good move, as it allowed for people to hook up to synths and other music gear without having to buy an outboard box. A number of today's music software companies started out with ST-based apps, notably Steinberg with Pro-24 and Cubase, and EMagic, who produced the first version of Logic for the ST line.
 



I bought the 16K (!) RAM module for my Timex Sinclair. About doubled my investment in the thing. 16K – I wondered how I was ever going to fill that much space...
So, about 6 to 9 minutes of a screeching cassette, if you could actually get it to transfer correctly for that long. :)
 


I bought the original Mac 128K in February of 1984, with an Imagewriter – I split the cost with my then-girlfriend (I bought her share when we later split up).

Right after the 512K went on sale, the motherboard on my 128K died. I was living on the Upper West Side in NYC, and there were mimeographed flyers in the neighborhood from a student at Columbia for repairing Macs. He was only a few blocks from me, so I took it to him in his dorm apartment, having no idea what he could do or what he knew, or even if he was on the level. One day later he had replaced the 128K board with a 512K – I have no idea where he got it, but I believe he charged me around $300 for the repair. Maybe less.

That machine lasted until I replaced it with a used Mac Plus, and then an SE/30 in 1991, just as they were discontinued – that was a remarkable machine, and I really liked it. That was replaced by a Power Mac 8500 when they first came out in 1995, which is when I started supporting Macintoshes professionally.
 


...
... My IIci died in its sleep, so to speak. Hadn't been powered on for a couple of years.
Could be the battery, swollen/leaked capacitors and/or hard drive stiction. Found a friend's IIci with the same issue: long time off, no power on anymore (PRAM battery was dead, board capacitors bulged).

Never got a decision to attempt repair or trash. I would have liked to keep it for shelf-display or to waste time on power supply / motherboard capacitor replacement.
 



It's also possible that the electrolytic capacitors just needed to be re-formed. A friend reminded me a while back that old electronic equipment should be plugged into a variable transformer and the voltage slowly increased, although this may only apply to equipment much older than PCs. More info here:
This works with equipment that has transformers in the power supply. Almost all computers and peripherals use switching power supplies, which do not have transformers. I advise not using a Variac with a switching power supply.

Transformers are expensive (a lot of copper) and heavy, so they're not used much anymore. Switchers work by rapidly turning the power on and off. After being turned on, the voltage rises to a preset level and the power is turned off. Capacitors are needed to smooth the waveform (which looks like a saw blade) into a flat line (constant voltage).

FWIW: I rescued a 20A Variac from the trash. It's been quite useful over the decades.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I was stunned and very, very sad to learn yesterday about the death of Adam Rosen, creator of The Vintage Mac Museum and a supporter and active member of the MacInTouch community since at least 1998....
Adam's museum has a new home, apparently:
Cult of Mac said:
American Computer and Robotics Museum new home of old Mac museum
Apple museums have popped up all over the world, but none with the quirky love that filled the rooms of Adam Rosen’s Massachusetts home. He passed away in August and grieving family and friends vowed to find a new place to plug in his self-made Vintage Mac Museum.

Rosen’s father, Robert, told Cult of Mac the family has donated his son’s collection of more than 100 working machines to the American Computer and Robotics Museum in Bozeman, Montana.

The museum, Robert Rosen said, will create a memorial to Adam Rosen, highlighting the story behind the collection. The museum hopes to display Adam’s vintage Macs in the fall of 2020.
 


I’m so happy to see this donation of history to be kept going. I live just outside of Bozeman and will definitely come see this. My own “museum” only has about 15 running vintage Macs.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I actually remember Jean-Louis Gassée demonstrating this OS long ago, which was very promising at the time...
Hackaday said:
BeOS: The Alternate Universe’s Mac OS X
In 1990, Jean-Louis Gassée, who replaced Jobs in Apple as the head of Macintosh development, was also fired from the company. He then also formed his own computer company with the help of another ex-Apple employee, Steve Sakoman. They called it Be Inc, and their goal was to create a more modern operating system from scratch based on the object-oriented design of C++, using proprietary hardware that could allow for greater media capabilities unseen in personal computers at the time.

... What’s left for us now is to wonder, how different would the desktop computer ecosystem look today if all those years ago, back in 1997, Apple decided to buy Be Inc. instead of NeXT? Would Tim Berners-Lee have used a BeBox to run the world’s first web server instead? How would Mac OS X look today, would it still have its iconic (pun intended) dock? Or maybe the tendency for technology to have a point of convergence means that eventually everything would develop the same way regardless. There’s no way of knowing, but it’s always fun to take a trip down memory lane.
 


I actually remember Jean-Louis Gassée demonstrating this OS long ago, which was very promising at the time...
A friend of mine bought one of the original BeBox systems. It was very impressive - far more bang-for-the-buck than anything else sold at the time. And the "GeekPort" was the first mainstream use of GPIO connectivity for the electronic hobbyist.

It's sad, although not too surprising, that the platform ultimately couldn't compete against Apple, Microsoft and Linux.
 


I actually remember Jean-Louis Gassée demonstrating this OS long ago, which was very promising at the time...
I ran BeOS on a UMAX Mac clone back then. It was a fun OS to program. (Actually, it was my favorite OS, period, sigh...)

But, "Would Tim Berners-Lee have used a BeBox to run the world’s first web server instead?" The web was well on its way before the first Be release.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
But, "Would Tim Berners-Lee have used a BeBox to run the world’s first web server instead?" The web was well on its way before the first Be release.
Well...
Wikipedia said:
BeOS
BeOS is an operating system for personal computers first developed by Be Inc. in 1991.

World Wide Web
... English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He wrote the first web browser in 1990 while employed at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The browser was released outside CERN in 1991, first to other research institutions starting in January 1991 and then to the general public in August 1991.

MacInTouch
... The MacInTouch Home Page website, created by Ric Ford in 1994...
The web was not yet "well on its way" in 1991; in fact, it was still nascent in 1994.
 


Well...

The web was not yet "well on its way" in 1991. It was still nascent in 1994.
Well, "first developed" and "released" are two different things. The same article lists the first PowerPC developer release as 1996 (I think I still have that CD somewhere). The earlier Hobbit releases don't really count, because the Hobbit BeBox was never released (see AT&T Hobbit on Wikipedia). So BeOS wasn't readily available when Berners-Lee was inventing the web.

By February '95, I had designed my first commercial web page.

Nonetheless, it was a shame. It was the last OS I was excited about.
 


I actually remember Jean-Louis Gassée demonstrating this OS long ago, which was very promising at the time...
I still have a BeOS 4 manual, CD and floppy on my bookshelf. This particular version says for PowerPC and Intel processors, I recall running it on my Power Mac 8500 back in the day.
 


The web was not yet "well on its way" in 1991; in fact, it was still nascent in 1994.
I recall using Mosaic in 1994 and there was a "What's New" page with listings of new web sites that had just come online so it was easy to check out the handful of new sites.

How quaint that seems today.
Mosaic (web browser) - Wikipedia
In November 1992, there were twenty-six websites in the world[28] and each one attracted attention. In its release year of 1993, Mosaic had a What's New page, and about one new link was being added per day.
 


Some of the old-timers here will possibly remember running a WebSTAR web server, or even its predecessor MacHTTP. It was so cutting edge to have your own domain and web server content instead of relying on a BBS.

Today, I consider the reverse is happening with products such as Facebook and Instagram acting as the one-stop shop for that presence which use to be sites such as AOL, eWorld, and CompuServe. These are now replacing the personal or small company web sites we once had and cultivated.
 





I recall using Mosaic in 1994 and there was a "What's New" page with listings of new web sites that had just come online so it was easy to check out the handful of new sites.
How quaint that seems today.
[FYI:]
Wikipedia said:
AMosaic
AMosaic is a discontinued Amiga port of the Mosaic web browser, developed beginning in 1993,[1] and was the first graphical web browser for the Amiga. ... The first version was released to the public on December 25, 1993,
 



While perusing the YouTube videos I came across this video about Apple A/UX.
I actually have (somewhere around here...) a CD-ROM with an A/UX installer. At one point, I tried to install it on my Quadra 840av, but I could never get the installer to run, let alone complete. I quickly wrote it off as a bad idea and didn't look back.
 


By February '95, I had designed my first commercial web page.
I coded my first site sometime in 1995 as well (www.servantis.com). I have (very low-resolution!) screen captures in my portfolio, but the site itself is long gone, even from the Wayback Machine. We were acquired by CheckFree in 1996, and I led their new media team until I left in mid-1998.
 


Ric Ford said:
I actually remember Jean-Louis Gassée demonstrating this OS long ago, which was very promising at the time...
Perhaps one day the Haiku operating system will receive the effort required for it to be stable and robust enough for daily use.
What is Haiku?
Haiku is a fast, efficient, easy to use and lean open source operating system inspired by the BeOS that specifically targets personal computing. It is also the name of the project that develops and promotes Haiku the operating system.
 


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