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The W - Internet & Computers - Pulling out an old Mac hard drive
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dWs
Chorizo








Since: 26.2.09
From: Humpty Doo, Australia

Since last post: 5 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.06
I have an old Macintosh Performa 6116, circa 1995, that is finally going to the great Recycled Computer After-life. The monitor, casing and other peripherals are as good as gone, but I'm considering pulling out the hard drive and keeping it. Reason is: I have a bunch of old design files from the early days of my career and would like to keep them around in some form. I switched over to PC circa 1998, and have sworn off every using a Mac as my main machine, ever again.

I've looked around online and have only found limited resources for pulling out a hard drive on a Mac Performa. It's obviously an older model. Does anybody here have any practical, hands-on, experience with such a project? Also, I'm curious if it's even worth it and if it'll actually work with my PC, since most of the connections on this Mac are SCSI ports.

Worst case: I can transfer all my vital files to the old nasty Iomega Zip Drive that's hooked up to the Mac. Then put a bullet in the thing and send it on its way.



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Lise
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Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 389 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
Yikes... a Zip Drive. (Man, I wonder how much stuff I have sitting around on Zip Disks somewhere?)

If you can get an external hard drive enclosure that will work with the drive (maybe eBay?) I'd keep it and copy it over to your current computer.

If you have a local computer shop that does repairs, see if they might have an enclosure you could rent/borrow and/or pay them to make a CD or DVD of your files.
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.50
    Originally posted by Lise
    Yikes... a Zip Drive. (Man, I wonder how much stuff I have sitting around on Zip Disks somewhere?)

    If you can get an external hard drive enclosure that will work with the drive (maybe eBay?) I'd keep it and copy it over to your current computer.

    If you have a local computer shop that does repairs, see if they might have an enclosure you could rent/borrow and/or pay them to make a CD or DVD of your files.

I don't know how well that would work. You're probably looking at a SCSI hard drive in that Performa - I don't think they were using IDE back then. Most of the enclosures you find will be for SATA or IDE.

You might be better off booting up the old mac if you can and transferring it over a network connection. Is it dead, or is it "good as gone" because you are throwing it out?




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Since: 26.2.09
From: Humpty Doo, Australia

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 3 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.06
    Originally posted by Guru Zim

    You're probably looking at a SCSI hard drive in that Performa - I don't think they were using IDE back then. Most of the enclosures you find will be for SATA or IDE.

    You might be better off booting up the old mac if you can and transferring it over a network connection. Is it dead, or is it "good as gone" because you are throwing it out?



It's still available to be plugged in and fired up, but it's essentially a "dumb terminal" with no readily available network connection.

Fairly certain it's a SCSI hard drive, too. I'm thinking the Zip idea might be the easiest. I rationed off my Zip disks back in the day, thinking I would only use them when needed. Yet it's been about 10 years and I still have four empty Zip disks (from a pack of 5) sitting around. I know it's like transferring your 8-tracks to cassette tape, but I can't think of an easier way.

Also, I haven't used them in over 10 years, but I'm scared to face The Future without Spin Doctor Challenge or ClarisWorks. Although there was an incredibly efficient and cool RISK game on my Mac that I downloaded from AOL, circa 1996.



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DJ FrostyFreeze
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 15 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.34
Read it and weep, fella


    Originally posted by dWs
    II switched over to PC circa 1998, and have sworn off every using a Mac as my main machine, ever again.
I've heard/read this statement several times before, but always the other way around. May I ask why you swore off Macs?



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.50
Well, those macs sucked. That would have been the end of System 9 if you didn't upgrade right before you swore them off.

Pre OS X, Macs were a mess.

I swore them off after System 7, but I've been brought back into the fold (slightly).

I just need more money.

(edited by Guru Zim on 23.6.09 1523)



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Since: 26.2.09
From: Humpty Doo, Australia

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 3 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.24
[quote DJ FrostyFreezeI've heard/read this statement several times before, but always the other way around. May I ask why you swore off Macs?

I don't think we want to degenerate into the ol' "Mac vs. PC" debate, but my reasoning had to do with software unavailability, lack of network compatibility and the complete loss of a holiday weekend because of those two issues. Keep in mind that this was 1998.

Every place I worked was on a PC system. Everyone had MsOffice and the like. They would need me to create a document in MSOffice... of course there was no exact Office stand-in for Mac. I would use programs that would emulate MSOffice and return a supposedly compatible ".doc" file... but the PC users would open it and what had been three pages was now four pages.

Also, I was unable to log into a client's file server via FTP, simply because their server had no need to interface with a Mac. Same settings, same connection, but I switched to a PC and I was able to get into the server. Took me the whole weekend to isolate that problem. T

Oh yeah, plus EA Sports Madden '99 was only available on PC. All my friends and colleagues had PC software of which 1% worked on my Mac. I remember walking into the big box electronics stores and a tidy 2 feet of shelf space offering Mac crap...and the rest of the store filled with PC crap.

To me it was like having an awesome car... but it used Diesel and could only drive on the left side of the road. Backwards.

Even today, I still find font issues with supposedly 100% compatible cross-platform stuff (Quark and InDesign especially). Say, 100 characters of Helvetica will fill roughly a 3 inch x 3 inch space on a PC. Switch to a Mac and suddenly a 3 inch x 3 inch space now occupies 3.18 inch x 3.18 inch (these are rough estimates... don't get picky on me, Mac-heads).Or vice versa.

Recently (Jan 2009), I sent out a high-quality press-ready 24-page PDF to a service bureau. For some reason, on three pages, the service bureau was seeing negative images. They had no idea what could be causing it. All my images were the same file format, resolution, etc. One page even had gobbly-de-gook for the text. I checked my file on several different PCs and re-created it, but was not able to see the problem. But, tee-hee...they had a Mac. Tee-hee..they no longer have my business.

I want to be able to work and not have these ridiculous wildcard compatibility issues.



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Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 7 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.53
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Pre OS X, Macs were a mess.


It depends on what you wanted to do. There were some very powerful audio tools that were developed for OS 8.6 - 9.2 that were not available on any other platform. Back then, windows wasn't really an option for me.

I think *everything* was pretty much a mess compared to today.

    Originally posted by dWs
    Recently (Jan 2009), I sent out a high-quality press-ready 24-page PDF to a service bureau. For some reason, on three pages, the service bureau was seeing negative images. They had no idea what could be causing it. All my images were the same file format, resolution, etc


I've *heard* there were some issues with Preview. My guess is that the service bureau wasn't using Adobe Reader to view the file. Preview is nice, but I wouldn't use it for professional work.




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odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 97 days
Last activity: 64 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03

I still have my Performa 450 somewhere in our house.

It served me well in grad school, playing countless hours of Civ II.

And writing conference papers too.





Mark Coale
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Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 389 days
Last activity: 11 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.60
Ok, my memory is a little fuzzy, but you should be able to move files mac to PC via the zip drive. However, there is a trick. I believe you have to format the discs to PC formatting, because the Mac will read both but the PC won't. I know I used to do collaborations back and forth via zip disk (I had a PC, my collaborator had a Mac) and it was a little wonky. Be sure to look it up before you go this route. (I also don't remember if the drive itself is cross platform compatable...) I'd try to get the files on a new system rather quickly rather than rely on the zip disk for storage. I personally had bad luck with zip disks going bad over time.
DJ FrostyFreeze
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.34
Read it and weep, fella


    Originally posted by dWs
    I don't think we want to degenerate into the ol' "Mac vs. PC" debate
No sir, we dont want no trouble!

I shouldve kept in mind that you said you swore off Macs in the 90's. I'm pretty sure they werent working as hard to be compatible with PCs as they are now.

I've always been a PC guy, but I recently came into ownership of a G5 last year. I also just replaced my PC a couple weeks ago, and I finally figured out how to get them to share files, folders, and a printer last week. Other than still trying to find decent programs that are Mac-equivalent versions of my favorite WinXP programs, everything has been smooth sailing so far.

//edit: Not even in a hide tag. No.

(edited by Guru Zim on 24.6.09 0916)


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drjayphd
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Since: 22.4.02
From: Long Island

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.54
(deleted by Guru Zim on 24.6.09 0916)
dWs
Chorizo








Since: 26.2.09
From: Humpty Doo, Australia

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 3 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.24
Cross-compatibility with my files hasn't been much of an issue for me. You're right, use PC-formatted disks and you'll be fine. It's old school 80's "computer programming" but I discovered early on the value of the three letter file extension suffix in all file names, whether I was working on PC or Mac. TIF, DOC, QXP, EPS, etc.

My lingering issue with PC vs. Mac is still the font problem. PC Arial still does not equal Mac Helvetica, 100%. Even the Mac "Arial" or the PC "Helvetica" still have minor differences. May not seem like much for most folks, since it really only comes into play when you're dealing with print production.

The Zip transition went okay. Took awhile, but I was easily able to copy all my junk. I eventually want to burn all my Zip data to a CD and trash the actual Zip discs. I'm sure I'll get around to that one of these days, right after I watch some more movies, build a hovercraft from a vacuum cleaner, waste more time on the Internets and other Important Stuff.

I was a little surprised that Micro Center didn't offer some sort of SCSI to USB cable. They've surprised me with other wacky USB junk in the past, but not this time.



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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 11 days
Last activity: 3 hours
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.51
Can't you just embed the font in the PDF and call it a day? I thought that was the fix for font compatability issues with printing PDF.




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Since: 26.2.09
From: Humpty Doo, Australia

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 3 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.24
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Can't you just embed the font in the PDF and call it a day? I thought that was the fix for font compatability issues with printing PDF.

For printing, sure. If you're done working with your source document and have no further edits...then convert it to PDF and you're done. It should be the same on all machines. That's the beauty of PDF. In theory, at least. I had that weird printing issue in January, but it could very well have been a random wildcard.

But my problem is if you need to edit your source document later; and suddenly have to do so on a PC instead of a Mac; you might encounter some problems. That's where the fonts don't always line up for me.

This has led some people (not me, honest!) to simply open the PDF in something like Adobe Illustrator, edit the text that way (which is a bitch, since it's not a word processing program) and think they've accomplished something. This usually increases the file size of your PDF substantially and can generate more problems. Like: text and images may render differently, although you don't realize it.



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As discussed here http://the-w.com/thread.php/id=26527 , you could download OpenOffice.Org. It will allow you to open and save to both Word Files and PDF files. The bad part is that OpenOffice.org is about 60 MB to download.
- Mr. Boffo, Little E-Book Help (2005)
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