They don’t make them like they used to
March 6, 2011 Leave a comment
I am in the process of wiping the drives of two computers which are about to be donated to a HS computer science class – a first generation macbook pro laptop with a severely damaged keyboard and dead battery, and a G4 cube. The macbook is a perfectly nice firewire target, and the “erase” worked exactly the way I expected. The cube, on the other hand, won’t work as a firewire target because I’d have to wait, and I don’t like waiting.
So I managed to find the initial installation disk that came with the cube (!) which I actually still had because I am a huge pack rat, and it turned out that it’s OS9. I had forgotten that we got the cube during the 3 months when it was the hot new thing – in 1999 – and it’s moved through several apartments and houses. That is a really nice piece of engineering: it, like the Newton, was before its time – the mac mini now fills a similar role, and there are lots of tiny tiny desktops out there, but the way that cool air is drawn from the bottom up through the chassis is a thing of beauty.
Also surprising to me is that firewire 400 ports and USB 1.0 ports were brand new on the cube, but those peripherals still work just fine with modern machines. Good job, Apple!