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Petro May 26, 2000 05:45 PM
What is a Macintosh IIsi?
Hi to You all!

A friend of mine gave a Mac but sins im not familiar with this computers I dont know if its worth to buy a monitor and keyboard to it... It starts with a "ding-dong" sound and i hear the harddrive loading an OS...
Heres what I know about it:

Macitosh IIsi,
4 30-pin ram moduls,
350 mb SCSI harddrive,
Floppy without ejectbutton (software driven in/out on floppy?).

Do someone know what speed it runs at and if its "strong" enough for internet?
Can I connect a CD-rom to it?
Can You mail a link to a website where I can read more about it?

Hoping for answer!

Have a good time,
Petro Larsson in Sweden
wlonh May 26, 2000 06:00 PM

pretty slow

almost forgot:

[This message has been edited by wlonh (edited 05-26-2000).]
Idler May 27, 2000 12:25 AM
Also this

My recommendation is since the one you have does not have a monitor, keyboard and with only small amount of memory, you would be better off putting it away and buy a used early Power Macintosh system if you want a cheap system.
DBursey May 27, 2000 10:28 AM
I have a Mac IIsi, as well as an iMac DV/SE. The IIsi has an exterior CD-ROM (4x). It was 'upgraded' to 17Mb of memory and has a 20MHz chip overclocked to 25MHz. Impressive, eh? I got a lot of miles out of that machine, and yes; I 'cruised' the 'net using an external 28.8 k modem and running Netscape 3.x. The IIsi served me well for a number of years.

These days, accustomed as I am to my 400MHz iMac DV/SE beauty, firing up the old IIsi feels like jogging uphill in thick mud with a crippling weight on my back. You'll get to where you're going, but you'll seriously question the effort it takes!

Paul P May 28, 2000 06:14 PM
The problem with these older Macs, besides their slowness, is that it's expensive to add anything to them, like memory or a CD drive.

I'd recommend running a IIsi with System 7.1, because it'll run quicker and need less memory than with 7.5. For Internet purposes, though, that leaves you with Netscape v2. I don't know what version of Internet Explorer runs under 7.1.

If you go with 7.1, Apple should still have their free update to that system in their Support area.

I agree with Idler - I'd recommend an older Power Mac, especially one with the processor on a daughtercard, since 604 daughtercards and similar upgrades are pretty cheap, often pulled out of machines when people upgrade and have no use for them.
jonlipka May 29, 2000 03:49 PM
If you were going to run that IIsi, I'd even consider running a system as low as you can, 6.07/6.08 or 7.01, as even 7.01 runs somewhat faster than 7.1. And 7.5 is really out of the question. Also, unless you needed the "high graphical capabilities" of Netscape 2, consider Netscape 1.1 and MacLynx as a useful combo. I personally do about 1/2 of my surfing from MacLynx or from a Linux box with lynx. It's so much faster.

However, don't discount that good little box. I realize that I might be feeling ultra-nostalgic, especially after cleaning up my floppy archives and coming across System 2.01, System 5.0, and various System 6-7s. <tear rolls down cheek as thoughts of 2.01 bubble to the surface>

But realistically, I've trashed a lot of IIsi's, -ci's, fx's, x's, cx's, etc, etc, and that was a couple of years ago.
TheDoctor Jun 2, 2000 10:03 AM
Actually, the IIsi is a fairly decent system. It has a fast 68030 CPU and can be upgraded to 65 MB of RAM. As far as System 7.5 being too slow on these, I must disagree. If you have 17 MB of RAM or more, I'd say go for it. I'm running System 7.5.5 on two SE/30's with 20 MB of RAM each, and they are pretty quick. Stay away from System 7.0.1. It had some nasty bugs. System 7.1 is good, though. If you have enough RAM, you might even want to consider System 7.6.1. The IIsi will run it, and 7.6.1 is said to be much faster then 7.5.5.
If you want to run this beastie as your main internet machine, it can be done, but it will probably be quite slow. You may want to check out the system requirements for iCab. It's been said to be a really good browser option.
As far as monitors go, you should be able to get an adapter to use an inexpensive PC VGA monitors with it.
I certainly wouldn't trash it just because it's old.
TheDoctor Jun 2, 2000 10:07 AM
Forgot to mention CD-ROM's. It's a piece of cake to hook up an external CD to one of these.
Steven Belknap Jun 4, 2000 03:24 PM
We had a donation of 10 Mac IIsi machines to our University 5 years ago. We are using them in the lab to run assay equipment and as ftp servers and listservs. When we buy new equipment, we put some money in the budget for (currently) a G4 Mac. When we get the G4 Mac, we use it as a general purpose machine and hook up one of the IIsi machines to the new assay equipment.

I recommend installing 17 megs of RAM, putting in a 1 gig hard drive, and putting in an ethernet card. The total cost of doing this is about 60% less than buying the cheapest iMac (assuming you are getting the IIsi for free). The economics work out even better in a typical University environment where you can find discarded RAM and hard drives without much trouble. It is not worth it to put in an accelerator card. If you are going to do that, just get a cheap used 601 PowerPC instead.

As for OS, I recommend MacOS 7.6.1. In our experience, this is rock solid stable on a IIsi with 17 megs of RAM. ClarisWorks 4 runs on this configuration with good performance. I run an old version of Mathematica on one of the IIsi machines. Works great as an extremely powerful calculator, since it is right there in the lab. (The best tool is often the one closest at hand.)

Don't use 7.01, it is not stable and will eventually screw up your file directories. 7.5 is stable, but too slow. 7.6.1 is almost as fast as 7.1, so that is the way to go. You can turn off a lot of the extraneous control panels and extensions and strip out all but essential fonts to gain speed and RAM.

The IIsi was an amazing value in its day. Consider that we still find them useful today, that is a pretty good total cost of ownership. They also sold a lot of 'em.
Avon Jun 17, 2000 10:44 PM
Please SAVE your money!!! It is absolutly not worth upgrading a II si!!! for 600% of an iMac you can buy a decent PPC on eBay!! for god sakes man! this is a II si! It runs at a woping 20 Mhz!!

dont get me wrong I love old macs. I dont even know how many macs I have. It isnt even worth upgrading a quadra let alone a IIsi.

I just find a (free) monitor for my old macs and use them every once in a while....
buffalo Jun 18, 2000 06:04 AM
You all missed the ? he had what is it can he use it it was given to him and can not afford an iMac.
1 yes the ding sound means its working
2 yes the floppy is software driven so don't have an eject button.
3 if you can't find an apple monitor with its specal monitor jack there is an adaptor to use a pc monitor on it you can get it at e-bay for 3-5 dollars
4 yes you can surf the net if you 1 have an ex. modem and 2 are running system 7.1 or higher microsoft ie 4.5 or lower will ran on system 7.1
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