Apple Archive

Quadras Still Useful

- 2000.08.25

When released in 1991, the 25 MHz Quadra 700 and 900 were the fastest computers available. It was what all the graphics professionals were using. Having a 33 MHz Quadra 800 or 40 MHz 840av in 1993 was like having a PowerMac G4/500 today.

Although Quadras are getting on, they are by no means useless. There is a lot you can do with them. Remember, the Quadra was an incredibly advanced machine in its day. Some of the things you can do with a Quadra are get on the Internet, check email, do word processing, and run Quicken to keep track of finances.

To use the Internet, you can use a browser like Netscape Navigator 4.0.8. You can also try Internet Explorer 4.0. Navigator is slower, but it is still able to work with secure sites. Internet Explorer is faster and loads pages more quickly, but it is unable to work with secure sites or current QuickTime versions and movies. You can obtain Netscape at the Netscape FTP site. Internet Explorer can be found on old MacAddict CDs as well as CDs from books such as "Mac Secrets" and the "Mac Upgrade and Repair Bible".

For email, both Claris Emailer Lite and Outlook Express 4.0 work well. Emailer Lite is great for simple things and single accounts. It is easy to use, quick, and provides a number of features. It's free, but Apple is no longer giving it out. You can find it on the Apple Internet Connection CD or on some of the Performa CD's.

However, I prefer Outlook Express. It, too, is free and provides multiple account support and even an address book. Outlook Express can usually be found at the same places you can find Internet Explorer 4.0.

For word processing, you can use everything from ClarisWorks/AppleWorks to Microsoft Word. AppleWorks 5 works great on most 68K Macs, provides a lot of features, and can do spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, and some limited communications.

There is also WordPerfect. It's a great program with many features. For some reason, it never caught on. WordPerfect has been bought and sold a few times, but nowadays Corel owns it. They had been giving out a free copy of Word Perfect 3.5e on their website.

For a while, there was a pretty good "works" program called Symantec GreatWorks. Apple even bundled it with a couple of their Performa computers in the early 90s. If you happen to have a copy, you may want to install it on your Quadra. It's a pretty good program, and runs pretty fast. As a point of interest, it will even run great on a G3 with OS 8.6. ClarisWorks, versions 2-5, will also work great. A later version of ClarisWorks, AppleWorks 5, will run great on any Mac from a Mac II to a G4.

Then, of course, there is the word processor that everyone has heard of - Microsoft Word. Quadras word great with Microsoft Word 6, if you have a copy, and you can also use older versions such as 5.0 or 5.1.

If you want, you can even use the whole Microsoft Office version 3.0 (with Microsoft Word 5.1, Excel 4, and PowerPoint 3.0) or the 4.2 suite, which includes Microsoft Word 6.0.1, Excel 5, and PowerPoint 4.

To keep track of finances, you can install programs such as Quicken 4, which will run pretty fast, but you can use 98 if you have a large hard drive and at least 8 MB of RAM.

You can do all these things on an old Quadra. If you find you don't need your Quadra, try to find someone who could use it. My suggestion is to donate it to a school, or if you don't want to fill out paperwork, just find a teacher who needs a computer for the classroom and give it to him or her.

A Quadra is still a useful computer these days. However, a Quadra is not a G4. You cannot expect it to be. If you do need something that fast, you'll need to get an iMac or G4.

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