Umax SuperMac S900L
Pulsar in UK
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The S900 was Umax's second most powerful, most expandable computer and the last production Maclone with 6 expansion slots. (The S910, with a removable 1 MB level 2 cache, slightly outperformed the S900L.)
NOTE: The second CPU slot only accepts a Umax SuperMac secondary processor card. You cannot use any other type of card in that slot.
Umax did acquire a Mac OS 8 license from Apple, the only cloner to do so, and the version 5 installer CDs shipped with Mac OS 8.
- S900/150. 150 MHz 604e processor
- S900/180. 180 MHz 604e processor
- S900/180DP. Two 180 MHz 604e processors
- S900/200. 200 MHz 604e processor
- S900/200DP. Two 200 MHz 604e processors
- S900/225. 225 MHz 604e processor
- S900/233. 233 MHz 604e processor
- S900/250. 250 MHz 604e processor
- S900/250DP. Two 250 MHz 604e processors
- S900/G3. G3 processor bundled with system
- introduced: August 1996
- requires System 7.5.3 through 9.1
- CPU: 180-250 MHz 604e, upgradable with standard daughter card
- second CPU: ASPD slot for adding second CPU, allows for dual processing (see Second Processor for SuperMac S900/910 for more details)
- bus: nominal 50 MHz (varies from 45 to 51.428 MHz, depending on the speed CPU)
- RAM: 16-64 MB (16 MB on motherboard), expandable by an additional 1,024MB (1 GB!) using 8 DIMM slots and 70ns 5 volt EDO or fast-page DRAM; memory can be interleaved
- Video: ixMicro Twin Turbo Graphics Accelerator standard with 4-8 MB VRAM, resolutions to 1920x1080, 24-bit color to 1152 x 870 with 4 MB, to 1920x1080 with 8 MB
- L2 cache: 512k
- hard drive: 2 GB or 4 GB SCSI-2, Ultra SCSI, or RAID
- CD-ROM: 6.7x (150 MHz), 8x (180-233 MHz), or 24x (250 MHz, G3)
- Zip drive: optional
- Internal and external Fast SCSI busses (upgradable to Ultra Wide SCSI-3 with E100 card)
- ADB: 2 ports for keyboard and mouse
- two miniDIN-8 GeoPorts on back of computer
- DB-25 SCSI connector on back of computer with SCSI-1 support
- PCI slots: 6
- ethernet: built in, upgradable to 100Base-T with E100 card
- size (HxWxD): 17.25" x 7.0" x 17.5"
- weight: 28 lb.
Accelerators & Upgrades
- Low End Mac's Compleat Guide to Mac OS 9, 2008 edition, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.05.12. Declared dead by Steve Jobs 6 years ago, Mac OS 9 remains fast and stable, but Classic software hasn't kept up with Web changes. What Macs support OS 9, where to buy it, and how to update to version 9.2.2.
- Leopard on Pre-AGP, MacTech, 2008.09.03. How to get OS X 10.5 running on a Yikes! Power Mac G4, G4-upgraded Blue & White or Beige Power Mac G3, or PCI Power Mac (or clone) with a G4 daughter card.
- Purposeful reincarnation for old Macs, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.08.26. The key is to avoid spending more on upgrades than the final use of the machine can justify.
- PCI Power Macs great for Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3, Jonathan Haack, My Turn, 2007.10.30. Thanks to XPostFacto, you don't need a modern Mac to run OS X, just a Power Mac with a G3 daughter card.
- Hacking Mac OS 7.6.1 so many Mac OS 8 apps will run, Max Wallgren, Mac Daniel, 2007.10.30. With a little ResEdit work and a second copy of your System Folder, you can run a lot of OS 8 apps with Mac OS 7.6.1.
- Mac System 7.5.5 can do anything Mac OS 7.6.1 can, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.06.04. Yes, it is possible to run Internet Explorer 5.1.7 and SoundJam with System 7.5.5. You just need to have all the updates - and make one modification for SoundJam.
- Format any drive for older Macs with patched Apple tools, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.04.25. Apple HD SC Setup and Drive Setup only work with Apple branded hard drives - until you apply the patches linked to this article.
- SATA and PCI Power Macs: No OS X joy, but you can boot OS 9, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.17. Weeks of experimention find that while you can't seem to boot a pre-G3 Power Mac into OS X from a SATA hard drive, you can at least boot OS 9 from it.
- Musings on low-end SATA cards in PCI Power Macs, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.06. Thoughts on why the inexpensive SATA card might almost work in a pre-G3 PCI Power Mac.
- Old Power Macs and SATA not a marriage made in heaven, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.11.03. The PCI SATA card said blue & white G3 or newer and Mac OS 8.6 or later, but maybe it would work in an older pre-G3 Power Mac....
- System 7 Today, advocates of Apple's 'orphan' Mac OS 7.6.1, Tommy Thomas, Welcome to Macintosh, 2006.10.26. Why Mac OS 7.6.1 is far better for 68040 and PowerPC Macs than System 7.5.x.
- Mac OS 8 and 8.1: Maximum size, maximum convenience, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2006.09.11. Mac OS 8 and 8.1 add some useful new features and tools, and it can even be practical on 68030-based Macs.
- Installing Linux on a PCI Power Mac, Part 1, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.09.05. Preparing your PCI Power Mac (or clone) for Linux and getting openSUSE Linux installed.
- Customizing Mac OS 9, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.08.01. Fiddling with themes, picking a browser, and making the Classic Mac OS work just the way you want it to.
- The ins and outs of booting Linux on the Mac, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.07.31. "Old World" Macs can't boot directly into Linux. They need to boot the Classic Mac OS first, then pass control over to Linux.
- Preparing your PCI Power Mac for Linux, Larry Stotler, Linux on the Low End, 2006.07.26. How powerful a CPU do you need? How much memory? Do you need a faster drive controller? Are some video cards better than others?
- Getting the Mac digital jukebox up and running, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.05.08. Connecting your PowerPC Mac to your rstereo and remote control options for running a headless digital audio jukebox.
- System 7.6.1 is perfect for many older Macs, John Martorana, That Old Mac Magic, 2006.03.24. Want the best speed from your old Mac? System 7.6.1 can give you that with a fairly small memory footprint - also helpful on older Macs.
- Web browser tips for the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.01.03. Tips on getting the most out of WaMCom, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, iCab, Opera, and WannaBe using the classic Mac OS.
- The best browsers for PowerPC Macs and the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2005.12.16. Two browsers stand out from the pack: iCab 3 is modern and remains under development, and WaMCom brings Mozilla to older Macs.
- How Big a Hard Drive Can I Put in My iMac, eMac, Power Mac, PowerBook, or iBook?, Dan Knight, Mac Daniel, 2005.10.24. A lot of older Macs don't know how to deal with drives over 128 GB in size. We look at three options.
- Sonata SD, Sonnet Tech, 2004.06.01. First new PCI video card for the Mac in ages sells for just US$99, supports OS 7.5.3 and later plus OS X 10.1.5 and later, works with VGA or old Mac monitors, 16 MB VRAM.
- SuperMac Insider
- Installing OS X on a SuperMac S900, Bill Rose, Unofficial SuperMac Support Site, 2002.01.29. The trials and tribulations of installing Mac OS X on an unsupported SuperMac.
- The ultimate S900!
- SuperMac, Seagate, and USB, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 11/13/00. Hard drive nightmares, but a new USB card installs like a dream.
- The SuperMac S900 Letters, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 9/28/00. Tips on dealing with slow startups and computer noise.
- More SuperMac S900 adventures, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 9/11/00. The S900 is working fine, but still hasn't seen a lot of use.
- Umax E100 card compatibility reports, Accelerate Your Mac!.
- The S900 Chronicles, Mac Metamorphosis, 1/7/00
- Upgrades: SuperMac S900, MacSpeedZone
- Mac OS 8.5 Issues on Umax SuperMac
- Umax S900 Tips, Accelerate Your Mac
- SuperMacs email list
- Pulsar profile on IMC site (UK)
- The J700 and S900 have a PCI bridge chip controlling all PCI slots except the first two, which use the normal Apple chip. As a result, only cards that are PCI 2.1 compliant can be installed in slots 3-6 (3-4 for J700). Problematic cards are usually older SCSI cards, and, for some reason, ixMicro cards such as Ultimate Rez (but not the older ixMicro Twin Turbo cards). There are claims that even ixMicro-branded cards have slot preference, and in a multiple-card setup at least one has to be in slot 1 or 2, while the other can be in slot 4 or 5.
- Newer Tech recommends against using EDO memory in the J700 and S900, because these models have "occasionally exhibited some problems when running with EDO memory. These problems tend to become more pronounced when updating your machine with a G3 card. . . . Therefore, we are recommending people to stick with FPM (Fast Page Memory) in these machines. If you are already running EDO memory without apparent problems, we certainly don't mean to imply that you should be having problems, merely that you could have some."
- Umax suggests updating the J700 and S900 to version 2.0.2 of the Licensing Extension if you're using Mac OS 8 or 8.1. <http://www.kennedybrandt.com/supermac_insidersupport/sw.html>
- The version of FWB Hard Disk Toolkit that ships with most SuperMacs is not compatible with Mac OS 8 or later. You must use version 2.0.6 or later, available on the Umax software updates page. Be sure to install the new drivers on your hard drive before you run the OS 8 installer. Also, you must be sure that you do not update the driver on your hard drive during OS 8 installation. Using an older version of FWB HDT or the Apple driver on the SCSI drive that came with the SuperMac may so botch the hard drive structure that you will need to reformat it and reinstall everything. (As always, you should do a full backup before installing new drivers or updating your operating system.)
- If your monitor is coming up green with extensions off or until the entire system is loaded, you can adjust the TwinTurbo card to change this behavior. Be sure the computer is off, disconnect the monitor, remove the cover, ground yourself by touching the power supply, the carefully remove the video card. Next to the video ports is a jumper marked JP4. Remove it from the two pins it's on and move it to the other end (it must still be on the middle pin). Reinsert the card, connect your monitor, and do a quick boot with extensions off (hold down the shift key while starting). If it's not green, shut down the computer, seal it up, and go back to work. If the green should persist, put the JP4 jumper back where it was. (According to Sync on Green Returns on Restart, the 8 MB card does not have a JP4 jumper.)
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