Matt's Macs

A Quadra after All These Years!

Hardware and Software Closure

- 2001.03.15 - Tip Jar

This column was first published in the MUGOO Newsletter in August 2000.

With Mac OS 8.1 installed, my Mac and I enjoyed some degree of stability. The bugs in 8.0 had been eliminated Performa 635for the most part. However, having 8.1 meant setting aside 40% of my 250 GB hard drive for the OS. It was necessary to use my 100 MB Zip drive to run applications such as Netscape. My 20 MB of RAM was a being fully utilized with no margins or buffer. My Mac was working, but it was being pushed to the limit.

At the time, I was at a crossroads: Do I buy a new Mac. To me the question was: Is my Mac maxed out? The answer was no. There were still upgrades to RAM, hard drive, MPEG and TV/Tuner cards, not to mention after-market pricing for a scanner and digital camera. My choice was to buy an iMac or upgrade.

I kept my Performa and bought the card. I now enjoyed fun watching Star Trek while working on Quicken spreadsheets. I learned to take color pictures using my video camera attached to the TV tuner card and using Quick cam digitizing video software. Yes!

Reality hit with processing movies and pictures. I need more RAM, hard drive space, and speed to manipulate photos and movies. Again the choice, an iMac or an upgrade. Below were my choices:

ITEM Old New Price
CPU 68LC040 68040 $40
RAM 20 MB 36 MB $75
Hard Disk 250 MB 4.3 GB $120

Total Upgrade Price

iMac $999

Serial/SCSI to USB interface


Total New Mac Price


The price to upgrade my 1994 vintage Performa (now Quadra) was 25% of the cost of an iMac. The choice to upgrade my Performa to make it a full grown, no holds barred Quadra was easy.

At this time, my Quadra has run flawlessly for seven months. No more crashes or out of memory messages. I noticed immediate gains in performance after installing additional RAM and the 4.3 GB hard drive. The increases were very modest, but nonetheless very apparent, especially when touching up a picture using Adobe Photo Deluxe.

And now I am saving for a G4 with a 17 inch monitor, and I count pennies while watching Star Trek.

Next Time: The movies!

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