Vintage Mac News

A Visual History of Apple's Mouse, PowerPC Browser Update, and More Vintage Mac News

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.11.30

News & Opinion

Vintage Mac Deals

Vintage Mac News is a roundup of news related to vintage Macs* and other older Apple products. For other Mac and Apple news, see Mac News Review. For iBook, PowerBook, and other portable news, see The 'Book Review. iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in iOS News Review.

Purchases made through links to and Apple's iTunes/iBook/App/Mac App Store support Low End Mac.

News & Opinion

A Visual History of Apple's Mouse

Stephen Hackett shares a history of the Apple mouse complete with photos on 512 Pixels, starting with the mouse for the 1983 Lisa.

Apple Lisaoriginal Mac mouseoriginal ADB mousesecond ADB mouse
round Mac USB mouseApple Pro MouseApple Magic MouseApple Magic Trackpad
Apple's mouse, 1983 to present.

The Macquarium That Wasn't Meant to Be

The Vintage Mac Museum's Adam Rosen writes:

Macquarioum"A few years back I purchased a Macquarium on eBay, one actually sold as a kit rather than a DIY project. All the little pieces of the case internally which needed to be cut or trimmed were already cut and trimmed, and the kit included a plexiglass tank, pump, heater, light and some fake plants."

"Like other projects at the Vintage Mac Museum this one was proceeding slowly . . . I decided it was time to actually get the thing working."

After sharing his tribulations getting everything to work and keeping fish alive, Rosen shares the lessons learned:

  • this aquarium thing is not as easy as it looks
  • a classic Mac looks cool as a Macquarium, but the design is not optimal
  • next time I'll start with just one or two fish (if there's a next time)
  • maybe the After Dark fish module isn't a bad solution after all!

TenFourFox 17.0 Web Browser Optimized for PowerPC

PR: TenFourFox 17.0 web browser enables PowerPC Macs running OS X 10.4.11 or later to use (almost) exactly the same code as Firefox ESR 17, and surf the same sites, but with the code needed to support Power Macs.

This latest TenFourFox version includes "All supported standard features of Firefox 11 through Firefox 17, including improved JavaScript performance, CoreGraphics accelerated canvas, faster screen updates, additional HTML5 and CSS 3 features, SPDY-enhanced encrypted networking, a smarter URL bar, integrated downloads and new web developer features."

Be sure to read the Release Notes, the official TenFourFox FAQ and the list of known bugs before you begin. Then pick the version for your processor (older versions also available, or securely download files over SSL):

  • TenFourFox for G3 processors
  • TenFourFox for G4 processors: 7400 | 7450 ("G4e")
  • TenFourFox for G5 processors

10.0.11 is also available for 10.x legacy users. This is the last 10.x version and will be unsupported after January 2013.

Also note: TenFourFox no longer supports browser plugins. If you require using Flash, Java or other plugins, do not use TenFourFox. (However, plugins are not extensions. Most add-ons and extensions will work.)

Browsers Update on PowerPC

The folks at Mac PowerPC write:

"A while ago we mentioned Browsers for PowerPC in few of our posts. We also mentioned a few updates from those Browsers, because we believe it is important to have applications updated as much as possible. Here is our list of recently updated Browsers, which are probably the Big Four for PowerPC, these days."

Publisher's note: Of these four, only TenFourFox still supports OS X 10.4 Tiger. The other three require Leopard. I've been very happy with AuroraFox on my Leopard PPC Macs. dk

A Little About Resource Forks

PPC Luddite's Dan says:

"...I have files with resource forks on my various computers and hard drives. And when resource forks aren't supported in file transfer applications like Cyberduck, they get destroyed when transferring between computers. And when resource forks get destroyed, sometimes the whole file is rendered unusable."

"Resource forks are mostly a relic from the classic Mac OS, though they also exist in OS X, that stored data on a file apart from the data fork. So each file had two forks, only one of which (the data fork) would be recognized on non-Mac systems. On normal files . . . this wasn't a problem because whatever was in their resource forks (custom icons?) wasn't required to open them. But for applications, Disk Copy images, and font files, this was a big problem because their resource forks contained data necessary for their operation."

"So don't move around Mac files on non-Mac file systems, right? It's not quite that simple. There are a few other dangers to be aware of...."

Vintage Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers regularly:

* Although Apple defines vintage as models discontinued over five years ago but less than seven years ago (at which point Apple calls them obsolete), we prefer a definition that has more to do with a lack of functionality and the end of active support by Apple than with how long Apple makes service parts available.

Dictionary definitions of the word vintage start out with wine, but it is also applied to a group of items that share certain characteristics, originated in a specific time period, and/or is characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal - a classic.

As we use the term here, vintage refers to Macs and related software, operating systems, and peripherals that Apple has left behind over the years, whether that's an original Macintosh or a Power Mac G5 running OS X 10.5 Leopard. At present, we consider all pre-Intel Macs and all versions of OS X that run on them vintage (and at some point we'll extend that definition to include Intel Macs that can't run OS X 10.7 Lion, and so on).

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