State of the Experiment Address.

I'm typing this on my iBook, sitting on the front porch. For the last three weeks or so, I've been doing all my computing on Macs, none newer than eight years old. Not being much of a power gamer any more, this is all blogging, web surfing, writing, emailing, iPodding, and what-have-you. Here's how it's going:

The iBook, a G3/466 Firewire machine, was no great stretch. It's been my de facto portable all along. It's running the latest version of Panther, and has been for about a year. With my recent Firefox woes, I've started using Safari on it and will download Camino as soon as I get around to it. It connects to the network with its internal AirPort card.

My G3/250 WallStreet is in use as a "bridge" machine, running OS 9.2. It stays more-or-less permanently plugged-in in a corner of the living room with a Farallon WiFi PCMCIA card and an AppleTalk dongle hanging off it. Should I do some writing on one of my "lap savers", a 2400c or a Duo 280c, I'll AppleTalk the file to the WallStreet and email it to myself.

A G4/500 Sawtooth tower is my main machine. Browsing the web with Camino, it's also using Panther because the old Matshita LP-2 DVD drive won't read my Tiger install. Because it's still on Panther, and with its two USB ports clogged by the Logitech mouse and keyboard, it provides a job for the last computer.

Sitting next to the Sawtooth on the desk is a slot-loading G3/400 iMac DV SE. I have Tiger up and running on it. Thanks to the magic of a powered USB hub, it has a Hawking USB WiFi connection, as well as serving as the dock for my iPod Nano and my card reader for the Compact Flash cards from my Nikon Coolpix digital camera. Using the iMac as basically a media server lets me rip CDs or download Firefly episodes without tying up the Sawtooth. As the internal drive fills up, I'll just go ahead and get an external FireWire drive for all the media crap. Since both the iBook and the G4 tower are (barely) just new enough to have FireWire ports, this will pay bonus dividends down the road.

Am I missing my trusty P4/2.4 yet? Nope. Not really. So far, these old machines are doing everything I need them to do. What I can't get over is the fact that I have a very capable, complet, four-computer wireless network, with two laptops and two desktops that could be had off eBay for much less than $1,000. Neat! :)

No comments: