A System 6 File Server

Or how to squeeze the last bit of use out of a "useless" Mac


A few years ago, I was contacted by someone who knew I was a member of the Abandoned Computer Shelter. She had a Mac Classic she was going to throw out and wondered if I wanted it. A short time later, I was in possession of a very used Classic. It had severe screen burn, the sound didn't work and the case had once been pried apart with a screw driver, breaking it in several places. The only thing it had going for it was a full upgrade to 4 MB of RAM. Since the 8 MHz Mac Classic was already hopelessly obsolete at the time of its introduction, late in 1990, this one surely had no value at all now or did it?

I set to work on this abused old Mac. I removed the 40 MB Conner hard drive and replaced it with a 250 MB Quantum. I removed the floppy drive. It wouldn't be needed. A piece of duct tape over the slot would remind me not to drop a floppy inside the case. I routed an LED from the Hard Drive out through the floppy slot to show activity. Since System 6 came with no server provisions, I installed SingleShare server software on the drive, then loaded my new server with my entire collection of System 6 and earlier software, over 1000 files. This used less than half of the 250 MB drive. It was clear I would never need a larger drive.

Classic Server Server Start Up Screen

Now I have access to all of my System 6 and earlier files via LocalTalk from any Mac in the house. I can run applications from the server on the Mac Plus in my office using only an 800k boot floppy as well as transfer downloaded files to the server from my G3.

Radius Plus Workstation Plus Start Up Screen


Server Files on Plus Screen Server in the Dark

The Plus in my office, shown in the first two photos in this group, has a 16 MHz, 68020 accelerator with an FPU. With just floppies or a 40 MB external drive, it's my primary System 6 Mac. It emails, surfs with MacWWW and downloads with Fetch 2.1.2. The third photo in the group shows the Application folder on the server open on the desktop of the Plus. The last photo shows the server running the Moire screensaver in the dark with its hard drive LED eerily showing activity while files are accessed from the office Plus. During times of inactivity, SCSI Saver spins the hard drive down until transfers are needed.

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