What should I do with this Macintosh PowerPC 6500?
August 11, 2004 3:58 AM   Subscribe

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I was given a powerpc 6500. Seems to work fine. Doesn't have much in the way of software on it and I understand I can't upgrade to osx on this machine. What should I do with it? I'd like to keep around for something...suggestions?

As a side note, we're currently all pc in the damnitkage household as the lone Imac died a horrible death recently.
posted by damnitkage to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Linux! Hours of fun. Looks like Yellow Dog will run on it.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:02 AM on August 11, 2004

I consider installing MKlinux onto a PowerPC 6100/60.
posted by tcp at 4:51 AM on August 11, 2004

At least OS 10.1 could be put on it. Details at zone6400.com and lowendmac's 6500 page.
posted by gluechunk at 5:53 AM on August 11, 2004

Using 10.1 on that machine will be like slowly gouging out your eyes with vaguely bluish-tinted icicles.

Yellow Dog, on the other hand, could definitely be kind of useful.
posted by bcwinters at 5:58 AM on August 11, 2004

Macintosh Garden, for one.

Plus, there's still loads of software you can pick up for OS9 for cheap/free -- just because you can't run OSX doesn't mean a death knell for it. My powerbook can't upgrade to OSX easily either, but it's still my primary computer.
posted by Katemonkey at 6:06 AM on August 11, 2004

damnitkage, I'm in the same boat as you with my old 6500 that's currently taking up space. I was thinking of an mp3 server or something similar, but a 3GB hard drive doesn't hold all that much these days.
Thanks for the links, gluechunk. And I second the Macintosh Garden. Ahhh, Spectre.
posted by emelenjr at 6:44 AM on August 11, 2004

Definitely use it as either some kind of Linux server (not a fileserver, as touched on by emelenjr, but a low-end Web/mail/whatever server would be a great use for it with Yellow Dog Linux on it) or a classic gaming machine. If I had the room in my apartment I'd totally take one of my older Macs and make it a gaming machine.

The packaged games (Spectre, Spin Doctors) and the host of other games (Warcraft II, Starcraft, Civilization II, SimCity 2000, etc, etc, etc) for OS9 may have outdated graphics but they're still hella fun!
posted by cyrusdogstar at 10:26 AM on August 11, 2004

Response by poster: Great ideas, thanks everyone!
posted by damnitkage at 1:49 PM on August 11, 2004

For serving needs the hard drive can be replaced with whatever you'd like. Some old systems (not sure about that one) require a boot partition no larger than the max shipped hard drive. Drives are so inexpensive these days that it is not a bad prospect. I'd second the 'vintage' software suggestion. Though you won't have the generally awful features that have been added to photoshop over the years you will be able to do what you need. Plus you can run Word 5 on it.
posted by shotsy at 5:06 PM on August 11, 2004

Other distros/OS's that will run on a 6500:
Red Hat Linux
Debian GNU/Linux
Mandrake Linux
And more.

The thing is, do you want a project or a kiosk? Linux (and even more so, NetBSD) will take some time and patience if you're not already familiar with what to do.

If you don't want to learn how to get a *nix box up and working and then figure out what to do with it, turn it into an email/game/recipe machine and decide where it can be centrally placed for the family.

6500's don't have USB, so it may be tough to turn it into a print server unless your printers happen to be networkable already or have DIN-8 Mac serial ports (the round ones).

But Samba is reason enough to run a server if you have multiple Windows machines networked together. You can put a nice big drive in it (6500's use IDE, not SCSI), set it up as a share and map the share as a network drive for all the Windows machines.

Other stuff it can do with an internet connection: download the entire family's mail from various email accounts, then act as an in-house mail server, filtering spam for you automatically. There's lots more.
posted by dammitjim at 8:57 PM on August 11, 2004

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