glutton's picture

Since so much of graphic design & typography seems to be computer based these days, maybe we could have a small thread on the subject.

I'd like to start off by saying that I have an older G4-400 with 3/4ths of a gig of RAM and a paltry 10-gig hard drive. Can I run Panther? Or should I stick with 9?

glutton's picture

Woo hoo! Sounds like all I need is a new hard drive and a couple fat dimms and I'm in business. Now to convince the wife...

John Hudson's picture

Is this thread just supposed to be about what kind of Macs can run Panther, or are we all going to say what kind of 'puter we use?

If the latter, I suggest:

1. Brand
2. Processor
3. RAM
4. HD(s)
5. Screen size
6. Screen resolution
7. Operating system

Personally, I'd also like to know how many keyboard drivers (and which) people have active, but I realise that's a rather esoteric subject.

John Hudson's picture

Also, if your laptop happens to be blessed with Harman/Kardon speakers, you could mention that. :-)

keith_tam's picture

1.25 GHz Mac G4
768 MB RAM
OS X 10.2.8
80 GB internal hard disk
40 GB LaCie Pocket Drive
17" Apple CRT studio display (blue & white)
1152 x 870 screen resolution
HP LaserJet 6MP
HP DeskJet 122C
Agfa Snapscan e50

The G4 is brand new.

I also have an iBook 500MHz, 385 MB RAM, 10GB HD
Right now it's booted off of the Pocket Drive, running OS 9.2.1.

Keyboard layouts active: US and Traditional Chinese.

glutton's picture

768 MB RAM
OS 9.2
10 GB internal HD
17" Studio Display (flat screen -- is purty!)
Printer: Some HP all-in-one ScanJet.
External modem & burner.

John Hudson's picture

Toshiba Satellite laptop (the one with the Harman/Kardon speakers)
1.7 GHZ Pentium 4
1 GB of RAM
40 GB internal HD; 120 GB external
Windows XP Pro
15" screen @ 1600x1200

I don't have a printer: I gave up on them a couple of years ago. I couldn't afford a 2400 dpi printer, and I couldn't see the point in spending money on anything less.

kakaze's picture

Home built computer with a 1.3 GHz Athlon processor, 768 megs of ram, Windows XP SP1, 60 gig WD harddrive and an unconnected 40 gig WD drive, 17 inch Samsung IFT 700 monitor set at 1024x768 being run by a GeForce 2 videocard. Attached to one of the other computers are an Epson Colour Stylus 600 and an Epson Stylus Photo 960 and an unworking scanner.


John, how the hell can you stand looking at 1600x1200 on a 15 inch screen?!

Thomas Phinney's picture

I have an older Mac desktop as well, but my main box is:

Dell Latitude 840 laptop
1.7 GHz P4-M
512 MB RAM
Windows 2000 SP 4
40 GB HD
15" LCD @ 1600x1200
GeForce 4 440 Go w/64 MB video RAM
various printers, but mostly a Xante Accel-a-Writer 3G (2400 dpi b/w laser)

I stand looking at 1600x1200 on a 15" screen by having good eyesight, squinting, and running with larger icons and system fonts settings. But darn if it isn't crisp!


Dan Weaver's picture

Thomas do you have a brother named Davis?

Thomas Phinney's picture

Nope, no siblings. But AFAIK everybody with the last name Phinney is descended from the same American pilgrim in the early 1700s. Family came over from Lenton (sp?) right near Nottingham.


meredithalix's picture

Apple Powerbook G4
1.25 Ghz
struggling along with 512mb RAM
80 GB HD
on the road: built-in 15.2" @ 1280x854
in the office: LaCie 22" electron blue @ 1600x1200
harmon/kardon speakers (in the office)
my trusty, beloved iPod

antiuser's picture

Old, old computer.

Pentium III 650
384 mb RAM (used to be 640, but one of the cards fried)
Crappy onboard 16mb video card
15" monitor (had a 17" which died a horrible death earlier this year).
LG 48/16/48 CD-RW
Sony 16x DVD-ROM

Running Windows XP Pro

I need an upgrade so bad.

andyclymer's picture

John --

If you have a stock video card in that 400mhz G4 then get ready for OS X to crawl. It will feel noticably slower than OS 9, most specifically window dragging/redraw. You might be ok with it but I wasn't

glutton's picture

Good to know, thanks!

John Hudson's picture

John, how the hell can you stand looking at 1600x1200 on a 15 inch screen?!

It's the native resolution of the device. It's fine for most things, because most of the applications I use have scaleable menus, etc. The palettes in InDesign are a bit tiny because they don't scale, but it does mean that my actual work space is nice and big. Windows itself lets me set global preferences for icon and UI font sizes, and most apps use these.

The only thing that really bugs me are website designers who specify type in fixed pixel sizes: a failure to understand the nature of the medium for which one is designing. CSS was specifically designed so that entire websites could made dynamically scaleable, but how many web designers do this?

ClearType also helps things a lot, even the new tiny type in the Typophile forums.

rs_donsata's picture

Pentium II 360 mhz
96 megas on RAM
10 GB HD
15 inches 1024 * 768 screen
8 mb video
Windows 98
8x Burner
150 * 150 dpi scanner
Cheap Lexmark ink printer
56k modem


hdschellnack's picture

P4 Xeon, Dual 3,06 with Hyperthreading, FSB 533, 2 GB Ram, SCSI Raid0 2 x 70 GB, 970 GB additional Harddrives, Fire GL2, Delte 66 plus Breakoutbox, Elsa 24" monitor, Intuos and some optical Logitech Mouse and wireless keyboard. Rather wildly modified and hacked XPPro running.

Plus two other machines, rather simlar, although less HDD because they get their files via network and a Toshiba Laptop for presentations and of course with WLAN for surfing the web while I'm not in the bureau :-D.

jfp's picture

1. Apple G4 Powerbook
2. 550 mhz
3. 768 ram
4. 20 giga HD(s)
5. 15.5 together with CRT Iiyama 19
6. 15.2 (1152 x 768) 19 (1024 x 768)
7. MacOs 10.2.8
No mouse: Wacom Intuos 2 only
HP 5000 N Laser A4 and A3 (1200 dpi, emulated PS)
Epson Stylus photo 750
LaCie Firewire pocket burner 24x
hp scanjet 3670
Ipod 15 giga
Palm Tungsten T networked with Bluetooth
Ericsson T68i Bluetooth too
JBL creature (very good to listen ITunes all the day and when watching DVD with the powerbook connected to the TV with sound on the JBL!!!)
(for John) Keyboard menu: French and on the menu (in French): Fran

John Hudson's picture

(for John) Keyboard menu: French and on the menu (in French): Fran

jfp's picture

When you have key lock, you've gote figures instead of the bunch of accentued and non sense glyphs.

the French Azerty is really badly designed! you need to press the shift to access the period!

steve_p's picture

>>Lenton right near Nottingham
It might have been nearby in the early 1700s, but Lenton is well inside Nottingham now.

1. Self spec
2. Athlon 2400
3. 1Gb RAM
4. 40Gb HDD
5. 19" CRT
6. 1280 x 1024
7. Win XP

1. Self Spec
2. Duron 700
3. 512Mb RAM
4. 24Gb HDD
5. 19" CRT
6. 1280 x 1024
7. Win 2000

Plus some older machines for testing with lower spec, different resolutions, versions of Media Player, various Flash players, versions of Quicktime, versions of DirectX etc etc

Grant Hutchinson's picture

There are literally dozens of machines in my house, but ones I use daily are:

* 733Mhz G4
* OS 9.2.2 (Panther this week!)
* 1.5GB RAM
* Dual 30GB HDD
* SuperDrive
* 22" Cinema Display

* PowerBook 170 (No, really!)
* OS 7.1
* 12MB RAM
* 20MB HDD
* 14.4 Fax Modem

* 867Mhz G4
* OS X 10.2.7 (Panther this week!)
* 1.5GB RAM
* Dual 40GB HDD
* SuperDrive
* 22" Cinema Display
* LaCie 80GB External FireWire

meredithalix's picture

Wow...PowerBook 170. System 7.1 was before multi-finder, wasn't it? I'm impressed. What can you do on that machine?

Grant Hutchinson's picture

7.1 has Multifinder (in a co-operative multitasking kind of way). The original Multifinder was actually a System 6 feature that sprang out of Andy Hertzfled's Switcher hack. I use the 170 for word processing (BBEdit Lite) and some simple database work (ClarisWorks 4). Up until 1998, it was also the computer I took on the road during EyeWire business trips. It still has Eudora Lite, Fetch, and Mosaic loaded, for all those old skool remote dialup internet sessions. It boots fast and just keeps working. Not bad for a 12 year old laptop.

meredithalix's picture

That's great. It would be hard to find a 12-year-old Windows (I mean DOS) laptop still being put to good use. Make me miss my 520c that got stolen a few years back. Oh well, at least I have my Newton.

hrant's picture

On the contrary, Windows machines tend to be used much longer.
Remember, there's about 20 times as many of them.
They tend to migrate to poorer countries however.

BTW, my Amiga boots in about 15 seconds.
And I still have my PET (although not with me).


meredithalix's picture

> They tend to migrate to poorer countries however.

Good point; I stand corrected. It does seem like Mac users are more likely to willingly keep their old machines running, as a point of pride if nothing else.

What's a PET?

lorp's picture

Main computer is a PowerBook G4 17", OS 10.3, 1Gb RAM, 60Gb disk. It's got most of my CD collection stuffed onto it. I've been very surprised how little I mind its big pixels, and realize how little pressure there must be - on hardware vendors to improve resolution, and on software makers to make scalable interfaces - when photos and video looks this good, and subpixel text works so well here at 100dpi.

Somehow I managed to avoid upgrading my old computer (Pentium II 400 MHz) for too long, but fortunately something unmissable (above) came along. Also have an old 300MHz PowerBook G3, and use of an iBook 500 - on which I might install Panther.

And everyone should get wireless if at all possible. It's liberating to be able to listen to the Today programme while making the coffee, even when I'm living on US time and must miss the real thing.

Next computer will probably be a cheap Linux & Windows box to use as a networked video recorder.

Grant Hutchinson's picture

>And I still have my PET (although not with me).

Nice, Hrant. I don't current have one of those plastic monsters. Used them in high-school though. I have several C64/Vic20 CPUs kicking around with my Apple II-era boxes. But nothing beats my Lisa or my BeBox (seventh image down) for vintage geek-chic hardware love.

hrant's picture

But there's a mismatch there between the picture (the original pet) and the decription (the second iteration). The second generation one had a full-size keyboard, a larger screen (still no color or pixel-access, though) and an external tape drive. Oh, and beeps. I had both, but stupidly sold the first. It had 8K of RAM - it was the high-end model, the entry-level had 4K. My second PET had 16K - and I had no idea how I'd use it all up. But one time I wrote a database for D&D mosters and did run out of RAM!

> plastic monsters.

Plastic?! Excuse me mister, but both my PETs (and I think all of them) had/have a thick metal skin. I still have my C64 too (also in my parents' basement in Beirut).


Grant, did you know that BeOS supported grayscale bitmap fonts? Sad death, that one was.


matteson's picture

At work:
1. IBM Thinkpad A31
2. 1.6 GHz Pentium 4
3. 256 MB DDR
4. Internal 26 GB
5. 15" LCD
6. 1024 x 768
7. Windows XP Pro

At home:
1. Homemade
2. 1 GHz Athlon Thunderbird
3. 768 MB SDRAM
4. Internal 18 GB & 12 GB
5. 17" CRT
6. 1024 x 768
7. Windows 2000 Pro

1. Macintosh SE
2. 8 MHz 68000
3. 4 MB SIMM
4. Internal 20 MB
5. 9" B&W
6. 512 x 342
7. No idea what it runs

meredithalix's picture

I had a Mac SE/30 -- the first computer I bought. I still have its hard drive. One of these days I might even get the files off it. ;)

glutton's picture

Now that we're talking about old tech, I'm currently rebuilding an old Mac from parts off Ebay. It has a 7200 box, and currently a 7200 motherboard, but I'm thinking of upgrading the motherboard to a 8500. Then, max out the memory et cetera. I want it to be a dream machine circa 1995.

matteson's picture

Cool. SE/30s blow the SE away ;-) I actually still use mine to run KidPix. The most rockin' piece of drawing software ever.

meredithalix's picture

KidPix! Second only to SuperPaint, with its handy raster/vector modes.

John B.: you could strive to replicate the fantabulous Quadra 8100AV. We had one of those here in the Mac Cemetery and it was just the thing for video editing, circa 1995.

BTW, I see that maccemetery.com is available. Anyone?

hrant's picture

Video Titling? Amiga all the way, and back.


Grant Hutchinson's picture

>Plastic?! Excuse me mister, but both my PETs (and I think all of them) had/have a thick metal skin.

Sorry, Hrant. I was reference to the colourful Chiclet

Grant Hutchinson's picture

>Second only to SuperPaint...

I'll see your SuperPaint, and raise you a Zedcor DeskPaint/DeskDraw bundle.

hrant's picture

You just reminded me of the ZX81. I convinced a friend to buy one once. It had 1K of RAM. But it had pixel graphics. And it would fit in your [overalls] pocket.


Grant Hutchinson's picture

>It has a 7200 box, and currently a 7200 motherboard, but
>I'm thinking of upgrading the motherboard to a 8500.

But John, an 8500 tower motherboard won't fit into the 7200-series desktop case. Do you mean that you're going to swap out the CPU daughterboard? You can still find some G3 upgrades for the 7200.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I could have sworn the 7200 doesn't have a CPU daughterboard arrangement. That's one of a couple of main reasons I went for a 7500 at the time (as well as more RAM DIMM slots, IIRC).


meredithalix's picture

Yup, here's what lowendmac.com says:
"What most differentiated the 7500 from the 7200 was a slot for a CPU daughter card."

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Ah ha! The Sonnet upgrade is a PCI board...

kris's picture

I wonder if you tech-heads could give me some advice.
I need a mac, but am tossing up between powerbook,
dual g4, and i-mac. I know they all have their pro's
and cons. I don't need it for high-end number crunching
like video or 3d, mainly print work (and, of course, type
design). I am really concerned about the screen, I am
sick of crt screens, they hurt my eyes and are too
bulky. I am really itchng for a mac lcd screen.

Is there much difference in quality between the
laptop displays and the mac cinema displays? Do I
need to worry about the resolution? What are the
realistic contenders to the mac lcd displays? The only
real bonus to the laptop, as far as i can see is
portability. Recommendations anyone?

Hildebrant's picture

HD: I think we have failry similar systems. Although I just ditched my FireGL card, I couldnt stand it. I'm now back to Matrox, very fond of there cards. 18"(?) WACOM tablet, wireless mous and keyboard.

(Dual) P4 3.0 Hyper Threading, 2 Gig Dual Channel Ram, Striped RAID0 400 gig 10,000 RPM Serial ATA Drives, MAtrox Parhelia 256 MEG card.
DUAL ViewSonic 22" P225fb Professional Series Monitors. SB Audigy Platinum2 card with break out box. Klipsch 2.1 THX speakers. Various CD drives, DVD burners, all that jazz. The system was self built, has a 600volt power supply and 8 variable speed fans. The CPU runs at about 90degress. Gigabit NIC card.

I have a workstation laptop too.

Sony Desktop P4 2.8ghz processor, ATI radeon 9800 video, gig of ram, 16" screen, and all that other stuff. DUAL G wireless net work.

Was that enough information?


kakaze's picture

Amiga, PET, C64... :cries: I miss my C128. It was my first computer, had it all the way up until a few years ago when we finally sold it...though I hadn't used it for several years, not since getting my first PC back in 94.

Someone wrote a Linux distro for the 128, and you can use the damn things to browse the internet now too! :cries:

kakaze's picture

"The CPU runs at about 90degress. "

WOAH! Please tell me you mean Fahrenheit!

My CPU runs at 67 degrees Celcius during normal operation...I could fry a frelling egg on the damn thing.

Jon Whipple's picture

Call me insane:

1. Apple
2. iBook G3 500 CD/DVD
3. 384MB
4. 10GB
5. 12.1"
6. 1024 x 768 72dpi
7. OS X 10.3 (Panther)

It runs nice and snappy thanks, and I prefer it to my

1. Seanix
2. Pentuim 4 3GHz CD/DVD-R
3. 1 GB
4. 30 GB
5. 19"
5a. 1600x1200
6. 14"
6a. 1024x768
7. Windows 2000 SP2

Which if you have ever worked tech support in a large Windows organization, makes perfect sense.

hrant's picture

Chris, the 128 sure was a strange machine. Very good-looking though (even to this day).
But probably nothing was stranger than the Plus4. Remember that mutant thing? I actually owned one, but never used it. The hardware buttons for Word Processor, Spreadsheet, etc. were a riot.

The computer I miss most is my Amiga 500 (which I ended up donating to a small Armenian TV outfit, for video titling). I used to run MacOS emulation, which would run faster than on a Mac.


porky's picture

1. Apple G4 Powerbook
2. G4 667mhz (PowerPC 7455)
3. 768meg
4. 30gig internal, 20gig firewire external, 10gig iPod
5. 15.2"
6. 1280x854
7. MacOS X 10.3 Panther (grrr!)
8: Cheap canon scanner and HP inkjet.

Most people dont need a G5 unless they're working with broadcast res video / animation or 3D - save your pennies for instead FontLab :-)

...and I remember that mac emulator on the Amiga, it was amazing, Hrant.

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