Internet Software

1.2.1 - How can I get my old Mac online?

Funny you should ask. JAG has a tutorial which tells exactly how to do it.

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1.2.2 - How do I get an old Mac set up for e-mail?

It's not too difficult but it does require some knowledge. The following procedure was written assuming that 1) you already have another Macintosh that has access to the WWW and 2) you have at least a Mac Plus.

In order to get any Mac online for at least e-mail access, you'll need at least System 6.0.5, 2MB of RAM, two 800K floppy drives or a hard disk and an 800K floppy drive, and some sort of modem, preferably 14.4 or faster.

You'll also have to obtain some information from your ISP:

  1. Your username and password, case-sensitive.
  2. The local dial-up number.
  3. Your ISP domain name (aka PPP Server Name).
  4. Name server addresses - usually at least two, often three.

Your username and password are probably familiar to you already, as is the local dial-up phone number. The ISP domain name is most likely just the domain name of your ISP, like or The name server addresses will be standard IP addresses; for example: or

Using a Macintosh (you can use a PC for this if you have a Mac that will read 1.4MB floppies), download the following software and install it where appropriate on the boot floppy (or hard disk) of the Mac you want to get on-line:

  1. Aladdin Systems' Stuffit Expander 4.0.1 (only necessary to decode other files here)
  2. MacTCP and MacPPP
  3. Install and configure MacTCP first, following these directions or these directions.
  4. Restart the Mac.
  5. Install and configure MacPPP, following these directions or these directions.
  6. If you don't know the Modem Init String, just leave it blank and it will probably work.
  7. Shut Down and connect your modem to the Modem port on the back.
  8. Start up the Mac, open the Config PPP Control Panel, and click "Open" to open your Internet connection.

Now that you have the necessary connection software installed, you need an e-mail client. Eudora 1.3.1 is probably the best e-mail client for System 6 Macs. Directions for configuring Eudora are available at SIU. If you're running System 7 or higher, you can use Eudora 1.5.5.

Marshall Lewis also pointed out that by getting the Felix's Emailer disk image, you can get a Mac with a HD floppy drive on-line as long as it has at least 2MB RAM.

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1.2.3 - How do I get an old Mac set up for WWW access?

You can pretty much follow the directions above for getting a Mac set up for e-mail; however, I highly recommend that any Mac to be used for browsing be running at least System 7 and have 8MB or more of RAM. While somewhat more difficult, you can certainly browse the Web with a browser like MacWeb 1.00A3.2 on a 68000-based Mac such as a Plus, SE, or Classic. Don't expect to be able to do much; MacWeb likes to freeze early and often.

iCab is far and away the best browsing option for most people on 68K Macs now, except for the 68000-based Macs, which can't use it. Any other 68K Mac running at least System 7 can and should use iCab, which is light on RAM usage, very fast, and supremely configurable. Two tips: load up on RAM to the extent possible and put the browser's cache on a RAM disk for best speed, and turn off multiple connections in the Preferences for maximum stability.

Netscape 2.0.2 is probably the next-best choice for most browsing needs on a 68030 or lower. You'll also probably want the Netscape Defrost extension, which helps Netscape freeze less often, as well as the Netscape 2.02 Update. There's lots more good information on Gamba's Taming Netscape Navigator page.

A lot of older browsers, including Netscape 2.x and 3.x, have a problem with expired security certificates; you won't be able to use them to connect to secure sites any more.

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1.2.4 - How can I set up an old Mac as a WWW server?

I'm going to assume you've already taken the necessary steps to get your Mac online or you wouldn't be asking this question. In order to set up your Mac as a Web server, you need some sort of Web server software. For most early 68K applications, MacHTTP is probably your best bet. It can be obtained from If you have a later 68K Mac, like a Quadra, you can run Social Engineering's Quid Pro Quo, which is somewhat more capable than MacHTTP, though it hasn't been updated in quite some time.

Schoolvision got a Mac Plus running a Web server with System 7 and MacHTTP; it has since been retired. Marshall Lewis has set up a Mac-Server mailing list at MacLaunch; you might want to join it if you have more questions.

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1.2.5 - What browsers can I use on my Mac, and what are their features?

There's a 68K browser profile page with specs on most 68K-compatible browsers, including information on support for plug-ins, JavaScript, Java, secure browsing, minimum Mac OS requirements, RAM and HD requirements, and CPU requirements. It also has download links for the browsers profiled.

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Last Modified on 06 November 2013
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