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My son is working on a school project, the subject is the history of Mac computers.

He's writing a paper but has to create a visual display too.

I suggested displaying his paper live in macwrite on an old mac.

We can get an old mac easily, but how can we copy a file to it ? The best I can come up with is retype it.

We have windows machines and a mac mini, but no other macs.

Is there a cable that can make a pc or a usb drive look like an external disk drive ? Or a usb floppy drive that can write an old mac floppy format ?

Thanks

Update: based on information on this website I think I can use an old scsi cd-rom drive with a mac plus.

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5 Answers 5

A USB to DB9 or DB25 adapter, a Null Modem cable, and Kermit on both ends.

I'd just re-type it, but I got Cs in school.

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Do old macs have db9 connectors ? I like this idea. –  Bart Nov 15 '09 at 21:39
    
    
This is actually just a mac modem cable. But: how do I get kermit on the mac ? I think I still need a floppy. –  Bart Nov 15 '09 at 22:09
    
You might not need kermit on the old mac. It may have a terminal program on it. Did OS 8 or whatever have comms software installed? It must have. –  Richard Hoskins Nov 15 '09 at 22:15
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A USB floppy drive would probably be the simplest method. Shove a blank disk in the Plus and let it format it there, then see if it mounts on a newer Mac.

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+1 for formatting it on the older mac. You can also try FAT12/FAT16 from Windows/Linux if the old mac has the "pc exchange" extension loaded. –  Broam Apr 16 '10 at 16:29
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"A USB floppy drive would probably be the simplest method. Shove a blank disk in the Plus and let it format it there, then see if it mounts on a newer Mac."

Won't work, sorry, as the Plus do not have a high-density floppy drive and Apple's 400k/800k formats won't read/write on USB floppy drive due to the use of GCR.

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The most common hardware interface shared by both new and old macs is Ethernet (you may need an additional Ethernet card on some old mac). From this, any IP-based protocol should work, including Appleshare IP. For converting the paper to Macwrite, I suggest plain text.

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I think (very) old macs used LocalTalk at the hardware layer for networking. –  Suppressingfire Nov 15 '09 at 19:23
    
netatalk is the Linux package that speaks appletalk; don't know about support in modern proprietary OS's. –  Broam Apr 16 '10 at 16:29
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If the file isn't too large, you can email it to yourself at a web mail address, such as a Yahoo mail or Google mail account. Then you can download it onto the classic Mac.

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It might be hard to believe, but there were times when computers were not connected to the internet... –  Arjan Nov 15 '09 at 19:03
    
@Arjan - Depending on the age, I remember using a beefed up Mac Classic to browse the web in the late 90s. It wasn't fast, it was B&W but it did work. I'd never have used it seriously however. –  Chealion Nov 16 '09 at 5:46
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