Getting a 1990 Mac on the 2015 Web

The venerable Mac Plus was one of the most popular models of "classic" Macintosh. Many old-school Mac users remember it fondly. After two decades, can the Mac Plus still access the Internet? One intrepid fan decided to find out.

I was accessing dial-in bulletin board systems (BBSs) on my "Fat Mac" back in the 1980s, but a Mac Plus equipped with the MacTCP stack is when I really got online. It was the early 1990s, and I'd gotten the machine from friends of mine who'd upgraded and no longer needed it.

I set it up in a corner of the place I was sharing with my girlfriend (now my wife of 21 years) and regularly got online when I got home, accessing e-mail, downloading files via FTP, and chatting with friends over Internet Relay Chat. It was slow going, compared to the fractional T1 line we had at the office, but it was good enough.

Jeff Keacher has some fond memories of his Mac Plus as well — what's more, it's still around. He had his mother ship it out to him and he recently attempted to revive it for Internet access, a story he recounts on The Kernel:

Reviving an old computer is like restoring a classic car: There's a thrill from bringing the ancient into the modern world. So it was with my first "real" computer, my Mac Plus, when I decided to bring it forward three decades and introduce it to the modern Web.

Keacher had to jump through a whole bunch of hoops to get his old Mac working on the modern web, but it finally worked. If you're a Mac user of the same vintage as Keacher and me, you might get a kick out of the story. Check it out!

I have to admit that I still have a classic Mac in storage in my basement, waiting for some spare time to be restored. How about you? Have you held on to any machines from your younger days? Let me know in the comments.

Peter Cohen