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J.R.'s clearinghouse of used Mac ware sources

Including old/used/refurbished/overstocked Macs and related software, peripherals, documentation, and information

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This page last updated on or about 10-18-06

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Old Mac Ware Sources Contents

Best Buys in Used Macs, The Macintosh Guide Book, and Focus on Mac Hardware might help you make your decision on which old Mac at what price is best for you. Other review options include Technology Owl One-Stop Technology Reviews & News, ConsumerSearch (product review compilation/analysis), Epinions.com - Computers, Computer Brand Reviews Net Links, and Computer Brand Reviews Home Page.

Would you like to see what life with a particular old Mac is/was like, over the long term? Then you may find my user logs of interest, where I detail up to years worth of real world Mac usage, impressions, configuration, upgrades, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more. Available at the moment are user logs for:

| Mac IIcx/IIci | Performa 460 | Quadra 650 | Performa 6300 | Performa 6400/6500 | iMac | Apple iMac DV | PowerBook G3 | Apple PowerMac G4 |

Want PDF format Apple Service manuals and/or Owner's Manuals? Try this web page. Help-Site Computer Manuals - Main Index might also offer something of use.

Lowendmac.com in general can be a good reference site for old/used Mac users/buyers. Consumer advocacy on deal-mac is a good spot to check out for gaining overall savvy in buying/selling computer wares in general.

Need a good reason to set up an old $200 Mac system? The old Symantec More II outliner can all by its lonesome justify its own Mac IIci or Quadra, even if you use the Mac for nothing else. It can literally be a dream system for brainstorming, writing, and organizing ideas. There's also great presentation functionality included, but that's not nearly as deeply powerful as the outliner aspect. Look for the download at outliners.com. You can also set up an old Mac as a web surfing/email station for family and friends (see Getting on the net with an older Mac), but that may be more difficult and expensive to do: as of early 2005 it's tough to beat a new or late model refurb PC for that. Still another option might be installing Linux on a 68k Mac. I'm unsure of the real utility of this last one, but it might be as good an experiment as anything else.

Old Mac Ware Sources Contents

Used Mac wares vendors presented in random order...

(some also deal in parts and old software; some offer used PCs too in varying ratios-to-Macs)

Though I personally prefer to manually slog through the inventory of various used Mac vendors when looking for hard-to-find Macwares, even I may be forced to give up on that soon, due to time constraints. It may be the rapid search feature of inventory available through on-line auctions (and the possible gargantuan size of that inventory) more than makes up for other shortcomings in the medium. And for Mac folks coping with what is a tiny market anyway in many respects (Apple's world market share was under 3% by one recent estimate), and a seller's market at that (many Macwares, especially for old Macs, can be quite rare or costly), an online auction may often be the only place certain needed items can be found. One analog to this old Mac users' predicament might be NASA's ongoing challenge to locate parts for its space shuttle's old computer systems. NASA itself now patrols the online auctions for such parts.

-- NASA looking for old parts to keep space shuttles aloft By William J. Broad; New York Times; May. 11, 2002

EBay is the biggest and most popular online auction service in the world, circa early 2003.

dealmac Basement is NOT a vendor, but rather a site which tracks things like used Mac ware deals. DealNN and dealmac home are more general purpose tracking sites, mostly dealing in new Mac wares rather than used-- but sometimes even for old Macs you might need to buy NEW memory, hard drives, etc., etc.

Operator Headgap's Mac Resale Store
McMobile Inc I've bought from McMobile before as described in the user logs for Apple Mac IIcx/IIci and Apple Mac Quadra 650.
Small Dog Electronics I've bought from Small Dog before as described in the user logs for Apple Mac IIcx/IIci and Apple Mac Quadra 650.
PowerMax Computer
AMUG (you may have to look around their site some to find their Mac deals)
pcliquidator.com sometimes seems to offer used Macs
www.micromasters.net, micromasters@mindspring.com, (404)286-6173
Online Micro (look for their 'pre-own macs' button)
Haydentech.com mostly offers PCs but had a few used Macs at last check
AllMac.com's site can be a bit troublesome in regards to finding older Mac parts-- but they did have some, at last check.
Junkyard Jeff's Computer Wrecking Yard
The PowerBook Guy!
Power Mac Pac 800-460-8080 (look for their refurbs)
Urban Computer Distribution
MacResource Computers & Service
Used Apple and Macintosh computers and more
Electro Rent has both used Macs and PCs-- but their used PC deals may be their best offers.
Midwest Mac
Apple Parts - Macintosh Parts - Toshiba Parts - (and more)
Milagromac Apple Macintosh Parts
Refurbished Macintosh Computers, ExperCom
"We Love Macs!" I've bought from 'We love Macs' before as described in the user log for Apple Mac Performa 6400/6500.
MC Computers
MacDoc may be yet another dealer that includes used Macs in their inventory? macdoc@cgocable.net is one email address for the outfit. Phone 905-338-7074, Fax 905-338-8786. If I remember correctly, this vendor is Canadian, so their given prices may be in Canadian dollars (which may make the prices seem higher to us, when they're actually lower(?)-- just ask the folks there about it-- and you may find the prices better than they seem) (last time I checked you could figure US$ price was just 72% the amount listed in Canadian....)
CPused is another Canadian used Mac seller.
dealexpress-mac-pc parts
Sun Remarketing Inc. sells used Apple hardware, but it was once also perhaps the BEST SINGLE SOURCE OF HARD COPY USER MANUALS FOR OLD APPLE HARDWARE/SOFTWARE. Unfortunately at last visit I could no longer find any sign of the manuals.
MACamania U.S.A!
Liquidation Station Computer and Peripherals Sales seems to offer some good deals on occasion.
MegaWatts Computers
Second Chance PC is based in the United Kingdom (Great Britain)
The Apple Store (U.S.) SOMETIMES offers refurbished Macs, etc. for sale directly to consumers-- but it can be pretty difficult to find the offers on site at times (look for a button sporting a red tag labeled 'special deals'). While Apple's refurbished units may often be the most EXPENSIVE way to buy a used Mac, some folks might prefer to buy their old Mac from Apple rather than someone else.
PowerOn-Line computer services seemed to have some interesting deals for old Mac stuff the first few times I visited....Unfortunately, this site also had many scary disclaimers and caveats about all sales being final, 20% restocking fees, 3% credit card surcharges, customer liability for return shipping charges, minimum $10 penalties for returns (called "administration fees"), "late payment fees", and more...But all that was YEARS ago now. Hopefully they've cut out some of that stuff-- but still be sure to check any fine print on their site before shopping there, and exercise due caution. I've never had the time to go back and do a thorough check to see how their policies have (or haven't) changed since then.

If one or more of the above 'contact-info-only' links are broken, try searching through Used Computer Mall offered some leads to used Mac vendors last time I checked.

• If the above list doesn't do it for you, you can also try Used Mac Dealers by LowEndMac, which lists a few extra Mac sources we don't (such as individuals selling Macs rather than businesses, and various online auctions-- both of which I'd personally be uncomfortable dealing with in most cases, which is why I don't list those here; dealing with individual strangers over the web seems a great way to get ripped off, and I've seen bidders in online auctions often paying MORE rather than less for many purchases, compared to what they could do at more traditional sources. So online auctions seem far better for sellers than buyers at the moment (unless you're looking for a rare or obscure system or part that can't be found elsewhere). Last time I checked, LowEnd also listed at least one dealer which I exclude here due to WAY too many complaints about them from customers seen all over the web, for years now. If a vendor has that much bad anecdotal info about them flying about I'm personally afraid to deal with them, and so won't list them here for my family and friends either. Specific LowEndMac links have broken frequently over the past year or so. Therefore, here's a more general link for the site if you need it.

Old Mac Ware Sources Contents

Could you use some old and/or cheap software to go with that used Mac? Then try Freesoftwarenow.com. FSN specializes in old, obsolete, cheap software, but some of the other vendors listed above on this page carry such wares too-- at least in some cases, and at various times.

Maybe the most crucial software you might want for an old Mac is a web browser and related internet utilities and the info to configure them. In many cases an older Mac will be too limited in RAM, hard disk space, or performance to adequately run modern web software. Its OS version might be incompatible too. Netscape 4.5 and up and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.5 and up both require PowerPC Macs; these browser versions also require OS 7.6 or 7.5.3 or later, respectively. Got a 680xx Mac? If you have a 68030 or 68040 CPU, Internet Explorer v3.0 through 4.0.1 is said to be compatible with them. More info on compatibility may be available here.

Download sources:

Where To Download 680x0 Browsers
old Mac internet software of all sorts
old Mac browsers both kinds
Browser Archive
Mac WWW Tools Clients & Browsers
Microsoft Internet Explorer downloads
downloads of both older Netscape and Microsoft browsers
download links to maybe ALL the older browsers
latest version of Netscape Communicator (Freeware)
Netscape Products: Archived Products
Old Netscape browser downloads
older Netscape browsers link#2
older Netscape browsers link #3
(Netscape generic link)

Here's other possibly helpful links:

| Jag's House - Where Older Macs Still Rock | Internet Access For Classic Macs | Resources For The Older Macintosh | Resources For The Older Macintosh (VERY NICE) | Uses for Old Macs - Part 1 | Old Mac Software Resources on the Web | Macworld Old Mac, New Tricks | Resources For Older Computers (macs) | 68k Macintosh resources-links | Macintosh Applications |

The Final Option: Need a cheap PC to supplement your Mac, for business or gaming software purposes? Or maybe the 'new Apple' under Steve Jobs has scared or angered you sufficiently to drive you to Windows PCs? If so, you can find some bargain sources for new, used, and refurbished PC wares in J.R.'s Dirt Cheap PC and Killer Deals Page. Just keep in mind the PC world has problems of its own.

Old Mac Ware Sources Contents

CLICK HERE for the best of the lowest cost PowerPC Macs

Old Mac Ware Sources Contents

• Common problems/solutions with newer Macs

Folks, please keep in mind that although we've now got a couple Mac OS X machines running here at WebFLUX Central (as of 6-8-02), I myself am not the primary user of these machines, and typically only interact with them after they've blown up for some reason. To see my latest experiences with Mac OS X please refer to the Apple PowerMac G4 (dual 1 GHz PPC G4) User's Log.

(I keep meaning to get the PowerBook G3 log posted too, but haven't yet had the time. Anyway, in the text below I'm mainly referring to G3 Macs like iMacs of various stripes running Mac OS 8.x through 9.x, or somewhat older PowerPC Macs.)

System crashes. I'm talking the USB using Macs, like iMacs here. Are system crashes driving you nuts? Already tried everything from pruning your peripherals and extensions, using disk utilities, to re-installing the OS? Maybe you should upgrade to 9.0.4. That move helped me personally quite a bit. The newer iMacs also sport reset buttons rather than paper clip holes, making it much more convenient to restart that frozen Mac several times a day. Certain keyboard press combinations are claimed in the manuals to restart iMacs too, but it seems rare that they work these days.

The RAM problem. If you're got a PowerPC Mac with only 32 MB physical RAM you likely need more. Desperately. More RAM, even just a total double 32, like 64, may relieve you of a few crash problems while also speeding up your system in some ways.

Most Mac users should also have their virtual memory turned on, and set to at least one more MB than the amount of physical RAM in the machine. I like to set it to 256 MB or so myself. Keep in mind this uses space on your hard drive.

The other RAM problem. Lots of Mac users upgrade their RAM because they keep getting insufficient memory messages from applications. Then after the upgrade they continue getting the messages, and can't understand why. The reason is usually that they need to manually increase the amount of RAM individual applications can use in each program file's 'Get Info' box, accessible in the Finder. To do this you have to locate the application file on your disk, click it once to select it, then choose 'Get Info'...'Memory' from the File menu. This brings up a new window with entry boxes for the memory sizes you'll allow a program to use. Adding 1000 to 2000 K to a program's current 'minimum size' when it's been complaining about memory is a reasonable thing to do. If it still complains afterwards try adding another 1000 to 2000 K. The reason for adding it roughly 1 or 2 MB at a time is because you don't want to squander your available RAM; the more one app uses the less there'll be available for others to run at the same time.

The other box is 'preferred size', and your Mac will prompt you to boost it too if your minimum size is larger than your preferred size. Preferred size should be larger than minimum. Preferred size is how much RAM your app will use if it's the first app opened. Minimum size is what your app will use if it's not the first application to be opened.

Apparently Windows PCs automatically set these parameters, saving their users the trouble-- at least in most cases. So PC users can rightfully claim in this one instance that their machines operate more easily and conveniently than a Mac.

The USB problem. No, it's not your imagination; USB on the Mac is fraught with problems. Plugging or unplugging USB peripherals can be traumatic in some cases. If your iMac starts acting badly after plugging/unplugging USB devices, the USB software is likely the cause-- not other items.

Sometimes reading a device's user manual, pdf file on disk, help files, and read me files can help you solve problems you encounter-- or at least learn why they're happening in the first place (Emphasis here on 'sometimes').

Try to avoid unplugging/plugging USB stuff when those devices and/or your iMac are powered down. Everything should be live. Try to avoid having lots of USB peripherals if you can. Try to avoid the use of USB hubs. Yeah, I know USB is practically useless without a hub, but if your USB device configuration gets very large or complex at all, it can easily start giving you fits.

Once you find a configuration of USB connections where everything seems to work halfway decently, and with a minimum of crashes, LABEL YOUR USB CABLES so that you can always plug everything back into the same exact USB ports again. Why? Because some USB devices can be terribly finicky about which port they are plugged into. We have an HP printer here that absolutely refused to install in several different hub ports, or even into one of the iMac's built-in ports-- but finally worked when plugged into the iMac's keyboard's extra port(!)

In USB-related crises, connecting all your USB stuff up while everything is powered up (even when your iMac is frozen), and then switching all the peripherals OFF, and shutting down the iMac, waiting 60 seconds or so, then powering everything back up again (peripherals FIRST!), might help sometimes.

Often an iMac will inexplicably freeze up just booting from the OS install disk that came bundled from Apple, making OS re-installations that much more difficult. Often you can prevent this by unplugging ALL your USB and Firewire peripherals EXCEPT for your keyboard and mouse. If you have a non-standard iMac keyboard and mouse, you might even need to replace them temporarily with the original KB/mouse to get past the freezes for OS re-installation (keeping in mind the need to disconnect/connect such items when the iMac is powered UP rather than OFF).

Note that locating a problem peripheral's company website and downloading a driver update for it may sometimes solve or reduce the problems you're experiencing with the device.

If any one USB device gives you too much trouble after trying all the above, you might want to consider ridding yourself of it, or replacing it with a competitive product. Of course, it may still be tricky getting rid of the related extensions and perhaps other stuff it put in your OS...But in most cases you can likely use the Extensions Manager to disable much of it (Mac users really need a tutorial in the use of the Extensions Manager too, as it is very quirky in 8.x and later OS versions, but I don't have the time to create one here; sorry).

The third party software and peripherals problem. Again, it's not your imagination. Many of the extra peripherals and software applications you buy for your Mac either don't work at all, work poorly, or interfere with other functions of your system. In general, the more stuff you add to your Mac, the worse it'll run. This also seems true for PCs these days-- but as the PCs are 95+% of most companies' business, and Macs just 5% or less, the PC bugs tend to get fixed faster and more often than the Mac bugs. So on average you can usually pile more stuff onto a PC before it breaks than you can a Mac.

The moral here? Be very picky about what you buy to add to your computer. Check out several differently sourced reviews first and don't buy things that seem problem-prone. You'll be amazed at how much time, money, and frustration you'll save by being a minimalist where adding to your system is concerned.

Wondering about Mac Disk Utilities? Alsoft DiskWarrior seems a decent choice (we recently bought and used it with success, after finding it recommended in many reviews), but of course to be comprehensive you'd want both it and Norton Utilities (if you can afford both), plus maybe TechTool Pro too. However, if you have the time to learn the ins and outs of your system, cruise various Mac troubleshooting forums, and read all available manuals and read me files, you can often get by with just rebuilding the desktop occasionally, actively managing extensions, re-installing the OS occasionally, resetting the PRAM sometimes, and using the bundled Apple Disk First Aid once in a while.

Keep in mind you may be forced to learn the ins and outs of your system anyway in order to fix certain problems, despite owning all the disk utilities in the world, if your luck turns bad or stays in the red on a regular basis.

ALWAYS consult MacFixIt for more detailed and expansive information for Mac problems like these!

Old Mac Ware Sources Contents

• Miscellaneous new unorganized links

The links below are some I'm considering for inclusion in one or more categories above, or other reference for future updates. Some of the links may end up being discarded later for reasons of broken URLs or others. So consider this list to be 'raw'; that is, not all of the sites will necessarily be good and valuable links for the purposes of this page. I include them here because (A) this is a handy place for me to personally check them out when I get the chance, and (B), where some of the links do prove valuable, having them here gives YOU the earliest possible access to them. I've included my personal first impressions on various sites too, where available.

Macintosh Web Browsers
The Best Browsers for PowerPC Macs and the Classic Mac OS
Why You Should Use Mac OS 7.6 to Get the Most Out of Vintage Macs
The 6400 Zone - Home Page 1/27/2006
HTMUG The best place for info regarding the Macintosh in a Home Theater environment
Best Buys in Used Macs
Used Macintosh - refurbished Apple Macintosh computers and accessories
Week's Best G3 iMac Deals
The Week's Best Used Power Mac G3 Deals
Week's Best eMac Deals
MacPrices.com Refurbished Mac Desktops
PowerBookCentral.com Week's Best PowerBook & iBook Deals
Week's Best G4 iMac Deals
Week's Best iBook Deals
OS X 10.2 Jaguar Troubleshooting
Week's Best CRT iMac Deals
Liquid splashed all over the Powerbook keyboard
PowerBook keyboard and liquid
Drinking while driving your Mac
ZDNet Story My must-have shareware apps for Mac
OS X trouble sites
MPG Hot Deals CompUSA
MPG Hot Deals Outpost.com
The Week's Best Power Mac G4 Deals
Week's Best CRT iMac Deals
Specific Macintosh Resources
OSXFAQ View topic - What is safe to delete
Mac's dirty little Ethernet secret
Machintosh tutorials for beginners, resources for advanced developers
DealsOnTheWeb.com (mac)
MacNN Forums (forums can often be a place to get technical advice and help from other Mac users relating to your own computer problems)
3D for the masses
Junkyard Jeff's Computer Wrecking Yard
Home Ethernet Network for your Macintosh
MacInstruct Ultimate Troubleshooting Guide
MacInTouch Security Resources
Mac Security

Old Mac Ware Sources Contents

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All text above explicitly authored by J.R. Mooneyham copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 by J.R. Mooneyham. All rights reserved.
Anything you see below this point was put there by a content thief who stole this page and posted it on their own server.