Jeff Keacher has just unveiled a new computer project he has been working on to get his 27 year old Macintosh Plus computer system online to surf the Internet for the very first time using a Raspberry Pi mini PC to help a little.
The Macintosh Plus computer is powered by a 8MHz CPU, 4MB of RAM, a 50MB hard drive and black-and-white screen offering an impressive resolution of just a 512 × 384 pixels. Those were the days.
Keacher equipped his 27 year old system with a copy of the MacWeb 2.0 Web browser, which hr retrieved from a long forgotten FTP site and connected it to a Raspberry Pi to emulate an old school dial-up modem. Even though a dial-up modem was not actually required. Keacher explains a little more:
“Getting the Mac physically hooked to the network was a bigger challenge. The Mac Plus didn’t have an Ethernet port, and things like WiFi were years from being invented when it was manufactured. A couple of companies made SCSI-to-Ethernet adapters about 15 years ago, but those were rare and expensive. I thought about the problem for a while, and it occurred to me that I could channel the early days again: I could use the serial port and PPP or SLIP to bridge to the outside world. Like dialup without the modem.
I set up my Raspberry Pi and ran some Cat-5 to it from the router. Using a level shifter and a variety of old adapters, I managed to get a serial cable working between the Pi and the Mac. That took care of the hardware.”
Check out the video below to see the Macintosh Plus surfing the Internet in style and to learn more about the project jump over to the Jeff Keacher website for the full story. Raspberry Pi enthusiasts may also be interested in our essential guide to Raspberry Pi displays and HATS.
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