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Getting old Mac software from the interenet without a modern Mac

TravisHuckins

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Apr 5, 2017
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USA
I currently have a mid 90's Mac that I would like to get some games on but every download gives me a stuffit file or a zip with files that my Windows 7 PC can't read. So, would this mean I would actually have to track down an old version of stuffit on an actual disk and then open the .sit files there? Or find some cheap modernish Mac to download the games off the internet with?
 

luckybob

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using old macs in this new world sucks. you will kill many downloads by just downloading them on a pc and trying to copy them. I found an old G4 that ran OS( and used it on the internet to be a inbetweener.

Recently my new fileserver has the ability to share files via AFS (apple file share). So I can just connect my mac to my internal network and copy the file that way. I even dedicated a whole hard drive to storage. I no longer kill any downloads, and I have an older G3 with networking, floppies and zip drives.
 

Sandisk78

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Moscow, Russia
I just use a G3 macintosh laptop to copy files into it by a PCMCIA ->CF card and then copy files from it by a macintosh null modem cable. It works fine with all my older macs from IIci to 7600/120.
 

Unknown_K

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First off if you use a PC don't save any file on a fat formatted drive because it will destroy the resource fork and be unusable on an old Mac (NTFS works fine). Some files should be installable with a double click, *.sit files will need a version of Stuffit (free and found online). I keep newer machines around for downloading and a Win2k server for file storage (last version to have built in Apple shares). Ethernet between machines works well, ZIP disks help.
 

luckybob

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@unknown_k

FYI, if you ever want to upgrade that server, Freenas has been wonderful. AFS worked perfectly in the limited tests ive done so far.
 

KC9UDX

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The best "tweener" for a Mac is an Amiga. It can make 3½" Mac disks of any size, and even run Mac software. If forks get lost, or otherwise out of sort, they can be easily righted from within AmigaOS.

But to download files with one these days can be very expensive. So you pretty much need another machine to do the downloading anyway.
 

jmetal88

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I'll second the 'G3 as a tweener' notion. I'm actually using a G3-upgraded Powerbook 1400C for that purpose, with a Lucent/Orinoco WaveLAN PCMCIA card for network connectivity.
 

SomeGuy

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I've also used a Freenas server for exchanging files between Mac and PC. Works great, but that assumes the Mac has an Ethernet port and already has a functional OS installed.

If you are not allergic to floppy disks, it is possible (although tricky) to write Macintosh 400k/800k floppy disk images using a Kryoflux. Even a brain-dead USB floppy drive will write 1.44mb Macintosh disks images but you would still need a tool to create the disk images with the files you want. And splitting large files is a headache. Programs like "Macdrive 95" enabled Win9x to recognize and read/write files directly to 1.44mb Mac formatted disks.

Some people have previously mentioned using a SCSI Iomega Zip drive for the purpose of moving files back and forth.

Using Basillisk II it is possible to connect a Mac SCSI hard drive to a PC SCSI controller and use it directly as a drive within the emulator. Not good for every day back-and-forth transfers but useful for getting a Mac installed, set up, or backed up.

I agree that sites offering downloads in pure SIT format is rather useless these days. Sadly, much Mac software has only been preserved in that format. Redumps from floppy or CD are badly needed.
 

TravisHuckins

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First off if you use a PC don't save any file on a fat formatted drive because it will destroy the resource fork and be unusable on an old Mac (NTFS works fine). Some files should be installable with a double click, *.sit files will need a version of Stuffit (free and found online). I keep newer machines around for downloading and a Win2k server for file storage (last version to have built in Apple shares). Ethernet between machines works well, ZIP disks help.

I guess I won't have to worry about this because the only FAT32 drives my PC has are USB flash drives... and my old Mac doesn't have USB.

Also my Mac has a CDrom drive that can read burnt CDs so that's how I would get software on it. I do have a few games on it (Lemmings and Sim City 2000) but that's only because I still have the floppy disks.
 
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T-Squared

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Well, a method I use (it's not pretty, but it works) is to use a Powerbook series laptop (the one I have is a 165c). I've been able to get Reader Rabbit and Wolfenstein 3D to work on it. All I do is convert any non-compressed/HQXed files to HQX format on my Macbook, and then split the files up into separate text chunks, use Mac-ette to create a Macintosh-compatible disk, transfer the text chunks, and reassemble them on the old Powerbook and convert them back into program data.
 
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Zippy Zapp

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I use a modern MacBook Pro and burn files downloaded to CDs. (USB Burner) All PowerMacs have a CD drive. For the ones that don't I have a SCSI external drive a SCSI ZIP drive and a few SyQuest Drives that can be used as go betweens. If they are disk images it is fairly easy to write them using one of the PowerMacs. In some cases for the more modern Macs (G3/G4) I have shares setup on newer Macs with a lot of storage. But mostly it is easiest to use CDs for me.
 
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Hebron, Boone Township, Porter County, Indiana, US
The major problem is dealing with large ISOs for G3 and G4 Games or other software. It takes FOREVER to unstuff them, even on a dual 1.42 under OS 9. Maybe I'm just spoiled by my q6600 with an SSD, but I do my downloading in the evening, then queue up SIT files to unstuff overnight, then it shut down.
 

Zippy Zapp

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Yeah large .sit files for ISOs can be a pain. I have stuffit on my MacBook Pro so for large ISOs I unstuff it there and burn it with Toast. But for sit files and large updates that is all part of the experience. heh.
 

trr94001

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Connecticut
If your older Mac has Ethernet then AppleShare becomes a possibility. I use a titanium PowerBook G4 running OS 9.2.2 to get games onto my Color Classic. You could go direct to the net instead but as bad as it is, Classilla is much better on the modern web than any browser that runs on a 68k Mac.

If your old machine doesn't have Ethernet you could still do LocalTalk if your inbetweener machine has serial ports.
 

dhoelzer

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After getting a working OS 8.1 running and then a 9.2.2 via CD images, I now download directly to the vintage Macs. Why bother going through a modern system at that point?
 

Unknown_K

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Ethernet is the easiest once set up (either using FTP or just file sharing with a server), but for small files a CDROM drive or removable media works well enough.
 

olePigeon

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I'm a big fan of Megneto Optical drives. I have a couple Fujitsu 2.3GB drives.
 

sqpat

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Seattle, WA
I posted my method of doing this just now in another thread.

Basically to sum it up, if your old mac has a working zip drive, you can create an HFS zip drive image (dd one or use HFVExplorer), use HFVexplorer to copy the contents of a .dsk file into it (such as the stuffit application) then you can use dd from a linux or mac machine or vm to burn this image to the zip drive. At this point, once the classic mac has stuffit, you can probably just use the a linux vm with hfsplus package to copy .sit files to the zip disk without full imaging every time.

Caveat is you need the zip drive drivers already working on the classic mac.
 
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