OS 9 Retrolust, Part 1

My buddy Ari is giving me his PowerMac G4 MDD 1.25. I’ve always collected old Apple machines but this is going to be quite an experience for me. When I was younger, my parents bought me an iBook G4 1.42 14” to do schoolwork on, but see – it was a “New World” Mac that was never capable of running Mac OS 9. The only reason for this I suspect is some kind of assertion in Apple’s OpenFirmware flavor. Fun fact (if you didn’t already read the Wikipedia page): Sun is responsible for OF and was kind of a big deal back in the day. Never as big as our new EFI standards, but I digress.

At any rate: a company called Sonnet in Irvine, CA makes cool accessories for Macs. If you look on their site, they make Thunderbolt hubs and NAS-style Thunderbolt disk docks; fairly standard stuff (although, I must say, the Mac Mini 1U rackmount enclosure is pretty neat). Back in the day, however, they used to make “upgrade cards” for PowerPC™ based Macs. The upgrade cards were either piggybacks on the existing chip (e.g. your processor would connect to a small daughtercard before pinning to the board, so they would expand cache and increase clockspeed with circuitry in that card) or new chips in of themselves. The G4 MDD is known as the “last hurrah” of the Mac OS 9 machines; the fastest OS 9 machines ever made. The MDD in its most potent form came with 2x 1.25GHz “AltiVec”-enabled (fancy vector math FPU) PPC chips.

I am looking for a encore duet Sonnet set, but they are sadly discontinued. It would be nice to own the fastest computer ever, for the end of an era. I will keep looking. I will find one some day.