Friday, November 21, 2008

Color Classic internet connection over wireless?

Ever since I helped configure a wireless ethernet adapter at a friend's house I've pondered whether the Color Classic could be connected to the internet without a direct ethernet cable.

The folks at are offering a Belkin F5D7330 802.11g wireless ethernet adapter for $19.99 this week, so I decided to spring for the purchase and give it a try. The product description includes the following statements which give me a glimmer of hope:
  • Works with all Ethernet-equipped computers or network devices
  • Requires no drivers, setup, or configuration
  • Comes with a Belkin Lifetime Warranty and free, 24-hour technical support
  • Automatically connects to the wireless network by the touch of a button
One gotcha may be that it is USB powered (does not have an external adapter) but I plan to get around that with a spare iPod charging adapter with a USB socket that plugs into an AC outlet.

I'll report back on my progress after it arrives. If I get stumped I can always try their free technical support!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Running MacHTTP off a RAM disk?

I am considering trying to run MacHTTP from a RAM disk to reduce wear and tear on the hard disk of the Color Classic. The drive spins constantly while the machine is on (which is 24/7/365) and while the first drive lasted 15 years it only makes sense to conserve the life of the replacement and reduce the electricity the Color Classic uses if possible.

My Color Classic has 10MB of RAM (the maximum it can recognize). System software is using a whopping 4MB of that, and if MacHTTP runs for awhile it wants 4 MB, too. The only other application that I have running concurrently is ftpd for updating the server via ftp over my local network (my router blocks incoming ftp connections for security purposes).

The memory control panel will only let me set a RAM disk for a little over 3MB. Maybe setting the disk cache to higher number will help? I guess I need to review the memory usage concepts from System 7.6.x.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Visitor tracking software upgrade

Visitor statistics for the Color Classic Web Server are kept using a free service from Extreme Tracking. They recently upgraded their tracking software to a new version which required starting the statistics all over again (the new software does cannot import the previous data).

You are welcome to view the new statistics as well as the old data which collected visitor information from 21 July 2004 through 14 November 2008. During that timespan the Color Classic Web Server averaged 98 visitors a month. The busiest month by far was December of 2007 with 965 visitors after the Color Classic was featured in an article at

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hard drive transplant complete

The original Quantum 80 MB hard disk drive in the Color Classic web server finally called it quits after 15 years of service and as a result the site was offline while a replacement was located and installed. Since a hard drive replacement involves removing the rear case and exposing the high voltage CRT anode I relied on my skilled colleague Lowell who kindly devoted far more time than either of us expected to this task.

Locating a SCSI drive is not a quick and simple task anymore, but a donor Apple-labeled 160 MB Quantum drive was finally installed, formatted, and restored successfully. During the process Lowell put in a replacement battery and used canned air to remove plenty of dust that had settled inside over the years. Freshened and ready for action, the server was brought back online this afternoon and pointers set back to normal for the domain.

We encountered some interesting challenges in formatting the new drive and restoring the software which I will write about shortly. Needless to say when you don't use troubleshooting skills for legacy machines you forget them completely. Thank goodness for the internet where you can search and find answers from others who have taken the time to document the unique aspects of working on a Color Classic in the 21st century!