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Cheap Fixup Strategy Needed

Member for

18 years 6 months

After a 3 year hiatus, 2 moves and a couple years in non-climate controlled storage, my studio is getting reinstalled. The casualties from the aforementioned abuse is not as bad as feared. The only pieces that are toast are my two old Mac Classic IIs, which I used to run MOTU Performer (Hey, they did the trick!).

Now that they're both toast, I'm looking at the best and cheapest (did I mention cheapest?) way to get up and running again.

I'm cool to Ebay up an iMac or the like for $250, but then I have the issue with my MOTU MicroExpress MIDI interface using a serial connection.

What's the cheapest way to get a Mac that'll read floppies, have a serial connection and still be a reasonably newish machine?

I don't want to get a machine that I can do digital audio on, 'cause I'm a cheapskate analog guy who slaves MIDI tracks to SMPTE. Enough to handle a buttload of MIDI tracks on MOTU Perf 4.X is cool.

If there's a cheap way to convert USB to serial, that's okay too.

Just looking for cheap ideas. I want to get out alive for $200 - $300.

Thanks in Advance...



Member for

17 years 11 months

maintiger Wed, 02/18/2004 - 15:40
If you want to use a mac for just midi running performer 4.0 even a clasic II will do... you could pick up an old beige power mac probably for a hundred bucks or less on e-bay- or look at your local pennysaver- heck you could even get one for free! I gave my old mac away not too long ago and it did midi with performer 5.0 just fine...

Member for

18 years 6 months

Todzilla Fri, 02/20/2004 - 04:06
Now I'm thinking of getting a low-end iMac on Ebay, then grabbing one of them thar USB to Serial port converters so I can still use my MicroExpress MIDI I'face. I guess I'll need an outboard floppy drive too, so I can reinstall MOTU Perf and all the backup files I made on floppy of ancient sequences.

I'll get out for about $300, I figure.

Plus, damn if them early iMacs weren't kinda cool looking. Not like the cube, but who's got a grand to spend on an non-expandable computer?

Member for

18 years 6 months

Todzilla Tue, 02/24/2004 - 04:24
My final solution:

I just ordered a Beige G3 Mac from It is essentially the most powerful, modern Mac that still has the legacy features I need, i.e., serial ports and a floppy drive.

It should be a huge step up from my Classic IIs and it only cost me $150 + $50 for a 17" Apple monitor.

Of course, I dare not use it for serious digital audio recording. (or do I?)

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 02/24/2004 - 12:43
Well it depends on what you mean by serious digital audio. Do you know rev MOBO it has? rev b,c has master slave HD capabilities.Other wise a IATA controller is best. You would need another HD. Could always beef up the CPU w/ Sonnet g3/500 is pretty cheap now, which would help with plug ins. Fill it up w/ RAM.
It may give 12-16 tracks with some low CPU use plugs. Any verbs or comp's, 3rd party plugs and you will start to crawl. Audio app dependent of course. DP?
All in all, it may be about the same to get a G4.