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iMic
25th January 2014, 08:06 AM
Good morning. We have a lot to discuss today.

Today, the Macintosh turned 30 years old. Those of us in possession of these earliest Macs are witnessing them now entering their fourth decade of functionality. I'd like to congratulate those owners and also extend an additional round of applause to those that have repaired and maintained these machines to see them through to this milestone.


Getting down to business, I'm not completely convinced that all is well in our corner of the world of computing.


Like the computers we own and service, the Vintage Mac scene has changed. The earliest discussions of these machines were centred around making a then middle of the road computer function in similar ways to the latest and greatest, when it wasn't such a ridiculous idea to run Mac OS 9 on a PowerPC 603 or 604 based Macintosh at the time the PowerPC G3 or G4 was new and OS 9.2 was still considered mostly current. Even OS 8.1 on a later 68040 based Macintosh could still be made useful for some tasks.

In some ways, that's still true even today. Apple themselves use the term Vintage to refer to any Mac no longer supported for spare parts and service, and as of today, this includes even those early 2006/2007 Intel based Macs. So while we're no longer attempting to make a Macintosh Plus useful for current tasks, there's still many who are attempting to do the same with G4s and G5s, for example.

Another direction the Vintage Mac scene is headed in is now more about preservation than practical use. More and more we're seeing enthusiasts diving into these machines with a screwdriver and soldering iron in hand to perform repairs and maintenance as we realise that there aren't as many of these machines around as there used to be. We're seeing independent projects out there now to replicate the functionality of the humble floppy disk using SD Cards as it becomes more and more difficult to purchase replacement floppies.

Not to mention that with every person that leaves the hobby, there's always a new generation looking to learn and explore, be it with the really old machines, or simply one looking to keep a more recent but now unsupported machine alive, especially now that a late model iMac G5 or early model Intel iMac or MacBook can be had for rather little money.


So, I wouldn't call the vintage Mac scene dead by any means, but it is without a doubt changing.



I've recently had the pleasure of meeting some incredibly talented and passionate individuals who own collections and individual pieces that put my own to shame. These are people that live and breathe the obsession, and I've come across more and more of them in recent years.

What I have found is a lack of communication between enthusiasts. Years ago, we had an incredible selection of communities to choose from. Many of them still exist but have reduced activity, either through acquisitions, mismanagement or simply because they focused in a limited area. AppleFritter, MacMod and CubeOwner come to mind. The loss of the hundreds of thousands of .Mac sites with the introduction of iCloud a few years back trimmed away many vintage resources in itself. Even LowEndMac, one of the major publications for Vintage and low end Macs, is focused more toward covering a more general overview of the Apple market in an attempt to boost their reader base and revenue.

The Vintage Mac hobby is very de-centralised. Search for a resource online and you'll find hundreds of smaller, personal sites with very few central locations to bring all of that information together. Personally I think it's excellent that we have variety in these many small sites, but it can be detrimental to those hoping to jump in, bringing both the newcomers and the veterans alike together.

Today, there are perhaps three active communities for Vintage Macs that immediately come to my mind at least, consisting of the 68k Macintosh Liberation Army (68kMLA), RetroMacCast and MacRumors Vintage & PowerPC Macs Forums, and to a letter extent, System 7 Today and of course our very own MacTalk Vintage Apple forum.

People have their own reasons for not immediately moving toward these still current forums, and while I don't wish to elaborate on this since I'm not here to reveal flaws or shortfalls in anyone's community, they're valid reasons. Some are too specific, some are hard to get into, some have strict guidelines and some have formed into cliques internally. A lot of them collect information, but are reluctant or unwilling to work with or even link to other partners in order to help direct their users towards sources of parts or tools.

No pointing fingers, and for what it's worth, I'm active and contributing to many of the above mentioned communities.

Thankfully, the MacTalk Vintage Apple forum seems to be highly regarded among those that participate in it, so well done to all of us here. Perhaps the only gripe some people have with it is that it isn't active enough, because they would love to see more of it!



It raises the potential for growth of our little corner forum in this segment. I've known many notable names in vintage computing that have been driven away from the hobby for one reason or another that would more than likely share their knowledge if only there were a stable and friendly location to do so. We here at MacTalk definitely have the right formula, and everyone here should be applauded, but we definitely lack the exposure. I think MacTalk in general has experienced a decline in traffic in recent years and this portion of it, tucked away down the forum index, is particularly slow as a result.

So I can't help but wonder if we could either increase the exposure of this corner of the MacTalk forum as a whole, or equally as viable, follow the example of the 68k Macintosh Liberation Army who in their early days branched from a sub-forum of MacAddict to become their own community.

These aren't ideas I have devised entirely myself, although I have thought about them. These are ideas I have had presented to me by others for consideration. Why me? I'm not entirely sure, although I have been jokingly compared to Doc Emmett Brown in the Back To The Future trilogy, so perhaps they think I may be crazy enough to seriously attempt it. Chances are, given the resources, I probably would too.



http://s8.postimg.org/ol4sqox91/1379667589703.jpg

Apparently this is me. Add about 40 years.



Personally, I love sharing my knowledge in this area with others. I love building and developing my own projects, and I enjoy seeing what others can do with their own projects. I prefer to repair rather than replace, and I'll attempt to repair my old hardware even after it's been replaced or retired, simply to see if I can.

So the last thing I want to see is a Vintage Mac scene that's as divided as the one we have now. I want to see a Vintage Mac scene that respects the veterans and truly knowledgeable individuals (those like our very own Brains, Byrd and Danamania / Velociraptors come to mind, among so many others) while also giving the newcomers somewhere that can feel welcomed and encouraged to learn, and I genuinely think that MacTalk's Vintage Apple forum, through the hard work of our own members like Oldmacs, has exactly the right attitude. If only we had more of a presence.



Further discussion is encouraged.



Regards,
- Michael / iMic / iMac600.

Oldmacs
25th January 2014, 11:31 AM
Very well said :) :) :)

Its amazing what is considered vintage today! My old 2008 Macbook White (Which is still in daily use by family members) has just been put on Apple's Vintage/Obsolete list. It is still a very capable machine, and is only left in the state that it is by forced obsolescence. These machines could have (And in some cases do) run Mountain Lion and Mavericks very well but alas Apple pulled the plug.

With the event of the world wide web I think obsolescence in computers has accelerated. In Mid 2011 I finally left the PPC world for an intel Macbook. At this stage I was still relatively happy browsing the web, and doing work on an eMac G4 and an iMac G3 both running tiger. However by the end of 2012, when I went back to try the same tasks on these machines it seemed quite difficult. Going back even further to 2006, I was given my first computer.. an LC 475. At that state it seemed to be still very usable, and I used it for all sorts of things... even thought at that stage it was 13 years old.


I believe the event of the i Device has also accelerated ageing of computers. My iPad is an iPad 2 purchased in March 2012.... my iPad is not yet 2 years old, and the model itself is not yet 3 years old. However most people label it as 'old' 'unusable' 'outdated'. The same with my iPhone 4. A Mac bought in 2012 would never be considered at all obsolete, where as i Devices are.


More to come later :)

tkc8800
25th January 2014, 04:23 PM
Great writeup Michael, yes hard to believe the Mac is 30 years old! I came across a link on the Retro Round Table website for an event that was held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mac: Mac 30th Celebration (http://www.mac30th.com/)

I came to retro Apple computers fairly late, I never used them back in the day, at the time I was into Commodores. My interest in them started with the story of the original 1984 Mac and the evolution of the GUI etc. And also from the original Apple II and it's history with Basic. I enjoy reviving these machines today for historical sake. There's great value in using these old systems and seeing what were capable of. There's also a great challenge in connecting them to modern equipment. It's very rewarding when you get that done.

And yes, let's hope this site stays active, I'm only new to it but it's great to have an Australian perspective on this stuff.

Byrd
25th January 2014, 07:39 PM
Hi Michael,

nice read - and to hear I'm a 35 year old veteran, I quite like the title :D For me, the hobby of "vintage Macs" is because I really love fixing things, and as I grew up with Macs = my favourite hobby. With these machines becoming more and more fragile over the years, I've learnt a lot about electronics and have such great pride in restoring Macs to their original glory, and usually beyond their original specification.

I also find it interesting how five years ago, vintage Mac hardware was worth nothing - then the passing of Steve Jobs and the rise of Apple's market share (and brand recognition) has suddenly skyrocketed prices. Not long ago, Vintage Macs were a dime a dozen and you would shudder at how many I gave away or threw out. But vintage were more plentiful in Australia - most schools lived off them in the 80's and up to the mid 90's. Apple had a much greater market share in Australia in the 80's/90's than the US. Then all of a sudden, the Macs became considerably thinner on the ground, and money started talking. I find it funny how so many "collectors" came up around this time but never contributed anything to the hobby. And that's what we need - sharing resources, parts and information for the hobby to continue. Meet up, if we can. In another five years, I reckon there will be only a few die hards left, and a much smaller collection of hardware available. And a few others trying to ream people with hugely inflated prices.

Mactalk has been quiet for two years. The Vintage Mac subsection is probably one of the most active sections, and that's not saying much. Another option is that we start an Aussie vintage Mac blog reporting on all our exploits and projects on the go ...

JB

Oldmacs
25th January 2014, 10:11 PM
Part 2 of my post :)

It is interesting how the vintage Mac scene has changed.. I'm only 17 so I can't really comment much, but I started collecting in 2009 and there were a whole lot more machines around then!!

I'm trying to collect a lot of machines now before they get even harder to collect. I used to be into working machines only but now almost anything is good! My first 3 machines I added to my collection after the LC 475 were two Mac Pluses and a Centris 650. I still have one of the pluses and the Centris. Keeping these machines running is an issue. If a battery hasn't gotten them then its the capacitors. The SCSI Hard drives are going as well. At the moment I have my LC 475 booting off a SD card, and hopefully as it becomes cheaper I will gradually convert the rest.

At the moment I'm not sure what direction I want to go in with my Machines. I'm interested in having examples from many eras, and possibly having complete pizza box collection then a complete Powerbook collection. I've gradually realised that having more machines often doesn't = better collection, as the burden of trying to get machines working becomes expensive and time consuming.

I'm very grateful to Mactalk in many ways... so many members have given me vintage machines for free or at a extremely low price and I treasure them all! I would have never been able to have a collection anywhere as nice as mine without you all!! Byrd, I've got the Powerbook 160 you sent me sitting next to me sorting through old floppy disks!

I don't think I will give up collecting Macs... Hopefully my collection won't grow massively, but there are more machines I would like!

I actually started designing a Vintage Mac Blog spinoff... but the HSC took over!! And again I will apologise for my lack of focus on the the vintage mac of the week! I will try and get better at it!!

The Mactalk Vintage Mac section has been more of a success then I thought. I know that its not that busy, but still I thought it would be shut right back down two weeks after I asked for it to be started!!

So yes Happy 30th birthday to the Macintosh :)

I challenge someone to do this with 30 Macs...

Happy 25th Birthday Macintosh! - 25 Mac Salute - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpfLWMH86eY)

~Oldmacs

jsarchibald
25th January 2014, 11:31 PM
Wishing I had the time to get back into the hobby on a more permanent basis, but with work, the commute, and study (not to mention a little one on the way), it is getting difficult.

Would love to see an Aussie site dedicated to collecting and maintaining these machines. For example, I can clean and lubricate an 800k or 1.44Mb floppy drive, but the 400k seems to be a different kettle of fish. I have a wall of classic macs that need love, but apart from swapping parts, I'm out of my depth.

cosmichobo
26th January 2014, 01:22 AM
I guess now you're dealing with a commercial entity (that for some reason keeps asking me to take surveys to tell them all about which cat food I buy), things are a tad complicated...

Yes, without doubt (IMO) MacTalk is sadly withering away before our eyes, which after 10 years (personally), is pretty sad to see... I don't have any idea of what internal politicking may be occurring, nor have any great solutions to the problem/s... I just know it's sad that I need to jump on an overseas forum/s now for my Mac related interactions... instead of this one...

Certainly, I'd encourage you to push to both have greater malleability over this corner of MacTalk, such as creating some sub-directories (etc etc), and also to have this section moved up a few notches... Even tacked in under the Desktops forum would be good...

Maybe MacTalk just needs to have a few sausage sizzles... that fixes everything, right?

iMic
27th January 2014, 07:25 AM
And yes, let's hope this site stays active, I'm only new to it but it's great to have an Australian perspective on this stuff.


Certainly, I'd encourage you to push to both have greater malleability over this corner of MacTalk, such as creating some sub-directories (etc etc), and also to have this section moved up a few notches... Even tacked in under the Desktops forum would be good...


It would be a potential growth area for MacTalk, but it's not profitable, so I don't think it would have the blessing of the current owners. I'm not sure what their intentions for this site are, so while I would love suggest we push for some greater presence and control of the Vintage Apple forum here, it doesn't seem like a brilliant idea to devote so much effort into building this corner of the forum until Niche Media makes their intentions for the rest of the site clear. After all, it would be a shame to build this forum up only to find out that MacTalk is being sold, absorbed or repurposed later on.




Mactalk has been quiet for two years. The Vintage Mac subsection is probably one of the most active sections, and that's not saying much. Another option is that we start an Aussie vintage Mac blog reporting on all our exploits and projects on the go ...


I actually started designing a Vintage Mac Blog spinoff... but the HSC took over!! And again I will apologise for my lack of focus on the the vintage mac of the week! I will try and get better at it!!


Would love to see an Aussie site dedicated to collecting and maintaining these machines. For example, I can clean and lubricate an 800k or 1.44Mb floppy drive, but the 400k seems to be a different kettle of fish. I have a wall of classic macs that need love, but apart from swapping parts, I'm out of my depth.


If I may for a moment, I'd like to share my take on this.

Personally, I would love to see another dedicated resource for this information take shape. Apple collectors, much like other enthusiasts in any field, like to share the knowledge and showcase their talents and projects. While there are a few communities based around our field of interest already, many of them are now just information repositories with very little community spirit and banter.

I have tried to contribute to communities like the Liberation Army, but my contributions are relatively low on the scale, so they can be overlooked. I recently discovered a way to boot Mac OS 9 on unsupported machines and was able to demonstrate it functioning, which I thought was a massive deal, but it wasn't. That isn't to suggest there's any issue with that method of running the community, but I think like everyone else here, we're used to having some back and forth and community spirit - even if our information repository isn't as extensive.


In recent years, I have worked on building another site exactly as you all describe. I have the community guidelines written. I have the forum structure written. I have it all visualised in my mind how the community should tick, and how to address the problems mentioned above. There are only a few hurdles that have prevented me from acting on it:



Design. This is important, contrary to what some would believe. Most computer forums retain that default phpBB install look, and if you ask me, they all blend together or look incomplete. Make it look noteworthy, and it'll stand out and be memorable when someone's searching for information. I'm not a designer. I have tried no less than 15-20 times and have failed over and over. How do you capture the essence of the Vintage Mac and make it attractive and functional too?


Community Software. The vast majority of community solutions, be it forums, blogs or content management systems - are awful. Vintage Mac communities likely don't have ridiculous amounts of cash floating around, so you have to go Open Source. For example, the most popular community software - phpBB - is a total mess to run, theme, manage and secure. FluxBB is lightweight, clean and efficient, but it requires modifications to add even basic features like Private Messages. Simple Machines is workable, but it has a few quirks that will get in the way from time to time. There is no perfect solution. You have to settle for "good enough", if you can call it that.


Name. What should it be called? Thankfully, this isn't too difficult.


Financial Aspects. These sites cost money to run, in hosting and domain registrations. That said, we're only talking a couple of dollars here and there. I would consider this to be a rather easy hurdle to overcome.


That said, the challenges still haven't deterred me. I started working on this in 2010 and the last edits were made last night. I'm bashing my head in frustration by now, sure... but that'll only make it more satisfying when it's completed, if ever.



Another aspect worth touching on is giving the community an Australian bias. This, I wholeheartedly agree with - but don't close the door to the rest of the world. If it means running the community with an Australian faction and various other user groups for international members, that's fine, but as we're already in a niche I would advise against limiting the reach.



Perhaps, if some of us put our heads together, we could see this through to completion. Who knows? I'd be curious to find out, that's for sure.

tim
27th January 2014, 08:01 AM
Have a look at Tezza's site over at vintage computers which I think is quite well done.

Classic Computers (One New Zealander's View) (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz)

He contributes a lot himself and also includes all vintage computers which makes a bigger audience.

(I think quite a few people that have old macs also have other old stuff. e.g. Commodore, PC etc)

Maybe an Australian version?

Just an idea..

tkc8800
27th January 2014, 09:24 AM
Have a look at Tezza's site over at vintage computers which I think is quite well done.

Classic Computers (One New Zealander's View) (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz)

He contributes a lot himself and also includes all vintage computers which makes a bigger audience.

(I think quite a few people that have old macs also have other old stuff. e.g. Commodore, PC etc)

Maybe an Australian version?

Just an idea..


I think that would be a great idea. From what I've seen, there is no vintage computer forum in Australia. Unfortunately due to economies of scale, it's hard in Australia to keep the momentum up if your audience is too much of a niche. It would be nice to see a forum that covers all vintage machines.

Byrd
27th January 2014, 09:47 AM
I think that would be a great idea. From what I've seen, there is no vintage computer forum in Australia.

I think that's a good idea - not just Macs, but covering other vintage computers would be wonderful. This country has had some interesting Australian-only hardware (Microbee and Osbourne come to mind, and things like early IBM desktops being made in Australia). We know how small the vintage Mac hobby is in Australia ... and how hard it is to get together. But imagine if we covered the rest - there would be much more scope for meets, and collective projects.

As a mod, I have no idea on the future of Mactalk.

cosmichobo
27th January 2014, 12:09 PM
MacTalk (used to) work for me, because there was that critical mass of people that meant you could come along with a Q, comment, rant, etc etc, and feel a sense of community in the responses... There was enough people to find some friends, get to know people, etc... without being too big and get lost in the crowd...

Apple Discussions and MacRumors both generally give me that sense of "too big"... A day after posting an iTunes query on Apple Discussions, that query was buried 5 pages deep...

It's a crying shame that MacTalk has lost so many regular posters... and is now in jeopardy...

Oldmacs
27th January 2014, 12:44 PM
Mactalk has recently been very very empty!!

Its a shame.. I like the vintage Mac section because people seem to hate me less here :)

When I joined in 2010 it was a far more lively place!

PO15KA
27th January 2014, 06:16 PM
Amibay, Lemon64 and LemonAmiga, AtariArea are few retro forums I visit frequently and wish there was something "homegrown"

iMic
28th January 2014, 11:48 AM
Working on it. I'd like to see something homegrown as well.

I've been trying out community software for the last 4-5 hours now. I've been attempting to design a visually appealing site for about the same. I'm about ready to leave a facial imprint in my LCD though. No dice so far.

cosmichobo
28th January 2014, 11:51 AM
Is there a forum for people wanting to start a forum...? :}

Oldmacs
28th January 2014, 11:57 AM
Vintage Macs - Index (http://vintagemacau.createaforum.com/index.php)


That was my attempt this morning :P :P

leon
28th January 2014, 02:51 PM
Vintage Macs - Index (http://vintagemacau.createaforum.com/index.php)


That was my attempt this morning :P :P

Why would I want to go on a forum about old things in a region controlled by China?

Oldmacs
28th January 2014, 03:06 PM
lol don't worry about it.. just my attempts at fiddling around with things...

I think the main hurdle is to create a design that is usable, good looking and reflects Vintage Apple machines in some way.

iMic
28th January 2014, 03:18 PM
Still working on it. I have something I'm pleased with, but it doesn't reflect vintage hardware. Still need to see what I can do in that aspect.

iMic
28th January 2014, 06:46 PM
Alright, here's the design I've been scratching together since... 4 AM? It's 7 PM now. Daaaamn.


http://i59.tinypic.com/xpowvo.jpg



What you're looking at is a base install of SMF 2.0.7 with a custom but incomplete template over the top. It looks incredibly rough and it's not even close to finished, but it's the first design I've produced that hasn't made me recoil in horror when looking at it, so I think I'll continue to pursue this one a little further to see if I can make something of it. No guarantees. Consider this concept art.


If there's one thing I've discovered, it's that SMF's configuration options are a total mess. When submitting a new post or reply, instead of returning you to the thread, it returns you to the board index. This can be changed, but it's under "Theme Settings", not Board Settings or Posting. Of course that set of options is buried under a sub-heading in the "Themes and Layout" area of the User Control Panel, and it's only visible from a down-down list, exposed by mousing over a button that has no indication of being a drop down list...

...I hate it.

I never thought I'd sing the praises of phpBB but sheesh. At least their configuration options are relatively simple. I think tomorrow I'll explore re-coding this entirely for other bulletin boards, because while SMF is easy to style, it does nothing for the end user - and that's an even bigger issue.

tkc8800
29th January 2014, 12:58 PM
The name is great, and the design looks more than adequate to me. I think you're onto a great thing here. As mentioned before, there is a gap for this type of forum in Australia at the moment. If you Google "Vintage Computer Forum Australia" or something similar, there is nothing specific. A few links to Whirlpool and some to the U.S vintage computer site. I think if you get it up and running and with a little promotion and word of mouth, it will take off.

Oldmacs
29th January 2014, 01:18 PM
I love it :)

CrypticSquared
29th January 2014, 04:08 PM
Wouldn't something along the lines of a wiki make it much quicker and easier to find information? with a forum for discussions?

jsarchibald
29th January 2014, 07:05 PM
Looks great! If this is 'incredibly rough', then the final product should pop.

iMic
30th January 2014, 02:37 AM
I love it :)


Looks great! If this is 'incredibly rough', then the final product should pop.


It takes a lot of effort to build something like this, especially with the community software fighting back at every turn. It's easy to become disheartened, and I've tossed away more code than I care to think about. The positive feedback makes me keep at it.

I still have some issues with SMF, and while I'm not incredibly thrilled about phpBB either, it is by far the most supported. I'd rather have to fix some issues up front and have the backing to do it than possibly have issues down the track and have no support. So far the design is coming over to phpBB rather nicely, and the code is much cleaner to boot.



The name is great, and the design looks more than adequate to me. I think you're onto a great thing here. As mentioned before, there is a gap for this type of forum in Australia at the moment. If you Google "Vintage Computer Forum Australia" or something similar, there is nothing specific. A few links to Whirlpool and some to the U.S vintage computer site. I think if you get it up and running and with a little promotion and word of mouth, it will take off.

You're right, there isn't really anything in Australia that covers this kind of enthusiast community. I'm convinced that it shouldn't be restricted exclusively to Australia, after all we're working as part of a global collective of vintage collectors, but I think having local input into its operation will definitely help drive its adoption here and give it a local advantage.

Starting these things off is undoubtedly rather difficult, since you start with a blank board that nobody wants to participate in. Starting momentum in the form of early adopters is critical, and thankfully we don't seem to be short of them. After that's covered, then we can work on making it take off.



Wouldn't something along the lines of a wiki make it much quicker and easier to find information? with a forum for discussions?

It would certainly be useful. I've been messing with DocuWiki on the side, and I do like what I see there. Once I think I have the design settled, then perhaps it'd be worth looking into bringing that design over to Wiki software as well and implementing both.



Oh, there is one more thing worth mentioning. Even if the board software, design, rules and guidelines, forum layout and even the people come together - where do you put it? Not to be that guy, but I'm still running the numbers on my next round of utilities bills, let alone hosting space and domain name costs. More than likely I'll have to look into other solutions, even perhaps working with others to address that issue.

iMic
31st January 2014, 06:17 PM
Quick Update. I've been throwing more effort behind making the site tick using phpBB 3. The strong start couldn't last forever it seems, because I hit some problems with phpBB 3 after a while, such as incredibly poor coding in the default template files. I considered revisiting SMF again to see if it would be easier to make that function how I wanted it to, but there's some challenges to be had there too.

I decided to let it sit for a while. I'll revisit it over the weekend or something and see if I can do something with it.

I think it's also become apparent from running the numbers with providers like A Small Orange that I won't be able to cover the hosting costs for this thing. It's not expensive, but it's more than I have. If I was to host it, I'd have to find someone willing to share their server. That's not to say it would be forever, eventually I could possibly arrange for it to run on its own webspace, but up front I don't think it'll happen.


There isn't much in the way of communities for old tech in general, and especially old Macs (don't say 68kMLA, that place is developing a bad rep for valid reasons), so I'm still convinced it's a good idea, but I'm still undecided about how to act on it. It could be worth finding some reasonable webspace somewhere and slapping together a base install with a starting design simply to get it off the ground, then work out the more in-depth details later.

CrypticSquared
1st February 2014, 07:40 PM
I think it's also become apparent from running the numbers with providers like A Small Orange that I won't be able to cover the hosting costs for this thing. It's not expensive, but it's more than I have. If I was to host it, I'd have to find someone willing to share their server. That's not to say it would be forever, eventually I could possibly arrange for it to run on its own webspace, but up front I don't think it'll happen.


I think you have made an excellent start. Is there a chance that you could run a small server off your own connection? I have no idea how you would cover the costs of a hosting/vps service. I detest the ads spamming this site. I'm assuming that there is the possibility that a couple of people might have already offered you some space. There is DreamHost of course, $15 per month for a small VPS and much cheaper for a plain hosting plan. Perhaps if people are really interested, they could contact you via PM to arrange another solution? I would be interested in visiting but I don't have extra money at the moment to put into it. I'm current in the midst of building my own site from scratch to run on my VPS as I've struggled and eventually become too frustrated with the current solutions on offer. $15 a month is quite doable for me though (even if it's just a place holder for now.) Perhaps people reading this thread could contribute in some small way?

cosmichobo
1st February 2014, 10:08 PM
Kickstarter?

lawrencium
4th February 2014, 06:54 AM
Financial Aspects. These sites cost money to run, in hosting and domain registrations. That said, we're only talking a couple of dollars here and there. I would consider this to be a rather easy hurdle to overcome.


Perhaps, if some of us put our heads together, we could see this through to completion. Who knows? I'd be curious to find out, that's for sure.

All of these ideas sound excellent and quite reassuring, especially for someone as myself who is relatively new to the Apple and vintage Apple scene.

As far as financial aspects go, maybe have a membership or fundraiser-based community? For example, we could pay a nominal fee every 6 or 12 months or even hold an annual fundraiser with an association with a charity of some sort (i.e. if more than $x is raised by the community, the rest will go to a charity of choice - a type of goodwill incentive)?

Of course, these are just thoughts. The mockups look quite good, too.

iMic
11th March 2014, 12:11 AM
The code absolutely looks doable. I was able to make SMF's board engine take nicely to the custom appearance, but hit additional hurdles with phpBB. Since it would be better to start with a system and change it as necessary later than not start at all, I'd throw my support behind SMF again at this stage unless a viable solution to build phpBB becomes apparent or the option to purchase a better board engine like IP.Board becomes a reality.

Incidentally, I hate building forum and community systems. Once they're up and running I can mostly keep them ticking away, but that initial design, code, test, change, retest phase is a nightmare. No wonder so many choose to contract these out to third parties. That said, I think if the design was the only concern, I could arrange it. The more I look at Invision Power's community design (http://community.invisionpower.com), the more I'm inspired by it.

How the site would be hosted was never really established. I have this unusual situation of having enough machines, including some older rack mounts, but no chance of connecting them up anywhere. The costs of running such a unit would blow the budget out by something stupid, plus make us responsible for hardware maintenance and backup, so there's a couple of additional costs too. That's completely off the table. Having the site hosted by a provider like Media Temple (http://mediatemple.net) would cost significantly less ($240/year) and provide significantly more in terms of resources to boot (100GB Disk Space / 1TB Bandwidth).

Now there's some other factors worth considering too. I'm officially a student now, having started my studies about 3 weeks ago. That doesn't mean I don't have enough time for this, because I could absolutely manage to find some time for it, but it does mean I'm still in the process of working out my financial situation. It's a little more stable now than it was a month ago, but it's still not quite there yet.

The other factor is that I'm looking closer at MacTalk's overall situation. The number of surveys they're throwing around gives me the impression that Niche is looking to make a move with MacTalk, and I'd be surprised if the Vintage Apple forum was incorporated into that plan. I am wondering what else will be changed though, and whether instead of focusing efforts exclusively on vintage machines I should be considering picking up other areas that may otherwise be deemed not profitable enough or not important in Niche's future vision for MacTalk.

Ideally I would be working with others on the matter so we have multiple sets of eyes on the plans and changes as they develop and multiple minds tossing around ideas to overcome hurdles, but it's taking a while to make that happen.

avolve
11th March 2014, 08:56 AM
I am following this with interest, not out of any specific work with vintage macs, but given the changes in the 'community' here. As in where have people gone/alternatives emerging as attempts to monetise this space increases...

The mock-up looks interesting good job. Forums are quite difficult to create an interesting and effective theme.

iMic
19th August 2014, 01:09 PM
Hi MacTalk,

Since this thread seemed to fall off rather quickly, I wanted to bring some closure to what happened here.


We continued working on Australian Vintage Computer, but as I mentioned, we really did need multiple sets of hands on deck to make the project viable. We had to address some financial issues, along with questions about where to host the community. Fast forward a month or two and we hadn't really come any closer to resolving these problems.

Around the same time, interest in MacTalk was renewed, so I started discussions with Niche about the future of MacTalk. At the time, Australian Vintage Computer was moved down in the list of priorities. We still have some talented and dedicated people working behind the scenes at MacTalk, and while my contribution has been basically nil as of late due to it being a fairly intense time of year for studies, I'm still interested in what's happening here.


In May, we resumed discussions to see what could be done with Australian Vintage Computer. Around that time, another large vintage computing forum was in the process of making some changes to their staff hierarchy. Some of the people that left there around that time joined the AVC project. Since their background was in Vintage Macs and many of them were based outside of Australia, AVC was refocused toward Vintage Apple computers and was rebranded as ThinkClassic, a combination of Think Different and the collective name for older Mac OS releases - Classic.

Around this time, one of our administrators graciously provided the server and domain needed to start the community off. We ceased development of any code and design on phpBB and moved across to FluxBB as the foundation of the forum. The appearance was also remade from scratch, and it certainly changed quite a bit since my last screenshot here:


http://s22.postimg.org/6vhb6pcxt/Screen_Shot_2014_08_19_at_12_02_17_pm.jpg


ThinkClassic launched on the 15th of May, 2014 at www.thinkclassic.org (http://thinkclassic.org), where it currently resides. It's focused toward the repair, restoration and maintenance of vintage Apple devices. We're also interested in the support and care of most makes and models of vintage and obsolete computing gear.


I'm extremely pleased to say the contributions and efforts as a result of this thread weren't lost. A lot happened after those last few posts, but we simply ran out of time to document it all here.


Cheers,

~ iMic.

lawrencium
19th August 2014, 02:05 PM
That looks excellent, iMic. Well done.

napes
26th August 2014, 08:34 PM
Nice one iMic :) Have just signed up :)

It is sad to see that MacTalk is becoming quiet these days. I used to spend loads of time on here and even remember the odd BBQ catchup and discussions about home brew beer and retro tech. I kind of lost my love a bit for mac collecting - sold and gave away a bunch of my machines, and stopped tinkering. Last major project was this http://www.mactalk.com.au/20/51665-arcadimac-imac-powered-mame-machine.html - it IS still running though the iMac eventually died so while it has a mac monitor it runs a dirty PC for guts now.

Anyway - I don't have the same interest in new apple gear - great design for sure, but the OS and infrastructure it locks you into these days really turns me off. So look forward to seeing some of you over at ThinkClassic! :)

napes

Washerman
1st September 2014, 01:54 AM
Have joined up too - bit over having every post I make here sent into limbo as a new member.

Edit: And now it works for once!

iMic
1st September 2014, 02:26 AM
Nice one iMic :) Have just signed up :)

It is sad to see that MacTalk is becoming quiet these days. I used to spend loads of time on here and even remember the odd BBQ catchup and discussions about home brew beer and retro tech.

~

It has been quiet around here in recent years, although I think it's starting to make a comeback as of late. Still, even though it's a community in its infancy, we're extremely pleased with what we've managed to create over at ThinkClassic. Great to have you on board! :)



Have joined up too - bit over having every post I make here sent into limbo as a new member.

Welcome! :D