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Ask Max: Finding a new computer to run old software

Asked on 04/17/2007:

I have a 6116 Mac that will not start up even when I insert an OS 8 disk. I continue to use this old machine because of the need for a timber cruise program that is no longer available. The newer machines will not run this program. So I have babied this old machine to continue use of the timber program. I use an LQ wide printer with this computer, which is also a problem with newer machines. The timber cruise software is programmed for this printer. As far as I know the newer computers are not adaptable to the LQ printers.

Any suggestions on getting this computer going? The start-up disk did work once. After that no luck. Also is there a multiple scan 15 monitor available?


I had a similar problem with my favorite CAD software. Claris CAD was the first CAD program I learned, and I still can whip together blueprints in that program faster then any other. I even kept an old Mac SE around to run the program because Claris CAD worked so poorly in OS 8.6 and up. As it turned out, when I started using OS X full time, I fired up Claris CAD in the Classic environment and it ran beautifully. I have to make Disk Images of floppy disks to save documents to, but other than that, this old application works great in OS X. To print I have to get creative and generate an EPS file and then convert that with an OS X application but it sill works. I would bet it could work for your lumber program as well. You are going to need a new computer because I think that Performa has sung its last song. A G4 iMac would be a good choice and would hold up over the years.

I hope that could work for you but if not, we do still have CRT monitors that can connect with adapters to the older Macs.

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