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Viva System 7

The first Mac I bought (though I'd been using them since the LC days) was a PowerMac 7100/66 in 1994, and it was my dream. I even paid extra for the GeoPort modem (remember those gnarly beasties). It shipped with a special version of System 7 (v7.1.2) that was optimized for the new PPC chips to which Apple had just transitioned. And wow, was I happy with the speed and stability of System 7 on my new 7100. Believe it or not, it was actually possible to have a stable System 7 working environment--I did for years. Myst on this baby was one of the first truly surreal experiences I'd ever had with a computer.

I haven't actively used System 7 since I got rid of my PowerBook 100 back in 1998 but was pleased to find that some people are still championing this breakthrough OS. Dan Palka is a student at Bradley University and has set up a hobbyist site called System 7 Today, and maintains a fairly complete list of tips, tools, and tricks you can use to tweak out your System 7-equipped Mac.

And, who knew you can still order a boxed copy of System 7.6 from Apple? Go figure!

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