Give your legacy Mac hardware a nudge into OS X with the XPostFacto hack.
Wait, don't throw out that old Power Mac or Umax clone; it may just be up for a little Mac OS X sprucing. Some of those old Macs will actually run Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) ? with a little help from an unassuming-looking control panel.
I recently gave an old 7500 a G3 upgrade card from Sonnet (http://www.sonnettech.com/), a quad-port FireWire card, and a dual-port USB card (only $37, combined). Mac OS 9 ran rather snappily and the machine served quite nicely as a USB print server. Then I stumbled across a little something called XPostFacto (http://eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/XPostFacto/), which is open source and free.
XPostFacto is a little hack that brings Mac OS X, OS X Server, and Darwin to older, unsupported, and forgotten Mac models ? those draped in the unfashionable beige of times past.
Before you think of giving XPostFacto a whirl, be sure to consult the compatibility chart at:
Also, make sure your machine has been recently backed up. You're dealing with an unsupported hack here.
You can find XPostFacto site's comprehesive documentation at:
The procedure in a nutshell is:
Boot into Mac OS 9.
Insert your standard-issue Mac OS X installation CD.
Run the XPostFacto application (icon shown in Figure 2-4).
Point XPostFacto at the install CD and target volume.
Click the Install button.
Follow the usual installation instructions.
It'll take a while, mind you. Have some coffee, read The New York Times, watch a movie, and have a good meal. When you return, if all's gone according to plan, OS X should be humming away on your old throwaway Mac.