Need: Stealth Serial Port for Power Macintosh G4

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting obscure or discontinued technology products I would like to acquire for the vintage Mac lab.

As the years go by, I realize that after I’ve exhausted Google and eBay trying to acquire an obscure item I need, if nothing turns up available it’s easy to forget all the details when I want to try again later. That’s where these notes come in.

Furthermore, in the off chance you the reader should stumble across this post and have one to offer, well all the better for using the blog. Please contact me if you have one of these you’d like to sell!

Product: Stealth Serial Port for Power Macintosh G4 – Universal Model
Company: GeeThree Software, LLC
Status: Discontinued/Sold Out

Here is a screenshot with the product details just in case the site or company vanishes in the coming years:


Use Case: I’m trying to see if I can move the LocalTalk Bridge and IPNetRouter system from a Quadra 700 over to a PowerMac G4. The G4’s have built-in Ethernet but do not have a serial port for LocalTalk.

There would be several advantages to the G4 over the Quadra, chief among them is just the elimination of an additional server since I already have to run a G4 for the AppleShare file sharing chain from System 6 and 7 machines; to the G4 with OS9; to another G4 with OS X 10.5 Leopard; to the modern network (the subject of a future post).

More Raspberry Pi Setup Notes for VNC and BOINC

Yes, I realize these posts aren’t exactly riveting, but alas I’m essentially sharing my lab notebook here.

Setting up X11VNC:

sudo apt-get install x11vnc

Then configuring to run on startup:

cd .config
mkdir autostart
cd autostart
nano x11vnc.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=x11vnc -forever -display :0 -ultrafilexfer

Lastly, installing BOINC:

sudo apt-get install boinc-manager boinc-client


Updated: Telex-like Retro Twitter Newswire

Having recently moved a few services over to a Raspberry Pi, I’m now using Rainbowstream as the command line Twitter client. The install commands to remember were:

sudo apt-get install python-pip -y
sudo pip install rainbowstream

After tweaking my terminal settings as described in my original post below, I now have a nice low bandwidth Twitter client… retro style:


My original post from August 7, 2010:

Wondering what Twitter might have looked like a few decades ago? Maybe seeking a nostalgic way to get your news headlines? It’s easy to go retro with today’s tools–in this case the Terminal app in Mac OS X and TTYtter, a command line Twitter client written in Perl.

First install and authorize TTYtter as per the instructions on the website (it’s really much simpler than it appears when reading the directions, took maybe 5 minutes including authorization with the Twitter mothership). If you are looking for just news headlines, you might want to setup another Twitter profile to follow just breaking news sources, as TTYtter doesn’t yet support lists.

Then find and install a nice retro font, like the free Teletype 1945-1985 by E.V. Norat II. Next, In Mac OS Terminal, go to Preferences to create a new skin, specifying the new font and a pleasant vintage paper-like color for the background. Play with these settings until you get it to look just how you like.

Finally, open a new shell using the skin you created and run TTYtter for a retro Twitter newswire! Let me know if you can figure out how to add authentic sound effects. Enjoy!