Please suggest a Mac powerbook or Mac laptop to run SWC

mkdud

Captain
Hello,
I need some MAC expertise. I have never owned a Mac, and would like to buy a used powerbook to play the Mac version of Super Wing Commander. Can someone suggest a powerbook that would work well for doing this? Please note that I would like to be able to use a joystick.

I would appreciate any suggestions on a joystick that will work with this computer, as well as what model powerbook and OS you would recommend.

Thanks in advance,
Michael Kelley
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
OS depends on the model of mac you end up with, but if it's later 90's then OS9 is the way to go.

I really don't know much about powerbooks from back in the day, except that the ones we used at elementary school were black and white screens, terribly slow and had the stupidest trackball you ever seen. I could be wrong, but i don't feel like laptops really were there yet at the time. It wasn't really till the 2000's (OSX) when they became useful. Give it a try, but I think your best bet would be a beige G3 desktop, or may be easier to find/cheaper one of those early imac all-in-ones with the color case.

At the end of the day it depends on what you find for sale.

As for joysticks, I still have my Gravis Mousestick II and it still works perfectly fine after 20 years, its amazing. Not that I'm using it much these days. Perhaps one day I'll get around to restoring my beige G3.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
This is a tough one! Wcnut is 100% correct that laptops in the mid-to-late 90s were a lot less capable than the ones we're familiar with today... and, especially, going back to those early LCD displays is extremely difficult. I'd highly reccomend going for a desktop instead, and after spending a lot of time playing with options my suggestion there is a PowerMac 7300 running OS 8.1.

If you're set on a laptop, you are also pretty limited in terms of what can play Super Wing Commander. Your best (and possibly only) option is a Powerbook G3 "Wallstreet"... the sort Carrie used to write her columns on Sex and the City! That's at about the sweet spot where it will have the horsepower to run Super Wing Commander, has an option for a CD-ROM drive, OS8 support and then has an ADB port for the joystick.

The joystick is an easy answer, though: your best option is the ADB (Macintosh) version of the Thrustmaster Flight Control System Mark I. You can also add a Weapons Control System throttle and a Rudder Control System pedal set (SWC doesn't support this last option but... it's pretty cool to have the whole system.) Any RCS will work (they're platform-agnostic) but you should make sure you get the specific Mac version of the FCS and WCS. (Which are usually pretty cheap on eBay.)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Good question... that ended up coming from a good bit of experimentation. For whatever reason, 8.1 was the most advanced that could slow down Super Wing Commander and also play Wing Commander III and IV seamlessly. Anything newer and SWC was too fast/broken, and anything older and WC4 wasn't happy.
 

mkdud

Captain
Good question... that ended up coming from a good bit of experimentation. For whatever reason, 8.1 was the most advanced that could slow down Super Wing Commander and also play Wing Commander III and IV seamlessly. Anything newer and SWC was too fast/broken, and anything older and WC4 wasn't happy.


Many Thanks for all your great info! I am planning on going the desktop route.

http://stn2.headgap.com/resale/FMPr...&-sortfield=SortID&-Max=40&category=CPU&-find

Can you please give me an opinion as to which of these might be better; I was thinking the PCC132Computer might be good since I can use my existing PC monitor? Or should I have them spec out a 7X00-120 to suit SWC through WC4? What specs should I have them build to if I'm doing the 7x00-120? Can I use my existing PC monitor with the 7x00-120?

Thanks again, and I really appreciate the help!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Both seem like good options, although I'd probably stick with the 7X00 option... like owning a real P-51 warbird instead of a kit plane :) (The Power Computing clones were fine, but it just wasn't quite the real thing.) I'd ask them to go a bit faster - a 166 or 180, just to ensure WC4 is as smooth as possible.

Video is no problem, you will need a simple dongle to convert the old Mac output to VGA. Amazingly, they're still available on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002J1JAE/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_R-COwbKT0MSB7

You WILL need an ADB keyboard and mouse, though! We are pre-USB.
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
Ah, you may be right, Now that you mention it, I do remember SWC running a little fast on my G3, but my memories could be clouded by my experience on classic mode with the G5 computer, which it really did run fast...and had other problems. It did run fine our on the old performa, but unfortunately that one bit the dust... :(
 

mkdud

Captain
Ah, you may be right, Now that you mention it, I do remember SWC running a little fast on my G3, but my memories could be clouded by my experience on classic mode with the G5 computer, which it really did run fast...and had other problems. It did run fine our on the old performa, but unfortunately that one bit the dust... :(

Well, ( mainly because I got it for repairing a friends Asteroids Deluxe board, and I was saving it from the junk pile) I now have a Blueberry G3 imac 333, with 32mb ram, and the original install of imac os 8.1 . I realize that this is not the "ideal" system for SWC as was so kindly suggested by Bandit LOAF. However, I'm going to try to make it work for SWC.

Can someone please help with slowing the system down ? Is there a utility to do this?

Also, I have a Thrustmaster USB Top Gun, and I need help using it with SWC on the imac. I can see the "Thrustmaster -20222" listed in the apple system profiler, but SWC is not recognizing the stick, even when I use "option j" to activate stick control. I'm not sure where to install the drivers. Please help if you can. Thanks Very Much again , mk.
 
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