Retro Battlestation (update 2): dialing up a local BBS with the 2002 Power Mac G4 Quicksilver

Since my first post after receiving my 2002 Power Mac G4 Quicksilver, I’ve learned a number of things about this machine.

Following the Retro Battlestations subreddit, there was a group activity a while back to dial into the group’s BBS using, yes, a real dial up modem, from your retro machine of choice. So I thought I’d give it a go.

The internal modem is on a board

Internal modem missing

about the size of a pack of cards, and it’s normally screwed to standoffs on motherboard in the top left of the motherboard in this photo. It was obviously removed in this machine, so that explains why an internal modem was not showing up as installed.

Not to be deterred, I noticed you can pick up an Apple USB modem for just $10 online so I ordered one. Wanting to give it a go truely old-style, I wanted to dial in from OS 9 – this is when I found out that this USB Modem is a ‘soft’ modem, in that it works mostly in software, and no, it’s not supported on OS 9.

In OS X 10.4 however, it gets recognized correctly as an External Modem in the System Preferences panel:







For a dial up terminal emulator for the Mac, I found most references pointing to ZTerm , so got it downloaded and installed, and it sees the USB modem. Got the BBS number configured, and off we go!



Success! Dialed in to the Level 29 BBS! I was expecting to see ANSI colors in the text display, so not sure if I need to change a setting in ZTerm, but so far pretty excited this works!