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 One of the reasons older computers seem so slow has to do with the amount of memory that newer software programs use. The latest versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape have some nice features and will do a lot of things, but both use quite a bit of memory in order to do them. Older computers often cannot meet the demands of these memory intensive programs but can still be put to good use on the Internet. They can be used as dedicated email machines using specific email software such as Eudora. They can even be used to surf the web with either older versions of Netscape or with some of the alternative web browsers available. The links below will lead you to websites where you can download some of this software for free.

Macintosh

  • Eudora This free email program works great and the older versions use very little memory. I currently use an older version of Eudora with a Macintosh SE/30 for student email access in my classroom.
  • iCab An alternative web browser for Macintosh computers.
  • MacLynx A text only browser for Macintosh computers. This may be a good option if you have an old black and white Mac.
  • Netscape Older and leaner versions of Netscape can be downloaded (scroll down to find the version that best matches your operating system). My students have successfully used Netscape 2.0 on an old Macintosh LC.
  • Opera for Mac Opera is a newer web browser that not only has smaller memory requirements, it is also faster. Although Opera began as a Windows only program, it now is available for Macintosh and other operating systems as well.
  • Old Macs on the Internet MacWeb and other Internet software is available on this page along with instructions on how to get them onto an older Mac.

Windows

  • Eudora This free email program works great and the older versions use very little memory.
  • Netscape Nearly all of the older and leaner versions of the Netscape web browser can be downloaded and used on older machines.
  • Opera for Windows Opera is a newer web browser that not only has smaller memory requirements, it is also faster. It is a great option!

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