This page contains an increasing number of articles on Macintosh and peripheral hardware. Suggestions and contributions for this page may be sent to the webmaster or any group officer (see the Officers section of the "About" page on this site).

Adding Memory
Recycling Hardware
Where to buy computer gear
Where to get your computer repaired

Adding Memory

RAM Memory
Computer Running Slow? Upgrade your Dell Memory, IBM Memory, HP Memory or Apple Memory today at Premium Memory.

User Group Member Offer - Save an additional 5%
Coupon Code: UG-Discount

Older computers often do not have enough RAM memory to run newer operating systems or some newer Applications. The first sign of memory shortage is that the computer gets slower that it used to be. For Tiger (OS-X 10.4) and Leopard (OS-X 10.5) we recommend that you have more that the minimum requirement of 512 Mbytes and go to 768 Mbytes or more (1 or more Gbytes is better.) If you plan on doing a lot of graphic work, making movies, or composing music with GarageBand then you should consider getting more than 1 Gbyte.

MAGIC members can get a discount at Premium Memory (see right) by using the discount code shown.


From a presentation by Daryl Thomas

What is a peripheral? Any device that plugs into a mac's input ports keyboards, mice, hard drives, CD/DVD reader/burners, scanners, audio/video sources, etc, etc. A comprehensive discussion of all of them would take days to recite. Here I have limited to multi-button mice and hard drives - you are invited to offer your opinions & experiences on other devices.

Multi-button mice

Apple's single button mouse sucks, imho :-(

multi-button mice offer many advantages including:

multi-button mice typically plug into usb port. I recommend using the optical type. If you are still using a mechanical mouse or the apple hockey puck optical mouse, pitch them! Better still are the wireless optical types - they have the same advantages, but without mouse cable. However, they are more expensive.

I found the programing feature invaluable in transferring LPs to CDs. I could scan an audio waveform with scroll wheel,zoom in on waveform with a simple mouse click, and remove clicks and pops with another click. The uses are limited only by your imagination.

A partial list of manufacturers includes:

Webmaster Comment: I disagree with Daryl. I love my one button Apple mouse! Let gadget lovers who need more buttons and wheels purchase them. I hope Apple never puts them on new computers.

External hard drives

There are two types of connection on modern Macintoshes: firewire, and USB 2.0 Sizes range from 20 Gbytes to 300 Gbytes or larger. Some come with CD/DVD burners. External hard drives are plug & play (i.e. you can just plug them in and use them without lots of setup problems), and most are hot swapable (i.e. they can be plugged in and unplugged while the computer is running without any ill effects - Macintoshes are generally superior in this regard).

When purchasing a new external hard drive, this is a great time to decide whether to partition the disk (see article on how to do this).

Prices: roughly $120 for 1Tbytes to $380 for 3Tbytes external drives, usually bundled with backup software.

Recycling Hardware

There are many ways to dispose of your old computer equipment that are environmentally acceptable. MAGIC offers the chance to swap, sell, and buy equipment with other members - see the Swap Page of this site. Island Recycling in Freeland and Coupeville will accept all electronic equipment for recycling for free (thanks to a new State program that funds recycling) - they can be contacted at (360) 331-1727.

Otherwise there is a site which describes all the alternatives that are available for donating and recycling computer equipment at: