PowerComputing PowerWave 604/132

I replaced my wife's m68k Quadra with this PowerMac clone from PowerComputing. Over the years I expanded it with more RAM, a USB host adapter, a faster ATI Mach64 video card and even an early 3D graphics accelerator from 3D F/X that intercepted the video signal via a loopback cable. Normally the 2D video passed through the 3D F/X card, but mechanical relays switch in the 3D signal when activated. I also upgraded the original 132 MHz PowerPC 604e with a 200 MHz 604e I rescued from the trash heap. It served for many years until replaced with a PowerBook G4 whereupon I installed Debian and inserted it into the museum.

Like contemporary PowerMac clones, it was based on an Apple-designed Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) mainboard and OpenFirmware boot monitor. This made installing Linux over BOOTP/TFTP a snap.

The chassis and many other components were sourced from commodity PC parts, making them a bit more affordable than genuine Apple computers. Despite the flimsy-looking card-edge connectors for the CPU and PCI backplane and various aftermarket hardware upgrades, this machine remains one of the most reliable exhibits.