Anniversaries come and go. I keep a few but not many. One I missed this week was October 25, 2003. The anniversary of Mac OS X Panther. Mac360 got its start on Panther (Server) running on a gooseneck iMac G4 back in early 2004.
Yes, that’s correct. Mac360 was a home brew project to test out the viability of publishing a website about Apple and the Mac (and iPod; no iPhone or iPad or Watch back in those days) that actually ran on a Mac.
Mac To Linux
Panther Server on a desktop iMac was only the first of many Macs to carry Mac360 through the ensuing 14 years and nearly 9,000 articles; reviews for apps seldom viewed on mainstream Mac news sites, and plenty of saucy perspectives on all things Apple.
After the original iMac G4, Mac360 ran on a couple of Power Macs; the Bondi Blue-like Mac with a fold out door, a PowerPC Mac mini for a few months, and a couple of aluminum cheese grater Power Macs were required when website traffic exploded.
The Power Mac ran under my desk, connected to a dedicated IP address from a local ISP, and served about 10,000 pages a day to nearly 5,000 visitors. All on upgraded versions of Mac OS X Server.
That was then and this is now.
A Mac can be used as a web server but should not. First, back then, Mac OS X was relatively new and not exactly them most stable operating system. Panther’s Server version was priced at $500 and had far more features than macOS Mojave Server today, but the Mac just was not stable enough for a commercial enterprise. Second, after running on an iMac G4, a Mac mini, a couple of Power Mac models, an expensive Mac Xserve in a server cage, we bit the bullet and went all in on a virtual private server running one of the various and sundry flavors of Linux (which has been known to run for more than a year without a restart).
Mac OS X Panther is also known as the only version of Mac OS X that crashed and died and could not be brought back to life on one of my Power Macs. To dig into the intricacies that Panther brought to Mac users, check out Luke Dormehl’s Today In Apple History.