As nice as a 605 is to have around just on it's own, there's not much point turning it on if you don't have a few apps to -do- stuff with. And here's the page for objective and subjective information about what's what.

  • Internet
    • Browsers
      • Netscape
      • iCab
      • Internet Explorer
      • Others
    • Email
      • Eudora
      • Netscape Communicator
      • Internet Explorer w/Outlook Express
    • IRC
      • Ircle3.04
      • Ircle3.1ß
    • Telnet
      • BetterTelnet 2.0
      • NCSA Telnet
  • Office/Productivity
    • Word Processing
      • MS Word 5.1
      • WordPerfect 3.5
      • Claris Works 2 & 3
    • Spreadsheet
      • MS Excel
    • Database
      • Filemaker Pro
  • Graphics
    • Editing
      • Photoshop 3
      • Photoshop 4
      • GraphicConverter
    • Viewing
      • jpegView



Browsers tend to end up being an option of personal choice. While some are technically superior in some areas and others not quite so, there will always be someone touting the advantages of Netscape over iCab over IE and back again. The best solution is to try the ones which will work on your particular OS install, give them a good run through, and make a choice based on your own experiences. The big three options on a Quadra 605 are:

With CFM-68k installed, any MacOS System on a 605 will run all versions of Netscape, and 4.08 is my browser of choice. It's rock-solid under System 7.1, and has no speed issues for the sites I browse. Sites with online forums that use complex tables are displayed with no fuss, but large images can bring it to a crawl. While it has many positives, RAM use isn't one of them - by default, it asks for 8Mb, twice that of iCab and IE4.
Links below are for either Navigator (browser only) or Communicator (browser, email and news). US Encryption is 128-bit, while Export Encryption is 40-bit

iCab has 2 big claims to usefulness - firstly, it's still being developed, and 68k versions are still being released (v2.81 at the time of writing). Secondly, it's a very efficient browser memorywise, only requiring 4mb RAM to run. On 256 colour screens (for 605s with only 512k of VRAM and running higher resolutions) iCab is just a better looking browser. Image dithering seems to be just that bit more sensible, however some pages with complex html may take a long time to display, and iCab itself tends to hog the system to get its' work done. The iCab download page should have the most recent version at any time - be sure to download the 68k version. If you are using iCab with 7.1 on your Quadra 605, download & install the thread manager and mac drag & drop.

Internet Explorer
These earlier versions of IE can run impressively fast, and displaying large images doesn't get in the road of IE4. If you have a moral objection to installing Microsoft guff on your Mac, skip IE - but it works well for some people, and giving it a try doesn't hurt (as long as you don't mind the plethora of random extensions its' installer throws around your HD). Even IE4.01 requires only System 7.1, so you can pick from any versions, depending which fits your needs.

Netscape, iCab and IE aren't the only options available however - for other Mac browsers including earlier/inbetween versions of Netscape and IE - see gamba's browser download page. For more detailed information on which browsers are compatible with which Mac OS, see the pickle's 68k browser profiles.


Many people can get by just fine with the email tools provided in the full-version packages included in browsers above, such as the Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer with Outlook Express, but for a lighter email package (using just under half a megabyte of RAM to run) Eudora works well.


Just about the only IRC client for 68k macs is ircle - which is one of the two main mac IRC clients (the other being snak, which is no longer 68k supported)

  • ircle 3.04 - the stable version of ircle
  • ircle 3.1 beta - the beta version for testing - also 68k and System 7 friendly!


  • BetterTelnet 2
  • NCSA Telnet



Despite Microsoft's less than appealing reputation just about -anywhere-, Word 5.1 works and works -well- on early macs. It's light, fast, and well... MS Compatible, to a point. It won't fare too well opening documents from whichever is the most recent version of Word at the moment, but if you need to produce documents which need to be word compatible, it'll do the job nicely. As a bonus, it seems most Quadras bought second hand have Word 5 or 5.1 lurking on the HD somewhere.

Word 6 is a different thing entirely. Burn any HD's you find with it installed.

WordPerfect is another option, with the big advantage that Version 3.5 is a free download. It's also capable of generating some pretty compatible files, if that's what you need.

Many Claris Works versions will already be installed on 2nd hand Quadra 605 hard drives - keep them, they're very solid, capable office packages, and the wordprocessing side has just about all you'll need.