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Old 04-21-2011, 10:39 PM
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Default Just got an old iMac G3... now what?

Popped onto Kijiji this morning and spotted an old iMac G3 for $10. What the heck. Picked it up this afternoon: My First Mac. "Training Wheels"!

Okay, so I've touched a few Macs; enough to get a vague feel for how they work.

This thing's running OS 9.1, has IE4 and Netscape 6 installed. The mouse's innards were fuh-ilthy. The CD drive says it needs something in the Startup folder to play audio but it doesn't eject when the button is pushed.

So, what are some good resources for finding apps for this dinosaur? For it's age, it's relatively zippy but once I find the Add/Remove equivalent, I can already see room for cleanup.

Is there any room for an OS update on it?
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:49 AM
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DESTROY IT!!! DESTROY IT!!! DESTROY IT!!!

or install Windows
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Vicenarian View Post
DESTROY IT!!! DESTROY IT!!! DESTROY IT!!!

or install Windows
How would you propose that he install Windows on a G3?

You're probably going to be able to run OS X 10.2, maybe 10.3 on it...and a very slight chance of 10.4 with some third party hacks. 10.3 and 4 will run pretty slowly, but if you just want to play to learn go with the latest OS you can get on it.

I wouldn't even bother doing anything at all with Mac OS 9...it's a dinosaur and few people still use it. The differences between OS 9 and X are pretty significant, anyway. I have one old lady customer that's still hanging on to it, everyone else I work with has a recent OS.
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:05 AM
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www.lowendmac.com

I did something similar...
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:10 AM
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I've only got a couple of customers with Macs. One with 10.4 and one with a classic mac that she was writing her memoirs on.

Since twould appear that the CD drive is dead, what's the best way to get this thing updated then?
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by eHousecalls.ca View Post
Since twould appear that the CD drive is dead, what's the best way to get this thing updated then?
Is it a new enough G3 to have firewire? How about the processor speed? Basically if it has firewire and enough RAM, you can install 10.4 through firewire. Of course, to create the firewire installer, you would need another Mac with a working optical and a retail version of 10.4. Or else the other alternative is to pull the drive from the G3 and slave it to another Mac with a working optical that is old enough to boot a 10.4 retail installer DVD and do an install that way. Pop the drive back in the G3 and there you go.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:21 PM
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Nope. No love there. Started the System Profiler: no firewire, no CD showing up anywhere (when I start the CD Player, I can't find the 'put the driver in the Startup' location yet).

It's a 233mhz, 4gb drive, 96mb ram .... and has the occasional lockup.
Netscape 6, FTW!
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by eHousecalls.ca View Post
It's a 233mhz, 4gb drive, 96mb ram .... and has the occasional lockup.
Netscape 6, FTW!
I dont think that it would even run 10.3 too well, to be honest. I know around here there is a 'specialty' store that specializes in second hand Macs. They sell these G3s for about $89. Even those have more RAM and a faster processor.

With enough RAM, you probably could get 10.4 on there with xpostfacto, though I have tried it with a clamshell and ran pretty bad with the same speed processor and 512MB of RAM.

But, it is always fun to mess around with antiquated hardware and see what you can do.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:59 PM
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You could probably squeeze a vista upgrade on it.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:56 PM
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But, it is always fun to mess around with antiquated hardware and see what you can do.
Yup. That's basically how I'm looking at it. "Becoming more familiar, more comfortable" is the mantra.

If I can get a better browser onto it, I might make it my PCRT machine. Something like that.
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