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Spiderman

Solid Nitrozanium Superfan!
Member # 1609

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Icon 1 posted August 19, 2004 18:17      Profile for Spiderman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I recently came across a place in downtown Rockford (IL) that recycles and sells used computers. Upon arriving there today, I came across a Powermac G4...

From what I could tell, the specs are as follows.

Powermac G4 (AGP graphics)
500 mhz (1m cache)
256 ram
not sure about the hdd
also not sure if it's dvd or just cdrom

This link from Apple-history.com seems to be a full listing of the system. http://www.apple-history.com/frames/body.php?page=gallery&model=g4agp

Ok, here's the good part. I can get it for $200.

Coming from standpoint of a new mac user, here are my questions.

How well will this run 10.3? (It's currently running 9)

From the Apple history page I linked above, they were talking about "errata" issues with the 500 mhz version...After reading the info, I'm not sure I'm completely clear on their meaning. Is this a major issue?

Being totally unfamiliar with OS 9, what are things to check for? Diagnostics of some sort would obviously be in order as this is a cash-up-front and no-returns type of deal.

Final question, should I buy the machine? financially it's no problem and from what I'm seeing I think it's an exceptional deal for the price but what are the opinions of those here that are far more familiar with these lovely beasts than I?

Due to time constraints on my part and the fact that the guy could only promise to hold it until tomorrow, any info is greatly appreciated.

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Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x]

Posts: 846 | From: Chicago | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
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Icon 1 posted August 19, 2004 18:35      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not sure about the 'errata' problem you allude to, but I can tell you that my mother in law is happily running 10.3 on an iMac that's got lower specs than the one you describe.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10669 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bibo
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1959

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Icon 1 posted August 19, 2004 18:44      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I say go for it! Just be sure to upgrade the RAM to 768 or 1 gig

Also most likely the video card has only 16 megs of VRAM if it is the original card. To take advantage of the Quartz engine the video card needs a minimum of 32 megs of VRAM.

Posts: 1641 | From: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Chesty
Assimilated
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Icon 1 posted August 19, 2004 21:14      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've got two g3's (nowhere near 500) that i have kept with sys 9 for fear of "eratics". I have never had great success with upgrading mac OSs - seems that every time i do i can't use the scanner or the monitor, or the zip drive or something.

should work, but if it gives you hiccups there'll be somebody out there who it's happened to before and they'll get you out of trouble.

Posts: 416 | From: The Beach | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

Sir Snaggalot!
Member # 123

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Icon 14 posted August 19, 2004 23:21      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it will run Panther just fine. (I have a dual 500 btw). It's a nice machine, lots of input and output options... you will want to boost the ram soon, but for now, I'd go for it. [Big Grin]

You have seen it booting, right?

Posts: 8100 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 966

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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2004 01:42      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm running panther on a 450MHz g4 with 16 MB of video ram and 1.5 GB of system ram. It is fine for pretty much everything. What bibo says about it not running quartz is true, but that just means you don't get as many fancy widgets such as the cube rotation for fast user switching.

A couple of things to bear in mind:
1. OSX likes ram. You should definitely put more in.
2. Emacs are incredibly cheap for the specs. Consider getting one of those instead. ($799)

Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Spiderman

Solid Nitrozanium Superfan!
Member # 1609

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Icon 1 posted August 20, 2004 06:53      Profile for Spiderman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
You have seen it booting, right?

Yeah, it boots [Wink]

quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:

A couple of things to bear in mind:
1. OSX likes ram. You should definitely put more in.
2. Emacs are incredibly cheap for the specs. Consider getting one of those instead. ($799)

I've definitely found truth in what you (and others) have been saying about ram. My Powerbook (G4 15" 1.25Ghz) has 512 ram currently and I've been wishing for more [Wink]

About the Emacs, I'm aware of the low prices but in this case my purchase isn't because I need or was planning on getting another computer...it's mainly due to the low price of this system ($200) that I'm purchasing it. I figure that after a few upgrades, it'll be a decent system and right I'm not in the market for $800.

Thanks to all for the feedback...I'll be heading over there after work this evening.

Busy day...work until 5:00 p.m., have to be at this computer place (25 minute drive) before 6:00 pm. (closing time) and then another 20 minute drive for a monthly Rockford Linux user group meeting at 6:30...and...and... [Wink]

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Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x]

Posts: 846 | From: Chicago | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 1177

Icon 1 posted August 20, 2004 13:52      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you decide to buy that computer, make sure you also get a cheap used Radeon 8500 and flash it with Mac BIOS. That should take care of the slow Quartz problem.
Posts: 1094 | From: Boston | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Spiderman

Solid Nitrozanium Superfan!
Member # 1609

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted August 20, 2004 23:02      Profile for Spiderman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's official. This post is from the new system [Smile] [Smile]

I'm quite happy especially for what I payed for it [Wink]

I'll be upgrading the ram shortly...it currently has 384 which runs OS X quite nicely for web browsing but past that...

The other thing I'm looking to do is the video card upgrade. How wise is it to try flashing a pc vid card with a Mac bios?

Anyway, I should probably get some sleep now [Wink]

*goes happily off to bed thinking about his new computer [Wink] *

Posts: 846 | From: Chicago | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Danapoppa
Geek
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Icon 1 posted August 21, 2004 06:14      Profile for Danapoppa     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Congrats on the new box, Spidey!

Seems to me you should be able to find a used Radeon 9000 for Mac fairly cheap, if you look around a bit. Then you wouldn't have to worry about flashing ROM and all that. And it supports VGA, DVI, and ADC, which is handy.

Just a suggestion...

Danapoppa

Posts: 237 | From: South of Mt. Fuji | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
MacGenius
Alpha Geek
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Icon 1 posted August 21, 2004 06:35      Profile for MacGenius   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What a great deal!

Congrats.

Posts: 264 | From: Mars | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

Sir Snaggalot!
Member # 123

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Icon 10 posted August 21, 2004 07:11      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Awesome Spidie! [thumbsup]

hmmm, now I'm thinking I need a used Radeon 9000 too! [ohwell]

Posts: 8100 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
SuperBlabberMouth!
Member # 1177

Icon 1 posted August 21, 2004 08:37      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
8500 is essentially a rebadged 9100; it's quite a bit faster than the 9000. Flashing it with Mac BIOS shouldn't be hard, as long as you get the built by ATI version.
Posts: 1094 | From: Boston | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged


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