Old Power Mac G3, do we want?

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chombee
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Old Power Mac G3, do we want?

Post by chombee » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:49 pm

A compromise we agreed on for the action room was that we'd look for a second-hand mac we could claim to run photoshop on. I've gotten a Power Mac G3 Blue & White:

* 400Mhz
* 128Mb RAM (I think, it could be 256, that's on two RAM sticks, and there's two more empty slots)
* 9GB SCSI hard drive
* CD ROM

I've been told it has OS X on it but I don't know what version as I haven't been able to boot it yet. I've been told these can run up to OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and that with plenty of RAM it'll run Photoshop, just not very fast.

It needs a 68 pin SCSI cable to connect the hard drive. I fucking left this behind when I picked it up :/ It also needs a USB keyboard and mouse, and a monitor. Although I also have a flatpanel monitor I could donate, and we have loads of monitors in the room already.

I dunno ... it's a sturdy looking machine, but low spec. The hard drive could be upgraded to a bigger one if needed, or else the machine could be networked to our Linux server and use network file storage. More RAM could be added. Do we want it?

Oh, I don't actually know that it works yet, cause I don't have the SCSI cable. But I was told it was working. Currently it turns on and plays a note then shows an icon that means it can't find the operating system.

It's damn nice hardware and case, much better than any PC I've seen.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

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Dandolo
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Post by Dandolo » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:05 pm

Use Leopard, it's the most advanced OS that'll run without slowing it down.

chombee
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Post by chombee » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:14 am

Leopard is their most recent one, right? It doesn't support this model. The one before Leopard (Tiger) was the last one to support the G3's.

I got a SCSI cable from action room and connected the hard drive, but it turns out the drive seems fucked. It wouldn't boot, and I couldn't partition it to try installing something else either. So I'm gonna try putting in a spare IDE drive (40G or 80G) that I have lying around and I'll install Linux on that for testing purposes. I haven't got round to it yet though, not much spare time.

If it works and we want to install Mac OS then we'll need an install CD, I don't have one.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

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Dandolo
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Post by Dandolo » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:47 pm

i mean panther, the one before tiger.

chombee
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Post by chombee » Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:40 pm

Oh okay. Will do.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

chombee
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Post by chombee » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:05 pm

You weren't kidding. I just read a post from someone who upgraded from Panther to Leopard and looked at the size of all the programs:

Code: Select all

Before                          After
-----------------------------------------------------
Address Book    2.3 MB          47.5 MB
iChat           2.7 MB          110.4 MB
Safari          5.4 MB          55.8 MB
Mail            6.3 MB          286.5 MB
iCal            9 MB            89.1 MB


Whut? I think those are the sizes on hard drives rather than in memory, but still. Apparently it's because they're all compiled for both PPC and Intel now.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

chombee
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Post by chombee » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:11 pm

I can't get this thing to boot from the hard drive, whether I install OS X or Linux. It boots LiveCDs, and I was even able to install Ubuntu on the hard drive (on the third attempt). I dunno why it won't boot. Is it worth me bringing it in? Does someone think they can take a look?

I think it can be upgraded to 1GB of PC100/133 SDRAM if we can find it, and it can take either a 50 or 68-pin SCSI drive up to, I think, 128GB. It can also take an IDE drive but the IDE controllers on these models were dodgy and I think they corrupt any drive bigger than 32GB. And we could put a DVD drive or writer in if we wanted to. Seems to me like it would be alright for general browsing and typing and running Photoshop, if someone can get it to boot an operating system.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

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Dandolo
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Post by Dandolo » Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:26 am

i'm afraid that's the extent of my mac-xperience

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Dandolo
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Post by Dandolo » Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:20 am

except that once it's booted you've got to think of how you'll get it on the internet. If it doesn't have a wireless card you'll need the old kind, which costs more than the new kind, which isn't backward compatible. The only sensible way would be to cable it to the router.

chombee
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Post by chombee » Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:52 pm

Yeah it has a wired network card. We wouldn't use wireless.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

chombee
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Post by chombee » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:11 pm

Hngh. I've discovered that these particular macs shipped with a broken version of openfirmware and it's notoriously difficult to get them to boot anything. And this one doesn't just have to boot from where it expects to find a hard drive, but from a SCSI drive connected to a PCI-to-SCSI card. It wasn't booting the OS X install that someone put on before me, and I can't get it to boot linux either. It may be somewhat easier to install a version of mac OS than linux but I'm not that hopeful even about that. Maybe I will get in touch with the local mug.

I could link to extraordinarily long and complicated documents explaining how people have managed to boot linux on it. The ubuntu wiki page for it begins by saying that installing linux on these things is "irrational" and may permanently damage the machine. Other pages are actually even more off-putting. A lot of research would be needed even before doing the work.

Hmm. I will have to let it sit for a while before I have time. If anyone wants to make a personal project out of getting this mac working, I may let them keep it. PM me.

For the forest, this is not worthwhile. You can get an iMac with photoshop on it for £35 on gumtree if we wanted, there are G4's for not much more than that.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

chombee
Posts: 1327
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:01 pm

Post by chombee » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:40 am

So I did get it to boot linux but off an ATA hard drive that I connected directly to the mobo, not via the PCI-to-SCSI card. Presumably it could be made to boot OS X just as easily. It was kinda slow, I gotta admit. Does anybody want this computer? Come round to my flat and you can have it. It seems I cannot give it away.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

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ravanwin
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Post by ravanwin » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:53 pm

ps: the i mac / jukebox seems full up!
r

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Martin
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Post by Martin » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:31 pm

Is there any desire to put a mac in the action room still? If so we could get OSX onto this one Sean's got, it would just be slow.

We can add more space to the jukebox machine easily enough. How much does it have? How much does it need?

chombee
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Post by chombee » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:04 pm

I am happy to bring this mac into the action room if it's wanted but do observe the spec I posted above, it's rather low. And it needs a new hard drive.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

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Martin
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Post by Martin » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:48 pm

We can take a 20GB IDE hard drive from one of the old action room machines.

As to whether we want the thing at all, I dunno. I don't have any personal interest in it, but perhaps there are Mac-using creative types for whom a compatible machine would be useful, even if slow - maybe to help transfer stuff from proprietary formats etc.

chombee
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Post by chombee » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:00 pm

Well, the offer is there, but time is ticking down for someone to say we want it, once I get round to putting it on freecycle if someone wants it it's gone.
I've had it with you. If I had an image of a laser gun I would absolutely position it right here in my hand...
Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!

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