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el-John-o
Jan 17, 2011, 02:05 AM
Hey all!

Okay so I feel silly asking this, being as I have a few PowerPC macs myself, but the problem is they have all the software I need on them and I hardly use them, so here goes.

My better half is taking some online courses on top of her regular coursework this semester, and while she has a good laptop she mentioned to me the other day that she would like to have a desktop to sit at her desk and be a dedicated work computer, on a dedicated workspace. The plan was, in the next couple of months I was going to build her an inexpensive PC, but as we are both mac fans, a $150 1.4Ghz g4 eMac kind of caught my eye...

My question is, is it practical? Can it run The latest versions of office for mac or iWork? Is older powerpc software (like older Photoshop) still legally obtainable? With online activation, should I be leery of buying big ticket software from the PowerPC era, used?

Is there ny other reason I SHOULDN'T get her an eMac instead of a cheap PC? (no, sorry, a Mac mini is out of the question. No spare monitor, which adds to the cost, and the device itself we can't afford right now, but $150, that I can do.)

I appreciate it folks. Just to recap, if it can run office and a modern web browser we're golden, so let me know!

Edit: I shouldn't post just before bed. A simple google search revealed that office 2011 is intel only, but I wasn't able to find out about iwork 11? Oh well, does the next oldest version of Office:Mac (before this one, one that runs on ppc) support XML formats? (.docx, .xlsx, etc.). If so we are still good. Regardless, I'd like everyones opinions on this!



crammedberry
Jan 17, 2011, 02:29 AM
Hey all!

Okay so I feel silly asking this, being as I have a few PowerPC macs myself, but the problem is they have all the software I need on them and I hardly use them, so here goes.

My better half is taking some online courses on top of her regular coursework this semester, and while she has a good laptop she mentioned to me the other day that she would like to have a desktop to sit at her desk and be a dedicated work computer, on a dedicated workspace. The plan was, in the next couple of months I was going to build her an inexpensive PC, but as we are both mac fans, a $150 1.4Ghz g4 eMac kind of caught my eye...

My question is, is it practical? Can it run The latest versions of office for mac or iWork? Is older powerpc software (like older Photoshop) still legally obtainable? With online activation, should I be leery of buying big ticket software from the PowerPC era, used?

Is there ny other reason I SHOULDN'T get her an eMac instead of a cheap PC? (no, sorry, a Mac mini is out of the question. No spare monitor, which adds to the cost, and the device itself we can't afford right now, but $150, that I can do.)

I appreciate it folks. Just to recap, if it can run office and a modern web browser we're golden, so let me know!

Edit: I shouldn't post just before bed. A simple google search revealed that office 2011 is intel only, but I wasn't able to find out about iwork 11? Oh well, does the next oldest version of Office:Mac (before this one, one that runs on ppc) support XML formats? (.docx, .xlsx, etc.). If so we are still good. Regardless, I'd like everyones opinions on this!

Although I am a fan of PPC Macs myself, given my sizable collection... I wouldn't recommend that for you...

First off... an eMac is NOT worth $150, trust me on this... I bought an iMac G4 for way less than that... and back then the iMacs were a lot pricier than the eMacs...

Second, it cannot run the latest office... at the very best you'll get office '08 running. I also don't believe it can run the latest iWork... seeing as it requires Mac OS X 10.6, which is intel only.

You can still probably get old photoshop... but honestly, and I'll probably get flamed for this... I wouldn't do any image editing on a PPC mac... yes, they were around long before the intel switch and so on... but trying to render things on my iMac is a pain... and it's pretty maxed out. I used to work on a Dual G5 2.0 PowerMac, and even that was slow compared to my current MacBook Pro... I'm not saying you should go out an get a new MacBook Pro, but my 3 year old notebook is faster than apple's top-of-the-line ppc workstation...

If you want to spend $150 bucks, I'd do it on something more substantive, I've seen eMacs selling on ebay for $25 and sometimes less... so I wouldn't be able to justify it at $150

In my opinion, PPC macs are good hobby computers, for light occasional use, nothing heavy... they definitely shouldn't be used as your main 'workstation'

Nameci
Jan 17, 2011, 02:32 AM
Hey all!

Okay so I feel silly asking this, being as I have a few PowerPC macs myself, but the problem is they have all the software I need on them and I hardly use them, so here goes.

My better half is taking some online courses on top of her regular coursework this semester, and while she has a good laptop she mentioned to me the other day that she would like to have a desktop to sit at her desk and be a dedicated work computer, on a dedicated workspace. The plan was, in the next couple of months I was going to build her an inexpensive PC, but as we are both mac fans, a $150 1.4Ghz g4 eMac kind of caught my eye...

My question is, is it practical? Can it run The latest versions of office for mac or iWork? Is older powerpc software (like older Photoshop) still legally obtainable? With online activation, should I be leery of buying big ticket software from the PowerPC era, used?

Is there ny other reason I SHOULDN'T get her an eMac instead of a cheap PC? (no, sorry, a Mac mini is out of the question. No spare monitor, which adds to the cost, and the device itself we can't afford right now, but $150, that I can do.)

I appreciate it folks. Just to recap, if it can run office and a modern web browser we're golden, so let me know!

Edit: I shouldn't post just before bed. A simple google search revealed that office 2011 is intel only, but I wasn't able to find out about iwork 11? Oh well, does the next oldest version of Office:Mac (before this one, one that runs on ppc) support XML formats? (.docx, .xlsx, etc.). If so we are still good. Regardless, I'd like everyones opinions on this!

You will be alright with office '08, ilife '09, i work '09, if you are running leopard. Best bet, and 100bucks more and get an imac g5 2.0ghz. But it is just me.

chrismacguy
Jan 17, 2011, 05:00 AM
You will be alright with office '08, ilife '09, i work '09, if you are running leopard. Best bet, and 100bucks more and get an imac g5 2.0ghz. But it is just me.

If the OP really wants to get a PPC Mac, and not find a bargain basement Intel Mini on eBay (See these going for $250 and below, add a $100 monitor and shed be all set), he needs to get a G5. A 1.42Ghz G4, while fun to play with or use as a Server/OS 9 machine, will struggle a lot more with the modern web (Flash for instance will be painful), and shell be restricted to older versions of iWork, iLife and MS:Office.

MacHamster68
Jan 17, 2011, 09:44 AM
the eMac 1.42 or iMac G4 1.25 are great, if you don't need to run the latest software on the market like all PPC , as most newer software is made for intel only ,

they are fine if you are happy with ilife08 , older photoshop or even final cut , but older versions ,

you must be really after a iMac G5 in your collection to take the risk of getting one ,due to GPU,logicboard,PSU, display problems mainly caused by bad capacitors throughout the range , earlier tend to blow caps on logicboard and GPU , later with isight tend to get graphic problems (stripes on screen caused by either the GPU or the display itself ) and blow caps on the PSU ,
having said that , if you find one where these problems had been sorted out (if the previous owner was wise enough) they can be a great buy

the best to get is a White intel core duo iMac , fast enough and can run all the latest software , at least here in the uk the iMac core duo offers more value for the money as often cheaper to get then a Mac mini (intel) and way cheaper then a early MacBook( which had logicboard problems) , and the iMac offers the faster HDD, and the better graphicscard , and bigger display of course

MacHamster68
Jan 17, 2011, 10:03 AM
the eMac 1.42 or iMac G4 1.25 are good if you don't need to run the latest software on the market like all PPC , as most newer software is made for intel only ,they are fine if you are happy with older ilife , older photoshop or even final cut , but older versions ,

you must be really after a iMac G5 in your collection to take the risk of getting one due to GPU,logicboard,PSU, display problems mainly caused by bad capacitors throughout the range , earlier tend to have logicboard and gpu blown capacitors later models with isight have on the PSU blowing capacitors and graphic problems like stripes on screen caused by the gpu and display , having said that , if the previous owner was wise enough to get the well known problems sorted they could be a great buy , but with the limitation like the other PPC Mac's

the best to get is a White intel core duo iMac , fast enough and can run all the latest software , and often priced cheaper then a early MacBook (which had too logicboard problems these early ones )or intel Mac Mini at least here in the uk

el-John-o
Jan 17, 2011, 11:33 AM
the eMac 1.42 or iMac G4 1.25 are good if you don't need to run the latest software on the market like all PPC , as most newer software is made for intel only ,they are fine if you are happy with older ilife , older photoshop or even final cut , but older versions ,

you must be really after a iMac G5 in your collection to take the risk of getting one due to GPU,logicboard,PSU, display problems mainly caused by bad capacitors throughout the range , earlier tend to have logicboard and gpu blown capacitors later models with isight have on the PSU blowing capacitors and graphic problems like stripes on screen caused by the gpu and display , having said that , if the previous owner was wise enough to get the well known problems sorted they could be a great buy , but with the limitation like the other PPC Mac's

the best to get is a White intel core duo iMac , fast enough and can run all the latest software , and often priced cheaper then a early MacBook (which had too logicboard problems these early ones )or intel Mac Mini at least here in the uk

A white intel iMac is a whole lot more than $150, so is a $250 Mac mini plus a monitor, I literally said in the OP I wasn't interested in buying an intel Mac or a Mac mini because of the price, lol.

As far as it being a "main workstation", she still has her laptop, and she's not a software engineer or a graphics designer, I'm talking about writing papers and posting on discussion boards for online classes here. Photoshop would be cool because she shoots a DSLR as a hobby, but a g4 might not be enough to push 18mp images I guess (I was doing it in Windows XP with an AMD Athlon 1.53Ghz though, an old PC I was using when the PSU on my main desktop decided to be a dud.)

Also this is a factory refurb, I've seen 800mhz emacs go cheap, but not the 1.4ghz g4's, and tons of them have burn in from being left on all the time at a login screen.

Finally, does anyone have an answer to my question as to whether or not office 08 supports XML formats?

Nameci
Jan 17, 2011, 11:41 AM
yes it supports xml.

hth

crammedberry
Jan 17, 2011, 01:07 PM
If you can get the eMac marked down to half that price... it'll probably be ok...

I wouldn't push 18MP images on it though... even a G5 I used at one point chocked on 12MP ones

MacHamster68
Jan 17, 2011, 01:21 PM
ah so she does not need the absolute newest apps on the planet at all , then of course get her a eMac 1.42 ghz max out the ram to 2 Gb if that hasn't been done already by the previous owner and enjoy the great days of PPC

the iMac g4 is a design icon , but its slower then the eMac 1.42ghz and the eMac's graphics card is better then the iMac's , just because the 1.42 ghz eMac is build in 2005, so is just about 5 years old now and good to know can even be overclocked to i think stable up to 1.8x ghz and doesnt have the bad cap problems , i have 3 of these buggers and would not trade them against anything , not even for a brandnew intel iMac ;) they just look more like Mac's should look like, futuristic but with a touch of 70's style , sorry i am a bit old fashioned and dont like this new unibody design , just looks like a tv today , but at least i able to get a white tv

there had been people complaining about the eMac's are loud , the eMac's fan has to extract the heat of the processor, graphics card powersupply and the crt display too ,so it needs a fan running , but i dont find it too disturbing unless you have it in the bedroom next to the bed and apple has done a realy good job there,the whole heatpipe system for the processor is oversized , so it might not even overheat in the middle of a desert , and i done on one of mine when i had it in the bedroom a little mod and fitted a fan controller , and turned it right down so its about as quiet as a mac mini and still no signs of overheating , now my 3 act as files servers too ,so are running 24/7 and i ripped my dvd /cd collection with them ,about 2Tb so far as i have sacrificed the optical in 2 of them in favor of second harddrives , but still makes fun to use them they are just so reliable , no surprise there they had been build for the education market to be abused by hordes of teenagers over several years , you ask them to do something and without any complains they start doing it unlike the teenagers :D

Nameci
Jan 17, 2011, 02:28 PM
Seems a good choice for my 7 year old daughter as well... hmmn, they are really cheap on ebay. Can somebody post a link on how i can do the upgrades for memory?

el-John-o
Jan 17, 2011, 03:13 PM
If you can get the eMac marked down to half that price... it'll probably be ok...

I wouldn't push 18MP images on it though... even a G5 I used at one point chocked on 12MP ones

Not too disappointing, I've got a quad-core PC for that anyway. But I am surprised, it used to be PowerPC CPU's where faster than the x86 offerings, guess that's not true, I was able to process 18MP RAW files in lightroom in a 1.53GHz 32-Bit AMD PC. Granted, compared to intel offerings of that time, the Athlon chips were considerably quicker.

Is it 2GB or 1GB that it supports? Apple has a bad habit of mis-representing that (I believe it's the White Macbook that can be upgraded higher than Apple says it can?), but according to Apple it's a 1GB Max. That's a cheap upgrade too, one website I've used in the past sells 1GB SDRAM modules for under $30.

Here's a question, is it easy to DOWNGRADE to Tiger? Currently it runs leopard, but I have thousands of dollars worth of OS9 software (well, it's not worth that now, but you know what I mean.). Granted, it's all outdated, but some of it (Quark XPress, Illustrator, etc.) can be fun for messing around. And if anyone tells me THAT software won't run on this eMac I'm gonna call BS because I was running it on a 250MHz PowerTower Pro 250.

I ask about downgrading to Tiger, assuming the Mac Classic was removed in 10.5, is that correct?

-John

crammedberry
Jan 17, 2011, 03:33 PM
Not too disappointing, I've got a quad-core PC for that anyway. But I am surprised, it used to be PowerPC CPU's where faster than the x86 offerings, guess that's not true, I was able to process 18MP RAW files in lightroom in a 1.53GHz 32-Bit AMD PC. Granted, compared to intel offerings of that time, the Athlon chips were considerably quicker.

Is it 2GB or 1GB that it supports? Apple has a bad habit of mis-representing that (I believe it's the White Macbook that can be upgraded higher than Apple says it can?), but according to Apple it's a 1GB Max. That's a cheap upgrade too, one website I've used in the past sells 1GB SDRAM modules for under $30.

Here's a question, is it easy to DOWNGRADE to Tiger? Currently it runs leopard, but I have thousands of dollars worth of OS9 software (well, it's not worth that now, but you know what I mean.). Granted, it's all outdated, but some of it (Quark XPress, Illustrator, etc.) can be fun for messing around. And if anyone tells me THAT software won't run on this eMac I'm gonna call BS because I was running it on a 250MHz PowerTower Pro 250.

I ask about downgrading to Tiger, assuming the Mac Classic was removed in 10.5, is that correct?

-John

At the time, the PPC processors were faster than intel's netburst processors... i.e. P4... which was complete dog s h i t... the athlons however ran circles around the P4's and even G4's

The PPC processors are heavily handicapped by slow Hard Disks... i.e. PATA -even the 'new' ones are just old models kept on the market- I put an sata laptop drive inside my iMac with one of those converter boards and boy is there a difference... they are handicapped by slower memory, and most of all their excruciatingly slow front side bus... which is why a G5, running a bus that's over 10x faster would be a nicer pick, just be careful with your picks as the iMacs were problematic... the slower bus on the G4's slows down everything, including the memory, which is why rendering/photoshop/image editing etc, would be very very slow.

As far as your old software, it'll be fine, I assume you want a G4 because of all that... the G5's discontinue OS 9 boot support, so you wouldn't be able to boot directly into the system, but you can still run classic, and it'll run circles around the G4...

You don't seem to have a problem with CRT monitors, since you are considering an eMac, why not look around for an old G5 tower? even a single processor early G5 PowerMac would be a huge improvement... I know it seems redundant, and I know you don't want to spend much... but just to safeguard yourself I'd consider it, since you could probably find an early powermac G5 pretty close to your current price target, pick up a cheap CRT monitor for around 20 bucks - a good one - I'm sure you can find a 'crappier' one for less... At least with a tower you have SATA drives... so all new tech, faster memory, expansions etc... It would be a slightly higher overall price, but it will be worth it, definitely better than sinking that much money into an eMac...

As far as downgrading, you can just wipe the drive and reinstall Tiger, unless you have some stuff you wanna save already on the drive? I don't think it'll be a problem, either way it's extremely simple... whatever you choose to do, if you go for the eMac, try to bring the price down a bit and it'll be worth it

el-John-o
Jan 17, 2011, 05:59 PM
I appreciate everyones insights. The G5 idea is pretty convincing, but honestly, for anything much over $200, I could build a PC that would perform similar to a G5, and I have an extra license of Windows 7 available, and it would suit ALL of her purposes. We'd both PREFER a Mac, but a PC would get the job done. I was looking on eBay, but I'm really not finding the eMac any better. They all have burn in, or are the older 800MHz/1GHz models. OR they are as much or OVER this price, and this one is factory refurbed, and comes with a clean install of 10.5, and all refurbished accesories (original Mouse and Keyboard).

By the way, off topic here, but did they stop putting the power key on the keyboard when they switched to USB? Man I used to think that was the coolest thing, no power button on the machine itself (except for maybe one in the back 'Just in case'), tap a key and hear that beautiful sound :D

chrismacguy
Jan 17, 2011, 06:15 PM
By the way, off topic here, but did they stop putting the power key on the keyboard when they switched to USB? Man I used to think that was the coolest thing, no power button on the machine itself (except for maybe one in the back 'Just in case'), tap a key and hear that beautiful sound :D

Apple did this in 2000, after the USB switch (which happened in 1998 with the iMac G3) - The original iMac Keyboard had it, however the keyboard which shipped with later iMac G3s didnt. (Even weirder was they switched to the new "Apple Pro Keyboard" half way thru the G4 AGP run, so early G4 AGPs (Like mine) shipped with a Graphite Keyboard with the PowerButton, and later ones shipped with the Apple Pro Keyboard, which didnt have it.

tom vilsack
Jan 17, 2011, 06:49 PM
there big and loud...

why not a mac mini G4? (should be able to fine some on ebay/craigs) you can always pickup a crt monitor for free on craigs...

this way you get desktop computer thats nice and quiet,and down the road still be worth something!

MacHamster68
Jan 17, 2011, 07:36 PM
the eMac 1.42 ghz and the 1.25 ghz can take 2 gb ram , upgrade is simple , just turn the eMac upside down and you see at the bottom a big flap with a screw(a simple coin out of your wallet needed) , open it and there you got the ram slots direct in front of you , the eMac 1ghz is a bit of a surprise as there had been 2 versions , there had been a consumer model which had a 133mhz front side bus which can only take 1 gb ram like the previous 800mhz , but there had been a education model with a 167 front side bus , which was basically only a underclocked 1.25ghz model and that one can take 2 gb too , another thing to point out the eMac's with 167 system bus have usb2.0 ports

i would anyway go for the top of the range eMac 1.42, because of the better graphics card as it has the ati radeon 9600 with 64mb vram while the 1.25 only had the ati radeon 9200 with 32mb vram same goes for the mini which only offers the 9200 with 32gb and max 1gb ram , apart from the latest mini G4 with 1.5ghz which had the same 9200 but 64mb vram , so is the best of the G4 minis , but due to the fact of the 9600 and the ability to take 2 gb ram the eMac 1.42 is the best choice as it will run circles around any G4 mini and is often way cheaper too

to the noise , ok the eMac is not ultra quiet , there is always the fan present , but due to the constant running at the same speed its less disturbing as on pc's or other Mac's where the fan is always altering speed up and down depending on processor usage
another plus , at least i find it a plus ,is the ability to connect a second display to the eMac's , just needs a mini vga to vga adapter (cheap to get )
and with 3 usb ports it offers one more then the mini ,same for firewire with 2 firewire ports 1 more then the mini , thats why i always say the eMac is the most underrated Mac , a reason why i just love them and their design
the 1.42 was the only one without the bad cap problem as it was produced with different capacitors which dont have the tendency to blow or leak and it was the latest in production(my 3 all shipped in 2006)

chrfr
Jan 17, 2011, 10:05 PM
I appreciate everyones insights. The G5 idea is pretty convincing, but honestly, for anything much over $200, I could build a PC that would perform similar to a G5, and I have an extra license of Windows 7 available, and it would suit ALL of her purposes.

That being the case, it really seems to make no sense to suffer along with a thoroughly obsolete eMac running an obsolete OS and software if you can't make the financial stretch to an Intel powered Mini.

el-John-o
Jan 18, 2011, 12:12 AM
That being the case, it really seems to make no sense to suffer along with a thoroughly obsolete eMac running an obsolete OS and software if you can't make the financial stretch to an Intel powered Mini.

Well, to put it in perspective we weren't talking about buying another desktop so soon (We're both in college, not a ton of cash flow!), but I saw this one for $150 and I thought, $150 for a complete, ready to go system, isn't really all that bad. Sure I could spend a little more for a Mac Mini, then a little more for a monitor, but then we end up with a little more than we can afford. The whole point was, for $150, would we have a functional PC.

I couldn't find a decent price for a G5 on eBay or Craigslist, so I'm thinking we're just going to hold off for now. You all have convinced me that it's not going to really serve the purposes she needs, like I said, she has her laptop which works fine.

I did find one eMac on Craigslist, the ad says (in ALL CAPS of course,) "I don't know the specs so don't ask me, it starts up fine but it has a blown processor, but it still boots up fine just some stuff doesn't work because of the blown processor".

I kid you not. He wanted $500 for it. Fail of the week.

-John

Nameci
Jan 18, 2011, 01:28 AM
It could be a decent to computer to work on college chores like word processing and stuff as long as you max out the memory. But if you are going to run fancy applications then this computer is not for you. For $150, if this eMac had 2gb of ram in it then it is a fair deal. 512mb eMacs sells at $100 on ebay.

It is the top of the heap eMac.

el-John-o
Jan 18, 2011, 08:54 AM
It could be a decent to computer to work on college chores like word processing and stuff as long as you max out the memory. But if you are going to run fancy applications then this computer is not for you. For $150, if this eMac had 2gb of ram in it then it is a fair deal. 512mb eMacs sells at $100 on ebay.

It is the top of the heap eMac.

I wish I could find one on eBay for $100! Everyone tells me that, but not the 1.42GHz Model! I found one that was about to end auction at $212, it had major burn in, and 512MB of RAM. Maybe I'm not looking at the right now.

Nameci
Jan 18, 2011, 08:57 AM
have you tried your local craiglist?

MacHamster68
Jan 18, 2011, 12:39 PM
that always the case with Mac's if you look for used ones , the prices are always going up and down , depending on time of year and demand,
about a year ago the prices had been very low so a lot of people kept their mini/eMac , because they didn't want to give them away for next to nothing after ebay fees and paypal fees , so the supply got a bit short

as they still get the job done for basic computing and more if you push them , and for the top models of eMac and mini the demand is now greater then the supply which brings the prices up

so you need to be patient and wait , and best look for auctions that end at awkward times like 3 in the morning or so and bit in the last minute
another tip for ebay , search with spelling mistakes and listing mistakes ,
i found some Mac's under motorcycle spares in the past and between pc's :eek:
it's also worth a try to ask friends / neighbours if they might know a school or company which just has bought new Mac's , because they give the old ones sometimes even away for nothing or just ask for a couple if you come and pick them up :)

johnold
Jan 19, 2011, 01:23 AM
el-john-o,

Where are you ... we might have an emac we could just give you ....

el-John-o
Jan 22, 2011, 10:38 AM
el-john-o,

Where are you ... we might have an emac we could just give you ....

I'm about 45 minutes SW of St.Louis