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NeoAmsterdam
Oct 28, 2002, 02:57 PM
I've been earning some money doing Mac assistance and installations for a while, and I recently encountered a very weird G4 tower of a customer of mine. While installing a RAM card, I found myself wondering if this tower could be beta.

There are a few things that I discovered about this G4 that doesn't register with what a "normal" G4 is like...:

1: It has a set of LEDs on the motherboard, namely near the CPU, internal ATA(?)/SCSI(?) bus, and one by the RAM slots.

2: The layout of the motherboard doesn't match the pictures in MacAddict.

3: It has a massive heat sink that looks like it was designed for a dual processing system, but only has one processor.

4: The feedback when loading into verbose mode on OS X (10.1, go fig!) names the tower as a "MacRISC64PE" or something to that degree - Not "Alchemy" or "Gossamer" or anything of that sort.

5: The logic board isn't green.

Is there any "dead-certain" way of finding out if this is a beta Mac? The suspense is killing me!

metfoo
Oct 28, 2002, 03:02 PM
digital camera and pictures will help

NeoAmsterdam
Oct 28, 2002, 03:04 PM
Of *what*?? The exterior looks like a normal G4. I've looked at a number of the boards and they seem to square with a regular G4 tower...

puffmarvin
Oct 28, 2002, 03:07 PM
.......... of the inside of the system :rolleyes:

NeoAmsterdam
Oct 28, 2002, 03:10 PM
Any other way? Remember, this is NOT my G4! I can't just walk in on my client saying "Hey, open up the tower - I think you might have a beta" if I can't back it up.

This is ALL the info I have right now.

idkew
Oct 28, 2002, 03:23 PM
go in and do some "maintenance", with a digital camera in your back pocket.

i am interested. show me some picts!

Anon
Oct 28, 2002, 07:42 PM
What color was the board?

Apple system profiler will give a lot of info. Tell him you want to check his memory is OK and run it.

Single processor? Is system more than 4 months old?

What kind of memory did you install? If it was DDR in a single processer sysem, that would be very odd. If it was PC100 or PC66 I really don't care if it was a beta, it is outdated.

Was the case Quicksilver, dual mirror, graphite, or blue?

Not sure why I'm responding to this...

rice_web
Oct 28, 2002, 08:36 PM
Until I see a photo--doctored or not--I won't believe a word of this.

tjwett
Oct 28, 2002, 09:46 PM
this is obviously crap.

rice_web
Oct 28, 2002, 10:29 PM
Yet, some better written crap. Most rumors are horribly unbelievable; this one offered at least a glimmer of hope for being real.

ddtlm
Oct 29, 2002, 01:37 AM
It does sound a bit like someone making stuff up... how does one notice that there is only one CPU when it's hidden under a "big" heatsink, and then fail to even mention where that heatsink is located? What are the odds that Apple lets testers install their own hardware (wouldn't that be an uncontrolled variable in the testing)? Given the "subtle" hints aimed at PPC-970 (such as the "RISC64," "SCSI" and "single CPU" stuff), who here belives that any PPC-970 test machines are outside of Apple and IBM, let alone in a place where some guy doing "assistance and installations" can open the case?

Oh, and here's the PPC-970 killer: since it has been stated by people in the know that the OS needs certain changes to support a 64-bit PPC processor, what are the odds that those changes are in OSX 10.1?

Yeah, I say this is a faked rumor. Cute though.

BenderBot1138
Oct 29, 2002, 02:03 AM
Shhhh... those of us on the inside (Mac Owners) live by the unwritten rule - except on very rare occassions such as this one - that Apple Computer Inc. will continue to suppy us with the lates Roswell Crash Technology updates so long as we don't openly speak about flashing lights on processor boards and huge heat sinks...

Is it truth, or just MacRumors about Roswell and Apple Computer Inc. :confused:

NeoAmsterdam
Oct 30, 2002, 03:05 PM
So far the best comment I've heard is Anon's regarding Apple System Profiler. I will do a "follow up" on Friday to see if I can get more info on the system.

As to the questions everyone has raised...

1) The heat sink sits about a quarter inch above the logic board, which allows you to look at the processor at eye level, but not top down, unlike ddtlm's view that the heatsink squashes the cpu. It appears to be twice as wide and twice as long as the size of the PPC. It looked like the PPC was about an inch wide... Again, I'll try to get some photos during the next few days.

2) The PPC is situated near the top of the board when the case is closed; that is, that when you open up the case, the heatsink is far from the Mac. If I remember correctly, it's where the I/O ports are.

3) Sorry, Anon, but I didn't buy the RAM and I don't know the age of the CPU. The next time I have the case open I'll look for the date of manufacture on the logic board.

4) It's a regular graphite case.

5) Aliens did NOT pop out of the CD-drive, as BenderBot1138 would have liked, but all of my Newton's Date icons are.

There is one detail that I failed to mention: There is a piggy-back board near the bottom of the logic board (Nearest the Mac when open) that I thought may have been an AirPort card. Since I don't have a G4 to refer to, I need to know if the AirPort circuitry in G4s are in the form of a PCMCIA/PC Card form, or if they are directly attatched to the logic board via a piggy-back board.

mischief
Oct 30, 2002, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by NeoAmsterdam
So far the best comment I've heard is Anon's regarding Apple System Profiler. I will do a "follow up" on Friday to see if I can get more info on the system.

As to the questions everyone has raised...

1) The heat sink sits about a quarter inch above the logic board, which allows you to look at the processor at eye level, but not top down, unlike ddtlm's view that the heatsink squashes the cpu. It appears to be twice as wide and twice as long as the size of the PPC. It looked like the PPC was about an inch wide... Again, I'll try to get some photos during the next few days.

2) The PPC is situated near the top of the board when the case is closed; that is, that when you open up the case, the heatsink is far from the Mac. If I remember correctly, it's where the I/O ports are.

3) Sorry, Anon, but I didn't buy the RAM and I don't know the age of the CPU. The next time I have the case open I'll look for the date of manufacture on the logic board.


4) It's a regular graphite case.

5) Aliens did NOT pop out of the CD-drive, as BenderBot1138 would have liked, but all of my Newton's Date icons are.

There is one detail that I failed to mention: There is a piggy-back board near the bottom of the logic board (Nearest the Mac when open) that I thought may have been an AirPort card. Since I don't have a G4 to refer to, I need to know if the AirPort circuitry in G4s are in the form of a PCMCIA/PC Card form, or if they are directly attatched to the logic board via a piggy-back board.


All post-sawtooth mobo's have a modem at the rear left corner as you face the open machine with the ports on the right. The Airport card is a PCMCIA that mounts next to that modem. I believe there was an early rev of 100Mhz bus G4's with the RAM slots next to the PCI slots with the processor on the bottom right when facing the open machine. Are there 4 RAM slots or 3?

ddtlm
Oct 30, 2002, 04:22 PM
NeoAmsterdam:

Yes, do take those pictures. The odds that you have mistaken a known computer for a new one are far higher than the odds that you have found something like beta hardware.

NeoAmsterdam
Nov 6, 2002, 03:42 PM
I've set up a few pages on the non-photo details of the G4. You can find it at...

http://homepage.mac.com/neoamsterdam/

I borrowed a friend's digital camara, and I haven't got a clue as to how to transfer the pictures, so there will be a small wait for the photos.

The pages include ASP's report on the G4, a log from Terminal, and some screenshots. I'm still fighting with ASP and Preview in order to upload a PDF of the ASP report... grrr!

Thanks to mischief for helping out with the AirPort card. Efectively it is the modem. As for the the RAM, there are 4 DIMM slots total, and one is use. Your description is rather accurate.

void
Nov 6, 2002, 04:10 PM
*cough cough ********* cough cough*

Mr Jobs
Nov 8, 2002, 09:22 PM
oh why oh why are we all explaining simple hardware tech stuff of the g4 to NeoAmsterdam, i mean he has "been earning some money doing Mac assistance and installations for a while" (- cheek NeoAmsterdam's first post) and he hasn't come across another G4 before to know what the airport card looks like or placed?

The guy earns money as a 'tech head' but doest know how to use a simple device like a digital camera...heh have you tried just pluging into usb slot or does he need our help to where the usbs are located on the G4.

And yes come on why dont you tell us what ram you were installing, im sure if it were anything other then pc133 you should have been a bit puzzled even without opening the case since it was just the regular graphite case. on the other hand if it was pc133 you installed then you most definatly dont have a beta of a "RISC64".

I think your a load of crap...stop wasting our time.

theranch
Nov 8, 2002, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by vjv
*cough cough ********* cough cough*
very true...this one is so lame. I can't believe that people actually sunk their teeth into it.

NeoAmsterdam
Nov 14, 2002, 11:21 AM
If you think I'm full of ****, then come and take a BIG whiff at:

http://homepage.mac.com/neoamsterdam/

The photos are up.

ddtlm
Nov 14, 2002, 11:45 AM
I'd say this computer is from the update cycle predating the quicksilvers. Could be a single 533, 666 or 733, but as I recall that 733's had a plastic shroud over the heatsink and a fan to pull air though it.

Looking at the RAM board from behind the CPU. Notice that the RAM board is labled CUSTOMER SAMPLE.
It is also labeled PC133 in another picture.

An FCC non-compliance label.
Interesting, so it's a prototype of machines that Apple stopped selling more than a year ago.

OSeXy!
Nov 14, 2002, 12:05 PM
Very nice find... a few years too late.

Nice write-up as well. But I don't think you'll get an Apple cease and desist order - even though the pics are on .mac...

Keep your eyes open for the real scoop!

Spike Spiegel
Nov 14, 2002, 12:26 PM
what the hell is everybody's problem?! he came here to show us some stuff that IS interesting, and people like theranch and Mr. Jobs treat him like he said Final Fantasy 8 was better than 7. this is macrumors.com, not macshootdownrumorsandridiculepeople.com this is turning into a flame board.:( :( :confused:

springscansing
Nov 14, 2002, 12:32 PM
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU *******S!? I think this is a cool find! You're all being freakin dicks to this guy! Acting like a bunch of teenagers who play counterstrike on their wintel boxes all day.

I cannot believe I'm seeing such behaivor on macrumors.com. I just got here and I'm already considering leaving.

OSeXy!
Nov 14, 2002, 12:40 PM
I DO think what
NeoAmsterdam's found is interesting - just not quite as interesting as his original post seemed to imply... There are quite a few 'old' test boxes floating around which are known about - it's the CURRENT test boxes which are clearly the most interesting.

I'd be interested to know what kind of company has this box and when and how they got it. Also if
NeoAmsterdam comes into contact with anything else that's similar, his credibilty rating for me will be very high.

Nipsy
Nov 14, 2002, 02:08 PM
This thread would have been a lot calmer if the initial post had mentioned that this was an older G4...

Everybody got all huffy, and it turns out that indeed this is some super secret Apple machine, from several years ago. I think if the NeopAmsterdam had mentioned this in the beginnning, things would have gone very differently.

chewbaccapits
Nov 14, 2002, 02:56 PM
Nice find...Don't feel bad about the DICKHEADS here.....

KVH
Nov 14, 2002, 03:06 PM
I have a Digital Audio 667, and the motherboard is exaclty like mine....cept' for the color. Minus the LED's that this one has.
Nice find.

e-coli
Nov 14, 2002, 03:42 PM
WHAT-A-BUNCH-OF-DICKHEADS-YOU-PEOPLE-ARE!!

This is a cool find. Thanks for posting!!!!! We need more cool stuff like this!

:cool:

shadowfax0
Nov 14, 2002, 04:47 PM
This is REALLY cool, thanks for the pictures! :D

insidedanshead
Nov 14, 2002, 04:49 PM
Yeah this is sweet.. I think apple needs more LEDs and blue gidgets and gadets on the inside of their machines. yeah our machines are sexy on the outside but what about when we open them up to show our friends.. i could go for some random blue throbbing lights.. and a dangling tree airfreshener and maybe when you open it something pops out.. like a self inflating steve blow up doll... (ugh don't take that the wrong way)... eww im out.

Jimong5
Nov 14, 2002, 07:33 PM
my "Windtunnel" 867 has a mysterious Red LED between RAM slot 4 and the AGP card. Ive wondered what it does.. there is a painted box around it, and its marked "D518"... The Mobo is also blue.. but everyone knows that..

GeeYouEye
Nov 14, 2002, 07:49 PM
I can't say much about this, except COOL! But I do know one thing. The LED's (maybe not 4 or five, but at least 2) have been in G4's ever since they were introduced, and their use will shock you with it's mundanity. In the box that every Apple-sold RAM DIMM or Airport card comes in, not to mention the computer's manual, it specifically mentions that, for installation in a PMG4, to make sure that when you open the G4 to begin installation, there are no LED's on, with indicating the machine is plugged in, and two indicating the machine is on or asleep.

chaosvoyager
Nov 15, 2002, 02:45 PM
Amazing what you can find on eBay.

Hello all, I'm the owner of the G4 in question. Yes, it's a few years too late (If only I knew what I had and what to do with it >_<) to be really intresting, but I figure to get someone ('Neo') to help me ask the right people the right questions.

You see, Apple KNOWS I have the machine. In fact, they knew 14 days after I bought it on eBay (in March 2001). I called in the serial number to check the warranty. They said the machine was fine, and the warranty covered until Oct 2001. They even EXTENDED it to start at the date I purchased the unit on eBay.

You would think they would know a prototype when they were informed of a serial number, but no. They didn't know (or just didn't inform me) until it needed repairs, and THEN they said it should have never been for resale and they cannot warranty it.


I asked them where it came from. They wouldn't say.

I asked if it was stolen. They wouldn't say.

I asked why I wasn't informed of this immediately. They said that if I had opted for the Applecare extended warranty that the machine would have been flagged, but NOT if I just called tech support.

I asked if I could resell the machine to recover my expenses, as they weren't honoring the warranty and it can't be fixed. They said they weren't sure, and might or might not take legal action.

In the meantime they quietly cancel my Apple account and put me under investigation, but just as quickly reactivated the account and stopped. What shocks me is the level of apathy Apple has taken in this matter, and the quality of their tech support. They honestly don't seem to care about this machine, nor the poor customer who bought it.

Customer Support proper (that is, not the common tech support) just gets me the Rob twins and all they do is repeatedly not tell me anything, and then apologize again 0_o.

So my pressing questions are these:


What would something like this go for on eBay? I would like to recover at least some of my expenses.

Who can I ask to get more information regarding this machine or where it might have come from?

Does anyone know a lawyer that can give me a straight answer regarding what I can recover from Apple in a case like this?

Most importantly, should I buy another Apple?

Apple as a company had done nothing but....er......NOTHING. Apple has made NO attempt to reclaim the machine. If it was stolen, they were within rights to do so. And as I said before, they didn't even claim to know it was a prototype until it needed repairs in June 2001 (in fact, they even sent out the replacement parts to the service center, and then recalled them).

Yeah, weird machine, but Apple's behavior is even weirder.

DeadlyBreakfast
Nov 15, 2002, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by Jimong5
my "Windtunnel" 867 has a mysterious Red LED between RAM slot 4 and the AGP card. Ive wondered what it does.. there is a painted box around it, and its marked "D518"... The Mobo is also blue.. but everyone knows that..



The box painted around it is the silkscreen for placement and the D518 is the refrence designator indicating it is the 518th diode on the board. (Or at least the 518th place for a diode as lower numbers may or may not be populated)

chewbaccapits
Nov 15, 2002, 06:02 PM
Who was the person you bought it from in the first place?...Since, it was purchased from ebay, did apple investigate the person who sold it to you?

Chisholm
Nov 15, 2002, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the time and effort you extended to bring this cool find.

Sherman
Nov 17, 2002, 02:22 PM
I don't see what the problem is with owning this computer. It seems pretty cool to me.

Are any features actually disabled? I'd just think of it as a weird configuration. Having a test-box mac is something to be proud of.

Apple is usually pretty secret about stuff but I don't see why they would care so much about an older prototype. I mean, the model that it prototyped has already stopped selling, what does it mean to them?

rice_web
Nov 17, 2002, 03:06 PM
Okay, okay, I believe you.

Now the question is: how do we get our hands on photos of upcoming PowerMacs?

[edit: spelling]

chaosvoyager
Nov 17, 2002, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by chewbaccapits
Who was the person you bought it from in the first place?...Since, it was purchased from ebay, did apple investigate the person who sold it to you?

I think so, but Apple won't tell me 0_o. They have the email of the person I bought it from, but I don't know if they actually did anything with it.

The thing is that I've had a friend call in the serial number and he was also told it was a prototype. The service center in Texas I took it to was informed it's a prototype. In fact, after June, pretty much everyone could call in the serial number and get at least THAT information (but nothing else).

This was all during the time that the model was still new to the market.

Heck, why don't some of YOU ask Apple if it is a prototype machine and why they couldn't tell me that when I reported it in to verify the serial number?

Here are some numbers, I forget where they go to:

1-800-275-2273
1-800-538-9696
1-800-500-7078
1-800-767-2775
1-800-320-3728

Here are some case numbers (machine purchased 4/26/01):

8980607 (5/11/01) Serial Number (and final (and only?) entry addressing warranty - 10/22/01)
9016044 (5/19/01) No Power On Startup
9018439 (5/20/01) Audio
9026499 (5/22/01) Memory
9057822 (5/29/01) Mouse Pointer Off
9138338 (6/15/01) Boot Problem
9156569 (6/20/01) Boot Problem
9967045 (9/27/01) Case Inquiry
9727333 (10/13/01) Configuration Inquiry

Oh yeah, and the Serial Number:

XB041022KCP

The person in charge of customer service is a Jeanne Toulouse, but she uses minions to actually respond to anything, such as Rob and Rob. Oh, and if anyone is told it's NOT a prototype, then post here, as then Apple owes me a warranty.

Now what's more crazy? Finding an Apple prototype on eBay, or calling Apple with the serial number and them not doing a thing about it, or even being aware it's a prototype.

P.S. I'll tell 'Neo' that he can post the picture of the serial number and ethernet addy now. Feel free to tell as many people as you want to check this out. I want this net spread as widely as possible to at least get to the bottom of things.

G4scott
Nov 17, 2002, 05:29 PM
wow... Well, since Apple hasn't come to claim their machine yet, then it probably wasn't stolen...

The guy who sold it to you must've been on an Apple list to test hardware... Well, that guy probably won't get his hand on another prototype box ever again... I'm surprised the FCC hasn't taken action either, since the thing isn't in compliance...

I wouldn't not buy another Mac just because of this experience. Some guy on e-bay kinda screwed you over, but he screwed himself equally, if not more if Apple sent him the machine... If you buy a Mac that's not prototype, they won't give you the cold shoulder when you call for tech support. They were willing to give you an extension on tech support, and sent the parts until they found out that you had a prototype... They just don't know what to do about it...

shadowfax0
Nov 17, 2002, 08:41 PM
...honestly, this may be a mixed blessing...talk to the folks at wired.com, they'd LOVE a story like this "Prototpye Apple Computer bought off eBay" They'd dig that. Also, there are most likely alot of people who'd love to get their hands on it, you could probably sell it for something substantial, there are alot of die hard MacAddicts out there (like me!) good luck!

NeoAmsterdam
Nov 18, 2002, 10:39 AM
1) To Chaos Voyager: Give me 24 hours and I'll put up the coup d'grace.

2) Is it my understanding that there are MORE beta-boxes out there? Spiffy!

3) I sent a pair of letters not that long ago to MacAddict at their mailing address (Yes, I still snail mail), and both came back two months later labeled "Return to sender". It's sad when your mail gets to travel further and longer than its sender does...

4) To tjwett, vjv, Mr Jobs, & theranch: I'm still waiting.

5) It is my understanding that since Tangent/Clockwork did, in the end, get FCC approval, the motherboard layout and architecture (Did I spell that write?) should also be covered. But, since the box in question is labled non-compliant... I'm honestly not sure what to make of it with regards to the FCC requirements.

macphisto
Nov 19, 2002, 12:35 AM
Remember that Apple seeds it hardware to many many developers, companies and individuals. I am sure that many of them often get to keep the machines/hardware in exchange for their help in the testing thereof. A nice perk.

Sometimes the machines are older cases with newer guts or completely new cases with even newer guts. Just the same I don't think that Apple with come swooping down after older prototype/test cases. It is old hat.

New stuff like that "red motherboard" that mysteriously showed up on eBay, then mysteriously disappear, may have deeper and more important meaning to Apple.

You just lucked out and have one of a kind Apple. But don't let the negative sour your taste for Apples.

cb911
Nov 19, 2002, 02:30 AM
that's cool. i've never seen stuff like that before. who cares if it's not the most cutting-edge stuff?! people should post more pics of their old mutated Macs! :D

Chisholm
Nov 19, 2002, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by G4scott
wow... I'm surprised the FCC hasn't taken action either, since the thing isn't in compliance...


I would imagine the FCC would bankrupt the Federal government if they sent a team out to investigate every mention of something not in spec.

They'd have a hell of a time with radio stations and profanity. Or illegal transmissions. (sshhh, our local college station was broadcasting illegally for a while when the main transmission antenna was knocked out by a storm. don't tell anyone, the engineer is to close to retirement.)

cheers!

Monomni
Nov 27, 2002, 01:06 PM
Oh. My. Gosh.
:cool:

Cooooooooooooooool!

I'm not a techie - I've only opened my G4 once to switch out the superdrive - and this doesn't look anything like my G4.

Even if it is old, still very cool!

Enjoy the uniqueness and DEFINITELY stick with Mac!
:D

Mr Jobs
Nov 30, 2002, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by NeoAmsterdam
1) 4) To tjwett, vjv, Mr Jobs, & theranch: I'm still waiting.

sooorrrrry....:( well now that you have backed up your claim. well look on the bright side at least your credit rating has gone higher.

i still stick by my old post 'cos anyone making a claim like this should always back it up with something, which is whay i asked questions.

Sherman
Nov 30, 2002, 03:08 PM
There's pics of other prototype macs on http://www.applefritter.com but none are as cool as that one. Maybe you should submit it to them with a story and preserve your fame of owning a beta-mac.

Catfish_Man
Apr 26, 2003, 04:42 PM
533MHz 7400??? Now THAT's interesting. The yields on those must have been terrible, since the 7400 was the one that everyone got mad at Moto about for being stuck at 500MHz. Is it stable? (If not, that might be why they never released a 533MHz 7400 based machine).

iJon
Apr 26, 2003, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by Catfish_Man
533MHz 7400??? Now THAT's interesting. The yields on those must have been terrible, since the 7400 was the one that everyone got mad at Moto about for being stuck at 500MHz. Is it stable? (If not, that might be why they never released a 533MHz 7400 based machine).
man you must have been digging way deep to find his thread, its abouta half year old.

iJon

kalisphoenix
Aug 17, 2005, 12:51 AM
man you must have been digging way deep to find his thread, its abouta half year old.

iJon

*waves his hands and flicks the wand*

Me: Klaatu Verada Necktie!
Thread: VRAGH! *stirs back to life*
Me: I am the Thread Necromancer!
Thread: VRAGH!

Very neat. Anyone ever figure out if this machine had different functions than the ones eventually marketed? IE, higher bus speed, ? Did it eventually sell? For a good amount of money?

tag
Aug 17, 2005, 02:01 AM
Good god this thread is from 2002! :eek: I was wondering why the link to the pictures weren't working lol. :D Interesting none the less though.

sambo.
Aug 17, 2005, 04:03 AM
*cough cough ********* cough cough*
ditto