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View Full Version : What to do with two free PowerMac G4s....




AlBDamned
Apr 11, 2006, 10:57 AM
This..

Edit: Sorry - I didn't think this had gone through - and I also can't believe a one-word post got 6 replies!! :D

Ok, well due to an office move, I've got my mits on two PowerMac G4s. One is a 400 with 128MB RAM, 20GB HDD and ATI 128MB graphics card. The other is a 350 with four RAM cards but until I switch them on I don't know if they're 32 or 64MB cards, 10GB HDD and an ATI 128 card.

Now, what are the options? I'm going to pick up a cheap, 2nd hand tft screen and I was thinking I could cannibalize the 350 and put it the four hundred as a server for my house, to store downloads, music and stuff (with upgraded HDD of course) and use it like that.

But these are prelim ideas. Until I can borrow someone's screen tomorrow, I don't even know what OS they're running (though I assume it's 9.1 or .2.).

Open to all suggestions! :)



katie ta achoo
Apr 11, 2006, 10:58 AM
i hope your signature has no bearing on what you're going to do! :eek: :p

count chocula
Apr 11, 2006, 11:03 AM
give one to me? ;)

Brundlefly
Apr 11, 2006, 11:29 AM
new designer, we have her programming on a 15 inch ti book, and although her work is great, a desktop is always better to design on.

Demon Hunter
Apr 11, 2006, 11:34 AM
Sell, or better yet, donate!

jadekitty24
Apr 11, 2006, 11:37 AM
Um, uh, well you COULD always donate them to this great charity - me! :D :D

Mord
Apr 11, 2006, 11:42 AM
i'll buy one off you, (postcode: w10 4ds) seriously, i need a g4 for servering, pm me.

AlBDamned
Apr 11, 2006, 11:58 AM
i hope your signature has no bearing on what you're going to do! :eek: :p

Nope - well, hopefully not anyway ;)

new designer, we have her programming on a 15 inch ti book, and although her work is great, a desktop is always better to design on..

I think the TiBook would be faster than these things are at the moment. :eek:

Brundlefly
Apr 11, 2006, 12:01 PM
I think the TiBook would be faster than these things are at the moment. :eek:

I dunno, its the first gen with the 1152 screen.

Mord
Apr 11, 2006, 12:02 PM
if you cannibalize the 350 i'd still be interested, assumeing it's an agp g4, to check open it up and if they slot the graphics card is in is brown (agp) or white (pci).

i have HD's, ram, optical drives and even a spare 450MHz cpu.

sam10685
Apr 11, 2006, 12:27 PM
upgrade them to better specs... sell them on ebay... keep the money in a Paypal account that pays interest... get a nice new Intel Powermac when it comes out this august. they're supposed to be really fast.

AlBDamned
Apr 11, 2006, 01:31 PM
upgrade them to better specs... sell them on ebay... keep the money in a Paypal account that pays interest... get a nice new Intel Powermac when it comes out this august. they're supposed to be really fast.

hmm..

a) I'm not that they'd be worth even a 10th of a new Pro Mac; and

b) Nobody outside of Apple and Intel knows how fast the new ones will be - yet.

I'm not really into the idea of selling them per se. Maybe one, but the idea is to see what they can do.

joeyjoejoe
Apr 11, 2006, 01:45 PM
I have a 400mhz B&W G3 in my basement. I installed Tiger on it and use it for downloads and watching stuff. My setup is basically like this:

Cable internet from wall to modem in basement
Modem to built-in ethernet of B&W G3 (this lets it have a real IP address for accessing it remotely)
Ethernet out via a second ethernet card in a PCI slot (pulled from a spare beige G3)
50' Cable to my wi-fi router upstairs (for better reception)

Then I installed "Share My Desktop" on the B&W G3. Using "VNC Viewer" on my Powerbook, I can remotely manage the basement computer. I have a crappy CRT connected to it for when I need to maintain it in person (updates/restarts, etc.). I download stuff using Bittorrent directly to the server this way. It runs 24/7, so it doesn't matter how long a download takes -- I don't have to occupy my PB with it. Then I view it by "Connect(ing) to Server" in the Finder on my PB and opening it with "Mplayer" -- important since it can buffer the files before playing them to avoid skips and hiccups (which I had when I tried watching with Quicktime or VLC).

I've also crammed 5 hard drives into the machine by pulling the CD drive and internal zip drive and using those IDE cables, and also adding a Sonnet PCI card to let me add a couple more. I also have two external firewire drives connected, so a total of 7 drives running from this one humble B&W G3 that I got for $50 on Craigslist.

So yeah, I'd recommend keeping it and Frankenmac-ing the server of your dreams on the cheap. Have fun!

p.s. I also have folding@home running 24/7 on it. Might as well do some good with your toys.

AlBDamned
Apr 11, 2006, 02:06 PM
I have a 400mhz B&W G3 in my basement. I installed Tiger on it and use it for downloads and watching stuff. My setup is basically like this:

Cable internet from wall to modem in basement
Modem to built-in ethernet of B&W G3 (this lets it have a real IP address for accessing it remotely)
Ethernet out via a second ethernet card in a PCI slot (pulled from a spare beige G3)
50' Cable to my wi-fi router upstairs (for better reception)

Then I installed "Share My Desktop" on the B&W G3. Using "VNC Viewer" on my Powerbook, I can remotely manage the basement computer. I have a crappy CRT connected to it for when I need to maintain it in person (updates/restarts, etc.). I download stuff using Bittorrent directly to the server this way. It runs 24/7, so it doesn't matter how long a download takes -- I don't have to occupy my PB with it. Then I view it using Mplayer -- important since it can buffer the files before playing them to avoid skips and hiccups (which I had when I tried watching with Quicktime or VLC).

I've also crammed 5 hard drives into the machine by pulling the CD drive and internal zip drive and using those IDE cables, and also adding a Sonnet PCI card to let me add a couple more. I also have two external firewire drives connected, so a total of 7 drives running from this one humble B&W G3 that I got for $50 on Craigslist.

So yeah, I'd recommend keeping it and Frankenmac-ing the server of your dreams on the cheap. Have fun!



Now this is what I'm talking about! If I utilized everything from both Macs, I'd have two ethernets (?), two HDDs and enough RAM to Panther, maybe even run Tiger, depending on what's in the four slots in the 350mhz (does anyone know what RAM they shipped with?).

I've got an ethernet router to run it through with a 6Mb connection so that should be plenty. The only place to have it is in the living room but as part of the TV/DVD setup so as said I'm hunting for a little, unimposing TFT screen for its head (maybe even 10").

Thanks for the tip on the desktop sharer and VNC viewer too. I've never set up a "server" machine before, much less taken apart an old PowerMac, so this is all new territory for me. Cool though. :)


p.s. I also have folding@home running 24/7 on it. Might as well do some good with your toys.

Definitely. The processor will likely get bored just being a storage facility...

Counterfit
Apr 11, 2006, 02:26 PM
Then I installed "Share My Desktop" on the B&W G3.
I reccomend switching to OSXVNC, because SMD is SLOW.

sam10685
Apr 11, 2006, 06:09 PM
hmm..

a) I'm not that they'd be worth even a 10th of a new Pro Mac; and

b) Nobody outside of Apple and Intel knows how fast the new ones will be - yet.

I'm not really into the idea of selling them per se. Maybe one, but the idea is to see what they can do.

keeping one might be a good idea now that i think of it.

sintaxi
Apr 12, 2006, 05:58 AM
I have an old pentiumII laptop I use for downloads. It is nice having a utility computer for such things.

baby duck monge
Apr 12, 2006, 07:24 AM
Yank the HD and as much memory as you can from the slower machine and put them in the faster one. Then go on with anything else you were planning. You really won't gain much performance-wise by using both computers, so you might as well make one as good as you can.

badmofo9000
Apr 12, 2006, 02:31 PM
I'll take one, or you could sell them.

AlBDamned
Apr 12, 2006, 05:02 PM
Yank the HD and as much memory as you can from the slower machine and put them in the faster one. Then go on with anything else you were planning. You really won't gain much performance-wise by using both computers, so you might as well make one as good as you can.

Yep, I think that's the way forward. A nice big HDD upgrade, cheap tft screen, all the RAM I can find (hopefully it'll take up to 2GB) and I'll be set. There's a few old G3 iMacs around with the same RAM specs, so I should be able to fit it with the maximum it can take.

generik
Apr 13, 2006, 02:43 AM
I'd sell them, on one hand it may seem good to use it as a file server, but if that's what you need, you may actually save money in the long run (from electricity bills) if you use a older PPC mini instead.

Some people actually measured one of those puppies in operation and it seems like it only uses 20W of power! Now that's thrifty to run!

AlBDamned
Apr 13, 2006, 07:19 AM
I'd sell them, on one hand it may seem good to use it as a file server, but if that's what you need, you may actually save money in the long run (from electricity bills) if you use a older PPC mini instead.

Some people actually measured one of those puppies in operation and it seems like it only uses 20W of power! Now that's thrifty to run!

The only problem there is that I don't have a mini ;).

BornAgainMac
Apr 13, 2006, 07:40 AM
Create 2 switchers by giving them to PC users.

jamesW135
Apr 13, 2006, 09:16 AM
You Could donate to the JamesW135 relief charity we give older computers a loving and carring home and we pay shipping:)

J. Senzer
Manager of macs

mozmac
Apr 13, 2006, 11:02 AM
The only problem there is that I don't have a mini ;).

If you sell them both you could have a nice instant discount on a PPC Mini. You could probably pick up a used one at a discount.

baby duck monge
Apr 13, 2006, 11:23 AM
If you sell them both you could have a nice instant discount on a PPC Mini. You could probably pick up a used one at a discount.

And hey, I might even have a mini coming up for sale in the very near future (if either they release the Intel iBooks or if the job I just applied for hires me and gets me a laptop :p ).

cait-sith
Apr 13, 2006, 01:20 PM
I'm in a similar spot: I have two G4 towers sitting under my desk at work.

#1: 400mhz, 640M ram, ATI graphics (128M I believe), 20GB disk
#2: 700mhz, 512M ram, NVidia graphics with a weird DVI-like but round port, 20GB disk

They have no real use to me.. 10.2.8 was slow as a dog on them.

Heb1228
Apr 13, 2006, 01:47 PM
You may want to use one of them as a print server for your home network. The file server idea has been named already.... You could stick a 100GB or 120GB hard drive or two in it and use it as network storage. (I'm not sure if those machines have large drive support or not, you may be limited to under 128GB.)

Folding@home is also a possibility. You can click on the link in my sig to find out more.

Mord
Apr 13, 2006, 02:59 PM
I'm in a similar spot: I have two G4 towers sitting under my desk at work.

#1: 400mhz, 640M ram, ATI graphics (128M I believe), 20GB disk
#2: 700mhz, 512M ram, NVidia graphics with a weird DVI-like but round port, 20GB disk

They have no real use to me.. 10.2.8 was slow as a dog on them.

that odd dvi port is ADC, it has DVI, power and usb in it, you can get an ADC to DVI adapter for like 15 bucks, i have one that connects me g4 cube to my 23" ACD.

put 10.4 on them and buy a couple of 256 sticks and they'll work great.

Phobophobia
Apr 14, 2006, 07:49 AM
Create 2 switchers by giving them to PC users.

Am I the only one who sees the flaw here?