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clindner
Sep 7, 2007, 12:39 PM
I'm looking for ideas here people!!

Every since I started looking to get a mac, I was curious about the value of these older machines. I ended up with a mac mini, and really love it. After a few months of not perusing the craigslist classifieds each day, my neighbor who is moving tells me he's got an old "apple" computer he wants to give away.

I go check it out, and it is a 350 MHz Blue & White G3 Power Mac! I tried to be extra cool when I said, sure, I'll take it off your hands!

So, anyway, what can I do with this thing? It has OS 8.6, 128 MB Ram, a 9 GB HD or so, CD-ROM, but lots of charm! I'm not looking for upgrades so much as creative uses of it as is... I can't make it a drive server because of the HD size limitation, right?

So, does anyone have any neat ideas?



GimmeSlack12
Sep 7, 2007, 12:46 PM
Unless you upgrade at least a few things on it then all of my suggestions will be a waste.

First of all, upgrade the Hard drive. You can get any regular IDE internal drive to put in there. Put at least 250gb if you want to use it as a file server (It would be great for that). And upgrade the RAM! This is a important, as you can run 10.4 on that computer no problem but without more RAM it'll be painful.

At least get 9.2.2 on that thing if not OS X.

clindner
Sep 7, 2007, 03:37 PM
I think I read on lowendmac or somewhere that this model could only see a 128GB HD?

Also, where can one find a version of OS 9 to purchase? Do they sell it anywhere?

Blue Velvet
Sep 7, 2007, 03:41 PM
You can put a PCI ATA card in there that will let you use drives of any size. I did this at work with a Sonnet Tempo card on a 733 Quicksilver which used to run as a server. This might be, along with some more RAM, the best use of funds towards it.

MacsRgr8
Sep 7, 2007, 04:07 PM
Aaah... the beautiful Blue & White G3.

Neat things you can do....
1) Install Mac OS X Server 1.x (the Rhapsody version.. so cool) and play around with the beginning of Mac OS X.
2) Beef it up with some RAM, get a Voodoo 5 5500 PCI grfx card, and make it a "nostalgic" Mac OS 9 Mac, and play some good ol' games.
3) Get even more RAM, put in a ATA-133 PCI card, install a big HD, get a copy of Tiger Server and play around with that!

If you're really into it, try to get hold of a matching Apple blueberry 17" Studio Display!

clindner
Sep 7, 2007, 07:02 PM
Does the PCI ATA Card have to be specific to the Mac, or will any variety work?

Also, can anyone point me to sources for older versions of software, I haven't been able to locate any.

I do have the "matching" blue 17 inch CRT mega huge monitor as well. This thing looks great, but I fear its usefulness may be near zero...

bshelly
Sep 11, 2007, 09:57 PM
The PCI ATA card will have to be Mac specific as the inexpensive PCI cards for x86 systems do not have the correct firmware to be bootable or even recognized :(

THX1139
Sep 12, 2007, 02:43 AM
Use it to hold a door open. Or use it to hold paper down on windy days.

cluthz
Sep 12, 2007, 03:38 AM
I think I read on lowendmac or somewhere that this model could only see a 128GB HD?

Also, where can one find a version of OS 9 to purchase? Do they sell it anywhere?

Yes it can only handle drisks upto 128GB, but you can have 3(?) disks in it, giving you a total of 384 GB of space.

It will see bigger disks connected on firewire and usb ports!

dontwalkhand
Sep 12, 2007, 11:24 AM
You can always use external FireWire or external USB hard drives if you do not want to go the internal IDE controller method...Though ATA PCI controllers are cheap enough, that you can buy one and get a larger than 128GB HDD in there.

angelodmhl
Sep 12, 2007, 11:50 AM
Although not quite the same hardware, my 1999 imac dv (400MHz G3, 512MB ram, 80GB HDD) is my main desktop computer. And now, that in less than a year another Macbook of mine died (the third in LESS THAN A YEAR), it is my only computer.

I use it for internet surfing, email, bittorrent, itunes + iphoto server, wireless file backup server, light photoshop use, "office" programs like openoffice + microft office 2004, watching DVDs and some old games. All that under tiger.

Try to upgrade the memory to 256 (at least), and find a bigger and faster hard drive. The possibilities are endless with these old macs!

clindner
Sep 13, 2007, 11:55 AM
Lots of great input, thanks all!

I've been tinkering around, have taken parts of an old Dell that was just sitting around, so now I have a DVD drive, 384 MB RAM, and a second, 60 GB HD running in it just fine. I always knew keeping those old computers around would come in handy!!

Anyway, a friend had some old disks lying around, so I first upgraded to 9.2.2, then I thought I would try installing OS X. I tried a couple of different disks, and each locks up initially at boot with some sort of error, with several unix messages splashed on the screen.

What is the trick to getting OS X installed?

flyinmac
Sep 13, 2007, 12:24 PM
Lots of great input, thanks all!

I've been tinkering around, have taken parts of an old Dell that was just sitting around, so now I have a DVD drive, 384 MB RAM, and a second, 60 GB HD running in it just fine. I always knew keeping those old computers around would come in handy!!

Anyway, a friend had some old disks lying around, so I first upgraded to 9.2.2, then I thought I would try installing OS X. I tried a couple of different disks, and each locks up initially at boot with some sort of error, with several unix messages splashed on the screen.

What is the trick to getting OS X installed?


You need to make sure that you are using retail disks for OS X. The grey ones that come with computers are keyed specifically to the exact model and revision of computer that they shipped with.

Also, check this list for firmware updates for your computer:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86117

The updates will likely have to be installed using OS 9.x or older. And, you really should install any firmware updates available before upgrading to OS X.

Also, for more updates to your system, consult this list:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=31002

clindner
Sep 14, 2007, 07:11 AM
It is a retail DVD, and I do have the latest firmware.

I'll have to try it again this weekend, and post the error message I get...

flyinmac
Sep 14, 2007, 12:20 PM
It is a retail DVD, and I do have the latest firmware.

I'll have to try it again this weekend, and post the error message I get...

O.K., let us know what it says.

clindner
Sep 14, 2007, 09:44 PM
Well, after a couple more tries, it wouldn't even get to the crashing part.

I found a link online to some ideas, which included resetting the CUDA. That must've done the trick, as I was able to install just fine after that.

It is working now, just installing the 10.4.10 update....

Pretty amazing for such an old machine.

Thanks for all the tips folks....

flyinmac
Sep 14, 2007, 10:40 PM
Well, after a couple more tries, it wouldn't even get to the crashing part.

I found a link online to some ideas, which included resetting the CUDA. That must've done the trick, as I was able to install just fine after that.

It is working now, just installing the 10.4.10 update....

Pretty amazing for such an old machine.

Thanks for all the tips folks....


Glad to hear that you found the trick.

Nermal
Sep 14, 2007, 10:54 PM
3) Get even more RAM, put in a ATA-133 PCI card, install a big HD, get a copy of Tiger Server and play around with that!

May I ask why you recommend an ATA card? I own one of these G3s and it runs Panther comfortably but Tiger's rather slow. Would an ATA card help much or is it best to stick with Panther?

SmurfBoxMasta
Sep 15, 2007, 03:01 PM
May I ask why you recommend an ATA card? I own one of these G3s and it runs Panther comfortably but Tiger's rather slow. Would an ATA card help much or is it best to stick with Panther?

Yes an ATA card, when used with a faster HD (7200-10k rpm/16mb cache), will help these older machines considerably, regardless of the OS version!

At this point in time, just go for an SATA card & HD's. They are way faster and cost the same or less than the old EIDE/PATA units anyways.....

I recommend either SIIG or Firmtek cards, although Sonnet & others make them too. I had a Firmtek in my B&W, & moved it to a Sawtooth later on notta problemo !

Then I aquired a QS & added a SIIG to it, also n.p.o. It's bootable (as was the Sonnet), very fast, plug & play, & can take up to 4 drives......still running like a champ today :)

SmurfBoxMasta
Sep 15, 2007, 03:10 PM
Also, can anyone point me to sources for older versions of software, I haven't been able to locate any.

http://www.oldversions.com

http://www.versiontracker.com

http://www.ebay.com

enjoy :D

9Charms
Sep 17, 2007, 06:18 PM
It all depends on how much money you want to put into this thing.

But I would definitely make it an iPhoto server and/or file server and/or iTunes server.

Personally, I would buy a Highpoint Rocket Raid 1740 or 1742 and create a RAID 5 for all your data.

Then put VineServer (http://www.redstonesoftware.com/products/vine/server/vineosx/index.html) (OSXvnc) on it. You can then stick the G3 in a closet somewhere, remove the keyboard, monitor, mouse, and control the G3 remotely.

But again, how much are you comfortable spending?

clindner
Sep 18, 2007, 07:58 AM
But I would definitely make it an iPhoto server and/or file server and/or iTunes server.

Personally, I would buy a Highpoint Rocket Raid 1740 or 1742 and create a RAID 5 for all your data.

I've been thinking about putting a SATA card in it to add larger drives, but I'm confused about compatibility. Will any PCI based card work, or only certain ones? I looked up these RocketRaid cards, and they don't indicate Mac compatibility. What's the scoop?

9Charms
Sep 18, 2007, 10:18 PM
I've been thinking about putting a SATA card in it to add larger drives, but I'm confused about compatibility. Will any PCI based card work, or only certain ones? I looked up these RocketRaid cards, and they don't indicate Mac compatibility. What's the scoop?

Ah, but they do. High Point Technologies has their own Mac website:
http://www.hptmac.com (http://www.hptmac.com/US/index.htm)

You need something with Mac drivers. The 1740 is $130 CAD, so very affordable, especially when you consider it has RAID 5. You can find a review of a similar product from AMUG (http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/amug/reviews/articles/highpoint/1742/).

While it doesn't specifically state G3 support, I don't see why it wouldn't, but then again, maybe someone out there can correct me. I will be putting one of these into my Sawtooth tomorrow, so I'll let you know...

MacsRgr8
Sep 24, 2007, 04:10 PM
May I ask why you recommend an ATA card? I own one of these G3s and it runs Panther comfortably but Tiger's rather slow. Would an ATA card help much or is it best to stick with Panther?

Mainly for the > 128 GB issue.

It *might* be slightly quicker, but I don't think you'll notice any performance gain over using the same 7200 rpm HD on the internal controller.
I do recommend disabling Spotlight on slower machines running Tiger.

confucious42
Sep 24, 2007, 05:28 PM
You could use it as an every day computer like I do with my B&W G3, or you could set it up for younger children to use when they are visiting.

clindner
Sep 25, 2007, 10:00 AM
I'm waiting to hear back from 9charms to see how the raid card install went.

Also, I'm curious to know if I set this up as a network file server with a SATA card to enable larger drives, could the system benefit from a gigabit ethernet card. The machine I currently use is dedicated using NASLite from www.serverelements.com. I have it with a gigabit card, but its running on an old Pentium II, and the bus doesn't have the bandwidth to feed the gigabit to its potential.

What do you folks think?

Not-a-cliche
Sep 25, 2007, 10:26 AM
Also, where can one find a version of OS 9 to purchase? Do they sell it anywhere?

http://www.ebay.com

CanadaRAM
Sep 25, 2007, 10:37 AM
a gigabit card, but its running on an old Pentium II, and the bus doesn't have the bandwidth to feed the gigabit to its potential.


The PCI bus on the G3 will have the same bottleneck.

clindner
Sep 25, 2007, 11:34 AM
The PCI bus on the G3 will have the same bottleneck.

If I remember correctly, the Pentium II machine had a 33 MHz PCI bus.

I thought I read somewhere that the B&W G3 has a 100 MHz bus. Is that true? If so, that's why I was thinking I might get better throughput with the G3...

flyinmac
Sep 25, 2007, 03:19 PM
If I remember correctly, the Pentium II machine had a 33 MHz PCI bus.

I thought I read somewhere that the B&W G3 has a 100 MHz bus. Is that true? If so, that's why I was thinking I might get better throughput with the G3...

The B&W G3 had 3 PCI slots at 33 MHz and 1 PCI slot at 66 MHz.

But, it did have a 100 MHz System Bus, and used PC-100 Memory. So, that may be what you are thinking of.

Keep in-mind that various components of the system run at different speeds. So, not everything will run at Bus speed.

clindner
Sep 25, 2007, 10:20 PM
The B&W G3 had 3 PCI slots at 33 MHz and 1 PCI slot at 66 MHz.

But, it did have a 100 MHz System Bus, and used PC-100 Memory. So, that may be what you are thinking of.

Keep in-mind that various components of the system run at different speeds. So, not everything will run at Bus speed.


I just did a quick test transferring a 1 GB file from my Mini to both the G3 and the PII machine. The PII was about 2x the speed of the G3. This is with an old 60GB, probably 5400 rpm drive in the G3 versus a 500 GB 7200 rpm drive in the PII.

Maybe it won't be the file server I want it to be after all?

flyinmac
Sep 25, 2007, 10:23 PM
I just did a quick test transferring a 1 GB file from my Mini to both the G3 and the PII machine. The PII was about 2x the speed of the G3. This is with an old 60GB, probably 5400 rpm drive in the G3 versus a 500 GB 7200 rpm drive in the PII.

Maybe it won't be the file server I want it to be after all?


With a faster drive, it would probably be fine for the low priority file access. But, I wouldn't use it if you need access to files as fast as if they were on your local hard drive.

9Charms
Sep 26, 2007, 01:15 AM
I'm waiting to hear back from 9charms to see how the raid card install went.

Sorry, I haven't got the card yet. Apparently it's shipping via donkey-express. Some monkeys couldn't find it in the warehouse or something...

disconap
Sep 26, 2007, 05:35 AM
I set it up as a recording computer for one of my bands to demo songs.

The G3 b/w can be messed with and upgraded nicely. It's still a current machine, with a few new parts added (or heck, even stock, if a bit slow).

roker
Sep 30, 2007, 06:12 PM
So, just to confirm, as I'm thinking of doing this myself, (but preferably with a G4), the B&W G3 & next 2 G4 powermacs after it (AGP & PCI Graphics) through to 1999 do not (as stock) support widescreen resolutions so would not be useable with a widescreen?

Thanks ;)

disconap
Sep 30, 2007, 06:45 PM
The Sawtooth (the later first generation G4, AGP graphics slot and non-ZIF processor) can support widescreen, though you may need to upgrade your graphics card (not sure if the stock one will, but it probably does). I don't think any of the PCI graphics macs support widescreen, but again I haven't tested that at all, there may be ways to do it.

roker
Oct 1, 2007, 09:58 PM
Well, I just bought a 400mhz G4 Power Mac, waiting to pick it up to find out what gfx card this one has so that I know what kind of LCD to get for it (if I have to get a 1280x1024 max or a 1440x900), fingers crossed it will support wide :D

synth3tik
Oct 1, 2007, 09:59 PM
Mine makes a great night stand. I have my alarm on it, a lamp and my iPhone.:p

I did have plans on turning it into a music server, but have not gotten around to it.

disconap
Oct 2, 2007, 04:24 AM
Well, I just bought a 400mhz G4 Power Mac, waiting to pick it up to find out what gfx card this one has so that I know what kind of LCD to get for it (if I have to get a 1280x1024 max or a 1440x900), fingers crossed it will support wide :D

Whichever it is, I again suggest poking around the strange dogs forums (recently moved to a new site, but all the old posts and ROMs are still there); google the name to find it. There are tons of options for late G3 and early G4 towers up there, and they will tell you what cards fit what machines and which can be flashed (as well as guides to how to flash, what freeware to use, proprietary and homemade ROMs, etc.). I flashed an FX5200 for my Sawtooth that works perfectly and outperforms the stock card about 4 to 1 (and offers dual monitor, which the stock cards don't)...

roker
Oct 3, 2007, 02:51 AM
Thanks for that, will defo have a good look & try & learn something!! (looks like the perfect place to start lol) :D

moworks2
Oct 3, 2007, 03:47 AM
the forums here have a ton of info on upgrades...some very knowledgeable folks to answer questions on if, how, why, to upgrade...etc, etc...

also, you can buy stuff from the store...i bought a seritek card and sata drives for my eight year old g4 450agp and they work great...

no tie financially, just a happy customer...

http://www.macgurus.com/

9Charms
Oct 4, 2007, 12:57 AM
I am happy to report that my Hightpoint Rocketraid 1740 arrived today. I put it in my G4 with 4 x 500GB Western Digital HD's in a RAID 5 configuration and it's running flawlessly. It's just a wee-bit slow.

It took about 6 hours to initialize the RAID 5 array and about 2.3 hours to copy a 59.5GB folder over the network. I don't have a gigabit ethernet card attached to it, so that could have been the bottleneck. But for the price $130, this is a great RAID 5 solution.

I am in the process of setting this up as my iPhoto and iTunes sharing computer... will report back at some point about how well that works.

roker
Oct 4, 2007, 01:46 AM
I am happy to report that my Hightpoint Rocketraid 1740 arrived today. I put it in my G4 with 4 x 500GB Western Digital HD's in a RAID 5 configuration and it's running flawlessly. It's just a wee-bit slow.


I am also going to eventually need one of those, but I think that one might be a bit out of my price range (here it's US$250) :o, so is anyone using the Adaptec CAR1210SA, PCI, Raid Controller & can anyone tell me if it's compatable? (I think mine's the Gigabit Ethernet model) Otherwise, is anyone using anything under US$100 ish?

Cheers ;)

disconap
Oct 4, 2007, 02:40 AM
I don't remember what model I have, but I bought a non-RAID IDE controller for my G4 and built a software RAID. As long as the card has separate drive controllers, you'll still get the performance boost at a much cheaper price (though obviously not the same level of quality out of it).