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View Full Version : So frustrated and confused with ibook purchase HELP (OS questions)




Caddy
Jan 16, 2008, 01:35 PM
Last night, I bought an ibook in a jiff. It was very cheap, and I just want to test the waters before I give it to my dd and splurge on a macbook.
It actually works fine for my purposes (or did) despite it being a bit outdated.

Here are the specs:
600 MhZ
20 GB (or mb, IDK)
256 mhz
G3 ibook

So, I get home and I used it with the guy's stuff still on there. He gave me the reinstall disks for OS X (I think this means 10.0.4, but who knows?). My dh installed firefox 2.0 on there and I started to fiddle around, save links, etc. this morning, though, we did the reinstall so that I could clean up the computer.

When it was all said and done, I was left with a very arachaic copy of IE 5 (can't even open my yahoo mail), and firefox won't install, despite going through the same exact process as last night (my husband copied it onto a usb stick and we just uploaded it to the mac).

I don't know what the heck I lost in the reinstall, but it seems like a different computer.

So here are my questions:
a. How do I find out what OS, exactly, I am working with?

b. Is there a free upgrade somewhere so I can at least install firefox or safari? I feel like I am living in 1980 right now!

c. If it turns out that I have a very low version of OS and there is no way around it, can I install a copy of Leopard (or whatever is a bit better and will allow for safari and firefox)? I don't mind buying it on campus as I get a discount. I just want to make sure that the specs on my computer (listed above) are not too old. I don't want the thing to run suppppperer slow.

I am almost positive I was working with a newer operating system last night. I didn't pay attention, but since it "let" firefox install, I am assuming it was something better than whatever is on here now.

Thank you. I am pulling my hair out right now!



Sky Blue
Jan 16, 2008, 01:39 PM
So here are my questions:
a. How do I find out what OS, exactly, I am working with?

Click the Apple logo in the top left, then 'About this Mac'.


b. Is there a free upgrade somewhere so I can at least install firefox or safari? I feel like I am living in 1980 right now!

Sounds like you have a late 2001 iBook. I think that came with OS 9 or 10.1 Sounds like you installed OS 9...maybe 10.1?. OS X is not free, unfortunately.

c. If it turns out that I have a very low version of OS and there is no way around it, can I install a copy of Leopard (or whatever is a bit better and will allow for safari and firefox)? I don't mind buying it on campus as I get a discount. I just want to make sure that the specs on my computer (listed above) are not too old. I don't want the thing to run suppppperer slow.

Your iBook is too old to run Leopard (10.5)...Tiger (10.4) should be fine though. I don't think Apple sells Tiger anymore, you may need to find a 3rd party retailer.

Caddy
Jan 16, 2008, 01:47 PM
Thanks.

You were absolutely right, btw. I have 10.1.2/9.2.2.

That is what it says on all the reinstall disks in front of me.

So if I buy Tiger 10.4, that isn't going to be too heavy for my system to run?

Thanks a bunch!

Caddy
Jan 16, 2008, 01:54 PM
Okay, so I am back.

I checked on Tiger. It is no longer available on campus, either.

That means I will have to buy it from ebay. Does anyone know if I need an upgrade or a full install? It is 29.99. Is the exact title of what I am buying:
Tiger 10.4? TIA.

Another question: I was going to buy MS OFFICE 2004 from the campus today to do an install. Is it just going to get erased when I install the new OS.

eRondeau
Jan 16, 2008, 01:59 PM
Your 10.1 OS is the equivalent of Windows ME -- it sort of works, but you can't do much with it. I actually have the exact same system, same specs, but in an iMac. So trust me when I say, a little OS upgrade goes a long way. I am running Panther (10.3.9) and I'm very happy with it. In PC terms, Panther is Windows 95, Tiger is Windows XP, and Leopard is Vista. I would actually recommend Panther over Tiger for you, as it is a considerably smaller OS install and you'll keep a lot more of your 20GB drive free for "your stuff", and it is much happier running with minimal RAM. Oh, and it ships on CD-ROM, not DVD. Remember you'll need a retail boxed copy to install it; the discs that shipped with your friend's iMac or iBook won't work.

Sky Blue
Jan 16, 2008, 02:00 PM
Nope, Tiger should be fine on your iBook...it's not going to fly along but it'll definitely be usable. A few newer apps are going 10.5 only, but Tiger is still widely supported.
I would get the full version.

Office 2004 will get wiped if you do an 'erase and install' (which is what I would recommend) but you can just reinstall it.

In PC terms, Panther is Windows 95, Tiger is Windows XP, and Leopard is Vista. I would actually recommend Panther over Tiger for you, as it is a considerably smaller OS install and you'll keep a lot more of your 20GB drive free for "your stuff", and it is much happier running with minimal RAM.

I would say Panther is more like Windows 2000, 10.1 is more Windows 3.1...
I would disagree on getting Panther over Tiger. Panther isn't very well supported anymore. The new iPods, for example, require 10.4.
Tiger gives you more software/hardware support for the future. I install 10.4 on older machines all the time. I upgraded someones 450Mhz PowerMac to Tiger the other day, and they were a lot happier.

eRondeau
Jan 16, 2008, 02:18 PM
Nope, Tiger should be fine on your iBook...it's not going to fly along but it'll definitely be usable. A few newer apps are going 10.5 only, but Tiger is still widely supported.
I would get the full version.

Not to drag this out, but -- Tiger comes on DVD, her G3 only has a CD-ROM drive. She could buy it, but she couldn't install it. Panther on the other hand comes on CD-ROM. And, newer iPod's require a USB 2.0 port, which her G3 doesn't have, so she's SOL anyway. Her G3 is actually a decent-spec machine to run Panther, but it's bottom-of-the-barrel for Tiger (even if she could get it installed.) As I said, I run Panther on a similar-spec G3 iMac every day and it is entirely satisfactory. It runs iTunes, iPhoto, Mail, Safari, Camino, Firefox, AdiumX, iWork '05, Microsoft Office 2004, etc etc etc. I would not recommend attempting to install anything other than Panther on this G3.

Caddy
Jan 16, 2008, 02:20 PM
Thank you for the info. It sounds like I should get Tiger since I have an iphone. This OS would probably not recognize the phone, right?
I just don't want to make the computer run really slow. I only have 600 Mhz, so it is kind of antiquated machine/256, etc.

I do have another question. Does any other third party sell Tiger besides ebay? I really don't want to buy from ebay since a lot of the auctions are kind of ambigious with wording, so I need to make sure this is fresh/never used install. For that reason, I'd rather buy from an online retailer, rather than ebay.

TIA.

Sky Blue
Jan 16, 2008, 02:23 PM
Tiger comes on DVD, her G3 only has a CD-ROM drive.

Depends. OP doesn't state whether she does have a DVD or not...that model iBook does come with a DVD-ROM so hers should.

Panther will not recognize the iPhone, no.

Sky Blue
Jan 16, 2008, 02:27 PM
very few places sell Tiger now...found one:

http://www.megamacs.com/item/Mac-OS-X-10.4-Tiger-Operating-System--Bundle-DVDs/view,3138150/criteria,Tiger%2010.4/G=1

Caddy
Jan 16, 2008, 02:31 PM
I also see that many of the auctions on ebay are saying that you need to upgrade from panther! Is there another line of Tiger products that don't require panther in the first place?

Caddy
Jan 16, 2008, 02:34 PM
Sorry to serial post. I followed your link and I will probably buy that product as soon as I find out if I have a DVD. In the dock, I have an icon for imovies and I am pretty sure that I remember the dvd in the description.

The only thing I worrry about with the link given is that, again, it says, "Must be able to install panther." Does it matter that I don't have panther right now? TIA.


IN the interrim period, can anyone suggest a browser compatible with my system? IE 5 is ridiculously outdated. It doesn't remember passwords, I can't log on to my bank. It can't be this bad, right? I imagine there are still lots of people who have these machines? There has to be a better browser!

Caddy
Jan 16, 2008, 03:02 PM
The mystery has been solved. Turns out the seller was running Tiger! I should have just kept using that!

Anyway, the corrected stats on my computer are:

600 MHz PowwerPC G3
384 MB SDRAM
20 GB hard drive
DVD-ROM [can burn CDs, watch DVDs, but not burn DVDS]
Can boot in both OS9 and OS 10. Has ethernet port.
Comes with the four software restore discs, ibook applications disc, OS 9 disc, OS 10.1.2 disc, power and other cables. Does not come with any licensed third-party software, such as Office.


****************

so, if I buy the thing at megamall, will I be in business? panther will install, right, and then I can use that as an upgrade to tiger. You guys have really saved my day. I would have be so in the dark.

Sky Blue
Jan 16, 2008, 03:07 PM
the megamac price for Tiger is pretty steep, you could still have a look around for something cheaper.

You could buy the full Tiger DVD instead of this upgrade they are selling...
If you do go with them, then yes you would be all set.


There is no Safari for 10.1.

goforthegusto
Jan 16, 2008, 04:33 PM
you can get Tiger from apple here (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?spart=MA453Z%2FA)

it's the same price as that megamacs link, but i figure it's more reliable, and there's free shipping.

twig
Jan 16, 2008, 07:08 PM
you can get Tiger from apple here (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?spart=MA453Z%2FA)

it's the same price as that megamacs link, but i figure it's more reliable, and there's free shipping.

How did you manage to find Tiger on the Apple store??? I've got a g3 iBook I'd like to upgrade from Panther to Tiger, but I seem to have waited too long to buy Tiger. I've tried searching the apple store site, but a search for Tiger only brings up Leopard.

I tried going to the Leopard page and then changing the product # at the end of the Leopard url to the one on your link to Tiger and that takes me to the Tiger page. Unfortunately for me, I'm in Canada and the same trick doesn't work on the Canadian apple store. even thought the product # for Leopard is the same on both stores, the Canadian store tells me that this product is currently not available.

goforthegusto
Jan 16, 2008, 11:10 PM
How did you manage to find Tiger on the Apple store???

i just went to the store and typed "mac osx tiger" into the search bar. i guess it's just not available for you, but luckily there's still that other site with the same price.