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View Full Version : I was give a PowerMac G4 with OS 9 and I am so confused...




poppe
Feb 25, 2008, 01:49 AM
Hey guys,

I was wondering if you all could help me. I was given a Powermac G4 today and to my surprise I turned it on; I am new to Macs so I didn't think the G4's had OS 9 on them.

I would love to turn this computer into a server, but I am not exactly sure how. What I mean by server is dish out all my photos, videos, and music through out my house wirelessly (or access through my router), and if possible make it accessible online so when I am at friends I can stream my photos or music to listen/view with them. Is this possible?

My biggest question, however, is how do I tell what this computer has on it Harddrive size, ram size, processor power, etc. I know you all aren't able to answer the questions above until I know this.

I'd also like to know if you all have any other ideas on what I could do to this computer if a server won't work.

EDIT: Mac OS 9 is pretty dang crazy... Before my new MBP I hadn't used a Mac since I was in elementary school; 10ish years ago.



TEG
Feb 25, 2008, 01:54 AM
All that info you are looking for would be in System Profiler in the Applications folder, or printed on a sticker on the back of the machine.

OS 9 has one advantage in the case of being a server, you can have many users with different rights access your machine. It is something, that for the most part was taken away from the consumer version of OSX and reserved for OSX Server. In OS X each user can access their home folder and that is about it (except the admin(s)).

TEG

motulist
Feb 25, 2008, 01:55 AM
Definitely install OS X on it. I've got one of the earliest G4 powermacs ever, a 400 mhz sawtooth, and it runs OS X and OS X apps in a completely very useable way as long as you don't ask it to render video or anything like that.

poppe
Feb 25, 2008, 02:09 AM
All that info you are looking for would be in System Profiler in the Applications folder, or printed on a sticker on the back of the machine.

OS 9 has one advantage in the case of being a server, you can have many users with different rights access your machine. It is something, that for the most part was taken away from the consumer version of OSX and reserved for OSX Server. In OS X each user can access their home folder and that is about it (except the admin(s)).

TEG

So are you saying with OS X, anyone that is on my router would have the ability to hop on the G4?

Also would this run leopard?

EDIT: I am also having problems with the monitor. The computer seems to be on, but the monitor won't work... Has anyone heard any problems with the video card on these? -- I know this is vague since we don't know much about the computer and the monitor could be bad as well. When I turn the computer on the monitor gets an image, but then usually says no signal and turns off.

Dang now I can't get the monitor to work... It always says no signal...

I opened it and I couldn't find what processor power it was, but I did find out that it has a 20 gb hard drive, and an ATI grpahics card.

tugger
Feb 25, 2008, 01:22 PM
Dang now I can't get the monitor to work... It always says no signal...

I opened it and I couldn't find what processor power it was, but I did find out that it has a 20 gb hard drive, and an ATI grpahics card.

What kind of monitor?

If it came with a 20GB HDD, it's probably the G4 Sawtooth model with a 400 or 450 MHz processor and an ATI video card with 16MB of VRAM.

poppe
Feb 25, 2008, 03:31 PM
What kind of monitor?

If it came with a 20GB HDD, it's probably the G4 Sawtooth model with a 400 or 450 MHz processor and an ATI video card with 16MB of VRAM.

The monitor is a VGA viewsonic with the cord built right into the monitor.

If it is a sawtooth will it not really work as a server? I am fine upgrading but what would all need to be updated?

TEG
Feb 25, 2008, 04:03 PM
So are you saying with OS X, anyone that is on my router would have the ability to hop on the G4?

No, just those people with accounts on your G4. The limit with OSX is that they will only have access to their home folder, unless they are set as administrators. With OS 9, you can have special permissions to allow users to access specific folders.

Also would this run leopard?

Only if it is 867 MHz or faster.

EDIT: I am also having problems with the monitor. The computer seems to be on, but the monitor won't work... Has anyone heard any problems with the video card on these? -- I know this is vague since we don't know much about the computer and the monitor could be bad as well. When I turn the computer on the monitor gets an image, but then usually says no signal and turns off.

If this is the model I'm thinking of, it is not the monitor or the videocard, put the front power pannel. Disconnect the power, then try to turn it on, and it should work. In the future, you will have to remember that.

TEG

Dustman
Feb 25, 2008, 04:23 PM
Only if it is 867 MHz or faster.

TEG

Actually, you can run it on slower hardware just fine, but you need to edit a file to make it check for a lower spec CPU

motulist
Feb 25, 2008, 04:56 PM
The limit with OSX is that they will only have access to their home folder, unless they are set as administrators.

Um, are you sure about that? Right off the top of my head I can think of several ways that there might be around that, for instance putting an alias to user A's folder into the home directory of user B.

I've never tried it so I don't know if that'll work, but I'm sure there must be some simple way to do it.

In fact, I just checked online, you can indeed share share your entire disk with other users. I don't know where you got your info, but you've been misinformed (or made an assumption?). Unless of course I'm the one who's misunderstanding things, which is always possible.

JSchwage
Feb 25, 2008, 05:01 PM
Also would this run leopard?It can run Leopard if you're not afraid of doing a bit of hackery. There's lots of articles on the internet on how to install on older Macs that aren't officially supported by Leopard. I would recommend upgrading the video card before trying this though.

LaDirection
Feb 25, 2008, 05:05 PM
My advice: Install 10.4 Server.

poppe
Feb 25, 2008, 06:26 PM
My advice: Install 10.4 Server.

What are the benefits of this?

No, just those people with accounts on your G4. The limit with OSX is that they will only have access to their home folder, unless they are set as administrators. With OS 9, you can have special permissions to allow users to access specific folders.



Only if it is 867 MHz or faster.



If this is the model I'm thinking of, it is not the monitor or the videocard, put the front power pannel. Disconnect the power, then try to turn it on, and it should work. In the future, you will have to remember that.

TEG

Disconnect the monitor power? So do this: Disconnect monitor power, turn on G4, once its up and running I should plug in and turn on the monitor?

poppe
Feb 28, 2008, 02:52 AM
What are the benefits of this?



Disconnect the monitor power? So do this: Disconnect monitor power, turn on G4, once its up and running I should plug in and turn on the monitor?

Anyone?

gr8tfly
Feb 28, 2008, 03:03 AM
You don't really need OS-X server, if you're just sharing hard-drives, iPhoto and/or iTunes.

I might have missed it, but have you figured out what speed G4 it is? Also, how much RAM?

I've been running Leopard on a 867 G4 QuickSilver, and it runs rather well. It's actually going away (the OS) and being replaced with Tiger 10.4 Server, though (it really is going to be a mail/apache/dns server - replacing a 350MHz 10.2 server that's been running 24/7 for years).

poppe
Feb 28, 2008, 03:18 AM
You don't really need OS-X server, if you're just sharing hard-drives, iPhoto and/or iTunes.

I might have missed it, but have you figured out what speed G4 it is? Also, how much RAM?

I've been running Leopard on a 867 G4 QuickSilver, and it runs rather well. It's actually going away (the OS) and being replaced with Tiger 10.4 Server, though (it really is going to be a mail/apache/dns server - replacing a 350MHz 10.2 server that's been running 24/7 for years).

I haven't been able to figure it out yet because I can't get the monitor to work... Someone above mentioned something with power and the unit, but I didn't follow, so I am waiting for their response.

My guess, from the research I have done, is that this G4 is somewhere in the 400-500 range. I would eventually love to host my website out of this thing. Is that what you are doing now? I am also going to have to upgrade this to at least 500 gbs. of hard drive space.

Any thoughts would be nice.

poppe
Feb 28, 2008, 03:18 AM
You don't really need OS-X server, if you're just sharing hard-drives, iPhoto and/or iTunes.

I might have missed it, but have you figured out what speed G4 it is? Also, how much RAM?

I've been running Leopard on a 867 G4 QuickSilver, and it runs rather well. It's actually going away (the OS) and being replaced with Tiger 10.4 Server, though (it really is going to be a mail/apache/dns server - replacing a 350MHz 10.2 server that's been running 24/7 for years).

I haven't been able to figure it out yet because I can't get the monitor to work... Someone above mentioned something with power and the unit, but I didn't follow, so I am waiting for their response.

My guess, from the research I have done, is that this G4 is somewhere in the 400-500 range. I would eventually love to host my website out of this thing. Is that what you are doing now? I am also going to have to upgrade this to at least 500 gbs. of hard drive space.

Any thoughts would be nice.

gr8tfly
Feb 28, 2008, 03:46 AM
Um, are you sure about that? Right off the top of my head I can think of several ways that there might be around that, for instance putting an alias to user A's folder into the home directory of user B.

I've never tried it so I don't know if that'll work, but I'm sure there must be some simple way to do it.

In fact, I just checked online, you can indeed share share your entire disk with other users. I don't know where you got your info, but you've been misinformed (or made an assumption?). Unless of course I'm the one who's misunderstanding things, which is always possible.

Yes, you'll have access to whatever your account permissions let you. I have another Leopard machine in the house - as admin, I can access all hard drives, the user's public folder, and the user's home folder. 10.5's not a requirement, it's just what I have setup on that machine. My home server is still running 10.2, so it shows up slightly different, but as admin, I still have access to the complete hard drive.

gr8tfly
Feb 28, 2008, 03:53 AM
I haven't been able to figure it out yet because I can't get the monitor to work... Someone above mentioned something with power and the unit, but I didn't follow, so I am waiting for their response.

My guess, from the research I have done, is that this G4 is somewhere in the 400-500 range. I would eventually love to host my website out of this thing. Is that what you are doing now? I am also going to have to upgrade this to at least 500 gbs. of hard drive space.

Any thoughts would be nice.

My domain (and a few others) are served by the 10.2 G3. It's the DNS, mail and web server for those domains. Mail is the weak point, and the main reason for my (hopefully soon, "I just have to get around to it") upgrade to 10.4 server and the 867MHz G4.

You should be able to run 10.4 server on it. It'll need a minimum of 512MB RAM (IIRC). The more the merrier, as usual. :)

Blogger
Feb 28, 2008, 05:24 AM
You could also try running Yellow Dog linux, which runs really fast on G4s, something that can't be said of recent iterations of Mac OS.

Their support is quite good, too.

http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/

Infrared
Feb 28, 2008, 06:14 AM
The limit with OSX is that they will only have access to their home folder, unless they are set as administrators.

That's not strictly true. In OS X a user has read and write privileges
for many other folders. E.g., '/tmp' and '/Users/Shared'. And it's not
difficult to set it up any way you want in any case.

motulist
Feb 28, 2008, 02:19 PM
Yes, you'll have access to whatever your account permissions let you. I have another Leopard machine in the house - as admin, I can access all hard drives, the user's public folder, and the user's home folder. 10.5's not a requirement, it's just what I have setup on that machine. My home server is still running 10.2, so it shows up slightly different, but as admin, I still have access to the complete hard drive.

I knew it. In no way is OS 9 at all superior to OS X in terms of networking or multi-user abilities. I don't know how that guy was under such a huge misconception.

poppe
Feb 28, 2008, 04:35 PM
In general I will be the only one accessing that computer, so I am not worried about restrictions etc. Perhaps my roommates will use it, but this computer is only going to have video, audio, and photo access, so if worse comes to worse they will be able to access those. I am completely fine with that.

You could also try running Yellow Dog linux, which runs really fast on G4s, something that can't be said of recent iterations of Mac OS.

Their support is quite good, too.

http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/

This sounds nice, but how well does it work as a server (especially video/audio support)? I don't know much of anything about Linux, so I will probably stay with OS X if Linux would be too trouble some.

EDIT: Would it be more useful to just go with something like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-XServe-G4-1GHz-512-SDRAM-VGA-Mac-OS-X-Server-10_W0QQitemZ130200386792QQihZ003QQcategoryZ86703QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem.

I know these are damn loud, but...