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Old Oct 28, 2002, 02:57 PM   #1
NeoAmsterdam
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Exclamation Customer's Weird G4 - Need Feedback!

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!
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 03:02 PM   #2
metfoo
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digital camera and pictures will help
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 03:04 PM   #3
NeoAmsterdam
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Weird G4

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...

Last edited by NeoAmsterdam; Oct 28, 2002 at 03:08 PM.
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 03:07 PM   #4
puffmarvin
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.......... of the inside of the system
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 03:10 PM   #5
NeoAmsterdam
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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.
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 03:23 PM   #6
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go in and do some "maintenance", with a digital camera in your back pocket.

i am interested. show me some picts!
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 07:42 PM   #7
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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...
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 08:36 PM   #8
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Until I see a photo--doctored or not--I won't believe a word of this.
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 09:46 PM   #9
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this is obviously crap.
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Old Oct 28, 2002, 10:29 PM   #10
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Yet, some better written crap. Most rumors are horribly unbelievable; this one offered at least a glimmer of hope for being real.
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Old Oct 29, 2002, 01:37 AM   #11
ddtlm
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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.
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Old Oct 29, 2002, 02:03 AM   #12
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Cool Wierd G4

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.
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 03:05 PM   #13
NeoAmsterdam
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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.
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
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?
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Old Oct 30, 2002, 04:22 PM   #15
ddtlm
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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.
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Old Nov 6, 2002, 03:42 PM   #16
NeoAmsterdam
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Wait a few for the photos...

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.

Last edited by NeoAmsterdam; Nov 6, 2002 at 03:47 PM.
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Old Nov 6, 2002, 04:10 PM   #17
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*cough cough ********* cough cough*
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Old Nov 8, 2002, 09:22 PM   #18
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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.
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Old Nov 8, 2002, 11:12 PM   #19
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exactly...

Quote:
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.
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 11:21 AM   #20
NeoAmsterdam
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Talking Photos!!!

If you think I'm full of ****, then come and take a BIG whiff at:

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

The photos are up.
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 11:45 AM   #21
ddtlm
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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
An FCC non-compliance label.
Interesting, so it's a prototype of machines that Apple stopped selling more than a year ago.
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 12:05 PM   #22
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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!
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 12:26 PM   #23
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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.
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 12:32 PM   #24
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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.
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 12:40 PM   #25
OSeXy!
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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.
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