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Old Aug 20, 2012, 01:51 AM   #1
graytotoro
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Accidentally bought a FW800

So as the title goes, I accidentally bought a FW800. Well, it's a bit more complicated than that.

About a week ago I start thinking about buying a backup desktop in case my ThinkPad is downed and I don't want to bike to the computer lab on campus to do the revival with an 8GB flash drive and a Linux LiveDVD. Anyways, with Pentium 4s being in the $100 range I see the school selling G4s (your choice of iBook, iMac, PowerMac, and the occasional cube) for well under $100.

I do some research and see a MDD with 1GHZ and 1GB RAM. My interest is piqued and I make the trip on Friday morning. Lo and behold, it boots albeit with a wiped drive so it does the MacOS/? icon flash. $50 obo. Thinking that it's the dual 1GHZ, I throw in the lowball offer of $25 thinking they won't accept.

They do. And that's how I bought a MDD. So I go home happy and then I see that wait, they made another MDD in 2003, except this has a SINGLE 1GHZ and FW800. Worse, I flip through a 2003-era issue of MacWorld and find that it's slower than the dual processor. Ah well, it's $25.

At the end of the day I have the latter 1GHZ FW800 G4 for $26.81 USD after tax. Still a better investment than the Bourne Legacy which I saw last night. ;D So how badly did I fare?

Anybody else have a FW800 or a similarly cool story? It's not a main PC by any means but rather something to tinker with and add more weight to that "experienced with OSX" I put on my resume. Any tips and tricks are GREATLY appreciated!
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 02:05 AM   #2
quasinormal
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I tend to think a single processor mdd would be better as as a server than a dual processor.

You'll find one of these quite useful if you want to add sata HDs. I'd use the PATA interface for the boot drive. My old mdd booted quite fast from a newish 160gb pata drive.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_serial_ata.html

An airport extreme card or an Asus 138g v2 (in a pci slot and recognised as a airport card) will give you wifi. Both will need to be bought second hand.

http://www.asus.com.au/Networks/Wire...ers/WL138g_V2/
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 04:21 AM   #3
mike457
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Originally Posted by graytotoro View Post

At the end of the day I have the latter 1GHZ FW800 G4 for $26.81 USD after tax. Still a better investment than the Bourne Legacy which I saw last night. ;D So how badly did I fare?
Skip Total Recall and you'll have a substantial profit!
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 06:15 AM   #4
666sheep
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OP: check this thread out http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1091765 - most of newbie questions are answered there.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 02:34 PM   #5
NuMackUsr
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Getting a MDD for 25$ is a STEAL other than free they dont come any cheaper! hope you like it! If you want to upgrade processors eBay has a Dual 867MHz, Dual 1GHz and a single (possible dual) 1.25GHz all for this model. a original AirPort Extreme Card can be obtained for around $20 the cheapest online. You can also find IDE HDDs second hand dirt cheap. If you need a OS you can obtain Leopard for $20 brand new from a discount website (PM me for the link).

Last edited by NuMackUsr; Aug 20, 2012 at 02:51 PM.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by NuMackUsr View Post
...a original AirPort Card can be obtained for around $20 the cheapest online...
MDD FW800 don't use original Airport cards. They use Airport Extreme cards.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 02:50 PM   #7
NuMackUsr
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MDD FW800 don't use original Airport cards. They use Airport Extreme cards.
Yes I Know. But either AirPort card is around the same price.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 10:06 PM   #8
graytotoro
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Has anyone tried using a DVI to HDMI cable on the DVI port? It's the cheapest option available and all the online sources suggest going ADC-DVI-DVI-HDMI but I was wondering if I could go straight from DVI to HDMI.
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 10:22 PM   #9
NuMackUsr
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Has anyone tried using a DVI to HDMI cable on the DVI port? It's the cheapest option available and all the online sources suggest going ADC-DVI-DVI-HDMI but I was wondering if I could go straight from DVI to HDMI.
Yes. You can do this it will work fine also you can pick up a ADC-DVI adaptor real cheap which will let you have Dual DVI

EDIT: Do note that you will not get Audio through a DVI-HDMI adaptor
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Old Aug 24, 2012, 09:30 PM   #10
graytotoro
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Ok. So I've gotten it to boot into 10.4 and it runs great.

The only problem is that it has some weird resolution error where the screen is so magnified you can only see half of the dock and none of the toolbar which hampers productivity. I've tried every resolution setting but nothing works. The TV sees it in 1080p mode but I can't seem to fit the borders of the screen into those of the display.

How can I go about fixing this?
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Old Aug 24, 2012, 09:37 PM   #11
Intell
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You have to mess with your TV's settings to fix that. You have to turn off its overscan features.
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 08:05 PM   #12
nickn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NuMackUsr View Post
[SIZE="3"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Getting a MDD for 25$ is a STEAL other than free they dont come any cheaper!
Not to gloat, but I think I got the best "steal" of perhaps anyone on this entire board! Several years back I saw an ad that a school district was having a surplus sale, and that they would have computers for sale. When I got there, I was pleased to see that they had a variety of Power Mac G4's, iBook G3 and G4s, eMacs, and a few old Newtons. Here's the kicker. Guess how much each of them was? $250?, no, $150?, no, $50???, oh no, everything was $5!!!!!!!! I walked out with a perfectly functioning Mac Server G4, a toilet seat iBook G3, and the old laptop style newton with touchscreen for $15 total! I still have the Mac Server G4 and the newton, both of which work great.

Anyways, back to the thread, even at $25 you still got a good deal. Since we all like macs, I doubt we could really regret getting one at that low.
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Old Sep 9, 2012, 01:03 AM   #13
graytotoro
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Originally Posted by nickn View Post
Not to gloat, but I think I got the best "steal" of perhaps anyone on this entire board! Several years back I saw an ad that a school district was having a surplus sale, and that they would have computers for sale. When I got there, I was pleased to see that they had a variety of Power Mac G4's, iBook G3 and G4s, eMacs, and a few old Newtons. Here's the kicker. Guess how much each of them was? $250?, no, $150?, no, $50???, oh no, everything was $5!!!!!!!! I walked out with a perfectly functioning Mac Server G4, a toilet seat iBook G3, and the old laptop style newton with touchscreen for $15 total! I still have the Mac Server G4 and the newton, both of which work great.

Anyways, back to the thread, even at $25 you still got a good deal. Since we all like macs, I doubt we could really regret getting one at that low.


I have no words to tell you how jealous. The only story I have that can possibly top that is my uncle offering six-year-old me (this was about 1997) a free PowerBook 150 with a DuoDock and all the accessories one needed for a pretty decent home office. Of course, with me being too young to understand what's up I declined.

Anyways so I've purchased an Airport Extreme card for the FW800. Is this thing supposed to be plug-and-play? I've plugged it into the slot, plugged the cable into it, and OS X 10.4.11 hasn't detected it at all. It even went into "crisis" mode where the afterburners in the fans kicked in and I had to PMU reset it.

I've removed and reseated the card about five times but it's still not detecting an Airport Card at all. Any advice before I contact the seller?

I'd appreciate any pictures to see how my installation is versus yours.
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