iMac/eMac Questions *I'm Mac Noob

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by gotrice864, May 31, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    Okay, my grandfather's dell laptop is horribly slow. I want to buy him a new computer thats runs faster for his emails/videos. I was looking at the old imacs/emacs on ebay (the 2000-2005) versions. These comps fit in his budget of approx 100$. I was planning to buy an imac/emac with the following specs

    500mhz (or faster) Processor (or 600/700mhz)
    256mb (or more) Ram (512mb)
    20gb Hard drive (adding external memory)
    with the newer os x operating system.

    My question will these computers fit his needs? He writes emails, he writes a ton of word documents, and he views videos off youtube and off a media player.

    My question is that will these spec'd computers be able to run his needs efficiently?
    Are there programs that are similar to the windows (which he is used to)?
    Can you run microsoft office on these computers?
    If not what would be the recommended specs I should look for?
    Good Website to purchase other than ebay?

    I never had any experience with older macs, only with my cousins newer macbook pro.
  2. macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    It won't be able to run Leopard, but I'm sure it could run Tiger or Panther. Also, it could write word documents, casual web browsing, casual applications, and maybe able to run Microsoft Office (2004 anyways). Youtube should work, as long as you have a fairly decent internet connection.

    Hope that helps.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    Ok thanks, which os is better, tiger or Panther? Would microsoft office 2003 work (I have the windows version, don't know if it would work for mac)? If not what would be a good mac program or freeware?

    Also I forget to say that would it run it decently fast. As in webpages loading within the 1 or 2seconds and boot-up of programs doesn't take 5 minutes.
  4. macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    You need the mac version of office. you can download neo office (like open office for PC) - works on Mac and it's free. Pretty much does the exact same thing as office does.

    As for panther vs. tiger...I've only used tiger. Perhaps since panther is designed for older machines it would work better - but im not sure.
  5. macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    The Windows version would not work on a Mac. Panther is an older version of OSX, but it may be your best bet to go with because Tiger may be slow or may not work. Puma is also a good OS to go with. I think Panther is OSX 10.3 and Puma is OSX 10.1. Tiger is OSX 10.4, the version right before leopard. You could buy iWork 05 from ebay or somewhere for very cheap. That would have a word processor and things of that nature.

    Hope that helps!
  6. macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2006
    First off, I'm not sure what type of Mac you're going to get for $100. Realistically, it will probably cost you $200 for a barebones Mac. Any G4 should be handle YouTube well. The Windows version of Microsoft Word will NOT work in OS X. OS X requires Mac-specific software. You will most likely purchase Office 04 or 08 for the Mac. You are going to want more than 512 MB of RAM. I wouldn't run Tiger with less than 1 gig, especially if you want to use YouTube.

    Basically, make sure you get a Mac that is a G4, has 1 gig RAM, 32 MB+ video card and you'll be off and running on Panther or Tiger.
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
  8. macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    You don't really need 1GB of RAM to run Tiger at native speeds.... 512 is perfect for Panther or Tiger. The only thing I'm worried about is the processor speed for running Tiger. But 512MB is enough for Youtube or Tiger. Also, I had 256 MB of RAM on my G4 Quicksilver forever, and it ran Tiger perfectly. I upgraded to 1.5GB though, which is maxed out.
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    Okay thanks for the answers. I will buy the 600mhz, 512mb, 40gb, cd rw imac with panther 10.3 that I have been eying on ebay.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    Perfect choice. That should work perfectly for him!
  11. macrumors 6502

    Sep 11, 2007
    Just to clarify:

    OS X (10.0) was never referred to as anything other than 10.0. Its codename internally was Cheetah, but it never went by this name. Oh, and it was horrible.

    OS X (10.1) was never referred to as anything other than 10.1. Its codename internally was Puma, but it never went by this name. Oh, and it made OS X stable, but that's about it.

    OS X (10.2) was the first to publicly be given a cat-name. It is called Jaguar and made OS X a decent OS.

    OS X (10.3) is named Panther. It made OS X a great OS.

    OS X (10.4) is named Tiger. It's the most stable I've used.

    OS X (10.5) is named Leopard. It has potential, but is quite buggy.

    So, if you go looking for a copy of "Cheetah" or "Puma", you're not going to find it. Not that you'd want to.
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
  13. macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2007
    Does he watch YouTube in fullscreen mode?

    I have a G4 laptop with 768 mb RAM and a 667 Mhz processor. Tiger runs fine on it. MPlayer is the fastest media player I have found for my system, so you might want to download that for you grandfather. MPlayer can run everything at full speed in fullscreen mode on my computer with the exception of some of the larger WMA (Windows media) files that lag a little bit.

    On the issue of YouTube, Flash is horribly optimized for Macs, especially the non-Intel Macs. I can watch YouTube just fine on my computer, but fullscreen mode does NOT work at watchable speeds. I have tried it with Safari and Firefox and it is super jerky and not pleasant at all. You might want to check on this issue because as an older person your grandfather might be watching YouTube fullscreen to better see what's going on. If he's watching YouTube full screen, you should ask owners of computers similar to what your buying how YouTube looks in fullscreen mode.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2007
    Well not refurbished, as apple has only the current and last models in their refurbished section of their website, although second hand you could look on Ebay, Craigslist or here on MacRumors which has a good marketplace where you can ask if anyone has the sort of thing you're looking to buy too.
  15. macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
    If you're talking about an iMac G3 forget about it. They have ancient video cards that are basically useless for anything other than displaying the movement of your mouse. I had an iMac G3 with 1 GB of ram and YouTube was still fairly impossible to watch. Downloaded videos would sometimes work, but it was usually like watching a slide show.

    Dont waste your money on a G3, when its just going to be a disappointment. Wait until he can possibly afford something a tad more and get atleast a G4 iMac/eMac
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    He won't be watching full screen. He watches the news clips on current news websites. Here is the computer that I found on ebay stores. Specs to computer. MS Office, Adobe Photo, iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, & OS X 10.3 Panter Installed


    CPU: PowerPC 750cx

    CPU Speed: 500 MHz

    FPU: integrated

    Bus Speed: 100 MHz

    Data Path: 64 bit

    ROM: 1 MB ROM + 3 MB toolbox ROM loaded into RAM

    RAM Type: PC100

    Minimum RAM Speed: 100 MHz

    Onboard RAM: 0 MB

    RAM slots: 2

    Maximum RAM: 1 GB

    RAM Installed: 512MB

    Level 1 Cache: 32 kB data, 32 kB instruction

    Level 2 Cache: 256 kB on-chip, 1:1


    Monitor: 15"

    Video Card/Chipset: ATI RAGE 128 Ultra


    Max Resolution: 24 bit 1024x768

    Video Out: VGA (mirror only)


    Hard Drive: 20 GB

    ATA Bus: ATA-66

    Optical Drive: 24x/8x/4x CD-RW


    USB: 2

    Firewire: 2

    Audio Out: stereo 16 bit mini

    Audio In: stereo 16 bit mini

    Speaker: Harman Kardon Odissey

    Microphone: mono


    Modem: 56 kbps

    Ethernet: 10/100Base-T

    Airport: optional

    So Mac's are terrible at flash? I heard safari handles it quite well.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    What was the price on that bad boy? That looks like a good computer if the price is in a good range.
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    If I do buy it, just over 100 (with ship) with square trade warranty. It includes power cord/keyboard/ and mouse as well.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    That's a very good deal. Do you mind if you link me to the page, I want to check out his store to see if he has more Mac products. (I promise I won't buy that one) ;)
  20. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    Ohhh sure. He has two though. Just don't buy the second one. The price is including my ebay coupons though (10% off).

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