Questions about an old Wallstreet

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mrgreen4242, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #1
    I'm thinking about buying a Wallstreet from another MR member. It's a 250mhz 13" model with 384mb RAM, 6gb HDD (I only need the basic OS X apps and 2 gigs for temporary picture storage and a few working files, so this will be plenty for this machine), and CD-ROM (can't playback DVDs on these so not really a big deal).

    Since I've never used this machine (or any Mac from this era - my first mac since my Classic was an 800mhz G4) I wanted to ask for some opinions on how it would perform some basic tasks:

    1) Running 10.3.9. I HATE OS 9. I have to run X.
    2) Wireless web browsing, while out of town or just in the bedroom. I like Safari, but Firefox is fine if it's better on older G3 machines?
    3) Email, preferably with Mail, but again Thunderbird would work, if that's faster.
    4) As a dumping ground for digital pics while on vacation. Will this thing run any of the semi-rent versions of iPhoto (with smallish photo libraries... say under 1000 1mb photos) so I can review, crop, sort, and maybe even do some slideshows while on vacation, etc. Is there a lower system requirement application like iPhoto that would work for this?
    5) Word, Excel, PowerPoint... which version should I look for, does the video out work OK for giving PowerPoint presentations?

    My criteria for acceptable performance are

    1) waking from sleep in less than 30 seconds or so.
    2) Running OS X.3.9 fast enough to be comfortable (ie, no waiting more than a few seconds for a Finder window to open, etc)
    3) Launching any of the above apps in less than 10-15 seconds
    4) Running any of the above applications ONE AT A TIME "comfortably"... so, load web (basic, non Flash/heavy Java) pages as fast as the data connection allows, compose emails without frustration, edit/create basic Word or Excel files, playback and make small edits to PowerPoint presentations, view, rotate and crop 4MP photos without having to twiddle my thumbs.

    I can't afford much in the way of a laptop at the moment , and the price is right on this Wallstreet. I figure I will have to add a $25 WiFi PC Card (quickly) and a $20-25 USB PC Card (eventually), which is going to bring my total cost up to $150, which is just about as much as I can sink into a laptop right now.

    Question is: is it even worth it or will I be disappointed?

    Thanks for any advice from all you old school Mac users!
     
  2. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #2
    I would be interested to find out what kind of graphics card is in there. How will it affect battery life. With all old equipment you need to know how much wear and tear it has and is it gonna hold up to your usage or is it on the verge of failure.
     
  3. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #3
    According to what I can find on the net the GPU is a ATI Rage 4mb VRAM model. The current owner says he gets 2+ hours of life with the current battery. It looks to be in very good shape, judging from the pics. My usage should be fairly gentle.
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    I'd go with 10.2.8 unless you really need 10.3. I try to stick with native support and not XPostFacto.
     
  5. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #5
    What is his usage on it, is he slamming the processor or just doing casual things like you want to do?

    I agree 10.3 will ad more strain so if you can stick with 10.2 you will do better off, what is the current OS now?
     
  6. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #6
    The bold has my answers
     
  7. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #7
    I've read that 10.3.9 runs fastest on these older machines. There's nothing particular about Panther that I need, just want the fastest speeds I can eek out of this aged machine. http://www.powerbookcentral.com/columns/hildreth_moore/ospick.shtml says 10.2 is OK on it, 10.3 is "probably faster".

    Can't say for sure what he's been doing with the system, doesn't sound like it was too much more than day to day use. No idea what's on it at the moment, but I will ask. The pics are of some variant of X, but can't say which. I have 10.3 CDs already as well, which is a plus.
     
  8. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #8
    Thank you so much for the detailed answers! Did you try Panther on yours? I seem to be getting a few different opinions on wether Jag or Panther would be fastest. Again, I don't really care which it is, I'm just interested in basic functionality and speed.

    Your "review" was very promising. I can deal with wait times for working with photos. My main need is to download them from my digital camera, sort them, delete the losers, tag the remaining pics, etc. while I am on the road.

    Oh, as far as WiFi cards go, there are a few out there supported by an open source driver. A couple have full support (WEP, etc) and the rest work, just no WEP. A brand new one without WEP support is $25... I think I can find one with "full support" for $45. Need to find which USB PC Cards word aside from the $30 one at macsales.com... seems like there should be at least one or two cheaper than that by now.

    Thanks again!
     

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