Ancient iMac found. What should I do with it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Doodledoo, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Doodledoo macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    It's a fantastic, totally operable Mac OS 8.6 blueberry tray-loading 1999-vintage iMac. Gorgeous beast. Totally functional. 32 MB RAM, 6 GB HD.

    What should I do with it? Update it to 10.3.9? Leave it be?
  2. APtalent macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
  3. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Can 10.3.9 even fit on a 6GB HD? I wouldn't risk the upgrade unless you have the original OS disks handy.
  4. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Probably, but it would take up half the hard drive, which would make for shoddy preformance and not-much-room for anything else.

    If it helps OP, my iBook G3 has a 10GB hard disk, and it installed and ran 10.3 fine. I switched back to OS9 though because there's more software for classic than for panther.
  5. Cygnus311 macrumors regular

    May 6, 2006
    Only one thing to do: fire up bootcamp and the Battlefield 3 beta. Let us know what kind of performance you're seeing.
  6. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
  7. Doodledoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    I don't know. It runs too well to make it a home for fish.

    Should I just leave it on 8.6, or upgrade to the maximum pre-OS X software? Are there funky classic games I can use on it? How might one connect to a modern university network – should I reach out to the tech services people or just leave it off the grid?
  8. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    upgrade the HDD and RAM, upgrade to OS9 and play classic games.
  9. Doodledoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
  10. kbfr08 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    Wow! That was my first mac. good times... until the hard drive crashed 2 days after I got the thing.

    Anyway, upgrade it to OS X 10.1 minimum if you want to do any web browsing. I had mine on 10.1 and it ran great, so performance shouldn't be bad at all, depending on the amount of ram you have.
  11. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia


    No, you can run Classila on it in OS9 and its real fast & stable (excluding flash of course). There are no decent web browsers for 10.1. You either need to be in OS9 and run Classilla, or Panther/Tiger and run Tenfourfox or Camino.
  12. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    The minimum for a any Mac OS X installation is going to 96MB of RAM and you will need to apply a Firmware update that supports Mac OS X, I think it can be found with the 10.0 and 10.1 install disks. I would just keep it the way it is running 8.6 running OS 9 will not give you any noticeable advantage and Mac OS X will be almost unusable. I use my old Indigo Clamshell iBook to play games like Age of Empires and Bugdome and its running OS 9.2 Fun to play around with and look back at what was, just have fun with it.
  13. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    -being a blueberry tray loader it's either a 266 or 333MHz
    -you can run max os 9.2.2 (Classila web browser can run on your version 8.6 but prefers 9.0-9.2.2)
    -you can run osx panther 10.3.9 and with XpostFactor tiger and even leopard
    -taking apart these imacs is really pretty easy and you could upgrade the ram to 512 and add a new ide harddrive (which besides ram makes all the difference running osx)
  14. Rangerjim macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2011
    tray loader

    I just found one of these at the dump, took it home and it booted right up into os 9.1. It had 32mb of ram and a 4 gig hard drive, 233mhz with 6 mb vram.

    I ended up swapping the hard drive for a 40 gig that I had laying around, put in some more ram (320mb total now), did the firmware update and installed 10.2.8. It's sitting in my daughter's room now (cause it matches her wall colors) and runs really well. She does her homework on it and loves it.

    When I installed the ram, I tried a 128mb 133 sodimm but its only reading it as 64mb. I also installed a 256 100 sodimm on the bottom tray, and that one is reading correctly.

    I have all of $20 into this and my daughter couldn't be happier!
  15. Rodus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2008
    Midlands, UK
    OS X10.3/10.4 (Leopard is G4 only) are pretty painful on anything less then a G3 400 with 512 MB of RAM, and even then it chugs. On the early G3's OS 9 is the way to go and it will play very nicely with 256 MB. Classilla is surprisingly useable as a browser and for basic email, word processing and retro gaming the old iMacs are great as long as you don't expect it to compete with modern machines.
  16. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2011
  17. MacHamster68, Oct 17, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009

    put OS9 on, update the firmware, max out the ram to 512 mb and you might find a bigger up to 128gb ide/ATA harddrive somewhere too , install clasilla browser and use it as a normal computer , its still able to perform the very basic tasks ,or place it nicely visible in the living room or in the office and use it to listen to itunes

    you could install Panther or even Tiger on it, then you can use wireless usb dongles (some work under tiger and panther ) , but it will definitely perform better under OS9 but then i think you are limited to ethernet . There are rumors about belkin had a usb wireless dongle made 10 years ago with OS9 drivers ,but only wireless B capable , but i never seen one

Share This Page