Bring back Powermac G3 (beige) to good use?

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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I've seen people get Leopard running on their beige G3s, with a G4 mod. And I think they also get USB on it.
How would I do this?
I have an old Powermac G3 beige that is no use because 1- it has OS 8, and 2- it has no USB ports. (Also there is no optical disk drive, I think it didn't work and I took it out a long time ago. I don't know what happened to it). Currently there is no way to connect to it with the outside world except by taking out the hard drive and putting it in a G4.

Can I install Tiger on it without replacing the processor? I'd rather stick with the original G3 than upgrade to G4 for Leopard. I also want to install USB PCI cards and also maybe Airport if that would work.
 

n0cus

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Jul 16, 2012
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I've seen people get Leopard running on their beige G3s, with a G4 mod. And I think they also get USB on it.
How would I do this?
I have an old Powermac G3 beige that is no use because 1- it has OS 8, and 2- it has no USB ports. (Also there is no optical disk drive, I think it didn't work and I took it out a long time ago. I don't know what happened to it). Currently there is no way to connect to it with the outside world except by taking out the hard drive and putting it in a G4.

Can I install Tiger on it without replacing the processor? I'd rather stick with the original G3 than upgrade to G4 for Leopard. I also want to install USB PCI cards and also maybe Airport if that would work.
You can get to Mac OS X 10.2 officially with the G3. Beyond that, you are going to want to upgrade the processor to a G4, or at least a faster G3. You can easily add a USB PCI card. It is probably not worth the effort. You are better off buying a PowerMac G4 or G5.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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You can install Tiger on that machine as is. But I think you may have to use a PCI graphics card and upgrade the memory. Leopard runs alright on those machines, but even a low-mid range PowerMac G4 will easily outperform it.
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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You can install Tiger on that machine as is. But I think you may have to use a PCI graphics card and upgrade the memory. Leopard runs alright on those machines, but even a low-mid range PowerMac G4 will easily outperform it.
To install i'm gonna have to install a DVD drive right?
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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You can install Tiger on that machine as is. But I think you may have to use a PCI graphics card and upgrade the memory. Leopard runs alright on those machines, but even a low-mid range PowerMac G4 will easily outperform it.
Oh what about Ubuntu, is it better to install Ubuntu instead? Because Ubuntu has more compatibility than Tiger or Jaguar (i think).

How fast would Tiger run on it? Would it be painfully slow and almost unusable? What about Jaguar? Would it be able to play a video?
Leopard would probably lag horribly on it.
How well would Ubuntu run?

Oh another question, if I install a DVD drive, will it be able to play DVDs well or will it lag terribly?
 

n0cus

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Jul 16, 2012
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You can install Tiger on that machine as is. But I think you may have to use a PCI graphics card and upgrade the memory. Leopard runs alright on those machines, but even a low-mid range PowerMac G4 will easily outperform it.
I don't mean to question your wisdom, Intell, but don't they only go up to 10.2. I might not be thinking of the right machine. I am thinking of this.
 
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poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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I don't mean to question your wisdom, Intel, but don't they only go up to 10.2. I might not be thinking of the right machine. I am thinking of this.
Close but I am talking about this (attached)
And as you can see it says Maximum OS 10.2.8.
10.2.8 doesn't work with many apps and isn't very useful. Tiger would be better. But I don't want something that will lag it to death.

I saw a video about a PowerMac G3 Minitower running OS X Leopard. The processor was replaced by a G4.
http://youtu.be/su8zWpFOkAM
 

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Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Oh what about Ubuntu, is it better to install Ubuntu instead? Because Ubuntu has more compatibility than Tiger or Jaguar (i think).

How fast would Tiger run on it? Would it be painfully slow and almost unusable? What about Jaguar? Would it be able to play a video?
Leopard would probably lag horribly on it.
How well would Ubuntu run?

Oh another question, if I install a DVD drive, will it be able to play DVDs well or will it lag terribly?
A well trimmed Ubuntu installation can be faster than Tiger on there. With the stock CPU, Tiger will be a bit sluggish.

You can actually get Tiger to install from the first 2 CDs out of the 4.
Ah yes, forgot it came on four discs. I was thinking if Panther. That came on three discs.

I don't mean to question your wisdom, Intel, but don't they only go up to 10.2. I might not be thinking of the right machine. I am thinking of this.
Officially 10.2 is it's maximum. But because it has a G3 in it, it can run 10.3 and 10.3. With a G4 upgrade it can run up to 10.5. It does require some extra kexts and work, but it does run.
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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The price for a G4 chip is more expensive than an entire PowerMac G4 :p
Same with a PCI Graphics Card

Looks like Ubuntu all the way
Or maybe just throwing it out... lel :p
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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I just bought a pair of PCI Rage 128s for under $20 including shipping on Ebay...one of them went in my beige G3. My main goal was to be able to use VGA monitors on a couple of computers(the G3 and an 8500) without having to mess around with dongles.

This isn't the best graphics card for OSX, but is workable with Tiger.
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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You can get a ZIF G4 for under $20 and a PCI ATI Radeon or ATI 7000 for around that same price as well.
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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Oh I have another question
Since it currently has no way to connect to the new world (it has no ODD) besides through ethernet, can I transfer an OS X installer to it through the ethernet? (It has two hard drives)
 

Nermal

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Dec 7, 2002
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And as you can see it says Maximum OS 10.2.8.
If you do go down the 10.2 route then you may run into crashes with 10.2.8. It was apparently a reasonably common issue (here's an example), but could be fixed by using 10.2.6 instead. It's been a long time since I had one of those machines, but the listed symptoms seem familiar.
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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I have jaguar install disks so i'd probably use whatever is on there and not update (or is there something important in one of those updates?)
The powermac has no optical drive, I took it out long ago because it didnt work. When i get the powermac I will look for the optical drive. it's probably a dirty head (very common problems with these optical disk drives)
This is why I ask about the ethernet thing
 

Intell

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There is no way for OS 8.6 to copy the OS X installer over the network so that the OS X installer will still work. It just isn't possible.
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
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I have jaguar install disks so i'd probably use whatever is on there and not update (or is there something important in one of those updates?)
The powermac has no optical drive, I took it out long ago because it didnt work. When i get the powermac I will look for the optical drive. it's probably a dirty head (very common problems with these optical disk drives)
This is why I ask about the ethernet thing
A spare hard drive would be another option if there is a HDD port free inside the PM. If you have access to another mac with an optical drive you can restore your installer disc to a partition on the spare drive, pop that in your beige PM and boot from that.
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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A few days ago I got to the Powermac. I played around with it for a bit.
It has two SCSI hard drivers, one for the boot drive. The boot drive is 3-4 GB Quantum fireball, and the second drive is 80 MB (yes, 80 MB O-o) Quantum and also VERY LOUD!!!
This Powermac has two SCSI bays; and two ATA bays, one of which is for the optical drive. The other ATA bay is on the floorboard (or whatever you call it) next to the motherboard under the other drive bays.
The plastic parts are old and brittle. While I was working with it, it would go crunch crunch crunch :p
Many plastic parts are missing. i remember there was some vent-like thingy that went over the open area above the mother board next to the drive bays. Also the power button has broke completely now (the switch itself is still good).

After several hours of several days messing with the crappy OS and extensions (it was all corrupt and broken and froze and crashed often), I disabled all extensions and then rebooted. After this, most of the extensions disappeared!! :eek: No hard drive space seemed to have freed up so it must've been somewhere, but nowhere to be found! Just vanished just like that!

So bla bla...

I could not find the original optical drive. It was everywhere when I didn't need it and now when I need it it is nowhere. :p Too bad because it had the mount thing for mounting in the ODD bay. Oh well, not too bad, I can just drill holes for screws to keep the ODD in place.
I took the optical drive out of my PowerMac G4 (DA) and put it in the G3. Put a Jaguar install disk in it, and it worked. OS 8 recognized it, and the installer application opened, but nothing happened when i clicked Restart. So I just restarted and held down C key, it booted in OS 8 but then halted and restarted in OS X from the disk! :D
The boot disk had some history crap but because it used SCSI and the Powermac G4 uses ATA it would be too much hassle to save that crap, so I just went ahead and erased it and installed Jaguar! Everything went perfectly.
After the install, the setup assistant said it could not be displayed on my Display (at default resolution) so I had to manually setup in System Preferences. (Which is good because I didn't have to go through the fancy music and the registration crap :p ). So now all is well :D

After switching from OS 8.6 to 10.2, WOW, OS X is such a great OS. I realized how absolutely terrible classic OS X was! With OS 8, this computer was a useless piece of junk, but OS X has brought new life into it! I never knew how much more useful, beautiful, and fun 10.2 was. I just can't look back at this such terrible classic Mac OS. No wonder people hated Macs and went with Windows.
I had so much fun just playing with the few apps there were :p especially iTunes (though I rarely use itunes or listen to music). I really like this old iTunes 3 and hate the new iTunes 11 or 12 or whatever they have today. And that good ol' classic visualizer! The internal speaker works quite well, despite having a hole in it :p (The G4 DA has a bad speaker)

10.2 runs pretty fine on it. It is a bit laggy but not bad enough to annoy you. The animated screensaver (flurry) lags too much to use, but the slideshow ones work fine.
The CPU usage is very crazy and spiky. When idle, it is near the bottom, but when I move the mouse, it goes up to around 1/3 or 1/2. Dragging a window or something similar will make it zip up to 100%.

So I have a few questions.
Can I just use any usual USB PCI card and would it work out-of-the-box with OS X?
Do floppy disks work with OS X?
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,670
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USB 2.0 support requires a later version of Tiger, IIRR. If you can find a PCI card with an NEC based controller it should be recognised as USB 1.0 or possibly 1.1 under older versions of OSX or OS8.6+. Sleep might not work without Tiger, though.

As for floppies, I have a USB floppy drive and floppies have mounted under OSX. Not sure what you would do with them apart from access data as OSX was never issued on floppy disks. I think System 7.x was the last version released on floppies.
 

poiihy

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Aug 22, 2014
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USB 2.0 support requires a later version of Tiger, IIRR. If you can find a PCI card with an NEC based controller it should be recognised as USB 1.0 or possibly 1.1 under older versions of OSX or OS8.6+. Sleep might not work without Tiger, though.

As for floppies, I have a USB floppy drive and floppies have mounted under OSX. Not sure what you would do with them apart from access data as OSX was never issued on floppy disks. I think System 7.x was the last version released on floppies.
Will something like this work?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Port-High-Speed-USB-2-0-PCI-Controller-Card-w-NEC-Chip-4-1-/151106735985?pt=US_Internal_Port_Expansion_Cards

(Screenshot if above expired: http://postimg.org/image/qhtja5ow9/ )

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Hey, I just got an idea!
If I am to install a USB card into this (which appear to be cheap), then rather than buy a DVD drive for it, I can just use my LG external drive. Would it work? Or would the bus not supply enough power? If so then that is ok, I have this usb cable with two plugs, one for data and one for power, I can connect the one for power into a USB charger.