Completely new to mac.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by karabean, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. karabean macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2006
    A couple of weeks ago, I was given an old iMac by a complete stranger who says, "I'm more of a Windows guy."

    Anyway, I've stared at it because it's orange and pretty and that's about as far as I've gotten with it. I've always been a Windows girl, but I really do like macs too. I just have limited (read: zero) experience with them.

    I have a few questions so that I may get it up and running hopefully soon. I want to keep it since its less clunky like my PC and it matches my decor too. :)

    I was reading the system requirements for OS X and looking at what the mac has.

    * PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor - Check. G3. (Is there any way to upgrade this?)

    * At least 3.0 GB of available space on your hard drive. - I have 3.24 GB available and I have a lot of stuff on it that the last guy had on it that I haven't removed. So, I'm going to give this one a check.

    That's how far I got before becoming completely useless. :)

    * Built-in FireWire - It says it doesn't have any firewire devices. Fixable?

    * At least 256MB of physical RAM - Where do I check that?

    * A built-in display or a display connected to an Apple-supplied video card supported by your computer. (I'm assuming so...)

    * DVD drive for installation - No DVD. Can a cd version be bought?


    Am I better off selling this for a couple bucks and getting a new one? :/
  2. macgeek2005 macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2006
    Well, I wouldn't install OS X on that machine. It'll run wayy to slowly. In OS 9, to check how much ram you have, go into the apple menu at the top left side of the screen, and go "Apple System Profiler", and check in there.

    The machine has firewire. It says theres no "fireware devices" because there are no devices plugged in.

    I don't think a CD version can be bought. I would keep the machine because it's cool, but that's just me. I think other people will tell you to sell it. You can probably get $75 for it if you're lucky.

    Hope this helps.
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Okay, first we need to figure out which machine this is. Since you say that it's orange, I'm assuming this a Rev. C or Rev. D. These machines do not have Firewire.

    But while Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) does not support older Macs lacking Firewire, older version of OS X will work on these machines.

    Edit: And those older versions of Mac OS X will be available on CD, so no DVD drive is required.

    Edit #2: Here is some info on system requirements for Panther (OS X 10.3). All iMac models are able to run Panther. They recommend 128 MB of RAM for installation. You can see how much RAM you have by clicking on "About This Computer" in the "Apple" menu in the upper left hand corner.

    Edit #3 (Will they ever end?): In the "About This Computer" window, you will also be able to see the speed of your processor. It should be either 266 MHz (making it a Rev. C iMac) or 333 MHz (making it a Rev. D) iMac.
  4. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    is it a slot loading imac or a tray loading? (the cd drive that is)
  5. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    #5're could be a slot-loading DVD DV 400 MHz with Firewire, which would be able to handle Tiger. D'oh! I forgot that those were also available in Tangerine.
  6. karabean thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2006
    hah, it says it's version 2.2
    I don't know what that means.

    It's also a 333.

    It's got OS X 10.2.8 on it right now. I just wish it did more stuff. I also wish it were a bit faster. I got it to go online and check my email and check livejournal and myspace (I'm one of THOSE) which is all I really would use it for anyway. But it takes a while to open firefox (I LOATHE explorer) I use the PC for games, which I don't do much of anyway.

    What other browsers are there that might go faster than firefox?

    I might just get a new one. Maybe a powerbook. Any suggestions?
  7. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    I'm not sure either, but this is not the amount of ram. The amount of ram will say "Memory ??? SDRAM" where the question marks are numbers representing your ram amount.

    Unfortunately, a Mac G3 at 333 Mhz simply is not going to be zippy in OS X or when surfing the internet. Sorry about that.

    Well, it WAS free, wasn't it? Count your blessings and enjoy it for what it is. No, you can't easily upgrade it. You could get a bigger hard drive but you may have to start over with a clean install of OS X (you could buy Panther CDs off ebay for $40-$50 if you wanted to do this). In fact, if I were you I WOULD wipe the whole hard drive and reinstall OS X. The fact that your hard drive is nearly full is probably responsible for a big performance hit. The system is probably in bad need of maintenance/updates/etc. You really need to get rid of all the junk on there clogging it up. Your ram amount really needs to be at least 768 mb for reasonably speedy performance and 1 GB is preferred. There are plenty of web sites to explain how to put new ram in one of these iMacs (Google search). is a good place to price shop for ram. Ebay can be good if you know what you are looking for, but for you I would not recommend it as it would be too easy for you to get the wrong ram.

    As for Firefox, it is about as zippy as you can get on a Mac. There are tweaks to make firefox faster, but it will not be like a modern computer on the net no matter what you do. For the tweaks, go to Google and search for: firefox mac page load speed. (or something similar)

    You can also try Safari. Also, after you get set up, make sure you go to Software Update under the blue apple in the upper left corner to update all your stuff.

    A new Powerbook? Well, they don't make the Powerbook anymore. Now Apple sells the Intel-chip based MacBook Pro. It would be a fine choice for you IF you have lots of money, and IF you need portability. If not, a Mac Mini or iMac would be good. For me personally, I'm a PowerMac kind of guy. I only would buy a tower computer because I want maximum power for the buck, and more expandibility in the future. If you really want to see something amazing, wait until Apple gets going in the Intel desktop computer game. That is a product I would want.
  8. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    For what she needs to do 768 MB is overkill. I'd say 384 MB is more than enough to run Panther and the applications she says that she wants to run. My 500 MHZ G3 iBook was pretty spritely with a meager 384 MB RAM for web browsing and such.

    Actually, she can still buy a 12 inch or 17 inch Powerbook if she wants. Apple still sells these machines for the time being.:D
  9. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    When you are done with your email and internet browsing sessions, put the computer into sleep mode instead of complete power down. If you use the sleep mode you will never have to wait for Firefox to load again:)

    I never shut my computer off. I put it to sleep and can start working after just a few seconds of hitting anykey.
  10. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    If you're only using it to check a couple of web pages and you want it faster, you may want to consider installing Mac OS 9.2 on it.....that would make it zippy. It's prone to some crashing (but not as much as people would have you believe), and it is perfectly usable, and it would be much faster. Internet Explorer in Mac OS 9 is pretty fast as I recall.
  11. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    At least on my machine, Safari is faster than Firefox. My experience with a 233 MHz iMac running 10.2.8 suggests that Safari would be faster than Firefox on your iMac too. You might also check out Camino, which is an official Mozilla browser that's Mac-only, and quite snappy on my computer.

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