G4 (and G3) Mother lode

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    I spotted a post on the Cincinnatti area Craigslist over the weekend for a whole bunch of G3 and G4 towers. The details were a bit vague, but I could tell from the photos and the listing provided that there was enough there to make it worth my making the(two hour) trip.

    After communicating with the seller, I found at that all were bought at an auction from a close printing house, and apparently he was tired of looking at them and needed the space. I asked for the "lot" price, and was told $40 for everything.

    Needless to say, I made the trip up there.

    There were 12 computers in the listing, but I ended up packing up and bringing home 16.

    I haven't taken a full inventory yet, but here's the overview:

    2x B&W G3s
    Sawtooth
    Gigabit Ethernet(dual 500s)
    Digital Audio
    5x Quicksilver(most 733s, but the best a dual 800)
    4x MDDs, including one FW800
    One MDD case(mostly) for parts

    Several of these are missing parts, but none the less I think it was well worth the trip at roughly $4/computer(including gas).
     

    Attached Files:

  2. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

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  3. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
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    #3

    Holy cow.... that is so awesome! It would be cool to see which end up working, or if you can fix others. If you don't care about one of them and are in need of money, you can sell a trashed MDD's power supply. It would probably be better to keep in case a working MDD dies on you, but these power supplies go for around $90 on eBay.
     
  4. catzilla macrumors 6502

    catzilla

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    #4
    Nice! But I hope I never find a lode like that!
     
  5. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    After a quick survey, it looks like I'm missing a LOT of video cards. There are enough there, though, that I think I shift things around at least for testing.

    I'm working on the "low hanging fruit" now. The Gigabit Ethernet was complete except for a hard drive, so I quickly fixed that and installed OS 9.2.2. Since that computer didn't have a DVD drive, I'm currently installing Tiger via target disk mode using my TiBook.

    I'll probably tackle the Sawtooth next. It's also missing the video card. I have a spare AGP Rage 128, although it's the ADC version and I'd probably prefer it to permanently find a home in the Digital Audio(likely the shipping card for the DA) than use it in the Sawtooth.

    I gave a Radeon 9000 to a professor at school last week to upgrade a Digital Audio-maybe I can also talk him into giving me the Rage 128 in trade since I wouldn't let him pay me for the 9000.

    Incidentally, does anyone know if it's possible to flash a PC Rage 128 for a Mac? I actually salvaged a couple of these a few months back with this thought in the back of my head.

    One last thing-one of the B&Ws has a note on it that is has a "Server OS." I'm interested in getting into that one-I'm hoping that it may have a copy of OS X Server 1.0 on it. The other B&W is a Rev. B logic board, and has two hard drives installed.
     
  6. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #6
    ALL THAT FOR ONLY $40?!! :eek: OMG :eek: you are so lucky D:
     
  7. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    Well, I now have 5 of the computers running, although admittedly some didn't require a lot of work.

    The GigE and Sawtooth were my main interest, as I don't have working examples of either of those. Both had been robbed of their RAM and hard drives, and the Sawtooth didn't have a video card. Hard drives and RAM were no issue(although my SDRAM box is starting to look a bit thin-I need to go hunting again). I stuck a Rage 128 in the Sawtooth, although the only one I had was an ADC-equipped card. I have a couple of the PC version of this card-I'm going to look into flashing them to replenish my stock.

    The GigE really was no trouble other than replacing a dead optical drive. As this is actually a pretty decent computer(dual 500s) I went ahead and put a DVD burner in it. Once that was done, OS 9.2.2 and 10.4 installed with no trouble. I may put a second HDD in it and install Leopard just to see how it does. It does have a 64mb GeForce2 MX in it that I hope will do okay under Leopard.

    The Sawtooth gave me some headaches. It had a note that the optical drive was dead. I went through a half dozen optical drives, and couldn't get it to boot off any of them. I tried booting off a Firewire external, and booting off a drive with OS 9 pre-installed. I couldn't get anywhere with any of them. Finally, I tried a PRAM reset(not sure why I hadn't tried that sooner) and on a whim tried the factory DVD drive again. It booted off the OS 9 CD fine, installed fine, and I was able to install 10.4 as well.

    The Digital Audio needed a video card(I had another Rage 128) and RAM, but booted fine into 10.4 off the installed hard drive. This one didn't excite me a lot, as I have a DA(in fact, it was my first G4 tower and what got me interested in them), but is still a good computer.

    I also started digging into the Quicksilvers. As I mentioned, there were 5. 4 were marked as 733mhz, and one marked as dual 800. The first one I grabbed(one of the 733s) didn't have a logic board :rolleyes: or much else, so needless to say that one got put aside for later. Another 733 and the dual 800 both were essentially complete except for RAM(one had a little bit, the other a little bit) so once they got populated booted just fine into 10.4. I'll probably put Leopard on the dual 800 at least(to my mind, it makes no sense that Apple arbitrarily decided that a single 867mhz Quicksilver could officially run Leopard, but not a dual 800mhz from the same generation). The dual 800 has a Radeon 9000, and the 733 a GeForce4 MX.

    That leaves me two more Quicksilvers to tackle before I get into the MDDs. I know for sure that at least two of the MDDs aren't going to get fixed, as two are missing PSUs. One of the ones missing a PSU is the Firewire 800 and I'll probably take a PSU out of one of the other computers to get it going. Despite being the lowest spec model(dual 1ghz) it will still at least check the Firewire 800 box in my collection.

    I also realized in going through these computers that there is a logic board difference between the original MDD and the MDD 2003. Both of the ones I currently have running and use are MDD 2003s, so I need to get one original MDD running also. I'll have to take inventory of what I have to decide which to focus on, although the dual 867 seems like a good choice since it would give me a place to use the PC-2100 RAM that I can't seem to find any other use for :)
     
  8. jdphoto macrumors 6502

    jdphoto

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    Jan 13, 2014
  9. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #9
    Sounds like you have a very well planned-out system here! Seems like hard work, but heaven compared to working on a batch of Windows PCs. What do you think you will do with your working ones?
     
  10. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    I actually find it sort of relaxing to come home in the evening, pull out a computer, and do what's needed to get it going again(although tracking down problems can be somewhat maddening). I've also been going back and repasting the ones that are now running, which is a somewhat mindless but oddly enjoyable task. Fortunately, it really is minor surgery on G4 towers. For everything up to the MDDs, you don't even need a screwdriver to access and remove the heatsink.

    As for what I'm going to do with them-several have no immediate plans, but I'll be holding onto them as they fill holes in my collection.

    The ones that are too far gone or missing too many parts(like the Quicksilver missing the logic board) will probably get parted out and the parts added to my stash...I'll probably strip them down to metal as even the exterior plastic can be handy to have spares of, and then recycle or give away the metal remnants.

    I've had a few people ask me about buying computers off me from this lot, but realistically I probably will just end up giving working systems that I don't want to the people who have asked. Once I've exhausted that avenue, I'll either sell or donate the rest.
     
  11. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #11
    Sounds like a good plan; and if you wanted to go through the trouble, you could also sell parts. (obviously) PowerPC Mac parts have a rising value. Although, it may just be more beneficial to keep them, as you have said. Hopefully you can find people in your area who want one, or someone you can donate to. I did a huge e-waste run last year, and I ended up getting somewhere around 20 Windows PCs. I serviced them all and did what I could do. I have everything working just fine, but obviously nobody wants these... it would be a shame to throw them out. As for one of them, the fully-functional and like-new (2006) Dell Intel Core 2 Duo laptop, I donated that to a first-time computer user who didn't really have the money. It feels pretty rewarding to put some time into a computer and give it to someone in need.
     
  12. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #12
    Can I have one? Please? Pretty please? With sugar on it and ice cream and chocolate chips and candy sprinkles and whipped cream and...
     
  13. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #13
    My B&W is in bad shape case wise, willing to sell a case :p

    Broken handle, missing the zip drive cover, the plastic tray under the motherboard is hammered. Maybe I'd appreciate mine more if it wasn't in a beater status! The only other machine I have that comes semi-close (not even close at all) is my 2.7 G5 with a bent top handle.
     
  14. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
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    Kentucky
    #14
    I haven't dug into the B&Ws yet, but will see. As you can see, one of the ones I got is missing the bezel also. Both are actually Rev. B logic boards(supports 2 hard drives), have 400 mhz processors, and overall look to be pretty decent specs. Both have hard drives and I'm guessing will boot when I put video cards in them, so I'll evaluate then. One is even tagged as having "Server OS", which I'm hoping is going to turn out to be the elusive OS X 1.0 Server, but we'll see.
     
  15. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #15
    Just to follow up on this, I now have 6 of these up and going.

    Sawtooth 400mhz
    GigE Dual 500
    DA 533mhz
    2x Quicksilver 733mhz
    Quicksilver Dual 800mhz

    I'm pretty much done with the Quicksilvers. One had no processor card and was missing a couple of case parts. I ended up stripping it all the way down(I've never actually taken one completely apart before). I think the PSU and fans are all good, so these will be handy spares to have around. The plastic was also all decent, so I stuck all of those back in the closet for future use if I get a Quicksilver with bad panels.

    Interestingly enough, I actually can't get the logic board out of it. All the screws are out, but I'm at a loss as to how to get the board out(it looks like it should slide toward the front and then lift out, but I can't get it to do that). I have a spare 800mhz Quicksilver processor and heatsink in drawer somewhere. Assuming the logic board is good, I may put that processor on this logic board, and put both in the QS case I have that's actually in decent shape but missing the logic board. Once the logic board is out, the empty metal case is going for recycling(unless someone wants it).

    I also gave one of the 733s to my room mate-he wanted an old Mac to play with learning terminal and also install Linux, so I set him up with two hard drives, 10.4, and OS 9. I'm going to take the other 733 to the guy at school who keeps me supplied with surplus Macs, but also wants one to play with(it's a better computer than anything he's turned up for me). I'm going to keep the dual 800.

    I still haven't tackled any of the MDDs. I'll be happy if I can at least get the FW800 running, even though it's only a dual 1ghz. I'll probably also tackle the dual 867. I seem to have accumulated a lot of PC-2100 RAM, so these two computers will at least give me a place to use it :) . I'll have to evaluate my parts situation with MDDs after I'm done with those two, but they may be the only MDDs I end up keeping. I love the MDD case design plus the fact that they can take 4 hard drives, but the PSU issues(which I've struggled with on my currently-working examples) keep me from getting overly excited about them.
     
  16. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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  17. weckart macrumors 68040

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  18. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #18
    I still don't know :)

    Both G3s need video cards. I actually just ordered a couple of cards today(someone on Ebay has the correct Rev. B G3 cards), but I had put off pulling one out of another computer. I have one out of my good G3 now-as I was using it to try and flash an AGP card in a Quicksilver-but while I have it out I'll probably go ahead and boot both of the G3s from this lot.

    As I said, I'm really hoping for OS X 1.0 Server, but will report as soon as I know.
     
  19. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #19
    I would have pulled the HDD out and looked at it in another computer. If it is OSX Server 1.x then you may or may not see a volume as it is formatted in UFS.
     
  20. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #20
    In all honesty, I'm not sure what "Server OS" the last owner was referring to.

    One computer had OS 9, and the other had 10.2-neither of them had any special server software that I could see. There was also a dead drive in one of the computers-I suppose it's possible that this drive was the one with the fabled server operating system.

    By the way, I'd also forgotten how much I love the sound of a Quantum Fireball spinning up and running. They sound like nothing else. Hearing one crunch around brings back good memories, as one of the first computers I used extensively(a 486) had Fireball as the main hard drive.
     
  21. redhatcode29 macrumors 6502

    redhatcode29

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    Kuala Lumpur
    #21
    Are you lucky or what ! and it boils down to approx $4 per Mac !
    Dude, i lv the g3 B&W.
     
  22. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    Manchester, UK
    #22
    That brought a smile to my face. :D

    Brilliant drives. The later 7200rpm KX/LM were properly quick.
     
  23. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    Location:
    Chicago
    #23
    Quantum Fireball sound on youtube!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6w4MZdiuWg
     

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