how to update a iMac G3

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by HoberMallow, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. HoberMallow macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2010
    Mac folks:

    I've got a iMac power pc G3, running OS 9.2.1 w/ 64MB ram. It runs great and is actually a treat to play with and remember the good old days… :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I'm trying to set it up for an elderly friend of mine who is learning to drive a computer for the 1st time on a Mac :apple: She would like to use it for yahoo mail, web surfing, iTunes, and hopefully .AVI movies.


    1. will this thing run OSX Tiger or something close? If so, what installer disk should I get hold of and where?

    2. if not OSX, what is optimal system 9?

    3. what is the optimal browser for this machine?

    4. finally, is there a reliable and fast dial up internet provider out there? I only know of NetZero.

    Thanks in advance! :)
  2. iowamensan macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2006
    I have a bunch of these old G3 iMacs running at the school I work at, and I have them running 10.3.9, after upgrading the RAM to 256. You didn't mention any specs on the one you have, but I have 10.3 running on Rev. A Bondi Blue tray-loads... not speedy, but running nonetheless. If I do a barebones install, it takes 1.3 GB of the 6 GB HD, leaving enough room for some pictures and maybe a few songs in iTunes. You would need a retail version of 10.3 Panther to do the install, after upgrading the RAM. I think minimum is 128, but go for the 256 (2x128)
    If no upgrades are in your plans, 9.2.2 is the highest you can go in that department, but not sure what browsers available for OS 9 will perform well on today's internet.
  3. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    1. It will run Tiger, but you'll need to upgrade the RAM to do so. If you're going to run OS X, max it out at 512MB. (There, you just spent more than the computer is worth. :D ) You didn't mention the hard drive size, but if the drive is larger than the stock 6 GB hard drive, OS X will have to be installed to a partition smaller than 8 GB. Here's an article about upgrading G3 iMacs to Tiger.
    2. OS 9 will be much more responsive on that machine than any version of OS X you install, but you're going to have trouble finding software to run on a defunct OS.
    3. If you install OS X, Firefox or Safari will suffice as your browser. If you decide to stick with OS 9, it will be hard to find a "modern" browser that runs in OS 9 and supports current web standards. Also most Flash sites will require a version newer than what is available for OS 9.
    4. Can't help much with dialup info, but AFAIK "fast dialup" is an oxymoron.

    I can appreciate you wanting to help a friend with their first Mac experience, but to be honest giving them a 10 year old machine is going to tarnish that experience considerably.
  4. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Mmm I'm not entirely sure you need to upgrade that machine. OS 9 is still a very usable OS, despite it's age.

    For the simple web browsing, check out Classilla. It's probably the most up to date browser for the OS out there (i.e, it's still in development) and it already works like a charm.

    You can upgrade to 9.2.2 buuuut IIRC, some programs had issues with this version. (Although you shouldn't quote me on that; I just know there's a reason I haven't upgraded on my iBook. :p) And the differences would be likely minimal at best.

    You can get iTunes 2.0.4 here and it shouldn't be too hard to find a player for .avi files (perhaps an older version of quicktime?)
  5. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    I'd say it depends on the model you have. If its a slot loading model running at 400mhz or more, then upgrade the ram to 512mb, stick in a new HDD that you have lying around, and upgrade to Tiger and it should run decently well.

    If its a tray loading model, then I honestly wouldn't bother much.

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