I found a G4 MDD 1.42Ghz in a Dumpster. Now what?

adamjackson

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Jul 9, 2008
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Was walking past the condo dumpster today and saw this sticking out of the top. Grabbed it and took it home:

Here's what the system is based off the serial number - https://www.macupgrades.co.uk/store/serial.php?mod_num=M8841LL-A

It appears to have 1.5GB of RAM (3 sticks) but I have no clue what video card it has. The RJ-11 port is blocked out and there's no AirPort card present.

First thing I have to do is order a DVI to HDMI cable. I bought this one - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FM51SHG as my Dell display only has MiniDP or HDMI as the inputs.

Once I can confirm it works, I will order:
PRAM Battery - https://www.amazon.com/Xeno-Energy-XL-050F-Lithium-Batteries/dp/B00NH09CLI/
4 Sticks of this RAM - https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/3200DDR512/
1 of these GPUs -
AirPort Extreme Card - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-A1026-AirPort-Extreme-Card-802-11G-For-G4-G5-iBook-iMac-PowerBook-PowerMac/301430555185?epid=1311768904&hash=item462ea94231:g:~RYAAOSwdPpbBmsx
A Radeon 9800 Pro
Some sort of SSD PCI / ATA upgrade looks like Sonnet has a few options and OWC. 0

It did post as I heard the MacOS bong from the speaker so we're good there.

Anything else I should know about this machine before I start putting some money into it. It's going to be a shop Mac to review PDFs. I plan on pairing it with a 20" ADC display once I'm confirmed it works.
 

Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
606
387
Was walking past the condo dumpster today and saw this sticking out of the top. Grabbed it and took it home:

Here's what the system is based off the serial number - https://www.macupgrades.co.uk/store/serial.php?mod_num=M8841LL-A

It appears to have 1.5GB of RAM (3 sticks) but I have no clue what video card it has. The RJ-11 port is blocked out and there's no AirPort card present.

First thing I have to do is order a DVI to HDMI cable. I bought this one - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FM51SHG as my Dell display only has MiniDP or HDMI as the inputs.

Once I can confirm it works, I will order:
PRAM Battery - https://www.amazon.com/Xeno-Energy-XL-050F-Lithium-Batteries/dp/B00NH09CLI/
4 Sticks of this RAM - https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/3200DDR512/
1 of these GPUs -
AirPort Extreme Card - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-A1026-AirPort-Extreme-Card-802-11G-For-G4-G5-iBook-iMac-PowerBook-PowerMac/301430555185?epid=1311768904&hash=item462ea94231:g:~RYAAOSwdPpbBmsx
A Radeon 9800 Pro
Some sort of SSD PCI / ATA upgrade looks like Sonnet has a few options and OWC. 0

It did post as I heard the MacOS bong from the speaker so we're good there.

Anything else I should know about this machine before I start putting some money into it. It's going to be a shop Mac to review PDFs. I plan on pairing it with a 20" ADC display once I'm confirmed it works.
Nice score .

The first thing I'd learn to do is re-thermal paste the processor dice on the CPU daughter card . Remove the factory paste with high purity isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs first and then place a fresh layer of paste on both . I'd use Arctic MX4 .

Some nice upgrades are a nVidia 4600 Ti ( GeForce 4 Ti ) - which is the best card to play mac OS 9 games with . Below is what a real Mac Edition ( with EFI ) looks like - it has one DVI and one ADC port . This card should be rebuilt with new thermal paste , but it is not an easy job !

ti4.jpg


And Sonnet once made a PCI card that will allow you to boot from a 2.5" SATA SSD . If you are lucky , you can find one used on eBay :


prodhdr_temposata.jpg



If you ever get tired of her , flip it on eBay . You'll probably get five hundred bucks for her .
 
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adamjackson

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 9, 2008
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Looks like it's the Radeon 9000 Pro GPU. 9800s aren't that much more expensive but I think I may end up using it for Ubuntu so I can run a more modern browser. Lots more research to do and I'll post an update once I have it up and running.

definltey going to do the thermal paste. thanks for the tip!!
 

Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
606
387
Looks like it's the Radeon 9000 Pro GPU. 9800s aren't that much more expensive but I think I may end up using it for Ubuntu so I can run a more modern browser. Lots more research to do and I'll post an update once I have it up and running.

definltey going to do the thermal paste. thanks for the tip!!
Certain Linux distros and Mac OS 9 will perform nicely with a Power Mac G4 . If you need any help with Mac OS 9 , give me a holler .

9000s and 9800s are good for Mac OS X .
 
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carlvsam

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2014
18
11
I would check the HDD to see if it still works. If so, the drive needs to be securely erased, not just re-formatted. The reason I mentioned this is what I came across this past Monday.

I just received a Mac Mini G4 that I purchased on eBay for $40. The seller stated that he bought the drive at a garage sale, but did not think to get the password info for the device, and had placed it on the site as a "parts only" unit. Since he also had the unit's original box, keyboard, and mouse, this did not appear to be a "sketchy" offer, so I bought it.

After looking a way to get around the password issue on Google (only took a minute to find some methods to try,) I was able to reset the password; since the unit had OS X "Tiger" (10.4) installed, I only needed to use two commands in single-user mode to make this change.

Once I got into the computer, I discovered that there were quite a few personal documents (wills, financial info, court fillings, etc.) still on the drive. While most of the documents were at least five years old, among the ones I checked was one that contained SSN no. for several of the previous owner's relatives ...😱😱😱
 

adamjackson

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jul 9, 2008
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I would check the HDD to see if it still works. If so, the drive needs to be securely erased, not just re-formatted. The reason I mentioned this is what I came across this past Monday.

I just received a Mac Mini G4 that I purchased on eBay for $40. The seller stated that he bought the drive at a garage sale, but did not think to get the password info for the device, and had placed it on the site as a "parts only" unit. Since he also had the unit's original box, keyboard, and mouse, this did not appear to be a "sketchy" offer, so I bought it.

After looking a way to get around the password issue on Google (only took a minute to find some methods to try,) I was able to reset the password; since the unit had OS X "Tiger" (10.4) installed, I only needed to use two commands in single-user mode to make this change.

Once I got into the computer, I discovered that there were quite a few personal documents (wills, financial info, court fillings, etc.) still on the drive. While most of the documents were at least five years old, among the ones I checked was one that contained SSN no. for several of the previous owner's relatives ...😱😱😱
Excellent point. I worked in IT for years (SMB/Enterprise) and we didn't want to know anything that was on a drive. Zero interest. Step one, wipe it from the MacOS installer page. Re-install, eliminate all of the crap. if there's a virus, it'll never get onto the network because the drive is kaput. Given the drives are the ones that shipped with the computer, (apple logo and all) I've already priced out replacement ATA100 drives and will probably just purchase new ones anyway.
 
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RhianB

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2016
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Wow a dual 1.42ghz in the dump. what a score :apple:

If the Sonnet card blows the budget for a dusty garage Box, a 128gb SSD + Sata to pata adapter is a nice budget option. I picked up that combo recently as low as 23 USD shipped. Another option that yielded nice speed improvements and is what currently lives in my MDD was a used Samsung m2 into a 2.5” pata enclosure connected via a 2.5 to 3.5” adapter. Iirc this was a bit more expensive at around 28 or maybe $30 USD all in. A USB2 or USB/FW400 combo card is a cheap & useful I/o addition as you can then slot in a cheap Bluetooth dongle on the internal usb for wireless kb/m. Great call on the acrylic Cinema Display. They absolutely tie together that era powermac asthetic perfectly IMO. As far as GPUs, I haven’t experienced a need to upgrade to something better. The stock Radeon 9000 works great for my needs & has the ADC Port for my acrylic cinema displays. I am pretty happy with this card so upgraded the stinky geforce2mx GPU in my QS to the Radeon9000 as well. I also upgraded wireless from stock airport card to a dynex DX-EBDTC wireless G PCI card. While these are marketed as windows only, I plugged mine in and it was found natively in OSX 10.5.8 and has hummed right along since day one. The signal strength is great and the price was right (was in a very clean core2 duo trash picked Acer box someone threw out at the dumpster at my old condo). All in, I am very happy with the performance of this MDD and what I have in it. The only thing I'd consider doing is dropping in some neat scsi raid controller card and playing around with a couple 15k scsi drives in raid1 or some other outdated nonsense. I thought I had a OSX friendly controller but it seems that it only plays nice with windows and linux, so still looking to scratch that itch.

Anyhoo, those free dumpster/trash finds are the best. That’s exactly how I came across my Quicksilver (and very first PPC legacy Mac).

Best of luck on your build.
 
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TheShortTimer

macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2017
219
204
London, UK
Agreed, I've found so much usable tech from streetside and neighbourhood disposals. It's really jarring though that people would rather consign stuff to a landfill than ask around and check if someone else would like it.
 

RhianB

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2016
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505 USA
Agreed, I've found so much usable tech from streetside and neighbourhood disposals. It's really jarring though that people would rather consign stuff to a landfill than ask around and check if someone else would like it.
Or take it to your local tech recycler. They'll gladly take it off your hands + my local recycler (and Id assume most) have fun junkjunkie resale rooms full of cheap tech + they're local to us. The IT team at my work dropped a couple truck loads of stuff off at our local recycler a few weeks back. That recycler particpates in a local "back to school program" where they build back up good machines and donate to local school kids and young adult charities and get a tax writeoff. Anyhow, I ended up refurbing that particular box - cleaned it up, repasted the CPU, added a modest "silent" GPU I had, maxed the DDR ram, mounted a neat deep blue LED fan in there, slapped on win10 and donated it to school kids in the state. It's really the easiest thing to do, its keeps it out of landfill and puts it back in the hands of a kid in the state that will enjoy, make use of it, and learn. Working to be part of that change, doing what we can when we can do it, I think is a healthy (blend of altruistic idealism and realistic pragmatism) balanced way to look & act on a environmental and social need.

When I see ewaste sitting around, I often picture the source as a 80+ year old granny living by herself with no close family who can help and who really does have zero clues about this stuff and can't drive. I give this lady (or wobbly cane carrying old granpa) a pass. In that light, by taking their tech garbage, I'm helping them recycle/repurpose it in ways they would not be able to :apple:
 
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weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
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Agreed, I've found so much usable tech from streetside and neighbourhood disposals. It's really jarring though that people would rather consign stuff to a landfill than ask around and check if someone else would like it.
The thing is, they probably did. It's a niche market using old computers these days because of the energy draw as much as anything else.
 

TheShortTimer

macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2017
219
204
London, UK
The thing is, they probably did. It's a niche market using old computers these days because of the energy draw as much as anything else.
That's a fair point regarding the energy consumption issue but after what I've witnessed in recent years with an alarming eagerness among people to throw away fully working consumer electronics items, I'm not entirely convinced that's the motivator behind this behaviour.

I remember a post in one of the Mac FB groups where someone was going to put their cMP 1,1 in a dumpster because they felt it was no longer viable. I urged them to instead offer it for free to anyone who might be interested. They responded that it was a good suggestion and one that hadn't occurred to them.
 

adamjackson

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Jul 9, 2008
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adamjackson

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This is before I cleaned it. I don't even think it needs cleaning.





Ordered:
Thermal Paste
PRAM Battery
Radeon 9800 Pro
OWC SSD (fits inside of the 3.5" bay)
512GB Stick of 2700 DDR
AirPort Extreme Card
Bluetooth Card
20" Studio Display (crossing my fingers it's in good shape)
Black Keys Apple Keyboard
Pro Mouse

Started collecting a lot of games to play.

I won't keep spamming you guys until I either have an issue OR the setup is done and I'll post a final photo.
 

z970mp

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2017
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What a gorgeous machine; dare I say piece of art...

It (or the Quicksilver) and the iMac G4 were the absolute peaks of Apple industrial design. The translucent styles, silver accents, and snow palettes... Nothing has come close.

And when you factor in the machinery inside the cases, they just get 10x sweeter.

OP, give this sucker a great life (which I can tell you're already doing). :)
 
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