I have been a PC user for 20 years and now have a PowerMac G4...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JoePeach, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. JoePeach macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2009
    Hello All,
    I have been a PC user for over 20 years and have repaired them for the last 10. My experiences with Macs had been nil. A friend has given me a PowerMac G4 (dual chrome drive doors) to experiment with. I will list all the specks at the bottom. I'm not lazy and always found what I needed on the net but... This Mac stuff is really a bit new to me and I'd rather start off with good advice rather then "think" I personally found good advice.
    I will read all the suggestions this site recommends in the near future. My questions are: I know I can't run Snow Leopard from what I read so what is the highest OS I can run (I want to start learning with the highest OS)?
    Also, if you could recommend one basic book on the Mac experience, what would it be? Thank You!

    Model PowerMac G4
    CPU Type Power PC G4 (3.2)
    number of CPU 2
    L2 cache 256kb per processor
    L3 cache 1 meg per processor
    memory 1.25 gigs
    Bus Speed 167
    Boot ROM Version 4.5.7f1
    OS OS X 10.3.9 (7w98)
    Kernel Version Darwin 7.9.0
    HD 74 gig
    Video Card don't know, but will find out if needed
    Airport card Yes
  2. Rhalliwell1 macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2008
    you can run 10.5 (Leopard)

    My advice to you is approach it like you have never used a computer before, if you try to use a mac with a windows frame of mind you are not going to get very far. Oh and remember - drag and drop, the mac uses it a lot!

    As far as books i really don't think you will need one, i haven't read a book and after using a mac for a year i know more about macs than i do about PCs even though i have been using them for about 10 years.

    Hope this helps. :)
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

    Start off with videos in Apple's site!

    Macs are very easy to learn. I've been using Mac for 5 months and I know it a lot better than PC and I used windows for ~6 years
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If you're just trying to learn the operating system and you're not all that interested in the underpinnings or the newest features, the OS you have now (10.3.9) will be very similar to Snow Leopard, as in Apple hasn't changed much that you can see. Yes programs are updated, there's now a dashboard and time machine program, but otherwise they're about the same, and it'll save you the cost of buying Leopard.
  5. germanix macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2009
    Hannover, Germany
    A very well written and good book for anyone working with OSX is:
    "Mac OS X Leopard- The missing manual" written by David Pogue. You will find it on Amazon.
  6. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    that's cool that you got a pretty sweet machine to use! I would definitely get Leopard (I think you are running Panther..?)

    What are you going to use this machine for? I ask that, because I am sure you can upgrade the RAM on the machine, and it will still be fairly quick. If anything, it would be a great server machine!
  7. JoePeach thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2009

    Please forgive if I replied wrong (I need to become familiar with the protocol on this site).

    I like the "server" aspect, but my goal is to experience the "Mac World" through this computer until I decide to upgrade! As I stated, I'm like a kid in a candy store right now (and from what I see and the responds on this forum I'm really enjoying this).
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I have one of these. I don't use it. I just keep it in a closet for some reason. Performance is about what you'd expect of a 10 year old PC. Not great but usable. If you plan to upgrade the OS to Tiger or Leopard be sure you have at least 2GB of RAM. Four is best if you are going to be using this for real work. I have Tiger installed on mine. I just did not think the old G4 was worth investing another $129 for leopard on. Those old G4 towers sell for less then $100 now. I'd not put much money into one.

    The "missing manual" series is good. But the book is expensive and you will be able to learn everything in a week.

    What I'd do is buy a copy of "Tiger". You can find way-cheap copies of it now and buy a used copy of the "Missing Manual" for the Tiger OS. Both are cheap now. It's not worth dumping $200 into an old G4. Tiger is "close enough" to Leopard.

    One thing you can spend a lifetime learning... The Mac is a complete Unix system if you look under that desktop. It can do most anything a Linux or Solaris system can.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "My questions are: I know I can't run Snow Leopard from what I read so what is the highest OS I can run (I want to start learning with the highest OS)?
    Also, if you could recommend one basic book on the Mac experience, what would it be?"

    The g4/1.25 MDD (mirrored drive door) dual-processor towers are true workhorse computers. I've been using this one since 2004 - might be the best Mac I've ever owned.

    You can run Leopard on it if you like, BUT, I'd suggest that you stick with "Tiger" (10.4.11).

    Another option would be to partition the hard drive, and have Tiger on one partition with Leopard on another.

    Granted, OS 10.4 is now "two generations back", but runs remarkably well. It also offers you the option of using "Classic" if by chance you need to, to run older Mac applications.

    Actually, for day-to-day work, I still run my g4/1.25 on 10.3.9! Haven't had to reinstall the System Software since 2004! And it still runs great.

    I do have 10.4.11 installed on one partition for experimental purposes. Perhaps one of these days I'll take that great leap into the future from Panther to Tiger!

    - John

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