iBook G3 as a server?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by crammedberry, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. crammedberry, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011

    crammedberry macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #1
    I have an old iBook G3 (500Mhz 576MB RAM 10GB HD) that isn't so useful to me now... but someone mentioned I might be able to make use of it and set it up as a file server... It has firewire, which I realized is a big plus.. none of my PCs have it...

    Well, down to business... I have a external eSATA/FireWire Terabyte HD and was planning on hooking it up to the iBook, and hooking that up to my airport extreme. I have heard of some people who have reservations about leaving a laptop on 24/7... but really, the laptop won't be doing much, the HD on the laptop will only be used for the OS (would it cause any problems if the laptop's HD isn't that reliable? it'll only be used to boot). The iBook will pretty much be just a router... to connect, and manage access to the external drive. That's essentially all it's gonna do. Does anyone have any experience in this area?
     
  2. Archon Gold macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Hook up the hard drive and enable file sharing in system preferences under the sharing tab.

    That should automatically share it to other Macs in the same network, not sure how you would go accessing it via a PC though, I guess you could do a Samba connection somehow.

    EG "SMB:\\10.0.1.11\\Macintosh HD"

    Otherwise it should show up in the network menu under finder on your other Macs.
     
  3. bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    It'll work but file transfers will be very, very slow.
     
  4. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #4
    We are talking about a file server on a local network. It's only data transfer bottleneck would be the ethernet connection. The iBooks stock HD could easily keep up with gigabit ethernet.

    Don't understand what your "very very slow" statement is based on.
     
  5. bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    That iBook does not have gigabit ethernet. No iBook has gigabit ethernet. 100mbit is not very fast. We're talking realistically 8-10MB/s, maximum on a 100mbit is 12.5 which you'll never hit.
     
  6. nOw2 macrumors regular

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    Sep 1, 2009
    #6
    All depends really.

    I run most of my stuff at 100Mbit/s, including the Mac mini I use for media. I have no problem with it and it's plenty fast enough. On the gbit linked machines I only notice the difference when moving large amounts of data (e.g. virtual machine images), but that's rare enough that it's just a nice to have.
     
  7. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #7
    Video only needs about 700KB a sec bandwidth when it come to a typical modern DVD rip to avi or h.264 unless it's HD but even then it's maybe 2-3MB/sec.
     
  8. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

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    #8
    Though it's probably powerful enough for a file server, I wouldn't advise using a laptop as a file server. Because parts are not easily replaceable.
     
  9. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #9
    Most of the 720p h264 media on the web is upward of 4MB/s (due to scene rules), with an extra 640/768/1536KB/s for audio. So the bitrate can easily reach around double what you're suggesting.
     
  10. bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Exactly. So unless he's going to be storing text documents and mp3s, it's not really going to be all that great.
     
  11. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #11
    Lets say what you're suggesting is correct in some situations with some video. Even with double the bandwidth we're only talking about 6-8MB. Until recently I had a 100mbit local network but I upgraded to gigabit via PCI card. My 100mbit performance was regularly at 9.7 - 11.4MB/sec with cat5e.

    In conclusion.. although the ibook could never play an HD video itself it could easily host it on even a "slow" 100mbit network.
     
  12. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    #12
    I didn't say anything about the iBook being able to play HD video.
    I didn't say the iBook couldn't host HD video.
     
  13. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #13
    This is the best and most glaring point in the whole thread. Even though it could work fine as a file server a laptop case is not at all designed to have the hardware running 24/7. All portable hardware in general is not as durable or log lasting as desktop hardware.

    A $40-50 old G3/G4 tower off craigslist would be a much better file server all round.
     
  14. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #14
    I understand both of those points. You obviously deal with a much higher bitrate HD than I do. I have 720p XviD/DivX and 480p h.264 so my bitrates are more in the 700KB - 3MB range. You're obviously dealing with 720p and 1080p h.264 which is out of the reach of my PowerPC hardware to play. I do host a little 1080p h.264 on my file server G4 though for playing on my media center mac mini which is a C2D 1.83GHz.
     
  15. crammedberry, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

    crammedberry thread starter macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #15
    The iBook was around $20 bucks... so that's already cheaper than a G3 tower and I'm not too worried about replacing its parts as it would be more efficient to replace the whole.

    I hooked it up and did the file sharing so I could connect from other macs....
    One thing I noticed is that when I tried to play videos on my iMac G4 it stuttered constantly... at first I thought it was the iBook that was inadequate as a server... but when I tried playing the same videos on my MacBook Pro... it ran smoothly, as if it was playing from its native drive.

    It didn't matter what type of files they were... H.264, AVI, .mov, mp4s you name it... all the same result... MBP = smooth, iMac G4 = stutter. I checked activity monitor to see if the iMac was too 'slow' to play them.. but it showed only about 50% of the CPU was being used with the rest just sitting idle. Both the MBP and iMac G4 are running on 802.11G.

    I also don't think the 100megabit ethernet is a bottleneck since the bigger bottleneck seems to be airport itself. Correct me if I'm wrong... but isn't 100mbps ethernet faster than 802.11G?

    Lastly, sorry for the long thread... but the iBook is running 10.3.9, Tiger seems to bring it to its knees... and rightly so. I have 2 hard disks I tried on it... a 500GB FW drive and a 1TB FW drive... they are both formatted for mac... but the iBook doesn't recognize the 1TB drive and says I've inserted a disk that the computer can't read. The 500GB FW drive works just fine. Is there a size limit specifically for iBooks? My iMac G4 can read the 1TB drive but it's running 10.4... If it is the OS, is there any way around it?
     
  16. bizzle macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    What partition scheme is the 1TB? It's probably GUID which won't work on 10.3.x.
     
  17. crammedberry, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

    crammedberry thread starter macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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    #17
    It's GUID... guess there's no way of making that work then. I have the 500GB FW hooked up to it instead.
     
  18. jacobhaynes21 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2011
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    southaven ms
    #18
    i am getting an ibook g4 tuesday and paid 237.00 it come with leopard can any one tell me if i got a good deal i just like old macs right now i am using an imac g3 with os tiger and i love it
     
  19. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #19
    Correct. G is 54mbit/sec max so only half the speed.
     
  20. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #20
    More info than "iBook G4" would help a lot as there were about 8 models that ranged from 800MHz to 1.42GHz. We can only tell you it was a good deal if you tell us the CPU,RAM, HD etc..
     
  21. jacobhaynes21 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2011
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    #21
    ok 1.33ghz 1 cpu 512 per cpu 512 mem 4.9.3 boot rom 40g hd med 2005 model and does the apple on the back light up just wandering
     
  22. crammedberry thread starter macrumors regular

    crammedberry

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