iMac PowerPC G3 - Wireless USB adapter??

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by sneenlantern, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. sneenlantern macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    #1
    hi,

    My mom just (finally) started using her iMac which was purchased years ago, and I'm in charge of making it run and keeping it modern. My question is simply this -- I don't want to run ether cable across the house, so I'm wondering if this machine is compatible with wireless USB adapters, and if there is anything else I should know about this. I'm more of a PC guy these days, except for using a 13" Macbook on occasion, so I don't really understand AirPort and whatnot and how that might translate into modern technology.

    Also, what is the highest level of OS X that I can upgrade on this? I guess I have to first connect it to the internet -- or not?

    Thanks for the help, I appreciate your time.
     
  2. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
    #2
    Any more info on the iMac? It's a G3 you said? Any idea on speed?

    Pick up an old Airport Card; one of the reviewers for this mentions an iMac G4 and I'm pretty sure there was a difference between the Airport Card for a G3 and a G4.

    http://www.amazon.com/Original-Apple-Airport-WiFi-iBook/product-reviews/B004ZI3NPC/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
     
  3. JeeFoUrCuBEnMBP macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2012
    #3

    I mean absolutely no disrespect in saying this, but I can't believe your mother has had a G3 iMac and just now started using it. As far as your OS X version, depending on your processor speed and memory, I would assume you are probably safest with 10.3 Panther.
     
  4. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    #4
    thanks, I will give that a whirl. For $30 it's worth a try. It's a G3, but I can't figure out its speed... I looked at "About this Mac" and through the System Preferences but couldn't figure it out. Is there somewhere in OS 10.1 where it might list that information?

    ----------

    Ha, I know, it's ridiculous. Well -- my parents and I have long wanted to live in Arizona, where my brother lives. Years ago my brother bought the iMac used for my mom's birthday, thinking that they would move to Arizona soon. Well, we didn't move until about a week ago, and now we finally have the iMac in our possession and my mom wants to use it for photos and surfing. I don't know how I feel about the idea, but my brother and my mom seem quite set on it, so....

    Thanks for the info. I will check out Panther and G3's.

    :)
     
  5. JeeFoUrCuBEnMBP macrumors newbie

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    Feb 7, 2012
    #5
    Yes, if you click on the apple icon in the top left of the screen and then select "About this mac," then a dialog screen will pop up telling you your processor speed, type, and memory amount. You could even be safe putting Tiger on that machine as long as the memory and processor speed are ample.
     
  6. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

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    Olympic Hills GC
    #6
    What color is it? Is the CD slot-loading or is it a tray? We can probably figure it out. I think most people just know the speed of their computer.

    Try this website before you order anything from Amazon. It looks like they might be the most help to you.

    http://www.macwireless.com/html/products/wireless_cards/airport/airportcard_11b.php

    If it's the Bondi blue we're in some trouble and may need to know the speed of the processor. At least that's what I gather from this page:

    http://www.macwireless.com/html/help/card_chooser/iMac_G3/index.php
     
  7. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #7
    maybe it's because the OS is only 10.1, but the "About this Mac" only says it's a PowerPC G3 with 128 megs of ram, no info on processor speed. Is there somewhere else it might display that info?
     
  8. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502

    ELMI0001

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Olympic Hills GC
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #9
    If the cd drive is a slot loader (no button) it can take an Airport B card. But there is one early model that cannot, the one that cannot is the 2nd generation Blue slot loading model. I believe it's the Summer 2000 model that was made between July 2000 and February 2001. If you do use the internal Airport card, you'll need an iMac G3 adapter for it.

    If your iMac has a tray loading drive (has a button on cd tray) it cannot have built in WiFi.
     
  10. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #10
    it's not the turquoise one.. it's kind of purplish blue....?

    ----------

    it does not have a loading tray or button on it. it's the kind where you just stick it in. does that mean I can use an airport card?
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    It's very possible that you can, but you'll have to make sure. The easiest way is the colour. Use this image to identify your colour. The second easiest is to flip the iMac over and open the little hatch on the bottom with a coin. Look for the white Airport connector just aft of the ram sticks. This connector is highlighted in red in the attached image.
    (Click to enlarge the images)

    800px-IMac_G3_flavors.jpg
    im3logic.jpg
     
  12. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 29, 2012
    #12
    I'm pretty sure it's either Indigo or Grape... I can't tell for sure. I guess I will open it up tomorrow and verify.
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    That's good. The slot loading iMac model that did not have an Airport card connector was one Blueberry coloured model.
     
  14. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #14
    eBay is far cheaper, but I'm pretty sure he'll also need an Airport adapter card for that slot loading iMac G3.

    Here's one with the Airport card for $22+, however it's from China. I'm only linking to it because it shows exactly what he'll need. Should be able to find it from a North American seller for a few dollars more (or buy the card and adapter separately if it's cheaper that way).

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Airport-Airmac-WiFi-Card-iMac-iBook-G3-G4-adapter-/250797609108?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a64b3d094

    Apple's Airport installation guide mentions the adapter card only at the very bottom...

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2367
     
  15. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #15
    Sounds like it is the 400mhz DV. See if it will play a DVD; it's unbelievable that you might have a pretty much brand new iMac G3 -- those cd/dvd drives are very hard to get and replace these days.

    Bump up the ram and get that adapter and airport card.

    You can use Tiger 10.4 perfectly. With a full gig of ram you'll be doing great.

    P.S. It should list the specs somewhere on the bottom of the machine.
     
  16. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #16
    Just give a read on the faq on my sig, you have some examples of cheap usb cards that will work on that iMac (I had a smc (i think is it was SMCWUSB-G2, with zydas chipset that cost me 11eur new on a store that worked fine with 10.3 and 10.4).
    But the best bet (if your imac has the slot) is the original airport (you have them for about 8eur from hong kong) because it doesn't need aditional software.
     
  17. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #17
    If she is going to be using the machine a fair amount, its worth spending and getting a Legit Apple Airport card. Much cleaner and simpler.

    Get Tiger(10.4) on that thing, and load it up with an older version of iPhoto(05 maybe?) and Camino or a G3 optimized web browser and starting using it!
     
  18. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    #18
    I flipped the darn thing over and found this:

    "500/IN/128/20/DVD/RULTRA/56K/FW"

    Does this mean it's a 500 mhz machine? I also have the model #:

    M5521

    Does this describe the machine enough to know what airport card it needs?

    Also, someone suggested I upgrade the ram while I'm at it to a gig. Can this machine handle that? Who sells old ram like that and how would I know what kind I needed?
     
  19. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #19
    You have a 500Mhz iMac G3 with a 20Gb hard drive and DVD-rom. It has all the needed parts to accept an Airport card and it can take up to 1Gb of ram. If you do upgrade ram in it, get low density ram. It will not work with high density ram.
     
  20. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #20
    you need PC 133 ram, two sticks at 512mb . Look up your machine at everymac.com for specs.

    That's a nice 500mhz G3. I've owned two of them and for some reason, they only had CD players. You should be able to play DVDs very well.

    But do get Tiger. And look up the flash downloads for PPC machines so you can attempt to cruise the internet.

    Finally, that is a small hard drive but it's new, so that's great. You can get up to a 120 GB PATA hard drive in there, though those hds are getting difficult to find. Your imac will only recognize up to 128 GBs of Hard drive.
     
  21. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #21
    Slot loading G3 iMacs have a 100Mhz bus and come with PC100 ram.
     
  22. sneenlantern thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    #22
    it looks like this is it:

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/stats/imac_500_indigo.html

    and while it takes PC100 ram, it is apparently also compatible with PC133.

    That takes care of the Ram. So -- I need a G3 airport card and an adapter, correct? And somebody mentioned upgrading the hard drive. My mom wants to use it for photos, so I will probably have to do that. But since it can only take 128 gig hard drive, can I get a USB hard drive or something that is a little bigger that will run with this for overflow? Could I buy a modern external hard drive that would work?

    Thanks for all your help guys. I would otherwise be totally lost.
     
  23. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #23
    again, if you have read the FAQ on my sig you would see that you have a machine with usb 1.1 and usb external hdd will work slow as hell.
    For 128Gb+ on internal drive there are tweaks and softwares available, again on the FAQ it is mentioned.
     
  24. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #24
    Don't buy a USB hard drive for it. It has USB 1.1 and any USB drives will be very slow. You'll have to get a FireWire drive for it.

    An Airport card and iMac G3 adapter will get you WiFi capability.

    Due to the age of this machine, you may also want to get a new clock battery for it. They last about ten years before they need to be replaced. This iMac is over ten years old.

    The procedure of replacing the internal drive is a bit more difficult then upgrading the ram or adding an Airport card. You have to remove the bottom plastic shell and the metal shield beneath it and the hard drive slides out. It's safe to do because you are not exposing the CRT's electronics.
     
  25. cocacolakid, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

    cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #25
    You could use an external hard drive that has a Firewire 400 connector. Your iMac has two Firewire 400 ports next to the USB ports. Firewire 400 is much faster than USB 1.1 and will work great with photos.

    You can either buy an external hard drive that has a Firewire 400 connector, or buy an external case with Firewire 400 and put a hard drive in it. There is also Firewire 800, which is a different connector than FW 400 and it came out later (and runs at faster speeds, but you won't get that advantage since your iMac has a FW 400 port). You would need a Firewire 400 to Firewire 800 adapter cable to use a FW 800 external hard drive. BTW, to make it more confusing, Firewire 400 is also called IEEE 1394a and Firewire 800 is also called IEEE 1394b.

    It's almost certainly cheaper to buy an external case for $20-30 and put a hard drive in it than buy a pre-assembled external hard drive that has a Firewire port on it.

    I wouldn't use a USB external hard drive, with USB 1.1 on that iMac it would be extraordinarily slow.

    Here is an example of a FW 400 connector on the middle left, and a FW 800 connector in the middle right. The FW 400 connector is kind of like an elongated horseshoe...

    [​IMG]

    You don't need to spend the extra money for an external case with both FW 400 and FW 800, one port will be fine.
     

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