Just got a 17 inch imac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by elf69, May 12, 2018.

  1. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #1
    Just got a G4 this evening.
    Yes it really old but always loved the look of these things!
    Looks like from a 50s sci-fi movie!

    So it was on guntree (for those who don't know it's like graigs list)
    The seller was glad to see back of it and had spent a while trying to sell it.

    It was cheap and did not haggle the price.

    So It is:

    1GHz cpu.
    80GB HDD
    768MB ram (2100 266MHz)

    Has a pro keyboard and pro mouse but missing the pro speakers.
    No airport and no bluetooth either so will be looking to add them later.

    The aim is to use this machine for music playback in my workshop, once I cleared the workshop that is as right now cannot use it.
     
  2. Jack Neill macrumors regular

    Jack Neill

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Location:
    San Antonio Texas
    #2
    I miss the 15” Early 03 I had. I loved the screen. I hacked 10.5.8 on it and was blown away. It eventually died and I replaced it with an iBook. I’m going to look for another now...
     
  3. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #3
    Nice machine. With this spec you should be able to run Leopard reasonably well, but increasing memory to 1GB or more will give it more ooomph. Planning to use it in your workshop, you should really try to source the matching pro speakers. It will transform the iMac.
     
  4. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #4
    If you're ever going to use it for anything besides music, I'd install Lubuntu 16.04. It feels great on my 800 MHz.
     
  5. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #5
    How so?
     
  6. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #6
    Well, it only requires 512 MB RAM...
     
  7. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #7
    But are you feeling any specific benefits over OSX? (other than security resilience)
     
  8. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #8
    The software is current (as is commonly the case with Linux), it's much snappier than Tiger was (as is commonly the case with Linux), and the customization capabilities are endless (as is commonly-you get the idea). For a 16 year old Mac, that's pretty damn good.
     
  9. CooperBox, May 13, 2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018

    CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #9
    I'd love to install Lubuntu on one of my G4 iMacs, but my experience to date says "No. Stick with Leopard!"
    I mentioned in a previous thread, that early last year I bought a 1.25Ghz G4 iMac with 1Gb memory and Lubuntu 12.04 pre-installed by a Linux specialist. I was only mildly interested in the operating system shown to me, as I'd previously planned to install Leopard on it which I knew was efficient. He gave me a demo, and I wasn't impressed.
    Once back home with the iMac, it even stuttered to play the built-in audio software well. As for the rest of the performance, it ran like molasses.
    I gave it a chance for a day or two, then realised that although in ran Linux, it was a disaster. The next day with Leopard installed, updated, tweaked with TFF etc it became a transformed machine.
    Having said that I'd love someone to convince me further that Lubunto is still an efficient option.
    I've just been watching a YTube video posted 5 years ago of a G4 iMac which appears to be running Lubuntu 12.04 well. He claims it was an easy set-up. But that was years ago, and amongst other things the goalposts of webpages etc have been widened, unfavourably so for our humble PPC's.
    Another more recent video shows Lubuntu.14. LTS running, but it's painful to watch the commentary. Not convincing.
    I'd be greatful - and I'm sure many others would too - if someone could point to a 2018 video showing Lubuntu or other Linux distro running very favourably on a G4 iMac. Failing that, clear, concise instructions on how to install a known, efficient distro (Lubuntu 16.04?) on these G4 iMacs. A challenge to z970mp to change my (or our) world..........;)

    I should have added that last year - although not really having a clue - I sucessfully installed Linux Mint 17 on a white Intel MacBook. I opted for a clean install. Everything worked perfectly 'out of the box', wifi, bluetooth etc. I was very impressed to say the least. It would be a dream to get a G4 iMac running in a somewhat similar fashion.
     
  10. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #10
    I echo this. Whilst fun to do, I've installed Debian, Lubuntu and Xubuntu on a few Macs but never got near the efficiency of Tiger or Leopard. And as @CooperBox says, even the audio can be a CPU hog (whereas on OSX it barely tickles the CPU).
    I wouldn't rule out the possibility though that a specific mix of hardware might make Linux sing - maybe that's the case with @z970mp 's iMac?
     
  11. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    My problem with Linux/PPC is that I spend so much time configuring things to run well (and updating software) that I fail to get much actual production work done.

    It’s great to play with for the sake of learning all of the platform specific idiosyncrasies and from a hobbyist’s angle it’s always exciting to see an old Mac run new software. Plus there are Linux-only software options like QEMU/KVM which can make a G5 shine as a multi-VM host.

    BUT... Tiger and/or Leopard coupled with PowerPC era-specific versions of Pro software like Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Studio, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, etc etc just make the Mac experience so much more productive than any of the modern open source alternatives which have been written to leverage modern hardware.

    TL;DR: The key to making the most of old hardware is to use software which has been optimized for the platform and not to expect too much from modern software options.
     
  12. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #12
    How true that is. :)
     
  13. elf69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #13
    I plan on maxing out to 2GB ram.
    Will install the optional wifi and bluetooth as well.

    I found the speakers on ebay for around £30.

    Reading online It will got to 10.5 but my ibook g4 was alot slower on 10.5 over 10.4 So not sure which one to upgrade to.

    I was tempted throw linux at it but i'd like try keep OSX and for just music it be fine BUT the internet would struggle on it.
    I would like get youtube run on it.
    Will have read all the power pc tips in here.
     
  14. z970mp, May 13, 2018
    Last edited: May 13, 2018

    z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #14
    Look guys, I'm not saying putting Linux on your PPC in place of OS X is a one-size-fits-all good decision. Again, as is commonly the case with Linux, I see doing something like that as more of a personal journey that is to be tailored to your specific needs and desires out of an old computer. Of course, OS X will be a better fit for productivity because it has optimized official software, but the way I see it, my 800 MHz iMac G4 is very slow on Tiger, and cannot even run Leopard. Therefore, there is no real comfortable way for it to browse the Internet or get updated software. Not to mention, it's like, my 3rd PowerPC hardware choice.

    If you're best with OS X, than stick with it by all means. But if you're more experimental, and your options are already limited with OS X (and if it's not even your secondary computer), then try something else. If the hard drive in my G5 was compliant, and I didn't have trivial reasons for keeping Tiger/Leopard, I'd have put Linux on it some while ago. Similar case for the PowerBook lying around.

    (But perhaps me having a preference for Debian 9 instead of El Capitan on my Mac Pro should say something...)

    @CooperBox, I think you should try a 16.04 distribution before fully writing it off. 12.04 was over six years ago, so they could have made improvements to the PPC builds by then.
     
  15. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Location:
    Napoli, city of sun and pizza!
    #15
    I have a 1.25 ghz single G4 MDD and a 1.33 ghz Ibook G4. I can't almost notice the speed difference between Tiger and Leopard. Maybe the former is only faster in Gui animations, but there's so much newer software in Leopard, that you won't regret it. In my opinion everyone with a capable PowerPC G4 mac should run Leopard instead of Tiger if the aim is usability

    Plus, 2Gb of Ram are more than enough to make Leopard a pleasant experience
     
  16. elf69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #16
    If I try get the G4 to boot from 10.4 disc while holding alt...

    It allows me to select the 10.4 disc to boot from then after few minutes mac shuts off.

    I push power button and it boots from the optical and allows me to select to install.
    I tried upgrade, it hangs and after 30 mins still nothing.

    Will try wipe drive and install.
     
  17. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #17
    if its locking up make sure it has fresh thermal paste on all the contact points,

    someone may of opened the iMac up before and not applied fresh paste on the heatsink contact points (on the iMac G4 the heatsink is in 2 parts and any time you separate the base from the dome they come apart and may need fresh paste applied so it does not overheat)
     
  18. elf69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #18
    unlikely over heating as been running for 5 hours 10.3.

    Just cuts out when trying install from optical. Could be optical of course so will find my usb optical drive tomorrow.
    --- Post Merged, May 13, 2018 ---
    It ejects my 10.5 install disk on boot.

    So looks like it be staying on 10.3 for a bit until i can get an retail install disc.
     
  19. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    Napoli, city of sun and pizza!
    #19
    if you have a 8gb usb stick you can install leopard with it
     
  20. elf69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #20
    everytime I try open a site it will not and says:

    unable to open page xxxxx because it couldn't establish a secure connection to the server xxxx
    --- Post Merged, May 13, 2018 ---
    I only have 10.7 on a stick.
    It crashes with my 10.5 disc so think it damaged, as such cannot make a bootable drive.

    from £6.99 for disc on ebay. So might do that.
     
  21. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    Apr 6, 2016
    Location:
    Napoli, city of sun and pizza!
  22. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #22
    The old versions of Safari cannot deal with modern SSL. Even Macrumors refuses to play ball. TFF helps as does Leopard Webkit.
     
  23. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #23
    That message is probably due to out of date browser and/or the old default date which is set.
    Go to the date in the top right of toolbar, from the dropdown box click on 'open date and time'. Set the correct date manually (the time is less important) then click 'save'.
    If you have a fairly recent web browser installed (say TFF FPR6) you should be able to connect to the internet without seeing that pesky error message you noted. But remember if you have an unserviceable PRAM battery, each time you power off, and reboot, you may see that same error message. In that case the date will require resetting.
    It's also worth checking the 'set date & time automatically' box within the date and time settings, so that whenever you fire up a current functioning web browser, about 15-20secs later you will see the date/time updated in the toolbar.
    If dead - and it probably is - the PRAM battery is easily changed on the iMac. I purchase mine from the local pet store, who sell the same 3.6V cell (LS14250 type) for GPS dog collars - must get one for the mother-in-law too! :D
     
  24. elf69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #24
    date and time correct.

    as running 10.3 i say out of date browser.

    hmmm you getting battery or collar for mother in law?
    collar useful will not get u any favours lol
     
  25. elf69 thread starter macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #25
    How does the mega work at macintosh garden?

    Downloaded 10.5.4 with it, or so it said, took 45mins.
    check the mega folder not there.

    used finder to search the entire mac, not found.

    Have to use mega as it will not download in safari.
     

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