Newb installed OSX out of order. Sawtooth, Better stereo hookup?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Greenjeens, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Greenjeens macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    Hi all,
    First post from from a new Mac user.

    My dear uncle gave me a G4 Powermac Sawtooth 400Mhz 768MB RAM, 20 GB hard drive. I've never owned a "real" computer before, so it's been a bit of a learning curve.
    Considering I installed some RAM, OS X, an external DVD drive (including all successful CD burns and fair quality DVD burns), I'm feeling real good about the whole Mac experience! Just got a DSL modem today, so that's going to be another interesting challenge, when SBC hooks it up at the CO.
    With just a bit of help, from a few Mac user friends, in the last few weeks, I've managed to get through, but it has taken some hours off my life for sure.

    The funny thing, my uncle had to take the Mac to the shop, because of some kind of freezing problem, when I've done the equivalent of what a teenager does with his first old, free car... lots of things that I probably should not have done, and it still seems to keep working...eventually.

    The point was not to abuse the equipment, I just wanted to write CDs and really don't have any training to what the terms and procedures are, so it's a bit of an exploratory learning technique.
    Anyway, here's some burning questions, which I can't seem to find answers for in a way that I can fully comprehend, after doing many searches of this great forum.

    1) I accidently installed OS 10 10.3 Panther over the classic 9.1.
    I somehow missed an intermediate update. Thought I had the latest version.
    Then I tried to download and then install the intermediate update 9.2.1 (using a dialup connection :( and got this message...
    "Problems were encountered reading the source file, Big System Morsels. Installation cannot continue."

    Do I need to remove OS X, or can I try to update in classic mode, when I get the DSL line hooked up next week?

    2) I need more hard drive space for my CD collection. I'm a minor audiophile and lossy compression just seems like quantity over quality choice.
    Can I just purchase a nice 120/250 GB hard drive and stick it in the tower and plug it in or is there some kind of controller upgrade required?
    I've combed the update sites but, they assume you actually know what your doing to start with...
    I'd read a any kind of tutorial.

    3) I have a stereo and nice bookshelf speakers plugged into that little 2.5 mm jack and that's and accident waiting to happen. Is there a card and connection part that's not a big bucks pro type board, which would provide solid RCA stereo connectors and perhaps digital INPUT? Is there a Toslink (for old Laser disc movie input) or a coaxial digital connection? I'm use to hooking up home theater type AV equipment and using those type of connectors.

    It just seems so strange, that computers have the capacity for 1000's of high quality recorded music files and it seems all the computer users I've ever met are using these piece of junk 2"-3" plastic speaker systems, or worse yet the supplied 1" tower speaker. Seems like such a missed opportunity, like a volkswagon motor in a Jag.
    At least, a quality set of headphones would make a huge listening improvement.
    iTunes is such a revelation, after spinning a couple of 200 disk changers and trying to keep track of the disk notes and track titles! It's like heaven!
    But I diverge...

    4) Is a Dell 19' flat panel a good choice for $425 delivered?

    5) What is the main bottle neck for video information processing and what is the solution? The new Pioneer external DV-109 burner is working at about 2x all the time, no matter what the setting. I'm getting some spurts of pixelization too, which showed up for no apparent reason, as well as data intensive fast moving scenes.

    So, any advice or links would be appreciated. I'm not averse to bringing the machine into a shop either for a "tune up".
    I've been warned about spending too much money to upgrade an old machine, and it's easy to see how this can occur, but it sure is rewarding challenge!

  2. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2004
    2. you can install a 2nd harddrive, up to 120GB without additional hardware. If you want a bigger one, you will need a controller card.

    4. I think a better deal would be to get a 20" widescreen 2005FPW from dell. The latest deal with coupon code is $443 shipped.
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    You should upgrade to Panther and be just fine (10.3). The OS X system will work fine on a G4 with that much RAM (768mb). I used my G3 with 512mb with Tiger (10.4) just fine. You should attempt to get away from Mac OS Classic (9.X) completely, it is a dated OS and is not supported anymore. If you installed 10.3 then the system 9 data is still on your computer. If you want to boot back to system 9, then go to your system preferences and go to startup disk. There will be 2 folders in that preference one will be your OS 9, and one will be your OS X system folder, select the system you want to boot to and hit the Restart button in that window.

    The audio question. I didn't read the entire thing, but here is my solution/ the way I do it with my G3.
    Your amplifier will have RCA jacks for Left/Right input. Take a line input cable (RCA to mini-jack cable) and plug the mini jack to the output (headphone or speaker) jack on the G4, plug the RCA's into the port you want on your Amp. You should be up and running through your amplifier speakers right away.

    EDIT: I read your entire Audio question. You have the Mac hooked up the way I described. You are good to go then. I don't know why you describe that setup as an accident waiting to happen, I've used that setup for years and never a hiccup of a problem. If you want a PCI sound card, I'd just say Google it and do your research. Macs are just computers like anything else, the hardware is nothing special.
  4. Greenjeens thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    20 inch code (somewhere?) great!
    120 GB HD should work well then. Thanks.

    Found a tutorial on hard drive replacement
    Embarrasing, an easy Google search. Not enough sleep...

    I want to start doing all the recommended upgrades to the installed Panther that is currently running.

    *Big Question
    I'm just afraid that the current 9.1 version, which should have been updated to 9.2.1 _before_ Panther, is like a faulty foundation, that I should not be built on with more Mac 10.3 updates.
    Did I make huge mistake or can I fix it, after the fact, by simply updating to 9.2.1? Did not do a clean install.

    Figured out how to open the classic and retrieve my bookmarks (which appears to be a known bug) but I try not to use Classic, at all.

    I accidently pulled out the very loose fitting audio jack 2.5mm mini plug to RCA stereo adapter, which happens to be supporting the weight of standard cables, and shorted it on the tower and a nasty noise came out of my speakers:(
    Nothing blew, but I've hooked up so much audio equipment, I have no patience left for poor quality connections and connectors.

    Is there a RCA sound card solution?

    Thanks again. I'm a bit practical information starved.

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