noobie questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Bulb, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. Bulb macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Hi All

    I just bought myself a G4 off ebay.. I have a few questions..

    I have OS X version 10.3.9 on there and im wondering if i can just download an update to 10.4.2 or do i need to purchase that ? I looked all across apples website but i couldnt seem to find an update from 10.3.9 to 10.4.2...

    Also i have Sony DRU500a and Pioneer DVR109 DVD burners here, ideally i would like to put the SOny in the mac if i can but im wondering if its compatible ? If its not is the DVR109 the same as the superdrive ? From what i have seen this seems to be the case, but im not 100% sure ?? It would be handy to know before i go pulling things apart..

    Is there anything like a bios on a mac ? Im just wondering what the default boot sequence is and if it can be changed ?

    Any help is appreciated..Cheers..
  2. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    10.4 (Tiger) is not a free upgrade. You need to purchase it.

    You might want to check for compatible DVD players. It will connect internally (as its IDE) but the OS may not recognize it.

    To change which drive gets booted up from, use the Startup Disk panel in System Preferences. Or hold down the C key immediately after your computer restarts to boot from the CD, or hold down the Option key to choose a disk at startup (again, right after your computer restarts).
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Check the drive compatibility database at
  4. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    The others answered your main questions well, just thought I'd chime in here. ;) Macs use Open Firmware (OF) instead of BIOS. If you get into the unix side of OS X, the nvram command allows your to manipulate Open Firmware variables while the OS is running. Otherwise you have to boot into OF by holding Command-O-F at boot, then use its own command syntax to modify stuff.

    Normally you'll never need to touch Open Firmware at all, but it might be fun if you like to tinker. :D
  5. DarkNetworks macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2005
    i wish 10.4 is a free update...but unfortunately no...;/
  6. Bulb thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Thanks for the responses.. Its a great help..

    Is it worth me buying 10.4 ? Or is 10.3.9 ok to stick with ? Obviously updates are always a good thing, but is it worth the money ?

    I'm running DVD Studio Pro and planning to get Final Cut and maybe Motion also.. Cheers..
  7. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    If you are willing to shell out the money for DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut and Motion, then you shouldn't have a problem spending to upgrade to Tiger.

    The OS is only getting better and better. Panther (10.3) is very good, but Tiger (10.4) is G-R-R-R-E-A-T. [Couldn't resist]. Anyway, the future is Tiger, and better to get your feet wet now with all of the heavy stuff you are talking about doing.

    Might want to add a little RAM while you're at it.

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
  8. DarkNetworks macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2005
    well i dunno but i've never thought about switching back to Panther ever since i installed Tiger...
  9. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Yes, I would certainly recommend that you upgrade to Tiger. Otherwise you would be losing out on a lot of new and great improvements. Increasing your RAM is also a good idea, you will notice an improvement in performance.
  10. Bulb thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2005
    I have just checked all my software and it seems one program i use to connect to my Alesis hard disk recorder only runs on 10.2 and 10.3..

    This has got me a bit frustrated, but also made me wonder why are so many things so incompatible with each update ? This is the 3rd piece of software i have tried to install, that has refused to run without a specific version of OS X!!

    I cant imagine why the OS would need to fundamentally change so much with each update ?? This Alesis program im using was only released last october and now it seems like it will either hold me back from updating or i will need to boycott it until Alesis decide to update it..

    That lack of compatibility makes for a pretty messy situation i must say.. I have just read about how great it is with macs to install programs via copying 1 icon and thats it, and yes that kind of intuitive design is a real plus but that benefit gets buried pretty easily when you have these incompatibilities with OS and software builds..

    As bad as Windows may be with copying crap everywhere on your hard drive, it can generally still run software from 1998 on XP now.. Perhaps i have taken that for granted ??
  11. Skareb macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Buy an external box for your DVD burner, then use it as an external/Firewire DVD burner.

    External cases are cheap, and then you don't have to fiddle around with crappy IDE cables.


    P.S: As for free 10.4 update. Well lets just say anything is possible, but the rules of this forum prevent the discussion

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