Old imac G3

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by carimiah, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. carimiah macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2008
    i've just inherited an old iMac G3.
    Is there ANYthing i can do to this to make it a somewhat usable desktop just for surfing the net and playing the odd movie?

    It's got 128 MG of ram and no airport card. Is there an airport card i can put in this little desktop, and can i upgrade the memory? At the moment, i can't even open hotmail messsages. And i can't seem to download a decent version of Firefox that will run.

    It's a cute little desktop with OSX version 10.3.9
    500 MHz processor G3
    128 MG ram

    I'll buy extra bits for it if i can. I just need some advice on what this little guy can safely hold.
  2. Terminal.app macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2009
  3. ewilson6 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2006
    dont waste your time updating this system. tiger will run so slow on this system because you don't have enough ram or a g5 processor. I would just try to use firefox or safari 2.o on this system.

    You are better off leaving dinosaurs buried. You can watch movies if you invest in an external dvd player. imac g3's did not have dvd player built in.

    You will find out that by syncing any amount of money in this system is definitley not worth it. Take it from a Mac User for 25 years.

  4. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    hm i disagree ,it depends what you really wants to do ,and the
    "imac g3 dv " models came with a dvd player as standard ,
    airport cards are plenty on ebay for it , so internet ready
    also as a music box for itunes its still usable,some people
    play the old os9 games on it , ok you should upgrade the ram
    which isn`t a big problem and doesnt cost a fortune for ~£20
    you should get 512mb , and you can surf the web send emails ,
    use office
    as i was told ,it might struggle playing youtube ,
    but then nobody expects a imac g3 to be usable for everything ,as a graficard with 8 mb
    should tell, that there are limits
    so it should be used as what it is a classic design icon
    for the living room, to use as a jukebox especially if you
    could get hold of the subwoofer that was available for it :D
    so its capabilities might be limited , but its still usable , and looks great
  5. Chuck Fadanoid macrumors member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Munich, Germany
    Being 500 MhZ I assume it's one with a DVD drive. So you can use it to watch DVDs - some people still like the way colours and video look on a CRT as opposed to a flatscreen (myself included).

    You can also surf the net, play old games (install OS 9 on it too), use it for mail. Just bump up the RAM as much as you can, it makes a lot of difference.

    If you're really up for a challenge, try and install a PPC version of Linux on it. So far I've tried and failed to get usable versions of Ubuntu and OpenSuSE installed on mine, but you might have better luck. (Usable being the optimum word: Ubuntu didn't like the graphics card, so displayed everything in 8 bit colour, and OpenSuSE worked fine apart from the fact that it offset the screen by about an inch to the right).
  6. Terminal.app macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2009
    This is another option as well, Linux is supposed to be more efficient on older hardware. :D There is also a PPC version of Fedora, and of course the venerable Yellow Dog Linux. I use Fedora (the x86-64 version) quite frequently and I like it.
  7. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    there is also Xubuntu and debian ,
    but if you install 1gb ram
    osx 10.4.11 should work fine :D
  8. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I had an old Blueberry 333MHz iMac. After coming to the conclusion that there was no way to get this machine up-to-par with good net-surfing capability, I took it over to Goodwill and got rid of it. It is 100% working and in excellent shape. I had installed Jaguar on there, but it was incredibly slow. No DVD drive to install Tiger. In OS 9, web surfing is just horrible, with no browsers able to properly render modern pages, everything is garbled. So, the old iMac is gone and we don't have to worry about it anymore...
  9. TheAppFinder macrumors newbie


    Oct 1, 2009
    RE: Old imac G3

    Hey , what i would do to get the most out of your imac g3 is this.:
    -update the memory to at least 512 if not 1 gb (which is what i did). that way you can install tiger on it, and it will run smoother.
    -if your imac doesnt have a dvd drive , use an external dvd drive, using firewire, (usb is too slow) and install tiger from their. worked fine for me.
    -install all the lates itunes ,quicktime, safari and system software to the max.
    -to play any standard defintion dvd's, you'll have to get an internal slot-load dvd-rom. also their are a few third-party companies that offer super-drives for these imacs.
    - a 500 MHz g3 is fairly fast for its age and will preform fine with simple tasks such as web browsing, itunes, and word processing.
    - And finally YES you can have wireless internet using apples airport card (which is 802.11 b by the way) or you can use a usb dongle from for eg: belkin.
    Hope that helps you get the most out your imac g3 :)
  10. carimiah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2008
    hey, thanks a lot folks.
    Your advice is of great help.

    My imac DOES have a cd drive, so once i upgrade the memory i can install my tiger cd on it.
    By the way, is changing the memory card about the same as changing them in the new imacs?
    And as for graphics, I imagine i'll still run into problems trying to open certain sites, won't i? Like, i won't be able to play online games, will I.

    Thanks again. I'll ask more questions once I get this desktop powered up.
  11. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    You'll find, if you install Tiger it should open some windows in terms of it's capability :D

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