Question About Pismo Deal

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by india349, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. india349 macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #1
    So I finally decided to splurge. I miss OS 9 and all of the games I used to play and a good solid machine for writing without internet distractions just a click away. On Sunday, I went on eBay and bought a Pismo.

    It's a 400 mhz G3 with OS 9.2 and OS X Tiger installed. It has 512 MB of RAM, a 20 GB hard drive, and a wi-fi external PC card. Battery and adapter are included, but no OS discs or other software. I paid about $230.

    My question is: Is this a good deal? I've never bought on eBay before and I think I did everything to check the seller was legitimate (feedback, price comparison, detail of DOA and warranty information).

    Thanks for your help. :)

    india349
     
  2. waffle911 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    ⇧⌥K = 
    #2
    For vintage hardware like that, it really depends on what its worth to you. It's not in common demand anymore, so price is relative.

    The first thing I'd do is head over to Newegg.com and pick up a couple of these, if your current memory is 2x 256MB, or just get one stick if you already have 1x 512MB installed. If you're used to more modern computers, it'll help a lot, especially with OSX 10.4.11 Tiger.
    Unfortunately, I do not think that ATA-5 interface laptop hard drives are still available, if you wanted to upgrade. Bur it came from the factory with either 6GB or 10GB anyway compared with the 20GB you have (likely from the post-Spt.'00 500MHz model), so meh.

    Given that it has been upgraded by its previous owner, I would say that this was a good find for the price. Probably anywhere between $100-$170 if it were still factory spec, but the upgrades would place it right about where you bought it, I would think.

    P.S. Mactracker is your friend.
     
  3. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #3
    I'm not sure what the setup for the RAM is other than that the total is 512. I'm fine with that measurement as it is: my last classic mac was an old iMac running 8.5 and 32 MB of RAM! I also thought 512 was the maximum for a Pismo; is that not true?

    Because I already have an OS X machine, I'm not too worried about OS X performance on the Pismo. I'll be primarily using it as an OS 9 only machine.

    What about a G4 upgrade? Is that necessary or even beneficial for OS 9?

    Thanks for the tips! And PS, I'm downloading MacTracker!

    india349 :)
     
  4. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #4
    Don't bother with the G4 upgrade, it will cost too much and as you say you have an OSX machine.

    Even then, I find OSX runs fine on the G3 (with 512MB RAM) perfect for word processing.
    OS 9 screams on those machines.

    They are nice machines, they don't make em like they used to.
     
  5. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #5
    Good to know and based on the prices I've seen while scanning around, it looks like a G4 upgrade would cost almost as much as what I paid for the system itself!

    I'm so excited. The nostalgia of having OS 9 again is going to be great. I can't wait.

    Thanks for your input!

    Edit: I have another question. Does anyone know how much space a Tiger installation takes up? I'm considering deleting Tiger and just going with OS 9 on the Pismo, if it takes up too much room, but because I don't have any PPC Tiger discs, this would be a one-way operation. Thoughts?
     
  6. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #6
    Games of that era weren't that big anyway, I'd say keep Tiger until you are sure you really need the space. I can't say for sure - around 3-5 GB.

    What you can do is remove the other languages - OS X installs them all by default.
    Download Monolingual and remove them, it will save you around a gigabyte!!

    Have fun.
     
  7. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #7
    Thanks for the tip. I downloaded Monolingual so that should help with the space.

    india349
     
  8. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #8
    Wow, you paid $230 for a G3 Pismo?!? I have a 500mhz G4 Titanium in excellent condition (for it's age) and I would have been willing to take half that. Maybe I should look to sell it if people are willing to buy old computers? I haven't bothered because I didn't think it was worth enough for the hassle it would take to find a buyer.
     
  9. LowEnder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #9
    Congratulations on the Pismo! I think that is a good price for a machine that has not been upgraded to death....you can check out prices from some sellers here
    My first Mac was an eBay PowerBook G3 Wall Street II and I still use it for text work...I really like the keyboard....and manage to get on the internet just fine
    a great find! keep us posted
     
  10. LowEnder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #10
    Don't "give it away"!

    Your G4 Titanium is going for much more than that!!! Unsure about eBay prices, but check these out....
     
  11. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #11
    As some of the other readers have implied, Macs do generally have a higher resale value. Not to mention that it isn't "just a Pismo". I got Tiger, 512 MB of RAM, and a larger hard drive out of the deal. Since G4 Titaniums were the last PowerBooks to boot into OS 9, I'm guessing their resale value is quite high.

    Thanks, LowEnder, for your story. I assuming from your name, you're connected in some way to Low End Mac, a site which I've been frequenting for years now, ever since the glory days with my Rev. B iMac?

    The Pismo still hasn't arrived yet. Anyone know how long USPS Airmail takes? Our mail always arrives really late and I've been looking out the window like a kid looking for Santa. I'll keep you posted.

    india349. :)
     
  12. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #12
    Thanks! Guess I'll consider taking it off the shelf and see what I can get for it. The trouble is, the battery would need replaced and the hard drive is the original 20GB. It's a bit long in the tooth. I hate to invest and not get my money back! What I might try is selling it and telling potential buyers that they would need to buy a battery and hard-drive. If they did that, they would have a pretty nice (but outdated machine).
     
  13. LowEnder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #13
    Thanks, LowEnder, for your story. I assuming from your name, you're connected in some way to Low End Mac, a site which I've been frequenting for years now, ever since the glory days with my Rev. B iMac?


    india349. :)[/QUOTE]

    Nope, not at all connected to the site, other than being-like you perhaps-a much too frequent visitor there...and using LowEnd machines!
    Is it there yet?
     
  14. LowEnder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #14
    Leaving it "as is" sounds like the best plan. After-market batteries and hard drives are easy to find . Good luck with that!
     
  15. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #15
    Haha, LowEnder, guess I jumped to a conclusion.

    I'm still waiting around for my Pismo. I'm blaming the fact that it was shipped USPS and today's a federal holiday. :p That, and I'm just impatient. Like I said, I've never bought on eBay before, so I hope I didn't get scammed or something. The other stuff I ordered has started arriving...

    Couple of other questions have started to cross my mind: Pismos originally shipped with OS 9.0.4; does this mean that they can't boot from a retail OS 9.0.4 full installation disc? That's the only OS 9 CD I have, so just curious if anyone has had any experience.

    Also, does anyone know of good recipe managing software for OS 9? Probably a weirder request, but I'm thinking of using my Pismo for that, if possible. What about affordable OS 9-compatible printers?

    Thanks for your support everyone!

    india349 :)
     
  16. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #16
    It's here!

    After waiting what felt like forever, I finally got my Pismo today. It seems to be in good condition. There are few minor scuffs and scratches, and a odd splotch of yellow paint on one of the palm rests, but nothing too bad. (and the yellow paint makes me look arty :cool:)

    It has Tiger and OS 9.2, just like described, though Tiger makes up the vast majority of the hard drive and that'll be changing. It also came with MS Office 04 and Adobe CS2, so that was a nice surprise!

    Thanks everyone for your help.

    india349
     
  17. Mactagonist macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    NYC - Manhattan
    #17
    I have also been thinking about getting a classic old Pismo for some time now.

    It would be nice to have a beater laptop I dont have to worry too much about when traveling to the less nice parts of the world!

    Using something like VLC can it playback XVID files? I was thinking of normal downloaded TV episodes, 175mb per 30min or so.

    You selling? :) If you are serious Id love to see pics and get specs. Send me a PM if you want.
     
  18. india349 thread starter macrumors member

    india349

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN, USA
    #18
    Good question. I haven't tried it but what I can tell you is that Tiger is running reeaaaaaallly slow. I'm used to my MacBook, maybe, and therefore, spoiled by the speed, but it took me a good couple minutes to open InDesign and watching a DVD was painful because it kept going choppy when I opened the remote. It has 512 MB of RAM, your mileage may vary I guess. I'd be afraid to try it on a Pismo.
     
  19. Aeschylus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #19
    A couple of years ago, I picked up my current Pismo on Craigslist for $240... 500mhz, 100GB HD, 1GB RAM, combo drive, Airport Extreme, iLife, MS Office, new battery. Beautiful machine. Runs Tiger just fine. Last year I did opt for the G4 upgrade, as I might want to download stuff that requires at least a G4.

    My only quibble is video capability (8MB VRAM, not upgradeable). Watching video is nigh on impossible. Other than that, I could not be happier. This Pismo replaced one whose trackpad stopped working, and it turned out it would cost more to fix it than to buy this one. I'm glad I did, because now that one is sporting the dreaded Pink Screen of Death.

    Anyway, I hope you're enjoying your Pismo!
     

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