Using an iMac G3 in 2014?

MacsChampion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 31, 2014
9
0
So basically, someone I know is moving away to another country and told me he will give his iMac G3 to me for a price (he's a former trader). I have always loved the iMac G3 but never managed to own one. I cannot even recall the last time I used one.

After much researching, I would like to ask, is it worth buying that machine? Note that I do not know which exact model it is so not sure about speed, and I also don't know which OS would be on it.

The thing is, I have always been in love with that Mac, so I would love to own one right now. First of all, that machine might be the 233MHz one or the 700MHz one - I don't know.

Therefore, I'd like suggestions: from which model/clock speed onwards do you recommend it to run OS X Tiger with ease, and which with Leopard? Which model would be too slow?

Also how is Debian on the iMac G3? Does it work happily and has the drivers and stuff? I am interested in Debian Wheezy since it is a brand new, 2013 operating system that can work on that iMac.

Also, are there any upgrades available, like G4 cards? Anything else to make it more modern?

Thanks. :D
 

harrymatic

macrumors 6502
Dec 30, 2013
331
20
United Kingdom
Tiger is the last OS that will run on any G3 - but really you want 500+ MHz and all the RAM you can get for it to run smoothly. There was once a G4 upgrade, but it has long since disappeared.

iMac G3s are worth very little unless it's one of the unusual ones like the 'Flower Power' or 'Blue Dalmation'. That said, when it comes to classic design, you really can't get any more classic than the iMac. I've been to quite a few design museums and I've never not seen one :rolleyes: If the price is low, then by all means pick it up but keep in mind that the clock is ticking for every G3 iMac - they nearly all die from a bad PAV board eventually.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,142
4,671
Denmark
If you are in Denmark, or close by and don't mind picking them up, I have 2 standing you can have for free.

That being said, they are now so old that you can only run older versions of OSX (And only with loads of RAM), and therefore they are only really useable for word processors. Internet is somewhat useable, but you can't run Java or newer rendering engines for instance.
 

photoj2754

macrumors 6502
Oct 10, 2013
358
59
Akron
I just tweaked out a G3 graphite imac with latest Tiger OS, maxed out ram and installed an air card (which I found and bought with the adapter at a company having a sale for $51 bucks) and found the original keyboard and mouse on ebay for $30 and it is a thing of beauty. I'm running Photoshop CS3 and Photo Mechanic on it and it moves along nicely speed-wise. I am using Safari as my browser and that can be a bit slow at times but overall I really love the little bugger. Just a nice computer overall.
 

gooser

macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2013
514
51
i have a 600mhz one that i use several times a week using os 9. i run itunes (machine is completely silent), a few old games, appleworks, a couple of old accounting programs, and slideshows. i store my data on an external firewire hard drive. i do not have the internet hooked up to it. it will also boot up into os x but i never go there. nostalgia thing i guess. it sits next to a more modern laptop that i use for internet.
 

benvw99

macrumors member
Apr 29, 2014
41
0
Selby, SD
I set up my blueberry slot loader for my grandma. She's a windows user but I have convinced her to try the imac. She absolutely loves it, and she's replacing her dell optiplex with it.

Just need to pick up an airport caddy and she will be wireless (it's wired at the moment).
 

Intelligent

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2013
923
2
I set up my blueberry slot loader for my grandma. She's a windows user but I have convinced her to try the imac. She absolutely loves it, and she's replacing her dell optiplex with it.

Just need to pick up an airport caddy and she will be wireless (it's wired at the moment).

Why did you give her an iMac G3? A better computer would be better :D.
Funny thing is, my grandma has the latest Macbook Pro Retina 15" Maxed out. Now she might not need that good of a computer but atleast an intel from 2006?
 

SkyBell

macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2006
6,564
134
Texas, unfortunately.
If it's a later model (500 MHz or above) with maxed out memory, it might be good as a backup machine or maybe (very) light regular usage; it could probably browse the web to a respectable degree still.

Anything older then that? At least under OS X, they're not much good for anything but playing music/movies, older games or doing light office work. I had a 333 MHz model running Panther; If it had had the maximum amount of RAM installed, it might have been a more tolerable experience but as I had it, it was doggedly slow, and almost no modern software was compatible with it even at the time (four or five years ago).

But, to each their own; these early G3 machines still have uses and purpose, they just don't serve mine any longer unfortunately. :(
 

benvw99

macrumors member
Apr 29, 2014
41
0
Selby, SD
Jeez I forget the MHz on it.

I thought she would like it cause she said that she only needs it for word processing, email, and light web browsing. And the occasional picture download with iPhoto. I know that there are better programs than iPhoto, but she only needs to have them saved on the computer, so I didn bother to get a different one for her.
 

MacsChampion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 31, 2014
9
0
Thanks for the replies everyone! :D

@harrymatic and T'hain Esh Kelch : How much RAM would you recommend? Also what about the clock speed?

Looking at the rest of the replies, I guess many of you think I should not take it if it is 333 MHz or lower?

How about Linux? Debian Wheezy is new and is supported, so I guess modern software will work on it. If any of you have had experience with Debian on iMac G3, how was it? What's the recommended RAM and CPU?
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
478
Elkton, Maryland
Thanks for the replies everyone! :D



@harrymatic and T'hain Esh Kelch : How much RAM would you recommend? Also what about the clock speed?



Looking at the rest of the replies, I guess many of you think I should not take it if it is 333 MHz or lower?



How about Linux? Debian Wheezy is new and is supported, so I guess modern software will work on it. If any of you have had experience with Debian on iMac G3, how was it? What's the recommended RAM and CPU?

A 333 MHz is pretty low. Ideally a 400 MHz would be better. Just max the RAM and it'll be okay if given a good hard drive running at least 5400 RPM!
 

opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
1,680
602
Slovenia, EU
The problem is, these old things are practically unusable for todays internet and websites ...

Did I ever mention Flash and other multimedia type content?
 

rjcalifornia

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2012
668
3
El Salvador
So basically, someone I know is moving away to another country and told me he will give his iMac G3 to me for a price (he's a former trader). I have always loved the iMac G3 but never managed to own one. I cannot even recall the last time I used one.

After much researching, I would like to ask, is it worth buying that machine? Note that I do not know which exact model it is so not sure about speed, and I also don't know which OS would be on it.

The thing is, I have always been in love with that Mac, so I would love to own one right now. First of all, that machine might be the 233MHz one or the 700MHz one - I don't know.

Therefore, I'd like suggestions: from which model/clock speed onwards do you recommend it to run OS X Tiger with ease, and which with Leopard? Which model would be too slow?

Also how is Debian on the iMac G3? Does it work happily and has the drivers and stuff? I am interested in Debian Wheezy since it is a brand new, 2013 operating system that can work on that iMac.

Also, are there any upgrades available, like G4 cards? Anything else to make it more modern?

Thanks. :D
Try Debian. You can also try MintPPC.
 

MacsChampion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 31, 2014
9
0
@opeter Using a few hacks, it is possible to run Flash on Windows 95, so why not on a iMac G3? And by the way, since Debian Wheezy is a new OS it will most likely be able to run Flash.
 

MysticCow

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2013
833
388
Run OS 9. Use Classilla for browsing the web and enjoy all of the abandonware for OS 9. I love OS 9 anymore since Classilla came about.
 

MisterKeeks

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2012
1,832
25
@opeter Using a few hacks, it is possible to run Flash on Windows 95, so why not on a iMac G3? And by the way, since Debian Wheezy is a new OS it will most likely be able to run Flash.
Just because it can run doesn't mean it will run well. Flash on that G3 would be next to unusable; it simply does not have the processing power to run it.
 

BJonson

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2010
833
113
Run OS 9. Use Classilla for browsing the web and enjoy all of the abandonware for OS 9. I love OS 9 anymore since Classilla came about.
What is funny is I am doing that with my Power Mac 9600 and I find that most of the time IE 5 displays the web page better than Classilla. Classilla won't even display macrumors correctly but IE 5 does a pretty good job of it.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,889
396
Inside
What is funny is I am doing that with my Power Mac 9600 and I find that most of the time IE 5 displays the web page better than Classilla. Classilla won't even display macrumors correctly but IE 5 does a pretty good job of it.
By default Classilla renders most sites in their mobile format as they are designed for the less powerful mobile systems.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
478
Elkton, Maryland
What is funny is I am doing that with my Power Mac 9600 and I find that most of the time IE 5 displays the web page better than Classilla. Classilla won't even display macrumors correctly but IE 5 does a pretty good job of it.
I may be wrong, but Classilla tries to display the web page as a mobile page first!
 

BJonson

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2010
833
113
Was it a preference option you could change? Sorry to say, but I am a bit too young to really have used OS 9. In fact I only really started getting into Macs in 2010 or 2011.

Yep. I changed the User Agent from Nokia N90 to IE 9 and it looks perfect now. Wierd that would be the default setting.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.