What to do with my old G4 iMac?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 29, 2009
So I have a G4 iMac, 1ghz, with 768Mg ram sitting in the closet and want to do something with it. It currently has the last version of Tiger installed (if I recall) and I think it will run Leopard, if a bit slowly.

My daily use machine is a mid-2009 13" MacBook Pro running Lion.

So I have a couple of thoughts about the iMac and would love some input and/or alternatives.

1) give it away to a friend or to the Goodwill and continue using the MBP for all my computing needs (which it handles brilliantly)

2) use it as a jukebox and media server, if it will play nicely with the newer hardware. I've hunted around on the interwebs and found some information on using these machines as nas servers and whatnot, but most of the info is rather old, so if anyone has any advice on using these old machines as media servers, let me know. I have several external drives, and could easily hook up a 1TB FW400 to increase the storage. But would the G4 iMac run Hulu and Netflix? (I could, of course, unbox the machine and check, or look up system requirements... and the answer to this is NO - Hulu recommends a 1.33Ghz processor, and Netflix requires an Intel machine... So it looks like 1) is my best option, unless you have other thoughts.)

I checked on ebay, and it doesn't look like anyone's buying old G4 iMacs and I could probably get a better deal using it as a tax write-off than I could make selling it.

Thing is, I really love that old computer. It was my first mac, and it's a beautiful machine, brilliantly designed (imo), and still largely functional for general computer usage. But I really want to free up the closet space, so I need to put it to use or get rid of it.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them. Thanks in advance!

And if this is the wrong forum, please point me to the correct one.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 29, 2009
-kitchen computer
-kids computer
-word processing
-speaker system. Attach speakers + external HD(Firewire) and you will be good to go
-TV use iTunes

-one bedroom apartment with a small kitchen, barely enough room to cook up a big meal for friends; definitely not enough room for a computer too...
-no kids, and my friends who do already set theirs up with computers of far more recent vintage (pcs, mostly, but also G5 iMacs (rarely) and Intel machines).
-It would make a great little word processor, but I do most of that on the MacBook or an Asus eeePC that I use for a sofa computer and linux playground in the evening while watching movies on the MBP.
-its last use was as a glorified juke box from 2006 (when I got a rev A MacBook) through 2008 when I started moving around a bunch. After I got settled here, the MBP acts as a desktop most of the time and has a good set of speakers hooked up to it. I could use the iMac to play vinyl through, since the MBP has only one audio jack, and this is part of why I'm considering keeping it. But I should probably track down a usb turntable or get a proper stereo if I want to set myself up to play records again. (My vinyl collection and record player are also in the closet, currently serving as a pedestal for the boxed-up iMac.)
-And I don't really want to buy a bunch of TV shows, and for TV shows that I do buy, I tend to buy dvds (and I haven't in over a year).

And thanks for the link! I expected that the iMac would work for a limited sort of music server, and my expectations for it wouldn't be very high at all. The space issue is of some concern, but I could pretty easily stick it on top of a small bookshelf or an end table or something.

One smallish issue: the iMac has an airport card in it, but I was never able to get it to work, so unless something has changed, the iMac will have to live near the modem and router.

I'm going to go pull it out, dust it off, set it up, and see what's on it after all these years. I may put leopard on it and see how that works and see if I can get the airport card to work. If so, it may get set up as a music server. If not, I don't know.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2010
you can just give it to me :rolleyes:. lol but on a serious note, you could just keep it for a small guest comp
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