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Mychael
27th March 2008, 05:08 PM
Hi all,
I am a long time PC user and Mac envious and plan to gravitate across from one to the other over a period of time.

To this end I have acquired a fully working older Mac. I think before the i-Mac era. It is one of those that came in various case colours and with a CRT (as opposed to LCD) monitor.

I've not collected it yet but I believe it runs MAC OS 9. (something).

I thought it would be a cheap way for me to have a play and get the feel of MAC OS.

So my questions are:

Will this earlier OS give me a basic grounding for understanding the OS 10.(something) & could this older machine cope with/be able to accept an upgrade to the current OS?

Thanks in anticipation.

Mychael

PatrickH
27th March 2008, 05:13 PM
Sounds like you have the orginal iMac at 266MHz.

By looking at this website (Apple iMac G3/266 (Fruit Colors) Specs (iMac - Fruit Colors - M7345LL/A*) @ EveryMac.com (http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/stats/imac_266.html)) I can see the max OS you can run is 10.3 anything else is incompatible and that's usally for a reason. Leopard has no chance of running it as the requirements for that is a G4 over 800MHz.

Check with sellers if they can give you a copy of 10.3.

EDIT:
Is the monitor built-in? Because you mentioned that it has various colours.

tommelbourne
27th March 2008, 05:19 PM
No way with the current OS (10.5, or Leopard). Patrick is right on the money, 10.3 (Panther) would be your best bet. It'll let you get a really good feel for Mac OS X and (hopefully) convince you to buy a newer machine that can run the latest and greatest!

Byrd
27th March 2008, 05:20 PM
If you can find the exact model (eg. Beige G3), we can point you in the way for the best OS for your Mac.

JB

Mychael
27th March 2008, 05:42 PM
Sounds like you have the orginal iMac at 266MHz.

By looking at this website (Apple iMac G3/266 (Fruit Colors) Specs (iMac - Fruit Colors - M7345LL/A*) @ EveryMac.com (http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/stats/imac_266.html)) I can see the max OS you can run is 10.3 anything else is incompatible and that's usally for a reason. Leopard has no chance of running it as the requirements for that is a G4 over 800MHz.

Check with sellers if they can give you a copy of 10.3.

EDIT:
Is the monitor built-in? Because you mentioned that it has various colours.

Thanks guys. Yes the monitor is part and parcel of the whole deal. Colour monitor (as opposed to mono) the outside "box" (portable TV shape) is green but I seem to recall there were other colour choices when new.. Carry handle on the top.
It has in internal dial-up modem, USB port(s) and an optical device (not sure yet if CD or DVD).

Mychael

PatrickH
27th March 2008, 05:48 PM
Yep it's an iMac either a 266 or 333, not sure.

JimWOz
27th March 2008, 06:05 PM
Mychael,
It could be a 266 or 333 MHz G3 iMac as Patrick says.
I have a 333Mhz model, that I still use as a file server and to run iTunes to our stereo system.

You can upgrade the HD to 120G max size, and RAM up to 512MB (2x256).
The tray load CD can be replaced with a CD RW/DVD ROM. It will read data DVD's OK but does not have the video decoder required to play DVD's.

Most people run Panther OS 10.3 max on these machines. Performance with a new 7200 RPM HD is much improved over the original 6G HD. It will be a good cheap first Mac. Definitely upgrade the OS to 10.3, otherwise you're not getting the feel of the modern OS. I found 10.3 ran faster than earlier 10.x versions on this machine.

You will need to get 10.3 on CD (usually found on DVD, but can be found on CD too) if you don't upgrade the drive to a DVD ROM though.
You also need to install the OS on a disk partition contained within the first 8G of the drive, otherwise it won't boot.

They're not bad for 9 year old hardware, and have 10/100 ethernet on board too !

Mychael
27th March 2008, 06:56 PM
Mychael,
Most people run Panther OS 10.3 max on these machines. Performance with a new 7200 RPM HD is much improved over the original 6G HD. It will be a good cheap first Mac. Definitely upgrade the OS to 10.3, otherwise you're not getting the feel of the modern OS. I found 10.3 ran faster than earlier 10.x versions on this machine.

You will need to get 10.3 on CD (usually found on DVD, but can be found on CD too) if you don't upgrade the drive to a DVD ROM though.
You also need to install the OS on a disk partition contained within the first 8G of the drive, otherwise it won't boot.

!

Thanks.

1/ I don't plan on upgrading the hardware. I'm getting this purely to get a feel for the OS before I invest in a current model Mac. I wont even bother going online with this one. But I do want to get as close as I can to the current OS in feel and operation.

2/ With a windows PC I simply loaded the XP upgrade over '98 and it sorted itself out (more or less). From what you say I gather a Mac wont work that way?

Thanks for the help. This is a great forum.

Mychael

PatrickH
27th March 2008, 06:59 PM
Mac OS X upgrade installs can work like XP and 98. I tried upgrading from 9.2 to 10.2, but it had a mishap, so I just wiped the hard drive and installed 10.2.

Byrd
27th March 2008, 07:05 PM
Thanks guys. Yes the monitor is part and parcel of the whole deal. Colour monitor (as opposed to mono) the outside "box" (portable TV shape) is green but I seem to recall there were other colour choices when new.. Carry handle on the top.
It has in internal dial-up modem, USB port(s) and an optical device (not sure yet if CD or DVD).

OK ....... so is the word iMac plastered on the front of the casing? :p Sorry, couldn't resist, that has to be the most convoluted description of a computer I've heard in a while! :D Is the iMac running OS 9 at the moment? Before upgrading to OS X (along with 256+ MB RAM and a nice hard disk as Jim notes), you might need to update the computer's firmware otherwise installing OS X is a painful experience.

iMac Firmware Update 4.1.9: Information and Download (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75130)

... note the above update is for slot-loading iMacs only, the tray models do not need this.

You might want to report on the RAM and CPU speed of your iMac too. Click on the Apple menu --> System Profiler, which will list these specs. The firmware revision is also mentioned here (4.1.9 is where you want to get it to).

JB

denwol
27th March 2008, 07:08 PM
I think jimWoz was referring to an installation on a upgraded HDD. No need to take notice of this if you are not upgrading your new old baby.

JimWOz
27th March 2008, 09:59 PM
I think jimWoz was referring to an installation on a upgraded HDD. No need to take notice of this if you are not upgrading your new old baby.

Yep, if you stick with the original 4 or 6G HD you can put a skinny Panther 10.3 install straight on, side by side with OS 9 on the same single 4 or 6G partition.
If you exclude a lot of printer drivers and apps you can get it down to 1.5G I recall.

As far as RAM goes, I agree with Byrd. You really need at least 192MB for the machine to be workable. The original stock configuration in '99 was 2x32MB I think. We started with 32+64 in ours, running OS8 then OS9, and I ran 10.3 on the machine for a while with 64+128, before increasing to 2x128. - So if you want to run OSX 10.3, and the machine is still stock standard, then a RAM upgrade is essential.

But I really noticed a huge speed increase from replacing the original 6G 5400RPM disk with a 7200RPM about 4 years ago. So it will run, but not be very quick.

Katey
27th March 2008, 11:09 PM
9. In 1998, a year after Steve Jobs returned to the company, Apple introduced an all-in-one Macintosh featuring a translucent plastic case. What was it called?

couldn't resist after doing that quiz

Mychael
28th March 2008, 04:59 PM
OK ....... so is the word iMac plastered on the front of the casing? :p Sorry, couldn't resist, that has to be the most convoluted description of a computer I've heard in a while! :D Is the iMac running OS 9 at the moment? Before upgrading to OS X (along with 256+ MB RAM and a nice hard disk as Jim notes), you might need to update the computer's firmware otherwise installing OS X is a painful experience.

iMac Firmware Update 4.1.9: Information and Download (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75130)

... note the above update is for slot-loading iMacs only, the tray models do not need this.

You might want to report on the RAM and CPU speed of your iMac too. Click on the Apple menu --> System Profiler, which will list these specs. The firmware revision is also mentioned here (4.1.9 is where you want to get it to).

JB


Still have to collect it so I cannot answer that question. I am assuming that given it's age it must have an OS 9. Once I actually get it home I can answer your questions more in depth.
I've basically got it for free, I know it works but I don't want to spend money on it as I am getting it to learn about Macs before I actually go out and purchase a brand new one.


Mychael

PatrickH
28th March 2008, 05:13 PM
I've basically got it for free, I know it works but I don't want to spend money on it as I am getting it to learn about Macs before I actually go out and purchase a brand new one.

That's practically how I got my LC575.

You can always trial a Macbook Pro at Domayne for seven days and return it if you want to try out leopard.