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Mychael
15th January 2010, 05:42 PM
I've acquired (not collected yet) a working imac G4.
specs are 15" screen, 700mhz power pc chip 768meg sdram and a small hdd of 38gig.

I don't know what OS version it's running and I got it just to have a Mac to play with, I know it wont be like a current version of the OS.

My question is what were these machines like when new and to what stage could I upgrade the OS and is it worth it. Also will the optical drive be a cd or dvd? How much difference will I see with the OS that's on the machine to more recent versions?

~Coxy
15th January 2010, 05:58 PM
Assuming unmodified, I think the optical drive will be a CD-RW, since it was the low end model that came with the 40GB HDD. Sounds like it has the stock 256MB chip in the internal slot and an aftermarket 512MB SODIMM in the external slot.

They were pretty awesome when new, although oft-delayed and a little dear due to the LCDs which cost about $1K for 15" models at the time.
10.4 will run well enough on them, especially with the extra RAM which you have. I would recommend running that version for greater software compatibility.

nibbles
15th January 2010, 06:01 PM
10.5 runs fine on them and has more software then 10.4

Meh 626
15th January 2010, 06:06 PM
10.5 runs fine on them and has more software then 10.4

Mac OS X Leopard requires a minimum of a 867MHz PPC processor.

Mychael
15th January 2010, 06:06 PM
Assuming unmodified, I think the optical drive will be a CD-RW, since it was the low end model that came with the 40GB HDD. Sounds like it has the stock 256MB chip in the internal slot and an aftermarket 512MB SODIMM in the external slot.

They were pretty awesome when new, although oft-delayed and a little dear due to the LCDs which cost about $1K for 15" models at the time.
10.4 will run well enough on them, especially with the extra RAM which you have. I would recommend running that version for greater software compatibility.


Thanks for the info, so everything else being equal (all working ok etc) where would I obtain a later version of the OS and does it just install from the optical drive?

BeePee
15th January 2010, 07:32 PM
I think the only place you will get a Retail copy of Tiger is Ebay.
I have an Emac, I keep it as my Terminal of last resort. Fire it up every 6 months or so to update the software.
I put a DVD drive in years ago, I think I needed it for the upgrade from Jaguar to Panther.
Never tried loading Leopard as the CPU is only 700Mhz although I have read where others have been successful in doing so.

cosmichobo
15th January 2010, 08:07 PM
I've acquired (not collected yet) a working imac G4.
specs are 15" screen, 700mhz power pc chip 768meg sdram and a small hdd of 38gig.

I don't know what OS version it's running and I got it just to have a Mac to play with, I know it wont be like a current version of the OS.

My question is what were these machines like when new and to what stage could I upgrade the OS and is it worth it. Also will the optical drive be a cd or dvd? How much difference will I see with the OS that's on the machine to more recent versions?

The iMac G4 was an amazing machine when it was released. They made me look twice, after not having been interested in (a new) Macs for a few years. I very nearly opted for one in 2004 when I upgraded my computer, but instead I went for the eMac, as the same spec'd iMac G4 would have cost about another $700.

A lot of the iMac G4's I've seen have faded/yellowed with age. The "neck" on the LCD can also get loose. You could buy repair kits, but I doubt that's still an option. Not really a huge issue... just wont have as much manouvreablility.

Mac OS 10.4 is a fine Mac OS... If the iMac is running something less, then you should be able to find it on eBay as suggested. Make sure you buy a black labelled disk though - they are the Universal disks. Otherwise it may not work on your model.

The optical drive might be dead by now... depending on usage... etc. If so, you'll have to do some digging to get inside and swap it. I've avoided it myself (on my parents iMac), but you could just get an external burner if need be...

As to what you're missing not having Leopard... (which, btw, you could "force" onto the iMac if you had another Mac around, but you'd probably regret it due to speed restraints) Time Machine, a flatter looking Dock, Stacks... Mac OS X Leopard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X_Leopard)

I just fixed my sister-in-law's iMac G4 at Christmas after about a year sitting in my father-in-law's cupboard. She's moved on, so I was trying to get him interested, but he's not looking like budging from his PC.

bombora
15th January 2010, 08:25 PM
Gotta jump on the iMac G4 bandwagon of love. Insanely great machines, just in terms of design. Nothing else like them, before or since. I don't mind the current iteration of the iMac line, but nothing beats the manoeuvrability you got with a iMac G4 screen; it was kind of incredible. Bear in mind too that flat screens were pretty rare back when the G4s were released, so that in itself was a big deal.

Can you tell I'm a bit jealous? Enjoy, you should have fun with it.

~Coxy
18th January 2010, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the info, so everything else being equal (all working ok etc) where would I obtain a later version of the OS and does it just install from the optical drive?

Well first, find out what type of drive is in it. If it's a CD-RW then you'll need to find a CD based version of 10.4, which originally came on DVD. Alternately, you could use a Firewire external DVD drive to install the OS off.

Mychael
18th January 2010, 04:09 PM
Well first, find out what type of drive is in it. If it's a CD-RW then you'll need to find a CD based version of 10.4, which originally came on DVD. Alternately, you could use a Firewire external DVD drive to install the OS off.

Optical drive is CD R/W DVD read. I've since obtained a full install version from a make mate of mine, did a complete clean/install and all good. Running 10.4.11.

Only curious thing is that although now it's had a clean install with any old stuff removed it boots up a bit slower, I'm wondering if there had been some sort of tweak on it before which allowed fast boot.