New Mac Dude

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I've recently become a new Mac user. I've been using PC's for the last 20 years and know every version of Windows inside and out. I found a blue & white G3 on ebay that was selling locally so I sent the guy an email and asked him if I could pick it up locally and I'd pay him $40 for it. He agreed and I now have a "new" Mac.

The G3 is a Rev. 1 300 MHz with 64MB RAM and 4 GB HDD and 32x CD-ROM with OS 8.6.

A lot can happen in 10 days. It now has 768MB RAM, 20GB HDD, CDRW (that boots) and OS X Jaguar. What a difference! The best part is having OS X; it is an entirely different experience than OS 8 which I'm sure you all know. Now I'm sure you're all going to tell me the true Mac experience is Tiger, but I'm not sure this poor 300MHz processor couldn't handle it all that well. I like Jaguar so far so I'll stick with it for the time being.

I do have a question or two. Before I found the CDRW that would run with it, I had the 20GB Maxtor and a slave 10GB Maxtor running slave off the CDROM. Worked beautifully. I was using the 10GB as my music and picture storage drive. When I installed the CDRW I also thought I'd try a 60GB Maxtor drive I had laying around. After getting it all hooked up and booting off the CDRW Jaguar wouldn't install on the 60GB. It would get about 15% into it then lock up. Tried 4 times to no avail. Threw the 20 and 10 back in. Now the 10 wasn't recognized. Threw the original CDROM back in and there's my 10. I'm guessing that since the CDRW isn't an Apple drive that's the reason for the recognition problem with my 10Gig drive. For now I've transferred all my music and pic files to the 20 and still have 10 Gig free, so I'll live with that for now. If I start running out of drive space the CDRW goes away. If anyone has a fix for this I'll be eternally grateful for the help.

It's kind of pathetic in a way. I have a 6 month old dual core AMD64 Gateway running Windows x64 and the Mac has sorta become my primary computer. I use it all the time now and I'm having a blast with this thing. My Brother laser printer had Mac drivers on the CD so I have it hooked up as well. I threw a 4-port USB card in it, which also had Mac drivers on the CD and last night I hooked up my old Acer scanner. I had to download Vuescan to get it to work, but that's ok too.

I've never been a PC user that slammed Mac, mainly because I'd never used one and gave it the benefit of the doubt. Now that I have one I love the damn thing. Once I'm not so cash challenged I plan on buying a newer one. I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about with Mac and now that I know, I'm a convert. I doubt I'll give up my PC's, but for the time being I'm loving my Mac.


Hudson, CO


  • Reply 1 of 15
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    If you are loving a 300 Mhz G3 with Mac OS 10.2, you'll be doing flips on the couch if you got a 2006+ Mac

    Welcome to the brotherhood!
  • Reply 2 of 15
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Accelerate your mac has a searchable data base of drives and compatibility for older macs.

    They also provide links to some firmware hacks floating around that enable formally incompatible CDRW and the like to work fine on older machines-- I installed a CDRW on my dad's old B&W G3 and downloaded the hack and all has been well ever since.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    Originally Posted by MajorMatt

    If you are loving a 300 Mhz G3 with Mac OS 10.2, you'll be doing flips on the couch if you got a 2006+ Mac

    Welcome to the brotherhood!

    And sisterhood.... how 'bout we just say, "Welcome to the 'hood".
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Thanks for the directions to Accelerate Your Mac. I've been there to find drivers for a newer CDRW that I tried (TDK) but they didn't have one. The Phillips that I stuck in here works fine, it just won't let me see a secondary hard drive if it's hooked up. No big deal; the 20Gig is fine for now.

    Yes, I'm sure I would love a new G5, but the entrance fee is just a tad high at the moment. Starting at $3,000, and I spec'd one out to $13,100. Wow! I'm sorry, but I can't bring myself to use a mini or an eMac. I like tinkering too much not to be able to throw more crap in it. Besides, I like a computer to look like a computer; I'm just "old school" that way I guess.

    My next project is to find a better graphics card for the thing. 8 MEG just seems kinda sluggish. I tried an ATI Radeon 7000 w/64 MB but it didn't like the PC part of it I guess. It wouldn't recognize it even after downloading new ATI Mac drivers. Oh well.

    Glad to be in the "hood"! Thanks for the help and advice.

  • Reply 5 of 15
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    The Rev 1 B/Ws have an ATA controller limitation of (IIRC) 8GB. When I upgraded the drive in mine, I had to get an inexpensive PCI ATA controller board - then it worked like a charm.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Originally Posted by Kickaha

    The Rev 1 B/Ws have an ATA controller limitation of (IIRC) 8GB. When I upgraded the drive in mine, I had to get an inexpensive PCI ATA controller board - then it worked like a charm.

    If I were you -- sell your PC in 4 months on eBay. Buy a new Mac in 4 months with Leopard. Four months is an arbitrary date. Leopard could be before or after. Really what I mean is, buy a new Mac when leopard comes out. And btw, you would really be surprised what a difference two OS upgrades makes in just the little details alone. The big features like spotlight, expose, dashboard, etc are very nice and extremely usefull, but they are really not even half the reason at all that I make the upgrade to the next operating system when they come out. Also bear in mind that software compatibility is one reason to keep your computer upgraded.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Don't worry, that old workhorse was just replaced as the domain server a few weeks ago.

    By a spankin' new G4 Cube! (Seriously, it's a home server - it doesn't need much.) The everyday work machine is, of course, getting upgraded to a new nice shiny MacBook Pro sometime very soon, schedule and finances permitting.

    Unless, of course, you were speaking to redranger and quoted me by accident... ain't no PCs in this house...
  • Reply 8 of 15
    Originally Posted by redranger

    I'm sorry, but I can't bring myself to use a mini or an eMac. I like tinkering too much not to be able to throw more crap in it. Besides, I like a computer to look like a computer; I'm just "old school" that way I guess.

    Macs aren't really good for tinkering. They are good for software tinkering, because OS X is unix, but there aren't commodity mac parts. The new x86 macs are better for tinkering than the old PPC macs, but they are still not computers you want to get if you're primary interesting is tinkering. You should just get a gumstix or something so that you can get "tinkering" out of your system.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    Macs give you time to tinker with "other" stuff
  • Reply 10 of 15
    OK, I'll agree tinkering with "other" stuff is fun, but tinkering with computers is what I do when I get bored with the other stuff. Counting the Mac and my laptop (Dell, sorry...) I have 13 computers in my house. Guess which one gets used the least? The laptop. I can't do anything to it, so I use it like once a month. If I want to try a different video card or a different hard drive, just pop open the case on a tower and throw it in there. I have one that has 5 operating systems on it, including Linux, just because I got bored one day and wondered if it would work. Works great.

    I did find a video card yesterday for the Mac. ATI Radeon 7k with 32MEG. Much better. So with the $20 for that, the $40 for the computer and the $45 for OS X I'm still only into this for $105. Cheap entertainment I say. lol. The fan on the graphics card is a little loud, but then that's what iTunes is for.

    I'll admit my main interest is building, repairing and upgrading, so yeah, the Mac isn't the best platform for that, but I'm having fun with it for now. Who knows, I'll probably end up giving it to my mom. I showed it to her and told how much easier and user friendly it is compared to her PC. She liked that. And all she ever does on the computer is surf the web a little, write the occasional email and play solitaire, so the G3 should do her just fine; though I'll probably snag about 1/2 the memory back out of it; PC100 is getting expensive these days.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    The extra RAM will really help speed up that old processor, at least to the user's POV. Trust me, I have the same beast.

    Yeah, good box for your mom, get the OS up to 10.4 for the goodies, and she should be set.

    To be honest, as a software geek, I get the biggest thrill from playing in the guts of OS X the way you do with the hardware, and I find that OS X is *much* more open in that respect than Windows is... but less of a pain than Linux. Go figure.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    I'm not sure 10.4 is an option. I don't have a DVD drive that will boot on it, and from what I've read on the internet the B&W won't boot off a firewire device. That's pretty much why I went with Jaguar; it's the newest one that comes on CD. But then I did have some Mac repair guy in Denver tell me that the B&W wont even run OS X, and that buying a copy of it (prior to Tiger) is piracy. I'll agree with the second part; though I don't really give a damn, the first part is obviously untrue as I'm sitting here staring at it; I see my dock sitting here to the left.

    In the 3 weeks I've had this thing I haven't had a single problem with it, even with all my drive swapping and trying graphics cards that were made for PC's. You'd think that alone would have made it throw up, but it's still chuggin' along like new. And I think I'm in lust with the case; it's a hardware guys dream come true; just open it up and everything is right there in front of you; no cutting your fingers off trying to reach something. Gateway could take a few lessons here; my new computer is so cramped for space you need tools from the space shuttle and fingers from a 4 year old to reach anything. I do have a Dell GX150 that is almost as good in that department. It cracks open on the middle like a clam and everything is accessible; but then it's a business system.

    Yeah, I haven't done much with my Linux system, and oddly enough I'm kind of lost when using a terminal window to do anything. Having grown up with DOS commands you'd think I'd be OK with it, but I don't know any of the commands so I generally stick with KDE, and even then I think installing new software is the biggest pain in the ass; Stuffit is much more usable than ARK ever thought of being. Maybe I've just gotten lazy using Windows all these year where everything just installs to where it's supposed to - no decompressing required on the part of the user.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Obviously that Mac repair guy doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Jeez. Bad enough when the PC guys are misinformed, but... oy. And no, it's not piracy to purchase an original but no longer used copy of the OS. Gawd.


    The one place you'll find an issue with that design is the optical bays. Trying to wedge the ATA cable up in there with the power cable can be... painful. I sliced my fingers on the metal tray more than once. :P But that's the only flaw in the design I can point to, so yes, it's quite nice.

    I could swear my B/W can boot off of the DVD, but it *came* with the DVD, so... I dunno. That was a funky beast, a transitional mobo and I wouldn't be surprised if it shipped with different firmware for different needs. No, seriously. Check to see if there's a firmware update for it at Apple's support site. I know I've done at least one.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    I'll agree about the Mac repair guy - he was kind of a dick anyway. I won't be checking with him anymore about anything.

    I agree about the optical bays - dangerous territory. I have my 10 Gig Maxtor running slave off the CDROM up there, so I know what you're talking about. I know that's not quite kosher, but it's working great. As for the DVD drive, the 3 I have aren't apple drives, they're salvage out of various PC's. It does recognize them and will play a movie, but they will not boot. It all has become kind of a moot point as of last night.

    Oh, the G3's still running great (I'm writing this on it), but I'm getting myself deeper into things. I bought a G4/450 AGP last night on ebay for a hundred bucks. 512 Meg RAM, 20 Gig HDD, DVD and Tiger. I guess that makes 14 of 'em in the house now. I think I'm outta control. lol. Well, actually the laptop is going; a friend/co-worker of my mom's is buying it, and her boss is going to by the aforementioned GX150. I'll be down to an even dozen. Thank God my router only has 4 ports on it and I only have 2 wireless cards or I might have to incorporate or something. LOL.

    Now I'm just bummed about this nice, "new" 32 MEG PCI graphics card I just bought. G4 is AGP and comes with 16 Meg card. Oh well, I guess mom deserves nice graphics when I give this to her.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    Originally Posted by MajorMatt

    If you are loving a 300 Mhz G3 with Mac OS 10.2, you'll be doing flips on the couch if you got a 2006+ Mac

    Quite so.
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