So I bought a mac the other day...

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for $2 at a garage sale. I was surprised that it actually worked. Its an iMac G3, you know, the coloured ones. I couldnt do much with it as it didnt come with the keyboard or mouse, and I only have a USB mouse sitting about and not a keyboard. But one is on the way.

Im not sure what processor it has, I think the 400Mhz. Its only got like128MB of ram and a small small HDD. Its slot load, so I know its not one of the earlier ones that were tray load. Buit what I really want to know is, can I get OS X on it? I know little about the OS 9.2(I think) thats on it, and was wondering if I could get OS X on there, as it would definately increase its usability for me.
 

Centauri

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Indeed you can.

I wouldn't go higher than 10.3 though. 10.3 has the advantage of offering nearly all of the technologies found in the most recent version of OS X, but it isn't anywhere near the resource hog that later versions are, especially on G3 hardware.
 

t5brick

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As long as the iMac has Firewire ports(I believe all 400MHz models did), and you upgrade the RAM, you could run 10.4 also.

The computer will not be very fast, but you could run most of the currently available software.
 

Eva_Unit_0

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you are going to need ram++ though, I don't even want to imagine OSX on 128mb of ram. Honestly a mac like that makes a much better linux or bsd box.
 
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I'd probably at the very least add more RAM, and it would be helpful to know the size hard drive, as OS X does use up a pretty good amount of space. I definitely wouldn't put anything higher than 10.3 on it, 104 is somewhat of a resource hog.
 

Serpico

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I'll jump in with everyone else here. OS X on anything less than 1GB RAM is pretty much unusable. You'll want to beef that up ASAP.
 

pxc

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you are going to need ram++ though, I don't even want to imagine OSX on 128mb of ram. Honestly a mac like that makes a much better linux or bsd box.
I have on a G3. It's bad, but not completely unusable. The slow 6GB hard drives in that era are what makes it more painful, if someone chooses to install OS X on it.
----

Serpico,
OS X 10.3/4 runs fine on 1/2 that memory. Not everyone runs Photoshop.
 
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Im not really looking to do a whole lot with the computer, as I do realise how old it really is. I just wanted it to be a little more usable, simply because it does work.

Im really only looking to use it to browse the internet. I was kinda thinking out in the garage, so I dont have to come all the way inside all the time when working on a car.

Lets be real on the ram too. I doubt this thing is going to be able to handle 1GB. I can see 512MB though. Also, is there any way to change out the hard drive?
 

Serpico

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Serpico,
OS X 10.3/4 runs fine on 1/2 that memory. Not everyone runs Photoshop.

I'm not talking about intensive programs, I'm talking about the basic desktop itself. I have seen that the desktop in OS X is much more responsive with 1GB compared to 512MB. The difference between 2GB and 1GB is much less pronounced except in the Photoshop situation like you described, but for most usage 1GB is a really good place to be.

OS X manages a lot in RAM instead of a physical page file like Windows does, so it really is helped a lot by having more physical memory. I'm glad Apple finally has 1GB as a baseline minimum on their computers. Seeing 512MB to start with on something like OS X is kind of ridiculous.
 

wankrtron

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i have done this exact thing before. upgrade the ram, the hdd, and slap os 10.3 on it. it worked out well. definitely usable for a internet browsing computer. putting the hard drive in is a little tricky, and IIRC there is a 100 or 120 gig max depending on the revision of the computer. anyway, it went well, is definitely doable, and definitely usable. i still have the copy of 10.3 that i dont use any more if you are interested in getting your hands on one.
 

Tracer21

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A reasonable IDE drive ~40GB and 256 to 512MB of Ram will run Tiger decently, although the G3 400 Mhz won't like to do much of anything.

Tracer
 

pxc

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Seeing 512MB to start with on something like OS X is kind of ridiculous.
The old low end Mac Mini models came standard with only 256MB, which wasn't good. An upgrade to 512MB improved performance considerably. But 512MB is still fine on a low end model that is slow anyways. My neices have iMac G3s with "only" 384MB installed and it runs fine, considering the speed of the CPU (333MHz, which is not fast enough for most web Flash games).

The most memory I ever had on a G3 (my old B&W) @ 400MHz was 448MB and that ran 10.3 acceptably.
 

alexfort93

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I have a Powerbook G4 400MHz with 786MB or around there, running 10.4.11 fine, a bit slow at times, but it can work. I'd just go down to 10.3 if you want it to go faster.
 
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