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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

G3 Tangerine iMac, Airports, and software


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russdwright
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I am sure this has been posted before, so don't kill me for repeating, please!

My wife and I just picked up a tangerine iMac at a garage sale for $35USD. We have it pretty much hooked up and ready to go, but have a few things we would like to do to it. Unfortunately, my experience with Macs are limited so I don't know what all to do.

First of all, the location of the iMac makes it to where running network cable is pretty much an impossibility, so we'd like to set it up to connect over the wireless aspect of our network (D-Link Wireless Router). Unfortunately, the iMac didn't come with an Airport. Would like to know which way to go and how to install an Airport onto this computer.

Secondly, the computer came with NO disks ... none. We have 9.1 on it right now, but I am willing to upgrade if the system can handle it. Also, I am wondering how far I can truly upgrade this thing (HW and SW)

I don't have any of the specs on iMac right in front of me (@ work), but I do know it has 256MB RAM. I will get more specs and post them ASAP.
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OK ... I have some information regarding my system, thanks to the System Profiler ...

Operating System: MacOS 9.1.1
Memory: 256MB (Shows as being 128MB DIMMs on each of J1/TOP and J3/BOTTOM)
Processor Info: PowerPC G3 333MHz
HDD Size: 6GB
CD-ROM Drive: Tray-Loading and states that Apple Disk Burning is Supported ... whatever that means
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Badger
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Good sites to get info on older macs: www.lowendmac.com or www.everymac.com. Low End Mac also has extensive info on upgrading these models. The early iMacs did not come with Airport capability. The only available method would be to use a USB wireless adapter that is Airport compatible. For systems, these models are capable of running OS X. I've installed 10.3 on mine and I know several other members use versions of X. You can also keep 9 and upgrade it to 9.2.2. 256 megs is enough RAM to run X. There is an issue with these models that 256 is the listed maximum but some can go to 512. Because these models typically came with small hard disks you may want to upgrade it. Low End Mac can give you the details and info on hardware upgrades and installing X.
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Padawan

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger
Good sites to get info on older macs: www.lowendmac.com or www.everymac.com. Low End Mac also has extensive info on upgrading these models. The early iMacs did not come with Airport capability. The only available method would be to use a USB wireless adapter that is Airport compatible. For systems, these models are capable of running OS X. I've installed 10.3 on mine and I know several other members use versions of X. You can also keep 9 and upgrade it to 9.2.2. 256 megs is enough RAM to run X. There is an issue with these models that 256 is the listed maximum but some can go to 512. Because these models typically came with small hard disks you may want to upgrade it. Low End Mac can give you the details and info on hardware upgrades and installing X.
Good info, Badger. I should add, though, that if he has a slot-loading version, he can indeed install an AirPort card via the AirPort card adapter. He'd just need to verify which model he has. If he has the older, non-compatible model, an article at SmallDog.com confirms that a D-link wireless USB adapter will work with OS X. Panther (10.3) would be my recommendation, and if possible, I'd invest in at least 512 MB of RAM. Check out OWC for upgrades such as memory and hard drives. Great service and pricing.

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Badger
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You're running the same Rev D model I use so here are some more details: Apple lists maximum RAM as 256 (configured as you have). However many of these machines will run 512 (256 in each slot). The problem is that there is no way to tell ahead of time whether a specific machine will use the 256 modules. If you decide to upgrade make sure that the dealer will let you return the RAM if it doesn't work. 256 is good for OS 9 but only adequate for X. You can find older system disks at OWC mentioned above or eBay. Get the disks for this model or the full commercial version; disks for later models will not install or upgrade earlier models. You can update OS 9 to 9.2.2; you can also install X in any version UP TO Panther (10.3x). Tiger will not install without built-in Firewire. A 6 gb hard drive will feel really small if you want to install any version of X. Because it uses a standard ATA HD it is easy to find replacements. The challenge is opening the case. This site has great details for doing the RAM and HD changes: http://www.djonmac.com/index.html.
These machines are very durable and there are many upgrades to extend its usefulness. I've done the RAM, HD, CD-RW and a G4 CPU.
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russdwright
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My big question is cost ... how much will it cost to upgrade the RAM, CD-ROM, and CPU? I have a HDD I will put in once I get a new HDD for my PC.
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Badger
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RAM $$$ floats with the market; here a 256 module can run anywhere from $75 to $125 CD (roughly $60 to $100 US); the CD-RW is about $180 US (www.mcetech.com); the G4 CPU was about $240 US. In other words, you can end up spending about as much for the upgrades as you would for a new eMac. You can cut your costs if you can find the hardware used, such as on eBay or one of the remarketers.
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russdwright
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I may end up just concentrating on upgrading the HDD (go to 15 or 20GB, which I have one of each) and then go ahead and find/install 9.2.2. If Jaguar or Panther can run on the computer with the config as is, then I will install it instead ...
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Padawan

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russdwright
I may end up just concentrating on upgrading the HDD (go to 15 or 20GB, which I have one of each) and then go ahead and find/install 9.2.2. If Jaguar or Panther can run on the computer with the config as is, then I will install it instead ...
Panther will run on the machine as-is, but it would be much happier with at least a bit more RAM. You can find a 256 MB stick at OWC for $38, which would give you a total of 384 MB (since once of the current 128 MB sticks would need to come out in order to install the new 256 MB one). Still not ideal, but every little bit will help out, especially on a machine with a slower processor such as this one. With a RAM upgrade (the more the better) and a new HDD, I think you'll be pretty happy with how the machine performs running Panther, as long as you don't have unreasonable expectations for it.

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russdwright
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I don't have major expectations ... just want to have something else to work on from time to time ... we are planning on giving it to our 5-year-old niece eventually ... likely after we get an iMac Mini
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Padawan

 
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Member Since: Jul 21, 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russdwright
I don't have major expectations ... just want to have something else to work on from time to time ... we are planning on giving it to our 5-year-old niece eventually ... likely after we get an iMac Mini
It will be a great secondary computer. I'm currently posting this from a similar machine. Mine is a 315 MHz Power Macintosh G3 All-In-One, with 768 MB of RAM and a 20 GB hard drive, running Panther. I really enjoy mine, and I'm sure your niece will like the iMac (especially since it's more colorful than my beige "tooth"). :p

~ Support the LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION -- LAF.org ~

Do you drive a Civic, Del Sol, or Integra & want more power & tighter steering feel? Click here for my inexpensive DIY Power-Steering Removal Kits.
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