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  1. #1
    Clueless With iMac G3
    Unit134679's Avatar
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    Question Clueless With iMac G3
    I just bought a used iMac G3 (tray loading) for $50. I have never used Mac OS 8.6 and I have no idea what I can do with it.

    I have it hooked up to the internet but most websites don't work (yay). I don't think I can update anything, or install anything new.

    So my question, to a new user of OS 8.6 is, what can I do with my computer? Besides download and play DinoPark Tycoon?

  2. #2
    Clueless With iMac G3
    Mama Luigi's Avatar
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    Other than playing old games there's not much use for that old computer.

    If you want to ever use a browser with it, though, try getting iCab.

  3. #3
    Clueless With iMac G3
    Chimpur's Avatar
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    Jan 18, 2007
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    I'd recommend updating to os 9.22. i intend on using mine as a sort of media server that will be wired to a router and have an external HD attached. Also if your willing to spend a bit I'd update the ram. What colour is your iMac? What speed is the processor?

  4. #4
    Clueless With iMac G3
    ADKhikerVW's Avatar
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    It seems like a lot of people have been buying these old computers and seem to want to use them like a modern machine.

    Unfortunately, like I just said in another thread, the old color iMacs are useless nowadays. No amount of upgrading or updating will ever yield a useful machine out of it. They are just too old, too slow, and don't support any modern software. Most people can't even give them away for free anymore, since no one has a use for them. They are even too slow for a media server.

    They are great if you are a collector, or want to make an iMacquarium.

  5. #5
    Clueless With iMac G3
    hughvane's Avatar
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    Amberley, Canterbury, New Zealand
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    MacMini 8.1 & 4.1, OS 10.14 & 10.11 & 10.6; Macbook Pro 8.2, OS 10.12.
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    ADKVW is too pessimistic in my view. I spent many weeks waiting for a G3 iMac 600 (or 700) to become available. I finally got one (see my specs) and it is working a right treat. It rivals my G4 eMac for performance, except in video replay. The big thing, in my opinion, is to have an OS that suits its processor, hence Panther. I have Tiger on my G4 but this iMac runs sweetly on Panther.

    I can use broadband or dialup with this iMac, it handles most things I throw at it. I use Camino for browsing, but it also deals with FFox or Safari. Email (Eudora) as good as you like.

    Your tray loader iMac is an oldie, no question, but if, as suggested, you're willing to stay with OS 9.2, it'll serve as a working machine, no problem. And iCab is a great browser for OS 9 (I still use it occasionally with OS X).

  6. #6
    Clueless With iMac G3
    ADKhikerVW's Avatar
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    hughvane the slot loaders, especially the later 600 and 700 Mhz models, are faster machines than the older tray loaders. They have PC-100 RAM instead of PC-66, support up to 1 GB of memory instead of 512 MB, have a 16 MB video card instead of a 4 or 6 MB video card, and also benefit from a larger cache and faster system bus. If the OP were talking about a later iMac like yours, I would not be so pessimistic. However the differences between the two are enough to mean the difference between a still useful, if not cutting edge, computer and one which is just too slow to be truly useful.

  7. #7
    Clueless With iMac G3
    Avenger2SER's Avatar
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    I agree with ADKhikerVW, an early slot loader isn't viable for anything other than simple word processing and old games. The internet on an OS 8-9 machine is mostly an exercise in frustration as it's available web browsers can't do 1/4 of the things a modern browser does. Trust me on that one, I try to get online with my old Powerbook 3400c from time to time, and I'm always left with the same result.
    Macbook Air 11" 4gb, 128gb SSD (2012)
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  8. #8
    Clueless With iMac G3
    Mac SK's Avatar
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    Its all just a big money game,you guys will be kicken your G5's to the curb when the new ones come out. Now if your doing full motion video or a game pro,you need the latest stuff for shure. If your printing yard sale signs an se30 will do just fine.

    Unit134679 and hughvane come on over to
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  9. #9
    Clueless With iMac G3
    Avenger2SER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac SK View Post
    Its all just a big money game,you guys will be kicken your G5's to the curb when the new ones come out. Now if your doing full motion video or a game pro,you need the latest stuff for shure. If your printing yard sale signs an se30 will do just fine.
    Agreed, the original iMac is still useful if you stick to simple things and don't expect miracles. Definitely worth keeping as a general use machine.
    Macbook Air 11" 4gb, 128gb SSD (2012)
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  10. #10
    Clueless With iMac G3
    ADKhikerVW's Avatar
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    If you run OS 9 on it and don't bother with OS X, then simple tasks like word processing will work just fine. On my tray loader with 10.3, even textedit couldn't keep up with me typing. The font smoothing in OS X was even too much for it, and it couldn't render the fonts as quickly as I could type, which isn't all that fast.

    By the way, I don't mean to sound pessimistic and negative, I just don't want someone to sink a lot of money into such an old machine and expect a miracle. I would rather see someone invest in a newer machine which they will get better results from, even if it is just a slightly newer G4.

  11. #11
    Clueless With iMac G3
    hughvane's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion. Yes, I did compare a later iMac with a tray loader, but then went on to say that an earlier iMac would serve as a working machine. I could prattle on about people I know still using PowerMacs like the 6200, because they're happy with just doing the basics, and they aren't interested in speed, they've got all day, and s-b-a else to do.

    I couldn't work happily with a tray-loader iMac, but would do so if I had no other option. I would never try to operate anything X on a tray-loader, and I agree, spending more than minimum dollars on upgrades would be largely fruitless.

    Harking back, a little nostalgia if you will, I thought OS 8.6 was arguably, along with 7.6, maybe 9.2, amongst Apple's better efforts.

  12. #12
    Clueless With iMac G3
    Mama Luigi's Avatar
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    The way I see it, any work that can be done on an old computer like that can be done just as well (or better) on a new computer. No reason to have an old iMac for word processing when I can just type on my new computer. And my new computer writes to file types that are compatible with what everyone else has, and I can print to a printer that isn't 10 years old (good luck finding OS 9 drivers for new printers), and I can access the Internet with a normal browser that lets me go to Gmail and send files to people.

  13. #13
    Clueless With iMac G3
    ADKhikerVW's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know someone who still uses a Performa for writing nature columns in a local newspaper. It works great for word processing in OS 7.6, but of course he isn't using it for the internet or anything else. For that he has a 12" PowerBook, which handles everything else quite nicely. The Performa apparently can write to a format which is compatible with whatever the newspaper is using.

    It is cool to hear about these old machines still having a useful life, even if only with simple tasks.

  14. #14
    Clueless With iMac G3
    hughvane's Avatar
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    It hardly qualifies as an army, but there are still a lot of us who hate throwing out useful and working devices simply because they're old. My Agfa scanner and Epson printer were two glaring examples. They didn't match modern technology so they had to go. And I was not happy about it.

    And then there are some of us who can never afford new computers or other machines. Just as an example, I drive a 20-yr-old diesel vehicle, and have no interest (currently) in changing it. It works, it works well, and causes no trouble. Liken that to an old computer that does very similar ... "if it works, keep it working".

  15. #15
    Clueless With iMac G3
    Avenger2SER's Avatar
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    I can attest to that this philosophy as well, to an extent. I have an old Powerbook 3400c, and when I have time to write on Lowendmac.com, I prefer to use its 12" lcd in os 9. It's odd, but it's really nice to type on. And even though it sits in drawer 95% of the time, I can't bear to get rid of it.
    Macbook Air 11" 4gb, 128gb SSD (2012)
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