Hello from a G4 (Ab)user

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Hi all,

I've just managed to blag a Power Mac G4 400 tower for the princely sum of £0! Mind you it didn't come with a mouse or keyboard (using my current PC stuff until I can get Apple replacements)

I've managed to find a couple of 128Mb sticks of RAM kicking around in my spares box(es) to boost my system to the heady heights of 320Mb! (brings back old memories)

I am running OSX 10.3.9 and everything seems OK. I have noticed that Safari crashes every so often and seems unable to install iTunes (too new a version?)

I would like to max out the RAM (2Gb?) install a newer version of OSX (10.4+?) change the CDRW to a DVDRW, change (add?) a 500Gb HDD and upgrade the AGP graphics card (not sure 8800?) I would also consider one day changing to a dual processor set-up. I need to do a lot of research!

Anyway enough of my ramblings for now and I hope to be able to participate more once I've got my 'Apple' head firmly attached.
 

pigoo3

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I would like to max out the RAM (2Gb?) install a newer version of OSX (10.4+?) change the CDRW to a DVDRW, change (add?) a 500Gb HDD and upgrade the AGP graphics card (not sure 8800?) I would also consider one day changing to a dual processor set-up. I need to do a lot of research!

Congrats on getting the Powermac G4 for free!:)

Regarding the upgrades you would like to do...well all I can say is...good luck! All those upgrades are going to cost you a TON of money. I'm talking so sky-high...that I'm afraid to even estimate what it would add up to!!!

For the same $$$/£££ spent on upgrades...you could purchase a MUCH newer & MUCH more capable Mac.

- Nick
 
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For the same $$$/£££ spent on upgrades...you could purchase a MUCH newer & MUCH more capable Mac.

- Nick

Cheers

Free is the best price ever!

Yeah I've just been looking on FleaBay and can't believe some of the prices! I can get DDR3 cheaper than PC100 stuff! Might have to try my brother for that!

I do have a spare DVDRW that I might just try and swap to see what happens - nothing ventured nothing gained.

I've also discovered that it's fitted with a Zip drive (just thought it was a floppy!) so on the look out for disks (I guess they are 100Mb size? How can I tell?)

Learning is fun!
 

pigoo3

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Yeah...the more free stuff you can get the better. But if you had to buy everything...YIKES!!!;)

Good luck,

- Nick
 
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LOL. I have a pair of G4 towers, and about 30 100MB zip drives. I outfitted em both with 1.5Gb (512 x3) and they are running cheap DVD-RW drives, and are outfitted with a pair of 40GB drives each. Finally they both have a USB2.0 card with an 8GB PNY flash drive attached to the internal USB port. I couldn't find any aircards, so they are running airlink nano receivers. As for software, They are running Leopard, iLife 09 & Adobe CS3.

Most of the stuff I got from thrift stores, but fortunately, the local thrift store allows me to open a machine before purchasing it (Thats how I get all my PC100/133 ram)

Enjoy your tower, they are fun to play with.
15973d1318218009-official-setup-thread-lower800x600.png
 
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Hi Pete, noted you are in the UK - I'm sure I have some RAM that will fit your Mac, possibly only a couple of 512mb modules.
Let me look later when I get home from work and I'll let you know.
If that's the case you can have them for free if it helps.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 
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Congrats on getting the Powermac G4 for free!:)

Regarding the upgrades you would like to do...well all I can say is...good luck! All those upgrades are going to cost you a TON of money. I'm talking so sky-high...that I'm afraid to even estimate what it would add up to!!!

For the same $$$/£££ spent on upgrades...you could purchase a MUCH newer & MUCH more capable Mac.

- Nick

Totally agree here. My G4 AGP Graphics model was a fun project but when I was all done with the upgrades I did, it cost about as much as a newer Mac Mini and still isn't as fast. 10.4.11 is the latest version compatable with your Mac and it will never run the latest versions of the following due to the fact that PPC support has been dropped:

Adobe Flash
Safari
iTunes (Which means no way to sync your iOS device(s) if you have them)
iCloud
MS Office
iWork
iLife

If you can get upgrades for free, then it is a fun project. If they aren't free, look into a Mac Mini (Core 2 Duo at least) instead as you will be much happier with it in the long run.
 
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I'm really sorry to give you false hopes, but I've just checked and I have no pc100 or pc133 RAM.
I was having a stupid moment and thinking of my eMac, which is a G4, but takes 333mhz memory rather than 133.
Good luck in your upgrade path, there's plenty of people around here willing to help.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 
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Thanks guys, I've been looking again on fleabay and like a couple of Intel G5 models so watch this space........

My first DVDRW (Richoh MP5125A) replacement didn't work (the light stayed on all the time) so now trying MKII version, fingers crossed!

Discovered that the graphics card is a Radeon 9800 256Mb so it had more ram than the machine! Is there anything better that will work?

Other experiment I'm about to try is a different (larger) HDD - are there any limits on size?

Will keep you posted

Starting to get into the Mac mode..... :D

EDIT: Just found a 120GB HDD in cupboard so gonna try that first....
 
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Got problems so gonna have to start a new thread else I think!
 
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Well a G5 is not an Intel machine. The tower Intel models are Mac Pros and are a huge jump from your G4. Be aware the memory you put in the G4 may well be PC memory, which is high density and may cause booting problems or kernel panic attacks where you get a message to restart in several languages.

Mac require low density modules. Also 128GB will be the max the machine will recognize without spending big bucks on PCI cards etc. Do not get caught in the updating frenzy as Nick cautions. At the end of the day your G4, now an 10-11 year old machine, is still going to be worth what you paid for it.
 
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Sorry my mistake I meant Mac Pro (still gonna watch bidding tho' !) I understand what you're saying about upgrade prices etc... but cheap is good, free is even better! I found a 120GB drive which it sees but won't install to - started a new thread on that called G4 (Ab)user II..
 
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When you put the drive in, it is then necessary to boot from a system install disc and format the drive. Hard drives formatted for a PC will not accept an operating system. Go a system disc? Pop it in, reboot and hold down 'C' immediately after the chime, go to Utilities in the menu bar, select Disk Utility, erase and select Mac OS Extended (Journalled) and then back to Installer and proceed.

This works if the optical drive is a goer, of course!
 
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Thanks harryb, DVD is a goer and all systems (seem) to go....
 
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Discovered that the graphics card is a Radeon 9800 256Mb so it had more ram than the machine! Is there anything better that will work?

Other experiment I'm about to try is a different (larger) HDD - are there any limits on size?

So the video card you have there is just about the top card that will work in that system. They only have a 2x AGP slot and when the Radeon 9800 card came out 8x was the standard so I wouldn't waste your time trying to find a better one than that.

Since the system uses PATA, 128GB is the largest HDD you can install without installing a 3rd party SATA controller (Which I did on mine).

Power Macintosh G4 450 (AGP) Specs (Power Mac G4 - AGP, M7232LL/A*, PowerMac3,1, M5183, 1843) @ EveryMac.com
 
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Thanks for all the info guys.....

To finish this topic off I've successfully managed to change the CDRW to a DVDRW and upgrade the HDD to 120GB. I obtained an Apple keyboard and upgraded OSX to 10.4.11. Upgrading OSX also seemed to sort Safari crashing all the time! Now running both Safari and Firefox. I'm just looking for a bit more Ram and will be sorted (for now....)

Total costs involved so far, £20.00 for a working Powermac G4 400MHz, not sure I would be able to say that for any of my PC's!!

My only gripe is that I still can't use my iPhone properly with iTunes.

Could my next project be an OSX 10.5+ (re)build?

:)
 
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I have actually found a 512mb module of pc133, pm me with an address if you want to try it, but as there are no brand labels on it I can't be certain it is Mac compatible.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 
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Thanks pm sent
 
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See, this is why I keep coming back to mac-forums. In a world of quid-pro-quo, it is nice to know that some people are willing to just help out.
 

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