iMac G3 Adventures!

So you’ll never believe it, but someone just threw away a perfectly good working iMac! Yes it was old, a measly 600Mz PPC Processor, but man it had a nice 120GB hard drive and 512 RAM! So why would someone just throw this away? Well, like most PC users, Mac people just want their computer to do stuff, like you-tube, games, writing and video, and when it doesn’t do that anymore the way it’s supposed to, then it’s trash. Unfortantly it’s not the poor computer’s fault, it’s the rest of the world’s, see as we grow up and older so does the internet and programs get better and require more powerful computers. Well for a Mac it’s no exection and sometimes you can reach an updating limit.

This machine was running OS 10.3.9 Panther with all the updates. I replaced Safari with an old verison of mozilla and added some old games, but when i tried to play videos, man that things was slow, and i don’t mean from Youtube, but from my home server it connected and all, but the videos played terribly in Quick-time if at all.(VLC would not work right, yes i tried older VLC player) So i decided to upgrade it to the latest Debian Squeeze 6.0. But one problem. At frist i tried to put Ubuntu, but the cd drive wasn’t working, i bought one from Ebay, it came in a week. Here’s how to install a new cd drive, ps it was slo-drive.

I wish i would have taken pictures but i was in a hurry to install linux, so i’ll try to eleaborate. opened the case by unscrwering the 4 screws on the botton and opening it like a clamshell. There are 6 screw on a metal grill that covers just about everything, remove that. Now you can see the hard drive and CD drive in a slot tray thing. That tray thing is held by four screws on there, remove the screws with a magnetic tip screwdriver and try not to brush them off. Once that is over unplug cables connected to HD drive and CD Drive and pull out. Ohh yeah get that RAM out of the way too. OK so now replacing that cd drive just became out ten times easier. When done replacing do everything else in reverse. There are better guides on how to do this, I just want to explain what i did. Easy to figure out though.

So after CD drive was replaced, i burnt 10.04 Ubuntu. (10.10 Ubuntu is too big to fit on CD lol) press C key on soon as it starts and it boots to the cd, silly macs. OK now normally when it boots, it blanks out, at least on the G3 series due to a very fine refresh rate on the picky monitors, for you to see at least something, you need to boot the cd with “video=ofonly” it states so on the cd. It works ad you can install. when you are done installing, about 1 or 2 hours. yes it takes this long. You reboot into your new system, but you may not see anything, or have a really bad color quality. I inserted this xorg.conf in the /etc/X11 folder and it booted up fine the next time. I think it was this one that worked for me, if not, find another and your image quality should improve. But wait, didn’t i say i installed Debian? Yes, i just wanted to see how ubuntu ran on this thing. Ok debian was the same method, except i needed to to that through the terminal since the gui wouldn’t start up no matter what.

So now that it’s all installed and updated. The Debian ran fin on the system, a bit slow, understandable since it’s using the full blown gnome dektop and it’s funny how the GIMP behaves under a PPC computer, there’s like a funny lag in the drawing tools. Videos played better, though not by much. But at least it’s got a full up to date OS on there, and Openoffice and some board games. It also plays music allright. So what did we learn?

Just becasue a computer is old, doesn’t mean it’s garbage, recycle.

This is my brother (asked to be hidden) working on an important document. on the right is my laptop, also salvaged and rescued by GNU/Linux and down there you may catch two old printers, the big one makes lines up and down, on it’s prints,and  the smaller one is the older HL-1440, still works, just leaves “ants” on the prints. I’m selling the big one for 5$ email me if anyone wants junk.


About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on March 28, 2011, in Computers and Internet, Linux Stuff. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Try MintPPC on your iMac. It uses the LXDE environment instead of Gnome, so it will feel noticeably more responsive than Ubuntu. Best part is, if you download the “mini.iso” and burn it to a USB flash drive/stick and boot from it (through accessing the iMac’s open firmware prompt… not hard, really), you can install the rest of the OS by downloading it with the WGET command (available on the mini.iso). The only drawback is if your ISP throttles your speed or has a data cap or some utter bullshit like that. But other than that, I think you’ll really like MintPPC. I have the same iMac as you (600mhz), but I got mine off eBay with everything already maxed out (including the RAM).

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