Jump to content
boitoy1996

Thinking about a Beige G3 - Questions

Recommended Posts

I am looking for a Beige G3.  I want one really badly and I want to put the following in it:

SCSI DVD-RAM Drive

ZIP 250 Drive

Mac OS 9 Compatible USB Card

SCSI Card and 73 GB SCSI Hard Drive

 

I need to first start with getting the machine, I have all the other components laying around but the machine I need to obtain.  I am specifically want a beige G3 becuase its the last machine you can run OS 9 on that also has a motorized-eject internal floppy drive.  I plan to run OS 9 on this computer and use it for various multimedia things and for E-Mail using microsoft Entourage 2001 and my Comcast email account (comcast doesnt enforce any sort of encryption.).  Its going to be my daily machine for things non-internet / non-Plex related.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still recommend caution on moving forward with a lot of new hardware.

 

Beige G3s are really nice machines. They originally shipped with Zip100 drives, so that's what the bezels will match. I don't know if there is any difference in the dimensions of the 250 drives, although you can get a USB one and sidestep that issue.

 

Depending on what stuff you're doing, I might just not put Zip in it at all. If you get AppleTalk networking running via either local or ether (or both, with a bridge) networking, then there's generally no need for external media that can be used to transfer with your older machines.

 

Transmit is a pretty good FTP client (there is also one built into Finder in Mac OS 9, if I remember correctly, but I'd have to go look) for moving stuff back and forth between modern machines, if you don't end up with a netatalk server on something that also has samba.

 

The other thing I would perhaps consider is a SATA card (instead of the SCSI card), then you can use basically any modern disk up to 2TB (I believe, with Mac OS 8.0 and newer, although it's better when you have HFS+) or an SSD. Average day-to-day running speed is unlikely to differ much between an old 73 gig disk and any SATA drive. Mac OS 9 is, on its own, not very heavy on disks. Though, if you're planning on using a file server for your data, perhaps a good internal disk hooked up to the onboard SCSI or IDE bus will be sufficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cory, are you sure I can use a modern SATA disk in a Beige G3 with a SATA card?  Do they make Sata cards that support open firmware?  Also, I wanna beige g3 then I'll give new HW a rest.  I just really really want a beige G3.  Please?

Edited by boitoy1996

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, it's your money, this is just my recommendation based on the fact that you already have an 040, 603, G3, and G4, with various possible software configurations. The 6200, iMac, and Power Macintosh G4 will actually all do what you mentioned, albeit perhaps at different speeds, especially talking about Office 2001 on what will likely need to be OS 9.1 or newer. (6200 won't run 9.2.)

 

You've said over and over that you're on a strict budget and that cash flow is a problem for you. One way to help this problem is delay the gratification of this particular desire for a little while - if you think that's something you need to do.

 

But, yes. There are SATA cards that are supported on beige PCI Macs. Defor had some for sale, although there's some other threads that have information about what to look for in terms of off-the-shelf compatible cards, or cards that can be flashed with a mac compatible firmware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick administrative comment to the OP: I see you've also opened a Trading Post thread asking for a Beige G3. While it might make a certain amount of sense to have your "classified ad" running separately from an information gathering thread I think for the most part people on this board are used to having conversations in the for sale thread (whether that's "good" or not is another question), and also the title of this thread makes it just look like a duplicate. (Also, you don't appear to be explicitly asking any questions about your potential purchase in the first post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Gorgonops said:

Just a quick administrative comment to the OP: I see you've also opened a Trading Post thread asking for a Beige G3. While it might make a certain amount of sense to have your "classified ad" running separately from an information gathering thread I think for the most part people on this board are used to having conversations in the for sale thread (whether that's "good" or not is another question), and also the title of this thread makes it just look like a duplicate. (Also, you don't appear to be explicitly asking any questions about your potential purchase in the first post.

You make a good point.  I'm sorry.  I meant no harm...  but please... can you PLEASE tell me where you got that avatar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since there's already a discussion going on, and merging sometimes causes more trouble than it's worth, it may be worth dropping a link from the trading post thread to this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zip 250s are identical to 100s in form factor, even 750s work in earlier bezels.

 

If you have Zip on a lower level bridge machine, you don't need FDD on an OS9 daily driver. Beige G3 is pretty low end for that, IMO. ADB and Zip 250 on a B&W G3 seems a better break point if you're going to merge bridge machine with daily driver. Giving up ADB opens up the G4 series. Use that for the daily driver and something BG3ish or less for bridging only. Where to cut the cord to traditional peripherals is better done in more than one step to my way of thinking.

 

That Beige G3 era was awfully  .  .  .  beige. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, boitoy1996 said:

but please... can you PLEASE tell me where you got that avatar?

I drew it. It is of course a generic Gorgonopsid, the Fido of the late Paleozoic era.

gorgapdog.jpg.5a362f8593ac2e72de32af285200440a.jpg

(Old drawing was on real paper, abomination above is me just starting to learn how to use Krita on the off-brand Cintiq clone I got for Xmas.)
 

1 hour ago, Cory5412 said:

Since there's already a discussion going on, and merging sometimes causes more trouble than it's worth, it may be worth dropping a link from the trading post thread to this one.

I changed the title of this thread to make more clear it's a "digging for information/comments" thing than a duplicate of the for-sale posting. Backlinks between them may well be appropriate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gone ahead and done the deed and added the link.

 

Just to add here, if we're talking about bridging, it might be worth thinking about how far back @boitoy1996 wants to go with his collection.

 

Another thread (to which I don't have a link handy at the moment) specifies that the desired collection consists of an SE/30, 840-or-950, and the Beige G3. The SE/30 and any Quadra are new enough that you can reasonably use LocalTalk to connect them with an OS9 machine (or old enough OS X machine) via pure LocalTalk or a LocalTalk to Ethertalk bridge. Quadras have Ethernet onboard, simplifying the process even further, and there are also both SCSI and PDS/NuBus Ethernet adapters for the SE/30, so it's possible to simplify this to a network access boot disk suitable for each the SE/30 and the Quadra, without having to use any other removable storage whatsoever. You could use a Floppy Emu for this task if you needed to, but I don't think the level of use described so far merits it, in particular.

 

Honestly, for the SE/30 (which will have a 1.4m SuperDisk drive) and the Quadra, you don't even need an Apple internal floppy diskette drive. Those machines wil interface just fine with floppies written on USB drives with Mac OS 9 and X.

 

If you were to get into older compacts where 400 and 800k diskettes are needed, then it becomes important to use something beige-or-older to bridge with for floppy diskette drive reasons.

 

Although it sounds like in this case, the desire to have an internal diskette drive is more aesthetic than anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like having a lot of drives. A simple computer is a boring computer.  I have a vintage PC with both kinds of floppy, scsi CDRW, SCSI DVD ram, SCSI zip 250, jazz 2gb, ditto, iomega rev, all on an overclocked Pentium 2 450 at 600mhz, 768 mb ram, 36gb SCSI hard drive running dos 6.2 and windows 3.11 with all hardware fully supported. I got sound and 32 bit color at 1024x768.

 

Point is, I want the same in a Mac config.  A beige get satisfies that. Especially that floppy eject mechanism

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah! Now I understand your choice of a spinning 73GB (Savvio SCA Server Drive & PCI Card?) SCSI hard drive. The sound of seeker heads and spinning steel are part of the experience for me as well, not to mention the satisfying "Shunk/THUNK" injection/ejection cycle of a musical Zip Drive.

 

Aural aesthetics are a significant portion of my Retrocomputing pleasure. The weirdest thing I ever failed to hear was the bootup process of my new PartsBook100 from its AztecMonster. :mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Aural aesthetics are a significant portion of my Retrocomputing pleasure.

I can mostly do without old whiny hard drives myself, but I really love the sound of a 5 1/4" floppy. My relatively-recently acquired Apple IIc rocketed up close to the top of my list of favorite computers because it's so conveniently tiny it almost seems modern yet it makes all the good Apple II sounds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's almost too bad, I'm looking forward to the day someone shoehorn's SSD and rPi or the like into that 5 1/4"expansion bay to make a Laser 128 or IIc a modern web browser on the side. :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beige G3... my all time favorite classic Mac.  If I were to build another one from scratch, I would do these upgrades in this order:

 

768MB RAM upgrade

USB card

Rev B/C ROM to allow master/slave IDE drives

Large IDE hard drive (80+ GB is fine)

DVD-RW

10/100 ethernet card

400+MHz CPU upgrade from B&W G3 or Yikes G4 or faster aftermarket CPU (hard to find now.)

4MB onboard VRAM upgrade

Radeon 7000 or 9200 video card

Wings AV card

Zip drive

 

I'd dump SCSI drives altogether.  Waste of time if you can use IDE or SATA, if you ask me.  This stuff ^ will get you a really killer OS9 machine and 90% of those upgrades are still very cheap and easy to find.  Running OS X is possible but in my experience, way more trouble than it's worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SCSI was superior to IDE and SATA in every way.  SCSI can support multple devices sata only 1 device per cable.  Plus, if you look back, SCSI devices without question were built to a higher quality standard.  You didn't see $35 scsi cd burners because people who invested in scsi wanted the quality that comes with it.  They wanted gear driven motorized trays, high quality lasers in their burners, multiple front panel lights on a CDRW drive to indicate the current function it was performing, and a heavy metal enclosure to encapsulate it.  AAAAAAH Scsi.  if ever there were a "rich man's" interface that held bragging rights, it was SCSI.  A Dual PIII 1.4 GHz, Watercooled with 2 GB PC133 SD-RAM, 3 73GB SCSI Drives in RAID-5, A SCSI Plextor CD-RW and a SCSI DVD-ROM.  Top it all off with a GeForce 4 Ti 4600 and a nice fresh install of Windows 2000 Professional

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You didn't see $35 SCSI CD burners because SCSI had been dead for years by the time it was practical to build CD burners for any less than a few hundred dollars.

 

The SCSI CD drives in SGI O2s famously fail of broken plastic bits well before those hit twenty years old, and Apple's own SCSI CD drives are far from failure free, all things considered. Equipment ages.

 

To make everything worse, SCSI stuff is often implemented wrong or poorly in Mac hardware, which itself stuck with slower versions of SCSI than strictly necessary for longer than they had to, although Apple was never really a workstation vendor (until after the Intel switch anyway) and SCSI didn't really make the most sense for the hardware they were actually building.

 

IDE on the beige g3 isn't great, but if you're adding a card, there's no good reason for it not to be a SATA card, if you want a fast disk, although a lot of it depends on what you can find.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh! Yep. ;)

 

You've gotta admit it here. That SCSI is better, bigger and faster and higher quality mantra from back in the Mac/WinTel fanboy war days was misguided transference of the benefits SCSI had for high end Workstations where it was properly implemented to the underserving Mac. We've since seen that SCSI performance on the Mac was pathetic in comparison. For the IDE changeover Macs there was no performance or quality hit demonstrable. Such existed only in the blindered minds of reviewers and critics. Parity of performance was met at the start, even if IDE implementation in the Mac was worse than SCSI had been done originally.

 

edit: SCSI itself is still cool as hell though! Has anyone compared throughput on Mac Plus SCSI to 8-bit ISA from around that period?

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
the usual

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

regardless, I want what I want because it makes me feel a certain way.  A highly decked out Beige G3 with a 15K RPM SCSI drive, Wings Card, FireWire Card, USB Card and SG-RAM upgrade to the onboard video, Zip drive, and DVD Burner would make me feel like a godess.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perchance to dream  .  .  .  retro toys are all about chasing those feelings.

 

The Miata remains the most reliable, best performing, longest running, highest production classic roadster of all time  .  .  .

 

.  .  .  but it ain't no MG Midget or the E-Type of my dreams. s-i-g-h-! [8)]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really doesn't help that something like their top end system, the 9600, only used a fast SCSI 2 interface, not even the wide SCSI 2 or better yet SCSI 3. 10 MB/s was the theoretical max transfer rate, which compared to ATA-66 was about the same. Had they went ahead and used SCSI-3 on the 8600 and 9600 it'd have been a far better love story. iirc the Beige G3 again was only SCSI 2, I don't have one to experiment with though.

 

If you really want SCSI in a G3, pick up something like a Powerdomain 29160 or an ATTO UL3D SCSI card. Not only are they bootable, they blow the doors off the pathetic excuse of onboard SCSI in the PCI macs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both of my G3s came with PCI SCSI cards and 4GB 68 pin drives.  First thing I did was dump that ridiculous trash.  I might have saved one of the cards, but regardless, myself and many others were sitting on a mountain of relatively large and mostly free IDE hard drives that were pulled from PCs.  Why would you NOT use better parts?  I have never seen any performance hit by going with IDE drives - the only limiting factor in data transfer on a beige G3 is the stupid 10Mb/sec onboard ethernet.  Ironically, both of my G3's also came with 10/100 ethernet cards... go figure, server model thing.

 

You have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose by not using a SCSI card in a G3.  The free PCI slot in itself is worth it, put something useful in it!  You only have three afterall.  

 

Not to mention that you STILL have onboard 50 pin SCSI no matter what and although it is slow, you could use a 50 pin to whatever adapter if you just simply must have SCSI devices.  But I've been playing with these things for almost 20 years now and I still don't see the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×