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Juliet Elysa

Finally, a Mac Mini!

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HECK YES!

 

You can get a generic DVI to HDMI cable to handle all your modern monitoring needs. I like my HP VH240a which is pretty much a standard HDMI LCD monitor that complements any Power Mac G3 through early Intel Mac well. Actually I also use that monitor on my Mac Pro 2013 and even though the pixels are not "retina display" quality, it gets the job done.

 

Can't go wrong with any USB keyboard or mouse, although for Intel Macs I find that the bluetooth, battery-powered Magic Trackpads work best for all your Snow Leoparding needs and beyond. And you'll probably want a USB keyboard made for a Mac with a proper "command" key, but the Windows key works fine as a substitute command key too.

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Congratulations Juliet! You got it for a very nice price. It has an ATA drive inside it. Something for you to consider before you open it up: will a SATA SSD with an ATA-SATA fit inside? If so, then it is worthwhile upping the RAM to 1GB, putting in a DVD-burner and the SATA-SSD.

 

There may also be the option of running Mac OS 9 on this machine (although others who have actually tried this can advise you better on this).

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt2AYXMLzgY

MacOS9Lives — Forum: http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=2408.0

MacOS9Lives — Download: http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/board,62.0.html

 

As for keyboard, video & mouse, they are all USB. I haven't had any difficulties plugging USB keyboards & mice or DVI monitors into my MDD, which isn't that much older than your Mac Mini. You mightn't get access to special features without their drivers, but the basic features should all be available. BMOW`s ADB-USB Wombat will allow you to use ADB devices over a USB port: https://www.bigmessowires.com/usb-wombat/

A DVI or VGA KVM with USB might be something worth investing in, depending on the size of your hoard (or horde, if you feel as if your collection is invading you...).

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Thank you all! In the listing the previous owner said that (s)he already upgraded it to have 1GB memory (and included the original RAM, which appears to be included in the box), and the listing also says that it's a 160GB hard drive instead of the 80GB drive mentioned in the specs. If it works I'll be able to verify that all of that's true. It was a steal even without the upgrades but if they're actually there... feels like I won a big jackpot!

 

The listing also said that it was the owner's main computer for recording music, which is something I've always dreamed of doing. So I guess this was a match made in Mac collecting heaven. :D

 

Edit: This obnoxiously long link has the original listing so y'all can take a look if you want. :)

Edited by Juliet Elysa
Adding a link to the original eBay listing

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3 hours ago, Juliet Elysa said:

Thank you all! In the listing the previous owner said that (s)he already upgraded it to have 1GB memory (and included the original RAM, which appears to be included in the box), and the listing also says that it's a 160GB hard drive instead of the 80GB drive mentioned in the specs. If it works I'll be able to verify that all of that's true. It was a steal even without the upgrades but if they're actually there... feels like I won a big jackpot!

 

The listing also said that it was the owner's main computer for recording music, which is something I've always dreamed of doing. So I guess this was a match made in Mac collecting heaven. :D

 

Edit: This obnoxiously long link has the original listing so y'all can take a look if you want. :)

Be aware the G4 Mini with the Radeon 9200 has a 135Mhz pixel clock limit over the TMDS encoder for digital displays. Something to do with if the display is coherent or non-coherent.

 

I ran into this issue a few times with later 1080p TV's.

 

You just won't get any picture out of them at all if you exceed the 135Mhz pixel clock, however lowering the resolution to 720p works, and you can also monkey around with the settings in SwitchResX.

 

Unfortunately, display manufactures don't really list if a display is coherent or non-coherent, so it can be luck of the draw for higher res displays.

 

A good display we know works is I think the 23" Apple DVI LCD made and sold around the time the G4 Mini was new. Other newer higher res single link DVI displays may, or may not work.

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The HP VH240a monitor I named also paired with a Radeon 9200 in a much less powerful B&W G3. It works fine!

 

Knowing that it's a G4, the Magic Trackpad might not work, but it's expensive anyway so who cares! I just recommend USB trackballs and... any mouse that isn't the lame-o Magic Mouse. Right mouse buttons go a long way in Mac OS X

Edited by nglevin

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The Mac arrived today! I got it all set up with one of my ancient DVI HP monitors, and it turns on and has a display. But that's as far as it gets, it stops at the flashing ? folder. Which means there's a possibility that the hard drive's toast after all that time in storage. I'm assuming it's dead, but I'm thinking of trying to rescue it just to see if I can. :D Now the question is, which version of X do I want? Panther or Snow Leopard? Part of me is leaning towards Panther since that's probably what would have been included with it, but another part of me is leaning towards Snow Leopard because it's newer and has more features.

 

Also, if the hard drive is too dead to recover would y'all be able to hook me up with a replacement? I'm not sure how to measure it to see if the fancy SSD will fit.

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It's a G4 Mini, so no Snow Leopard; Leopard's the highest that it can go. I believe Tiger was actually the OS that shipped with even the earliest Minis, not Panther.

 

FWIW Snow Leopard doesn't really make much difference between itself and Leopard for nostalgic Mac OS X-ing. Most of the indie developers were swept away by the iPad before they could think to make any Snow Leopard exclusive software. Leopard also retains a number of good things for interop with classic Mac OS which were blown away by Snow Leopard anyway.

 

My preference is for Leopard, since Mac OS 9 on bare metal (which is possible on a Mini through a special build) is the only one that can do MIDI. Classic mode is a gimmick that won't help with most of the cool Mac OS 9 stuff. Leopard performs well on a G4 with a Radeon 9200, which the G4 Mini has, so it checks all boxes. I think the PPC community at large has switched to prefer Leopard over Tiger over the years between more features, more software running on it, and Time Machine is just nice to have for backups you don't need to think about. That's my piece, anyway.

 

 

The flashing folder icon might indicate that your Mac just needs to be "blessed" to run Mac OS X. You'll probably need a Mac OS X DVD to get the right tools for that, since your Mac is too old to have a Recovery partition, but most of the steps outlined in Apple's Support site are still largely relevant for getting a Mac blessed for OS X.

 

 

Can't help you out with sourcing used hard drives. The Mac Mini needs a putty knife to open to swap out the HDD, it can be done, but you have to be careful not to break the tiny bluetooth or Wi-Fi antenna cables. Upside is you can and probably eventually want to put an SSD or a faster HDD. Aside from the putty knife weirdness and those two cables it's not the worst.

Edited by nglevin
Mac OS 9 Lives linkage. Then changed it to reference the v7 CD instead of v6 in the same thread.

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One last thing to call out about Minis and Leopard (last iteration of Tiger too), since you mentioned that you wanted to make music on it.

 

Logic 8 is easier to find than Logic 5 though 7, thanks to a required USB dongle that became hotly desired among DAW fans for how it works across multiple Emagic products. And, uh, Apple shut down the servers that controlled updating those dongles, so the upgrade versions for 5 through 7 no longer work. Fortunately sanity prevailed for Logic 8 and it just uses serial numbers like most sane software of the era.

 

Logic 4 was the best Mac OS 9 version of Logic, and it worked well with a synth MIDI manager called SoundDiver 3. Logic 8 came during the era where soft synths were king, Logic 4 works great with hardware.

 

They're good places to start before you get into the really "pro" stuff (if you want to get into the really pro stuff?) like MOTU Digital Performer and Steinberg Cubase... which, uh, also have USB dongle and authentication problems of their own.

Edited by nglevin

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Thank you! Snow Leopard it is, then. I'm hoping to someday be able to get a proper recording system going with one or more of my Macs, and maybe hook my old Casio keyboard up to one of them. That's been a project in the works for years now, deciding what equipment I need is confusing. The microphone in particular has to be high quality too, since my voice is my instrument. :)

 

Hopefully I can save the hard drive that's currently installed. My hands are so shaky that I would have problems doing something as delicate as opening the case without breaking anything, though it will be easier because it's already been opened before. Still can't believe I got an updated Mini for that price, especially since it seems to be functional!

 

Edit: Is this what I'm looking for? I've never bought any OS installation discs before, so I'm not sure what to look for.

Edited by Juliet Elysa

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Excellent!

 

Just make sure you get the Leopard with space and a purple nebula on the box and not stock picture of a snow leopard dot jpeg. Only Leopard works on PowerPC, not Snow Leopard! :)

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Ah, thanks for telling me that Leopard and Snow Leopard are different things! LOL It's pretty obvious that I've lived in the realm of the classic OS forever... :lol:

 

Is this the correct one? :)

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Alright! :D It's on its way here, not too excited about the long wait but considering I was expecting to have to deal with a lot of monitor drama I really shouldn't complain (but I will anyways ;)).

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Groovy.

 

As far as replacing a hard drive goes, if it comes to that. If you're not feeling comfy about doing it, I can probably do it as a weekend or after hours distraction if you can handle shipping it to Washington state. Probably in the same packaging it came in.

 

It's not as geeky-cool as putting ESXi on the new Space Grey Mac Mini, but I don't mind putting in small labor to help the community.

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Oh, the joys of eBay! The DVD I ordered came in the mail a couple days ago, much earlier than anticipated. Today I opened it up and immediately started laughing. The seller stole the obviously fake image from mactuition, which itself looks shady. It seems like there's multiple levels of counterfeiting going on here. And of course the DVD/CD/whatever doesn't work. It loads SLOWLY then stops at the prohibitory sign. It's true that the hard drive might be bad, but I'm not going to make that call until I can get a legitimate CD or DVD.

 

Speaking of which. Does anybody know any reputable dealers of genuine OS install discs? Or if it's possible to get a refund without returning the disc? It's so funny I want to keep it as a display item.

Reality.jpg

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I can verify that this is legit because I bought from this seller; https://www.ebay.com/itm/APPLE-MAC-OS-X-SERVER-LEOPARD-10-5-Maintenance-Unlimited-Client/263670725629

 

It's Leopard Server, which is largely the same as normal Leopard with some bits that you can ignore and no annoying first boot video of you flying through space with music as you narrowly avoid awesome 3D text welcoming you in many languages to Mac OS X.

 

As a bonus, Apple will let you use Leopard Server in VMware Fusion or Parallels if you want Leopard minus sound and GPU support running under a virtual machine in more recent macOS/Mac OS X. I still use this for old Adobe apps and it's pretty awesome.

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Interesting. eBay showed me that there were "more then 10 available" while I was logged in. Now that I have logged out, it says that the listing has ended.

 

...>:(

 

Wondering if eBay has been practicing the dark arts of scummy "social" dark patterns. That whole thing feels not right.

Edited by nglevin
speak English better

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I have a genuine Leopard DVD?

 

PM me about it if you want?

 

c

Edited by CC_333
publicly offering to copy my Leopard DVD is probably a bad idea

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On 10/28/2018 at 1:52 PM, DarthNvader said:

Be aware the G4 Mini with the Radeon 9200 has a 135Mhz pixel clock limit over the TMDS encoder for digital displays. Something to do with if the display is coherent or non-coherent.

 

I ran into this issue a few times with later 1080p TV's.

 

You just won't get any picture out of them at all if you exceed the 135Mhz pixel clock, however lowering the resolution to 720p works, and you can also monkey around with the settings in SwitchResX.

 

Unfortunately, display manufactures don't really list if a display is coherent or non-coherent, so it can be luck of the draw for higher res displays.

 

A good display we know works is I think the 23" Apple DVI LCD made and sold around the time the G4 Mini was new. Other newer higher res single link DVI displays may, or may not work.

This was the first I’d read about this and I’ve had the very issue you describe with my G4 1.25GHz Mini. On one 1080p monitor, it works fine, but when set to 1080p plugged into my 4K monitor, there’s no image. I have to VNC in, remotely change the settings to something (anything) lower than 1080p and then I’m back in business. Thanks for explaining this issue and ending my frustration at the mystery.

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Hi all! Sorry about the lack of updates. My back is going bad again, making it very difficult to sit in a chair to use the Mini the way it's set up. A few weeks ago I bought a legit DVD from a fellow forum member (thank you again! :)), and yesterday I finally was able to sit long enough to test it. It took the Mac two or three minutes to get to the point where it would look for a startup disc, which took an additional 30 seconds or so of the ? folder flashing before it recognized the DVD. It went to the Apple logo screen and displayed the spinning loading symbol thing (it's late and words are failing me :D), where it sat for another minute before... a prohibitory sign! Rejected! That's roughly what I was expecting to happen considering that there have been no hard drive sounds, but I was hoping I'd at least get a proper Welcome screen or something more exciting.

 

This is leading me to suspect a complete hard drive failure, though stiction issues are still in the realm of possibility. Any other thoughts or suggestions? Also, how do you get the Mac to eject a valid startup disc instead of trying to boot from it? I used to know this but it's escaped me... :lol:

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I wonder... if the drive has failed, I may have a spare you can have, if you want it? I can even put Leopard on it for you!

 

I don't see how a bad hard drive would prevent Mac OS X from booting from a DVD, though.

 

If you have another Mac with Firewire (anything will do, but a late G3 or G4 running Tiger or Leopard would be best), try booting it to target disk mode and see what happens? I'm not sure if this was already suggested or not...

 

c

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I am a little suspicious that something else might be foul if you can't boot into the DVD, either.

 

You might have to hold down the "C" key on the keyboard while starting it up to boot from a CD or DVD. IIRC the hard drive always has priority over the CD/DVD unless you do that. That might just work.

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