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LaPorta

MDD G4: $70 a good price?

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Hey guys,

 

theres a local sale for a MDD G4 with following specs:

 


Dual 867ghz, 384mb ram, cd/dvd drive

 

comes with pro keyboard/ VGA adapter. Is this a good price?

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Having had the PSUs in 2 MDDs die on me in the space of 18 months; I am not well disposed towards MDDs. If you don't mind recapping PSUs, then it mightn't be at all a bad idea.

I am still averse to it but am slowly coming around to the unhappy fact that I will have to learn how to solder, recap and use a multimeter safely.

You are, however, welcome to both of my MDDs (dual 867 and dual 1.2GHz) for the cost of shipping (albeit from Europe), but for the same money, you are at least getting one that will work, if even only for a while.

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So MDDs don’t runOS9 w/o classic? I never had one so I wasn’t sure. In fact, I never had a G4 other than my iMac.

 

Ill recap just about anything, so that wouldn’t be an issue...I appreciate the heads up!

Edited by LaPorta

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All MDDs can run native OS9. The ones with Firewire 800 ports need that custom version of OS 9.2 floating around.

 

Here's the thing with MDDs.. they're fucking loud. Like really really loud. For OS9 you're better off with a Quicksilver. For OS 10+ you're better off with a (non watercooled) G5. 

 

If you want to make it a project, and quiet it up, by all means.. but (personally) I think they're a crappy value, when almost always local G5s are within spitting distance of $70. 

 

Native OS9 stuff doesn't really benefit from the dual processors so much.. hence the Quicksilver recommendation.

 

 

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1 hour ago, NJRoadfan said:

The Firewire 800 models are mostly OS X only. The dual 867Mhz machines can run OS 9.2.2.

It'll work with the right disc.. http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,4366.0.html

 

The Firewire 800 ports gets limited to 400 speed, same with USB. 2 gets neutered down to 1.1 speeds.

 

I've tried it on my Dual 1.2 MDD, and it's fine. OS X won't allow selecting OS 9 as the boot disc.. you'll have to use the CD to do so again.. if you're dual booting.

Edited by Mikeyy00

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And for another POV, my MDD was not loud.   YMMV.    I don't use it much any more because I like having a machine that can boot back to 7.6.1 and I never developed a liking for OSX in any incarnation.

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I would personally only get an MDD as a representation of a late-ish PowerPC OS X machine. It should run 10.4 or 10.5 and most of that late PowerPC software fine.

 

In addition to Mac OS 9 not being good at controlling the fans on them, even on the ones that shipped from Apple being able to boot OS 9, the dual processors being mostly unused in Mac OS 9 (and: any software that does use the dual CPUs invariably runs better on OS X anyway) especially with the fact that the system supports more RAM than Mac OS 9 can reasonably address.

 

There are a couple reports that if you deck out a digital audio or a quicksilver/qs'02 (the three are nearly identical except for some ethernet hardware on the QS'02) and an MDD, the MDD will "feel" faster in OS 9, but I can't even get a G4/800 or a G4/1000 to feel faster in OS 9 than a 604e/300 or a G3/300 so I personally believe that to be suspect.

 

That said: if you want one, booting OS 9 could be a bonus (but I wouldn't bother) and you can't find any others or any others would involve shipping, I'd say to go for it.

 

I, personally, picked up a first-gen G5 and a first-gen Mac Pro a few months ago, mostly so I could put them away and have them on hand should I ultimately feel nostalgia for that era. For that use case, going for a G5 specifically doesn't really matter, it's just what my friend happened to be clearing out.

 

And that's the other thing - knowing what happened to the value of 68k Macs over the past fifteen years, it's probably worth getting and starting work on preservation (or at least good storage of) mid-late PowerPC systems now. Not to pretend they're currently modern, as the MacRumors PPC forum likes to do, but to have them in another five years or so when people start to have nostalgia for the early-mid 2000s.

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43 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

I would personally only get an MDD as a representation of a late-ish PowerPC OS X machine. It should run 10.4 or 10.5 and most of that late PowerPC software fine. 

For once I can agree with you on that front. I got the OS9 MDD release mainly to round out my collection of PortlyMacs. I've since given up on the B&W version as a Blueberry distraction from the Graphite to Mirror set.

 

43 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

There are a couple reports that if you deck out a digital audio or a quicksilver/qs'02 (the three are nearly identical except for some ethernet hardware on the QS'02) and an MDD, the MDD will "feel" faster in OS 9, but I can't even get a G4/800 or a G4/1000 to feel faster in OS 9 than a 604e/300 or a G3/300 so I personally believe that to be suspect.

I find your findings on that front to be suspect. Pismo/500 was far slower running Illustrator under OS9 than the QS'02/1000 with one CPU tied behind its back.

 

43 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

That said: if you want one, booting OS 9 could be a bonus (but I wouldn't bother) and you can't find any others or any others would involve shipping, I'd say to go for it.

Yep, shop shipping charges for 'em on eBay for price comparisons or do an estimate IRL at the Post Office. OS9 on X-Ware will only get better and better with the passage of time.

 

43 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

I, personally, picked up a first-gen G5 and a first-gen Mac Pro a few months ago, mostly so I could put them away and have them on hand should I ultimately feel nostalgia for that era. For that use case, going for a G5 specifically doesn't really matter, it's just what my friend happened to be clearing out.

I'm idly watching for one of G5s as well. You got a wastebasket? Those'll be the next Cube at some point.

 

43 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

And that's the other thing - knowing what happened to the value of 68k Macs over the past fifteen years, it's probably worth getting and starting work on preservation (or at least good storage of) mid-late PowerPC systems now. Not to pretend they're currently modern, as the MacRumors PPC forum likes to do, but to have them in another five years or so when people start to have nostalgia for the early-mid 2000s.

Gotta get 'em while the gettin's good, Millennials may get tired of staring at an iPhone HUD in a few years.

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8 hours ago, Unknown_K said:

The only PPC stuff out now is in consoles so I can see people collecting old G4/G5 macs just because they are different. Quite a few of them have been recycled too.

Not even that anymore.. XBone and PS4 are x86/64. Switch is Arm. 

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10 hours ago, LaPorta said:

Those G5’s going to be worth much you think? Are their panels hard to replace?

I wouldn't say ANYTHING collectible of any sort is of investment quality these days. When cell phones are implanted on the mastoid bone in your skull there'll be little reason to use your head. Bog only know what will happen at that point, we'll be talking "FAKE REALITY!!!!!" ::)

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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On 3/15/2019 at 9:48 AM, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

You got a wastebasket?

I got a Mac Pro 1,1, one of the ones that is a big tower and looks similar to the Power Mac G5. Though, I'd be lying if I said I didn't a little bit want a 6,1 (one of the cylindrical ones) both as an actual modern Mac to use and for the curiosity of it.

 

23 hours ago, Unknown_K said:

The only PPC stuff out now is in consoles so I can see people collecting old G4/G5 macs just because they are different.

IBM is still shipping POWER servers, a company called Rapor Systems (IIRC) is shipping POWER9 workstations under the Talos brand, and Gigabyte and Tyan, if I'm remembering correctly, also have Open POWER9 boards.

 

But, Talos isn't really priced in the "curiosity" range.

 

I need to go look, but last I did (maybe a year ago) a lot of late MacPPC stuff is still being traded on and talked about with the idea that it's actually modern and usable as a current computer, which hasn't really been true from a security or practicality perspective for several years, but.

 

On 3/15/2019 at 9:48 AM, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

I find your findings on that front to be suspect. Pismo/500 was far slower running Illustrator under OS9 than the QS'02/1000 with one CPU tied behind its back.

Illustrator being an example of an application that:

  • can, depending on how it's being used, take advantage of additional CPU power
  • will inevitably run better in OS X than it ever did in OS 9

The anecdotes that have been posted suggest that in day-to-day operations with finder and simple applications, an MDD feels faster than a QS, but my personal findings there don't support that at all. My QS'02/800 and TiBook/1000 are barely any faster at simple day to day stuff as systems like my iMac DV/400, beige G3/300, blue G3/450 and an 8600/300 with SCSI2SD. Perhaps in the case of the TiBook, because it has a significantly newer and faster hard disk than stock and any of my other machines, applications launch faster.

 

I've mentioned this before, but most of what I do is Netscape 4/6/7 for pulling files down and testing the vtools web site, the ASIP6 administration cools, Office 98, Dreamweaver MX (I need to test out Dreamweaver 4 to see how its site management functionality is, if it works then I'll probably move to that version and use the 8600 for web authoring) and after that, mostly system 7 or super early system 8 era software.

 

I'm guessing, generously that on average I'm on the high end of what people are actually doing with vintage Macs, and I know there's a solid half dozen to perhaps a full dozen people legitimately doing anything higher end. (With the note that most people don't actually talk an awful lot about what they're actually doing with these systems other than collecting and upgrading them)

 

So, for better or worse, while it's interesting to note, I don't think most people will notice the performance difference between, well, a fairly large range of systems.

 

Certainly, going back to my original point, I highly doubt anybody who isn't looking for it or doesn't have some kind of personal or financial stake in it being there will notice an MDD being faster at anything under OS 9 than a QS, even/especially if they're both upgraded relatively evenly.

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25 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

IBM is still shipping POWER servers, a company called Rapor Systems (IIRC) is shipping POWER9 workstations under the Talos brand, and Gigabyte and Tyan, if I'm remembering correctly, also have Open POWER9 boards.

  

 But, Talos isn't really priced in the "curiosity" range.

 

Mostly chiming in as a bystander to it all. Raptor Computing Systems is indeed the POWER9 workstation company, and they're about to ship a $1k-ish MSRP mini ATX variant of the Talos II called the Blackbird next quarter. I'm eager to get my hands on one as I've been really curious about POWER9 since ClassicHasClass was blogging about its uses as an emulation host for AIX, PPC Mac OS and Mac OS X and when there was some talk about what it would take to make a viable not-Intel platform for the data center.

 

Google has a data center design called Zaius and Rackspace has a separate design that they've been playing around with, by my understanding. All three vendors make some appearances in trade shows to show off recent OpenPOWER developments.

 

I'm fairly certain that Tyan dropped out of OpenPOWER after shipping a POWER8 board, and I don't believe Gigabyte has been involved in some time.

 

POWER10 will be interesting as there's some big names attached to its development, which I suspect is mostly herded by continuing interest in not-Intel in the data center. POWER9 is a really neat curiosity, but certainly not a cost effective solution for individuals at this time.

Edited by nglevin

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On 3/15/2019 at 6:34 PM, LaPorta said:

Those G5’s going to be worth much you think? Are their panels hard to replace?

Predicting what will be valuable and desirable in 20 years' time is as much an art as it is a science.

And I'm not an artist and I haven't rigorously studied the economics of collecting.

 

Would you have guessed back in 1992 that in 2019 an SE/30 would be worth 3 or 4 times more than a IIcx despite the two have similar prices and specs? Or that one particular card (Micron Xceed Grayscale card and adaptor) would be worth many times the value of the SE/30? The Xceed card cost a couple of hundred dollars in comparison to the many thousands required for an SE/30.

 

My guess is that, in 2039, it will be the case that will be the attractive part of turn-of-the-millenium Mac OS X computing rather than the exact innards, assuming that we aren't too precoocupied with Basilisk III on our Apple Glasses.

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43 minutes ago, nglevin said:

when there was some talk about what it would take to make a viable not-Intel platform for the data center.

 

Itanium is only just spinning down, SPARC and POWER have been being sold continuously, and are still being developed (even if not as much as before) and sold by their respective vendors. Neither is even that expensive compared to similar grade server hardware. I.e. if you're maxing out a Dell R740 or R7415 or an HP DL380 then there's likely a POWER or SPARC system in your price range.

 

The viability of that depends a lot on what you're doing. In a lot of cloud vendor cases, I can see why OpenPOWER (or any remnants of the days around fifteen years ago when there was an open source SPARC design) would be Of Interest. I suspect it has less to do with Intel specifically (although in the past few years that's probably become a bigger issue) and more with being in control of as much of the server design as possible. It's been well known, of course, for a long time that the biggest tech companies and cloud vendors aren't out there just buying the same Proliants and PowerEdges everyone else does.

 

But, point taken about OpenPOWER seeing some action at this piont.

 

In other datacenter curiosities ARM is realistically the big exciting new entrant to the datacenter (if only because by technicality POWER and SPARC never left)

 

$1000 is definitely closer to the curiosity range. I know Amiga enthusiasts happily pay around that much for PowerPC desktop systems and have for a while. It'll be interesting to see where you start seeing these things pop up, priced like that.

 

11 minutes ago, ArmorAlley said:

Predicting what will be valuable and desirable in 20 years' time is as much an art as it is a science.

Yeah, as time goes on and, importantly, as the values and priorities of people acquiring these machines changes, it'll be interesting to see how values change.

 

As I mention on a regular basis, we're kind of (I hope) at the tail end of people trying to treat late MacPPC machines as viable main modern computers, so today the value is mainly in the later and higher end machines: Power Macs, MDDs, The Quad, The 2.7, the 2005/PCIe versions, and the highest end PowerBooks anybody can find.

 

In a couple years as it loops back around to people having nostalgia for these machines, I suspect we'll see the values start to even out as people distribute themselves between "whatever I can get" and "what I had back in the day" (which is going to be eMacs, iMacs, iBooks).

 

Different individuals also try to collect at different points of interest, depending on how far ahead they can see, what interest them, or what deals they're looking for.

 

In terms of what will stand out though? Who knows. Apple's product line contracted a lot after the late '90s and really I have yet to see interest in anything specifically explode the way it did for the SE/30, Color Classic, and perhaps the TAM or a few other models everybody seems to want.

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47 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

In other datacenter curiosities ARM is realistically the big exciting new entrant to the datacenter (if only because by technicality POWER and SPARC never left)

The biggest problem with the ARM ISA has been, and will likely continue to be, that Apple has an impossible to acquire license to make their own variants on the design, and Apple appears to make the best ARM chips.

 

Which is a nicer way of saying that stock, unmodified ARM is not really that impressive compared to POWER and even SPARC. If Qualcomm or Samsung wanted to get ARM there, that would make the industry more interesting, but Samsung's working on POWER10 and Qualcomm's happier to stay with embedded devices.

 

1 hour ago, ArmorAlley said:

My guess is that, in 2039, it will be the case that will be the attractive part of turn-of-the-millenium Mac OS X computing rather than the exact innards, assuming that we aren't too precoocupied with Basilisk III on our Apple Glasses.

I don't know. I would have thought that emulators would have knocked out the market for fast Quadras, but they ended up making a reasonable comeback on the second hand market as the supplies collapsed.

 

We are about less than a year out from 32 bit Mac OS X software being unusable on what will be the latest iteration of macOS, and maybe there will be a special Apple ARM laptop to go with it. It will be interesting to see where things land later this year, going into the next.

Edited by nglevin
Last minute edit to add a source on Qualcomm re: ARM servers

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Some 68K gear is worth a few bucks, even systems like a 950 that people didn't want to pay to ship are now being sold for a couple hundred a pop or more. 68K gear was expensive new and people held onto them for a long time so most didn't get recycled. PPC gear seems to end up at the recycler quickly since it was cheaper new. Capacitor rot has killed plenty of 68k machines and so has exploding batteries. I dread the day I need to recap early PPC boards since they have so many capacitors on them.

 

Is apple killing off 32 bit apps on OSX? People will be running 32 bit apps on Windows way after I am dead.

 

How is SUN Sparc gear selling these days?

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54 minutes ago, Unknown_K said:

Some 68K gear is worth a few bucks, even systems like a 950 that people didn't want to pay to ship are now being sold for a couple hundred a pop or more. 68K gear was expensive new and people held onto them for a long time so most didn't get recycled. PPC gear seems to end up at the recycler quickly since it was cheaper new. Capacitor rot has killed plenty of 68k machines and so has exploding batteries. I dread the day I need to recap early PPC boards since they have so many capacitors on them.

 

Is apple killing off 32 bit apps on OSX? People will be running 32 bit apps on Windows way after I am dead.

 

How is SUN Sparc gear selling these days?

For a ton, it seems. Or at least people are trying to sell them for a ton.

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