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Huxley

Blue and White G3 Lives Again!

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Spent part of the day fixing the old girl up after finding her for $20 at an e-waste place recently:


- Removed all four corner handles and washed them to get tons of dirt and cobwebs out
- Fixed the 'faceplate' that surrounds the optical drive / Zip drive bezels - the interior drive cage had been removed at some point (probably to install the DVD-ROM drive it currently has) but not put back in correctly, so the drives were at a weird angle and the faceplate was crooked and bulging out
- Cleared out TONS of dust and cobwebs from inside the machine with an air blower - I found pretty good evidence that there had been a spider colony inside at one point <shudder>
- Re-seated several cables which had come loose 
- Burned and used a Mac OS X Tiger DVD to install a fresh OS onto a secondary "documents" drive which came in the machine


Now that I'm able to boot into an OS (the Mac OS 10.3.x that is on the primary drive isn't bootable - I think the drive is failing), I've found a ton of pics and documents from the girl who owned the machine previously - most of them date back to 2008 at the latest, many quite a bit older than that. I'm going to gather them all up on a flash drive and see if I can contact her on social media - given that the machine couldn't boot at all when I found it, it seems possible she 'lost' all her content before recycling the machine, not knowing her files were still on there. Hopefully she wants the content and I can get it all back to her!

 

 

IMG_9608.thumb.JPEG.ec31158dc278f73af95aacf64dbafcd5.JPEG

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1 hour ago, Unknown_K said:

The handles do seem to get very dirt or easily broken. Nice machines.

Always loved this design from a visual / aesthetic perspective, but yeah the grooves in the handles (and just the crazy number of seams along the body panels) are dust traps for sure. Took a long time to clean it all out, and there are still some spots I want to revisit once I have more time and space to really tear this thing down to bare metal. Getting the side panels off is a much bigger job than I thought - they're held on by four outside-in screws on the exterior corners, and one center screw that goes from inside-out and connects to the plastic behind the big Apple logos. To get those center screws out looks like it would be a major disassembly job :( 

 

44 minutes ago, jessenator said:

Sweet! Nice and clean now, that's for sure.

 

Does that have the Rage128 in it?

Thanks! Yep, just the stock (and rather unimpressive) Rage 128 card in here right now. It does look like the RAM was bumped to 512 megs at some point, and there's a second 9gb HDD (where I installed a fresh copy of Tiger) alongside the failing stock 6gb drive. @EvieSigma has kindly offered to send me a 350MHz G3 to drop into this machine, and I'll keep an eye out for a beefier CPU module down the road. I do wonder though, what would be the 'best' video card to suit this machine? Ideally one with an ADC port so I could use one of my old LCD Cinema Displays...

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That's a great machine - I love how Apple were so desperate to promote the G3 in the side panel, and it does look unique spurning a flood of copy cat ATX cases in the day with similar blue accents.

 

Is yours a Rev A or B B&W?  I recently fixed up a Rev A, the 400Mhz CPU wouldn't overclock to any amount (past B&W I've gotten at least 50 - 100Mhz out of, but later revision Bs).  I'm using a PCI ATA133 card in mine to bypass the IDE corruption issue, and it supports 48-bit LBA which is a nice so am not limited in hard disk capacity.

 

A nice upgrade in a B&W would be a 3DFX Voodoo II; Glide games look much better than early RAVE accelerated games.

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3 minutes ago, Byrd said:

Is yours a Rev A or B B&W?  I recently fixed up a Rev A, the 400Mhz CPU wouldn't overclock to any amount (past B&W I've gotten at least 50 - 100Mhz out of, but later revision Bs).  I'm using a PCI ATA133 card in mine to bypass the IDE corruption issue, and it supports 48-bit LBA which is a nice so am not limited in hard disk capacity.

 

Great info and suggestions, thanks. Mine looks to be a Rev. B (thankfully!) but I'll still keep an eye out for a PCI ATA133 card anyway - seems like some advantages even in the later-revision boards

 

4 minutes ago, Byrd said:

A nice upgrade in a B&W would be a 3DFX Voodoo II; Glide games look much better than early RAVE accelerated games.

Oooh, hadn't thought of that - thanks! Do you know if I'd need to look for a Mac-specific card, or would I just look for a period-correct card and try to flash the BIOS? I vaguely remember flashing the BIOS of the card I installed in my beefed-up G4 Cube, but that was 10+ years ago and all the details have long since escaped my mind...

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Just now, jessenator said:

So no DVD decoder card on it?

Good question! The machine does have a DVD-ROM drive installed (it was installed poorly - the whole drive-cage was crooked and forcing the blue face-plate to bulge outwards, but I've corrected that now), but I haven't tried playing a DVD in it yet. I'm gonna go try now!

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52 minutes ago, Huxley said:

Do you know if I'd need to look for a Mac-specific card, or would I just look for a period-correct card and try to flash the BIOS? I vaguely remember flashing the BIOS of the card I installed in my beefed-up G4 Cube, but that was 10+ years ago and all the details have long since escaped my mind...

Anything Voodoo 3/4/5 needs to be flashed for Mac, but any and all Voodoo IIs work with the generic 3DFX drivers.  SLI Voodoo II are apparently a waste of time with minimal performance boost over a single card on Macs.

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9 hours ago, jessenator said:

It'll be pretty apparent on the GPU:

 

s-l300.jpg

 

Otherwise you'll see the bare pins...and no card ;)

Ahh, thanks - yeah, I definitely didn't see that daughter card when I cleaned the machine out yesterday. I guess this would explain the result I got when I tried playing a DVD movie last night: DVD Player app popped right up and tried to play it, but nothing ever came onscreen:

 

IMG_9617.thumb.JPEG.4bf1c83f398148583b3d62554ad8455a.JPEG

 

9 hours ago, Byrd said:

Anything Voodoo 3/4/5 needs to be flashed for Mac, but any and all Voodoo IIs work with the generic 3DFX drivers.  SLI Voodoo II are apparently a waste of time with minimal performance boost over a single card on Macs.

Great info, thanks! I guess it's time to setup an eBay saved-search, and maybe post in the Trading Post to see if anyone has one laying around collecting dust...

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Not having tested them myself, from what I've dug up the Rage128 (GL) isn't bad compared to its contemporaries. Is it as good as a voodoo 3 (which is more a Rage 128 Pro (not GL) competitor)? No. Is it as good as a Voodoo 2? Just about. In some benchmarks the ATI smokes it, in others it inches ahead. How much is a Rage? in your case, free. How much is a voodoo 2? >$100 if you can find one. How much is a voodoo 3? even more, because nostalgia + market supply. Not trying to be a killjoy ;) 

 

And while this isn't a 1:1 comparison (motherboard / bus differences), it's marginally illuminating: https://barefeats.com/v3.html

 

I'm trying to hunt down a Radeon 7000 for the beige G3, myself.

Edited by jessenator

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