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petteri

G3 mix, should I proceed?

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I once posted "WTB: old macs" and forgot the whole thing. Now a gentleman contacted me and said he had some old macs nearby. 

 

Based on the photos there are three units:

- Beige G3 desktop model with ZIP drive

- Green G3 iMac, looks like a tray loading model
- Pismo G3 Powerbook 

- Plexwriter external SCSI CD-R

 

No keyboards or mouse but that is not an issue. iMac was used couple years ago but everything was stored in 2010 in working condition, no clue what is the current situation. 

 

Questions:

Do these suffer from leaking caps like earlier SE/30, IIcx etc? Obviously PRAM battery might have leaked and ruined them.

Any guesses whether these have any value in working condition? I think iMac is pretty worthless, Beige G3 has some value due to its multiple interfaces and Pismo might be most valuable of all.


 

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I haven't seen any of the G3s/G4s have issues with caps.  That doesn't mean that they won't down the road but I haven't had any problems with them yet.

 

As far as value goes, none of those machines are really valuable/desirable.  The folks who love Pismos say they are valuable, but they're still plentiful enough that you can usually find one in reasonable shape for under ~$100.  The ones that go for more than that tend to be the ones in excellent shape loaded to the gills with upgrades.  Beige G3s tend to get very little love, though they're quite capable machines.  G3 iMacs are hit-or-miss.  You can still get them dirt cheap in person but every once and again you'll see a nice one get sold on eBay for a lot more than you'd expect.

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tray load iMac G3's are worthless in my opinion being early models. They have a constant fan and not so great speakers built in. Expandability is difficult, it has been a while but I think you can slide off the bottom half after removing a few screws, and opening the hard drive container. They also have a 66MHz memory bus where the pismo has 100MHz. Trayloads have max 512MB while Pismo has 1GB max memory. Powerbook Pismo has a lot more ports on the back as well as FireWire while the iMac G3's didn't get that until after 350Mhz models. Note that 350Mhz marked the redesign, but it wasn't until the 400MHz that you got Firewire with USB.

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I'd say to go ahead and do it, at least if you have the space. Test everything and either hold onto it for later when you're motivated or pass things along if you think you're not going to want something.

 

Just because Pismos are findable today (in the US, at least) doesn't mean it'll still be easy or possible in another five years. The problem with "oh this isn't rare" is stuff gets tossed and then suddenly it is rare.

 

Trayload iMacs are still fine computers, in the vintage Mac sense, just not particularly good at OS X (although I'd kind of argue the slotloaders aren't really great at OS X either,, the speakers aren't super relevant unless you're using it as a jukebox specifically, and firewire is mainly important on the slotloaders to avoid having to deal with the internal optical drive.) Mac OS 9 arguably stops benefitting from more RAM beyond 256-320 or so except for a handful of oddly specific use cases that under a dozen people who exist are still doing.

 

iMacs in general are also pretty rapidly dying, so if you can keep a couple working you might have something with slightly boosted value in a couple more years.

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9 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

Trayload iMacs are...not particularly good at OS X

that being said, they will nevertheless run it better than nothing (I tried running 10.1.4 with 32 MB of RAM, and it took a really long time to boot up (something like 15 minutes, I think!) and thrashed the poor hard drive pretty much the whole time, and it "worked", but was absolutely no fun to use).

 

128 MB was the official minimum RAM requirement for 10.1.x, and this is why.

 

c

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18 hours ago, Christopher said:

They have a constant fan 

Yes, the older tray-load models have a fan. Why is that a bad thing? I think it makes them more reliable, as I seem to see more dead slot-load model than the tray-load ones. I’d say they are a little bit easier to service than the slot-loaders also. 

 

I love the tray-load models personally. My bondi-blue iMac is probably my favorite one out of the four I have.

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20 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

iMacs in general are also pretty rapidly dying, so if you can keep a couple working you might have something with slightly boosted value in a couple more years.

I hear this and yet every G3 iMac that I've decided to plug in and power on, even the one with a hole in the rear shell that let surface rust form on the internal shielding, has worked. Maybe the conditions here are just more favorable to CRTs because I've honestly never encountered a dead CRT at all that didn't have obvious physical damage (broken off end of neck tube, broken off neck tube entirely, internal CRT damage, etc)

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Beige G3s make great bridge machines. They can run OS X 10.4 with XPostFacto and enough RAM along with OS 8.0 to 9.2.2. They have onboard SCSI and IDE, an 800k compatible floppy drive, and all the legacy Macintosh ports.

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8 hours ago, NJRoadfan said:

Beige G3s make great bridge machines. They can run OS X 10.4 with XPostFacto and enough RAM along with OS 8.0 to 9.2.2. They have onboard SCSI and IDE, an 800k compatible floppy drive, and all the legacy Macintosh ports.

But wait, there's more! With their PCI slots, you can add cards for USB and FireWire, allowing more mass storage connectivity! :-)

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Some update of the haggling process. At the moment we have iMac g3, beige g3, Pismo g3, ext scsi cd-r, ext FW hard drive, one bottle of German white wine and a small bottle of high quality moonshine. All for 90 euros... 

 

This is the best part of the hobby [:P]

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14 hours ago, EvieSigma said:

I hear this and yet every G3 iMac that I've decided to plug in and power on, even the one with a hole in the rear shell that let surface rust form on the internal shielding, has worked

Wild! but, good!

 

I have three slotloading iMac G3s and two are dead or dying. One, I got from someone, drove home, it worked once and then never again, and then the other, boots and runs but the display is badly distorted and inconsistent in terms of geometry and look, so it's clear it's in the process of dying.

 

The third, just works basically perfectly minus the CDROM drive.

 

I presume it's possible to fix these things up, I just haven't got the time or energy for it.

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I have several iMacs (at least three tray loaders, the rest slot loaders), and so far I haven't had any major issues with them.

 

But then again, aside from my Tangerine slot loader (bought new in 1999), none of them seem to have been used very hard.

 

I think they were popular in schools, so those ones are probably the most likely to have major issues, I would think.

 

c

Edited by CC_333

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14 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

Wild! but, good!

 

I have three slotloading iMac G3s and two are dead or dying. One, I got from someone, drove home, it worked once and then never again, and then the other, boots and runs but the display is badly distorted and inconsistent in terms of geometry and look, so it's clear it's in the process of dying.

 

The third, just works basically perfectly minus the CDROM drive.

 

I presume it's possible to fix these things up, I just haven't got the time or energy for it.

Well see, slotload, that's your problem. I've had in my possession three trayloaders, so far. Would like to get a Lime or Grape trayloader honestly.

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My grape tray loader has been 100 percent reliable for me, despite having a rusty internal shield from damp storage.  I don’t know what the slot loaders are like.

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Hm. If I had to guess, the tray loaders have an easier time getting heat out (what with having a fan and all), but, not 100% sure if that's the only part of the story.

 

I'd have to look around, it could be my particular iMac failure rate is entirely a fluke. It's a bummer, because I do like the machines a lot, and they generally meet my Mac OS 9 needs pretty well.

 

W/re running OS X on them: I had an iMac/233 as a kid and at some point my parents decided that the thing we should do is give it to one of the grandparents, so, I loaded Mac OS X 10.2 on it (it had an entire 96 megs of RAM) so Internet stuff would work and we took it down to where he lived and he... "worked" but it was not good.

 

 

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Made a deal, 80e including home delivery with wine but without vodka :-). I should get them later this week but I need to some major cleanup here before I can add them to my collection.

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Alright, today was the delivery day.

 

Pismo - Powerbook 400MHz/1MB Cache/64MB/6GB HD/8MB Video/DVD

Bad news first. The Pismo didn't come with a charger and my 12" Powerbook G4 charger doesn't fit there. Also missing the cover for back side connectors. Looks somewhat rough outside but keyboard and screen seem to be fine.

 

iMac - Starts up, has OS X installation and 9.2. Booted to OS X first fine but then booting to 9.2 hangs at the desktop after complaining about bad date. I think I'll try get rid of this asap, takes way too much space

 

Beige - PowerPC G3 300MHz 1MB Cache, CD and ZIP-drive. After vacuuming, removing three coins and a stuck disk from the floppy drive and replacing battery it booted up fine. No leaks from the battery or capacitors. Mac OS 9.2 with bunch of graphic design software. Memory has been upgraded to 320MB and it has USB and FW cards. The original 6GB HD id still inside and working. I think the floppy drive might be broken or at least requires good cleanup. I have to study a bit how to deal with this type of a disk drive.

 

 

g3mix.jpeg

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I tried to empty the iMac properly before selling it, but it seems it doesn't want to boot from the USB drive. So I had to buy some CD-Rs and write Mac OS 9.2.2 on such. But my old MacBook Pro didn't manage to burn a disk properly. So, time to try the external burner. I copied the 9.2.2 ISO to the beige G3 and luckily it had Toast already on its HD. Because it didn't have enough HD space I burnt it straight from the USB stick to the CD-R at 4x speed. The burn was successful and it also worked in the internal CD and also the iMac was happy with it. Also the floppy drive works despite the punishment it had received so I am pretty happy with these.

 

And the Riesling wine is also ok :-)

 

 

g3burner.jpeg

Edited by petteri

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