iMac g4

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bmiles39
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iMac g4

Post by bmiles39 » November 12th, 2010, 11:45 am

I have an iMac g4 flowerpot design. It has 800 MHz a 256ram and 60g hd. I got it for only 75 bucks on eBay and it works great but I'm totally new to macs and I'm not too sure how to get alot of use out of an older machine. Is there a way to get older programs such as iWork or do cheap upgrades. I'm just wondering because I'm saving up for a new iMac but I won't have all the funds for probably over a year or maybe 2. Just trying to get whatever I can out of the one I have.
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Turboladdade
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Re: iMac g4

Post by Turboladdade » November 12th, 2010, 1:03 pm

Firstly, be mindful that an 800 MHz G4 is more than outdated, it's completely obsolete. There is a limit to what you can put on it, and there will be no further software updates from Apple.

That being said, the first thing you'll want to do is upgrade your memory. You can install up to 1GB of memory in your iMac. More than anything else, this will effect the perceived performance the greatest. The most oft-recommended Mac memory retailer is OWC: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/

Next, you'll want to at least run Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). You can also go up to Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). If your computer doesn't have the operating system you want you can find it cheapest on eBay. Your G4 cannot run Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

Application wise, here's a sampling of what you can install on your G4:

iWork '09 - Current
iLIfe '09 with caveats - Previous version
Microsoft Office 2008 (very very slowly) - Previous version
Adobe CS4 - Previous version
Safari 4 (Tiger) - Previous version
Safari 5 (Leopard) - Current
I am now telling the computer exactly what it can do.
chipperz
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Re: iMac g4

Post by chipperz » November 13th, 2010, 3:39 pm

Another good option is AppleWorks 6.2.9. It's been at end of life for awhile, but you can still purchase copies from ebay, craig'slist and Hardcoremac.com. Hardcoremac.com offers a version that runs on the mac or on windows. It isn't cheap, but it is an office suite including a word processor, spreadsheet, database, and drawing program. It is very useful and still used by many, yours truly included. It's outdated, but still functional for an older machine and works well. Be warned though, its database files are not read or used by any other office program. It is worth looking into, though.
rjtoegel
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Re: iMac g4

Post by rjtoegel » November 13th, 2010, 8:37 pm

Actually Open Office works quite well also. There are many free programs out there that will work fine on that old machine. I believe leopard has a speed limit so if your machine is not faster than (IIRC) 750 MHz it will not load. That might make some things unavailable like iTunes 10.
YHou can still do a lot with that machine. It's not as obsolete as some people think.
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chasm
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Re: iMac g4

Post by chasm » November 14th, 2010, 5:59 am

It's a real pity more people don't understand that "obsolete" is a term with a specific meaning, and not slang for "useless junk."

G4s and G5s are indeed obsolete. But they can still be perfectly serviceable machines depending on what the user needs them to do.
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bmiles39
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Re: iMac g4

Post by bmiles39 » November 14th, 2010, 2:46 pm

I just need to access the Internet and be able to use an iworks type program
chipperz
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Re: iMac g4

Post by chipperz » November 15th, 2010, 1:49 pm

In that case, Open Office is just right for you, you just have to recreate the database. An old G4 is a great computer for your uses. I don't think you need the "new and improved" comuters with their overblown OS's (that includes OS X!)
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Turboladdade
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Re: iMac g4

Post by Turboladdade » November 15th, 2010, 2:10 pm

OpenOffice.org doesnt compare to iWork (or Office for that matter) by any stretch of the imagination. It reeks of a hastily ported Linux application. Free and open source doesn't necessarily mean quality.
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chipperz
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Re: iMac g4

Post by chipperz » November 17th, 2010, 1:57 pm

For a heavy user, I agree that OpenOffice isn't an equal, but if you need to do just small projects which aren't complicated. I feel OpenOffice could be a good choice. I'll agree it doesn't compare with iWork or Office, but then it isn't really meant for the heavy user. I should have said that it's an alternative choice. My first choice would be iWork as I like its overall use better than Office for Mac.
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Turboladdade
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Re: iMac g4

Post by Turboladdade » November 17th, 2010, 2:27 pm

chipperz wrote:I'll agree it doesn't compare with iWork or Office, but then it isn't really meant for the heavy user.
I disagree even with this. The very fact that OpenOffice trys to be everything at once makes it quite unwieldy for smaller jobs that you mention. For such jobs, TextEdit is a far more reasonable choice.
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iphonechik
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Re: iMac g4

Post by iphonechik » November 18th, 2010, 7:51 pm

Aaaww I remember having that one. Welcome to the Mac World. Listen to Turbo, they know their stuff.  Good luck and enjoy your new "keys" to the world. 
chipperz
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Re: iMac g4

Post by chipperz » November 27th, 2010, 2:15 pm

I didn't think about it before, but Turbo is right. Text Edit could work as a word processor and it's already included on most macs. I'm not sure if it was included on the older imacs, so check it out and see.
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Turboladdade
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Re: iMac g4

Post by Turboladdade » November 27th, 2010, 2:37 pm

chipperz wrote:I didn't think about it before, but Turbo is right. Text Edit could work as a word processor and it's already included on most macs. I'm not sure if it was included on the older imacs, so check it out and see.
I don't remember a version of Mac OS X that didn't include TextEdit. Prior to Mac OS X, the common text-editor was SimpleText, which was nowhere near as capable and not really a direct ancestor.

TextEdit comes from OPENSTEP, Mac OS X's true ancestor. From Wikipedia:
Wikipedia wrote:TextEdit replaces the text editor of previous Macintosh operating systems, SimpleText. TextEdit reads and writes documents in Rich Text Format, Rich Text Format Directory, plain text, and HTML formats, and can open (but not save) old SimpleText files. It also has access to the operating system's built-in spell-checking service. The version included in Mac OS X v10.3 added the ability to read and write documents in Word format, and the version in Mac OS X v10.4 the ability to read and write Word XML documents. The version included in Mac OS X v10.5 includes read and write support for Office Open XML and OpenDocument Text. The version included in Mac OS X v10.6 added automatic spelling correction, support for data detectors, and text transformations.
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leonAzul
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Re: iMac g4

Post by leonAzul » November 29th, 2010, 3:52 pm

bmiles39 wrote:I have an iMac g4 flowerpot design. It has 800 MHz a 256ram and 60g hd. I got it for only 75 bucks on eBay and it works great but I'm totally new to macs and I'm not too sure how to get alot of use out of an older machine.
The best resource, IMHO, for support of older Apple products is the Low End Mac website:
http://lowendmac.com/

Of particular interest for you would be the iMac email list archives hosted by Google groups:
http://groups.google.com/group/imaclist

HTH
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