[rescue] New G3

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Wed Apr 21 00:02:42 CDT 2004

Eric Webb wrote:

> I just picked up a G3/300with only 128MB (I understand that Macs are 
> RAM-hungry) that seems to boot just fine with the OS 9.2 install that's on it 
> now.  I don't have an ADB keyboard/mouse, and I see no USB ports on this guy, 
> so all I can do is watch it boot.  I guess I'll have to browse the 'bay or 
> stop by CompUSA to find one.

Mac OS 9 is not that ram hungry. You can run it in a lot less ram than
128meg, depending upon the application. 128meg is a good starting point.

MacOs X (pronounced TEN) is RAM hungry. It's realy a modified version of
BSD (chosen because of it's "artisitic license" over Liunx's GPL. There
are 3 user interfaces available. The first is "classic mode", which is
MacOS9. It's not really running in a "virtual machine" as it uses the
services of OSX directly. It will run just about anything that runs on
the G3 in native OS9. 

The second is called "Aqua". It's sort of the Mac meets the NeXt. 

The third is called "Darwin". It's more like Linux meets BSD. It includes
X windows and a lot of Linux stuff ported to it.

Note that you can also open a terminal window and you have a regular CLI.

The last version of OSX that ran on your machine was probaly 10.2 (Jaguar).
The newer version, called Panther may not run on it, check out "expostfacto",
if it won't.

Either way, MacOSX requires a minimum of 256meg of ram to be usefull and
a lot more to do anything with it.

Another option is Linux. I prefer YellowDog, but there are others. It
turns the G3 into a reasonable workstation close in performance to the
equivalent Sun U5/U10, but it has (IMHO) better video hardware.
YellowDog is based on deadrat linux for what it's worth. It performs
well with 128m of ram.

You can also run MacOS under linux using a program called MOL (Mac under 

Hint: If you need another network card in it (or any PCI Mac) the DEC DE500
cards are supported well. OS 8 needs drivers (still available on the DEC
legacy section of the COMPAQ legacy section of the HP web site), OS 9 and X
support it out of the box.

If you decide not to use it, with enough memory running OSX or with 128m
running Linux it makes a great file server/router machine.

> Are there any ADB-to-PS2 adapters out there?

Never seen them, but the keyboards and mice should be cheap used. 

> Can someone explain the G3/G4/G5 thing to me?  Are these PowerPCs, or 
> Apple-specific derivatives thereof?  How do they compare to the 604e's and 
> the newer Power chips from IBM that I'm familiar with?

They are motorola made IBM designed chips. The G3 is close to a 604, a
G4 is a faster G3 with a vector processor (similar to Intel's MMX)
and a G5 is a much improved G4, similar to what you would be getting in
the older PPCs from IBM.

The major difference is that IBM concentrates on the high end market,
Apple on the low end server, high end consumer desktop. Therefore you'll
see better graphics on the Mac, IDE instead of SCSI, USB and firewire,
non ECC ram, etc.

Personaly I consider any PCI Mac a worthy rescue. Older Macs to me are
still useful, but I try to spend as little time I can on them, fixing them
up and giving them away. 

> Oh, and why doesn't this thing greet me with the famous Mac startup chimes?

Speaker disconnected? Volume turned down (look at the sound control panel).


Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com 

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