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The Apple Power Mac G3 project!

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tip: a regular microsoft intellimouse will work great and give you a scroll wheel and two/three buttons.

 

If you're wondering how to right click with one mouse button, hold cmd or alt and click (I can't remember which - just use a proper mouse).

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52 minutes ago, roobarb said:

eagerly waiting to see the result of this... when do we get to see the display?? :eyebrows:

 

I'm seriously teasing that. I'll let you get to the edge, but then gently calm you back down ;)

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Check out the beauty-slash-stupidity of this thing, man:

DSCPDC_0002_BURST20191006130205382_COVER_1570368048373.thumb.jpg.de80f163db78c068654541c535f48dad.jpg

 

It's equal parts clever, attractive, daft and off-putting. Quite the combo.

 

You can't really take it in, when you look at photos, but in the flesh it's like some pretentious art student's project that shows off her brilliance without demonstrating her skill. Or something Damien Hurst would invent on a hungover weekend. 

 

I mean, clearly the translucent side panels with the visible 'G3' looks great, and the gigantic Apple logo in turquoise makes for a great contrast, but it doesn't half make it a thicc boi. This is it from the top:

DSC_0317_1570369009651.thumb.jpg.821a52fec20646899d5e20d7b3c4eae5.jpg

 

The rounded parts that serve as handles on the top make it look a bit Fisher Price, but industrial - something Trent Reznor would have wheeled round on a cart as a toddler. As they're so large, though, that curvature adds bulk so they are functional but a bit oversized. 

 

They're duplicated at the bottom which is nice for uniformity but, of course, leaves it a bit wobbly. 

 

From the front it's a pure looker though, and the sort of look PC geeks adore to this day and try to replicate with RGB LEDs:

DSC_0319_1570369186317.thumb.jpg.0dd3978ab67a10e8ed01f41207d44553.jpg

 

But ah, opening the case is a dream. See the green hoop in the first picture? That's a catch that opens the case up: it hinges open to reveal the main board on the outer panel, and the PSU, hard drive and other bits in the body:

DSC_0312_1570368106322_1570368321584.thumb.jpg.03a2da7a384a6fde6ce8ddcffc5dfde0.jpg

 

This is absolutely brilliant. You can get to all the gubbins instantly. None of the awkwardness of ATX cases, where everything is jam-packed into the body cavity.

 

Or modern Apple products where you politely ask to be able to access the interior of your device and they coursely tell you to fuck off. 

 

The cables are extra long, and fit under the board invisibly - all cut to perfect length. 

 

It needed a little dusting with the intruder, but not much considering:

DSC_0314_1570370170492.thumb.jpg.a44c242d6409cc8b8dd2513c341c8f34.jpg

 

It's a product that is nonsensical and unique, a billion miles from the austere and forbidding, unibodied 'Everything was aluminum & Piano White' Macs of the 2010s. 

 

I'm very much enjoying this thing so far! 

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1 hour ago, Ninja Doctor said:

If this doesn’t scratch your itch fully I do recommend finding a G4 quicksilver powermac 

 

I do like the looks of them, for sure. This is mostly about the monitor for me, so if it came with the amazing clear-case one, I'd snap it up. They're pretty uncommon though, even more so than the G3. 

Xoa359m.thumb.jpg.e2ab4fa8b7221b89700dc9640c3b00f9.jpg

50 minutes ago, carlospie said:

That looks really nice, so stylish. At the time was this a top end item? I’d love an iPhone in that style. 

 

Yeah, it was top end. Not necessarily in terms of power, although the spec was comparatively decent, but in true Apple style it was very expensive: $1500 or so, depending on extras (so pushing 2K in today's money). 

 

The interesting thing is, this was PowerPC based, which is a RISC chip based system made by IBM. Apple moved to Intel architecture with the iMac, I think? So this was early 2000s, and until ARM-based processors started emerging almost ten years later (driven by the smart phone boom) we were living in very generic times when it came to computer architecture. 

 

This is the first PowerPC I've owned, and this Mac supports up to OSX Tiger. That OS was the start of what we think of as the modern Mac OS, with the dock and stuff - if OS 9.2 (what's installed in this at the moment) is Windows 95, OSX is Windows XP or even 7, by comparison I think. 

 

macos9_15gb_256_disk.thumb.jpg.9f26bd7a57590d40e97f8504724a69da.jpg

 

OSX Tiger 10.4

os-x-10.3-640.jpg.f23050f53cd90f92ed1ccd7741df7487.jpg

 

I'll be upgrading the OS and the RAM, for sure.

 

I find modern Macs to be very sleek and stylish, but very dull as actual computers. Frictionless but generic-feeling. That's not the impression I get from this one thus far :)

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So the first iMac was a G3 all in one. This was followed by the anglepoise lamp model which was a G4 chip. The intel chip transition happened a few years later (around 2005-2006).  
 

I had a 450MHz G4 desktop followed by a G4 quicksilver (867MHz). Then a G5 powermac which I gave away on here. Those are absolute beauties. 

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23 hours ago, Treble said:

It's a gorgeous drive, but the highlight of the trip was definitely seeing this place, in a village called Disley:

maltdisley.thumb.jpg.ac9ff761207bb56ddad0890a532cc9e5.jpg

 

Genius. 

Should have popped in - my local 'ish'  :P

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I'd recommend not bothering with OSX and keeping OS9 on it personally.  

 

I've done this very same Odyssey with G3/G4 iBooks... 

 

Great old fun, but getting OS9 working turned out to be a difficulty.  

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Love this thread. I had a G4 Cube for a good few years that I picked up super cheap. I also can't resist tinkering so it got upgraded to a dual CPU system with a Geforce card I flashed the bios on to be compatible... I probably spent more on parts than I did on the machine itself!

 

It was a pretty good WoW machine for a bit. Before I sold it though technology had matched on and it was struggling with YouTube!

 

Probably one of the nicest looking computers I've ever owned. Lovely piece of engineering.

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39 minutes ago, Droo said:

I'd recommend not bothering with OSX and keeping OS9 on it personally.  

 

I've done this very same Odyssey with G3/G4 iBooks... 

 

Great old fun, but getting OS9 working turned out to be a difficulty.  

 

Ah right, is it a bit of a bugger? I was thinking of trying to put a blank HDD in there and installing direct from the OSX DVD. Would that be viable? Any advice based on what you've experienced gratefully received! 

 

10 minutes ago, S0L said:

Love this thread. I had a G4 Cube for a good few years that I picked up super cheap. I also can't resist tinkering so it got upgraded to a dual CPU system with a Geforce card I flashed the bios on to be compatible... I probably spent more on parts than I did on the machine itself!

 

It was a pretty good WoW machine for a bit. Before I sold it though technology had matched on and it was struggling with YouTube!

 

Probably one of the nicest looking computers I've ever owned. Lovely piece of engineering.

 

They really are impressive. I've not seen the cube in the flesh, but I saw the Anglepoise style one at a friend's, and is a design classic (EDIT: I swear I wrote that before I saw your exact same post, Pavey!!)

 

I'd happily buy either for a Pi project (if I wanted to re-buy a Pi and could be arsed with the faff :D). 

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I have seen online a guy put a higher res screen in the G4 iMac, and a small form PC in it's base. Seem to remember he sprayed the whole thing black too. I was very jealous.

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50 minutes ago, parrapatheslapper said:

Should have popped in - my local 'ish'  :P

 

Hah, awesome! Your whole area is just jaw-droppingly gorgeous. We also appreciated the pub names 'Soldier Dick' and 'Dandy Cock' you member-obsessed community, you :D

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32 minutes ago, Treble said:

Ah right, is it a bit of a bugger? I was thinking of trying to put a blank HDD in there and installing direct from the OSX DVD. Would that be viable? Any advice based on what you've experienced gratefully received! 

 

Putting OSX on was a doddle. Trying to put OS9 back on was quite difficult. Getting OSX on with OS9 running in the original compatibility mode was next to impossible. 

 

With the laptops you needed the specific disks for the specific model. Which turns out to be harder to do than you’d think unless you have the original install disc with the machine. 

 

In the end, I was able to get it working through an old G3 iBook my wife had that didn’t work. Was able to do a transplant of parts etc. 

 

Interesting fun for a few weeks. 

 

The ibooks are surprisingly heavy too. 

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Just quickly hoked them out:

 

iBook G3

 

Connected to the internet, but didn't seem to be able to pull any information from anywhere except the clock...

g3.jpg

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iBook G4

 

This one connected as well, but this time could get onto RLLMUK.

 

I wonder if there is anyone pulling stats from what browsers etc are logging into the forum!

 

 

Note: How small and annoying he little trackpads are!

 

g4.jpg

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17 hours ago, Treble said:

 

Hah, awesome! Your whole area is just jaw-droppingly gorgeous. We also appreciated the pub names 'Soldier Dick' and 'Dandy Cock' you member-obsessed community, you :D

:lol: never really seen it like that

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Yeah, one iMac iteration came out before the Power Mac, you're right.

 

So, this lunchtime I powered-up the G3. All working well, then after a physical fiddle with RAM it decided not to boot. Boooo! Think the PSU has given up the ghost, as it's not the power cable and all the internals are connected correctly (and it's back to its original RAM config).

 

Now this will be a bit involved, as it's not 100% compatible with modern PSUs out of the box but swapping the PSU is a good thing, ultimately, as the original is inefficient and hugely power-consumptive. So now i'll have to do some research and see what can be done!

 

Scratch that, working again now! Something must have been slightly disconnected. It certainly wasn't visible, but I re-secured all connections and it powered up fine.

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Here's the real deal, guys. The money shots. Brace yourselves.

 

The little tease has a cheeky, garter-esque logo on the side. It winks at you in a kittenish manner.

DSC03893.thumb.jpg.569256771dffb65995e876642ec3f8ec.jpg

 

The front has a miniturised duplicate; a sweet kiss of a badge with the vertical lines behind the veneer adding a touch of austere classiness. ROB approves...

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The rear is thicc, my friends. Verging on gaudy, it covers its shame with a brash and brassy get-up. But we know the truth about this saucy unit, oh yes. Filth.

 

Ahem

 

DSC03897.thumb.jpg.f042edc9b423cbc607d610bf7b23ced1.jpg

 

So I tried a few connections to get the hard-wired Dsub VGA connection to play nice with my very modern graphics card: a powered HDMI to VGA, a passive Displayport to VGA, and finally the one that actually worked - a Dell DisplayLink adapter via USB. To be honest, I have no idea why the GPU couldn't cope with such a basic digital to analogue handover, but after ages watching the PC jitter and switch the CRT off and on multiple times per minute, I suspected the DisplayLink (which has a software component, so is dragging the video signal from elsewhere) would work and it was great immediately.

 

DSC03898.thumb.jpg.3451256ddc74a73135549f8a5b74a198.jpg

 

If you look at the first video in the first post, this is what I wanted: to play Control with high RTX settings. And it certainly delivers! With the Studio Display, I dropped the resolution to 1024 x 786, upped the settings to max... yes, including ALL RTX effects.

 

On the CRT, it looks better than great - it looks exceptional. Taking photos of these displays is not easy, but I cracked out the DSLR and did the best I could!

DSC03948.thumb.jpg.37bbb6caa8a137ff2f12d36edda091c1.jpg

 

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Check this out: every reflective surface reacts like this in real time. You can see the diffuse bloom on the overhead strip light...

DSC03944.thumb.jpg.19e2c486642707f08f6f0278474e9767.jpg

 

...which then tightens up into a full reflection when it bounces off the blood spill:

DSC03945.thumb.jpg.c7783f17bf6bcc974d30d0265965a933.jpg

 

 

So there we are! Although I take the piss out of my geek palace, I actually keep it quite restrained and tight into a corner. I leave you with a shot of the full setup (27" widescreen vs. 16" CRT) in light and dark :)

 

DSC03903.thumb.jpg.2e750dc1f50bbe2da5546f7d52c184f2.jpg

 

DSC03951.thumb.jpg.578e3086f3a486ba2c9c647f66baecdf.jpg

 

 

 

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Cool stuff. What refresh rate are you running that at? Do you find the lower resolution has much of an impact compared to what you were running it at on your lcd?

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27 minutes ago, jamesy said:

Cool stuff. What refresh rate are you running that at? Do you find the lower resolution has much of an impact compared to what you were running it at on your lcd?

 

75hz, although it'll go as high as 85 :)

Resolution doesn't make any appreciable difference, truth be told, plus you don't need MSAA or any kind of anti-aliasing, which frees up even more resources.

 

There's even very little in the way of curvature, as it's a Diamondtron (similar to Trinitron) screen. 

 

In all honesty, the only drawback is size as you have to sit reet close to see anything on the bugger! You forget how comparatively massive modern LCDs are until you go back o_0

 

21 minutes ago, spatular said:

cool battle garegga poster :D

 

Cheers man. My wife actually really likes it as well, which is a bonus! 

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Sort of on topic, got given this the other day. Apart from weighing the same as a small car I’ll be having a play later.

 

never owned a Mac before. I think it’s still useable in 2019 (well, you tube videos suggest yes) . Needs a hard drive. Wonder if there is any potential retrogaming in there 

16F35AC7-3C86-4A22-8640-8BBF1F843173.jpeg

A90D106D-DBDB-47BD-AC4C-FFD9BEA7E218.jpeg

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