Wow, I feel like I won the lotto - In 1 week's time I went from being a Mac pauper to having a working Mac and multiple mod-able units. On Friday of last week and Monday of this week, the office next to my work threw out some Macs (flavored iMacs and a graphite G4 w/ 17" Monitor). Needless to say, as soon as I saw them, they were gone off the curb without a trace.
After a brief inspection, the G4 is a Sawtooth 400MHz / 192MB / 10G / DVD that boots up (but no OS installed). Three days later, I got my Jaguar install discs from Other World (bargain bin) and within 1 hour after that, it is a working computer. (God I missed having macs - try installing any windows software and having a perfectly functioning machine in under an hour).
The iMacs are non working, but perfectly mod-able - a Lime tray-load iMac with no CPU/Logic Board/Drive sled and a the bottom half of a Blueberry slot-load iMac without HD/Ram.
With that said, I'm looking for ideas for what to do with these iMacs.
For the brain-less tray-loader, one idea is to make it some sort of a multi-purpose TV/DVD/computer monitor. I'm thinking There ought to be enough room inside to put a small DVD player (like the 9" square Cyberhome models) and also something like the Viewsonic Nextvision (N4, N5 or N6) - which has a TV Tuner and video/RGB switcher for use with RGB/VGA monitors.
The other idea is to try and save for a Mac Mini and see if I can squeeze a Mac Mini, a PC ITX mobo w/ it's own 2.5"HD with a KVM switch and see if I can get it all inside it the case. Either way, I'll need to create a custom video cable and figure out which leads to short in order to turn the monitor on. Does anyone know if it is in the iMac video cable or in the power connectors that come down from the monitor portion (top-half) of the case?
Not sure what to do about the monitor-less slot-load yet. I suppose I need to drop in some RAM and an HD to see if it boots, but first I'll need to make a 20-pin to VGA video cable and then figure out what kind of power I need to get into the 6-pin power connector that feeds the down converter. Does anyone know of have links for this info?
Cool. Sounds like you have some goo ideas too. As for the DVD player, most of their internal take up 1/2 the space in their case. You don't have to buy one that is small. I think it would be sweet to have a iMac TV/DVD combo in my guest room. Good luck. -maestro
Well, I'm in Canada. And some things were added over time here and there, but with a major upgrade effort occurring exactly a year ago. So the Canadian prices were:
Pioneer DVR107 last february from a PC shop for $110.00
ATI Radeon 9000 Pro card bought at a Mac shop Sept./03 of $179.00 (awesome deal at the time)
The RAM was built up over time.
2 X 180Gb Hitachi Deskstar xServe drives (ATA6, 7200rpm, 8Mb cache) from a company in Vancouver. originally meant to be used, they SAID they ended up sending me new ones because of concerns for the old one's condition. They looked new to me. Price: $100.00 each! i didn't really need them, but couldn't resist the deal -- nor the opportunity to put a cherry on top of my upgrading. These drives were the last thing I did to "Frankenmac" as I call it. Prior to the RAID, I had already added a Seagate 120Gb 2Mb cache drive internally for CAN$110.00 from a PC shop. I took it and installed it into a Firewire enclosure.
Sonnet ATA133 2-channel card for CAN$113.00. this is NOT their dedicated RAID card that cost $100.00 more, but does have two ATA channels nevertheless.
Now, the biggie is the dual processors. Although there are retailers in Canada where I could have got them, Other World Computing had better prices even after the exchange rate. Total after conversion, shipping, a pittance broker fee and Canadian taxes at the border was CAN$1,100.00.
Considering the used G4 Mac market as of January/04 (when I got the CPU upgrade), it would have been about the same amount of money for a MDD dual 1.25GHz Powermac in Canadian funds. And it would not have had 2Gb RAM nor as much drive space as I needed at the time. Adding that to the price of a used MDD, it probably would have been a wash. AND I would have had to coordinate selling my Sawtooth while getting a MDD... and yet, I couldn't afford to buy before I sell, yada-yada.
And then, it was also fun to do and fun to BLOW AWAY the assumption of the usual PC users that "Macs are not upgradable". :evil: But the xServe RAID? That was totally a vanity effort last november
I had always thought that I would retire Frankenmac upstairs in a a couple of years, replacing that old 8100 + Sonnet G3/266 I have upstairs at that point. That was the other justification I had, which was that Frankenmac would go on to serve as a family computer. Then... Apple came out with that sweet little Mac Mini. I bought one! :woohoo: I got the Superdrive & 80Gb drive on the 1.25GHz G4. I'll also use it as a duplicating station for my work demo DVD. But, when it comes to be G5 time for my work, I don't know which one will be cast out of the house. Frankenmac is fast but big and loud; mac Mini not as fast, fast enough, however -- but whisper quit and sleek... B)
PS: I am SO BUMMED that there is already a "Macaholic" at this forum! I hang out at a Canadian Mac users' forum as Macaholic... but here I have to go by my other nom de guerre.
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