Anybody have good suggestions, for modifying a beige G3 DT? So far, I only have upgrades planned for it - faster G3 processor, 768 megs RAM, CD-RW, 120 gig HDD. Otherwise, the only "mod" I can think of is, paint the case.
I collected Beige G3s for a while. I think I have about 8 now, desktops and towers. I had worked out that the logic boards were about the right size that I could suspend them from thick wire rails in the drawers of a filing cabinet. Since they are ATX, I figured I could run several boards off one higher rated PSU (The Apple PSUs had feeble wattage ratings, a 600W PSU could probably run 10 of these guys without displays and netbooting would remove the need for individual HDs)
The whole project was inspired by Xgrid, which would just about run on these machines if you maxxed them up to 10.2.8, the minimum OS for the original Xgrid client software.
I eventually abandoned the project since I figured I could spend a few hundred on PSUs, ethernet cards, and the various required splitters, cables, interconnects, fans and various other sundries and I would end up with a 3 drawer filing cabinet with a maximum theoretical computing power equivalent to maybe a low end PowerMac G5 or a couple of gameboys gaffer taped together. Only this power would only be available to software or scripts that I could write or find to run over Xgrid, so it wasn't about to run Quake or anything.
Ultimately, it would be less powerful/useful/versatile than an iPhone, while costing more money, taking up about ten thousand times the space and drawing enough juice to send a Delorean 30 years into the past.
They are a good form factor to mod with. Fairly small, several off the shelf parts you can swap out (think tiny ATX PSUs from rack mount servers for example) plenty of upgrades available. Be aware that modding one is a labour of love, not a sound financial investment. You can stick a 1GHz G4 and a radeon 9200 in it but it isn't going to play guitar hero or much else less than a few years old. HD playback is also not likely - I tried to get a Cube doing this, the bus and RAM are too slow, and the Beige G3 is 30% slower.
A reasonably cool mod would be to gut an old CRT TV. Fit the G3 and a flat panel, a pile of storage, maybe with a RAID card and a faster network card. That would be a nice stealth mod, since CRTs are cheap and heavy and no thief worth his salt would dream of taking one in this day and age.
At one time, in MacAddict (now MacLife), I'd seen a Power Macintosh 7xxx into a vintage stereo (radio/turntable) conversion. The guy doing the mod had mounted a vertical CD drive behind the radio tuner dial, and that's about all I remember of it.
One possibility, for me, is to convince my dad to help me dig out my ca. 60s/70s Zenith console stereo (AM/FM tuner/3-spd. turntable/8-track deck), and set about to getting the guts of my beige G3 DT into that. If I remember correctly, the tuner is the only thing that actually works. With a bit of work, I could probably convert the 8-track deck into an iPOD dock, and with a PCI-USB card I might be able to replace the stock turntable with something like one of the ION USB turntables. The biggest headache might be where to mount the optical drive, but otherwise I might have the makings of being able to do some vinyl to MP3 conversions with some retro kinda style.
...a maximum theoretical computing power equivalent to maybe a low end PowerMac G5 or a couple of gameboys gaffer taped together.
I had a similar epiphany on a mod. I had bought 5 JAZ drives used and was going to make an external 5 JAZ RAID Array. I'd even gone as far as to make a custom cable that had the 5 internal connections and the 2 external connections so it could be properly terminated. meh...
2.4gHz 15" MacBook Pro, 1.66gHz Core Duo Mac Mini, 2.5gHz G5 QUAD, 733mHz Quicksilver, 450mHz G4 Cube, 700mHz G3 iBook, 350mHz Sawtooth G4, 350mHz Revs. A and B B&W G3, 16mHz Powerbook 100, 8mHz Macitosh Classic.
I have a beige G3 desktop running 10.4.11 (thanks to XPostFacto) and it is very usable for most everyday uses: email, internet, word processing, etc. I suggest a G4 processor, not a faster G3, because some of the newer apps (Toast 8 or 9, for example) won't run on less than a G4. A Sonnet 500 MHz G4 is a good upgrade for this machine. For a hard drive controller I use an ATTO PSC Express SCSI card driving a 15K SCSI HDD. Your optical drive should be able to read DVDs. You'll also want a good PCI video card. I had a flashed Radeon 7000/64 MB card but I recently switched it for a flashed GeForce 5200/256 MB PCI card. I had a lot of spare parts on hand, what I didn't have I bought used at really cheap prices, flashed my own PC video cards, and tried to hold the cost to $100. Reality Check- you can now buy a Sawtooth or maybe even a used Digital Audio for that $100. I mainly did the upgrades because this is the first Mac I ever bought and I'm curious about how long I can keep it going- the beige G3s are built like tanks!
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