ideas for g3 imac mod?

Posted by: zib_redlektab

ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/09/07 05:09 AM

I have a boring-as-hell vanilla imac g3 sitting under my desk, my plans for making it a server completely failed when it wouldn't mount my external drive, so now I want to do something with it.


buuuuuut....I have no ideas. Any recommendations?
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/09/07 08:41 AM

You can still use it as a server. Just don't use the external drive. Since the G3 is a bit out dated it would be perfect for light server use. Since it's a iMac you can turn it into a headless iMac and put it into a different case. Since it would be in a different case you can use a plain old desktop DVD+RW.
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/09/07 10:22 AM

'headless' meaning what, removing the crt? I think its running osx 10.2, what are the volume size limitations of 10.2? (Would I be able to put in a...say...250gb hard drive to replace the 30gb it has now without upgrading the OS?)

edit: actually, would i be able to have both the 250 and the 30 plus a disk drive? because i can't replace the 30gb since i dont have the restore discs anymore, so i need to keep the os on the drive or im screwed...
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/09/07 02:00 PM

The iMac G3 has a hardware limit of 128GB on 'internal' drives. You can use bigger drives, but you are wasting anything over 128GB, as it won't show up. If you want bigger drives, firewire is the way to go. You can buy firewire enclosures if you want to transfer your current external to a new box. If your firewire has failed, you are stuck.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/09/07 05:30 PM

You're correct on the headless part. Most of the time the iMac CRTs die and i'm surprised yours still works.

Yes, you can have a big drive but only to 128GB like War said and a 30GB drive on the same IDE channel. Thing is you wouldn't have some kind of a CD drive unless it was USB or firewire. Also you would need to make a new cable for the two drives since the IDE channel looks a bit SCSI like. Just need the 40pin connection, the rest is to power the CD-ROM drive.
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/10/07 04:57 AM

Ok I'm downloading the install cd for tiger right now, so I'm going to replace the hard drive with a larger one (prolly 100gb) and install tiger, and not worry about keeping the 30.

So basically, remove the crt, put the components in a new case (they're not a standard shape though, how do i mount em?), replace the hard drive....anything else...

oh right, upgrade the ram. is the processor upgradable, or should i not bother? (i don't really know what speed the current one is...)
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/10/07 09:05 AM

May as well leave the CPU. Upgrades are rare and tend not to be cost effective.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/10/07 02:47 PM

Since the iMac uses a small logicboard you can put it into a computer case and end up with a lot of extra room for cooling or you can crap it into a one of a kind object to use as a case.

Upgrading the CPU would be handy but it depends on what iMac you have. If it's the trayload iMac then yes the CPU is upgradeable. If it's a slot load imac then you're stuck. Also it's kinda hard to install tiger onto a G3 iMac, the system installer looks for Firewire and if the system doesn't have it it will not install. There are a few hacks and tweaks to bypass it though.

Also when you do install OSX make a 2 partition setup on the drive. Make the Primary 8GB. Make the second one the rest of the drive. For some reason if you use the whole partition on a iMac the system will act strange and some software will not install. Although this might be fixed in 10.3.x and 10.4.x (correct me if i'm wrong).

I've been trying to make my headless mac to work in a xbox case. I tried making a case out of legos but I don't have enough free time and I can't find my 5 gallon bucket of blocks, can only find my two buckets of special parts and road pieces.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/10/07 04:16 PM

actually if you wanted to get a bigger hard drive on there 128 gig+ try this handy driver:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Intech%20USA/SPEEDHCCD/


It's only $15.00 and might be worth your money.
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/10/07 05:39 PM

My iMac has firewire. So can I install tiger?

are there downsides to using a cardboard box for a case? because i have way too many of those and i think it'd be kinda cool to have a carboard computer...

and I don't really mind the 128gb limit for now, I don't even have a purpose for this yet since i have much more powerful computers i'm using as servers, maybe i'll just let it manage backups for me or something...I guess i would need a larger drive for that. Meh,
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/10/07 06:02 PM

just another idea i just had: could i mount the components on the bottom of a wood table, and have extender cables on all the ports come through a hole or something? or maybe a shelf. that'd be realyl cool...
Posted by: manhackman

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/10/07 07:03 PM

Originally Posted By: "zib_redlektab "

just another idea i just had: could i mount the components on the bottom of a wood table, and have extender cables on all the ports come through a hole or something? or maybe a shelf. that'd be realyl cool...


I like the sound of that! You could fit it all into one of ikea's floating shelves! or make a similar custom one!
http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20103752
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/10/07 07:23 PM

Well i have this book case built into my wall right next to my desk, I was thinking about drilling some holes in the bottom of a shelf to match the mounting screws of the mobo, and then just attach it there. get some extension cables for all the ports on it and make some holes through the side of the book case to thread them through. I think it could work, but I'm really not sure.

Plus im still living with my parents, and i'm not sure they'd go for me drilling a lot of holes through a shelf just for mounting a computer i don't use....dammit....

i think i'll start with a cardboard box mod, since i haven't done any serious case modding ever before, and i'd like to start small. can anyone tell me the rough size of an imac mobo?
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/11/07 04:07 AM

The cardboard idea is fine but I wouldn't just toss it into a box. I would make it look like a case. I found this and thought I would share it.

http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2005/10/cardboard_pc_ca.html

mxlews is right since the CRT still works. When it dies you would have some killer ideas ready though.
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/11/07 05:04 AM

Well maybe i'll do the internal upgrades and use it as a media server until the crt starts to die, then i'll change the case a lot.

what's a reasonable price for a power mac g3?
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/12/07 03:39 AM

If the B&W has all of it's parts I would say 50 aswell. If it's missing 1 or 2 things like memory or a video card I would say 25.
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: ideas for g3 imac mod? - 07/12/07 05:33 AM

Hmm. Well it'd be cool to get a b&w to mod and stuff...i don't know really. maybe i'll upgrade the imac and use it as a backup server, and then maybe get a b&w to do something cool.