VOGONS


First post, by Shreddoc

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Saw one going virtually-free locally but, despite it being only the second computer CRT of any kind in my area over the past year (on the open market), I'm really struggling to see or imagine any worthwhile use for it.

It'd apparently be a struggle even to interface the CRT with external hardware. And I've read that the CRT isn't good quality anyway.

Reply 2 of 18, by Big Pink

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-01-13, 08:09:

It'd make a pretty door stop.

As it was in life, so shall it be in death. Designed by Apple in California™.

I thought IBM was born with the world

Reply 3 of 18, by Shreddoc

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I thought as much. It's a shame to see any computer CRT, or any retro computer full-stop, be truly redundant and without feasible purpose.

But it looks like that is probably the situation with G3's.

Too slow to run anything worthwhile. No proprietary/native software of note. Takes up a CRT's-worth of space, but without really providing a CRT's-worth of fun.

Even the mighty elvis @ OCAU tried and struggled to connect the CRT to other things.

[noticed, he says the CRT is actually "beautiful, and despite a very limited choice video modes, displays an amazing and sharp picture", which is in contrast to the general buzz I'd heard elsewhere, but he knows his stuff so I may have to revise my opinion on the screen quality...]

Reply 4 of 18, by chinny22

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Aren't G3's fairly backwards compatible if you want to play classic mac games?
I've got myself a cheap G4 to try out mac versions of games like Warcraft 2, Wolfenstein and what have you if you did want an excuse.
Although I got mine 3 years ago and got as far as reinstalling the OS and haven't touched it since.

Reply 6 of 18, by PTherapist

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Judging by the link in your last post, I'm guessing this is an iMac G3. You don't specify which one it is though, post some specs.

The original Bondi Blue iMac G3 has pretty poor specs compared with the later ones and it's also harder to upgrade the RAM as they use SODIMM memory chips and require you to pretty much dismantle the computer and remove the CPU to gain access to both RAM sockets, plus they're also extremely picky about RAM sticks with regards to what will and won't work. The later slot loading iMac G3 models on the other hand have faster CPUs, slightly better onboard graphics and use regular PC100/133 SDRAM DIMMS accessible from the back and some can support up to 1GB maximum RAM.

There's lots of classic Mac games you could play on any iMac G3, assuming you're running Mac OS 9 and not trying to struggle with Mac OS X. It won't run late 90s games very smoothly due to the poor onboard graphics, but there's still lots of choice. There's even Linux distributions available, if you decide to do something other than gaming.

Reply 7 of 18, by dionb

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Is this an iMac G3 or a PowerMac G3?

The way you're talking about "interfacing with external hardware" sounds like an iMac...

Anyway, "I'm really struggling to see or imagine any worthwhile use for it." - same applies to 99% of the stuff we're doing here. Objectively it's all old obsolete crap unable to do anything you can't do better on new systems. Subjectively there's a treasure chest of nostalgia, of touch and feel of old stuff that an emulator can't reproduce. So the question really should be: what is *your* connection to this era of hardware and software?

A CRT iMac can run pretty much all the turn-of-the-Millennium Mac software. If that's what floats your boat, great. If not, probably less so. It can also run (old) Linux. We had one in the office running YellowDog for quite a few years being used for various scripts and tests, but that was mainly because it looked cool. In terms of power, it's on par with about a P2 or P3 (depending on model/CPU speed), and of course it can't run DOS/Windows natively, so it's of no use to a DOS gamer.

Reply 8 of 18, by Jo22

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Hi, good evening everyone! 🙂
From my experience, the Power Mac G3 Blue/White is still useful.

It can run System 8/9 natively, has an ATI Rage 128 that has nice 2D/3D performance and supports QuickDraw.
With an additional Voodoo 2, it can run some 3D titles nicely.
The first IDE controller is poor, though.

Mac OS 10.4 Tiger runs okay on the G3 and some earlier emulators will run "fine" .
Especially, with a flashed Geforce 2/4MX that can do assist Quartz and OpenGL 1.2.

Here are some sample videos, though recorded with a G4:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytM-uznCZc4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdT8XBcznOs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S411wvqxgl4

That being said, the applications do almost run as well on my PM G3 with 350MHz.
For example, Virtual PC v3, the last one with Voodoo support,
has no special support for G4 or the AltiVec.
That came with v4, which coukd put the CPU in little-endian mode, which made emulating x86 more easy.

Personally, I used my old iBook G3 running OS 9 for my radio hobby.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWVsgMLnE54

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 9 of 18, by kolderman

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I have a G3 iMac with System9 on it, and I love it. Why?

- great for classic Mac gaming of course (pre-OSX)
- natural home for early Bungie titles like Myth
- the iMac had great ornamental/decorative value in the home, especially for a retro computing nerd 🤣

Reply 10 of 18, by Jo22

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kolderman wrote on 2021-01-14, 19:28:
I have a G3 iMac with System9 on it, and I love it. Why? […]
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I have a G3 iMac with System9 on it, and I love it. Why?

- great for classic Mac gaming of course (pre-OSX)
- natural home for early Bungie titles like Myth
- the iMac had great ornamental/decorative value in the home, especially for a retro computing nerd 🤣

I feel the same. ❤️

I got an original iMac G3 in the 2000s and upgraded it's memory from 32MB to 96MB or so.

That way, Cheetah (yes, X 10.0) ran fine.
Soon later, I installed Puma (X 10.1), IE 5.x and Flash Player 9. Among other things.
Tiger 10.4 also ran nice (XPostFacto helped installing it).

It served me well as a music player (midi/mod/mp3) and for.. watching Pokémon episodes online (via Flash).. 😂

Edit: Though the later iMacs with a slot loading (instead of tray loading) were much quiter due to convectional cooling.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 11 of 18, by Errius

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I have a tray loading iMac G3. It's also one of my favorite computers. (In fact, everybody likes it. I have lots of computers in my house, but when strangers visit, the first thing they say is "oh look an iMac".)

It was 233 MHz and 128 MB with 8 GB HDD when it came to me and now is 333 MHz and 384 MB and 128 GB, which I believe is the limit. Dual boot OS9/Panther.

The thing you need to watch out for with these machines is the PRAM battery, which is prone to bursting and killing the logic board. I lost another G3 because of this.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 12 of 18, by Shreddoc

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Thanks guys. It's a measure of what a PC Guy I am, that I didn't even think to specify it's an iMac.

So I have zero Apple nostalgia or connection to the past, and would gain nothing personally from playing Mac versions of old games. Nothing against it, but it's just not my history in the slightest. The most I could say, is that I respect the achievements of the company and the design+quality of some of their hardware at certain eras.

Therefore the only value of the machine to me is the CRT. If it could be repurposed and connected to a DOS machine, or have an RPi-or-something built into it, then (in this small-city-in-a-small-country where ANY computer CRT is really, really rare) I would drop the required $30 on it. But, as per the extensive and technical research and mucking around detailed in my OCAU link above, it seems this is not feasible, and would only be buying a lot of work and frustration.

Reply 13 of 18, by Jo22

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The original iMac G3 used VGA internally, I think.

If so, there surely must be some hacking material online. 😀

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 14 of 18, by Shreddoc

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-01-14, 21:27:

The original iMac G3 used VGA internally, I think.

If so, there surely must be some hacking material online. 😀

Nothing definitive, unfortunately. (that I'm aware of...)

Reply 15 of 18, by dionb

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Exacty which iMac is it? There's enough out there on everything from putting new hardware in there to using it as a fish bowl...

There's a model number on the back somewhere, something like " M4984" (that would be the original Bondi Blue)

Reply 16 of 18, by shamino

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I had a green one (still tray loading) that I threw out a few months ago before moving. Tried to sell it but shipping and the questionable condition of it's CRT (it was making an intermittent snap, like some high voltage issue) are probably why it didn't get much interest.
I thought about trying to set it up as an arcade/console emulator, but I think the CPU would limit it and I prefer to use an SDTV for that anyway. That might be a use though.

I remember seeing a web site somewhere that showed how to hook the monitor up to external VGA, but it's been years since I saw that. Like you, that was the only compelling reason for me to keep it. Instead I kept an NEC that doesn't work, because I like it better and I'm gambling that it will be a simple fix (it stopped powering on after a power outage).

Reply 17 of 18, by Shreddoc

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dionb wrote on 2021-01-14, 22:55:

Exacty which iMac is it? There's enough out there on everything from putting new hardware in there to using it as a fish bowl...

There's a model number on the back somewhere, something like " M4984" (that would be the original Bondi Blue)

All the info I have is these two images :

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My technical reference has been this 17-page, 8-year-old thread at MacRumors titled "iMac G3 mod - Video Connector", and elvis's aforementioned work here, with somewhat of a crossover here.

I've known elvis for years and if "even he" is struggling, then I suspect (unless A Magic Guide pops up!) I might be wasting my time.

Reply 18 of 18, by Vynix

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Since it's a trayloader it should have an internal DA-15 (Apple VGA) connector from which you can send a regular VGA signal (640x480 iirc) through a DE-15 to DA-15 dongle.

Proud owner of a Shuttle HOT-555A 430VX motherboard and two wonderful retro laptops, namely a Compaq Armada 1700 [nonfunctional] and a HP Omnibook XE3-GC [fully working :p]