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marcjali

iBook G3 upgrading to Mac OS X

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Hi All

 

Long time listener here and I have a problem, I am trying to sort out the iBook G3 that my sister bought (I know vintage, it's the Clam Shell one). I was convinced that I would be able to fix it (it's just a software issue).

 

So I have tried everything I can think of, I have got Mac OS 9.2.2 on there at the moment, but I need to get it to 10.3.x, There is no firewire so that prevents 10.4 but I tried to install 10.2.7 from the install CD that came with my iMac (there is also no DVD player).

 

I tried installing from my 3 CD set of Mac OS X 10.3 but it's an upgrade install set so I can't use that either because it requires an installation of Mac OS X.

 

I have tried installing Puma (10.1) but even that it won't allow. So I am at a loss of what to do.

 

It isn't the firmware, that is up to date.

 

So I throw it out to you, does anyone have any ideas?

 

Many thanks,

Marc

Edited by marcjali

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> So I throw it out…

 

that's what I would do. OS X wasn't all that awesome until 10.3. at least this was the version I waited to use before switching to it for the day-to-day. and yeah, I used 10.2 but there wasn't that much that ran there. my main tool at the time was After Effects which didn't work all that well until the 5 point or was it 5.5 version got released. the Clamshell was released in the era of 9.2. frankly 9.2 was a solid release. there were so many core changes to help shape the road ahead. dropping 68K based Macs was controversial at the time but the difference in stability totally made up for it.

 

there was a lot of really good software that ran on OS9 that didn't get moved to OSX for a number of years. the always about to get killed interactive tool Director, Debalizer that converted images to other kinds of images, Electric Image (a 3D render tool which much, much later had an OS X version with a modeler but by then it was too late), the vernerable Page Maker, Framemaker and the often joked about Word 5.1a. even LookOut, err, I mean Outlook for email was happily running.

 

there are a bunch of minus points about the Clamshell moving forward:

  • the Airport is 802.11b. this is shut off on my networks because it makes everything slow. and while you might get a USB wifi thing working in OS X if it's based on a broadcom part good luck with an OS9 version.
  • the hard drive will be old and tiny. you can find a IDE to CF Card sled that will replace it AND give the machine a more snappy fieeling. but pulling the Clamshell apart is not an easy task. there are a zillion screws… here's an article about doing that.
  • the USB ports are 1.1. so things like thumb drives or external USB drives will crawl. ethernet connections will go 10X faster.
  • if the battery holds a charge at all it will be an amazing feat. good luck finding another one. or maybe you could rebuild it. it's just LiO inside.

 

as a technical curiosity the clamshell is interesting. but for day to day use this 13 year old Mac not so awesome unless you stick with OS9.

Edited by johnfoster

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Thanks John but that doesn't really answer my question, she wants to use this one for her college work, the most she'll be doing on it is word processing anyway so nothing too processor heavy so I need to get OS X working on it so that she has a familiar environment to work in.

 

She has an iPad so she can use that for other fun stuff.

 

So the question still remains how do I get OS X on there when it is up to date but my discs arent working, I can get 10.3 on there coz it will read from those discs (the set of upgrade CD's that I mentioned) but I still need to get OS X on there before it will upgrade.

 

I know it can be done, I've just run out of ideas, thanks John very insightful but not what I need to know to resolve the problem I am having.

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I think I mentioned "use OS9" at least once… but you really want 10.3. how is that battery?

 

that iMac is an island. no firewire, no SCSI can't boot target mode of any kind. no DVD. ugh.

 

put the 10.3 installer on a thumb drive or a USB hard drive… wow, that would take forever to load. if it took OS X 1.5 hours to install over a DVD or a FireWire drive it will take 15X longer to do over that USB 1.1 port. 1.5 * 15 = 22.5 hours to install. bird brains that's forever.

 

if you are hell bent on using this Mac then find somebody that can pull the drive, case it up in firewire then boot the 10.3 installer then put the drive back in the iMac and boot away. then run combo updater to get it to the lastest thing it can run. the hard drive is suspect and might fail any time given its age. rethink it's future and use a Compact Flash based 8G installed via a bender instead.

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thanks John, I won't be the one using it, I have my trusty MacBook Pro for that.

 

The 10.3 installer wont run without some sort of OS X on there, coz i have upgrade discs.

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find a torrent for 10.2 or a "retail" 10.3.

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Word processing? Buy pages and a bluetooth keyboard for the iPad and be done with it. It'll be faster than the G3.

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Yeah, hate to "pile on" but I really don't think that iBook is adequate for any current college work. She really needs something more up to date.

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the old iBook will perform school tasks just fine. the good news is that education has not changed much in the last 40 years especially compared to technology. I haven't been in a classroom as a prof in 10 years but if I walked into one today it would be like nothing changed. it's very likely that all of the curriculum that I developed would bolt in with no changes, okay minor changes.

 

I've often said that if I ever went back to school as a student that technology would make me 100X the student I was without. here's what I would bring to make that happen…

 

Outliner - if there is one tool that will help you learn faster it's an outlining tool. the monkey in front of the classroom has what they are saying as an outline so the best way to capture the notes back is with one of these tools. MORE was one of the first truly useful outliners. followed by ACTA. and eventually Word had an outline mode although it's usefulness is in question.

 

so what's the big deal about Outlines? you can collapse and expand elements. this lets you hide masses of data into a headline. based on that you can promote and demote thoughts by dragging the anchors to different places in the document.

 

all the shows that I create for my podcasts start as outlines. these give us talking points, contain facts and help the crew stay on topic. the show doesn't have to follow the outline from top to bottom and rarely does. after the show is recorded the outline is rewritten into text / show notes / article to go with the show. of course the next hardest part is recapturing what the other people said during the show. usually this is only a few links or topics so it's not like a complete rewrite.

 

there are "note taking" tools but I think that a basic outline tool is a better more generic way to work and learn. you really want to have as little features as possible so you can learn the tool well allowing you to go as fast as possible.

 

Mind Mapping - I consider Mind Mapping to be Outliners gay older brother. the concept of mind mapping is that you make a visual "map" of information. you can do this with balloons or boxes or colors to help tell a story of a complex system. it's something you either "get" or it's the stupidest thing in the whole world. another way to think of a MM is that it's a complex timeline. and timeline is one of the ways that MM software can present data. which is awesome for things that have an order that you need to keep straight. but unlike a plain timeline a mind map timeline could have multiple timelines which is an awesome way to learn about things like wars because there are parallel histories going on that can easily get lost if you tell it like a narrative.

 

Werp - I had a word processor when I was in high school running on an Apple II. I didn't like it much. so I tried another and another and another. eventually I settled on AppleWriter and Word Star (which ran in CP/M on a Z80 card). but I spent way too much time dealing with the technicalities of the tools instead of focusing on writing. today I do most of my writing using TextEdit because it's simple and stable (it's NEVER crashed on me in 10+ years). in any case the writing tool has to have two things: automatic saving and basic formatting keys for things like bold and italic. formatting text usually lands itself in one of two tools: Word or inDesign. both have their strong points. each require a bit of learning to make useful. you really should keep capturing thoughts and formatting them as two separate tasks. otherwise you'll get behind. lean featureless tools equate to speed while powerful do-it-alls should be eschewed until there is time to deal with the complexity you require.

 

Flash Cards - I hate them because I have to make them for the subject I want to learn. but the act of making is part of the reinforcement which is what most education specialist miss when they recommend flash cards as a learning tool. but that's not the only problem with them. eventually you want to turn them into a test of sorts. that means using an intimidating person to control the flow and grade you as you go. which doesn't help the confidence part of learning. better to use a robot to help with the testing because it doesn't give a care if you pass or fail or bail.

 

one of the overlooked (and possibly best) tool to do this of course is Power Point. gag. I can hear you all gag. well. it would work. it's fast for doing the creation. supports graphics and sound via drag and drop interface. you could get clever on the printing of the cards using a left /right fold the slide method. and it could make for an interesting study group teaching tool. plus you get to be a PowerPoint expert.

 

TXT to Speech - three years ago some random hit my head with a baseball bat with the intent of robbing me of the stuff in my pockets. or just practicing random acts of violence. since then I have had a very hard time writing. and the thing that has saved me is using the built-in text to speech tools. these have existed since OS7. there used to be a "read the error" feature for dialogs. you could change the beep sound to be a beep word. in fact the beep word could come from a list of words that were picked at random. so we taught our Mac's in the office to swear like sailors. "CRAP! the printer is out of paper." "DAMMIT! you are not connected to the internet!" "Son of a… the file server…" you get the idea. anyway, I use the reading feature as a proofing tool. it helps me find the words that are missing that I thought I wrote. or reveals that I used the wrong word. again.

 

all of these tools can be found for that old, old Mac. you just have to dig for them. in many cases there was really good versions running on OS9 that never got moved over to OSX. like MORE for example. in fact that's a perfect example. there were lots of "hypercard" tools made for education that didn't make the cut because the legacy didn't always translate into new sales.

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I haven't been in a classroom as a prof in 10 years but if I walked into one today it would be like nothing changed.

 

John, with all due respect, how can you say such a thing ? I would submit that anyone ... in any field ... who has been away from things for ten years is going to be a bit out of touch. Do you know that in some states ( upstate NY included ) they are talking about doing away with textbooks and using tablets within 3 years ... for High School ! Education has not changed much in the last 40 years when it comes to Technology ? In 1972 ( 40 years ago ) my HS was using a mainframe that you had to input using punch cards. They had NO terminals and NO homework or research was done on anything similar to a PC ... and the closest thing to the idea of the internet was something you might see on a re-run of Star Trek.

 

My Niece is entering her Senior year of HS. As such she is in the process of interviewing/visiting colleges. She is being given specific requirements for the computer she will need at each school. There are, of course, variations, but one thing that is constant is that they require a laptop with at least 801.11g. Almost all universities now require papers to be submitted online and they are adamant about that requirement ( don't know exactly why but they are ). Also, most schools she is looking at require the capability to run at least MS Office 2008 on the Mac side ( for Powerpoint purposes ) which requires, I believe, at least 10.4 to run. She is going to major in Dance ( not the most tech heavy field of study I would submit ). It is these requirements I was basing my remarks on. I would say this would be pretty standard, if not on the light side, of what most colleges are requiring now.

Edited by Dolphbucs

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i think what John was getting at with that comment was that the process of teaching and learning hasn't changed much in ten years. You will still have lectures, labs, tests, notes to take, and the rest. The difference now is that the technology used to present (from the teacher) and record (by the student) has changed.

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the good news is that education has not changed much in the last 40 years especially compared to technology. I haven't been in a classroom as a prof in 10 years but if I walked into one today it would be like nothing changed.

 

He did say "especially compared to technology" and this thread was discussing whether an iBook G3 is adequate for current college use. That was my context.

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The technology has change, but how we are using it hasn't changed very much, honestly. Unless there are wireless requirements for hooking up to the internet what you will use a laptop for aren't very different form what you would have used them for 10 years ago.

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Unless there are wireless requirements for hooking up to the internet ....

 

My Point exactly. Like I pointed out previously " My Niece is entering her Senior year of HS. As such she is in the process of interviewing/visiting colleges. She is being given specific requirements for the computer she will need at each school. There are, of course, variations, but one thing that is constant is that they require a laptop with at least 801.11g. Almost all universities now require papers to be submitted online and they are adamant about that requirement ( don't know exactly why but they are ). Also, most schools she is looking at require the capability to run at least MS Office 2008 on the Mac side ( for Powerpoint purposes ) which requires, I believe, at least 10.4 to run. She is going to major in Dance ( not the most tech heavy field of study I would submit ).

 

Such requirements, in my mind, preclude the use of an iBook G3 in college ... which I believe was the topic of this thread. John's post started with " the old iBook will perform school tasks just fine " and I was trying to point out that this is NOT true for all situations. My niece is going to be a Dance major. If she is being told those specs for a computer, then it stands to reason those are pretty base line. The OP stated that his sister wants to use it for college work and that the most she'll be doing on it is word processing. I'm trying to point out that is not a safe assumption to make.

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Fair enough. My defense of John's comment was based solely on the the portion you quoted.

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