PowerPC Mac

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  • So my brother acquired an old g4 imac and I've been tinkering with it. It has osx 10.1 so I can literally find no software for it. Not to mention browsing with internet explorer is painful since most sites don't load right. I may add that I won't be putting any money into it since it only cost 6$.

    So my question is what could be done with it? Or what would you do with it?

    So far I've:

    * Booted into the bios and amused myself programming in FORTH and trying to boot from usb and cd.

    * Tried using Linux on it. Driver support is atrocious and coaxing linux to a working state, is too tedious for my liking.

    * Found I could install an apple compiler suite that predates Xcode. So if I was so inclined I can now make apps, that would only work there, from what I can tell.

    Now it's serving as a decorative paper weight, and I'm looking for uses or ideas for it's fate.

  • Maybe put a Raspberry Pi, or Beagle Bone in it. Lots of credit card sized pcs coming out now.

    A lot of those run all types of os, Linux, Android, or even Chrome if you're feeling adventurous.

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  • spacedoubt

    Haha, quite an idea but it hasn't given as much pain as that printer did.


    Interesting, but I couldn't use anything from the imac with that. Maybe the flatscreen but it's hardwired in and I don't like the imac case that much. Interesting stuff to mess with none the less.

  • Well, the last time I had the opportunity to buy a very cheap iMac with PowerPC (RISC) processor, a friend of mine told the seller what we were gonna use it for; highspeed photography of it. While it explodes from being dropped more than 10 meters... (we're both photographers, and I have sound triggers for the flashes, which means we can get consistently solid results). Upon hearing that, the seller refused to sell us the iMac...

    Such old technology is of no practical use nowadays; it consumes way too much power - and even your mobile phone can probably match the processing power. At a fraction of the power consumption. If you're good with tools, you can maybe use it to rebuild it into a cool speaker or a stand for a table top, but that's about as much use as I imagine one can find for it.

    PowerPCs were the competitors to the Pentium II - 4 generations, if my memory serves me correct, and they were pretty much on par (well, AMD won that race back then, with their Athlon 64 / 64 X2) - and I couldn't for the life of me find anything I'd like to use such systems for. It's like trying to find a practical use for an old pair of worn trousers that're too small. Sure, you could try and make them into shorts which wouldn't solve the size issue at the waist though - but the funniest thing would probably be to make them into a bag or something completely different... ^_^

  • I guess you could turn it into a nice clock. Or turn it into a cool lamp.

    Maybe create an app that display a clock while the background has an adjustable flat color that doubles as an RGB lamp. If you have access to some kind of I/O ports you could remove the mouse and keyboard and add some control knobs for the hue and lightness. Or maybe hack the mouse and mount it's components into the case to work as the input: X for hue and Y for lightness. This way you get a nice form factor.

    Another idea is to use it as one of those fancy lcd picture frames.

    Or make it display the weather or news if you can make it communicate with the web.

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