The Risks of Selling an Item on Ebay – Taliesin Graff iMac G4 Edition

This is a learning lesson to everyone out there, beware of buyers on ebay. Some will try to take advantage of you and put the blame on you. This is my warning to everyone out there, doesn’t matter if you are selling a PowerBook G4 or a Chevy truck door. The concept is the same!

Earlier in the month of May, I listed my iMac G4 15″ 800MHz model on ebay (I have had this machine for well over three years and no problems) for $60 and an additional $20 for shipping, making the cost of this iMac a total of $80.

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I sell this machine to a guy named Taliesin Graff (tgra2152) of Tempe, Arizona. I shipped the machine to him making sure that everything was protected, including styrofoam inserts to keep the screen from moving around and smashing into the base to make sure the iMac arrived unharmed.

Taliesin proceeds to open up an ebay case saying that the display was damaged due to a broken neck on the iMac. He could have been telling the truth or he could have been lying. Here is what he had to say:

“Entire rear assembly of monitor is damaged beyond repair. Product was very poorly packaged, with zero attempt to prevent damage when carrier oriented box differently than seller expected. No fragile or this side up warnings were provided. Exceptionally disappointed.”

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I proceed to make a UPS shipping label and send this label to him within half an hour of a notification on my phone telling me that they wanted a return. It took several days for Taliesin to even ship a computer back to me.

When I get this machine I find it in the original box I used to ship it, yet Taliesin did not use the inserts properly the same way I did to protect the machine and below are the pictures of how I uncovered this iMac at the bottom of the box. Packaging was also missing.


 

Note that I did not receive the power cord, keyboard, and mouse that were included with the sale of this machine, and explain to me how a chunk of the fan is inside the shipping box when there is no way that chunk could have come out of the machine without it being torn apart. Hmmmm.

I start looking at the computer and noticing a few things. The top half of the computer shell had some markings that mine didn’t have. The power button on this machine was cracked, and there was this “smokers residue dust” shoved inside the ports of this iMac logic board.

I am talking to a friend of mine and he told me straight up that this is not the same machine you shipped to this guy. With that said I started to disassemble the machine to find what mysteries would unfold.

I tear it down to find that the guy was smart enough to swap three things over. The RAM, metal bottom cover, and my 320GB WD hard drive. Yet there were things that threw me off. I had torn down my iMac to the same extent years ago and there was no sign of it being in a smokers home ever. This “new” iMac had that residue all over inside.

I see something that throws me off immediately and 100% confirms that this was not my machine. The disc drive. On August 2, 2017 I swapped the original Apple disc drive (dated March 2002) for this Philips DVD burner (dated September 2005) to find the drive in this iMac is from December of 2001. So he must have swapped disc drives so I can have a crappy one and he can have my nice one, but returned the iMac with my hard drive to make it appear less suspicious. The only reason I even have photos of this is because I was planning on writing a post on this iMac and took photos, I just never made a post until now.

But Taliesin Graff, you will not win you robbing POS.

So I now get the idea to power it on and see what the serial number is, and if that actually worked I would be able to confirm that it wasn’t my machine 110% at that point. However, I am pretty sure the power supply in this “new” iMac is tore up as it would not power on at all. So that idea was thrown out the window.

I returned to ebay and told them my side of the case, about how this individual is returning machines without everything included in the listing, item being returned to me in worse shape, not even receiving the same item, etc. Here’s what I said:

“The buyer had returned the item in a poor fashion, with little care to prevent the item damage from getting worse. When the item was returned to me the iMac was in worse shape than when the buyer took a photo when he received the item. My item was also returned without the power cable, keyboard, and mouse that were shipped as part of the purchase. I did not receive a complete return of all items included in the listing.”

I did say that before I took the machine apart, and did send them a message after the fact with an update.

Fortunately they did side with me and I was able to keep this asshole’s $80, although ebay also gave that asshole back $80 out of ebay’s pocket. And he got to keep my iMac that was working and probably robbed parts to make him have a good machine. He seemed hesitant to ship the machine back and wanted me to refund him and let him keep the machine – which I did not do.

Now I did eat it on this, $40 to ship it to him, and another $40 to ship it back to me. That’s $80 and that is what this guy paid for this machine, so at this point I am in no better shape than I was a few weeks ago, but I now have a story and a broken iMac.


So what is going to happen with this now broken iMac?

Well at first I really wanted to buy some tannerite and blow it up by shooting at it with my hunting rifle – however after posting about my adventure in the Low End Mac facebook group, one individual named Griffin Wright came forward and wants to repair this machine to make it work again.

So this iMac gets to live on, with a story and another resurrection. I will post about this iMac as time goes on and I receive details from Griffin.


Please be aware of your ebay buyers, and if you feel something is wrong you need to stand up for yourself and not let the buyer walk all over you. I want people to learn from the things I had to deal with to better themselves as a PSA.

Some tips for you guys – make sure you always have proof of what the serial number is. Take photos of the inside of the machine, mark internals with a paint pen, put a “warranty void” sticker over a screw head, take photos of the packaging and include them with the packing slip to the buyer.

Stay tuned for more of this “graveMac” as I call it!

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2018 Updates!

Obviously I’ve been slacking if my last post on here and the facebook page was well over a year ago 🙂

So what has been going on? As far as my personal life goes I am still attending college, working on vehicles as a hobby, and detail cars for a summer job. I no longer work at a computer repair shop (make your hobby into your job – and you will eventually never like your “hobby”) and really all I’ve wanted is computers that are modern and just work.

And that’s how it was for a while between my desktop and my retina MacBook Pro. Between my last post in 2017 I have gotten rid of almost every PPC mac I own, including several G4 machines and my G5 Quad, and I am now down to my 1.42GHz iBook G4 14″ and a 1.42GHz mini G4 that is currently being shipped to me. I have a single intended purpose for the mac mini which I’ll outline in another post when I receive the machine. My iBook needs some love too so I’ll be writing about that when the time comes.


However, the future isn’t entirely bleak!

With the first few generations of Intel Macs becoming very very cheap, I feel it is time to start another archive website that contains Intel only software for machines running Snow Leopard (essentially the WinXP SP3 of Mac land) and Lion for those 10+ year old Intel machines as well. This new “archive” will eventually replace the PPC Archive, but it will be merged into a single website and I will have two separate sections, PPC and Intel. I will release more details as the time comes but that is what will be this years goal.

This blog has been up since February of 2014, and the archive website since 2013. At the time I would have never said that I would be including intel macs in an archive to be diverse but the appropriate time to do so is coming!

So don’t you guys worry, this year will see some nice improvements – and a website that is no longer bulky and has a fresh new look (while also not taking a decade to load on G3/G4 machines)!

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LeopardRebirth Theme… and what happened with the PPC Challenge

I’ll start off with the challenge. So about halfway through the week I was making good progress on the macOS Sierra theme for Leopard, and then I found that a member of MacRumors released a theme called “LeopardRebirth” which ultimately made me just give up on my theme, so I just avoided pretty much anything PowerPC related for a while since at that point I didn’t care anymore (and haven’t fired up my G5 Quad since that day), someone released a better pack sooner than I would have ever released a pack. The thing that upset me the most was that I planned to release that pack on the final day of the PowerPC Challenge however LeoRebirth arrived a few days prior to the final challenge day. The PPCStore that is included also pissed me off , more on that later.

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So this theme. I will give @SourceSunTom props for his work on many of the graphic design elements that look similar to Sierra, and overall he did an excellent job. I legitimately feel like I am looking at a brand new machine when I look over at my G5.

I ended up removing my theme page for my pack, and created a page for LeoRebirth on the PowerPC Archive which you can take a look at if you are interested in downloading the theme. There is also a thread on MacRumors about this theme release.

Personally I like the white dock, I wouldn’t mind using the black dock however when you do the menu bar stays white, giving the OS an odd look. White just fits in better.

His pack also replaces the system icons so Leopard does indeed look fresh. The “About This Mac” window has also been modified to resemble the newer style, granted it’s not to perfection but it does look good!

So then there is the PPCStore. More than anything this was what made me take a break for a while. Years ago I wanted to create a program called LeopardMarket which was pretty much an app store for PPC with a little bit of MacTracker influence. However, I did not have any skill in creating programs for Macs, so I was lost and never had a chance to make the program, and after talking to some developing friends the better idea was to stick to a web interface like the website is currently set up.

However, again props to Tom for actually creating his own app store. Nothing I can do about it now but it works well enough. Needs work for sure, but I’m sure he will figure it out over time.

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So what is my official opinion on his theme? I think he did an excellent job, many people on MacRumors were pissed at him for doing this when I was busting my ass to release my pack in a few days, but that is in the past. Nothing I can do about it so I moved on. If you want to make your Leopard machine look modern, download his pack. The installer will do everything you need so there is nothing extra to do.

Then what are my plans for the future? I see some spots that could use improvement in his theme so I will get in contact to share what I think should be modified, however it wouldn’t be hard to make a “DLC” as I would call it that would include a few extra things to complete the appearance. We will see.

As far as PowerPC mac stuff goes, I’ve actually been getting rid of a few machines. I’ve been cleaning house and I decided the only machines I want to keep are the G5 Quad and 14″ 1.42GHz iBook G4. Nowadays I just don’t have room for all of this stuff anymore. I rarely use PPC machines anymore so they sit around most of the time but I do use them a few times a month. So don’t expect me to be leaving forever, I’ll always be here 🙂

Posted in Customization, G5, Hardware, News, OS X 10.5 Leopard, Software | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Updated iOS 7 Screensaver for Leopard

Almost two years ago I wrote a post about an iOS 7 style screensaver for Leopard. After realizing the link was hosted on a server that is long offline, I found a version I had stored on Google Drive. That and this PPC Challenge isn’t a bad thing, it’s giving me time to fix things that are broken or need to be updated 🙂

Now there is a bonus, @bodysoulspirit at some point in the past made a minor update with a new wallpaper and the text is a bit cleaner. I have included this in the pack as well as the original iOS 7 screensaver.

Download the pack here! It’s a 15.5MB Zip File

iOS Screensaver Preview

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iOS 7 Screensaver Preview

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Posted in Customization, OS X 10.5 Leopard, Software | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

PPCC 2017 – Day 2

Alright. Since yesterday was rough today goes smoother!

I needed to finish installing some software I didn’t get to yesterday, so at this point I am all set with what I need, and if something comes up I’ll install it.

I did install Virtual PC 7, and from prior experience Windows XP does not run very well. So I decided to try something else, and that is called Windows FLP (Fundamentals for Legacy PCs), which is an extremely light version of Windows XP SP2 designed to run on Windows 98 era machines. Years ago before I even owned my first Mac (a 350MHz B&W) I owned a Dell Inspiron 600m, and that laptop would boot in 7 seconds flat with WinFLP… and this was in an era before SSDs! WinFLP’s installer is like an early Vista style setup with XP accents. The install took just under half an hour.

If you’re curious, the processor is detected as a generic 686, and you can dedicate up to 512MB of ram. Personally, even with maxed out ram and having the VM installed on a SSD, the VM is still slow. Usable, but I feel like I’m using a HP Pavilion from 1999 that shipped with a Celeron and Windows 98SE. It’s slow. The only reason I brought up VPC7 was if I need some windows program to run for whatever reason. I don’t think I’ll need it, but if I do I have a VM ready to go!

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Next up… Customization! I’m done talking about VPC7 🙂

So now I’ll modernize the appearance of my G5 to look a bit newer. I know I still need to release the macOS Sierra theme pack however I haven’t worked on that project in months. You’ll see it eventually. And if I leave the PowerPC world in the future I will be sure to release the pack for absolute sure before I go.

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Well, now what? I have my programs installed and it looks the way I want. So from here on out I just need to use the machine. I’ll document everything I run into, good or bad. I’m not afraid to cover up bad little tidbits about using a PowerPC Mac these days, you guys need to know everyone’s take on these machines.

A few little tidbits for you guys. Using the G5 has actually made me work on projects like the theme pack, so I’m hoping that I will have the pack completely finished by the end of the week, if not earlier. Also, I noticed that the iOS7 Screensaver for Leopard had a broken link, and that is now fixed 🙂 I spent a long time working on the theme today, but I’m still stuck on the traffic lights.

I installed Webkit however I haven’t even tried to use it yet. I will be trying out webkit for day three!

Outside of that, I was outside in our gnarly snow storm and was gone for a good portion of the day. So there is the end to day two! Still pulling through however I had to fight my urge to play some Battlefield 1 🙂

Posted in Customization, G5, Hardware, OS X 10.5 Leopard, PowerPC Challenge, Software, Uses for PowerPC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PPCC 2017 – Day 1 – Configuring the G5 Quad

So before I even start the challenge, I need to set up my Macs. I didn’t get home until 6pm this evening, I feel terrible after a long new years night as well as snow wheeling in my truck, and I am tired, but I managed to set up my G5! This post was published on what would be day 2, however it’s midnight and I’ve been working on this post for the past few hours. There will be a separate post for day two 🙂

My G5 had the original 250GB WD hard drive which I removed and replaced with a 120GB Intel SSD from my early 2008 MacBook Pro. My goal is to make the G5 fast so I won’t be sitting around all day waiting for it to do anything, and the SSD certainly makes a difference!

So here is where I ran into some trouble. I needed to install Leopard, and unfortunately my retail Leopard disc was pretty scratched up. I also do not have any dual layer DVDs laying around so burning an image to one was out of the question. My FW800 cables and adapters were at work so I was unable to use those, too. So I looked online for a single layer DVD of leopard, and to my luck I happened to find one to download. (This was last night, the 31st)

And that download was short lived, the .rar file ended up having a password which the website that supposedly had the password is now extinct, and the Wayback Machine has no idea what the website even was (OS X 10.5.6 Single Layer DVD for your reference). Luckily, I had to stop by work so I grabbed the Leopard DVD we had there and created an image to keep on my external hard drive. Burned a copy disc then started the install! I haven’t seen this screen in a while.

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My first issue really bugged me. My keyboard also has a pass through USB port which I plug my mouse into, and the G5 wasn’t happy with them. When I tried to erase the hard drive the mouse would jump around and it was really tough to format the drive, however I pulled it off! The install took less than 10 minutes from a DVD.

Now the fun begins! I watched the Leopard intro video (again for the first time in a while) and the video actually lagged on my 25″ 1080p HP monitor, however the audio didn’t skip a beat.

My keyboard was still giving me issues, to the point where I was unable to select anything, and the Mac kept thinking I was in Australia when really I’m in the United States.I ended up grabbing a Logitech keyboard and mouse, and after unplugging the Corsair keyboard I was able to make my way through the first time setup.

What I ended up doing when I saw the desktop was set up my wireless keyboard and my magic mouse. I really wanted to use my gaming stuff but that wasn’t going to happen. I could care less about the custom light presets and whatnot, all I wanted was basic functionality. Well even with the G5 three feet away from my KB/MM the mouse was lagging as if it had bad bluetooth signal. Luckily, my gaming mouse works fine, and I can still use the buttons on the mouse to change the sensitivity settings.

Next up, it’s time to install some software! I installed all the latest software updates such as the 10.5.8 Combo, wireless keyboard software, Java, iTunes, Security Updates, etc. using the built in Software Updater which took forever to download. The list below is what I will be using, I could have installed more but programs such as Remote Desktop Connection and MacTubes are useless to me, and there are better alternatives to them.

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TenFourFox: This one is a given, and I installed AdBlock Plus so I don’t have to see ads. I also added some tweaks created by @eyongren and @altemose on this MacRumors thread.

PianoPPC: Of course every once in a blue moon I like to listen to new music rather than the same run down tunes of Spotify. PianoPPC works great and is ran through the terminal. Check out my thread on MacRumors outlining this program and a download link!

VirtualPC 7: You might think this is ironic, however if I need a Windows program for whatever reason I can run it under Windows XP. I wouldn’t say I broke a rule since the VM will still be as slow as using a XP machine from the same era.

Dropbox: This was important to me since one of my accounts contain all of the files required for the (still unreleased, sorry guys) macOS Sierra theme pack. If you’d like to download dropbox for your PowerPC, you can download a .zip file here. It’s 93.3MB. All credit goes to @Czo for the work and @eyoungren for the thread on MacRumors.

Spotify: For when I really want to listen to some music! The latest version is available on the PowerPC Archive.

LibreOffice: Mainly for documents and stuff. If I need to I’ll install iWork 09 or Office 2008.

Adobe CS4 Collection: Mainly for Photoshop since I need this at work and my other website that is in the works, so I need it!

TextWrangler: In case I need to edit config files or something, this might come in handy.

UnRarX: To extract more than just .zip files, using this I can extract files like .7z if I need to.

Adium: If for some reason I need to have an IRC program, I have this one! We’ll see if I use it.

VLC Media Player: Absolute must if I need to view any sort of media!

TSClientX: This is a new Remote Desktop Connection program that will work if I need to remote into any servers for work that might be running a flavor of Windows ranging from XP to 10, or any of the server flavors from the same era!

iStat menus: This way I can keep an eye on the temperature of my toasty dual-dual cores! They average 121/130*F

So my graphics card is giving me problems, I’m thinking tomorrow I’ll go out to the shed and pull the other 6600LE card from my other G5 Quad that sits out there due to the ruined LCS. My WiFi is also temperamental, so I’ll be looking at options to replace it with something that will give me 802.11n speeds rather than 802.11g 54Mbps.

Internet has been rough, our download speed is 100Mbps, however due to the limitations of the AirPort card I am maxed out at 54Mbps no matter what. Files that should have been downloading quickly ended up taking a long time, such as a 120MB software update took over five minutes. For reference, I did a speedtest on my MBA and on my G5 right after each other, and the results were shocking, and I say that because the G5 was not able to use all of the 54Mbps it has, and unfortunately I’m quite bummed about this as the faster internet speed would certainly help my experience.

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TenFourFox has been slow for me, trying to load up any settings is slow, and three tabs open (Gmail, NOAA, DrudgeReport) is slow on websites that hardly use any resources. This G5 has 16GB of ram and 14GB of it is sitting idle, and with the SSD I would imagine that it shouldn’t be this horrific. Facebook is usable, however extremely slow. The one thing I will say, is in my news feed I have not seen one video appear. All I’ve seen is photos and links! For kicks I clicked on an ad on the side with a video and I received the message “Something Went Wrong” oh well. Maybe I won’t see people “going live” in my news feed either!

Writing this post on WordPress is doable, and I plan to write every day from this machine, but it is hard to use.  For some reason my cursor stays in one spot and doesn’t move as I type. Spotify has been okay, music plays so you really couldn’t ask for anything else! Don’t even get me started on YouTube. Videos play under TFF, however only in 360p, and the video is jerky, however the audio is fine. For the life of me I can’t get the videos to work in anything. QuickTime Enabler for TFF does not work. A VLC plugin for TFF does not work. Opening YouTube URLs manually in VLC does not work.

The core OS has been fast with zero complaints, but once I jump into any sort of program the G5 falls flat on its face.

Overall, day one has been making me pull hair! I have counted four contestants that left the challenge, and it seems like they had issues with YouTube, any sort of video playback, and HTML5 games that are unplayable. There were 44 contestants, now we are at 40!

Some are going with vlogs on their journey, and some are writing about it like I am. I’m glad to hear results from people and see how they are doing!

Stay tuned for day two! Tonight was more of a night piecing things together. Tomorrow I’ll work more on customization!

Posted in G3, G4, Hardware, OS X 10.5 Leopard, PowerPC Challenge, Uses for PowerPC | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

PowerPC Challenge 2017 – Introduction

If you follow either the PowerPC Centre facebook page (give us a like while you’re at it!) or ponder the PowerPC subforum on MacRumors, you might be aware of the PowerPC Challenge. This challenge takes place for the first week of the year (January 1 – 7, 2017).

The goal of this challenge is to use a PowerPC machine as a daily computer for the duration of the week, and thus far there are 39 participants on the MacRumors forum (including me). Many PowerPC users use G4 or G5 machines daily, so this may not be a challenge for them.

However, this will be a challenge for me! I have two machines that I use daily, and the first one is a custom built computer with an Intel Core i7-4790k, 24GB of ram, Radeon R9 290x, and a 250GB Intel Solid State Drive running Windows 10 Pro. My portable is a 2015 13″ MacBook Air with a 1.6GHz Core i5 and 4GB of Ram.

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I rarely use a PowerPC machine, and when I use one it’s to either test software to add to the PowerPC Archive or to write a post on here. So, this is going to be a challenge for me!

So what will I be using for the challenge? A late 2005 Power Mac G5 Quad, 2.5GHz, 16GB DDR2, 6600 128MB, and the hard drive situation I have no idea about. I have a few hours to make my mind on this! For a portable, I will be using a 2005 14″ iBook G4 1.42GHz with a normal hard drive. I really wanted to have a PowerBook G4, and almost bought a DLHR right before the challenge… but I didn’t!

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The unfortunate thing here is I will still need my MacBook Air at work for some programs that will not work under Leopard, so I will try my best to use the iBook as much as possible. At home I’ll be using the G5 for everything.

So that is how I’m starting this challenge. I figured it would be interesting to document and all of our followers may find it interesting! I’ll be posting daily updates on here with my adventure for the week, so stay tuned! My next post will be setting up the G5 Quad which you’ll probably see tomorrow afternoon since tonight is going to be a busy night for me!

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Posted in G3, G4, G5, Hardware, News, OS X 10.4 Tiger, OS X 10.5 Leopard, PowerPC Challenge, Software, Uncategorized, Uses for PowerPC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments