Resurrecting a 466MHz PMG4 DA

The last time I mentioned this machine was February of 2015 – well over a year ago and figured I should bring it back to life! I shoved it into a shed last summer with my B&W and the 8 or so Dell Optiplex GX620 towers I owned at the same time and over this past weekend I decided to work with it again.

This machine was purchased from a guy I found on Craigslist on April 15,2014 while on vacation in the Santa Cruz, CA area. The guy only wanted $5 which I was more than happy to pay for and so I went to pick it up! He actually lived not even two miles away from the Mystery Spot location in Santa Cruz along the same main road.

What I found was a 466MHz Digital Audio G4. 256MB Ram, 30GB Hard Drive, and a weak Rage 128. The case was super clean with very minimal scratches. I have always ran Tiger on this machine but have considered throwing in a better processor to try Leopard out on.

Jump forward to Saturday evening (June 4) when I pulled it out of the shed. I didn’t mess with it until the next day so when I did, I decided I’d install some nicer stuff.


First upgrade was RAM, and they only have 3 slots with a max of 512MB PC133 per slot (totalling 1.5GB). I of course did not have any 512MB sticks so I was stuck with 256MB. I located every stick of desktop RAM I had and spread them out along my bed (counted 84 sticks, mostly DDR and DDR2) and found three 256MB sticks. The furry friend decided that DDR2 was her favorite ram by sleeping on top of several sticks! So the machine currently has 768MB of RAM.


Next was a SATA hard drive. I had a 320GB WD Blue sitting around and decided I should use that so I grabbed a SATA card. I raised my hopes thinking I had a Molex to SATA power adapter running around which I could not find, so I found a old power supply and cut the SATA end off and mated it to the original Molex adapter (looks pretty factory I think, outside of the heatshrink! Added factory looking zip ties as well). And about half an hour later I found 3 Molex to SATA adapters. Oh well.


Next was a graphics card. I had two to choose between, a G5 Radeon 9600 64MB or a stock MDD Geforce 4MX 64MB. Ultimately I ended going with the MDD card to keep stock ADC port functionality.

Here is where things started to go south. I booted the Tiger installer DVD to find the machine throwing kernel panics whenever I would boot off of it. Even after swapping the RAM, removing PCI cards, CUDA reset, all of the like, the machine still kernel paniced. I was on the edge of gutting the machine out to fit in a Micro ATX board but that changed!


I posted about my struggle on the PowerPC MacRumors thread and one user had the same machine with the same issue and mentioned that after swapping the clock battery it booted fine. Since I was gutting my MDD for a logic board replacement (future post) I took the good battery out and shoved it into the DA, and sure enough it booted the installer!

On my merry way I successfully installed Tiger and set the machine up. Now maybe I can test out some software on the thing!


Future plans for this machine? I wouldn’t mind a processor upgrade, 1.5GB Ram, USB2.0 card, and a 128MB Radeon 9600 from a G5. All it takes is finding one and money! I won’t be throwing any more money into this thing for the meantime as I have other projects I’d like to complete first. Again, we will see!

Stay tuned 🙂

Posted in Customization, G4, Hardware, OS X 10.4 Tiger, Software, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

VNC Viewer for PowerPC

Within the past few weeks I’ve been using my G5 2.3GHz (there is a story behind this machine, was originally an original 2003 dual 2GHz but now has the hearts of a early 2005 2.3GHz. I gutted the 2.3 as the case was perfect and I am using it for my i7 PowerMacX build) and I learned a few things including workarounds.

My new rack server is running Windows Server 2012 R2, and using Leopard’s built in VNC viewer brought me to a black screen; using Microsoft Remote Desktop 2.0.1 said it could not connect. So, I was left to question if there were any alternate VNC viewer programs that could still connect to a newer machine.

Fortunately, I came across VNC Viewer which does exactly what I need it to, connecting to my server remotely! The latest version for PowerPC is 5.2.3 which will work with Leopard and I suspect Tiger (although I haven’t tried that quite yet, maybe a task for my G4 DA 466MHz). The download is available on the PowerPC Archive’s server here (3MB).

Happy remote controlling! I found this as an essential tool to keep around and you will too!

VNC Viewer

Posted in OS X 10.4 Tiger, OS X 10.5 Leopard, Software, Uses for PowerPC | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Updates on the MDD

So today I had some downtime and figured I would improve the MDD a bit in the hardware dept.

One thing I didn’t mention was that I replaced the broken Optical Drive with a DVD burner out of a Core 2 Duo Gateway desktop and now I can use discs in the thing! Next thing was a CMOS battery as that was dead too so I found one that worked out of a 2.3GHz Power Mac G5 logic board from a G5 I recently gutted.

However there’s something that tops the other two things I replaced. Any guesses? It’s an SSD with a SATA card. This SSD is a 60GB Kingston SATAII drive that has been ran according to DriveDx for over two years. This SSD has been in almost every computer I owned since 2012 as it has been swapped between many PCs and Macs! I finally went to a 120GB in my MacBook Pro so the old 60GB needed a home in which case I found the MDD would be a good fit. Copying over files from the original hard drive now so soon I should be running at SSD speeds!

Just a minor update, figured I should share 🙂


Posted in Customization, G4, Hardware | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Power Mac G4 – Dual 800MHz MDD

Ahh. Here I go with another G4! I also picked up my old 800MHz iMac G4 just over a week ago. I’ll post more on that iMac soon but for now it’s all about this odd MDD!

Every once in a while on a local buy/sell Facebook group in my local area someone lists a Mac. I also picked up a 500MHz iMac G3 Snow White from a guy on there (owned it for about 3 days, I’ll post on that later too) but there was this MDD on there. The guy wanted $40 and I ended up paying $30 for it. Picked it up on 8/3/15 on my lunch break from work.

So something seems odd in the title of this post. 800MHz? Well this machine was originally a FireWire 800 single 1GHz model that the guy swapped a 800MHz dual processor card into this thing which came out of a 2001 QuickSilver. Works really good and I even get 1MB of L3 per CPU. The only bummer is that the system bus runs at 133MHz not 166MHz but I’m not complaining. If I end up keeping this it will turn into a dual 1.25 or 1.42GHz. In terms of other specs, it has 2GB of Ram, 60GB Seagate HD, 64MB nVidia GeForce 4MX, SuperDrive, and an AirPort Extreme card.

When people think of the MDD they think of “windtunnel” due to the three fans being crazy loud. One of my first posts on this blog talked about swapping the fans on my dual 1GHz MDD back in February 2014. Suprisingly enough the Samsung power supply in this MDD is really quiet and I can stand it. The evening before I bought the MDD I went on ebay and bought 2x 80mm fans to swap out in the PSU to find out the next day this thing was pretty quiet and I didn’t need to swap them. Owell, spare fans if I ever buy a noisy MDD!

So plans for this Mac? Well now it is my highest clocked PowerPC, I gutted one of my G5 towers for a hackintosh case and traded my Dual Core G5 for 8GB of DDR3 and a 120GB SSD still in the original packaging. Both the G5s I got back in March! But I will set this mac up on my desk next to my hackintosh and use it for PowerPC stuff. I have a PCI SATA card and a spare 60GB Kingston SSD that will be going into the MDD. Stay tuned!


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G4 Cubes

In the last post I said that I picked up two 500MHz models. I already sold one to a loyal buyer for $150 shipped which meant I still had a Cube left over. So I decided that I’ll be keeping this one. But I have plans for this one – for sure!

So history on the Cube. In 2000 Steve thought that there would be a market for a smaller Power Mac and that’s where the Cube came in. No internal PCI ports however things like Ram/Hard Drive can be upgraded (and deeper the CPU and GPU). Steve wanted it to be fanless although a fan bracket is there. And the other unfortunate thing is that these don’t have a 3.5mm audio jack.

Apple put the Cube “on ice” in 2001 after slow sales and having more style than functionality (on top of it’s high price). The Mac Mini seemed like the replacement for that particualr market, and furthermore the 2013 Mac Pro has similar specifications (in size) and general design idea as the G4 Cube.

So out of that $150 for the other G4 cube $140 went on a single 1.5GHz PowerLogix processor for the Cube. I looked for hours on eBay and the only CPU I could find was a 1.2GHz Sonnet for $180 and within posting that I was trying to hunt one down on MacRumors I had a reply and bought it immediately.

The other cool thing about this deal is that I will get a brand new 80x15mm fan and the appropriate connectors to wire a fan up in the cube, that 1.5GHz will need it!

So I have three guides I will be writing up here soon, and I think you will all find them neat!

G4 cube 500

Posted in G4, Hardware, Ideas, OS X 10.4 Tiger | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More New Macs, In Fact 4!

So where I live in the middle of nowhere, every once in a while I have to make an hour and a half trip into the “Biggest Little City in The World” known as Reno, Nevada. The reasoning for this past weekend was to go to the Pick N Pull and get a door for a friend’s Chevy Cavalier. However, before I leave I browse through Craigslist and came across two good deals that I couldn’t pass up.

IMG_0917The first was a set of G4 Cubes, the guy was asking $50 a piece or $100 for both. No speakers but I did get power adapters and a iMac G3 plus a newer HP keyboard. These are both 500MHz models that were once used in a Reno school lab. Excellent deal and I didn’t even negotiate with the guy on the price. I had a Cube in the past for less than a week, and maybe this time I can keep one for longer than that! The other 500MHz is being sold as I have no use for two Cubes.

Next up are a set of G5s. This guy was also asking $100 for both, I offered $70 and he was cool with that. Keep in mind this listing and the Cube listing were both 17 and 20 days old. Lucky for him I didn’t have a $10 bill so he got $80. One is a 2.3GHz early 2005 model and the other is one I haven’t owned yet, a 2.0GHz dual core model from the Late 05 lineup. Also received a keyboard/magic mouse, power cords to both, and a boxed copy of OS X Leopard! In this scenario, I will sell the 2.3 as I’ve owned 4 early 05 machines (2.0, 2.3, another 2.3 plus a 2.7) and want to move onto the dual/quad core era.

One thing I wanted to point out is how ridiculously thick the odd power cord is used with the dual core models. These machines used a 1000w power supply where the 2.7GHz G5 used a 650w model. The Late 05 was the only Mac to use that connector as the 2006 Mac Pro went back to the standard three prong we see on every computer in existence. Anyway, this connector is called the C-19 which is used for heavy duty server equipment that uses apparently 1000w+ power supplies.


So this trip was a good haul, keep two sell the other two!

Posted in G4, G5, Hardware, News, OS X 10.5 Leopard | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Flipping through Macs

Usually most people buy a machine and keep it for quite some time, but I tend to flip them myself. I enjoy finding a new mac to use and see which one I like the most, and below I’ll explain the macs I liked, since I have owned almost every model of NWR Macs except a Xserve and a iMac G3! Oh – and a PowerBook G3, TiBook, and a colorful iBook. Besides that I’ve owned everything else surprisingly. In Intel land I have tended to flip through machines too, I was previously on a Late 2008 2.4GHz 15″ MBP and now I use a Early 2009 2.66GHz 15″ MBP. I’ve owned many 2006-early08 pre-unibody MBPs as well!

Favorite Mac? I actually really liked my 1.67 PowerBook G4 17″ that was the early 2005 model that used DDR still. I bought it for $40 locally and the screen was full of lines so I busted a nut and spent $90 on a new LCD. The thing was huge and that computer was extremely stable and gave me no issues, however I was hurting for money so off it went to some guy on the East Coast.

FullSizeRender(7)Worst Mac? iMac G5 iSight 1.9GHz 17″ for sure. This is the only Mac I ever parted out. I spent $62 on it in January 2013, and after taking the heat gun to the GPU I got another few weeks out of it. After that I pretty much took a few parts that were savable and smashed the display into half. The front casing is actually up on my wall surrounding a clock that shows the temperature as well!

599195_587159487964025_611816795_nThe longest time I’ve owned a Mac? My 400MHz Blue & White. This was my first Mac that I bought for $20 in March of 2011. It was missing a SCSI cable, ram, and the PCI graphics card. Luckily at the time I had a friend (who backstabbed me later that year and ultimately started DyNiForm and proceeded to make these other sites) that hooked me up with the GPU and some ram out of his B&W. I still own this Mac and it’s newest upgrade was a 128MB Radeon 9200 and a 450MHz FastMac G4 however I recently sold those two parts to a friend.

1489605_732446220102017_121276008_oSo how many G3s, G4s, and G5s have you owned?
PowerPC G3 – 3
(B&W 400MHz; 500MHz iBook; 700MHz iBook)
PowerPC G4 – 14
(466MHz DA; Dual 1GHz QS; Dual 1GHz MDD; 400MHz Cube; 1.33GHz mini; 2x 800MHz iMac G4 15″; 867MHz PBG4; 1GHz iBook; 1GHz PBG4; 1.42GHz iBook 14″; 1.5GHz PBG4 12″; 1.67GHz 15″ PB; 1.67GHz 17″ PB)
PowerPC G5 – 5
(iMac G5 1.6GHz 15″; iMac G5 1.9GHz 15″; Power Mac G5 2GHz (early 05); Power Mac G5 2.3GHz (early 05); Power Mac G5 2.7GHz (early 05))

Posted in G3, G4, G5, Hardware, News | 3 Comments

Swapping a 1.5GHz Logic Board into a 1GHz PowerBook G4 12″

When I originally bought the 1GHz PowerBook, I planned to use it as a quick little portable machine which is even smaller than my 14” iBook G4. I never expected this to turn into a 1.5GHz, so continue reading on 🙂

So I was on ebay one night and figured I’d take a look at the ending soon auction items. I came across a 1GHz 12” PowerBook G4 that was at $11.30 +$16 for shipping. I bidded and wasn’t thinking I’d win, but I did at $12. Needless to say at first I thought it would be a good deal and then it turned out not to be. When I received it, the condition was excellent and included was a case, the big Apple stickers, some manuals, the software CD for OS X Panther, and a few receipts. In December of 2004 the LCD was replaced. However upon first start up the hard drive was dead, as was the SuperDrive, and the battery was deader than a rock. I took it all apart to try fixing those things however it got worse where the machine would turn on and make lots of noises with no display.

Luckily for me, my buddy Robby happened to have a parts 12” 1.5GHz model sitting around that he shipped up to me, and I knew for a fact this machine booted, so I knew I should be in luck.

Then the teardown begins! There are a lot of screws so you have to be careful with them and be sure not to mix any up. In the picture below I was definitely much more organized on the left side.

g4 screws
Ok, so I did find a few differences internally. First is the modem, it is quite huge on the 1GHz, whereas it’s much smaller on the 1.5GHz with a large shield. The 1GHz has 2 screws holding it down whereas the 1.5GHz is 3. The next thing I noticed, in the 1GHz the internal frame where you route cables has no teeth, making it a pain to keep wires in one spot, and the fall effect sensor board over the optical drive had no teeth either, unlike the 1.5, however since I am switching the optical drives between the two I will now have teeth on that side as well.

Looking at the logic boards side by side, I noticed that the modem connector is small on  the 1GHz, and on the 1.5GHz it is much bigger and closer to the ODD connector, where the old connector was is now the third riser for the modem. Also, the thermal pads stay attached to the 1GHz board, while they are attached to the heatsink with the 1.5GHz. Besides that, all the connectors for everything else are in the same place.

logic boards
Good news! Everything was able to be successfully swapped. All the internals except the speaker/bluetooth card are out of the 1.5GHz, and the old 1GHz display was used. On the casing, the entire outside is the 1GHz, while the top case is used from the 1.5GHz for two finger tap/scroll. It may have been possible to use the old trackpad off the 1GHz, but it may not have worked due to the trackpad utilizing USB on the 2005 models (all across the Apple laptop line).

The PowerBook G4 now runs happy with OS X Leopard and has been stable so far. Have yet to run into any issues, so a new battery has been ordered! I am once again on a hunt for a 15″ or a 17″ PBG4, so we shall see!


Posted in Customization, G4, Hardware | 2 Comments

Dropbox and PowerPC Support

I realize this post is late, but in case you didn’t know Dropbox is dropping support for OS X Tiger and Leopard this May. This is a huge nail into the coffin, and Dropbox has pretty much given us the middle finger no matter how many times we attempt to show our disappointment in their decision.

Dropbox-LogoOur best hope is that either Dropbox makes a legacy version for us to use with similar era Windows and Linux machines, or we see if some company creates a cloud service like Dropbox.

I realize some people don’t use Dropbox, but here is a reason a friend of mine uses it (and so do I), I write these posts on my iBook G4 or my PowerBook G4, toss them in Dropbox, and they are right there ready to be uploaded here. Or, if I have music I want to transfer over to either laptop without a flash drive, just toss it into Dropbox. The list of possibilities is endless.

Below is the response regarding the death of Dropbox + PowerPC

Hi everyone,

We understand this is disruptive to some of our users and that’s why we’ve announced this many months in advance. I’ve read all of your responses and wanted to provide some additional background on why we’re ending support for OS X 10.4 and 10.5.

Supporting these old versions of OS X would come at the expense of improvements for more recent versions of OS X. Allowing people to continue running what would become an old version of the desktop client is not an option because sometimes we must make non-backwards compatible changes to the way the client talks to the Dropbox servers.

Read on for more details…

Continuing to have our desktop client support 10.4 and 10.5 would come at the expense of improving the experience for more recent versions of OS X. The latest versions of several important components (3rd party software libraries) we rely upon no longer support 10.4 or 10.5. These updated versions have important improvements, bug fixes, and additional functionality. It would be a disservice to the vast majority of our Mac users running recent versions of OS X if we did not update to the latest versions of these components.

Several of you have suggested allowing people to continue using the current version of the desktop client (which in time would become an old version of the desktop client). This would not work because from time to time we must make non-backwards compatible changes to the way the desktop client communicates with our servers. For example in the coming months we will need to make a change to how we represent the underlying identifier we use for certain types of folders. This change is needed because Dropbox has become so much more popular than we initially imagined that we’ll need to switch from using a 32-bit identifier to a 64-bit identifier. This is just one example of a breaking change that periodically must be made.

Posted in News, Software, Uses for PowerPC | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Second 12″ PowerBook G4

If you haven’t been able to tell from my past, I usually buy a machine and flip it (ie. G4 Cube, 15″ PB, 17″ PB, etc) and every so often there is a machine that I keep.

With that in mind, a year and a half ago I was good friends with this girl at school who was moving to Florida after our sophomore year of high school. She always wanted a Mac, so I went on eBay and bought a 12″ 867MHz G4 which was about $70. When I received it I tore it all apart (an utter nightmare) to make sure the laptop was perfect. And the next day I gave it to her and she was happy.

At the time I had a 2012 13″ MacBook Air and it was neat to compare them, and after having that one for a day I wanted to have another. So last week I was hunting through Craigslist and found another 12″ PowerBook that was quite cheap. I won the auction at $11 with $17 shipping making a $28 laptop. Specs were unknown, but the seller was the original owner who barely used it and bought in New Orleans in 2003. This narrowed it down to a 867MHz or 1GHz model and I was able to confirm that it was a 1GHz from the ports. 867 machines had Mini-VGA while the 1GHz+ have Mini-DVI.

Back to this PB in particular, included with the auction is the original power adapter, manuals, and the OS X Panther disc. The ram is maxed out so I’ll be tossing Leopard on this machine.

Okay, I had this post saved as a draft until I actually received the machine. So upon arrival I received more than I thought, as there were receipts and in 2004 the LCD was replaced. Also there were two Apple stickers, of which were the biggest I’ve ever seen shipped with an Apple product. Also received a neat case for the PB.

Unfortunately, the hard drive was dead and the optical drive seems to have died as well. These machines take the cake for being the toughest that I have dealt with, and even after swapping a SuperDrive from an iSight iMac G5 and a 20GB hard drive from an iBook G3, the ODD was broken as well. I was able to use panther for a bit, then the fan wasn’t too happy so I turned it off.

Haven’t touched it in a week, however my buddy Robby (who has helped me with stuff in the past, ie. the 14″ iBook and the 2.7GHz G5s) happened to have a parts 1.5GHz model that was missing screws that he is shipping me. Needless to say, the laptop is turning into a 1.5GHz model! So more on the PowerBook in the next week or so!! Sorry for no pictures, I looked on my phone and I haven’t taken a single one.

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