Mac Junkie

I walked into Goodwill this weekend, and what did I see?

A first-generation iMac. Bondi Blue. Tray-loading CD. No keyboard or mouse, a little discolored and worn, missing the door cover to hide all the cableage. Price: $60. Plugged it in at the store, saw that it was running OS 8.6.

I went for it. *shakes head* I figured, WTF. My old legacy Mac is running at 275MHz, this iMac had a sticker claiming it was a 333, and I was pretty positive that all iMacs were G3s. My 6500 was merely a PowerPC.

I brought it home, plugged in my PC’s USB mouse, and surfed around the Mac as best I could with no keyboard. I discovered that the OS had been a little lobotomized in the previous owner’s zeal to clear off the hard drive, so I pulled out my old OS 8.5 CD and performed a clean install of the operating system. After all, the iMac has built-in ethernet, so I’ll be able to download OS upgrades from the ‘net, no problem. I’m pretty sure that Mac operating systems through OS9 are free downloads… and I may be able to procure a copy of OSX for a reasonable price somewhere online.

After a little online research (from my PC, that is, after retreiving my USB mouse), and after some serial number decoding, I learned that this is actually a Revision D iMac, apparently in Blueberry. (Coulda *sworn* that was Bondi Blue…) Processor speed 333MHz, bus speed 66MHz, 6GB hard drive, 15″ screen, manufactured in August 1999 in Mexico.

Why, you ask, did I buy this relic? It’s unexpandable, un-upgradable, and obsolete.

The answer? I just can’t pass up a Mac at the thrift.

Really, the more reasonable explanation is that I haven’t used my 6500 in months, just because it’s so damn clunky. I can’t install any modern web browsers on it, Gmail didn’t work right in IE 5.5 last time I checked, and I have little reason to even power up the Mac anymore. I guess I thought that if I had a G3, I might be more inclined to at least check the layout of my websites on a Macintosh. Plus, I’m curious about OSX — the last time I used a Mac on a daily basis was right before the switchover from OS9 to OSX. Apparently, this iMac can run OS 10.3.9 with no problem, and maybe even OS 10.4 with a little tweaking. With its whopping however-many megs of RAM, though, I might be better off sticking with a “classic” OS.

I’ve gotten so used to Windows PCs now. I used to be a complete Mac-o-phile. Now, I don’t know if I could do without my right mouse button and scroll wheel on a regular basis*. If I had over $1000 to blow on a computer, I’d probably end up spending it on a new flat-panel display and/or a dual-processor Windows-based something-or-other, rather than a Mac mini or a new iMac.

I just purchased a keyboard, puck mouse, and cover door on eBay. Total cost with shipping: $25. So, I blew $85 overall on an obsolete computer. Did I get hosed? Sure.

At least it looks kitschy.

*Yes, I know the Mighty Mouse has those capabilities. The question is, would I really want to spend $70 on a mouse after dropping a grand on a computer?

2 thoughts on Mac Junkie

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  1. I don’t think you can install OSX on an iMac that old. I mean, I know you can’t, because that’s ultimately why I bought a new computer.

    I’ve been spoiled using G5s at work and my G4 Powerbook at home for a couple years now.

  2. yeah, i kind of figured that it was only able to run OSX in theory. in reality, if it runs at all, i’m sure it’s slow as monkey snot on a frozen banana.

    i’ll probably just stick with OS 9.2, anyway. ah, well.