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Thread: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Hello all

    I have an Apple iMac (one of the multicolored ones) with a G3 500mhz processor, and am having issues using sites like Facebook. Anyone have issues using an older Mac trying to browse current/modern web pages? Thanks for any tips!!

    Greg
    Greetings Professor Falken....

  2. #2

    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Which OS are you running on it?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    You are pretty much doomed with a machine that old - they don't have enough horsepower to run current versions of OSX, browsers, or Flash adequately. Seriously consider an upgrade.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Your operating system will dictate what you can and can't view. With OSX 10.3 or 10.4, you should be able to view any web content adequately. My ancient 400 mhz G3 works fine on the web with 10.3.

    If you have a way of upgrading, I believe you can not use OSX Leopard (10.5) or Snow Leopard (10.6), as they are intel only.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Hopefully you are still not running OS9 or lower. If you are, the best course of action may indeed be to buy a new machine, as the upgrade process will be substantial.

    In any case, RAM is important, and in order to maximize the usage of your machine you will need to have as much installed as you can afford or fit in there. You can find out how much RAM you have by clicking the Apple Menu -> About this Mac. You are looking for the part that says "Memory."

    10.6 Snow Leopard is Intel-only but 10.5 Leopard is still universal and so will work on a PPC machine with a G4 or G5 processor.

    That means the OP's "best" choice is 10.4 Tiger, since 10.3 Panther does not support universal binaries as most Mac software is commonly distributed in said format now. But to complicate things, Tiger is not officially supported on the "Bondi Blue" iMac and OP will require the use of a third-party utility called XPostFacto in order to be installed. The usage of XPostFacto is not insubstantial. You should read the FAQ provided here and note that you will need as much RAM as fits into your computer. 256MB of RAM is recommended but less may be acceptable.

    While it's true that the operating system you use will dictate what you can and cannot use, you'll also find that switching browsers may enhance your browsing experience since some are more efficient at rendering than others.

    As long as you are running Tiger you will be able to run the majority of software.

    This is mostly important since the web browser you'll need is Opera. I have a bunch of older Macs that I've tested all the other browsers on, and Opera offers the best performance as far as I can tell. If you choose to take my advice to upgrade to Tiger, then all is good and you install Opera 10.

    If you choose not to take my advice to upgrade to Tiger, and are using 10.3 Panther instead (which is simple to install), then try Opera 9 or iCab.

    If you install Tiger, you will also want to update your Adobe Flash Player (if you need or use Flash, for YouTube, etc) to 10.1 or later. An important speed update was added in 10.1 that offers significant performance enhancements.

    Or, as Flash Player is the hulking behemoth that often slows down your web experience (since it is also used for ads, etc), you may choose to disable it altogether (Opera provides a way to do so).

    As a side note, I find it fascinating that Apple offers support for products up to five years old and considers a product "Vintage" if it is older than five and less than seven years old and "Obsolete" if it is older than seven years old.

    OP's machine is nine or ten years old and apparently still in quite active service. I'll be chuffed if my advice helps it to become more useful again.
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    Flashaholic kaptain_zero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Plan B would be to find a Linux Distribution that runs on your G3.... It shouldn't be hard to find one, but finding a distribution you actually like might be a bit more difficult. Linux is pretty good on older hardware, even better on new!

    You can use most of the browsers available on linux, including Firefox, Opera, Chromium and more.

    Start with a google search or two.... maybe check out distrowatchdotcom for leads on what is available to you....

    Regards

    Christian

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    Flashaholic* F250XLT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    I am currently running a pre-Intel iMac, I really need to upgrade soon as well. And since the new models just came out, that time may be sooner than later.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    I personally would not suggest sinking money in to a system that old. If you can tweak the OS or get a light weight linux distro on there that would work better that's an option (although a tricky one).

    I've got a G4 Mac Mini 1.25Ghz with 1GB RAM and even it struggles.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    I'm typing this post on a 2000 PowerBook G3, from 3 laptop upgrades ago. 400mhz and 512mb RAM. I've replaced pretty much everything but the keyboard over the years (11 and counting), but its still going strong. I wouldn't want it as a primary machine, but as a netbook (browsing only), it keeps up with everything but video.

    Even the latest dual core iMac will run sluggish with multiple users, 20 apps (half of them running) and a weeks worth of filled up caches. The key is using it proportional to its capability.

    Erase the HD, install 10.4, upgrade it to 10.4.11, upgrade Safari to 4.03 and if needed boost your RAM. Looks like you're 2001 iMac is good up to a full 1GB.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    E mac 10.2.8

    768 MB 700 mh

    this won't support flash any longer, thats the main reason many websites don't work, I think? I can't even log on to Verizon (though they serve me) to pay my bills!

    email with earthkink stopped functioning months ago. couldn't get on my account page for over a year.

    what should i get the choices are many, then there's this whole new G4 (4 times faster than g3) thing coming in a month or two to LA, I don't know about your town..

    should I get a droid x,(too small screen even with streaming hd) i pad, (will this take care of business? email, internet, is all I really need..reading boks would be great too of course) promac,(big one to replace Samsung 19"CRT TV!) or wait still longer for better?? !!

    I ask these questions not only for myself, but also minimag.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Sure, there are ways to eke a little more use out of very old machines, but for most people, I think upgrading a computer after 10 years is the most practical advice. Don't get me wrong, I keep old machines around for legacy uses - I have a backup audio editor system running OS 7.6.1. But my G4 Powerbook cannot do web video adequately, and soon enough, 10.4.11 will be abandoned for any updates like security holes, browsers and Flash. If you need to have modern web stuff work, you need to be reasonably current.

    For the average Mac user, I think an iMac is a good choice. Otherwise, you have to evaluate your needs and budget.

    3G-4G wireless internet access shouldn't care what computer you have, although I see exceptions.

    I generally like to upgrade hardware a little while after a major change, instead of the first generation. I don't mind upgrading computers after 3-4 years, as the cost/performance just keeps going down. Otherwise, I get stuff when I think I need it - if you wait for "better" you'll go nuts, it's always getting better! Get what you need, when you need it, at the best price you can at the time - and then never keep checking the price, or you'll also go nuts.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    What carrot said. Your limitation is the OS. 10.4 or better will get you access to 95% of where you want to go, including FB.

    I'm having the same problem b/c my main drive is 10.3.9. I have to keep it because I've got a ton of software that I'll loose if I upgrade.

    I got a new HD that I need to install that I'll run 10.4 or 10.5 on and that'll take care of my problems. I've got a G4 that has space for 4 HDs.

    My first problem was the site that I stored my photos on. I shoot a couple of bands on the weekends and I had a couple of years of photos stored. I lost the ability to upload to the site until I upgrade my browser, which I can't do until I upgrade my OS.

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    Flashaholic kaptain_zero's Avatar
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Just a reminder that the Linux option is a $0 option. You can download and test many distro's for the cost of burning them onto a re-writable Cd or DVD disk or a single write disk if that's what you have. Many of the Linux and other *nix distributions are available as a "live cd" that you can toss into your optical drive and boot to, in order to test the software to see how it runs and if it will do what you need without ever having to install it on your computer. Once you are satisfied with a live cd, you can usually install the thing from the live cd desktop.

    As for the latest Mac Operating systems.... they are essentially BSD which in its original format is available as Free DSB. It's one of the *nix type operating systems out there. The trick is that BSD is licensed differently than the others, such as Linux, which allows Apple to tweak the software and then sell it as a closed source product, something they could not do with Linux due to the open source licensing agreement that Linux has.

    Upgrade your hardware when you wish.... in the meantime, the *nix options are capable of getting you back in business with the latest browsers and email programs without incurring extra costs. But the downside is that you will have to poke around and find one that works for you......

    Regards

    Christian

  14. #14

    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by TedTheLed View Post
    what should i get the choices are many
    If you're talking Mac desktops, there are two good choices, the iMac and the Mini. The iMac is super easy, but for the same price you can get a Mini and a 40" TV. The built in HDMI makes it a two step process. An economical option is the Mini and a LCD off ebay. Resale on displays (even nice Samsungs) is silly low.

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ElectronGuru View Post
    If you're talking Mac desktops, there are two good choices, the iMac and the Mini. The iMac is super easy, but for the same price you can get a Mini and a 40" TV. The built in HDMI makes it a two step process. An economical option is the Mini and a LCD off ebay. Resale on displays (even nice Samsungs) is silly low.
    Or you could do what I did, and hook up your iMac to your HDTV, for some sweet dual screen action.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptain_zero View Post
    Just a reminder that the Linux option is a $0 option.
    I'm pretty sure OS X 10.4 is a $0 option as no one retails it any longer, it would be easy to grab an ISO off the net. I'm not sure as to the legality of downloading no longer sold products though... Maybe it still counts as piracy. In that case, I would just go with linux.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    Or you could do what I did, and hook up your iMac to your HDTV, for some sweet dual screen action.

  18. #18
    Mostly MIA Administrator

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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptain_zero View Post
    Just a reminder that the Linux option is a $0 option.
    Only if your time is free too. A 500 Mhz G3 is really just begging to be replaced. The good news is the iMacs are just fantastic these days. I have a 27" Core i7 iMac on one of my desks and a Quad-Core MacPro loaded up with 20 Gb of RAM, a 30" and 23" Apple display on the other. I edit HD video on both machines which certainly ranks pretty high on the list of things that need a lot of computing power. The MacPro is a great machine, and theoretically provides more room for expansion than the iMac, but I honestly don't feel a huge performance hit when I'm on the iMac -- or even when I'm doing those same kinds of tasks on my 2.5 year old MacBook Pro.

    Super high end computing tasks (Like editing video files 10x larger than the ones I edit, scientific research, and massive database work) continue to push the drive for stronger, better, faster computers -- but for the other 80% of us the technology growth has finally outpaced demand. Consider that my PHONE has more computing power than your current machine. Doing more with less is the new trend in computing, and a happy side effect of this is that the machines we buy today will actually, in my opinion, take care of our needs for even longer than the machines we replace. For example, 10 years ago the iMac was really just a consumer machine, no professional in their right mind would try to use that day in and day out for photo and video work. Today the iMac is a staple of many photo and video pros, because it offers so much performance at a price point so much lower than the MacPro.

    A 500 Mhz iMac went for $1300 which is about $1600 now, adjusted for inflation. $1600 will get you into a 27" iMac which will make you wonder how you strung along that G3 for as long as you did. if money is tight, go used -- any Mac with an Intel processor is going to be leaps and bounds better than the experience you're having with your current machine. If you do buy used, try to find something with at least a Core2Duo processor. The Core Duo processor machines are nearly 5 years old now, and are starting to become obsolete.
    Last edited by Saaby; 08-11-2010 at 02:43 AM.
    Ryan

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    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Thanks Saaby.

    btw, weren't you a long time pc fan?
    What changed your mind??



    (and is it still Saabs, for that matter?

    ( btw my brother got one, 'inherited' it
    from my neice when she moved, to NYNY...
    someone stole a headlight off it while in a parking lot!
    needed a new computer at one point, and new shocks,
    6 yrs old or so I think..to small a drivers area for me)
    originally cpf member #14 write me at gmail.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    There are also refurbished Macs available from Apple. They carry the same warranty as new units but are $150 less than new ones. I think they are computers and equipment that failed QC and were reworked.

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    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Quote Originally Posted by wyager View Post
    I'm not sure as to the legality of downloading no longer sold products though... Maybe it still counts as piracy. In that case, I would just go with linux.
    It's not legal; the software is still protected by copyright-- so, yes, it does count as piracy.

    Camino (cabrinobrowser.org) has a version for 10.4 and higher, and version 1.6 is for 10.3.9. Other versions available, but may not work so great for the jazziest websites.

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Older iMac and modern web pages...SOS!!

    Camino is so damn slow though... Opera, despite my qualms with the UI, is a much faster browser, especially on older computers.
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