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Old February 18th, 2004, 03:56 PM   #1
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Found an older iMac... is it usable?

Hi,

I'm a PC person and stumbled on an older iMac here at work that I am able to kick around. I'm wondering if someone can tell me if it's even worth the bother. Someone here at work at some point threw linux on it so before I try and find a MacOS to put on it, is there a cutoff as to when an iMac would even be useable for NLE?

It's one of those Strawberry looking iMacs. How can I tell what's in it when there's no OS that I can boot?

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old February 18th, 2004, 04:04 PM   #2
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You have to be able to boot the computer in order to determine the OS it is using. An older iMac (like the Strawberry) came with a 4 or 6gb hard drive. Hardly big enough for digital video. They used G3 processors and are too slow to use FCP 3 or 4. I could be used with a simpler program like iMovie. But it would still require upgrades of ram and a larger hard drive. They were introduced in January of 1999 so like any 5 year old computer they are a little behind the times.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 04:29 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : You have to be able to boot the computer in order to determine the OS it is using. An older iMac (like the Strawberry) came with a 4 or 6gb hard drive. Hardly big enough for digital video. They used G3 processors and are too slow to use FCP 3 or 4. I could be used with a simpler program like iMovie. But it would still require upgrades of ram and a larger hard drive. They were introduced in January of 1999 so like any 5 year old computer they are a little behind the times. -->>>

I'm using a PC for my main production stuff (Vegas). I'm hoping to use iMovie just to get a feel for the workings of the Mac in case my partner convinces me to switch later. So without purchasing an OS since there's not a disc around I'm not going to know what this thing has in it? Hmmm....

Thanks.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #4
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It should have an OS on it. The fact is doesn't boot is somewhat disturbing.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #5
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My daughter has an iMac of that same vintage, IIRC it has 6gb drive, 256mb RAM, 400 mhz G3. It was originally marketed as the "iMac DV" and was one of the first generations that had a firwire port. For starters you should confirm that your iMac has a firewire (ieee 1394) port, if not then you're probably just wasting your time.

My daughter and her friend have been making some very impressive videos using this computer with MacOS 9, the original hard drive, and a cheap DV camera. So you definitely can do basic video editing on one of these machines with iMovie. On a machine of this age with a small hard drive and limited RAM I'd suggest sticking with MacOS 9.x.

See if this sounds like the machine you have. If not then check out the other G3 iMac specs here. Since the machine obviously included a version of MacOS 9 when it was new, I'd think that someone could help you out by providing the correct version of the system software originally supplied. You could then update that at least to 9.04 at no cost.

Obvioiusly this isn't ideal, but since you said you were just interested in "kicking it around" this would be a start that wouldn't involve any expenditure (except of your time). The message boards at apple.com might also be a good resource for help.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 05:16 PM   #6
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If it is indeed a Strawberry iMac it does not have a FireWire input. This would severely hinder getting DV in and out of the computer. It might be better suited for script writing, than actual post production use.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 08:16 PM   #7
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Okay... it must not be a "real" strawberry then because on the right side it has 2 USB and 2 Firewire ports. So that's a good sign.

It DOES have an OS on it.. it's linux though. This was a test machine in the office and somewhere along the lines someone installed Linux and wiped out the MAC OS that was on it. Is it possible that I'm still eligibe to get an older MACos from Apple for a minimal charge just to get it back up to snuff?

Thanks for all of the comments,

Kevin
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Old February 18th, 2004, 08:31 PM   #8
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Kevin, even if you can get the iMac to edit video- by all means visit an Apple Store in your area- they are designed to allow people to use all the Macs on display and freely play with them- the stores here actually encourage people to have a seat and play as long as you'd like- this will give you the real feeling of what you can expect should your partner want to switch to Macs.

(and get this- there are certain nights where they hold small classes and hands on demos of different Apple software and usually serve soda, coffee etc.....this will give you a real feeling for the Mac)
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Old February 20th, 2004, 11:33 PM   #9
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Kevin if you really are looking for a MAC to start playing with DV editing I have one for sale listed here. It comes with Final Cut Pro and a few other things.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20650

Im sure this will get u started off pretty good.

Shoot me a message if u have any questions.
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Old February 21st, 2004, 02:26 PM   #10
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Kevin, a local Apple service provider should be able to install an OS for you. You could check with Apple, they might be able to help also. But I suspect they will tell you to purchase Panther.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 11:56 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm going to go up to the closest dealer on their video editing night and kick it around and see about getting some semblance of an OS back on the old one.

-Kevin
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