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Old October 9th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #1
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best use for an old(er) mac?

I have upgraded from a g4 tower (800Mhz 1GB Ram) to a macbook pro.
as you can imagine the g4 is pretty much unused now and is feeling rather sorry for itself.
both have tiger on them and are connected via Lan.

i wondered if i could put it to any better use than just as a bulky external hard drive.

any thoughts or suggestions? (apart from 'give it to me')

thanks
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Old October 9th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Coy
any thoughts or suggestions? (apart from 'give it to me')
Heh, that would be pretty close to my suggestion. I helped a friend setup her DSL connection and went through hell with her old Windows 98 machine. So I gave her my PowerMac G4/733. It sure made my own life easier than dealing with all those Win 98 issues for her. It works great for web browsing and occasionally MS Word use for her, and I really couldn't think of anything to use it for at home anyway.

I also have an old G4 1.25ghz PowerMac. I've set it up with a MIDI keyboard and firewire audio interface with some studio monitors. It's now dedicated as a GarageBand workstation in my living room. I don't know if an 800 would be gutsy enough for that however.

You could also use it as an iTunes music server connected to your stereo system I suppose. Or it wouldn't be too shabby for any generic unix server application, like Apache, FTP or SMTP if you have a need for those.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what the video output capabilities are on that machine but you could turn it into a media centre/server. There's some good articles on how to do that with a Mac Mini, maybe you could adapt one of those.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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You can install a copy of Compressor on it and use it as part of a render farm. I'm pretty sure Apple's licensing allows you to use Compressor in this manner on multiple machines under one license.

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Old October 9th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #5
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Nate and Greg have great suggestions.

I have a G4 Cube running as a media center and it works great. Can't remember which video card I put in there but it was a flashed version of a PC card. I have Front Row running on it but I don't use FR much.

I have a custom Apple script that will lanch DVD Player, feed it a video_ts folder and move to full screen. I attach a .JPG of the DVD Jacket to each Apple Script for a custom interface in Finder.

You'd probably want to hide the G4 Tower though, not as nice looking as the Cube.

The render farm would be very nice too. It would be interesting to see how much performance improvement you can get there.

Passing it down is another option. Help create a new switcher like Boyd did.

Final idea is to eBay it. Not sure what the going rates are but you could probably get $350 for it.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 04:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
use it as a render farm.
I'd do that too and then before it melts this time next year...

Build a G4 Transformer with 'Total Destructive Capabilities'.

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Old October 10th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #7
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I use an old G4 tower as a log and capture station so I don't have to tie up my main machine. I also use it record audio in Pro Tools LE for our studio projects. So what I'm suggesting is that you find any tasks that tie up your computer but use very little processor power and see if you can offload them to the old machine.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 04:44 PM   #8
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many thanks

thanks for all the suggestions, going to look into all of those as soon as i figure out what a render farm is.

thanks again
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Old October 11th, 2006, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Coy
thanks for all the suggestions, going to look into all of those as soon as i figure out what a render farm is.

thanks again
It's a place that grows renders, then once a year (around December 1st) this guy comes around and picks out the best 12 to drive some kind of sleigh.
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Old October 15th, 2006, 03:02 PM   #10
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Uses for a G4

My old G4 runs my accounting software and invoicing, and handles the Epson R220 for printing all DVD labels. It's also my backup DVD burner (w/ Toast). SO while the G5 is cranking on editing or compressing or burning, I can print or bill clients on the G4. It's also the server of all of our iTunes collections.
The idea is to keep the crazy stuff on the G4 and leave the G5 as a pristine FCStudio workstation.

(LOL on the render farm explanation...)
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Old October 17th, 2006, 07:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorne Mathre
It's a place that grows renders, then once a year (around December 1st) this guy comes around and picks out the best 12 to drive some kind of sleigh.
HA! That was the funniest thing I've read on these boards in a while.

I have my G4 hidden behind a faux wall feeding the DVI input of my tv, then I hooked up a wireless keyboard and mouse via bluetooth, and now it provides me internet and some light editing capabilities. (as well as quicktime viewing abilities) on my TV whenever I need them. It's also handy because I can run full screen HDV on the monitor to impress clients when they stop by.

Of course I also updated the processor to dual 1.8's and put a radeon 9800 in there but that's not really all theat important. I'm excited abotu using it as a render farm, when I have stuff to render...
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