Computer for my mother...

contoursvt

Registered
She knows NOTHING so I'll be teaching her the basics. I'm a PC guy but I know she will have less probs on a Mac being new to everything because less chance of her getting spyware or ending up on the wrong site somehow and being infected with something (its fine for me as a tech guy because I know what to avoid and how to take care of my machine..etc).

The only thing I have to give her is the following which I think should be fine for basic computing such as surfing, emails, letters, spreadsheets, webcam, DVD playback, CD/DVD burning, small simple games like card games, tetris..etc

I want your feedback on how this machine should be for daily usage but someone who is older and will be patient if things are not super fast.

G3 B&W 400Mhz
512mb RAM
OS 10.2.x (I know its old but I'm guessing its ok for this box??)
Adaptec 2940U2W controller
Quantum Atlas 7200RPM 9.1gig UW SCSI drive
ATI Rage 128 video
Sony 8x DVD +/- burner

I'm thinking it should be more than enough.
 

contoursvt

Registered
Well the PC I was going to give her was a PIII 550 with 512mb RAM, 40gig IDE drive, burner..etc. I was going to put XP home on there. I dont have cash lying around so its either the G3 or the PIII 550 and an OEM XP Home.

Still, I'm leaning more towards the G3. I really dont think she'll be frustrated because she has no reference point for speed.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
I would go for the G3, but put at least Panther on there. Panther (OS X 10.3) runs better than Jaguar on pretty much 100% of Apple's machines that can run OS X.

If at all possible, drop a cheap G4 upgrade in that box. You'll need OS 9 to patch the firmware on the machine, though, as most B&W G3s (well, ALL of them except for a few 1st-generation machines) have a firmware block preventing you from using a G4 chip. Most vendors who sell the G4 ZIF processor will also have the required firmware patch.
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
The G3 will do most of those tasks but will be a bit sluggish, especially when starting apps up and switching between them. For some people this isn't that much of a worry - I gave my mum a G3-500 and notice that she tends to only use one app at a time anyway.

However, the G3 is going to really struggle with webcams ... iSight is out of the question, and most other webcams will run pretty sluggishly. And while it'll handle DVD burning, it won't really have the power to wrangle video so editing home movies, burning DVD video and so on are out of the question.

And seconded the vote for upgrading the OS to at least 10.3. Unlike Windows, Mac OS X actually gets faster and more responsive with each new version, and you're better off running 10.4 on a really old machine than 10.2
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
I think it's fine. I used a 450MHz iMac DV+ with 192MB of RAM for years, and it was usable, even for a heavy user like me. I imagine your system, with 512MB of RAM, would be much better. So I don't think it's a problem.

I also recommend upgrading to Panther, but not Tiger. I find Tiger to be slower and much more RAM-hungry than Panther. From the many reports I've heard, it seems that Tiger's performance ranges from significantly worse than Panther to slightly better. So I'd play it safe and stick with Panther or Jaguar.
 

contoursvt

Registered
symphonix said:
The G3 will do most of those tasks but will be a bit sluggish, especially when starting apps up and switching between them. For some people this isn't that much of a worry - I gave my mum a G3-500 and notice that she tends to only use one app at a time anyway.

However, the G3 is going to really struggle with webcams ... iSight is out of the question, and most other webcams will run pretty sluggishly. And while it'll handle DVD burning, it won't really have the power to wrangle video so editing home movies, burning DVD video and so on are out of the question.

And seconded the vote for upgrading the OS to at least 10.3. Unlike Windows, Mac OS X actually gets faster and more responsive with each new version, and you're better off running 10.4 on a really old machine than 10.2
Actually I ended up putting 10.3 on there as a test and I think its a bit more zippy. Maybe I can buy 10.3 or 10.4 for that machine. I dont want her having a 'copy' of OSX. In any case the machine is pretty decent. I think the SCSI subsystem is helping because the only slow down really is anything very graphic intensive. Flash on websites pretty much kill the machine :( Wonder why flash is so bad on the mac platform. I've used PII 300's on the net and they handle flash better.
 

contoursvt

Registered
SuperTyphoon said:
The question is, how much are you paying for it?
I got that G3 from work for $70 in that configuration. I'll just have to buy an OS now to be legal so I assume thats like $120 or so..
 
For 70, i guess that it won't matter much. The OS is more than the computer... nice. Still, upgrading a G4 will benefit alot. Also as the 2nd previous poster said, a slow mac cant' handle most web features such as flash and macromedia, and it's true.
 
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