help with mac os 8.1

pabloruiz

Registered
i've been wanting to get a mac for a while now and my boss just gave me his old iMac it runs with os 8.1..anyways his old documents/pictures/etc are still in the disk...what would be the best way to clean everything up and start from zero with this computer. and what is the latest update i can do to my imac? :) any help? i'm new!
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Purchase yourself some Mac OS Install CDs. The computer will eventually become worthless if you do not have a way to reinstall the operating system. Then, simply format the hard drive and clean install an operating system.
 

adambyte

Registered
Wow. 8.1 ... heh. That's old. I don't suppose you could tell us the model number, just out of curiosity?

btw, Don't think that this will help you get to know what a modern Mac is like.... 'cause... there's a vast difference between the "classic" Mac OS (versions up through 9.2) and Mac OS X (10.0 through 10.4)
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
Any iMac should be able to run OS X (although you might need to upgrade the RAM first). Tiger only officially support Firewire-enabled Macs, but I think that's just a "cover-our-asses" move by Apple; it ought to work just fine on any iMac, with or without Firewire. In any case, Panther would work.

But whether installing OS X is viable depends on the specifics of the system. Can you open Apple System Profiler (it should be in the Apple menu, if not, do a find-file) and tell us the processor speed, HD size and RAM? OS X needs at least 128MB of RAM. 256MB is recommended by Apple. 512MB is recommended by everyone else.

And, of course, you could also install OS 9. That'd be a lot easier on your system.
 

barhar

Registered
For the moment - just trash the folders of files pertaining to your boss.

Next, if System 8.1 and its related applications work for you, leave the iMac be - for the time being; or consider installing up to System 9.2.2. By doing so you will gain features; yet, be familiar with the overall system layout and operations. Going to MacOS X will be a new and totally different experience (and not necessarily an enjoyable one ...).

Last, from your statement of the iMac having System 8.1, you must have an iMac 'Bondi Blue'. There where two versions 'A' and 'B' of this model. The 'A' model can only accept up to 384 MB of RAM and the 'B' model up to 512 MB of RAM.
If you update only to System 9.2.2, 128 MB of RAM will make the iMac a speed daemon.
If you are considering installing MacOS X, you must install the maximum possible RAM. MacOS X manages RAM totally different than does System 9.2.2 and earlier. Also, only MacOS X 10.0.0 through 10.3.9 is supported by the Bondi Blue iMac.

References: Apple, EveryMac, MacTracker (MacOS X utility), and Guru v. 2.9 (System 9.2.2 or earlier utility).
 

RacerX

Old Rhapsody User
pabloruiz said:
i've been wanting to get a mac for a while now and my boss just gave me his old iMac it runs with os 8.1..anyways his old documents/pictures/etc are still in the disk
Starting from zero might not be the best course... but getting rid of the personal files of the previous owner would be.

The problem with Mac OS 8.1 is that, well, it is a messy OS. In later versions of Mac OS 8 and 9, there were a lot of specific folders for things that 8.1 hadn't started following closely yet.

Because of that, it makes it hard to tell you were to start.

One thing to do is to move all the applications into a main application folder. And when moving applications, if they are in their own folder... move the whole folder into the applications folder (many apps have additional files that they need within their own folders and will not function properly when removed from their folder).

It should be pretty straight forward to see what is personal and what is system/application related items on your drive then. Just toss the personal stuff.

As for 8.1, there are a handful of preferences that can be removed that are specific to the original owner. Once gone, these will be recreated, but this time for you.


Currently I'm on a dead line, so I don't have time to list everything you should do right now, but I should have time to be much more specific tomorrow. I'll use my 8.1 system as a reference to help guide you to all those items.

Mac OS 8.1 is a very nice system. I hope you have fun with it. I'll make some suggestions as to software (with links) that would make a nice addition for it tomorrow too.
 

pabloruiz

Registered
Mikuro said:
But whether installing OS X is viable depends on the specifics of the system. Can you open Apple System Profiler (it should be in the Apple menu, if not, do a find-file) and tell us the processor speed, HD size and RAM? OS X needs at least 128MB of RAM. 256MB is recommended by Apple. 512MB is recommended by everyone else.
machine speed: 233mhz
HD size: 4gb
space available: 3gb
disk cache: 96k
built-in memory: 96mb
virtual memory: 252.17mb
backside L2 cache: 512k
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Before you install OS X, you need to upgrade the memory. 96 MB is not enough for OS X.

You will also need to install a firmware update:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=60384

You can install this now with OS 8.

Then you have to decide if you want just OS X on it, or both OS 9 and OS X. You need OS 9 if you have some older programs that you do not have the finances to get the OS X upgrade version.

For now, OS 8 should do you fine.
 

RacerX

Old Rhapsody User
Honestly, anyone suggesting moving that system to Mac OS X is kidding themselves.

Not only do you need more memory, you need a larger hard drive. 4 GB hasn't been enough for Mac OS X since 10.1.

Also, before doing any firmware updates... make sure that they work with the RAM you have. It can turn off some of the your RAM (your system came with 32 MB originally, so the update might kill the additional 64 MB)... this was a major issue with the 1.2 update (along with killing the Mezzanine slot on those iMacs) that you would most likely want to consider before installing.

Be careful about what advice you follow... and double check the dependancies before installing anything that is hard to undo (and there are few things harder than firmware to undo... because you can't undo a firmware update). And this RAM issue is not considered a problem by Apple, it is a fix... so it is not documented on their site as I recall.

For an iMac 233 with 96 MB of RAM and a 4 GB hard drive, Mac OS 8.6 would be the best operating system to balance functionality and resources. But actually, 8.1 should be fine for now.
 
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