My own first Mac

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I'm new on this forum and I'm a mac-newbie, so please cut me a little slack if my post seems long winded ,or out of place.
I just started learning about computers a few years ago when my boss gave one to me as a Christmas gift. It was an inexpensive pee-cee ( that's correct ,right?) .
Well since then , I've already grown sick and tired of the usual problems generally associated with ms weendows. I purchased a couple of books and started to teach myself a little bit about how to make use of Linux .
First Fedora Core1,then Fedora Core 3, Suse, and finally settling on Mandriva.
I'm no techie, but overall dependability has been much better since changing over. .....However, it still seems to require a bit of research and practice to do some of the things that most weendows users take for granted( they just point and click . No compiling etc. necessary .)

Then I paid a long overdue visit to my big brothers' home recording studio.
He has the whole place running from a eMac running on Panther!
He let me sit and play with his machine a little bit.
I'm impressed! In no time I was mixing and editing like a pro!
Multimedia? No probs!
I was completely floored by the performance of that computer at only 1.42gig.
Then my brother told me about how macs do more work in the software and so can perform fast as x86 machines that are rated nearly twice the clock speed !

I was all ready to spring for a new iMac g5 . The only problem is that I had a very important surgery scheduled. Oh , I have insurance . It's just still expensive. Deductible and then twenty percent to all parties involved you know.
So I'm on a tight budget right now.
I'm thinking about buying an inexpensive used machine to play with and become familiar with OSX until sometime next year when I can afford something super-cool.

Tell me your thoughts on these machines that I've found.
Would Panther run ok on these , or would they just be too slow?
For general computing ,and some non-professional musical work.

A 350mhz g3 Blue and White Powermac w/ 1024mb Ram ,40gb 7200rpm HD,16x combo drive, stock rage video card .for $300.00

The other machine that looks like fun is a stock 450mhz g4 cube. same price , but no combo drive ,a lot less ram , and doesn't look very expandable or easy to hot-rod later.It is small,quiet,and still hip looking though.

Ideas ,Suggestions? Anybody have experience running Panther on a simular rig?
Thanks for your time.
Keep smilin'
Ok Guys and gals,
I just found the "search" link.
Well I've searched the forums and found out that several people have posted similar questions here.
So Please don't kill me.
You can still answer my posting if you have a machine like either of the ones I'm looking at, and you can tell me how well it runs.
Your friendly advice is still welcome.
Personally I wouldn't invest that much money in a machine thats nearly over 4 years old. I know, that Mac's value tend not to decrease much, even over a timespan of several years, but investing in a B&W G3 300MHz is like wasting money to me. Maybe when the G4 was the latest in Mac technology then I would recommend such action. (but that was in the middle of 2002/2003)
Apple phased out the G3 and I assume they won't support the older sub 600MHz G3 that long. Besides this fact, there are programs like iDVD which require a G4 and hardware like the isight which requires at least a 600Mhz G3.

I think the mac mini (I know it sounds somehow cliche, because it is considered by a lot of people as the "newbie mac") is a better investment and it isn't that expensive while offering nearly the same features (or even more, depending on version and configuration) than the B&W G3. Wait a few weeks, because then, new models are released which come with more RAM, more HD space and will support all features of Tiger (more video RAM > core image accelerated)

On a sidenote. Its very interesting to see that someone which is new to computers in general gets "feed up" by Windows and switches to another OS. At least there is hope > that people want to inform their selfs and try new things. Unfortunally in my job (beeing service tech, once for an Apple/PC retailer and now for an enterprice which works mainly with PCs and of course Windows) most people tend to stick to Windows, even if they have lots of problems with it, with no intention to change. Ok, it is my job to solve their problems, but I have seen a lot examples which could be solved much more efficient with a simple *nix sollution.


With the mac mini and a decent amount of RAM (512MB) your OSX experience will be much better compared to a B&W. Maybe you'll find out that the mac mini is enough for you and you don't need the faster G5 (I am to to sure what you plan to do with the G5). It gives you the base to experiment with nearly all the software/HW the mac world has to offer. (I believe there is only one Apple video editing app (Motion?) for pros which requires 64MB vRAM).
If you switch to a G5 you can still use the mac mini as silent file storage (server), video/audio stream server and so on, or as family computer. (ok thats also possible with the G3)
It sounds like you've already got an investment in existing machines. If you want a cheap Mac, get a Mac Mini since it allows you to reuse your existing monitor and is really cheap. Max out the RAM and you'll have a very capable machine.
Thanks guys.

Older machine: $300.00 More ram , but slower bus speeds.
Pluses : cheap , more ram ,as much drive space
Minuses : slower bus speed , slower processor

New Mini : $500.00
Pluses : four times the power , faster bus speeds ,iLife ,smaller
Minuses : less ram , no audio input , 5400rpm notebook hard disk
Hard disk is acceptable. iMic $35.00 ,512 gb ram $50.00
Total $585 + tax + about $630

$300 works , gets me by for about six months
$630 works much better , gets me by for longer ,twice the money.

Thanks for your advice. I'll mull it over ( try to sneak the bigger purchase past my wife)
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