Which Mac should I purchase for MacOSX?


I've been following the MacOSX development since it first made its way onto Apple's web page a few years ago... As soon as it is released, I'll be purchasing myself a Mac and MacOSX.. But since I'm for the most part a PC user... I find the whole thing kind of daunting...

I want a system that I can use to just learn more about the Hardware / OS ... the general mac experience.

I'm a Unix Guru so I'll be doing development and hacking on the Darwin side of things...

I'd like a computer fast enough to be able to run a few programs at once without any really noticeably delays in the MacOS Interface.. a few programs may be something like running M$ Office 2001, XFree86, and Netscape Communicator

I'm not familiar with the speed differences or the ram requirements. For example - an iMac 450G3 is said to run MacOSX - but what's the difference betweeen that and a G4 500... How much ram do I need.

If someone could suggest a system for me, and possibly add in their own two bits - it would be appreciated...


Hi there,

Well, I'm not an expert or anything, but I've been hanging out around macs since age 2 (yes, that's when I used the first PowerBook prototype ... and yes, I'm that young, but it doesn't mean I am knowledgeless).
I'd recommend just getting an Imac DV 400 or something like that for just messing around with software and hacking some Darwin DNA ... but since you said hardware, you probably want something that you can open up and get bits/electrons oozed onto your fingers, and get right in there.
So, I'd say the best idea would be a 2000-type Power Mac G4. They're pretty cheap now that the 2001 versions came out. They support OS X (although it might have some extra deep hardware features that talk more to the newer G4 architecture or something like that ... I'm not a systems developer, so I wouldn't know but, ...), and they're open-up able. You can add new memory, upgrade processors, etc. with them. If you want to play around with dual processors as you dissect Darwin, you can also get them with dual processors. They're pretty powerful, and do more per megahertz then a PC system, so even if the speed seems pretty low, I wouldn't worry about it. (I've got a PowerBook G3 400MHZ with 192MB of ram, and I open Office, Opera, Netscape, Aol IM, MacAMP, .... and it all works fine). The only thing I would recommend is getting a bunch of ram (256 MB is probably all you'll need. And you can always add more if you feel you need to).
However, if you decide that you really want to go for the gusto and just get the most powerful, newest thing there is, then the newest Power Mac G4 is the way (http://store.apple.com click on the PowerMac G4 link, then on ultimate .. and you've got yourself one helluva system!).

So anyways, that's my two very fat cents (sorry it was so long, but I figure that more is better then less.)

Good Luck with your quest for the Beautiful OS