Unboxing A Dual G4 Power Mac

Last week I told you how the old G4 Gigabit Ethernet went to meet it’s maker. It’s probably in Computer Heaven now where Steve Jobs is complaining that the fans in it are too loud.

I was going to buy the same machine and just transfer the RAM and parts to the new Gigabit Ethernet machine, but the seller I usually rely on never did get back to me. I took my search to the internet and I found a deal on a Dual G4 Power Mac from a reputable seller that was too good to pass up. It was less expensive than I was going to pay for the replacement G4, so I placed the order and a large cardboard box arrived last Friday.My son and I went about the task of unboxing our used/new-to-us Dual G4 1.25 GHz Power Mac. We were going to PARTY like it was 2003!

Upon opening the box, my son and I were met with a sea of pink packing peanuts. These guys made damn sure that the computer was going to arrive from Columbus, Ohio in one piece. They packed it with more foam peanuts than I ever remember seeing. I started digging them out and putting them in a plastic trash bag. They are going to come in handy when I have some shipping to do. Static electricity wrought havoc on us and little bits of styro-foam clung to everything.

After several inches of packing peanuts, we finally hit pay-dirt and uncovered the familiar form of a Apple Power Mac mummified in bubble-wrap and tape. I carefully unwrapped it wanting to save the packing in case it had to go back.

After wrestling with what seemed to be at least a couple yards of packing tape, the mirror door is revealed!

Finally, the boy makes acquaintance of his new G4 Power Mac. There were some minor scuffs here and there, but it looked to be in beautiful condition overall. Now there was only one thing left to do. The seller did not include a system installation so I threw a hard drive with a system on it inside, hit the power button and…

BONG! It powered up. My son has a new-to-us computer. I always wanted to fiddle around with a dual G4, and here is my chance. I’ll be curious to see if it’s faster than the old G4 with the single processor 1.6 GHz upgrade in it.

NEXT WEEK: Transplanting Drives and Initial Impressions of the New Machine

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4 Responses to Unboxing A Dual G4 Power Mac

  1. Kyle says:

    I love reusing old technology. Saves money and unnecessary waste for what are really adequate computers. The old Mac manufacturing specs are quite reliable as well. Imagine getting that much life from a 2003 Dell. The only rub with G4 Macs are that developers have mostly abandoned this platform. Even on the open source side, support for G4-related compiling issues is declining. If you’re feeling adventurous: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PowerPCFAQ

  2. Joe Williams says:

    Thanks, Kyle.

    I’m working up an article on my experiences in Linux-land. I’ve only had one real satisfying success with Linux on a battered 4 year old Gateway laptop. Otherwise, I think the problem is that I’ve been playing with some truly defective machines/lemons in an attempt to save them from the dumpster they were destined to. Last night, I was trying Puppy Linux on a 1998-99 Thinkpad. Neat, but it just wouldn’t behave, and it was getting late.

    I do want to try Linux on Apple.

  3. Mike says:

    I hope you have better luck with that one than I had with one of its brethren, many years ago.

    The thing could not run the then-current version of OS X Server without kernel panicking periodically. A bit of a problem, since it had been purchased as a server. That was a long, sleepless death march of a weekend network upgrade project. I ultimately had to swap out a lesser G4 tower that was an end user’s workstation, and make that the server. The MDD sat on my bench for an entire weekend running its hardware diagnostics on loop and never showed a problem.

    The client bought a G5 to be their server a few months later. That MDD G4 was stable as a rock running OS X client, and remained in use as a user’s workstation for years until its power supply died one day. Still, to this day I shudder a little when I see one.

    Also, I live in Philadelphia and I have one or two graphite gigabit ethernet G4s laying around– one of which is a dual 450MHz and used to be my home server until 2 years ago. Let me know if you’re interested in picking up a spare or two, otherwise they’re probably going to be put out at the curb this coming Friday for trash pickers.

  4. Joe Williams says:

    Thanks, Mike!

    I’m sort of maxed out on old computers just now. People have been raining old PC laptops on my head just lately, and I’ve been playing around with Linux. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing for my son with this G4.

    What part of Philly? Email me at :


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