4696 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: May 30, 2009 3:06 AM by Enio Rigolin2
There is no conventional way.
However, you can use VNC (the open source screen sharing protocol) and this clever program (below) to make the iMac G4 pretend to be an external second display. The Mac mini needs to have a display connected the usual way as the primary display. The program is ScreenRecycler.
You run ScreenRecycler on the Mac mini. It sets up a second virtual screen that acts like a real external display and shares that screen over the network. It's like a Mac doing screen sharing (for remote control from another computer), except the screen being shared is this second virtual screen, not the primary screen.
Then, you run a VNC client program (such as the developer's own freeware JollysfastVNC) on the iMac G4 to display that shared screen in a window. When you go +full screen+ with that window, the iMac display appears to be the Mac mini's second display.
The signal is going over the network, so you are not going to get blazing speed. But since the iMac has decent 100Base-T wired networking (and the Mac mini has gigabit Ethernet), as long as you use a good Cat-5 rated Ethernet cable or better, it should be reasonably fast. The program is not free, but you can try it in limited-time demo mode for free, to see if it is suitable.
I use it to give my Intel iMac a third display (the first two connected the usual way). The ScreenRecycler screen is an old PC laptop running Linux (Ubuntu).
What's the fastest cable I can use with the G4 iMac? Since this solution could save me a few hundred dollars (buying a mini instead of an iMac) I figure I can splurge on the ethernet cable. But is there a cap on what the G4 iMac's networking can handle?
For example, would paying extra for a Category 5e cable instead of just a Category 5 cable make a difference? Or would it all be the same to the G4's 100Base-T?
If not, is there an even faster cable I can buy? What's the top of the line?
Message was edited by: Enio Rigolin2
According to this article
Cat-5 can handle 100Base-T speed. Although the Mac mini can go faster, the iMac G4 is limited to 100Base-T. Therefore, it would not be beneficial to get a Cat-5e cable for this purpose. But if you are buying a new cable, you might as well get a Cat-5e cable so that you can use it with the Mac mini in the future and get the full gigabit (1000Base-T) connection when the other end of the cable can handle it. If you happen to have a Cat-5 cable in your storage closet, you can use it; just don't use some ancient 10Base-T era cable.
You can also use the wireless (AirPort) connection for the ScreenRecycler connection. However, the iMac G4's AirPort will be slower than 100Base-T wired, even if it's 802.11g; if it's the older 802.11b AirPort, it will be REALLY slow. So using the wired connection will be better.