7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 17, 2005 3:58 PM by Randy Knowles
C Reece Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Since updating the g3 to 384 megs ... she purrs but is sorely in need of a cdrom upgrade and more storage since she has only 4 gigs of memory. Can I update to a CDRW? Which brand(s) is the best for Mac? What about storage. What are my options. I'll spend the loot if it's possible for baby to get an upgrade. Can I set up a network where baby talks to her cousin, a pc running windows 98? Ethernet? Thank you in advance.

PowerMac G3 beige desktop, Mac OS 9.2.x
  • dudeJediKnight Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I don't know specifically about the Beige G3, but I think the knowledge I've accumlated with my experiences with the G3 B&W could still prove useful to you. I'll take them in order and help you as best I can.

    1)"sorely in need of ... more storage since she has only 4 gigs of memory."

    I think you mean 4gigs of storage, meaning a 4GB hard drive. I know the B&W could take any drives less than 137gb with the stock ATA controller chip. Anything more than that required buying an aftermarket ATA controller card for one of the PCI slots. I think the Beige is like the revision 1 B&W, meaning that the ATA controller chip can only handle a single drive on the primary channel. Don't take my word as law, but at least it's a starting point.

    2) "Can I update to a CDRW? Which brand(s) is the best for Mac?"

    I did that to mine... used an off-the-shelf sony drive. If memory serves, the stock Beige G3 won't take an install of OS X (although I hear it can be done with some tweaking), so you're probably under OS 9. My best suggestion for you would be to get something like Roxio's Toast... I think it'll recognize practically all burners known to mankind. Getting the finder to recognize a burner under OS 9 can be problematic, but Toast has never given me any problems.

    3) "What about storage. What are my options."

    I talked about internal drive options earlier, but adding an external drive is also an option. Beige G3s were before the days of USB & Firewire, so I think SCSI is your best bet. I don't think any current USB2 cards will work in a Beige, so Firewire would be an option if you could find a compatible firewire PCI card. A Firewire Drive enclosure along with the bargain HD of the week at one of the electronics stores can net you some great storage at a great price. SCSI drives were pricey when they were available, and I doubt they're still sold anymore (I dont see any new ones sold anywhere anymore). If you're comfortable with buying something used, check the online auction sites and make sure it's the correct type of SCSI for your machine.

    4)"I'll spend the loot if it's possible for baby to get an upgrade."

    It's not dirt cheap, and it's not super simple, but I've read that it can be done with the Beige. I bought my B&W used for about 200, and probably spent about that much more installing the 2 ATA drives, cdrw, and internal zip drive. If you know what to look for and where to get it, it shouldn't be too hard... but it may take some time and patience. It's taken me over a year to get mine to where it is now, but since you seem dedicated enough to want to spend the necessary funds, I think you'll do fine.

    5)"Can I set up a network where baby talks to her cousin, a pc running windows 98? Ethernet?"

    For a while, I had my B&W running under OS 9... I never could get it to connect to other OS X macs on the local network, but with the right information, it should be able to connect to the internet through a shared connection. Networking a mac to a windows pc might be a little easier... but networking is not really my area of expertise. If it doesn't have ethernet pre-installed, you'll have to find a compatible PCI card.
    At my house, we used the old-fashioned 'sneakernet'... copy what you want to share and physically walk it over to the other computer. We have had macs back to the Performa days, and zip drives for all of them so it was most convenient in our case. (This was particulary true before cd burners were considered 'in'.)

    I know it can be done, but since I don't have a Beige G3, I can't give you the particulars you need. However, I do know a good place for you to look. I suggest you visit "www.xlr8yourmac.com" (minus the quotes); they have a database for all kinds of upgrades: cpus (either cpu cards or a physical processor change), drives (hard & cd/dvd), and graphics cards. After that, just hit your favorite search engine for other Beige G3 upgrades, or even a complete list of system specs. You can see what other people have used that have (and haven't) worked out in the real world.
  • Eustace Mendis Level 7 Level 7 (25,320 points)
    1. Re a CD ROM upgrade to a CD RW: Not all CD RWs are bootable. Make sure you get one that is. There is a list of bootable CD RWs somewhere on the web. I will post the link if I find it.
    2. Re more storage: You can replace the 4 gB hard drive with another drive, even as large as 120 gB. The new drive will have to be jumpered as a "master".
    3. Re talking with a pc: Networking a Mac and a PC is covered here:
    4. You did not ask, but you should note the ROM revision of your beige G3. Information is here: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=24924

    Rev 2 and Rev 3 machines can handle two IDE devices, for example two hard drives, on each bus. Two IDE busses are built-in.
  • dudeJediKnight Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    See? That's the sort of Beige-specific inforation that I was talking about.

    Seems at least one Beige expert is wandering around the interweb...
  • Eustace Mendis Level 7 Level 7 (25,320 points)
    C Reece,

    This is one of the links I had in mind. Among a host of other information the site covers upgrading the CD drive.
  • AppleIIFreak Level 4 Level 4 (2,525 points)
  • AppleIIFreak Level 4 Level 4 (2,525 points)
  • Randy Knowles Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    "Can I update to a CDRW? Which brand(s) is the best for Mac?"

    C. Reese - I have a firewire PCI card in my G3 and bought a LaCie firewire external CD/DVD reader/writer which came with Toast Lite. I added it as an external in addition to my existing built-in CD ROM. That works just fine under System 9.1, however I presume it will not work as a boot device as the driver for the firewire card must load first .... Hope this helps, I can read and burn both CD's and DVD's just fine.