9 Replies Latest reply: Nov 23, 2013 10:36 AM by steve359
quiensera Level 1 (0 points)

Hi, I would like to upgrade my old g4 Ibook, 10.3.9 (Panther) to run either Tiger or Leopard.  Where can I buy either new or used versions of this software?  Used would be fine, as long as it works.  The Apple store doesn't sell these anymore, and what I googled sounded very expensive for something that is really already outdated.  Are there any reliable stores that sell these?  If I buy it used, is there any danger I might get a bad DVD and somehow do damage to my computer?  Also, would Tiger be better than Leopard?  I'm mostly trying to get the computer to play videos on the internet, which doesn't work with Panther.


Thanks for any help!

iBook G4 (14-inch), Mac OS X (10.3.x), 1.33ghz, 512RAM, Safari: 1.3.2(v312
  • steve359 Level 6 (13,352 points)

    It is expensive because fewer copied exist than of new, and those who need it will pay for it (law of supply and demand ... not nice but true).


    Buy a real disk, but stay away from any *cheap* downloads.  Anyone who sells you an electronic copy is breaking license agreements AND likely planted spyware or worse in the copy.

  • Limnos Level 8 (47,342 points)

    I think there are online retailers but nobody I have seen specifically recommended.  There's the usual used parts sources such as e-bay and Craigslist but make sure you get a retail version disc.  Some people try to re-sell the gray colored discs that came with a computer but those are designed to only work on that particular model.  The retail Tiger discs are black.  There are also limited discs that are designed to only work when installing on top of Panther.  That would be okay in your situation except if you should ever need to re-install you would have to install Panther first again.


    See other recent posts in this forum about upgrading to Leopard.  Both Tiger and Leopard are no longer supported by Apple.  You can run newer versions of things such as iTunes on Leopard but it will still be several versions out of date.  With Leopard you can no longer run OS9 generation applications in Classic.  Leopard will also make more demands on your computer.  Check the specs for minimum system requirements.  I think your 512 MB RAM meets minimum but when Apple says minimum they mean it and some people complained about Leopard running slowly.  I run Tiger with 2 GB RAM.


    I have a copy of Leopard but I have never bothered installing it.  Yes, there are a few applications I could run in it that I can't with Tiger, but I am generally pretty happy with Tiger.  You need to review your exact needs but I suspect I probably won't really bother with Leopard and my next jump will be new hardware and something that will still run 10.6 and PPC generation applications.


    As for cost, it is what the market will bear.  I haven't checked prices recently but for quite a while Tiger and Leopard held strong on resale.  I can't imagine it going on for much longer because even if people are happy running old Macs the hardware will eventually give out and people will have to buy newer computers.

  • quiensera Level 1 (0 points)

    So, if you run Tiger, can you play internet videos on it?  This is for my mother's computer and she only needs it for very basic tasks, such as e-mail and basic internet surfing.  She probably wouldn't watch a lot of videos, but once in a while, on news sites and such.  She wouldn't need all the extra stuff that comes with Leopard, but since the prices are pretty high for both, I was wondering if it isn't a better investment to go with the newer system (so one can use the newest possible version of flash player).  I'd prefer Tiger, but what if it becomes just as obsolete as Panther in just a few months or so?  Panther actually works quite well for now, except for the videos.  So, the only reason to install a new system would be the videos.

  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,760 points)

    Tiger is already obsolete, by a decade, and so is Leopard. Both are expensive to buy.


    Don't bank on satisfactory video streaming on an old G4 (reference your own thread). If I were you I would put your money towards a newer (second-hand or refurbished) Mac with an Intel CPU.

  • Limnos Level 8 (47,342 points)

    I have a G4 with 2x1GHz processors.  It is slow streaming video though part of that could be my slower ISP connection.  Still, when I stream video I monitor the band use and is downloads slower than my maximum speed.  In any case, I usually have to wait until it has fully downloaded and view it.  If I want to watch HD I usually save the file to the computer and then use an application such as VLC to watch the video which it can then play smoothly.  This is definitely not a user-friendly way to do it.  What I'm saying is, an old G4 is not really up for streaming modern video.  Given that Tiger might still run you $100 I would just put the money towards an Intel based computer with more modern video capability. 

  • quiensera Level 1 (0 points)

    For me, when I go to a website, there is just an empty white space where the videos are supposed to be, so I can't even attempt to load them.  Someone else recommended another browser that's not updated anymore, but might still play videos when used with Panther.  I'll give that one a try, otherwise I might just have to think about buying a used machine with Intel processor.  Paying 100$ for an obsolete system just isn't worth it (and I might have to install more RAM, too.)  It's just too bad, because my G4 still works great otherwise, never needed a repair in 10 years.  If you buy used, you never quite know what you're going to get.

  • steve359 Level 6 (13,352 points)

    Buy a refurbished macmini from Appleonline (http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac) that is AppleCertified as "good as new" while still saving a few $$ off new.  You can buy AppleCare for it also.  Buy a $130 LED screen and $40 of keyboard and mouse if you need them.

  • rccharles Level 5 (7,581 points)

    and my next jump will be new hardware and something that will still run 10.6 and PPC generation applications.


    My understanding is that you can run 10.6 server < still sold by Apple > in a virtual machine such as parrallels on the latest mac os x. Mac 10.6 is licensed to allow you to run it in a virtual machine.


    This is what I plan on doing so that I can run my older software on a new machine.



  • steve359 Level 6 (13,352 points)

    I have my copy of 10.6 server for $20 + shipping/tax ... get them while you can, before they stop selling (not complaining, just being realistic).