Fab new gear

Erica Kastner · May 22, 2006

Jeremy up and gave me his old G3 iMac that was sitting around. He said he didn’t want to invest the time to get OS X running on it (since it needed a firmware update). I gladly took it from him and set it up this weekend. It turns out it didn’t need the firmware update after all! It’s a 400MHz G3 and it came with 384MB of RAM and a 10GB hard disk. It came with OS 9.1 on it, so I upgraded it to OS 9.2.2 and installed OS X 10.4. Amazingly, 10.4 works great on it, in lieu of the fact that it’s 6 years old. It’ll be great to have a machine with OS 9 on it for Julie’s older music software. My challenge now is to get my MOTU Fastlane USB MIDI adapter working on it so she can plug it into the piano and write music using the keyboard.

All of the software updates were performed at my parents’ house. When I got it home last night, I pulled a 256MB stick of RAM from my old PC and popped it into the iMac. Voila! Now it has 512MB of RAM! I also pulled the Airport card from my iBook/web server to put into the iMac. However, the iMac needs a special daughter card to allow you to plug in the Airport PCMCIA card. I ordered the daughter card last night so it should get here in a few days.

Last week, I also purchased a new 100GB, 7200RPM hard drive for my PowerBook to replace its old 4200RPM, 80GB drive. It became clear that I need a way to back up my 27GB of music and 11GB of photos. The drive actually became corrupted at one point and I was lucky enough to be able to boot my PowerBook into target disk mode and copy all my music and photos to Julie’s iBook. I decided I would get a new drive for my laptop and put its old drive into an external firewire enclosure as a backup drive.

I had started to replace the drive last week, but it was fruitless. The last two screws holding in the drive were screwed way too tight, causing me to strip the heads of the screws, rendering them useless. I tried epoxy-ing some screws on top of the tight screws in the hopes of being able to turn the tight screws using fresh, epoxied-on screws, but that didn’t work. I took my PowerBook to my parents’ place on Saturday, and my dad took a dremel to it and ground a new slot into one of the screws and ground the head completely off of the other. Mission accomplished! My PowerBook now blazes its way through the arduous tasks I throw at it. It really does make a huge difference. I just can’t believe Apple is still only offering 5400RPM drives as standard in their new MacBook Pros. There’s really no reason to not use a 7200RPM drive. Especially if you’re into video.