Re: Upgrade OSX 10.39 ?? Connect high-speed?
- From: dempson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx (David Empson)
- Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 15:48:43 +1200
Snipping earlier discussion for brevity...
mm <NOPSAMmm2005@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Sun, 24 Apr 2011 23:38:05 +1200, dempson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx (David
mm <NOPSAMmm2005@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
A friend writes me this:
"My computer is an iMac G4. Apple makes upgrades impossible after they
bring out a new version of a line. My operating system is an OSX which
is now at 10.39. Apple's upgrade restriction will not allow me to boot
it higher than 10.4, unless of course you know how to get around
I know barely anything about Mac's, but perhaps you guys can help my
friend. So do you "know how to get around that"?
All iMac G4 models are officially supported for Mac OS X 10.4, provided
they meet the minimum memory requirement (256 MB) and have enough free
hard disk space. (Having significantly more than 256 MB of RAM is a good
Your friend could therefore obtain a second hand retail 10.4 install DVD
and upgrade her iMac to 10.4, from where she couuld get free updates to
At the moment, ebay has only new DVD's for 85 to 95 dollars, and one
used version with 25 bids up to 54 dollars, and another just starting
at 50. But she can wait a while, and ebay has the "favorite search"
feature, so one can get them to email him when a used version is for
There are several variants, so you need to make sure you get the right
one. The main ones:
- The standard retail DVD originally came in a large black box, and the
DVD itself has a black label with a white "X" on it. It says "Mac OS X
Tiger", "Install DVD" and "Version 10.4" on the left side. There may be
later retail editions which used smaller packaging. The version number
might be 10.4, 10.4.3 or 10.4.6 (as the retail edition was updated
- There was a replacement set of CDs available from Apple which could be
used on older models that didn't have a DVD drive. These were only
available via special order and are rare.
- There was a "Family Pack" variant, which originally cost US$199
instead of US$129. The only difference was a sticker on the box which
said "Family Pack", and the relevant clause in the licence agreement,
which allows it to be installed on up to five computers in one
household. The DVD is identical to the single licence edition.
- The are two DVDs which look like the standard retail edition but came
in reduced packaging. One says "Upgrade DVD" and the other says "CPU
Drop-in DVD". These were only supplied with/for computers bought around
the time Mac OS X 10.4 was released, and are not supposed to be sold
separately from the computer. They cannot be used to install Mac OS X on
a bare hard drive, only to upgrade an existing installation of 10.3.
- Model-specific install DVDs are grey with the model name mentioned on
the DVD. They should not be sold separately from the computer, and can
only be used on the model with which they were originally supplied. They
will refuse to install on other models. She won't be able to use one of
- There was also a "Server" edition of Mac OS X 10.4, which clearly says
"Mac OS X Server" on both the box and DVD. You definitely don't want
that one as it would only confuse things. It was much more expensive.
It has another one called "rare" buy it now for 160 dollars. Pretty
silly when 10+ other new ones are for sale for 95 or less.
I was once looking on the web for a camera that was sold here
reconditioned for 50 dollars, and they ranged from 50 to 200 dollars
reconditioned, with new ones around 100. You really have to pay
attention on the web. It's a lot easier than going from store to
store, but I think the price variation is much greater than in brick
Most of those appear to be the "full install" or "retail" edition, which
is the one you want. Most are showing the stock photo of the box and
some are showing the DVD.
The "MacBook Pro Mac OS X Version 10.4.10 Install Discs" one
Is an example of the model-specific DVDs. Those will only work on a
MacBook Pro up to and including the Mid 2007 series.
Although I think the OS she has now would be okay if she could have a
high speed connection, which you get to farther down.
Some iMac G4 models are too slow to officially support running Mac OS X
10.5, which imposed a minimum requirement of an 867 MHz G4 processor.
(The earliest iMac G4s have 700 or 800 MHz processors.) It is possible
to work around this restriction and actually get 10.5 working on all
iMac G4 models, but those "officially too slow" models are likely to be
somewhat sluggish compared to faster models.
I don't know how fast or how much ram there is. My friend probably
knows how to display that. Although she's probably not connected to
usenet (which one can do for free), she can email me.
1 GHz and faster iMac G4 models are officially supported by Mac OS X
The minimum RAM for 10.5 is 512 MB, and more is definitely a good idea:
in my experience, at least 1 GB is advisable.
The iMac G4 has some difficulities in RAM upgrades, because one of the
RAM slots is buried inside the computer and is difficult to access
unless you are comfortable working inside electronic devices,
disassembling and reassembling a complex machine, AND know how to
correctly reapply thermal paste.
Well, I've done all that and I could do this for her. I once fixed a
friend's Mac laptop. I had little hope, and couldn't even take it
apart much. I couldn't get the harddrive out, but I could pull it out
of the socket. When I reassembled it, it worked (just like when I
started out fixing things over 50 years ago. The first half-dozen
times, I took them apart and put them back together and they always
worked and I never knew why.)
The thermal paste is an added complication in the iMac G4. The design is
very tight and very heat sensitive.
I have taken apart lots of Mac laptops to replace hard drives, but have
never ventured inside an iMac G4 because I've never dealt with thermal
paste and don't want to risk it without pointers from someone who knows
what they are doing.
The web site http://www.ifixit.com has detailed instructions for most
She also wrote "When I get high speed internet, I will buy a new
computer or laptop because 10.4 is long outdated. If you know a way I
can keep my iMac and upgrade it, I'll keep it. "
She told me that she actually signed up for DSL (or cable maybe) and
they sent her the kit, and she did everything in the instructions, but
it didn't work. She even got some phone help iiuc. Then she gave up,
sent the kit back and cancelled the order, and only after that found
out there was a lot more phone help she could have had. I know this
is a stupid question, but is there something she likely did wrong?
Possibly. Basic Internet connectivity via a DSL modem should be fine
with 10.3.9, as long as she didn't have to run any Mac-specific software
to set it up.
Well I don't know. She said she followed all the instructions, so I
presume they didn't instruct her to use any software she didn't have.
Mac-specific instructions may have been written assuming a later version
of Mac OS X, in which some aspects of the user interface changed
(including the details on how to configure custom network settings).
The main issue with 10.3.9 is that it is now so far out of date that
there is practically no new or recent software supporting it. In
particular, none of the major web browsers (with the possible exception
of Opera) has supported 10.3.9 for a long time, seriously limiting its
use for web browsing. Apple stopped supplying security updates in 2007,
so it is rather risky connecting 10.3.9 to the Internet.
What about the theory that if you never open an attachment, you won't
get a virus. Another friend ran on a PC like that for years, and
onlyi got antivirus when her boyfriend "made her".
It is worse than that. If you visit a web site which contains malicious
with malicious code, or triggers some other known bug in an old
operating system or browser), it could do nasty things to old web
browsers. For best security, keep the web browser and OS up to date, or
turn off most features of web browsers and disable all plugins (which
renders much of the web useless).
Setting aside the security question, the major issue with 10.3.9 is that
without modern web browsers, an increasing number of web sites simply
won't work (and in some cases cause the web browser to crash), because
they are expecting a more recent web browser.
10.4 was well supported up to late 2009, but security updates stopped
then. Apple stopped supplying any 10.4-compatible software by the end of
2010, and remaining support from third party developers has been
dwindling. Many web browsers have now dropped 10.4 support, and most
other new software requires later OS versions.
I think she'd be happy with what she has if webpages would load more
quickly. At least for a while.
10.4.11 should be reasonably OK for a while, but it will eventually get
to the same level of incompatibility which 10.3.9 is now suffering.
If there is no network jack in the desktop computer, it's possible to
Every Mac in the last 15 years has built-in Ethernet. Every iMac G4 has
10/100 Ethernet, and has an option for a wireless network interface card
(802.11b "Airport" in early models, 802.11b/g "Airport Extreme" in later
Thanks a lot, David.
- Prev by Date: Re: Upgrade OSX 10.39 ?? Connect high-speed?
- Next by Date: Re: Upgrade OSX 10.39 ?? Connect high-speed?
- Previous by thread: Re: Upgrade OSX 10.39 ?? Connect high-speed?
- Next by thread: Re: Upgrade OSX 10.39 ?? Connect high-speed?