New to Blue & White

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New to Blue & White

I just ordered a refurbished Blue/White G3 to replace several different Macs in various states of repair.

I'm pretty sure it's a Rev 1 motherboard (G3/300). Is there anything I need to look out for on this one?

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The ide data bug. http://www

The ide data bug.
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G3-ZONE/yosemite/newfeatures.html
A pci ide card is faster and gets around that bug.

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Firmware updates

Especially if it shipped with a SCSI Card. You will need to do both updates for the card *AND* the machine if you wan't to get OS X on it. I also believe it will do only master devices on the IDE Chain.

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Shipped specs

It will arrive with the following stuff in it:

32MB RAM (I have 512MB in my Beige G3 to move over)
6GB EIDE hard disk
CD-ROM drive

I do have a few SCSI cards compatible with Macs that I've collected. I believe I have 2 Adaptec 2940UW cards and a couple of ATTO cards. I'll check for firmware updates before I delve too deep in to the new G3. If not SCSI, then there's the USB 2/Firewire PCI card I used in the Beige also.

I also looked at the cost of IDE cards and they almost cost as much as the G3 did, so that will have to wait.

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New to Blue & White

You will like the Smurf G3 so much better than the beige G3 and there is a lot you can do with it. As mentioned the rev.1 boards have a funky IDE controller that does not handle hard drives larger than 12GB in my experience, although I used a 20GB drive for a while with no porblems. I've never seen adefinate limit on the size but I have used 12GB drives in several Smurfs with no problems.

As far as I know there is no slave drive issue other than size limits for data corruption (see G3Zone article) Slave drive support was a problem in the rev.A beige G3's but could be fixed by swapping the ROM chip with a rev.B or C ROM chip.

Yes, ATA cards are expensive and you could have a G4 by the time you buy the Smurf and an ATA controller PCI card so it's a waste of money. You can find rev.2 boards fairly cheap ($20+/-) which will solve the hard drive controller problem but it will still have a fairtly slow controller.

A SATA PCI card would be the way to go. They are less expensive than the ATA cards.

You can add an inexpoensive Lite-On combo drive to the Smurf G3 too. Check Xlr8yourmac.com's drive compatibility database for which drives work well.

You can get faster G3 or G4 zif too. Any B&W G3 zif will work and any Yikes G4 Zif will work with a little tinkering. All you need to do is set the logicboard jumper settings and do a Firmeware update in the case of the G4.

You can also get a Radeon video card which is worth the expense in my opinion.

The Smurf is still one of my favorite Macs and still have one loaded with goodies. It's affordable and can handle all sorts of hardware upgrades. I've had about every immaginable configuration in the few B&W's I have owned over the past couple of years and they all have been very good reliable Macs. It's a great entry level OS X Mac for switchers and I have converted a few peecee users with the Smurf G3.

You will have the urge to get a blue Apple CRT to go with your new Smurf but I would avoid them because they have some iMac type hardware problems and many have gone "poof" never to light up again. I've had two of the monitors die on me and won't get another one.

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One problem with SATA cards...

I have no SATA drives.

I do have several IDE drives from 8GB+ though along with some SCSI ones at 4.3GB+.

As far as video, I have an ATI Nexus 128 (similar card to the one in the 'smurf' except with VIVO capability) in my Beige G3 and have been happy with it.

I purchased the 'smurf' to be able to install 10.3 without any patches or hacks that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I managed to install 10.3 to my Beige once using XPostFacto. After a power outage it never went into it again despite repeated tries.

I'm sure XPostFacto is a great product, however at this point it's better for me to get a supported Mac rather than pull what hair I have left out trying to install 10.3 on something not originally supported. I've pulled the rest during my job as a programmer of Windows-based software. Smile

If there is a special on shipping again in the future from this vendor, I may get a Rev2 if I have the money and they have the stock.

First time I have heard one referenced as a Smurf. Interesting nickname! Smile

Jon
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There are fairly cheap SATA t

There are fairly cheap SATA to PATA adapters. Dunno if the cost of one would be the difference between a SATA card and a regular PATA card, anyway. Wink

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I've got 3 B&W's that I've ha

I've got 3 B&W's that I've had for years. Two have Adaptec 29160 SCSI cards that I picked up on eBay for $25 each. Those two are running OS 10.3.9 on Quantum Atlas 10k III harddrives. This is the best setup I have found for the B&W. They stay fast and smooth. I had one running 10.3.9 for awhile off of a Maxtor ATA133 drive hooked up to a Sonnet ATA133 card, but I found it slow compared to the 10k SCSI setup, and the SCSI setup was cheaper as well. Now I just use the ATA133 drive for storage. My other B&W has an ATTO UL2D SCSI card--which was OEM for some B&W's--hooked up to Quantum drives running 9.2.2. The ATTO was always a reliable card but only does half the max speed of the Adaptecs. 10.3.9 is the max I would probably go on the B&W's, and probably the max for SCSI too. When I decide it's time to move up the OS line from Panther, that's when it will be time to go for a newer computer with SATA. But I'd get off the motherboard ATA bus if I were you as soon as possible, unless you're planning to only use one drive. Even on the Rev. 2 the ATA bus can be troublesome. These are old machines at this point, and putting too much money in them doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Another thing about the B&W: I've always found the built-in firewire flakey and remove the module and use firewire PCI cards instead.

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Second drives

I have a few USB 2.0 enclosures with 40GB hard drives in them.

At the moment I am planning on putting an 8.4GB IDE or a 9.1GB SCSI drive in it along with a USB2/FW400 PCI card to use with the external drives.

For now I will have to use what I have lying around to upgrade it, like 512MB RAM from a Beige G3/266 and a G3/333-1MB processor from another Beige G3.

Yes they are old machines, but compared to what I am using now they are 'new'. Smile

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It's here!

It arrived while I was work this afternoon.

After opening the box, all looks well except for one thing - the rear bottom 'foot' was shattered. Fortunately the Mac was in a plastic bag so I have all of the pieces (I think).

After increasing the RAM to 576MB, it flies compared to what I had. Now to swap hard drives and install Panther.

Anyone got a spare bottom foot?

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The B&W onboard ATA bus does

The B&W onboard ATA bus does 33mhz, so you'll do a little better speed with the 2940UW and matching harddrive, not to mention those always delightful SCSI fast seek times. I'd go that route and just avoid using the onboard ATA bus. You might have to start with a harddrive with OS on the ATA bus, though, just to get it to recognize the SCSI and then make the switch over to the SCSI. I always keep an OS 9 burned on CD close at hand in case I get the blinking folder. ATTO's ExpressProTools is a handy OS 9 control panel for problems with mounting SCSI drives. It's probably still a free download at ATTO's site.

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So far

So far I have an 8.4GB IDE drive in it with Panther, VPN software and Remote Desktop Connection to control my development systems from work. I haven't put any games on it yet with the exception of the Stella Atari 2600 emulator.

Before I can add the SCSI card and drive, I have to pull out the 9600/300 out from the pile of stuff that's on top of it to get the card and drive out of it.

After I get the B/W G3 the way I want, I'll be getting rid of the other older Macs to free up some space in the computer room. Joy!

Still looking for a rear bottom handle - I tried gluing the shattered one back together with mixed results.

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Re: New to Blue & White


You will have the urge to get a blue Apple CRT to go with your new Smurf but I would avoid them because they have some iMac type hardware problems and many have gone "poof" never to light up again. I've had two of the monitors die on me and won't get another one.

Actually I have no urge to get a blue Apple CRT. I have an Apple 20" Multiple Sync display I picked up at the thrift store some time ago for $10. It works great, but the base was cracked. To fix this a stack of dominoes was added under the front of the monitor on the left and right sides.

I've been really wanting a LCD panel to free up some disk space and reduce power consumption. That hasn't happened yet though.

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If you go SCSI dont expect to

If you go SCSI dont expect to get Mac OS X running on it.
Verry little SCSI support in OS X

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So far

I have an ATTO PCIExpress Ultra-wide SCSI card with a 9.1GB Seagate UW drive. At the moment it is only used for data storage until I can back up some stuff on it.

Once that's done, I'll disconnect the IDE drive and try to install Panther. So far it likes the ATTO card very much.

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No problem with OS X Panther

As I think I said before, I'm running 10.3.9 on two B&W's using Adaptec 29160's and they run fine--quite nicely, I'd say. I've also run Jaguar on an ATTO UL2D--don't remember if I ever tried it with Panther--and it ran fine too. In the Panther extensions there's an ATTOExpressPCIPlus.kext, so you should be fine. There's also an Adaptec290X-2930.kext there too. I think those were cards bundled with scanners, etc. No kext for 2940. Yes, there's no ATTO utility support for OSX, but that shouldn't be a problem unless you've got big plans, and if you had big plans for RAID or something you probably wouldn't be mucking about with these old cards. If you run into problems mounting or formatting drives, just go back to OS 9 and use the ExpressProTools.

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