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Old Jul 17th, 2019, 08:36 AM   #1
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kernel panic on old Dual G4

I have been slowly trying to get things in order to edit, or at least get video from old DV tapes I have from various trips and family functions. Going to be borrowing a DV camera from a friend and needed a computer with FireWire. I have 2 old Dual G4's in my basement, I lugged them up to my home office and plugged the first one in. It booted up surprisingly quick. Has a whopping 2 gigs of RAM! and 4 Hard drives which should be perfect once I clear them all to store a bunch of video files. Out of curiosity I tried the second one. This one just gives me a beep when it tries to start up and that is where it ends. I was not too concerned as the other one worked. I booted the other one up again to see what I had on there. Had to go out for a bit and left it on. Came back to a black screen, assumed it was asleep. No keyboard commands or mouse clicks would wake it so I was forced to do a hard reset by pulling the power plug.

Since then it does not boot up, I get the Apple logo and then a kernel panic. It is all gibberish to me, have attached a picture of it. What should I be looking for to get this thing booting again properly? It has been sitting unplugged for well over 10 years if not more. Not sure what OS it has loaded but don't think that matters much at this state.

IMG_1039 by B P, on Flickr
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Old Jul 17th, 2019, 09:32 AM   #2
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Bit of a shot in the dark, but replacing that little clock battery might just resolve the issue. At around $10 that's a pretty inexpensive and easy experiment. If it fails with that tower, you can move the new battery over to the other one and it might solve things there.

My guess is it is more likely to succeed with the computer that just gives you the one beep.
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Old Jul 17th, 2019, 09:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMacMan View Post
Bit of a shot in the dark, but replacing that little clock battery might just resolve the issue. At around $10 that's a pretty inexpensive and easy experiment. If it fails with that tower, you can move the new battery over to the other one and it might solve things there.

My guess is it is more likely to succeed with the computer that just gives you the one beep.
Thanks, I will check that out.

I had pretty much written off the other one as it went no further then a beep, no apple logo on the screen nothing. The kernel panic one booted up initially and seemed to be working all fine till after the hard reset.
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Old Jul 17th, 2019, 07:22 PM   #4
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Hi Wonderings, just in case your G4s will not function properly again, I'd like to share some of my experience with Mini DV and FireWire.
In order to help you archive your tapes.

Of late, I'v'e had to transfer a Mini DV tape as well for my job. Emergency recording on an old Canon Mini DV camera, because a newer camera broke down.
Since I'm the only one of our crew to have access to Firewire gear, I've done my homework. Here goes:

FW > FW Hardware connectivity:

- I have a mid 2012 13" MBP which still has FireWire 800.
- with a FW 800 > FW 400 (i.e. 9 to 6 conductor), I connected the MBP to an audio interface which has 2 FW 400 connectors (doesn't matter which, but in my case an Alesis io26 or Behringer FCA 202, although an old LaCie D2 hard drive housing with 2 FW 400 connectors will do as well).
If you do not possess a FW 9 >6 conductor, a FW 9 >9 conductor and an old LaCie D2 hard drive housing with a FW400 and a FW 800 will also perform.
- With a FW400 > Mini FireWire (6 > 4 conductor), I connected my elderly Canon MVX45i Mini DV camera to the audio interface, and bingo: link was up!

Documentation:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394

Thunderbolt2 > FW 800 connectivity:

If you have a Mac with a Thunderbolt2 connection, there is a TB2 > FW 800 adapter which will probably work as well. See this:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202488
Although cheaper 3rd party cables will perform equally.

There is another, though more expensive alternative though. I have a 2011 MacBook Air, which only has USB2 ports + 1 Thunderbolt2 port.
I was lucky enough to be able to cheaply buy a Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock v.1. This one still has a FW800 connection, among a slew of other useful connectivity.

So far for connectivity, now for:

Software:

- iMovie: my 1st trial was with this package. Although my camera was recognised by it, the video import was pretty useless.
1 hour of Mini DV video import (± 12.3 GB, which is normal) was ripped into a whopping number of 2000+ clips. Simply insane!

- Upon further search, I found just the right software package for this job: LifeFlix DV Importer:
https://www.lifeflix.com/

A bit pricey, though (±80 US $). The free trial will let you import 1 tape.

However, it does some pretty useful things iMovie is not able to.
- It does not arbitrarily split your recordings into clips. It makes a new clip whenever your camera has been paused. Just what I needed.
A 1hour recording remains a 1 hour clip.
- If metadata show the recording after pause have been made from a different camera, it makes for a new clip as well.
- It builds a library of all your different recordings into a very useful archive. Very much simpler than what iMovie does.
Dedicated to archiving overview, no more, no less. Perfect.

And if you have to archive just a few tapes, here is my trick:
- Download the trial DMG, and save it somewhere safe.
- Install the trial & extract your tape. Save the resulting video in a folder of your own choice.
- When you are done, delete the LifeFlix app & all of its dependencies.
- Upon next extraction, run the trial version again.
Been there, done that. As a test.

I think this is only fair for sporadic users like me.
However, if you want to archive dozens of tapes, I think it only fair you should pay for such a brilliant app!
Run 80 tapes, charge it to your customers @ 1$ apiece, and it already is a break even!

There you go, I sincerely hope this helps your archiving.
Moreover, I'm only too glad to be able to answer a truly technical question on EhMac again.
I'm not here for the gossip...
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Old Jul 19th, 2019, 09:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hexdiy View Post
Hi Wonderings, just in case your G4s will not function properly again, I'd like to share some of my experience with Mini DV and FireWire.
In order to help you archive your tapes.

Of late, I'v'e had to transfer a Mini DV tape as well for my job. Emergency recording on an old Canon Mini DV camera, because a newer camera broke down.
Since I'm the only one of our crew to have access to Firewire gear, I've done my homework. Here goes:

FW > FW Hardware connectivity:

- I have a mid 2012 13" MBP which still has FireWire 800.
- with a FW 800 > FW 400 (i.e. 9 to 6 conductor), I connected the MBP to an audio interface which has 2 FW 400 connectors (doesn't matter which, but in my case an Alesis io26 or Behringer FCA 202, although an old LaCie D2 hard drive housing with 2 FW 400 connectors will do as well).
If you do not possess a FW 9 >6 conductor, a FW 9 >9 conductor and an old LaCie D2 hard drive housing with a FW400 and a FW 800 will also perform.
- With a FW400 > Mini FireWire (6 > 4 conductor), I connected my elderly Canon MVX45i Mini DV camera to the audio interface, and bingo: link was up!

Documentation:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394

Thunderbolt2 > FW 800 connectivity:

If you have a Mac with a Thunderbolt2 connection, there is a TB2 > FW 800 adapter which will probably work as well. See this:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202488
Although cheaper 3rd party cables will perform equally.

There is another, though more expensive alternative though. I have a 2011 MacBook Air, which only has USB2 ports + 1 Thunderbolt2 port.
I was lucky enough to be able to cheaply buy a Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock v.1. This one still has a FW800 connection, among a slew of other useful connectivity.

So far for connectivity, now for:

Software:

- iMovie: my 1st trial was with this package. Although my camera was recognised by it, the video import was pretty useless.
1 hour of Mini DV video import (± 12.3 GB, which is normal) was ripped into a whopping number of 2000+ clips. Simply insane!

- Upon further search, I found just the right software package for this job: LifeFlix DV Importer:
https://www.lifeflix.com/

A bit pricey, though (±80 US $). The free trial will let you import 1 tape.

However, it does some pretty useful things iMovie is not able to.
- It does not arbitrarily split your recordings into clips. It makes a new clip whenever your camera has been paused. Just what I needed.
A 1hour recording remains a 1 hour clip.
- If metadata show the recording after pause have been made from a different camera, it makes for a new clip as well.
- It builds a library of all your different recordings into a very useful archive. Very much simpler than what iMovie does.
Dedicated to archiving overview, no more, no less. Perfect.

And if you have to archive just a few tapes, here is my trick:
- Download the trial DMG, and save it somewhere safe.
- Install the trial & extract your tape. Save the resulting video in a folder of your own choice.
- When you are done, delete the LifeFlix app & all of its dependencies.
- Upon next extraction, run the trial version again.
Been there, done that. As a test.

I think this is only fair for sporadic users like me.
However, if you want to archive dozens of tapes, I think it only fair you should pay for such a brilliant app!
Run 80 tapes, charge it to your customers @ 1$ apiece, and it already is a break even!

There you go, I sincerely hope this helps your archiving.
Moreover, I'm only too glad to be able to answer a truly technical question on EhMac again.
I'm not here for the gossip...

I am not too concerned software wise, the big hurdle is getting the content off the tapes onto a computer. I had not thought about a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter, will have to check that out.

I think if I remember though the DV cameras were FireWire 400. Wonder if I could daisy chain a FW400 to FW800 adapter to Thunderbolt.

I will miss the expandability of the PowerMac G4. 4 hard drive bays with easy access are perfect for this sort of thing. I have 1 TB flash memory in my iMac but I use about 80% of that with work so will probably have to go with an external to get the space/storage I need for all the tapes I have.
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Old Jul 19th, 2019, 05:33 PM   #6
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Hi Wonderings. I believe I have covered most bases of DV archiving above.

Please read my post carefully. I've done my best writing it.

I effectively am able to cascade down from Thunderbolt2 > FireWire800 > FireWire400 > Mini FireWire in some ways described above.
Indeed, most cameras and some DV playback decks sport Mini FireWire (meaning 4 pin connectors, slow speed & no buss power).
So you have to carefully study your needs & setup, and find the right cables to achieve your goal.

As to storage: as mentioned, the DV Video codec is such that it will consume 12.3 GigaBytes per hour of rushes.

Good luck with your project! And ask away for more info if you will.
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