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Discussion Starter #1
Today I decided to stay home to do some work. I booted Mac OS 9.2.2, and went about my business as usual on the Internet. Then, as soon as I tried visiting a particular site, the computer locked up completely, not even command-. would stop it. I tried restarting, and on restart it took an abnormally long time to get to the splash screen. In place of the normal cursor, I get a bomb. System refuses to boot. Great. I couldn't find my OS 9 disk, so I start the computer up in OS 8.6, copy my files from my startup drive to my other internal drive, and re-install the system. Then I had to re-configure everything and re-install all my software. A good 4-5 hours wasted. About $425 in lost productivity. Wonderful. :mad:

By the way, so far OS 8.6 seems to be more stable than OS 9- I have fewer extensions conflicts on first configuration than I did with OS 9, and it also seems to boot much faster. Those who are in to Classic emulation should maybe consider OS 8.6.

Anyways, I'm going to upgrade to OS X now, I'm not waiting for the elusive Snow Leopard to appear. I'm just too pissed right now- and too much functionality has been lost over the past couple months since Classic died permanently. It's not even kept alive in Classic Environment anymore (I used to refer to it as "The Matrix", since OS 9 was being kept alive almost as a slave to OS X). The first task my Beige G3 undertook when it was fully reconfigured was to go to the Apple site. I think I am going to buy one of the iMacs, but I'm debating between the 20-inch and the 24-inch- what are peoples' experiences here with the two? I know the 24-inch is available in faster speeds, but I'd also like to have something that is not overwhelmingly huge. Quality is also something to consider. Also, how much faster is the 3.06 GHz processor vs. the 2.8 GHz in the 24-inch models, if anyone knows? I'd like a powerful computer, but not more power than I'd need. Just for some casual daily gaming (Rome: Toal War, Halo, Civilization IV, and StarCraft 2 when it comes out) and watching HD TV, if that is at all possible either. Also, is it possible to upgrade the new iMacs to 10,000 rpm hard drives? And should I upgrade the RAM myself or just configure it from Apple?

If anyone has played StarCraft on Leopard, please let me know if it works- that is like my favourite game of all time.

Thanks for your help and sorry if I sound a little incoherant.
 

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Well 8.6 is 12 years old now.... ;)

Blizzard has a free OS 10 installer for starcraft you can download. Same for Diablo and Diablo II.
 

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StarCraft works perfect in Leopard. Just go to Blizzard's website and download the OS X installer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, good to know that Starcraft will work without issue (I hope). How about the different iMacs? There are so many choices, but I haven't been able to find an unbiased opinion on any one of them.
 

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The biggest issue for me with the 20" iMac is screen quality. Get a bit off the vertical axis and things change dramatically but fairly good side to side. Uses 6 bit dithered rather than full 8 bit colour. Not a big deal except for critical evaluation of photos. That is still OK with most ordinary subjects but more difficult to evaluate photos with a lot of highlight and shadow detail.

The 24 inch is certainly better both for view angles and accuracy. However as you say it is VERY big. Personally I would consider one of the last 20 inch white iMacs or waiting to see what the near future will bring.

Will let others chime on the gaming aspect as I have no interest there at all.

If you want to compare the 20 and 24 side by side at a store be sure to run the screen calibration and to set gamma to the PC value. You will find the calibration process not nearly as user friendly as in OS 9 or Jaguar. Picking a neutral grey desktop helps immensely.
 

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I'd go to the 24-inch iMac, but that's because I'm all about screen area. The screen is definitely a selling point for its resolution and colour accuracy, especially if you want to watch HD content at 1080i or 1080p (the horizontal resolution is a perfect match).

Keep in mind that the high-end 20-inch iMac is actually pretty close to the low-end 24-inch model; there are only slight differences in CPU speed, and the video chipset is the same. The main things you lose are the image quality (it's certainly acceptable, just not outstanding) and the option of ordering the GeForce 8800 GS.

The games you're looking at will play just fine on the systems I've described; Starcraft 2 may be the only game I'd worry about.

You can upgrade the RAM yourself, and I highly recommend going to CanadaRAM or a local Mac reseller to get two 2GB sticks (you need two DDR2 800, also known as PC2-6400, SODIMM RAM sticks); you just remove a screw at the bottom, pull out old memory as needed, and put the new memory in -- it may need more force than you think.

Hard drives are another matter: the aluminum iMac is effectively sealed for casual use, so be prepared to order the capacity you think you'll need when you make the initial purchase. It's actually easier to upgrade a MacBook Pro's hard drive than an iMac's with the current design.

For HDTV tuning, ElGato makes EyeTV USB tuners; however, they often don't recognize cable or satellite HD because of encryption on the broadcasts. They do pick up free over-the-air HD, however, and work with non-HD digital cable/satellite.

One more thing: you were still using OS 9? :) I know, not everyone needs the latest and greatest, but there are huge portions of the web virtually off-limits to Mac users that aren't running at least some version of OS X and the hardware to run it.
 

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Upgrading to OSX finally, eh? That makes you, like, the 40 year old virgin. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Upgrading to OSX finally, eh? That makes you, like, the 40 year old virgin. :D
32, actually, but whatever :) . I had Windows XP for a while, so I had a modern OS to fall back on when I needed it. I'm still using crap like OS/2 occationally, and I still have a copy of A/UX in my basement. I like old stuff.

Speaking of which, is Leopard compatible with ZIP drives and Floppy disks? Because all my backups are on those two mediums, so it would be nice to have a computer that could read them.

The general consensus here seems to be the 24-inch is superior, but I will wait a little longer and see what some other people think before I make a purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One more thing: you were still using OS 9? :) I know, not everyone needs the latest and greatest, but there are huge portions of the web virtually off-limits to Mac users that aren't running at least some version of OS X and the hardware to run it.
No, actually; OS 8.6 as of 3:09pm this afternoon. Which, by the way, is in fact more stable than OS 9; I am not experiencing the annoying extention conflict between my home printer and my work printer, and already I am not getting freezes when I try to open tons of applications at the same time. My firewall, however, refuses to work on anything less than OS 9...

By the way, thanks for all the tips.
 

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I'm very pleased to hear you'll be joining us in the 21st century! I hope you enjoy it!

I'd suggest the 24" unless it's a complete budget-breaker. In addition to the higher-quality screen, the 24" is actually a great deal more "real estate" than the 20" without being all that much bigger.

I'm afraid that upgrading the internal to a 10,000RPM drive is both pointless and impossible, at least during the first year. Of course, you can slap any drive you want in a USB2 or FW800 drive case and use it externally.

The RAM is extremely easy to upgrade and inexpensive to get from dealers such as CanadaRAM et al.

Watching HDTV and playing Starcraft etc is all very doable by either model iMac.

The processor speed difference you allude to is not a significant factor, IMHO, unless you are almost exclusively working in programs that are wholly processor-dependent.

Speaking of which, is Leopard compatible with ZIP drives and Floppy disks? Because all my backups are on those two mediums, so it would be nice to have a computer that could read them.
Leopard can read USB floppy drives and the common floppy format used by said devices: Macintosh Formatted 1.4 MB, DOS formatted 1.44 MB and DOS formatted 720 KB diskettes. Most do NOT support the 800K Mac floppies, but that format is obsolete even by YOUR standards. :)

A USB ZIP drive should work fine.

It would behoove you to backup those "backups" onto something safer/more permanent, like CD-Rs or an external HD. I think it's reasonable to expect that floppies (both Mac and PC) and ZIPs will continue to fade as supported media types as time goes on. Besides, never hurts to have another copy of important stuff in more modern formats.
 

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Speaking of which, is Leopard compatible with ZIP drives and Floppy disks?
Yes, more or less, but be careful of Zip disks that haven't been Mac formatted (HFS or HFS+). OS X and pre-OS X Macs use different methods to store resource forks and HFS metadata on filesystems that don't support them, and they can't interpret each others' methods. If you have fonts, applications, some file types, etc., things may be unrecognizable, and if the items are moved, destroyed if you aren't careful.

Also, I don't think OS X recognizes a beige G3's floppy drive, and USB floppy drives may not recognize some types of floppy.
 

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Personally I don't see what all the fuss is about the new imac lcds. They look great to me. Mind you I don't colour calibrate or do crazy photography.

I can speak to your casual gaming needs and recommend you either get the 20" imac with the upgraded vram (256mb) or the 24".

Unless you don't plan on playing newer games (World of Warcraft, Starcraft II when it comes out), in which case it doesn't matter at all.

For the 10k drives, some people have done it. Couple of issues though,

1. Seem to have a high failure rate (maybe the new 300gb is better).
2. Heat. They make more, and in the enclosed imac, that means everything is hotter.
3. Noise. Your quiet imac isn't so quiet anymore.
4. Difficulty. Ya it's no picnic changing the internal drive..
 

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Smashed makes a very good point about colour calibration on iMac monitors.

At work we can't use them for production because we can't calibrate them for our presses. Therefore we use LaCie 321's with MonacoOPTIX 2.0.

I've always thought they looked kind of cheap vs some of the cool iMacs such as the lampshade (donning flame retardant boxers)....

We do have a lot for non photographic work, the first batch had a lot of problems with power supplies though.

Btw I'm not surprised your Mac went into vapor lock while surfing I gave up using OS 9 for browsing a few years ago. I have 9.2.1 loaded on a few Macs that I need to use non OS X software on seemed to me we had more issues with 9.2.2 even though it was 'supposed to be better'.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Btw I'm not surprised your Mac went into vapor lock while surfing I gave up using OS 9 for browsing a few years ago. I have 9.2.1 loaded on a few Macs that I need to use non OS X software on seemed to me we had more issues with 9.2.2 even though it was 'supposed to be better'.
I think the poor thing encountered some sort of unknown script, and with a ton of programs already open and sucking up power, it just didn't know what to do. But the little fella is back up and running, albeit without OS 9.

And 9.2.2 supposed to be better; it seems as if OS 9 was just a glorified OS 8.6. I personally do not notice any difference, except for the default sounds and the less-flashy interface of Sherlock vs. Sherlock 2. And all my extensions conflicts are gone under OS 8. I forgot really how lean and stable the older version was.

I'm very pleased to hear you'll be joining us in the 21st century! I hope you enjoy it!
I've been dragged in, kicking and screaming, refusing to give up the one UI I have ever truly loved. But I've also had enough of the dated architecture. It worked fine for so long (1991-2008, RIP), but then in the past couple months, it has suffered a serious crash twice; the little Happy Mac is unable to cope with what is being thrown at it by the bloated and admittedly pretty modern world.

I'll probably keep my G3 running, simply to access all my old ClarisWorks files and play all my classic games; I don't think they have Sim City 3000 on OS X, definately not Civilization II.

Thanks for the incredible amount of advice. The floppy issue is especially important to me; I have over 450 Mac floppies at my house, so they are all going to have to be read. Luckily, I don't use the 800k floppies lol, and I don't think I ever have; even my IIsi came with a SuperDrive.
 

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32, actually, but whatever :) . I had Windows XP for a while, so I had a modern OS to fall back on when I needed it. I'm still using crap like OS/2 occationally, and I still have a copy of A/UX in my basement. I like old stuff.

Speaking of which, is Leopard compatible with ZIP drives and Floppy disks? Because all my backups are on those two mediums, so it would be nice to have a computer that could read them.

The general consensus here seems to be the 24-inch is superior, but I will wait a little longer and see what some other people think before I make a purchase.
Running an OS 9 or Windoze computer is like having an old, unreliable sports car. It's fun to tinker with and use on weekends, but if you try to get serious usage out of it, like work transportation, you're just setting yourself up for a world of hurt. You need a "real" car for that kind of use, and a "real" (ie. OS X) computer for accomplishing serious things.
 

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temporary thread derailment: isn't it odd that Apple pitches OSX as a "fun" operating system, when in fact I find OSX far better suited to actually gettng work done and then playing on my Windows mcahine? A little irony.
 

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Also, that Apple is the brand for creative right-brained kind of people, yet its strength lies in its organizational left-brained structure, like the playground meticulously designed and constructed for the purpose of allowing your inner child to have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
temporary thread derailment: isn't it odd that Apple pitches OSX as a "fun" operating system, when in fact I find OSX far better suited to actually gettng work done and then playing on my Windows mcahine? A little irony.
No, it's just a marketing problem. They always paint Windows as being boring and mundane, when in reality it's the system people dual-boot on their Macintosh solely for the purpose of having fun and playing games!

Anyone who believes the "OS X is fun and Windows is boring" routine seriously needs to take a closer look. They are both suited to their own strengths and set of tasks, neither is more boring or more fun than the other. And no Windows' strength is not "crashing".
 

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I think the poor thing encountered some sort of unknown script, and with a ton of programs already open and sucking up power, it just didn't know what to do. But the little fella is back up and running, albeit without OS 9.

And 9.2.2 supposed to be better; it seems as if OS 9 was just a glorified OS 8.6. I personally do not notice any difference, except for the default sounds and the less-flashy interface of Sherlock vs. Sherlock 2. And all my extensions conflicts are gone under OS 8. I forgot really how lean and stable the older version was.



I've been dragged in, kicking and screaming, refusing to give up the one UI I have ever truly loved. But I've also had enough of the dated architecture. It worked fine for so long (1991-2008, RIP), but then in the past couple months, it has suffered a serious crash twice; the little Happy Mac is unable to cope with what is being thrown at it by the bloated and admittedly pretty modern world.

I'll probably keep my G3 running, simply to access all my old ClarisWorks files and play all my classic games; I don't think they have Sim City 3000 on OS X, definately not Civilization II.

Thanks for the incredible amount of advice. The floppy issue is especially important to me; I have over 450 Mac floppies at my house, so they are all going to have to be read. Luckily, I don't use the 800k floppies lol, and I don't think I ever have; even my IIsi came with a SuperDrive.
Couple of Thoughts. OS 8.6 was quite happy with 64MBs RAM, OS 9 needed 96 MBs and 9.2.2 really needed a min of 128 MBs.

I assume you are running at least ClarisWorks 4. If not they will need to be converted to AppleWorks 6 format before they will open in OS X. AppleWorks itself may finally give up the ghost with Snow Leopard which for me is reason enough to be looking while the Leopard Macs are still available.
 
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