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20" G4 iMacs
This is a query for Macophiles really. Marianne is finding her 15" G4 iMac to be a bit slow and underpowered for her needs. (The first Mac I ever owned! If I sell it on eBay, I will include my unpacking shot.) I suggested we might consider buying her a new computer, and she was most disparaging about the current line of iMacs, or even the previous line of G5 iMacs. Instead, she said that the G4 desklamp style iMac that she has already is quite the most beautiful computer ever made and she just wants one like that only better. I did point out that she wouldn't be able to run PC games on it.

Buying a second-hand 20" iMac G4 (1.25Ghz) would seem to be the way to go. I seem to recall that some on my friends list either own or have owned this model (Geri? Dop?). Anything we should watch out for? Problems/issues/things that tend to go wrong?

In other news, I'm having a lovely birthday; thanks to everyone who wished me well. But it's a quiet one, because last week was incredibly busy at work and this week will be more so. We did get out last night, to the annual Mawkin barn dance at our local pub. And Jim Causley popped in and sang a couple of songs with them as well. Very cool.

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You probably know this already, but maxing out the RAM is definitely a good idea - Apple says it only takes 1GB, but you can actually put 2GB in it. And if performance is still lacking, a really good fast drive makes quite a difference. I find a lot of the time RAM and disk is more important for Mac OX X performance than CPU.

I am glad to hear your birthday was enjoyable.

> I find a lot of the time RAM and disk is more important for Mac OX X performance than CPU

My experience is that this is true for most OS that I have used.

I had no problem with mine - it was troublefree for all the time I owned it. the only reason I gave it up was because the Mini made more sense given that I was moving overseas.

Marianne is oh so totally right about it being the most beautiful computer ever made. I wouldn't go for another like it, myself, but I totally sympathize.

> desklamp style iMac

Strangely annafdd was telling me how brilliant they were just this morning.

Oh, perhaps I should read all the comments first :-)

My Mac smart friends all agree that each new version of Mac OS X runs faster by using more RAM and disk space. Maxing out her current iMac and upgrading the OS might make more sense than swapping it for a slightly newer iMac where you will need to do the same thing.

Alternatively, I think she would be much less disparaging about the current line of iMacs if she had one. They really are very pretty, and they are super fast.

It won't officially run Leopard as it's an 800; reports say that although you can trick it, Leopard runs slower on the oldest machines. It has Tiger, and it has 1Gb RAM which is I think is the most these computers will take (the 1.25Ghz will take 2Gb of RAM (unofficially) and will run Leopard properly which are both points in its favour).

I did clean 200 items off her desktop which I suspect will improve performance substantially. Her habit of keeping 50 tabs open at once in the web browser is the problem; this is actually quite a capable machine for a schoolchild otherwise. In fact she was keeping multiple tabs open in both Safari and Camino, for reasons I don't entirely understand. She does do a little bit of Photoshop but this is the computer I did many, many illustrations for Plokta on. The 1.25Ghz machine would make it much easier to Photoshop and web browse at the same time; I had to be very very careful on the 800Mhz one.

I have a new-style iMac and love it to bits; M could clearly talk us into the bottom of the line of those PLUS a swivel mount for the wall so she can duplicate the anglepoise (I still miss the flexibility of my desklamp iMac after all these years). It would be faster, it would be highly future-proofed, it would run Windows programs. But she thinks they're ugly bricks.

According to the Apple support page, 1 GB is the max. Tiger is the best OS for it. You might be able to improve her browsing experience by making sure the software is fully updated, and installing the latest versions of plugins such as Flash. A problem with Flash is a lot of web content is poorly programmed and has scripts that keep running and using resources even when it's in an inactive tab. Occasionally rebooting (every few days) might help.

Maybe what she really wants is a hardware hack. Keep the old iMac monitor and arm, but replace the guts with a Mini.

Suggestions on the web is that replacing the guts with a mini is impossible without also switching out the monitor because the iMac monitor cannot be driven by the mini. I couldn't find anyone who's done the full hack either, just people talking about how it ought to theoretically be possible.

I'm still using my dual g4 867, running 10.5.3 with 1.75GB RAM. It's ... tolerable, for web browsing, light illustration, neoffice etc. I too run in to the many-tabs issue, which is definitely the cause of the majority of daily issues I hit with this machine, especially if many of them have heavy flash or javascript issues. I hope that Safari 4 will fix that.

I think going to the 1.25Ghz will be just fine until at least 10.6.

Happy birthday!!!
You HAVE been quiet about this!!!

Yep, I'm still using the 20" iMac G4 (1.25 Ghz) I bought in December of 2003, though less frequently than I did before October 'cause CS3 doesn't run on it. Then again, I have only the 768 MB DDR SDRAM. You'd trick anything out better!

The monitor suddenly quit working late in 2006 or early in 2007...when the Mac-on-a-stick was about 3 years old. I went looking for information and found lots of comments from others with the same problem or set of problems. Eventually, I bought a 22" SyncMaster monitor, a little connector from Apple, plugged it in, and have been working that way ever since. (On-a-stick now sits off in a corner of my desk with the screen facing the wall. There's a bit of a glow to it, but nothing more.)

That solution works for me, but Marianne would be deeply offend by the aesthetics involved.

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