PDA

View Full Version : Power Mac 8500



nymetropolitans
June 2nd, 2008, 09:32 PM
I know this isn't really that "vintage", but it's the oldest thing I own right now...picked it up last night off Craigslist for free. Works perfect, has a Sonnet G4/450 daughterboard, ~180MB of DIMM RAM installed and a PCI USB card. Currently has OS 9.1 installed but should be able to take OS X with some fiddling. I guess that would be pretty impressive for something that was built 13 years ago! I really have no idea what's up with Macs, the last one I owned ran System 3 so it's a whole new ballgame for me. Another neat thing about this is that it'll take S-Video and RCA inputs right out of the box.

http://www.everymac.com/images/cpu_pictures/apple_powermac_8000.gif

Sorry to crud up the board with a not-so-ancient machine....does anyone know of some good resources for the mid-1990s Macintosh computers? I've searched but haven't found anything that solid.

closetofmysteries
June 2nd, 2008, 10:35 PM
You should check out http://www.lowendmac.com/ and also, the "retro mac podcast" (do a google search for the latter.)

--sma

Unknown_K
June 2nd, 2008, 11:14 PM
8500's are nice, I have one with alot of upgrades. Don't think I would bother running OSX on one, classic OS 9.1 flies on the G3 upgrade.

Try looking for a B&W if you want to run OSX, they should be in the cheap to free category as well.

nymetropolitans
June 2nd, 2008, 11:59 PM
8500's are nice, I have one with alot of upgrades. Don't think I would bother running OSX on one, classic OS 9.1 flies on the G3 upgrade.

Try looking for a B&W if you want to run OSX, they should be in the cheap to free category as well.

I dunno if I'd exactly say it flies but it's not bad. Both iCab and Internet Explorer crash constantly, everything else is fine. That's really the biggest drawback I can see from OS 9, so I'll at least give OS X a shot. One of the earlier versions, of course.

Loading web pages is also sloooowwww but then again this computer is a teenager. I might see better performance using my wireless USB adapter, I have it wired through the 10Mbit Ethernet port currently.

I remember when these came out they were ludicrous amounts of money, it seems odd to pick one up off a curb now....

Unknown_K
June 3rd, 2008, 02:15 AM
I don't have problems with my browsers on the 8500. Make sure you check the memory settings on the browsers and bump up the minimum and maximum RAM they are allowed to use. The default is a very low number and todays webpages are big. Netscape on old 68K machines would crash just about every time for me untill I bumped the RAM settings quite a bit, then it just worked. You are still stuck with IE5 or Icab on the 8500, which are showing their age. OSX has newer browsers, but the CPU FSB of 50Mhz kind of slows the system down.

Using ATA IDE drives (you would ne a mac specific IDE card) also speeds loading apps up quite a bit.

Granted they are not new machines, but they do very well for their age with a few upgrades (CPU, RAM, HD) using older mac OS.

nymetropolitans
June 3rd, 2008, 05:48 AM
I don't have problems with my browsers on the 8500. Make sure you check the memory settings on the browsers and bump up the minimum and maximum RAM they are allowed to use. The default is a very low number and todays webpages are big. Netscape on old 68K machines would crash just about every time for me untill I bumped the RAM settings quite a bit, then it just worked. You are still stuck with IE5 or Icab on the 8500, which are showing their age. OSX has newer browsers, but the CPU FSB of 50Mhz kind of slows the system down.

Using ATA IDE drives (you would ne a mac specific IDE card) also speeds loading apps up quite a bit.

Granted they are not new machines, but they do very well for their age with a few upgrades (CPU, RAM, HD) using older mac OS.

That's gotta be it, thanks for the tip....like I said I'm totally clueless when it comes to somewhat modern Macs. I can live with iCab 3, it has some problems but does the job for the most part. I had completely forgotten what "pop-up ads" were until I used IE5 again on this. I may try OS X out anyway just for the heck of it.

nymetropolitans
October 20th, 2008, 01:46 AM
Allllright...

I had tucked this computer away until I made some room for it and just pulled it out again. I was all psyched cuz I spent half my day off today moving crap around and setting up a place for it. Get it all hooked up and nothing but a dreaded disk with a question mark logo blinking. Try to boot from the System 9 CD....no dice. It'll boot from the Sonnet "PRAM RECOVERY DISK" but I get an error that says "bus error. Restart and temporarily turn extensions off by holding down shift key." Uh oh...that doesn't sound good.

Any ideas? Do you guys think my G4 card is fried? That'd be a real shame cuz it's a neat upgrade. I have the original 604 CPU board, but I've heard digging around inside that case can be a nightmare. I'll take suggestions before I crack it open. It was working 100% fine, absolutely nothing wrong when I put it away a few months ago.

Again, sorry to trouble the forums with not-so-vintage stuff but this is apparently my best hope. The Low End Mac mailing lists seemed pretty dead last time I checked.

paul
October 20th, 2008, 03:37 AM
All I can contribute is that I owned one of these long ago and I thought it was a breeze to disassemble. If I recall the motherboard has only a single screw holding it in place.

Is there not a CMOS battery somewhere on that board? Could need replacement.

I had PPC Linux on mine and a Matrox VGA card for a second monitor.

nymetropolitans
October 20th, 2008, 03:03 PM
All I can contribute is that I owned one of these long ago and I thought it was a breeze to disassemble. If I recall the motherboard has only a single screw holding it in place.

Is there not a CMOS battery somewhere on that board? Could need replacement.

I had PPC Linux on mine and a Matrox VGA card for a second monitor.

Good, maybe it's just that Apple guys are wimps (just kidding! :mrgreen:) But seriously, I've read nothing but horror stories on the Mac sites. I'm gonna dig into it after I eat dinner, make sure the CPU and all the PCI cards are pushed in firmly. I know somebody bumped into it and knocked the VGA adapter out when I had it hooked up.

Not sure about the CMOS battery, I'll check that as well.

What Linux distro did you use? I was planning on trying Yellow Dog Linux, I'm not thrilled with OS9 or the potential speed penalty for using OSX. I also have a Windows NT 4.0 CD that'll work on PowerPC, but I don't think there was ever any useful software developed for that platform, unfortunately!

paul
October 20th, 2008, 04:35 PM
I don't recall what Linux distribution I used but I think there are few choices for the (original) PPC 603 cpu. This was a decade ago of course.

Neither MacOS or Linux seemed to run fast on it but perhaps yours will be better with the G4 card. I just bought it 'cause it was nicely designed.

nymetropolitans
October 20th, 2008, 05:46 PM
OK, I got the case off and re-seated everything I could. Started it up and got the same result. Swapped the G4 out for the original PPC 604 and I got basically the same result, except it'll alternately give me a "?" flashing disk when attempting to boot to the hard drive or freeze at the Happy Mac icon.

wmmullaney
October 20th, 2008, 06:00 PM
Maybe you should try Netscape, it was fairly stable in it's day.

Sharkonwheels
October 20th, 2008, 08:00 PM
I hate those cases...

Did you make sure the battery is good?
Some older Macs are notorious for being REALLY stubborn if the battery is bad.

Also, isn't there a key-sequence to blow away the PRAM if it is corrupted?


T

jens
October 24th, 2008, 02:45 AM
OK, I got the case off and re-seated everything I could. Started it up and got the same result. Swapped the G4 out for the original PPC 604 and I got basically the same result, except it'll alternately give me a "?" flashing disk when attempting to boot to the hard drive or freeze at the Happy Mac icon.
I'd try leaving some ram dimms out.
Same goes for PCI cards.

Btw: I really like my 8600 with G3/400 running Mac OS 9.1.
I mainly use it for e-mail (Outlook Express), music (iTunes), surfing the web (Mozilla 1.3.1, iCab), communication (ICQ, MSN, AIM, Chatzilla), fiddling in my network (FTP, Dave for SMB, AFP, Hotline) and playing old games.

wmmullaney
October 24th, 2008, 05:28 AM
I hate those cases...

Did you make sure the battery is good?
Some older Macs are notorious for being REALLY stubborn if the battery is bad.

Also, isn't there a key-sequence to blow away the PRAM if it is corrupted?


T

Apple + option + P + R

barythrin
October 24th, 2008, 04:14 PM
One not very useful idea since you have the internet at hand, but if you have a store like Half-Price Books you can likely pick up a book on that series of Mac in the clearance section for $1. That's how I've obtained many books in my library.

Druid6900
October 24th, 2008, 06:34 PM
Apple + option + P + R

Yes, a sequence that requires two hands and a nose to implement LMAO

wmmullaney
October 24th, 2008, 07:09 PM
Thrift shops are also great for old books, picked up a rare microprocessor book for 50c, never know what you're gonna find.

@ Druid Ya, Apple could have been a it easier on the combos, why can't command+p do the trick?

Unknown_K
October 25th, 2008, 12:26 AM
You can find some decent computer related books around here too, but not very often. Seems like the thrifts are getting pickier with what they put out anymore?