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Apple G4, useful? Answered

A friend, who knows I love to demolish things, just gave me an old powermac G4. The freaking thing still works! It has a HDD of 26 and one of 6Gb, as well as an Iomega Zip drive and a CD-R.

I'm no fan of apple or anything i-****, but the machine seems to be well built, seems to be a waste to just rip apart for a power supply, some fans and a few super magnets. The university of Amsterdam used to have quite a lot of them in the days...

Can this machine still serve a serious purpose (add some value above and beyond a contemporary windows 7/ XP computer)? How about installing new software (no idea about what is available or can be run on OS9.2)

Perhaps there is niche software for it, where to find it...?


After a ram and storage boast that would probably run OS X 10.4 Tiger quite nicely. They are nice little, very capable machines. I think you'll be surprised what they can do!

Find out what OS it supports at lowendmac. You can also find current pricing on the older OSes, too. There's a big price jump between 10.3 and 10.4, though. You could find some software for OS 9 still, but OS X will have the basic network server support built in.


7 years ago

It'll run OS X ok. Up to 10.3, maybe? That means you can run anything designed for OS X - the list is pretty large now that Apple is popular again. My parents have a G4 and still use it all the time for the basics; web surfing, word, excel, etc. You could use it as an entertainment hub/file server. Stuff it with a terabyte of hard drive space, load up lots of music. Use it to play DVDs. If none of that interests you, donate it, or give it away on Freecycle. It's worth far more intact (to someone who doesn't have a computer), than a small pile of parts.

Already decided not to scrap it. No immediate use, but fit for adding some storage, some ram, and to tinker with MacOS. I might even start to like it!

Come to the light side of the force! ;)