Moldy Apple Adventures

Anything about computers, really.
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headcrash
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Moldy Apple Adventures

Post by headcrash »

Seeing as I'm apparently going through some old derelict Apple-phase, I figured I would start a thread to document my pointless shenanigans.
This all really stems from me always having been curious about Apple hardware and software, and always liked the industrial design of the machines from about 2003-2010. But I never had the funds to throw at it when it was current hardware. So now is a good time to hop on that train, because the Core2Duo-era machines are currently very cheap and undesirable.
Plus all this a strangely refreshing change from all the Linux poking and terminal stabbing I otherwise do. This is intriguing and different.

I've had a Power Mac G5 for many years, and got my first one in 2012. The PowerPC systems are really neat I think, since it's an old strange architecture that for some reason feels more fun than "just another Intel" platform. They only go so far though, and are getting expensive, making them a bad choice for cheap fun tinkering.

A little infrastructure
Having been a fan of the Xserve series for the longest time, I naturally picked up a C2D-based Mac Mini (lol), chucked an SSD into that and installed OS 10.6 Server, and put it in top of an Iomega external HDD made to fit the computer footprint. This one runs as a NAS, webserver, VPN, Open Directory, calendar, wiki, email server etc. This as a platform to tinker around with the various services of the old server forks of the OS 10 operating system and its integration with the client side.
A side note on the Mini server. Apple did sell a Mac Mini Server, that was simply a regular Mini with an extra hard drive in place of the optical drive, and another case without the disc slot. These flopped pretty hard and are quite uncommon. I call my abomination Xserve Mini, because fun.
I was also given an old Time Capsule to use as backup and wifi access point for the portables and two Airplay audio receivers. This one had a bad power supply, so I modded it and threw in an SSD at the same time.
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Ye olde laptops
In terms of laptops I have two, (focusing on functional ones here) which I wasn't even meant to have. They were purchased as complete damage control when my OCC plans fell apart and I needed something to replace the sad Powerbook G4 with.
First up is an A1181 Macbook 13" from 2008. This is one of the white plastic models, which cleaned up surprisingly well with some effort! It was anything but white when I got it. Somehow the original battery is in good condition as well, giving it about 4 hours of runtime.
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Second up is an A1226 Macbook Pro 15" from 2007. This one was such a basketcase when I got it. The casing being smashed and bent, screws missing, the battery missing cells (wtf?) and it having a firmware lock which prevented me from installing anything on it. Luckily all those issues were sorted eventually, except for the smashed corners anyways. It too gets about 4 hours runtime on battery. Since it's kind of large, heavy and burns your legs because it's all metal, it has been put to desk duty with an external monitor, and just yesterday got its vertical desk stand. It has been my primary desktop computer solution for the past weeks.
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And I just recently won what was described as "iMac late 2000s" for real cheap on an auction. I have no clue what model or year it is, but it looks to possibly be from 2010. I've never dealt with a flatscreen iMac before, so it will be an interesting thing to poke and prod at. It'll be picked up on monday. So, more to come.
Everything is a smoke machine if you operate it wrong enough.
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claudiom
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Re: Moldy Apple Adventures

Post by claudiom »

Gorgeous setups!
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Re: Moldy Apple Adventures

Post by headcrash »

Thanks!
I picked up the cheap and mystery iMac today. It turned out to be a mid-2011 model, not late 2000s. It's a 21.5" variant with some 2.5GHz i5, 4GB RAM and a 500GB mechanical hard drive. I did what any unreasonable person would do and threw an SSD into it, shoved 24GB of RAM in, because I had it, and the darn thing has no less than four SO-DIMM memory slots, taking regular DDR3 laptop RAM.
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Since this computer turned out to be too new to be retro-fun, I instead decided to go the route of updating it as far as possible (the official route without shenanigans)
Modern-ish Macs have a pretty neat online recovery solution, that, when you boot the computer without an OS, and with network attached, it automatically snorts down the OS installer of the version the computer originally shipped with. In the case of this one, that turned out to be 10.7.
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I then set out to start updating the OS, which I quickly found out you have to do in (some) steps. After downloading three different High Sierra update installers, only to have the OS complain about the archive files being broken, I did some more research and found out I needed to hop over version 10.11 El Capitan first. I eventually found a page from Apple with a list of download links for all the versions I needed. It's important to note that upgrades need to be done with the base versions, such as 10.11, and not 10.11.x.
Chugging through 10.11, I could finally kick off the installer for 10.13 High Sierra.
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Exciting pictures, I know.
I then installed the 10.13.6 patch, and ended up here, with a fully working 13 year old iMac. Woo-fucking-hoo. Not sure what I'm going to use it for, but I'm sure it'll be useful somehow. Since Mac OS is pretty lightweight, it's still a very snappy and fast feeling experience.
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For 300sek, or about $30 I'm certainly not going to complain.
Everything is a smoke machine if you operate it wrong enough.
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Re: Moldy Apple Adventures

Post by 82mhz »

Dude what a beautiful setup!!
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headcrash
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Re: Moldy Apple Adventures

Post by headcrash »

Cheers! The old iMac found its way to what was my primary computer desk, where I hadn't even booted up the computer in over a month, since I have been tinkering only eith old, more fun computers. It feels like that wallpaper has become a staple of Headcrash computing lately. lol.
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Everything is a smoke machine if you operate it wrong enough.
fsck.life
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