Five Years on My Beige G3; Two More to Go: Part One

On May 11, 1998, I attended the satellite downlink for the World Wide Developer Conference keynote. That event would forever change the face of the Mac platform and my future as a user.

At this keynote, Steve Jobs shocked the world with the unveiling of a single OS strategy: "Mac OS X." He also stated that the G3 would be required for this new OS, and that the G3 would be a first class citizen in this new era for the Mac. This meant that my Power Computing Powerbase - merely a 603e 180mhz with 64MB RAM - wouldn't cut it for Mac OS X. I still had a year and a half until Mac OS X came out, but I would be upgrading to a "first class citizen" sooner than I thought.

That month, I got my first web design job, I decided to go with a over-priced local host with there "Power Site" package ($65 Canadian/month) to host my site, so that I could have access to the lower priced ($15/month US) reseller accounts. This would, however, require me to get a new Mac. You might be asking "why?"

No matter what I did, I couldn't get FTP to stay connected to upload files. I reinstalled the computer and formatted the HD several times to no avail. So I told my mom I needed a new Mac now, and I would be getting it on June 3, 1998. Now the problem was I had to first sell my Powerbase to get money to put towards the new Mac.

I had two choices for a Mac: a beige G3 Desktop 233 or a Beige G3 266 minitower, only if I could sell my Powerbase. I wanted the G3 tower since it was a tower and would have more expandability. I was also accustomed to the tower form factor, and preferred it to a desktop.

Fortunately, I was able to sell my Powerbase for $1,100 to a friend's place of work. I then ordered the Beige G3 from MacWarehouse Canada (no Apple on-line Store in Canada at that time) and I received it June 4. Immediately, I copied over the data from the Powerbase and my friend came and picked up my old Mac.

Two weeks ago this Thursday was my 5th anniversary of getting my Beige G3. I still have it today, as I am still on permanent disability, I am unable to get a new Mac. Today I am running the latest software, Mac OS 10.2.6, Safari, iTunes 4, iPhoto 2, etc. But don't be fooled, this isn't a stock system by any means. Over the years, I've upgraded this computer the best I could to maximize performance, short of a CPU upgrade (or even over clocking). Below is a chart showing all the upgrades I have done to this Beige G3 over the last 5 years. All pricing is in Canadian Dollars.





June 3, 1998

Beige G3 MT Rev A 266/32MB/6GB/24x CD-ROM/ATI Rage II+ 2MB/ZIP/AV Personality card


June 3, 1998



September 2000

Mac OS X Public Beta


March 2001

Mac OS X


March 2001

OrangeMicro USB/Firewire PCI card


April 2001

Yamaha Firwire 16x10x40x CDRW 2100e


May 2001

Microsoft Intellimouse Optical


July 2001

Maxtor 60GB 7200RPM Hard Drive


July 2001



December 2001

ATI Radeon Mac:Edition PCI video card


March 2002

Palm USB Connect Kit


May 2002

4 Port USB Hub


August 2002

Mac OS X Jaguar Family Pack


March 2003

2x256MB RAM


April 2003

Maxtor 120GB 7200RPM Hard Drive


May 2003

Master/Slave IDE cable



Grand Total


The first upgrade I did was an OrangeMicro USB/Firewire PCI card in March 2001. That was just in time for Mac OS 10.0 (I had been running Mac OS X Public Beta 1 since October 5, 2000). The next upgrade came in July of that year a 60GB Maxtor 7200RPM HD since my 6GB stock drive was just getting way to small. A week later I was able to convince my mom to get me a 256MB DIMM to bring my total RAM up to 416MB. Then in December 2001, I got the original Radeon 32MB DDR Mac:Edition. The year 2002 saw no upgrades other than Mac OS 10.2. Then in March of this year, I maxed out the RAM to 768MB (3x256MB), and finally in April I was forced to buy a new HD due to my 60GB giving signs of being terminally ill.

Now my Beige G3 is running well, but still a little poky. At this point, I won't be able to get a new PowerMac until late 2004 or early 2005 at the very earliest. I have been thinking of ways to get a temp Mac that will allow me to get work done on this site, and stay sane, but recent events might just make that not possible.