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iMac G3: Mac OS X 10.3.9

Today is one week since I have bought my iMac G3. I tried to work with Mac OS 9 a little bit and I thought this system fits on old iMacs perfectly and also that it is the fastest option. After one day of using Mac OS X I can say that I was completely wrong.

I didn't like Mac OS 9. The main reason was that it was not an UNIX-like system. I didn't know that before and I looked for terminal and there was nothing. Although OS 9 was fast, web browsing was awful. Only one good web browser I had was Internet Explorer and the formatting was ... Well, current web or web 2.0 is something else than 10 years ago.

Before buying iMac I was decided that I want Mac OS X. I didn't know which version but I was aware that my iMac is really old machine and I didn't expect smoothness and speed. According to Apple, only 10.3 Panther is officially supported on my iMac. Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger runs also on G3 but it needs FireWire and usually it is on DVD. So I looked for some Mac OS X versions on eBay. But the prices were really high there. I wanted just try the system and I will see later if it is worth buying. Unfortunately there is no demo version so my choice was clear - download copy from the internet. I have found 10.3 Panther and downloaded 3 CD's and Xcode. I'm not very proud of this, but I'll discuss this later.

I was a bit unsure if I should install Mac OS X because I didn't have Mac OS 9 installation CD in case of problems. Actually I didn't have any software for Mac. But I didn't want to use OS 9 anymore and I like experiments so I started with installation.
Before installation is very important to check firmware. I did have the right version (4.1.9) so I wasn't afraid of any problems.

Installation process ran without problems, took approximately 1 hour. I was wondering about the system speed and compatibility during the installation process. Finally it ended and after classical Apple registration and setup I could use the system. Dock animations are smooth, but minimize the windows is a bit choppy (use Genie effect), expose as well but it is still fast. Font smoothing and colors are just beautiful.

My first reaction was - wow, that's fast! It really is, mainly if you didn't expect that speed. So I started with system update that took another hour. I was so impatient to explorer the system. But it was very late night or soon in the morning so I went to bed.

Today after school I had started to use Mac OS X and I have installed some useful applications. I will write about these applications and internet browsing later. So answer on question if install Mac OS X on iMac G3 or not is in my case YES and I highly recommend that. I have turned old iMac into even more beautiful and useful machine. Because Mac OS X is based on BSD/UNIX, there are many possibilities what can I do with iMac now.

Usability of iMac with OS X is incomparable to OS 9. And after all, I have written this entry completely on iMac using Camino browser.


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