Where great old Macs live again!

I maybe buying an Apple Emac for my mom to use as her own computer.  She's a little intimidated to use my mid 2007 iMac!  I set up an account for her, but she wont use it.  I told her I'd get her a nice used Mac if she would use it.  I think she thought I was joking till I was looking for a while, then she said she would use one if I got it.  I've found a first model eMac locally for a great price.  I'm probably going to look at it latter today, and may buy it before the weekend i over.  I have a few questions:


1)  It doesn't have an Airport card in it.  I was wondering which cards are compatible for the 2002 eMac?  I figure I wont get 802.11n out of it, but I'd like to get 802.11g if possible.


2)  Where do I install the card?  I think I remember hearing that the card maybe install around the optical drive door?  And is this something I can do mysel, never having worked on, or even opened up a computer before??


3)  I know I can add an Airport card, and upgrade it to 1GB of RAM, and I think I can replace the 60GB HDD.  But is there anything else I can do to upgrade it?  It's already running OSX 10.4.11 tiger, which is the latest OS it can run.


Any help would be greatly appreciated!!



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For the eMac, you'll need to get the original Airport card commonly used with the G3 iMacs and iBooks. You should be able to find one on eBay for around $20-$30.  That won't have g though, just b.  To get g or higher, you'll have to use an external wireless access point which will cost your around $100.  If you do get the Airport card (all it really needs BTW), it installs behind the optical drive door like you described.  I did it myself so that means anybody can do it.  HD, Airport, and RAM about the only upgrades you can do.  It will run just fine with that configuration though.

Thanks James for the info!  I did go ahead and buy the eMac for my mom today!  I'm really excited about it!  It looks to be in really good condition, only physical issues are a few scratches around the edges, and a little bit of cleaning needed.  I'll try to get some pics up this weekend.  I think I've already found a few Airport cards on eBay that will work with it, and I can't wait to get it online for her!!  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)


As I side note, I might be buying a blue G3 iMac from him too for my collection!!  (Celebratory music plays in the background)  I hope it's one of the Indigo iMacs, I really want one of those!!

I took the bezel from behind the cd door off tonight, and found the slot for the Airport card.  I did notice a wire, and a metal piece at the end of it attached to the bezel.  I was wondering what that is?  Is it something to hook the Airport card up with, a possible ground, or as I think just there to keep from losing the bezel?
That's to hook up the aerial to the Apple Airport wifi card. If you go USB wifi dongle route, it isn't used.
Ok, thanks Michael!!  I would have probably not figured that out on my own!

Hi, you won't be able to get any better than 802.11b on the eMac through the Airport Slot.  It won't take the 802.11g card.  You should be able to find an OSX compatable USB 802.11g wifi dongle.  I use one on the machines (Mac and PCs) that come into my place for a restoration/fix-up to save me the hassle of getting a RJ45 to where ever the machine is.


If it G4-867 or faster you can install Leopard, just max out the RAM, and if it is < G4-867 you can download LeopardAssist from to help out.


Double check if your eMac can handle HDDs >120GB, I know that Mac earlier than 2002 couldn't use >120GB without an extra assist to the OpenFirmware (like my venerable Cube)



Thanks Michael!  I had seen one of those USB dongles on eBay, but I wasn't for sure that they would work with the eMac.  But it did interest me, I might give that a try!  I'd like to stay at 802.11g if I can, so the spped doesn't slow down too much for my iMac (w?802.11n), when they are both on the Wi-Fi.  The USB is 1.1, will that create a bottle neck for the Wi-Fi?  My DSL is only 6 Mb/s, and USB 1.1 is around 12 Mb/s isn't it?


The one I got for my mom is almost certainly the original model from 2002.  It has a 700 MHz G4 PPC in it.  According to Mactracker, I can only go up to 10.4.11, which I think will be fine for my mom.  As a personal motive, I'd like to have one computer in the house that can still run classic mode, and right now that's pretty much the eMac.  (Haven't really messed around much with the TAM yet, and I think the HDD needs to be reformatted maybe?)  I'm not really for sure what Leopard Assist is, is it kinda like Ex Post Facto?


Mactracker says they have support for large HDD's.  It says 128 GB or larger per drive.  I re-listened to episode 36 of RMC were the eMac was the Retro Mac of the week.  I think John said they could only pu up to a 160 GB HDD in them.  Is that due to their design/equipment, the operating system, or is it due to the physical size of the area were the HDD would go?


I comfortable in doing either the Airport Card/USB Dongle, and OS upgrade myself.  I might do a RAM upgrade, but I don't know about replacing the HDD.  I'm going to check with the Apple Re-Seller that I bought/have service my iMac, to see if they would still be able to do that for me.  They've been in business since 1984, so I'm sure they've seen a few eMacs in their days!!


Thanks for the good info Michael, and I'll check out that link for Leopard Assist.

Michael, the eMac will take the largest IDE hard drive you can find. The biggest IDE I've seen is 500GB and you should be able to get one of those easily.


The hardest part, especially if you've never opened a computer before, is getting to the HD in an eMac.  It's buried!  You'll want to find some eMac take apart videos and keep track of the screws that'll pile up around you.  Replacing that HD isn't particularly easy.

Thanks Nixer!  I was kinda wondering if that would be the case with the hard drive.  I'd already talked to someone about my Mid 2007 iMac, and they told me there was a part that is very expensive to replace, that can easily be broken while replacing a HDD!  So I kinda figured any all in one would kinda be a pain to get to parts.  I haven't called the re-seller I deal with yet, but I'm hoping they might give me a good quote on doing it, I am not mechanically inclined at all!!


I'll start price checking IDE HDD's!  I didn't know I could get one that big!!  It'd be cool to gett it going for my mom with that large a HDD.  Thanks again for the info Nixer!!  :-)




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