Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fruit Flavored Obsession

So we went to the Warehouse Sale on Wednesday...

Hint: This entry is NOT going to be as exciting for you as you think it is...

So, I went to the Warehouse, with the twelve-year-old in tow, on a mission to get a new monitor and possibly a different computer capable of running MacOS X. Thanks to the fact that I stayed late on Tuesday night, we left for lunch a bit early. We ended up having to wait in line for the sale to open. When the doors opened, someone in the front gave a victory fist to the air, and shouted "Woo hoo!" Yep, it's cool, but I managed to keep myself under control.

I knew better than to let myself get distracted and we fought our way politely to the back where the computer section lives. And there, on the middle shelf of the mac section, were two jewels that brought me back to the optimism that colored 1999-2001...

The newer Ruby iMac, luscious as it was in it's red transparent goodness, was unfortunately a wreck, with the display dead, no hard drive, and a minimal 64 MB of RAM... $20, but not worth it, really. Yes, it has VGA out, but what's the point of having an iMac if it isn't self-contained?

And then there was the Tangerine iMac sitting next to it, for $40. A mere 333 MHz, 96 MB of RAM, and a 6GB hard drive... The ticket indicated that it was functional. I still wasn't completely convinced... And then I noticed something odd...

It had a firewire port.

Specifically, the whole bezel at the side with the ports was not Apple OEM... it was labeled "Sonnet" and "Harmoni".

Needless to say, we grabbed the ticket, then walked around for a bit more.

I had been wanting a set of speakers, so I could watch movies, and listen to music in my room while sewing, and actually be able to hear sounds. I noticed a box of speakers, and dug through the sets of crappy beige speakers, hoping to find either a newer or smaller set at the bottom.

And I scored, big time. A set of Apple Pro Speakers in near perfect condition, for $10. Harman-Kardon speakers, to be exact, the little round ones. I decided that we probably needed to leave before I found even more goodies to take home. :)

At work that afternoon, I decided to see if the iMac at least worked, and make sure the CD drive and ports were operable. I also wanted to see if my suspicions were correct about the mysterious port panel label...

I located an old MacOS 9.1 CD and booted it up. I went to the system profiler, to check what type of RAM it needed. Imagine my surprise when I saw that instead of a 333 MHz iMac with 96 MB of RAM, I found that it was a 500 MHz G3 with 256 MB of RAM! Hello Sonnet processor upgrade!!!!!!!

If we tried to buy this card, it would be $250.

The hard drive is still just a 6GB drive, but that's upgradable if you don't mind sacrificing a little blood to the case gods (and no, I am not kidding. There is so much sharp metal inside those fruit flavored cases that it is no wonder that Apple discouraged normal users from attempting upgrades. Oh, and one cannot downplay the risk of getting toasted by the CRT if one is hasty or careless about where one touches certain parts...).

My son is now eagerly looking at the system requirements of mac games, and is happy to be able to have more options open. And we are both happy that LAN parties at the Legion are going to be much easier to attend.

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