Macintosh G3 All-in-One
The G3 All-in-One was only sold in North America to the education market. Mine was purchased second hand and is basically a Beige G3 with a build in monitor.
In most photographs you really don't get a feel for the size of this beast. Here's mine with a Cutting Edge case, 9600, Beige G3 Tower, B&W G3 and 6260 for comparison.
Talk about well equipped, this Mac had provision for a Zip drive, floppy and CD. Of note the Zip drive was a build to order option, Apple installed a metal plate to keep the kids from tossing stuff into the opening. Also of note the Zip drive was SCSI as there was a 50 pin standard SCSI and power cable already installed. Apple even included the drive sled.
The rear of the All-in-One has plugs for SCSI, ADB, ethernet, mini din printer and modem ports, DB 15 monitor, personality card slot, and three PCI slots. I've replaced the whisper card which has no video inputs with one that has video inputs. Some folks are also calling this a whisper card but it has a completely different Apple part number and is radically different in design.
This is the card that normally comes with the All-in-one known as a whisper card, two ribbon cables attach to the card in the top slot and middle black slot. The bottom brown slot is for an optional modem card.
My Beige G3 tower came with this AV card which has the AIO connectors thus allowing it to be used in the All-in-One. Oddly this card is being referred to as a whisper card on some sites even though it has a different part number and is a markedly different design.
This is the third of four Apple personality cards that fit the slot in an All-in-One and the Beige G3 tower and desktop. Known as the wings card, wings is also stamped on the card making it easy to identify. It also has yellow backed RCA plugs but does not have provision for connection to an All-in-One so it cannot be used. A fourth and fairly rare card is known as the Bordeaux card. (not pictured)
I've already upgraded the personality card with the AV version which has video inputs. I've also added a 5 port USB 2 card as well as a 10/100 base T ethernet card. An Orange Micro Firewire card is also going to be installed.
To access the motherboard remove 4 screws then grab the built in handle and slide the motherboard out. This is a very expandable Mac with three 168 pin dimm slots, 3 pci card slots, a perch card slot populated with a whisper sound card from the factory, slot for a Vram upgrade and a zif socketed 233 mhz G3 cpu. I've already added 4mb of vram to bump up this Mac to 6mb total.
This is one Mac where the designers made things extremely simple so techs could easily service and replace parts. Basically unplug 4 cables and slide this tray out. There tray slides out partway at which point you need to push in two tabs a clever design that keeps you from accidentally pulling out the tray with the cables still attached. Once the tray is out you have easy access to every part, changing a hard drive is a piece of cake and this caddy seems to have been designed to even hold a 5 1/4' drive although when I tried a Quantum Bigfoot the cables are a tight fit. The CD is also caddy mounted. Note the caddy and cables are already in place for a Zip drive you just need to unscrew the metal plate that covers the slot in the front of the Mac.
The CD drive is caddy mounted, cables are ATA so will accept a standard PC drive. I have upgraded my AIO with a Pioneer DVR-115 DVD writer but there are problems with adding this and the DVR-106 and 107. They lock up the Mac when trying to boot with OS X 10.2 installation disks as well as Yellow Dog Linux DVD so my personal feeling is there is a firmware issue. Reinstalling the original CD drive solves the problem. I tried a DVD Ram from a G4 but the caddy is too wide to fit through the opening, next up will be a DVD rom from a G4 when I figure out where I have hidden them in my workshop.
So far I have not found a DVD reader or writer that will not lock up the AIO when you try and boot from an Apple OS installation CD or DVD. Seems the only good drive is the original 24x cd reader!
Just to recap these are the drives I have tried and the result,
Original CD rom, boots OS 9 and X CD's.
Pioneer DVR 106, can read CD's and DVD's. Will NOT boot OS installation disks, AIO locks up.
Pioneer DVR 107, can read CD's and DVD's. Will NOT boot OS installation disks, AIO locks up.
Pioneer DVR 115, can read CD's and DVD's. Will NOT boot OS installation disks, AIO locks up.
Hitachi DVD rom, from G4 Apple OEM, reads CD's and DVD's. Will NOT boot OS installation disks, AIO locks up.
Other interesting quirks with my AIO,
Switching from OS X to 9, I don't use classic btw, I find I have to select the startup disk either OS X or 9 and shut down
the Mac. If I just restart the Mac it freezes up as it tries to load the system. Might be just this one, does have a brand new pram battery.
USB 2 card only seems to work under OS X a USB key inserted into the slot doesn't even power up under OS 9.
Nice easy access to the plugs on the back of the CD rom. The hard drive is also caddy mounted under the motherboard and comes on a large 5 1/4" capable tray. This Mac is very easy to work on!
Just drop a SCSI zip drive on the caddy, all the wiring is pre-installed making installation a snap. Even has the power cable adaptor already attached!
The AIO came with a 233 mhz G3 processor, the 450 mhz G3 from a B&W drops right in.
The only trick with a processor upgrade is to change the jumper block on the motherboard. The red block is setup for 233 mhz G3, *note the different blocks are colour coded.
This is the setup for the G3 450 mhz cpu, using this setup you will wind up with 455 mhz and a 70 mhz bus.
I had a Sonnet G4 500MHZ zif card floating around so installed it. The All-in-One does not feel any faster than it did with the G3 450MHZ card. This G4 card was originally installed in a G4 350MHZ tower where it would crash now and then the main reason why I prefer the factory G3 450MHZ zif out of a B&W G3 as that card seems to be more reliable.
It's a beast but quite a capable beast. I have plans to upgrade the CPU to either a g3 450 mhz which is a very easy upgrade and just involves changing jumpers, Other World Computing has G3 1000 mhz zif upgrades from Powerlogix on sale for $129 (as of 8/08) which might make things interesting, note that some G3's came with a voltage regulator modue (VRM) made by Royal Technology that should not be used with some zif upgrades such as Sonnet's G4 zif card! Good VRM's were marked Raytheon, Switch Power, or Fairchild. We have a Sonnet G4 500 mhz zif processor that was in a G4 yikes and it was problematic in that it froze up the Mac while access larger hard drives. I have it currently installed in a B&W G3 and it seems less flakey but still not 100% reliable. The most reliable G3 upgrade I have done in the Beige series is to install a G3 450 mhz cpu from a B&W. It makes these Macs fly and is stable, you do need to re jumper the motherboard but this allows the Mac to run at 466 mhz with a 70 mhz bus. It can be pushed higher but from what I have read this seems to be more stable. I would probably add a PC CPU cooling fan to make sure things do not get too toasty since there is a lot of cabling in the AIO that can block air flow.
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