(OT) Need keyboard & mouse for old Apple G3 computer

While going to rummage sales, I ran across a Macintosh G3 tower. The seller said it works, and told me to just take it for free. I have always wanted to play around with an Apple computer, so I took it. I plugged in the monitor from my PC, turned it on, and it boots up to the GUI desktop.
The problem is that there is no mouse or keyboard. I quickly found that the small round connector, which is called DIN on a PC, is similar on the Apple, but is called a ADB connector. The weird part, is that there's only one of them, so I'm not sure how you can connect both a keyboard and mouse to it. These have less pins than a PC connector, so I cant just use any keyboard or mouse.
I googled some of this, and found that they often used a USB keyboard and mouse. The tower only has 2 USB ports, so a keyboard & mouse would use up both (that sucks).
I dont have any USB keyboards or mice, so I will have to buy something. But I'm not going to spend a lot, since this computer is old (1999). But I'd still like to play around with it.
It seems that the original ABD keyboards sell for big money, so I wont even consider buying one of them. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that I could use ANY mouse with a USB plug (is that true?) But can I use a USB keyboard which is made for a PC? (Knowing that the specific "windows" keys will be worthless).
Hopefully someone on here uses Apple computers and can tell me what I can use, and buy for little money.
By the way, it has OS9 for the operating system, so it was apparently upgraded since they sold with OS8.x (according to what I read on the web).
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snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

The keyboard plugs into the comp , the mouse plugs into the keyboard ... and I have one .
--
Snag



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On Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 4:17:28 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:
Ebay broken?
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On 6/7/2016 12:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

I don't recall if the G3 used ADB (I'll have to take your word on it). But, ADB is a beast unto itself. It is a bidirectional ONE WIRE interface (the four pins are power, ground, "data" and poweron -- you turn the computer on by pressing a button in the upper corner of the keyboard)
I.e., you can't use anything in place of an ADB keyboard other than an ADB keyboard!
The keyboard has two connectors on it. You plug a cable into one to connect it to the computer. Then, you plug the (ADB!) mouse into the other connector.

USB keyboards can usually be found for $1 (craig's list, auctions, surplus, etc.). The local university periodically sells a laundry cart full of these things for ~$7 -- and usually has a tough time finding someone to take them!

The problem you will find is bringing up the computer. A USB keyboard might work -- but probably only after the OS is running. I.e., if you ever have to install from scratch, you might discover that it REQUIRES a genuine keyboard to interact with the machine.

I assume you mean MacOS v9. (OS/9 is a different beast, entirely)
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wrote:

They said the G3 (or was it the G4) was the last model to use it. I think I'd rather use the USB. Especially since I need a mouse too.

Yea, but those are PC keyboards. I unsderstand they wont work properly on a Mac because the Mac needs some special keys. I read on some website that there is software to redefine the keys, but that could get complicated (I guess).
I assume I can use a standard USB mouse though, but I dont have any of them, so I'll have to buy one.

properly. Right?

Yes. It says OS9 or OS 9 when it boots.
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On 6/7/2016 7:30 PM, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

It depends on how convenient you want the system to be -- how you value time vs. money.
I've found it easier just to have the "right" keyboard for each machine, here. One less thing I have to remember (e.g., have caps lock and control been swapped on this keyboard? or not? where's the "Compose" key? which key increases the screen brightness??). Especially when I'm switching between keyboards on the fly (working on two or more computers at the same time).
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On Tue, 07 Jun 2016 22:30:22 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

When a good friend of mine died last winter, his brother went through his stuff and gave to Goodwill two Mac keyboards, and then I was supposed to get the data off his computer. We went to Goodwill together and they had everything in boxes but wouldn't let us look at the boxes. The brother said they were wide enough they'd be sticking out so we woudln't have to open anything, but you know how people are. He called someone and was told that a PC keyboard would work, and indded it does. At least with this Mac10.4 which is 10 years old I think, and anything newer.
There are only about 3 keys to worry about, and 2 of them are easy. Of course I'm only doing a little bit one it but you can at least use a PC key
I looked in the computer for my list but after not finding it I remembered I put it on paper, whatever that is.
But just google mac pc key substition, there are several pages.

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On 6/7/16 3:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

Seems to me if the g3 has USB ports, you can use a USB keyboard and mouse.
Any USB keyboard should work, be aware that the keys on the bottom (to the left and right of the space bar) will have different functions than as they work with Windows.
If you get the right USB keyboard, it will have additional USB ports on it into which you can plug a USB [wired] mouse.
Any wired USB mouse should work as well. You'll have to set up "the right button" in the Mac's control panel.
OS9 is the old "Classic" Mac OS. Not sure if the g3 you have will run OS X, and even if it can, it will only be an older version of "X" that will run on it.
Does it have an Ethernet port in back? You can probably get it online without too much trouble.
I'm not sure how well the now-obsolete Classic Mac browsers will work with today's internet.
Newsgroup reading should be fine, think I used Netscape for it back then.
A site that may be of use to you: http://lowendmac.com/
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wrote:

This URL has a lot of useful info. Thanks for the link.
You said "OS9 is the old "Classic" Mac OS". Being that I have no experience with Mac computers at all, I am trying to get some idea of comparison of the Mac operating systems to those of the PC. Based on the year, I'd take a wild guess that OS9 is simular to Windows XP. (Just a guess), or is it more like Windows 98 or 2000, or Vista, or Win7, or ????
I know this is like comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended on the "apples"), but on a level of power and usefulness there must be some sort of comparison.
One thing I did notice is that the RAM in this computer seems really small at 256mb (Four 64mb strips). But from what I've read, the Mac computers dont seem to need as much RAM as does PC computers.
Yes, I do have an ethernet port, but at this point I am not yet sure how to use it to go online. Until I get a mouse and keyboard, I cant do much of anything except boot it up and shut it off.
I am curious whether I can download Mac software on a PC, then install it to the Mac, using a USB flash drive??? Can a Mac even read a standard flash drive (usually formatted to Fat 32).
Thanks for the help!
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On 6/8/2016 11:54 AM, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

No. It's a very different "look and feel".
Probably the most noticeable (other than the root-weave "wallpaper") aspect is that each "window" (application) does NOT have the typical user-interface cruft along the top (menu bar, icons, etc.).
E.g., in the windows world, a fair portion of the screen real-estate is consumed (wasted) with these application-specific user interface adornments. So, if you have three Firefox windows on your desktop, you have three copies of the "File Edit View History..." menu bar, three copies of the tabs local to that window instance, three copies of the address bar, three copies of the bookmark bar, etc.
Even though only ONE of those will actually be "active" and "useable" at any given moment (i.e., whichever window happens to have the focus -- if *any*!).
In MacOS, the window with the current focus presents its menu across the top of the screen. So, if you move the focus to different windows (regardless of where they are located on the screen), the top "line" of the display keeps changing to reflect the menu bar that *would* have been present in that window (*if* it had been a PC).
The graphics tend to be a lot cruder -- more like the DOS GEM interface.
And, the machine will feel sluggish (typically Macs were purchased "underpowered" to save $$).
Another worthwhile feature (that proved difficult to implement in the heads of users) is the concept of a "file type" NOT being part of the file's NAME (e.g., "MyCorrespondence.txt") but, rather, a resource associated with the file instance.
So, you could have a file named "MyStuff.doc" that is processed via a spreadsheet program, not a "text editor" (e.g., MSWord). And, another file called "MyOtherStuff.doc" that is processed by a photoeditor! (In the Windows world, the "extension" is treated as an indication of the file's "type". So, "MyFile" has "no" type information associated with it; "MyFile.txt" is typically considered to be "ASCII text" handled by the Notepad.exe application (and "YourFile.txt" will ALSO be handled by Notepad -- regardless of what you actually put inside the file!)

A fair bit of user interface code that windows puts in RAM (loaded off disk) resides in the system ROMs. E.g., remove the disk from your system and you'll still get a GUI-ish display with which you can interact. Remove the disk from your PC and you'll get a couple of lines of *text*, no mouse support, etc.

Download protocols (FTP, HTTP, etc.) dont care about the content that's being downloaded. OTOH, the various resources and other "forks" in MacOS applications need to be handled appropriately as they don't magically come along for the ride (i.e., you may have to redefine certain handler aspects after installing the apps)
You might, instead, want to look into a newer Mac -- OSX based.
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Perhaps so, but I have an old G3 Mini-Tower that was "top of the line" when new. I got the fastest processor and filled it with maximum RAM. It did not seem sluggish at the time.
It definitely runs early versions of OS X.
Fred
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On 6/9/2016 9:29 AM, Fred McKenzie wrote:

Yo're speaking from *your* budgetary standpoint. Most Mac users that I know were disappointed that they didn't "buy more horsepower". Considering the price premium they were paying for their Mac's (relative to comparable and faster PC's), it was understandable that they would want to save a few bucks.
But, folks are ill-equipped to understand what ACTUAL consequences memory and CPU choices will have on their user experience.
"At the time" also only makes sense if you want to run software of comparable vintage. I bought a pair of 25MHz 386's in ~1986 each with hardware floating point and a whopping 13MB of RAM. They were greased lightning, at the time. Compared to friends still running 286's at the time... <shrug>
But, each subsequent software release would get sloppier and sloppier until the same hardware became quite sluggish. And, it's dubious that those software updates were adding much by way of increased functionality, etc.
[OTOH, some tasks were CPU limited even back then; a 3D render of some of my models would take more than 24 hours of wall time]

And the Quadras "adequately" ran A/UX. I doubt many folks would want to step back there when they could get a flusher experience on cheaper and faster hardware, today!
I see only two reasons to support/run old/antique hardware: - supporting a legacy tool or application [I've done this in the past to verify some of my devices would interoperate with particular machines, even those past their prime -- as expecting folks to upgrade JUST to be able to use your device is arrogance] - curiosity (what was XYZ like -- from a user and/or technical view?)
When you can pick up a more powerful machine, second hand, for $20, that should be an upper limit on how much your time can be worth chasing history!
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wrote:

I remember GEM. I played with that in the early 90s. At the time it was quite interesting....
I'm surprised that the graphics are crude, when over the years I have heard time and time again, that the Mac computer was always preferred for people who do graphical work professionally. And this goes back many years. (Which would include the time period the G3 was in use). I recall seeing some business that went to events and would print photographs onto T-shirts, and they used a Mac. What they produced was very high quality! This was in the late 90's.
I can understand it being sluggush with so little RAM. I read the G3 can get up to 1gb of Ram.
Mine has a "Rage" video card, which I guess was (or is) common! I noticed that as soon as I opened it. Which, by the way, is a great setup. It opens so easily without needing any tools.
Either way, this is just another adventure with computers. I have tried, rebuilt, or build darn near every older computer. I probably have about 30 old computers in my collection, going all the way back to the original XT and on up to the Pentium 4. All are PCs, none are really new, and I dont care to use any operating system newer than XP. So, this Mac is my first Apple computer to play with, and may be the beginning of something new, since I dont really care to continue with Microsoft's newer bloatware crap, and while I've played with Linux, it's not for me.
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On 6/9/2016 12:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

The graphics are in ROM -- the equivalent of the PC's "BIOS". The difference being that the PC has *no* graphics capability until an OS is loaded.
An application (under MacOS) can add all sorts of fancy graphics beyond the "core" graphics that are supported in the boot ROM.
A PC can't "browse the internet" -- or do anything other than PXE boot, typically -- until the OS is loaded. Yet, the hardware hasn't changed between the time you powered it up and started browsing the web.

Rage video (ATI) is a reasonably low end card by today's standards. No accelerators, etc. E.g., I think a few of my *servers* use Rage chipsets (and servers are not known for having fancy video capabilities!)
The older Macs were largely "slide together" (I hesitate to even say "snap" together). Some of the Quadra's had a single screw, IIRC.
I don't believe this is the case, currently. Definitely not for the MacBooks, etc.

If you are looking for an adventure, you might try building a Hackintosh.
I've wanted to play with a newer Mac but hesitate to borrow one from any of my friends as that will "void" my "Sorry, I can't help you solve your Mac problem; I don't know anything about Mac's" excuse.
[The more folks know you can do, the more they rely on you for help. The adage "Never admit that you can repair TV's" applies to much of today's technology as folks are increasingly clueless...]
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snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

"Crude" is relative! Perhaps someone is thinking of the original Macintosh. The G3 is not as crude as that. It may not be as sharp as the best HD TV today, but is close enough.
I understand OS X 10.2.8 will run on the G3 Mini Tower.
Apple released an OS X Public Beta Edition, which was designed to expire 5/14/01. If you can find a disk image of that Public Beta, you can create a CD that will run on the G3 if you first set the computer's date before that.
Fred
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On 6/8/2016 2:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.none wrote:

I can't think of one good reason to resuscitate an old Mac. Why?
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