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The Macintosh Webmaster Forum

Macintosh for Website Testing

 4:11 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am a Windows person and know very little about the Mac. I do however have many mac users on my website and would like to purchase an old Mac on eBay so I can make it more compatable for them. Would one of you Mac experts be kind enough to recommed them best model for this purpose.

I am looking for something which is fundamentally as cheap as is reasonable (many of the older models are selling for almost nothing) and can run whatever OSes should be tested against (OS 9 and OSX?). Being able to switch back and forth between OSes on one system would be ideal but I have no idea if this is possible so perhaps two systems would be required.

Any help is appreciated.



 5:38 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

With OS X you also get classic. You can go for a g3 with min specs but I'd go for a basic g4 so atleast you can run the browsers you will love :)


 5:50 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

With OS X you also get classic.

Specifically, could I have IE 5.x installed on a G4 with OSX and also have Safari?


 6:01 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes if IE 5 runs on OS X ;) otherwise if it runs in classic it will launch classic in your os x env. and it will run. I dont know what IE macs are at now, i switched to safari ;)


 7:10 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)


Thank you for the advice.

Used G3s can be had for around $150 whereas G4s are in the $500 range, which is a little steep for a testing machine (at least for my budget). Can you clarify the limitations you intimated of the G3 in regard to browsers. My sole concern is to test against the browser configurations that the majority of my Mac visitors will be using.

With regard,



 8:19 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Very old G3's won't run OS X. Here's the list of OS X -compatible machines: Mac OS X System Requirements (Apple.com) [apple.com]

<added>With used machines, factor in the fact that some may not have OS X already installed... IOW add the cost of OS X to the hardware price if this is the case (about $120).</added>


 10:21 am on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thank you James. That was most helpful.


 6:17 pm on Dec 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I recommend getting an old G3 and running OS X 10.2. That way, you can run a version of Safari and Internet Exploder.

Old G3: about $150.
Mac OS X Jaguar: about $50
Satisfaction of having a Mac: Priceless


 2:52 pm on Dec 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you're in the market for a G3, I'd recommend a "blue and white" G3, because these machines have built-in USB.

Older Macs use a Mac-only technology (ADB) for connecting keyboard and mice, so you'd probaby be stuck with a one-button mouse. (I hear PC guys hate that.)


 4:10 pm on Jan 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

IE 5 is still the most current mac IE, Microsoft hasn't upgraded IE in ages, despite a number of flaws... <sigh>

I use Safari except when I get one of those weird, "This site only works with IE" and then I pop open Omniweb and fake being a Windows user with IE 6.0. :)


 4:43 pm on Jan 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

68K Macs run up to IE4 IIRC, and can be emulated on a PC using the free Basilisk II emulator and a Mac OS no later than OS8.6 (possibly OS8.1)

Older Powermacs run up to IE 5.1.x - referred to as the 'classic' version - on any pre OS X operating system.

IE 5.2 and Safari need OS X, which suggests a blue/white G3 or later for the latest Panther build. However, older OS X builds will apparently run on beige G3s, and there is an open source project that enables OS X on earlier Macs at:


These are the Macs that you can find for buttons on eBay. The 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500 and 9600 series are currently supported. Just be aware that most of this hardware falls short of what's needed to make a fully useable OS X system, and memory and drivespace could well be issues.


 3:11 am on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK...so you going to buy a used little G4 to test your websites with it. Since you going to fall in love with OSX :)
why don't you go for a middle class G5 and install Virtual PC. So you have one awesome system and can run Windwos Xp as well. ...Thats how I do it ;)

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