Mac Mini – The Apple Potato!


We have done it!  It has been in the lab specimen for a little bit and now it’s time to find out what makes this Apple Potato tick!


We start out with a 2005 Mac Mini.  Yes that one.  The Power PC G4 one.  It’s not all bad.  These are fun little boxes.  This one originally came with 256 megabytes of ram.  The previous owner and I upgraded it to 512 megs ram, a 120 gig hard drive, and then OS X 10.3.7 ran … okay.


G4 PPC Mac Mini


Here is the spec run down:


(| Before |) (| After |)
  • Power PC G4 at 1.25 GHz 
  • 256 meg then 512 megs ram 
  • 40 gig then 120 gig HD
  • OS X 10.3.7
  • Power PC G4 at 1.25 GHz
  • 1 gig ram
  • 120 gig HD
  • OS X 10.3.7


I still could not do much with OS X 10.3.7, even with the 1 gig of ram. Most internet sites didn’t work and the rest, not as expected. I tried Camino as a browser but I kept getting security warning trying to come here to Electro -☼- Relics.  Are they kidding me? We are one of the friendliest places on the net!  I moved on to Opera 9.4 and it worked better but images and CSS were not working so it was like using the internet in the early 1990’s.

I am not a MAC guy and my experience is pretty limited.  According to research it looks like this should be able to run OSX 10.4 and maybe OSX 10.5.8.  Without the install media I was not successful trying from USB flash drive nor a USB dvd drive.  This is where not being a MAC guy crippled me.



It occurred to me that I had once burned Lubuntu 16.04 to test on another MAC I once had. With the Apple Potato still open from the ram upgrade I did the live boot thing to Lubuntu.   It ran pretty well from a live CD.  I didn’t want to install it and erase he actual OSX 10.3.7 install but the experiment was fun. I had internet access as well.  Looks like there is a 32bit PPC Mint Linux that can run on this as well and it looks interesting…for someone else to try.




What it really comes down to is this G4 might be able to still so some duty as it still has Garage Band and iMovie on the OSX 10.3.7. 

A real Mac n Cheese wiz could probably re-partition this to be able to boot from OSX or Linux.

I do not have the experience to do so but I do sometimes enjoy tinkering around with old Macs.  I generally learn a little something each time.