Well, now on the desk in my office there are two computers running: in Intel Jooyontech PC running Ubuntu Linux, and a Strawberry iMac G3 — you know, the blobject kind of thing like the one pictured on the right. The former I bought several years ago from a Korea-blogger named Shawn, not too long before his unfortunate suicide in China. The iMac, the more recent addition to my roomful of PCs, was given to me by another professor down the hall named Nico.
I plugged in my wireless laptop and keyboard to see whether it’d work for me, and lo and behold, it booted up but I couldn’t login at first. I finally tried one of the secondary user accounts, which worked for me, and let me discover some of the PC’s specs, like that it’s running Apple OS X 10.2.8 and has only 6 gigs of hard disc space, but I was still denied access to the main user account, where it seemed like most of the files were. So I had a look around online, and finally found a security hole which someone had posted in the hopes that it would be patched. Happily, it wasn’t at least on this PC, so I created a new root user, and then when I restarted it, I was able to create the root user on the login screen and get access to the other menus.
I’m not sure what to do with the iMac, to be honest. I mentioned it to Lime, offering it to her if I can it get going, but she seemed not very interested, for perhaps understandable reasons: in Korea, most websites simply require that you use Windows and Internet Explorer, period, which is frustrating and inane, but that’s how it is here. (Or maybe she’s just wary because I might be able to pick up a bigger hard disc, which would maybe let me use the thing for backups off my laptop, as well as maybe backing up my music archive. I could add some RAM and then just have it around as a spare desktop PC, though I’d be likely to install Ubuntu if I were planning to do that with it, and it doesn’t seem like there’s a good reason to do that if Mac OS X is running on it without serious problems. I’m not sure whether it’ll be capable of sharing wireless networking, though Airport’s installed as part of the OS so I suppose if I get a card, it might work. If it is, this might be another use for it, since I’d like to be able to set up a wireless network, especially when Lime and I get a place together, for when we’ll both be working on computers at the same time.
Anyway, funny little thing on my desk right now. Thought I’d post about it. I remember seeing a guy’s basement once with a bunch of PCs all over. Now I know how it got that way.
UPDATE: A little digging around with the help of my friend Charlie and it turns out that I should be able to install OS X 10.3 onto it. It won’t take an Airport Card, though maybe a wireless dongle is possible. However, two possibilities look promising: either to put a big fat hard drive inside it, and another one externally, and back up all my and Lime’s music, personal files, and perhaps some video on it, or else, alternatively, install a new hard drive, install in Korean, and then donate it to a kid who needs a working computer. Lime has talked about us “sponsoring” a Korean kid who, unlikely to get much in the way of help in studies and learning, could benefit from having tuition for school subsidized, plus school supplies and whatever other help we can give being provided. I think it’s an excellent idea and I want to join in. Some kid out there definitely could benefit from having a desktop computer in proper working order, that’s for sure.
Of course, it depends how nicely the Mac works with the Korean Internet. (My experience is that non-Windows systems suffer here.) Of course, if it access the Net well, Lime may well want to make it her own system. But, that said, I wouldn’t mind spending a little time every month refurbishing an old PC and donating it to a needy kid. There are enough out there, and it could be a fun hobby, for a while anyway. We’ll see.