A Few Words on Upgrading the iMac

How to upgrade your iMac?

Menagerie of Macs

Fruit colored iMacsApple’s iMac is a truly amazing computer. It’s fast as a lightning, thanks to powerful PowerPC G3 processor. It’s really beautiful, whether it’s Bondi blue or tangerine, and most importantly the iMac is affordable. It’s no wonder it has been the most successful computer ever.

I couldn’t resist it either; I bought one right away when they came available. And I couldn’t be happier, it’s just such a wonderful little machine.

But is the iMac enough for everyone? And if not, can you upgrade it?

Blue and White Power Mac G3The answer is yes and no. The iMac is perfect for home and education use. It comes with a good software package and is very easy to set up and use, and it takes very little space. But for graphics professionals, the new Power Mac G3 is a better alternative.

How about upgrading the iMac then? Well, you can upgrade it, but not that much.

Apple made a very controversial decision to go for USB and USB only. No SCSI, ADB, or PCI-slots. Only two USB ports on the machine and two on the keyboard. Original Bondi blue iMacs have also IrDA port that you can use with PowerBooks and Palm organizers – and the mysterious Mezzanine port, where you can plug in, for example, a Voodoo 2 card, but doing that could void your warranty, so be careful.

Fortunately there are more and more USB-devices and peripherals coming out every day, like printers, scanners, adapters, and disk drives. Adapters lets you use even some ADB or SCSI stuff. For a complete list, check out Apple’s iMac website. You can also plug a set of speakers to sound out port, if you don’t like the standard speakers.

And, of course, you can upgrade iMac’s memory from 32 MB up to 256 MB. Another 32 or 64 MB should be enough though. However, the easiest thing to update is the operation system to Mac OS 8.5.1. If your iMac shipped with 8.5 you can download the update straight from Apple. If you have Mac OS 8.1, contact Apple and they will send you the 8.5 CD for only $19.95. Also check out for any other modem, CD, and firmware updates from Apple’s support website.

The Best iMac Peripherals

The iMac is great computer. How about making it even better! Here is a list of some cool stuff for your iMac.

  • More memory! Web browsers and games wants more and more memory. 32 MB or 64 MB is adequate for home users, Photoshop users can go all the way to 256 MB.
  • I want Voodoo! Then choose Voodoo 2 card from MicroConversion, currently it is available for only Bondi blue iMacs, though.
  • Games, games, and more games! My favourites are MacSoft’s Klingon Honor Guard, Tomb Raider II and Tomb Raider Gold from Eidos, and Starship Creator from Simon&Schuster.
  • I said more games! Connectix’s Virtual GameStation, it turns your iMac into a Playstation!
  • I need to backup! Iomega USB Zip drive. For file transfers and backups this translucent Zip drive is great.
  • Where’s the floppy drive? Imation Superdisk reads and writes old floppies and 120 MB Superdisks.
  • What’s that CD? Ever wanted to make your own CDs? With Sony Spressa CD-R/RW you can. Just be sure to choose your favourite flavor!
  • Scan this! Agfa Snapscan 1212u Blue. This scanner is like the iMac. Easy to use, affordable, and translucent!
  • Print this! Epson Stylus Color 750 – Epson 750 is a brand new inkjet printer that prints photo realistic colors and is quite fast, too.
  • I need more ports! Entrega USB hub gives you 4 or 8 more USB ports.

Just because Teemu violated the ‘no unsightly cables behind you iMac’ rule doesn’t mean that we’re going to raid his house. Are we all suited up boys? Oops, did I type that?

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