7 Jul

Mac Museum – Cubic

Category:Hacking, Hardware, Howto's

It was time to tackle the Apple G4 Cube. This was something I knew I wanted to have, at least ever since I read “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson. In the book, the protagonist stays at a friend’s London flat, and uses his G4 Cube. The cube plays a small role, but i was fascinated by the vivid descriptions of the thing. In the book, Gibson describes the cube “breathing”, as it was in sleep mode. By this he meant the power-light and how it pulses in and out if the machine is in sleep mode.

I was lucky enough to get one through a friend (thanks). Buying one is rather hard, and if you’re able to find one, it’s usually far away or reaaaal expensive. I’m talking hundreds of bucks for a 10 year old machine. And if you’re lucky enough to find one, the chance of it being in mint condition such as this one, are slim to none. Okay, mint may be too strong a word. There are two USB ports on this baby, and one of them is broken. Actually, I think i fried a mouse (yes, a mouse), by hooking it up to one of the broken ports. It got really hot, and stopped working eventually. I opened it up, and the main chip was all black and smelly.

Anyway! On to the install. As for this one, I had to do the same tricks as for the Power Mac G4 described in the previous article. I had to open it up and replace the DVD drive in order for it to properly read the Leopard disk. It would start the install, but go no further than the Apple on the grey background, and the spinning loader thing. I jumpered the replacement drive as slave, as i assumed (without looking further), that the HD was master. This machine has one IDE bus, with place for two devices, where as the Power Mac has two buses.

I also had to do the same frequency hack in order for Leopard to install. Look at the previous article for the howto.

Partition the included 80 GB drive with the Apple Partition Map and hit install. Time remaining? 2 and some odd hours. It’s still installing.

Here are some pics.(will post after install is done)

G4 opened up with an alternate DVD drive hooked in. Note the cool Iron Man:ish light.
Cube, Alternate angle.
Cube with outer shell visible on the left.
Screenshot of the installed and upgraded system.

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