Apple eMac 17″ – A Practical Style Statement

I love restoring vintage Macs, and this eMac was an adventure.

Back in the day it was the budget alternative to the high-end LCD panel-sporting “lampstand” iMac G4. The “e” stands for education; originally it was only available for the education market. Same speed and spec but as the iMac G4, but with a traditional display instead of the then-new LCD, it’s price point was hard to argue.

I loved both the colorful round iMac G3s and the LCD iMac G4s, and the eMac looks something like a bastard child of the two. Fell in love with it and had to pick it up at the Hard Off (what a name!) recycle store when I came across it. Crossed fingers that it’d power on when I got home. They said “dengen hairimasu” which means it doesn’t explode in colorful fireworks when connecting the mains. No information beyond that. I was hopeful. 😉

It did power on, and got into an archaic OS X, I think it was 10.2. It was stable surfing the net, so I got down to business.

First of all it required a DVD drive to allow installing a newer OS X, so I naively started to install a DVD Writer. I was expecting the bottom case to come off as with iMac G3s. Not! It was the most difficult optical drive replacement I’ve ever done. Have to remove the cover (while being careful with the power-button on the side), speakers, main fan(!), motherboard (!!), screen control circuit (?!?) and finally the hard drive to gain access to the optical drive.
I imagine the optical drive was the first component they started with at the factory, and built the rest of the PC around it.

It was fun in a strange way but I never want to do it again. I guess it explains why there are so few upgraded units around, and why these are routinely tossed out when the optical drive dies.

It deserved more RAM and I went hunting on Yahoo Auctions. 2 of the 3 modules I bought worked, and RAM memory was upgraded to 768Mb.

Then I’ve spent some time on the Internet tracking down a model specific Mac OS 9.2.2 install CD. The standard CD does not work, as I quickly found out.

Wiped the hard drive, repartitioned it, and installed Mac OS 9.2.2 and then OS X 10.4 Tiger using the newly installed DVD Writer. As a final touch I made Mac OS 9.2.2 available for use with “Classic Mode” under Tiger.



  • Hours spent: 8+ (lost track)
  • Difficulty rating: 100%


  • Runs “Classic” applications natively or from under OS X 10.4 Tiger
  • Rock solid performance under OS X
  • Syncs new iPhones, iPods, iPads
  • Great for office work, audio, DVD playback and copy


Now it’s gotta go. Desk real estate is precious, want space for the next one.

Specifications and upgrade options

Price is 11000 as advertised/ask!
No shipping abroad unless you pre-pay me in cash (figure that one out, Nigerian scammers).


Call Sandor on 080-3073-0096 

Email Sandor at “sandor[at]” (replace [at] with @)

Use Contact Form to Message Sandor re:eMac 17″


You may find this interesting. Amusing even.
The Original Specification Sheet from Apple (covers all eMac models)

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Who Am I?

Hi, Sandor here. Thanks for visiting. Computer trouble in Japan? You've come to the right place!

I am 34 years old, and have been fixing computers since 1994, since before I finished high school. Then I got a degree in Computer Science, had my own PC shop, worked at a top laptop maker in England. Then I came to Japan; it's what I always wanted to do.

I pride myself in providing the best service possible and by being honest about my work. I now service all of Japan by a simple mail-in system. Use the "Contact Me" tab on the top menu to get in touch.

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