Mac OS for cheap. Legit? Safe?

My main computer is an iMac G4 that’s a few years old, and is still running OSX 10.1.5, which is what it came loaded with. Until now, that’s worked fine for me, but I’ve just bought a piece of software (Band-in-a-Box) that is not going to run properly on anything lower than 10.2. Of course, now even 10.2 has been superseded by 10.3, and 10.4 (“Tiger”) is just around the corner. But I don’t want all the bells and whistles of the new operating systems; I just want this one piece of software to run properly.

So rather than spending over $100 on the latest OS, I went looking for a good deal on 10.2. A little searching shows that a number of dealers have OS 10.2 discs without a box but allegedly with license for a fraction of the cost of the new OS. Before I take a chance on doing the upgrade on the cheap, I need the straight dope. Are these legit? What are they–the backup discs from remaindered computers, maybe? Are they safe for my computer?

OS 10.2 is often called Jaguar FYI. (10.3 is Panther, 10.4 will be Tiger, 10.5 will be Rabbit of Unusual Size)

They are probably NOT “legit” for sale, but as you suspected backup disks that came with computers.

I work in education, and was able to get a Jaguar set (no box) for free…so it’s a possibility that some teachers might be selling their free copies.

If it’s the latter type of Jaguar, it would “work” with any previously installed OSX system. If they are backup disks, I don’t know.

This is what I was referring to.

Whether legit or not, and without relevant links or further info about the dealers it’s pretty tough to tell, do yourself a favour and upgrade to at least Jaguar (10.2)… You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes, even on such an ‘old’ system. I would go mad if I was still using 10.1, even using Jag nowadays is a bit of a chore.


10.1 was buggy as hell. There are some full versions for sale on eBay for less than $100. The ethical onus is off of you if someone is doing anything nefarious with them before they sell them. Nefarious as in, installing them or copying them. Demand originals. Not copies.

This leads to a question I’ve had: I have the disks for Mac OX 10.1, 10.2 & 10.3 - bought all of them myself. Full installs, no updates. Since I’m currently using 10.3, I have no need for the earlier versions. Is there any reason I can’t sell or give those disks away, since I have no trace of them on my PowerBook?

:smack: The EULA - it’s all in the EULA, I bet.

Other World Computing’s* ad in the December, 2004 MacWorld lists OSX 1.x for $6 and OSX 2.x for $30 (page 110-111). Presumably people at Apple read the magazine, and OWC is a long-standing retailer. So I have to assume they’re selling legitimate copies. It stands to reason that once Panther hit the streets, copies of Jaguar were worth less money, but people still had inventory. I conclude that there are legitimate avenues to purchase penultimate versions of OS X ‘for cheap.’

  • I’m not affiliated with OWC, Apple or MacWorld. Void where prohibited. This is the second time I’ve used ‘penultimate’ in a sentence. Wait – that was the third time.

So that was the penutimate time, eh? :slight_smile:

If you have an opportunity to attend a computer show/sales event you will find dealers who specialize in all kinds of software from ealy DOS to the latest and greatest. Out of the box software is usually OEM packaged. This is what is included with the purchase of a new computer. As such it is the real thing. These same dealers advertise on the web and in PC magazines. :slight_smile: