Update my firmware? Sounds pretty dirty to me

I’m running OS 8.5.1 on my pretty purple iMac and just bought an OS X update on eBay. No manuals or documentation other than what’s on the disks and that mostly refers me to the manuals I don’t have. I can’t install OS X until I install OS 9 (which came with the X) and I can’t install OS 9 until I update my firmware, whatever that even is. The install disks come with a folder called “CD Extras” and according to an error message the firmware updates are there, but othing I can find is called “firmware update” or anything like it. I went to the Apple website but the only firmware updates I can find either give me a message after trying to install of “your system is already updated” or require that I have OS 9 installed. Which of course I can’t do until I update the frippin’ firmware. Apple will apparently try to charge me either $50 or $120 if I call them for technical assistance, and so, dear Dopers, I turn to you.

  1. What the hell is firmware?
  2. How do I update my firmware to allow me to install OS 9 and then, God willing, OS X?

Answer me these questions thre…um, two and I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be assumed bodily into Heaven come the Rapture.

Firmware definition.

As it pertains to computers, firmware is commonly referred to as the BIOS, Or Basic Input/Output System). Firmware is just like software except it resides on a programmable chip. If you have a flash BIOS is means that the firmware resides on a flash memory chip and can be updated, which is what you’re trying to do.

I’m not familiar with Mac firmware updating, but most PC’s are updated with a floppy disk program that flashes the BIOS. IIRC, iMacs don’t have a floppy disk drive so I’m guessing you either flash by booting from CD or run the firmware update within the O/S itself. Oh, never mind, Apple answers that question. If you still run into problems you might try a Mac-centric message board like theMac Night Owl Discussion Board.

If you can bodily assume me into the rapture of Winona Ryder I would be most appreciative.