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I did the following to upgrade a G3 eMac to 10.4 to avoid buying the CD version. You will need a laptop or desktop (or borrow one from a friend) that has firewire and a DVD drive.

I connected my PowerBook to the eMac with a firewire cable. I started the laptop as usual. I started the eMac in "disc target mode" by holding down the "T" key during start-up. A moving firewire icon was displayed on the eMac. The hard drive of the eMac showed up as an icon on the desktop of the laptop. I then used the DVD drive in the laptop and selected the eMac hard drive for updating. It worked well for me.

Good luck,
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