Jump to content

What PowerBook do I want?


Recommended Posts

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

 

That crashing sound you hear is the sound of Windows breaking.

 

No, I didn't throw my ThinkPad through one. Microsoft Windows just do that.

 

I've been thinking very seriously about getting a Mac. I don't see any reason to waste permanent desk space on it - I'd rather save room for my Tandy Color Computer 3 - but with a notebook I'll have room for both, and for that stinking Windows thing.

 

I could probably afford a recent Powerbook if I really wanted to, but I have better things to spend my money on. Also, if I get a cheap - er, I mean, "vintage" Powerbook, I can afford more software and gadgets to plug into it.

 

It will probably have to be an old gray one with the multi-colored Apple, because I could never stand to use one of those hideous Fisher-Price "iBooks". (Oops...now Fisher Price is going to sue me for slander...) That's not a problem because I like that style anyway.

 

But I don't want it to be too old. I want to use it on the internet. I want (but probably won't get) both PC card and USB. I'll settle for PC card and plug in a USB interface if I have too. It will probably have to have a power PC, but I 680x0, 6x09, or 65816 would be fine with me. Finaly, I insist on a color screen, preferably 16 bit or better, 640X480 or higher.

 

Based on my limited information, I've narrowed it down to:

 

2400

 

Duo 2300 (I have a DuoDock. I think I can fix it.)

 

550c

 

5300

 

3400

 

I know very little about Macs, and I would appreciate any advice very much. There may be another model not listed that fits my unreasonable demands even better than the 2400. If so, please tell me.

 

P.S. Sorry if I offended anyone with my rude comments about those cheap looking iBooks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

> Am I the only one who doesn't mind using Windows?

 

Yes. In fact I'd say you just risked getting stoned, and I don't mean like a hippy. :p I have Windows NT4 for the Power PC. Can I install that on a Mac? Would it run Mac or Windows software? There are some Windows programs I don't intend to live without - specificaly Tandy WinMate - so I won't be throwing out my StinkPad, no matter how much Macintrash I get. But I won't like all those crashes and error messages. I'll never be a true Mac fan, but the're supposed to be *very* stable, and much faster than pee seas. I'm looking forward to the change.

 

> How about a PowerBook G3?

 

I think I've narrowed it down to a 2400c or the original G3 "Kanga" (the first one, that looked like a 3400.) I'd appriceate a detailed comparison of their features, by people who have used one or the other or both.

Link to post
Share on other sites
an old gray one with the multi-colored Apple / I want to use it on the internet. / PC card and USB. / power PC / color screen, preferably 16 bit or better, 640X480 or higher

 

An old black one with a white apple?

 

Guide to G3 PowerBooks

 

These (barring the "Kanga" model) will do everything you want and more, are reasonably priced, use industry standard RAM SO-DIMMs and IDE hard drives & optical drive mechanisms, and are built like tanks. There are even G4 upgrades available for the Pismo models.

 

See the linked full descriptions of each model (top of column) for further information and buyer-beware notes.

 

IMHO any of the models you mentioned will be far too crippled for today's intarnetz

Link to post
Share on other sites
Am I the only one who doesn't mind using Windows?

 

Yes, actually, I think you are.

BookWorm: I doubt any of the options you listed would suit today's basic computer needs. I would suggest buying a PowerBook G3 "Pismo." This model will support the newer Mac OS X, allowing you to more easily connect to printers, networks, browse online, etc. Not to mention it will run quite a bit faster. I would NOT suggest buying a PowerBook G4 though. Those run for around $500, and by the time you hit that price, it's worth it just to buy a brand new mac.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A well-oiled windows machine will run pretty decently. I just bought Windows XP Pro for this machine I just built, just so I could have windows. Sure, I can run all my apps perfectly under Linux, even using WINE, but I also have decent anti-virus, as well as know how to maintain the system so I don't have to do much. I do about as much maintenance on my Windows machine, as I do my MacBook.

 

If you want, you can opt for a PowerBook G4, or iBook G4. I would avoid the Dual USB iBook G3s, as those things are utterly crap, and I would know, since i had one that went in 14x before I got it replaced (by apple) with an iBook G4 1.2Ghz.

You have another option, and that's Linux!

 

Yes! Do Linux! you can get close to OS X as much as possible, and have the stability and security that OS X has, as well as a lot of the compatibility of Windows.

And what's the best of all? IT'S ALL FREE!!! That's right! you can get ALL your software for free! Then if you want to run Windows, go get VMWare Workstation, or Suns VirtualBox that allows you to run windows for absolute software compatbility.

 

Just my $0.02

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're really set on either the 2400 or Kanga, here's a quick breakdown (since I've got both):

 

Differences:

The 2400 has a 40MHz bus, the processor (180 or 240MHz) is on a replaceable daughter card (for upgrades up to 400MHz), it can easily support CardBus via a simple hardware hack, has a max of 112MB RAM (with special 96MB SO-DIMM), and it's very light.

 

The Kanga has a 50MHz bus, with a soldered 250MHz processor, CardBus functionality requires mangling/replacing the soldered PC card cage (same with the 3400), it has removable expansion drives, and supports 144MB RAM. It weighs about 7 or 8 pounds and is quite thick, partly due to its 4-speaker audio setup.

 

Similarities:

Both are rather difficult to find relative to their peers/replacements (3400/WallStreet). The 2400's G3 processor upgrades are often prohibitively expensive; even the 240MHz variety can exceed >$200. Both have essentially the same graphics system, a Chips 655xx-series, with 2MB of dedicated VRAM. Both machines have 800x600 LCDs, though the 2400's 10" display is obviously smaller than the Kanga's 12" display; I prefer the 2400 here, as its picture is much sharper.

Both can run OS X 10.2.6 reliably and fairly pain-free via XPostFacto, provided the machines are flush with RAM. They don't support sleep or display brightness adjustment under any flavor of OS X, though, as the PMU isn't properly supported.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, if you're looking for a notebook that'll be useful and compatible with the modern world, I'd go for a PowerBook G3 or later. These machines can be had for under $200 nowadays, you can punt them across football fields with no major damage, and they can still run modern OSs and interface with modern hardware. A PoweerBook G3 will get you by, but if you want something that will be a decent little powerhouse with the ability to machine through the modern internet, you're going to want to go for a PowerBook G4. I would suggest either a late-model 12" G4 or the latest 15" you can afford. Avoid the Titanium PowerBooks these days, because they tend to run into issues relating to age and use. Personally, I'd go for the latest model 12" or 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4 you can afford. They're really wonderful notebooks, and still have more than enough oomph to get you through modern life.

 

Best of luck on your PowerBook hunt!

Link to post
Share on other sites
What about a lombard?

Rocking a Lombard G3 right now - lovely machine. It copes very well with everything short of Youtube - and I'm hoping a CPU upgrade will help a little with that. Mine's the 14" LCD model, and currently at 333MHz, and either a CPU swap or overclocking will get it to 400MHz. I got it off freecycle (0$) and spent AU$10+80+50 (about US$90) on a DVD-R, 80GB HD and 512MB RAM. If you want to watch DVDs on it, plump the extra few bucks for a 400MHz model - they have an onboard DVD decoder chip - otherwise, like me, you're looking at a logic board transplant later on, or a PCMCIA decoder.

 

SCSI is definitely handy for interfacing to older Mac drives, older Powerbooks in SCSI Disk Mode, scanners, etc. And onboard USB leaves the (single) Cardbus free for a wireless card, Firewire, USB 2.0, etc.

 

Although if you can do without SCSI, and want the option of a later G4 upgrade ($200 and up), the Pismo is definitely a step up - 400 or 500MHz CPU, 100MHz bus, better video, onboard Firewire, DVD playback on even the lower model. The 400MHz CPU can be swapped out for the 500MHz module as well.

 

avoid the Dual USB iBook G3s, as those things are utterly crap

 

Yes, them and the iBook G4s had a problem or two ::)

Link to post
Share on other sites
What about a lombard?

Rocking a Lombard G3 right now - lovely machine. It copes very well with everything short of Youtube - and I'm hoping a CPU upgrade will help a little with that. Mine's the 14" LCD model, and currently at 333MHz, and either a CPU swap or overclocking will get it to 400MHz. I got it off freecycle (0$) and spent AU$10+80+50 (about US$90) on a DVD-R, 80GB HD and 512MB RAM. If you want to watch DVDs on it, plump the extra few bucks for a 400MHz model - they have an onboard DVD decoder chip - otherwise, like me, you're looking at a logic board transplant later on, or a PCMCIA decoder.

 

Lucky you for getting it for free. I paid $50 for mine for the 192mb/10gb 400mhz with the decoder but with a small pixel line that goes 2/3rds up the side the screen. Annoying but that is about it. Did you have any problem finding a HD to put into it? I heard the ATA controller was a little picky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tiny correction/clarification: The 3400c (and 2400) are electrically Cardbus compliant already. The only mod needed is in fact mechanical, to allow the differently-keyed Cardbus card to be inserted. The canonical fix is to modify the cardcage, but that involves a degree of surgery that many would be reluctant to perform. The simpler fix is modify the card (using, e.g., a utility knife) so that it can be inserted in an unmodified 3400c cardcage. Takes only minutes, is easy, and does not prevent the card from being used with other laptops.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say go with a Lombard. I initially had a 400mhz model, but the processor kept overheating so it's now running a 333mhz one instead. 384MB RAM, 60GB hard disk and runs Panther quite well.

 

I have only tried a Pismo once but I didn't see much difference performance wise. That observation is just me most likely. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought my 3400 brand new in 1997 and I still use it 2-3 times a week today, mainly for IRC chatting or checking email while watching TV. It's running OS 8.6 because 9 feels like a resource hog on it, so browsing can be limited. It still has the original battery, which still holds a charge for WELL over a week in sleep mode.

 

If you're wanting to do some surfing, watch YouTube, etc., then anything older than a G3 is not for you. Even with OS 9, your browser choices are pretty limited and time will only make that more of a problem. I recommend getting a Pismo and putting OS X on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're wanting to do some surfing, watch YouTube, etc., then anything older than a G3 is not for you. Even with OS 9, your browser choices are pretty limited and time will only make that more of a problem. I recommend getting a Pismo and putting OS X on it.

 

These days for a 'proper internet experience' you need at least OSX to access flash and other plugins. iCab is good and the old Mozilla is ok but only for basic surfing. Youtube would not work on iCab or Mozilla when I last tried it even with the latest flash that I could find for OS9.

 

A Lombard with max ram would be good for OSX or a Pismo. Alternatively a cheap clamshell ibook as well however most iBooks are known for a problem of some kind.

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're wanting to do some surfing, watch YouTube, etc., then anything older than a G3 is not for you. Even with OS 9, your browser choices are pretty limited and time will only make that more of a problem. I recommend getting a Pismo and putting OS X on it.

 

These days for a 'proper internet experience' you need at least OSX to access flash and other plugins. iCab is good and the old Mozilla is ok but only for basic surfing. Youtube would not work on iCab or Mozilla when I last tried it even with the latest flash that I could find for OS9.

 

A Lombard with max ram would be good for OSX or a Pismo. Alternatively a cheap clamshell ibook as well however most iBooks are known for a problem of some kind.

 

 

Clamshells are good, just small bus speed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...