My old buddy, PowerBook G4

Today I’d like to introduce you to my old buddy, Mr. PowerBook G4. We’ve been good friends for a looong time. Until now, I haven‘t managed to write about it and entirely focussed on telling y‘all about my Dual 2 Ghz G5 machine (aka the guy for the trench work).

Whenever I get tired of sitting at my desk I grab my PowerBook G4 and fire it up. Thanks to an Airport Extreme card I connect to my home network and transfer the necessary files in no time. (I do a lot of writing & editing …)

I must say that I always liked the looks of the Titanium PowerBooks (short: „TiBook“) from the first day they were announced back in 2001. The later Aluminum ‘books were nice, but never as cool as the TiBook generation. Maybe one of the reasons I still cling to it. Although age starts to show early with these models: The TiBooks had a painted frame and fragments start to chip off pretty easy. This was a common problem already back in the day. Prudent dealers sold so-called „TiPaint“ packages containing the color for recoloring the frame. As you can see on the photo of my machine, I have not yet managed to get my hands on such a package. (if you know where to get them, drop me a line, please)

Another reason I really like my PowerBook G4 today is because it‘s still useful for productive work. It runs both Tiger 10.4 and good ol‘ OS 9 natively. (I enjoy goofing around in the classic Mac OS from time to time, there is so much classy abandonware for free) And I have heavily upgraded its components. I mentioned the Airport Extreme card before. It also has its RAM upgraded to 1 GB, which is the max it can take. I also threw out its pitiful 32 GB hard disk and replaced it with a 32 GB SSD which really increased speed big time. About a year ago I also bought a cheap-o battery for it from some nice chinaman. Cost me roughly 45 euros and thanks to the lesser power demand of the SSD, I still get about 3-4 hours of work out of it. (add 2 hours if Airport is deactivated)

It is pretty much maxed out now, with few upgrade options left. Thanks to TenFourFox (or Classilla on OS9) it is great for light web browsing, e-mailing, office works and even the occasional game. (Starcraft & Warcraft III run very nicely on it)

What amazes me is that fact that this a 9-year-old notebook. But still it meets all my demands. If it wouldn‘t be for some movie editing that I do on my G5, I could even settle with the PowerBook G4 as my main machine. Though iMovie does run ok on it too. It just takes some patience. But patience is something we lost on our way through the 90s …

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2 Responses to My old buddy, PowerBook G4

  1. Jared says:

    Fantastic to see someone still quite in love with the PowerBook G4 Titanium. I’m in the process of bringing mine back to use, primarily for Diablo II, but also to have a full portable again since some times an iPad just doesn’t cut it.

    I’m curious about the PATA SSD that you’re using. I’m looking at replacing the aging, and original, hard drive with the quieter and faster SSD option. I’ve been looking at the KingSpec SSDs out there, as well as the OWC drives and have been looking for input from any TiBook SSD users.

    Fantastic site btw — Keep it up!

  2. TigerOSX says:

    Jared,

    thanks for the kind words. I do believe the TiBooks are perfect computers for on the road. They are great for writing, browsing, e-mailing, music and the occassional game. On the other hand, it’s not that much of a drama if it would slip out of your hand and hit the concrete. Or getting stolen. (imagine losing your brand new 2.000 Dollars MacBook Air!)

    Regarding the use of a SSD with Tiger / Powerbooks, I’m preparing a seperate post. Expect to see it in a few days 🙂

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