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View Full Version : Just bought a 400 MHz PowerBook -- Stupid???




K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 12:38 PM
I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Panther). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.



Hipnomac
Jul 24, 2007, 12:40 PM
I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Leopard). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.

10gb harddrive is worthless by itself, you wont be able to fit anything on it.

And leopard isn't even out yet.

K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 12:42 PM
10gb harddrive is worthless by itself, you wont be able to fit anything on it.

And leopard isn't even out yet.

Yeah, sorry, I meant Panther

MovieCutter
Jul 24, 2007, 12:44 PM
Considering this machine won't be able to run the software that makes Macs so great, and the fact that it's probably 1/10th as fast as a $900 MacBook, I'd say your friend is right.

K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 12:46 PM
Considering this machine won't be able to run the software that makes Macs so great, and the fact that it's probably 1/10th as fast as a $900 MacBook, I'd say your friend is right.So as of 2001, Macs sucked?

Nuc
Jul 24, 2007, 12:47 PM
You'll probably get frustrated with the performance if you coming from a faster PC. If all you do is email and internet then you should be ok but don't expect to much. I had a 500 Mhz G3 and it did pretty good so you might have a pleasant experience... who knows.

Nuc

Eidorian
Jul 24, 2007, 12:48 PM
So as of 2001, Macs sucked?Macs in 2001 ran software designed for Macs in 2001. It's 2007. ;)

applefan1997
Jul 24, 2007, 12:49 PM
$200 is actually great for a PB G4 with the Aiirport Card (they're usually $400+), and 10GB is big enough unless you store thousands of songs, and if you dont use it for demanding software, you'll prolly be happy. My main computer is a 400MHZ iMac G3 and I am really happy with it, and it's really productive. But if you use really modern software, remember that you are using older hardware and it isnt that slow on a newer Mac. But since your'e using it for wireless web and email, you should be more than happy, because it can handle light film editing, and photoshop really good.

K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 12:51 PM
But if you use really modern software, remember that you are using older hardware and it isnt that slow on a newer Mac.

Yeah, I won't be using any modern software. Literally, I'm only going to use it for internet surfing. I don't even need a word processor.

tobefirst
Jul 24, 2007, 12:51 PM
I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.

10gb harddrive is worthless by itself, you wont be able to fit anything on it.

I was unaware it took more than 10 GB to run Safari and Mail. (; I was using this computer (with a lot less RAM) just last year as a web-surfing and IM machine. As long as you don't expect it to be representative of the latest Macs, I think it was a fair purchase. You'll be able to use it for a few months, get an idea of how Macs work, and still be able to sell it for a decent amount. If you take it for what it is (a 6 year old computer), you'll be fine.

matthew24
Jul 24, 2007, 12:51 PM
Do consider upgrading ram and HD, will be a very decent computer for all basic stuff.

applefan1997
Jul 24, 2007, 12:54 PM
Yeah, I won't be using any modern software. Literally, I'm only going to use it for internet surfing. I don't even need a word processor.


You should be very happy with it then, but remember it is still very capable for more:)

Dustman
Jul 24, 2007, 12:56 PM
So as of 2001, Macs sucked?

Macs in 2001 ran software designed for Macs in 2001. It's 2007. ;)

Okay Great! We've all figured out what year it is! :rolleyes: Apple didn't design it's products to only run in the same year it was purchased.

To answer your question, It's kinda hard to say. I'm using a G3 right now with no problems, so i figure for web browsing and email/IM, it'll do just fine. If ur going to use it for music too, id suggest sticking with iTunes 4. Your probably fine with the ram that's in it, but seriously consider ordering a cheap 2nd hand Hard drive off eBay.

K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 01:04 PM
If ur going to use it for music too, id suggest sticking with iTunes 4.

For iTunes, I'm going to stick with my desktop PC and external 160 gb hard drive.

looklost
Jul 24, 2007, 01:10 PM
Yes, your friend is right, btw I'm typing this on a 400mhz ti-book 768ram OS 10.4.8. Internet media playback = slow, flash = slow, itunes = no cover flow, new iapps = inadequate system requirements, 10gig HD, you will run out of space quickly. I still do some work from time to time on this setup, but not a good "first mac" computer.
Good Luck.

Frisco
Jul 24, 2007, 01:17 PM
Flash is going to stink on that machine and with so many websites using Flash today, surfing the web will be dreadful with that old Mac. After using it you will most likely hate Macs!

K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 01:20 PM
Yes, your friend is right, btw I'm typing this on a 400mhz ti-book 768ram OS 10.4.8. Internet media playback = slow, flash = slow, itunes = no cover flow, new iapps = inadequate system requirements, 10gig HD, you will run out of space quickly. I still do some work from time to time on this setup, but not a good "first mac" computer.
Good Luck.

Eh, I don't have much of a need for media/video. I'm mainly just interested in blogs, message boards, news, etc, and toying around with the Mac OS.

Anyway, sounds like I'll be OK as long as I keep my expectations to a 2001 level and not to a 2007 level.

bartelby
Jul 24, 2007, 01:22 PM
Eh, I don't have much of a need for media/video. I'm mainly just interested in blogs, message boards, news, etc, and toying around with the Mac OS.

Anyway, sounds like I'll be OK as long as I keep my expectations to a 2001 level and not to a 2007 level.

My wife uses a 266MHz PowerBook G3 running Panther with 256MB RAM for basic web usage and gets along just fine.


EDIT: Until recently it had a 6GB HD.

I don't understand people who think that just because things can't run the latest and greatest apps the computer is worthless.
Until fairly recently I was using a PowerBook 5300 with a greyscale screen to run some music software. :)

tristan
Jul 24, 2007, 01:23 PM
It's not a stupid purchase, but no, you're not going to get today's mac experience with a 6.5 yr old machine. If its a project, that's fine, upgrade the RAM and HD and get some older software, and sure, you'll have a good time messing with it. FYI a used G4 iBook with max RAM is probably the minimum useable machine right now that will run all of today's software acceptably.

ClassicBean
Jul 24, 2007, 01:27 PM
I've got a 500 MHz G3 iBook from 2001. It's got 384 MB of Ram and a 10 GB hard drive.

It's also super slow for doing anything but surfing and maybe - maybe - email.

That said, if that's all you want out of the computer, you should be fine.

dingdongbubble
Jul 24, 2007, 01:29 PM
Someone said on this topic that the 2001 MAc is for 2001 Mac software. Well I would like to know with this big development and improvement in software, how more productive have we become as users? I am not talking about pros but normal family folk. I mean I used to browse the web, watch movies and stuff on my PC in 2001 with no problems but nowadays, people keep saying that it will be hard to get anything more out of a 2001 computer apart from web browsing and email. The PowerMacs were professional systems when they came out. Why is it that today they are barely able to keep up with low end consumer tasks that were carried out back in 2001 as well.

People used to design websites back in 2001, we continue to do so today as well. People used to browse the web, watch movies and stuff with ease back in 2001 and we continue to do so today as well. Was it that web browsing was considered as a high end task at that time for which you needed professional computer like the PowerMac?

Is this software development truly bringing out as much productivity as hardware power it takes?

aaronw1986
Jul 24, 2007, 01:40 PM
It really won't be representative of what macs are like today, and why so many people are switching. It should still be a fine computer though.

mduser63
Jul 24, 2007, 01:52 PM
Anyway, sounds like I'll be OK as long as I keep my expectations to a 2001 level and not to a 2007 level.

Yeah, this is the key. As long as you're reasonable and realize that a 400 MHz, 6-year old Mac is quite slow compared to a new Mac just like a 400 MHz, 6 year old PC would be compared to a new PC, it'll be good for you. My first Mac was a 400 MHz G4 Power Mac about 3 years ago. Of course, even 3 years ago that was pretty slow, but using it was enough to convince me to ditch my PC, and since then I've bought 3 (new) Macs. My brother is still using the old 400 MHz G4 with Panther as his only computer and gets along just fine.

MovieCutter
Jul 24, 2007, 01:52 PM
So as of 2001, Macs sucked?

Nope, but if you want an accurate depiction of what Macs can do TODAY, and are looking to be convinced to switch...this isn't a good candidate to convince you to switch.

tristan
Jul 24, 2007, 01:57 PM
I guess this thread always had the potential of becoming a referendum on whether old machines can still cut the mustard. :D

If I offended anyone with an old mac, I apologize. I have a lot of respect for people who use and maintain older hardware. But of course, I have my own opinion on what constitutes an acceptable minimum configuration for the average user, and I don't see myself giving up my second CPU core anytime soon. :cool:

There's a great site on older macs that I read every day, and that I highly recommend for the OP. Its www.lowendmac.com, and it has a lot of great info on how to get the most out of older macs.

velocityg4
Jul 24, 2007, 02:02 PM
Someone said on this topic that the 2001 MAc is for 2001 Mac software. Well I would like to know with this big development and improvement in software, how more productive have we become as users? I am not talking about pros but normal family folk. I mean I used to browse the web, watch movies and stuff on my PC in 2001 with no problems but nowadays, people keep saying that it will be hard to get anything more out of a 2001 computer apart from web browsing and email. The PowerMacs were professional systems when they came out. Why is it that today they are barely able to keep up with low end consumer tasks that were carried out back in 2001 as well.

People used to design websites back in 2001, we continue to do so today as well. People used to browse the web, watch movies and stuff with ease back in 2001 and we continue to do so today as well. Was it that web browsing was considered as a high end task at that time for which you needed professional computer like the PowerMac?

Is this software development truly bringing out as much productivity as hardware power it takes?

(rant)Honestly I have wondered about this too. Really for internet use it is just flash that causes problems. I do not understand why some websites need to tembed video and do everything in Flash. Doing basically the same site except using html and java for the site and video in wmv or quicktime drastically lowers system requirements.

I really hate flash player I do not understand why Adobe can not make it more efficient. My 800mhz iMac G4 has a hard time handing one web page with a Flash video playing. That same iMac in 2002 could have multiple html sites open and with Quicktime player have 5 or 6 video's playing simultaneously without studdering. What gives Adobe, please remove the bloat from Flash. :confused:(/rant)

Back on topic

That powerbook should be just fine for your uses you listed. The ram is more than Adequate and the Hard Drive should be just fine.

When using the internet I would suggest using Firefox with these add-ons to speed up browsing and block the flash player. The flash player blocking can be individually unblocked if there is a specific sites flash content you wish to see.

Add-Block Plus: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865
and choose to subscribe this just gives ad-block a list of common advertising sites to block

Flash-Block: https://addons.update.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/433?application=firefox&version=1.0&os=Windows&category=Web%2520Annoyances&numpg=10&id=433

Since you are using wireless this tweak will further speed up firefox
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1299854/posts

Here is a more thorough tutorial that I have yet to try
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/speed-up-firefox-web-browser.html

Other Firefox tweaks
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=24483&highlight=heliode+firefox

Now that 400mhz powerbook will be pretty snappy on the internet:D

Oh and for Adobe Acrobat Reader try to stay at version 5 or 6 most any PDF will still open and it is much faster than the latest versions. Or you can use Preview I just never particularly cared for that.

Enjoy

lamadude
Jul 24, 2007, 02:02 PM
You also have to take into account that "just browsing the web" was a very different thing in 2001 compared with what it is now. Most websites use a LOT more recourses now than they did back then.

K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 02:05 PM
There's a great site on older macs that I read every day, and that I highly recommend for the OP. Its www.lowendmac.com, and it has a lot of great info on how to get the most out of older macs.OK, I'll check it out, thanks.

Andras5soul
Jul 24, 2007, 02:06 PM
Until i got my SR MBP about a month ago i ran on a final rev. G4 iMac (with the moving screen) with 1.25GHz and 256MB of ram... For everyday simple computer stuff it was great, never any problems, sometimes slight slowdowns in iphoto and imovie. Also the screen has gotten a bit dark (when compared to the new LED on my MBP) Anyway I have the newest tiger running on that one and its still something i wouldnt sell. I personally think that mac looked a thousand times better than the flat imac.... personal taste i suppose, but its still a great mac.

nsbio
Jul 24, 2007, 02:08 PM
This should be a decent deal for such a price. The computer should be able to perform basic tasks (light/medium duty internet browsing, e-mail, typing etc) with ease.

epicwelshman
Jul 24, 2007, 02:09 PM
You'll be fine. If all you're doing is web surfing and email, don't worry about it. You'll still be using a variation of OSX, and seeing so many "kind" people have already pointed out that your machine will be a "crap 2001 laptop" :rolleyes:, I think your expectations are sufficiently lowered that you'll be aware it's not the latest and greatest. Plus, worst case, you lose $200 rather than $1000+

Enjoy your Mac :)

janey
Jul 24, 2007, 02:21 PM
this software development truly bringing out as much productivity as hardware power it takes?
Web browsing/development/what have you in 2001 is hardly the same as 2007. In 2001, there was almost no such thing as ajax (well, technically, yes there was, but nobody used it much). In 2001, CSS support in browsers was flakey and unreliable. Hell, most browsers today haven't fully implemented CSS2.

http://web.archive.org/web/20010106171300/http://www.apple.com/

Cringe.

The same tasks mentioned above can be done on 2001 hardware with 2001 software. But if you're expecting to run the 2007 version of Safari 3 on a computer from 2001, you're out of your mind, and I think that's what people are trying to get across. In order to take advantage of the newest software, you need to upgrade, because as more and more stuff is being used simultaneously (e.g. like dashboard and spotlight being added to 10.4), more resources are required.

By all means, keep using the computer from 2001. My computer from 2001 used to be my primary desktop...it's now relegated to fileserver status. It's just not powerful enough, nor does it even have the hardware, to run the latest apps quickly. But if I really needed to, it would suffice for email and web browsing and watching movies (maybe). And my mom loves using my old 1.2ghz iBook for web browsing outside, because it's decent enough for that and watching movies and listening to music (albeit shared). It works. It's just not enough to run the latest stuff to me.

In regards to productivity level...I'd possibly say more, assuming you mean 2001 hardware and software vs. 2007 hardware and software. There's a lot of software I use that I couldn't even imagine running on an OS that old.

utahraptor
Jul 24, 2007, 06:52 PM
I think the OP got a very nice deal! I am almost jealous. If I were him I would load the latest version of OS 9 and have myself a hot rod laptop. (Especially for just internet browsing)

CubeHacker
Jul 24, 2007, 07:01 PM
A 400mhz powerbook won't be as bad as many of you describe. Sure, he won't be able to run Imovie or Garageband with much speed, but just to get a sense of how OS X works and play around with it, its still a great computer that can run most tasks pretty well.

Honestly speaking, the 10gb hard drive will hold you back more than the 400mhz processor will. If you consider replacing that drive with something more modern, you can easily see a 2-3x increase in performance and overall responsiveness.

ktbubster
Jul 24, 2007, 07:02 PM
I think the OP got a very nice deal! I am almost jealous. If I were him I would load the latest version of OS 9 and have myself a hot rod laptop. (Especially for just internet browsing)

That wouldnt' give him a very good idea of what OSX and newer macs are like. Not saying that this experience will be a "new mac" experience. Just saying that OSX is much different then OS9 in terms of the feel... panther will be a good precursor to when he decides to finally upgrade to a new mac with leopard (by that time)

I am jealous too. Gooood deal! On the bright side, when he gets a new mac he should be able to sell that little baby for the same if not slightly more then he bought it for off ebay and be out nothing. I sold my tibook for 550 (granted it was 40gb and 867 mhz and 1gig ram.. but still those tibooks are really loved and sought after it seems)

I ran photoshop and a variety of different new software with very little slowdown on my computer. This you got is half the speed and power, but it should make quite a good email/web/aim machine for you. Just block the flash and such on firefox or whatever web browser you use and you should be great :)

Have fun! and welcome to the world of mac.

K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 07:32 PM
I am jealous too. Gooood deal!

Thanks. From the pictures on eBay, the computer seemed to be in good shape, and the seller says he hasn't had any problems with it. I'll report back in a few days!

maccam
Jul 24, 2007, 08:41 PM
Ugh... You mac people should be ashamed of yourself, the OP did just fine!
I also think you should put mac os 9 on it (although it would handle tiger just fine) and play some of those really cool old games!

Flowbee
Jul 24, 2007, 08:50 PM
My 400Mhz/G3 Pismo Powerbook runs OS X (10.4) just fine for web browsing, email, MS Office, iTunes, and the like. Until a couple of months ago, I was doing it all on the original 6GB hard drive. An old G4 Powerbook will certainly give the OP a good taste of the OS X experience. $200 sounds like a good deal.

Sean Dempsey
Jul 24, 2007, 09:20 PM
Would a low end 2001 windows laptop give a Mac user a good idea about what is available on a band new Vista laptop?

of course not.

the last 5 years for apple have been more full of change and evolution than the last 10 years of Windows.

K-Funk
Jul 24, 2007, 10:45 PM
Would a low end 2001 windows laptop give a Mac user a good idea about what is available on a band new Vista laptop?

of course not. .I don't know about that. Vista isn't THAT much different from Windows 2000. I mean, it's still Windows. Sure, there are tons of differences, but someone using Windows 2000 would at least have somewhat of an idea of what Windows is all about.

aquajet
Jul 24, 2007, 10:55 PM
Eh, I don't have much of a need for media/video. I'm mainly just interested in blogs, message boards, news, etc, and toying around with the Mac OS.

Anyway, sounds like I'll be OK as long as I keep my expectations to a 2001 level and not to a 2007 level.

You'll be fine with these tasks on a Titanium PB. Your friend doesn't know what he's talking about, along with some people in this thread. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

joepunk
Jul 24, 2007, 11:03 PM
I don't understand people who think that just because things can't run the latest and greatest apps the computer is worthless.
I understand where your coming from. I too have had the same feelings recently.

There's a great site on older macs that I read every day, and that I highly recommend for the OP. Its www.lowendmac.com, and it has a lot of great info on how to get the most out of older macs.
That's a VG (very good) site.

To OP you can get by just fine surfing the web, typing stuff out and watching DVDs on that PB.

Posted w/an iMac 333MHz/256ram/6ghd/Netscape7/56k modem

ktbubster
Jul 24, 2007, 11:12 PM
If you are going to be playing dvds like the last poster mentioned, make sure to elevate it. You will get some decently loud fan action if not... and still probably will, just expect it. The tibooks DO get hot if used for certain things like that, I know mine did. Just a heads up, but everything else shoudl be fine :)

Royale w/cheese
Jul 24, 2007, 11:27 PM
Thats was great deal, I would have bought it. :) I have a 400 mhz g4 for my friends to use sometimes while they are learning flash, photoshop and other programs (granted I use mx 2004 on that machine) and it is actually pretty fast. As for internet though, it does tend to bog, especially on flash sites. Thats one thing I never figured out. Large flash files play fine in flash (the editor) but suck on the internet. But I assume it is the older software on the older hardware that makes it a good performer. But anyways, it is a nice machine, and I am sure you were not expecting it to be as good as the latest and greatest anyway. If you ever want to sell it, PM me, I collect older macs (g3's and up only now :) )

K-Funk
Jul 25, 2007, 08:53 PM
Well, my PowerBook arrived today in the mail. I'm using it right now!

The internet seems almost as fast as my desktop (as long as I'm not doing anything fancy). Also, Word and AppleWorks are already installed.

I'm still getting used to the OS, but the screen looks awesome. So far, so good!

K-Funk
Jul 25, 2007, 08:55 PM
Oh, I need some advice. When I'm not using the computer for long periods of time (e.g., overnight), should I shut the power off, or just leave it in sleep mode? Thanks.

tristan
Jul 25, 2007, 09:09 PM
If you let it sleep and then the battery runs out, you might lose some data you forgot to save. That's pretty much the only reason.

Congratulations! Be sure to share your experiences in order to help other people who are facing the same purchasing decision.

nsbio
Jul 25, 2007, 09:29 PM
Oh, I need some advice. When I'm not using the computer for long periods of time (e.g., overnight), should I shut the power off, or just leave it in sleep mode? Thanks.

Seconded. Leave it in sleep mode whenever possible, unless you are planning to be away from your computer for a couple of days. Instant sleep is one of the notable features of Mac laptops that attracted me to them a while ago. Prior to that I had a Dell that would wake up for no reason in the middle of the night and start spinning its loud hard drive, or, randomly, not even go to sleep at all.

MezicanGangxtah
Jul 25, 2007, 10:29 PM
not stupid at all sure of course its not gonna be a speed demon but it will suffice aslong as that hard drive is replaced...pretty much all u need maybe some extra ram and a clean install will boost ur mac . OS 9 would be cool on it too on a second partition (after you get that larger drive of course)
good luck ....lucky!

iBunny
Jul 25, 2007, 10:37 PM
I think you will be unimpressed.

I am even really unimpressed with the Fastest G4's that are out...

YOu need an Intel Mac. The 900$ MacBook would be your best bet. You will love the thing.

rexp
Jul 25, 2007, 11:45 PM
Great laptop choice. Realizing you won't be able to experience every "newiest gooiest" feature you'll get a great sence of the elegance and polish of both Mac hardware and software. Once you adjust for the drag of spyware and virii plus anti-spyware and anti-virus on a modern Windows PC, the internet will end up being very usable on the PB.

Also, just in general, buying a nearly disposible laptop is a great strategy - if itis stolen, lost or destroyed - which given the rough life laptops live is not unlikely to happen, its not a huge loss. Next time your up for a replacement on your desktop, you should have had a sufficient serving of the Kool-aid, that you will be ready for an iMac.

Cheers and good luck.

NickD
Jul 26, 2007, 12:07 AM
It was a great deal you got. If all you're going to be doing is surfing the web and checking email, this machine will be fine. Just don't expect great wireless media performance, flash, etc.

Everything else has been mentioned, so I'd better stop before I say the things that people have been saying since the first page ;)

NickD

papasteed
Jul 26, 2007, 12:59 AM
I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Panther). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.

I refuse to retire my 400-G4-678 cube- the kids used it for a few years, we used it at work for a while as a sound server. So, this is essentially the same machine as you bought. Now, I am a tech freak- always buying the latest greatest, so I am comparing an Intel Core Duo notebook (already sold my faster 24" iMac), and I can say this- the Cube is back on my desk, as a surf/email machine. I keep the latest OS installed, and patched. Recently the kids were working on the notebook, so a friend and I wanted to do some work with iPhoto and iWeb, which are both relatively demanding apps. Guess what-- it went great. I would do it again. The machine is perfectly capable of doing ALL the normal stuff a normal user does every day. I would hesitate to try Google Earth or Photoshop, and Firefox eats huge amounts of memory, but... it is all about perception. Maybe I will do that next time- think about buying an older machine instead of new... Happy times.

Cabbit
Jul 26, 2007, 05:19 AM
(rant)Honestly I have wondered about this too. Really for internet use it is just flash that causes problems. I do not understand why some websites need to tembed video and do everything in Flash. Doing basically the same site except using html and java for the site and video in wmv or quicktime drastically lowers system requirements.

I really hate flash player I do not understand why Adobe can not make it more efficient. My 800mhz iMac G4 has a hard time handing one web page with a Flash video playing. That same iMac in 2002 could have multiple html sites open and with Quicktime player have 5 or 6 video's playing simultaneously without studdering. What gives Adobe, please remove the bloat from Flash. :confused:(/rant)

Back on topic

That powerbook should be just fine for your uses you listed. The ram is more than Adequate and the Hard Drive should be just fine.

When using the internet I would suggest using Firefox with these add-ons to speed up browsing and block the flash player. The flash player blocking can be individually unblocked if there is a specific sites flash content you wish to see.

Add-Block Plus: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865
and choose to subscribe this just gives ad-block a list of common advertising sites to block

Flash-Block: https://addons.update.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/433?application=firefox&version=1.0&os=Windows&category=Web%2520Annoyances&numpg=10&id=433

Since you are using wireless this tweak will further speed up firefox
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1299854/posts

Here is a more thorough tutorial that I have yet to try
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/speed-up-firefox-web-browser.html

Other Firefox tweaks
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=24483&highlight=heliode+firefox

Now that 400mhz powerbook will be pretty snappy on the internet:D

Oh and for Adobe Acrobat Reader try to stay at version 5 or 6 most any PDF will still open and it is much faster than the latest versions. Or you can use Preview I just never particularly cared for that.

Enjoy
Flash sucks, but Flex rules. I done a coverflow effect in flash it took 130% of my coreduo 1.66. The same effect was easyer to code and looked nicer in Flex and on my machine there was no cpu drain, and it even ran on a G3 400MHz with 256 MB ram smoothly were the the flash didnt run at all.
You are right that using the technology wrong makes sites very inefficent,

We code our sites to run on ie5.5 and ie 6(and the other browsers but these are the oldest) well these browsers are more likely to run on older hardware so why code your site for them if your going to make the users cpu sweet on wrong use of flash.

gnasher729
Jul 26, 2007, 06:14 AM
I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Panther). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.

That computer is not worthless at all. It's not nearly as good as a brand new $999 MacBook, but for $200 it is not bad. Probably does its job better than a cheap PC laptop for $600. Don't expect too much speed, and the harddisk won't hold lots of music or photos, but for email and internet and a bit of word processing it is absolutely fine. 640MB of memory is a good number. If you use it at home, you could buy an external Firewire harddisk with as much space as you want, if the harddisk isn't big enough.

K-Funk
Jul 26, 2007, 09:22 AM
Surprisingly, there's still 5 GB of space remaining on the hard drive. I installed Firefox and it's working great. I was even able to watch a baseball game on MLB.com, and it didn't freeze up like it usually does on my PC. And the DVD player works fine.

Once I get accustomed to not having a right-click button, I think I'm going to love it, while still looking forward to upgrading next year.

krunk
Jul 26, 2007, 11:11 AM
Didn't read the whole thread and I'm sure that others have said it, so take this as reinforcement:


I wouldn't judge Windows XP by how I liked it on a Pentium I system. It just wouldn't do it justice and it'd be likely I'd fault the OS for things that had to do with the system.

If your in the market for a laptop, just pony up the 1k for a base model and if you don't like it install windows.


*note* the computer itself is not worthless. It'd make a great bsd or linux machine. It just is not up to running OSX like it should be run for a new user. I was first introduced myself to OSX on a free 500mhz Powermac I picked up out a junk pile. It was alright, but I had to keep reminding myself that the "laggy" feel was the machine and not the os.

nsbio
Jul 26, 2007, 11:15 AM
Once I get accustomed to not having a right-click button, I think I'm going to love it, while still looking forward to upgrading next year.

Hook up any old external mouse?

tristan
Jul 26, 2007, 01:47 PM
Article on how productive a TiBook 400 can be.
http://www.lowendmac.com/myturn/my07/0726.html

Now I'm jealous! And I have a MacBook Pro. :-)

ankh
Aug 19, 2007, 07:31 PM
You will really screw things up after a while if you run with less than maybe 20 percent free space on the hard drive, the Mac OS is using that for temp files.

This is really serious, you can find out that you have one or two crosslinked files and then that you have several hundred crosslinked files shortly after that.

It happens. Get a spare big drive, even a slow one, and back your machine up.

Drives are cheap. Time spent recreating files is life better spent living.

megfilmworks
Aug 19, 2007, 07:35 PM
I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Panther). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.

I have to agree with your friend. How many people would be impressed with a 5-7 year old PC laptop. I have purchased two new laptops since my G4 titanium (which I loved) and they are vastly different.

Belly-laughs
Aug 19, 2007, 07:50 PM
I run the Adobe CS suite on both my 400 and 667 TiBooks, with Tiger and 512MB ramů They still work just fine for most tasks, but I can make a cuppa and drink it while InDesign redraws a 300+ cell formatted table.

FredAkbar
Aug 19, 2007, 07:50 PM
I think you made a smart call. Two of the best things about Macs, IMO, is the hardware design and the OS. The TiBook is slim and isn't really that different in terms of design from today's MBP (maybe a little thicker, no iSight, etc.). And it has Panther, which is a fine OS. It will probably be choppy at times, but for basic web surfing and email I don't see why you shouldn't be able to use it and enjoy the Mac experience.

aliquis-
Aug 19, 2007, 09:53 PM
I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Panther). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.I think 200 dollar is awesome, I would have paid that for a PC laptop aswell since it's still portable, and that one had quite much RAM aswell. And it still runs OS X aswell.

aliquis-
Aug 19, 2007, 09:55 PM
Flash is going to stink on that machine and with so many websites using Flash today, surfing the web will be dreadful with that old Mac. After using it you will most likely hate Macs!So just uninstall flash then, flash sucks anyway.

zap2
Aug 19, 2007, 09:57 PM
your not going to get the current taste of a Mac with that thing....its good for a back up laptop, or maybe word editing, internet and email on the go.


Personal, I'd say buy a new Mac, and if you end up not liking OS X, install Windows, and be done with Apple after that.

sbluetruck
Aug 19, 2007, 11:33 PM
um, the comp in my sig is wicked fast. seriously.
i use it for word processing and i couldnt ask for anything better (maybe a mac pro ;)...)
i keep it at OS 8 bc of the limited specs, but i wouldnt want to upgrade anyway.
my point is that old technology is AWSOME... as long as you dont expect everything from it.
it is faster than my fast windows machine at booting and loading word :D
sounds like a great comp for the price. gives you more to look foward to.

i've got 1.6GB free on my HDD btw

ericsthename
Aug 19, 2007, 11:59 PM
Well, I'll chime in my 2 cents.

What kind of user are you and what do you appreciate in a computer. Yes, the computer is a dinosaur by technological standards, but there are a great deal of things in that computer that are still quite reflective of Macs today.

Its not hard to notice that Apple has only made minor tweaks and changes to their professional laptop since the computer the OP purchased. To that effect you'll still get to notice how attractively designed the hardware is, and how that will affect your computing experience.

As far as for the software experience goes, OS X was pretty much butchered into compatibility with such hardware - in my opinion. Simple things like browsing the web will seem much slower than they would if you were doing it in OS 9 - BUT you will get a taste of the interface and such. Don't be surprised that even scrolling a basic text page will be choppy. Also you won't get to see the little animations and transitions that serve as "Apple Wow Factor" to people only used to utilitarian PC's.

All in all though, 200 dollars isnt a lot to spend and I wouldn't mind having one of those kicking around even though I have a new MacBook Pro.

NiteWaves77
Aug 20, 2007, 12:42 AM
On the contrary, you've done something very responsible. I don't know what your friend uses his Mac(s) for, but the machine you've purchased can still run with the best of them. No, it won't run like a new Core2 Duo Macbook, but web surfing and email will run just fine. I'm using a Powerbook G3 Lombard running OS X Tiger to write this. Sometimes I forget I'm not on my iMac Intel. Othertimes I'm reminded I'm on 7 year hardware. Depends what you're doing. :)

It's not about the box, it's about the OS and user experience. I think you'll fall in love with OS X. Just keep things in perspective and base whether or not you purchase a new Mac next year on how well you like the OS and experience, not necessarily the speed.

Your friend needs to understand "worthless" and "obsolete" are relative terms.

I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Panther). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.

A Pittarelli
Aug 20, 2007, 12:45 AM
a good beater to take on trips and such, can still use tiger!

K-Funk
Aug 20, 2007, 04:52 PM
Well, just to update everyone, I'm still enjoying my "new" PowerBook. What's really great is that it has Microsoft Office installed. I've basically just been using it for web-surfing in bed, and it works fine -- sure, it's a tad sluggish, but still very usable. I'll probably try to hold off on buying a new Mac until the MacBooks receive their next update.

tobefirst
Aug 20, 2007, 06:10 PM
Well, just to update everyone, I'm still enjoying my "new" PowerBook. What's really great is that it has Microsoft Office installed. I've basically just been using it for web-surfing in bed, and it works fine -- sure, it's a tad sluggish, but still very usable. I'll probably try to hold off on buying a new Mac until the MacBooks receive their next update.

I'm glad it is working out for you!

flopticalcube
Aug 20, 2007, 06:15 PM
Well, just to update everyone, I'm still enjoying my "new" PowerBook. What's really great is that it has Microsoft Office installed. I've basically just been using it for web-surfing in bed, and it works fine -- sure, it's a tad sluggish, but still very usable. I'll probably try to hold off on buying a new Mac until the MacBooks receive their next update.

A very sensible idea and $200 wisely spent. Congrats.