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millar876
Aug 29, 2008, 05:24 AM
I have rescently aquired a Powerbook G4 12" 867 MHz in a game of chance, well I fixed a friends TV and he gave it to me as a thankyou, because he knows I'm a mac head and he said it didn't work anymore. Long story short, the AC adapter was frelled, so i fixed it and it works great.

I'm looking for upgrade advice. At thew moment its almost completly stock Hardware (867 G4 / combo Drive / 40GB HDD / 384 MB RAM / 10.4.11)

I've ordered an airport Extreme card from apple (32.12 inc VAT & delivery), I plan to swap out the HDD for a minimum 80GB, and plonk in a 1GB PC2700 DDR333 chip (max crutial says it can take) and OS 10.5.

can anyone think of anything else, how do you reckon it will run?
My wife will be using it for office (word/excell either Office 2008 or neo office) mobile web browsing (USB Dongle and WiFi hotspots) and she'll have a partial clone of the iTunes library on my Imac on it. No photo/video editing, but maybe some family photos in iphoto. and I might steal it back for watching DVDs on when work sends me away places.

Thanks in advance.



Inspiratron
Aug 29, 2008, 05:36 AM
hey,

for what it'll be doing, that setup should run decently, definitely do the upgrades...

one question: if you're ordering the airport extreme card, why will your wife be browsing using a USB dongle?

have fun with the 12" (wish i had one)
inspiratron

millar876
Aug 29, 2008, 05:43 AM
hey,

for what it'll be doing, that setup should run decently, definitely do the upgrades...

one question: if you're ordering the airport extreme card, why will your wife be browsing using a USB dongle?

have fun with the 12" (wish i had one)
inspiratron

its a USB 3G / Mobile broadband thingey, for when shes away from Wifi hotspots

nsbio
Aug 29, 2008, 06:52 AM
Office 2008? Good luck - you will have to start it up overnight to have it loaded by lunch time the next day, if you are lucky. Office 2008 is practically unusable because of its slowness in my 15'' G4 PB 1.5Ghz 1Gb Ram, and yours will be only worse. Any chance of getting Office 2004 instead?

millar876
Aug 29, 2008, 06:57 AM
Yeah probably, but her work sometimes uses .docx and .xlsx files. Can 2004 read those? There is always Neo/open office as well. can that read them?

millar876
Aug 29, 2008, 07:30 AM
another thing, can this model of powerbook boot into OS 9. If it can then I can resurect some antient games that don't work under classis.

chapmac
Aug 29, 2008, 10:17 AM
Hi - I would agree Office 2008 struggles on a G4, go with 2004 if you can. Microsoft have brought out a converter for office 2007/8 files, so you can use them with Office 2004, which you can download here -->

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.mspx?pid=Mactopia_AddTools&fid=6B9238E1-CF69-48C4-BF2D-C4A8ACEEE520#viewer

Just as another thought as an upgrade, when I pensioned off my G4 Imac, I bought a Slingbox and the machine now sits in the spare bedroom and is mainly used as a TV. Even better with a laptop, as you can watch your TV from anywhere providing you have an internet connection. I think the Slingbox is great value for money, it only cost me 60 from Expansys.

Dom.

notjustjay
Aug 29, 2008, 10:25 AM
Yes, it can boot OS 9.

I would personally run Tiger and not Leopard on a 12" PB (which I did, right up until I sold it a few months ago).

You could easily buy a 160 gig or even a 250 gig hard drive, they're so cheap nowadays. (I just bought an external 250 gig USB 2.5" HD, for $99).

These are really great machines!

tompon1923
Aug 29, 2008, 10:30 AM
you might want to take a 7200rpm drive, they are a little bit more expensive but you will definitely notice the difference. Good luck with it!!

Consultant
Aug 29, 2008, 10:54 AM
you might want to take a 7200rpm drive, they are a little bit more expensive but you will definitely notice the difference. Good luck with it!!

Yes it'll improve performance a lot, however, harddrives are VERY DIFFICULT to change in 12" PowerBooks / iBooks.

dr. shdw
Aug 29, 2008, 11:53 AM
I find the converter very crappy.

You might want to try iWorks as it'll open docx natively and runs lighter than Office 2008.

nsbio
Aug 29, 2008, 11:56 AM
I find the converter very crappy.

You might want to try iWorks as it'll open docx natively and runs lighter than Office 2008.

Second that, for the most part. The problem is, Numbers is not adequate as Excel substitute for most cases, so they might want to tough it out with Office 08 after all :(

dr. shdw
Aug 29, 2008, 01:49 PM
Second that, for the most part. The problem is, Numbers is not adequate as Excel substitute for most cases, so they might want to tough it out with Office 08 after all :(

I agree, Numbers is not up to par with Excel whatsoever.

millar876
Aug 29, 2008, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the replies, I'm willing to give the hard drive change a go myself, I've seen and printed out the guide from ifixit.com and it looks OK, fiddeley but OK. and besides there are 17 IT techs living in my street, if i get really stuck. The reason that I'm going for an 80GB drive is that i have one in the house lying around doing nothing with a windows install on it, that was bought as a stopgap whilst my work laptop was waiting for a replacement.

California
Aug 30, 2008, 12:22 PM
Would be faster machine with a 100gb 7200 Travelstar PATA if you can find one or an almost as fast 250 gig Western Digital hard drive that are cheap.
Sell the 80 gig on Craigslist and get a new warrantied hard drive.

Just go slow and use an egg carton for the screws when swapping the hard drive in the 12" pb.

Not that hard.

I actually use 2001 Word for OSX instead of 2004 word for speed reasons. Yes it will boot into OS9, too.

iToaster
Aug 30, 2008, 12:41 PM
just so you know, a 250 GB 5400 RPM HD is a little faster that a 7200 RPM of a lesser capacity due to the larger one's data density being higher. I've got a maxed 12" 1.5 GHz with a 250 GB HD and it runs pretty well. Leopard won't be pretty on this, as its minimum requirement is the speed of your processor, so I'd recommend you stick to Tiger as that will run much faster on your PB. Other than that, everything else should be fine (though I should mention DVDs can get a little shaky every now and then)... ah, you might want to pick up a new battery for it if that hasn't already been done, I'd imagine the original is pretty bad by now.

slotcarbob
Aug 30, 2008, 01:47 PM
I found this very interesting. I am about to give some opinions that do not give with what most here have said. That doesn't mean I want to call anyone out, only that I have had a different experience.

First, I have Leopard running on a Sawtooth and a Quicksilver, both under the minimum requirements of leo for chip speed, and with 384 RAM. I run iTunes, Office 2008, and email. Both machines do jst fine. The drives are 40 GB ATA (5400).

I also have Leopard on my 1.5 PB, and run Office 2008, and 10 other apps at the same time, and I never have trouble. I have 2GB RAM.

I also have Leo on my wife's 867 Ghz iBook, running email, Office 20008, iPhoto, and occasionally CS2. 780 RAM. That machine hasn't been turned off in 3 years, I think. Runs great.

Now, I do not play games, and II do not hack, and I run utilities regularly. Hope this helps.

stiphone
Aug 31, 2008, 08:41 PM
Well, I just bought a 867mhz 12" Powerbook recently and i have replaced it with a 1GB RAM. It has Leopard installed and I use Neo Office for my work. I'm planning to replace the original hard drive with a 160GB 5400 hard drive. Hopefully that'll speed it up and provides me with more storage options.

I would love to further upgrade my 12" PowerBook but I'm not too sure what else I can do further now. I have done almost everything i can.

Does anyone knows if it run Aperture 2.0?? Thanks.

p/s : The reason I'm using Leopard instead of Tiger is because I like the easy "Back to My Mac" feature.

millar876
Sep 1, 2008, 08:49 AM
Well, I've swapped out the HDD for the 80GB one I had. Thuns out it was a 7200rpm hitachi drive. The swap was nowhere near as scary as i thaught. I printed out the guide from iFixit.com and followed it. For screw managment I had a sheet of A4 paper covered in chunks of bluetack, one for eack step in the guide (the egg box wasn'y big enough, only 1/2 dozzen).

Fitted the 1GB RAM and airport extreme card that arrived today and installing Leopard at the momment. I think I'll stick on every office type I can and let the wife pick and choose the components of each that suit her needs.

bbergie
Sep 1, 2008, 09:27 AM
Office 2008? Good luck - you will have to start it up overnight to have it loaded by lunch time the next day, if you are lucky. Office 2008 is practically unusable because of its slowness in my 15'' G4 PB 1.5Ghz 1Gb Ram, and yours will be only worse. Any chance of getting Office 2004 instead?

My computer's specs are below. As for office 2008, I run it on my computer, and it works well. Granted, it's noticeably less responsive than 2004, but overall, the experience is fine. The comment above is rash.

millar876
Sep 1, 2008, 09:55 AM
incidently, anyone know where (in the UK) i can get a bus powered Firewire enclosure for the old 40 GB Hard drive, I can only seem to find USB2 ones and as the powerbook only has USB1 I'd rather avoid using USB.

dmw007
Sep 1, 2008, 10:29 AM
you might want to take a 7200rpm drive, they are a little bit more expensive but you will definitely notice the difference. Good luck with it!!

Agreed, a 7200rpm HDD will provide a nice speed boost. I installed a 160GB 7200rpm HDD in my 12" 1.5GHz PowerBook G4 and it is quite fast. *EDIT* Sorry, just noticed you replaced the HDD already. iFixit is a great source for working on Apple computers.


MS Office 2008 works fine on my PowerBook G4, but it does take a little while for it to open for the first time.

Lord Blackadder
Sep 1, 2008, 10:34 AM
can anyone think of anything else, how do you reckon it will run?

Well, as the owner and operator of two G4s (a PowerBook and PowerMac), I would say that your plans are sound - except for the choice of OS. I have avoided upgrading to 10.5 because of other people experiencing slower performance than 10.4 on G4s.

I would recommend installing Tiger unless you absolutely must have the new features that come with Leopard.

nsbio
Sep 1, 2008, 11:58 AM
My computer's specs are below. As for office 2008, I run it on my computer, and it works well. Granted, it's noticeably less responsive than 2004, but overall, the experience is fine. The comment above is rash.

Ummm, 2004 was on the verge already, and "noticeably less responsive than 2004" brings it way over. What kind of files do you use with the Office 2008? Excel is very slow with decent size spreadsheets, and Word chokes (and in my case frequently crashes) with 60-80 page files containing embedded pictures. Wors 2004 handles the same files ok.

Lord Blackadder
Sep 1, 2008, 12:20 PM
Excel is very slow with decent size spreadsheets, and Word chokes (and in my case frequently crashes) with 60-80 page files containing embedded pictures.

I wrote my masters thesis on my 1.33 GHz PowerBook G4 w/ 1.25GB memory. By the end I had a nearly 200-page document with pictures (should have broken it up into one doc per chapter :rolleyes:), but at that size Word flipped out and I had to do the final editing and formatting on a G5 tower.

logana
Sep 1, 2008, 12:33 PM
incidently, anyone know where (in the UK) i can get a bus powered Firewire enclosure for the old 40 GB Hard drive, I can only seem to find USB2 ones and as the powerbook only has USB1 I'd rather avoid using USB.

Firewire laptop drive caddies are not easy to find but this looks fine

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2-5-ATA-IDE-TO-USB-2-0-Firewire-1394a-enclosure-Caddy_W0QQitemZ310077484273QQihZ021QQcategoryZ86758QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

even located in the UK which is even more unusual and 15 delivered seems a reasonable price - its USB and Firewire and even comes with a 6 pin to 6 pin firewire cable so should be bus powered though you might want to check that with them ! Some caddies need the USB cable connected to provide the power to the drive - but not always. The listing seems a bit vague on whether it is powered through the firewire connection but since it is 6 pin then it probably is.

FF_productions
Sep 1, 2008, 12:44 PM
Well, as the owner and operator of two G4s (a PowerBook and PowerMac), I would say that your plans are sound - except for the choice of OS. I have avoided upgrading to 10.5 because of other people experiencing slower performance than 10.4 on G4s.

I would recommend installing Tiger unless you absolutely must have the new features that come with Leopard.

Agreed, I just downgraded my PowerBook G4 to Tiger, runs almost twice as fast as Leopard. I'm not sure what to blame, either the G4 is getting weak or Leopard demands too much from the older systems to make it a worthwhile upgrade.

G5's and Intels are the ones that should be running Leopard, G4's only if necessary.

millar876
Sep 20, 2008, 12:08 PM
just an update for all those that are interested. The PowerBook is running great on leopard, wireless reception is a bit scetchy at times and as expected with it's age it sucks at the ocasional iPod video encode. I'm running word and powerpoint 2004 and excel and entourage 2008, I have iLife 08 and iWork 08 ok there aswell.

Only conscern is the battery, the origional owner left the PowerBook with the battery atatched and fully discharged for just omer 1 year, and coconut battery gels me it's only done 60 load cycles in it's 62 month life. Also it says that;

current battery charge - 6155mAh
Maximum battery charge - 6160mAh

Current battery capacity - 6160mAh
Origional battery capacity - 4200mAh

model no. Is A1002, and it randomly switges off at about 42% remaining charge.

I think the battery went bad during it's year of non use? Or dose anyone have any other ideas

chaosbunny
Sep 20, 2008, 12:27 PM
Yes, it can boot OS 9.

No, it can't.

I had a 867 mhz rev. A 12" PowerBook, which is now used by my father. I'm pretty sure 10.2 and upwards only!

nsbio
Sep 20, 2008, 01:37 PM
Agreed, I just downgraded my PowerBook G4 to Tiger, runs almost twice as fast as Leopard. I'm not sure what to blame, either the G4 is getting weak or Leopard demands too much from the older systems to make it a worthwhile upgrade.

G5's and Intels are the ones that should be running Leopard, G4's only if necessary.

I have not run Tiger on my G4 PB 1.5Gzh. I went from 10.3.9 straight to 10.5. Leopard seems faster on my machine than Panther was and it is certainly very usable.

California
Sep 20, 2008, 10:52 PM
1. Someone said in this thread they used a PATA 160gb 7200rpm drive?

I didn't know they made PATA drives in that speed and that size.

2. On my 12" 1.5ghz 1.25gb Powerbook, I had to disable Dashboard even in Tiger for faster performance. Have it disabled in Leopard, too. It makes a difference...

3. OP will do well with an 80gb 7200 drive in that 867mhz Powerbook.

4. Someone said they had an 867mhz iBook? Didn't know they made them that speed either.

dolphin842
Sep 21, 2008, 01:26 AM
Regarding OS 9... the PowerBook in question can run OS 9 apps in Classic mode, but only in 10.3 and 10.4. Leopard got rid of Classic for good.

As for the battery: yes, it's time for a new one, but consider replacing it with a third-party battery. At least from the reviews on the Apple Store, the first-party replacement battery seems to be nothing but trouble.

Congrats to the OP for rehabilitating a nice Mac that has stood the test of time. I have a friend who still uses this model as a primary computer. I have to admit I miss my 12" PB from time to time.

donga
Sep 21, 2008, 01:29 AM
No, it can't.

I had a 867 mhz rev. A 12" PowerBook, which is now used by my father. I'm pretty sure 10.2 and upwards only!

yes it can

chaosbunny
Sep 21, 2008, 03:12 AM
yes it can

No it can't: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2321

It can run classic mode, but it can't boot into OS 9.

VaDor
Oct 15, 2008, 08:05 PM
I wrote my masters thesis on my 1.33 GHz PowerBook G4 w/ 1.25GB memory. By the end I had a nearly 200-page document with pictures (should have broken it up into one doc per chapter :rolleyes:), but at that size Word flipped out and I had to do the final editing and formatting on a G5 tower.

For that type of work always use LaTeX ;)