Still Enjoying 12-inch Powerbook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by powerbook911, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #1
    The passing of Steve has gotten me a bit sentimental about the older Apple products. Therefore, the past few days I have been using my 12-inch Powerbook G4 a bit more. I even ordered a new battery from Apple's website. The batteries for these things have always been terrible. Pretty much useless after one year. This will likely be the last time they still sell a genuine one. They sent me one, that is over two years old though! ha. Might not keep it.

    Anyway, it sure is still a nice little machine. Looks gorgeous still and it has been used so little, it's in really nice condition. I got it in February 2005 right after the January 2005 update and the 12-inch was never updated after that even though they kept selling it until Spring 2006 when the white MacBook finally came out.

    It is the 1.5 GHZ G4 with Super Drive, and I have it at the max 1.25 GB of RAM. Sure wish Apple had put 512 on the soldered bit so that it could have 1.5 GB total like the later iBooks.

    The RAM and 5400 old hard drive hold it back the most I think, but I'm not about to tear it apart to put in a SSD. ha.

    It's so slow to just open Safari in Leopard, but not too bad once it's running. Amazing to think iPhone 4S is quicker than this thing while being much cooler and efficient too.

    It was a solid little computer though for its time. The first year I used it with my 20-inch Cinema Display as my primary computer. Surely, under Panther and Tiger it might have been a bit speedier. After all, the first six months I believe I only had 768MB of RAM.

    I hope I can keep it going so that every few months I can continue to pull it out and see how its doing.

    Until the 11-inch Air last year, this little guy never really had a proper successor.

    Thank you PowerBook G4.

    Who else still has a place in their heart for the 12-inch PowerBooks?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #2
    I have the identical model and love it. Still turns heads when I open it up. I've always preferred the aluminium keyboards of the PowerBooks and early MBPs.

    Just plucking up the courage to open it up and clear the dust out / reapply thermal paste, as I reckon it would run a bit cooler if so.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    AQUADock

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    #3
    I still use my 12" powerbook daily, they really were great machines for their time and your right that 5400 rpm drive really slows it down.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    Just got rid of mine. Was exactly like yours. Even with click to flash and most settings turned off, it was showing its age.

    I could have made it work, but got a good deal on a unibody alum. MacBook.

    got 225 for it off Craigslist.
     
  5. macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #5
    My wife has a 12" PB. I bought it off eBay with a broken screen for $50. Same day I put down $25 for a 12" PB screen on eBay. The screen got here first so I had to wait for the Mac. But once the Mac got here I swapped the screen out. Took the opportunity to put my wife's 250GB inside as well. The battery it came with works just fine (better than the older one's in my 17" PBs).

    Just a question. Why would you pay Apple for an expensive two year old battery when there are many third party batteries that are new and are just as good or better than the original Apple battery and far less expensive?
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #6
    Glad to hear you still enjoy your powerbook. Stories like this make me wonder what my macbook air will be like in 5 years.
    I read that someone on this forum totally beefed up a powerbook. They gutted it and put an intel CPU in, put a high res screen, and got like 2gb of ram.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #7
    I tried the NuTech or whatever it's called that OWC had a few years ago and it wouldn't physically go in the machine. It was cut wrong or something and didn't really "match" aestetically. That made me skeptical of third party batteries.

    ----------

    Sounds like you have the 2011 Air. You got it at a good time with the updated processors of this summer, so it won't be so bad probably as my story. My PowerBook was truly purchased at the end of the line effectively of a generation of processors and near end of support for those processors.

    My iMac is 50 months old now, doesn't feel slow, and it is my main desktop, so take care of your Air, and it might go longer than you think!
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    Well I am excited! My plan is try to get all the things I want now, and not upgrade the OS and stuff, Because my 2011 air is optimized for Lion I will keep it running like that for as long as I can
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #9
    I think you should do *at least* the next OS update if it comes in a couple years.

    You'll really start to lose out on new features if you don't. That is a great machine though, keep enjoying it.
     
  10. macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #10
    I can see that. I'm not big on OWC despite the fact that I seem to hear about it a lot. I have one of their batteries in my Powerbook and I can't say I've been impressed with the performance. There is a vendor I trust though. Fresh Battery. I had purchased an extended battery from them for my old TiBook. That thing is over two years old now and still has more life in it then the ones I have for my other PBs. I should have bought from them instead of Newertech, but of course the Newertech battery was cheaper. You get what you pay for I guess.

    Incidentally, the PB I bought for my wife was advertised as a 1.5Ghz model. It turned out to be only 1Ghz. But I was ok with that because it had a 1GB stick in there when they told me it only had 512.

    My wife is running 10.5.8 (I did a clean install). And the Mac is fast. The 250GB drive I put in was a Western Digital and for being PATA they are pretty fast drives.
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #11
    Maybe 1.. but than it may slow down. I kind of want to preserve it :/
     
  12. macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #12
    Saw a mother using one at McDonalds yesterday. It was in pristine condition.
     
  13. powerbook911, Oct 20, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011

    thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #13
    Even more difficult to accomplish if you're a parent at McDonalds, the pristine condition. I'm impressed!


    My second day of running it with the new battery. It actually feels speedier today! It must have been doing quite a lot of housekeeping the first couple times I fired it back up since the early Spring. Feels even more usable now.

    What is your guys thoughts on the two year old battery? It did show zero cycles and showing 4400 mAh capacity, which is exactly what it should be. Maybe sealed in Apple storage, its life wasn't hurt too bad?
     
  14. macrumors regular

    GenesisJLS

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    #14
    If it wasn't used the battery is fine. I wouldn't worry about it. Enjoy your machine.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #15
    One thing that certainly jumps out at me while using this machine is the trackpad. This version of the PowerBook finally added official dual finger scrolling to the trackpad. This was nice, and it was perhaps the beginning of Apple's touch gestures that we would find in iOS devices and the large trackpads later.

    You certainly crave a bit larger trackpad while using this machine. Nevertheless, it's fine and the physical button below the trackpad is nice. I'm glad it taught me how to use the current trackpad.

    I see family members struggle with the current trackpads a bit because they stop moving the pointer around the screen and push down with the same finger. It's simply a rather uncomfortable way to click. Furthermore the index finger is often higher up on the trackpad where it takes more force to click.

    This PowerBook taught me to always use my thumb to click. This leaves your index finger to point while leaving your thumb to click instantly while resting on the bottom of the trackpad. I still use this on the new trackpads and it works nicely. Thanks PowerBook!
     
  16. macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #16
    I'm using iScroll2 with my 1GHZ Mac which is a 2003 model. It's got near functional parity with my 1.67 GHZ model and I actually like it's scrolling much better.

    I've learned to "right+click" with the middle finder holding down command and the thumb clicking the trackpad.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #17
    Nice to hear some sentimentality for the Gs. I just bought a PowerMac G5 from eBay for 180 pounds and I'm waiting for it to arrive (goes without saying I hope it's soon! :D:apple:). Many people seem to think the old PowerPCs are way too outdated, but really the way OS X handles resources they are still quite capable. Anyways, I hope your PowerBook take you a long way, they're really, really cool machines (I had my eye on a few but I figured I could juice out more power for less cash by buying a desktop). Cheers all! :) :apple:
     
  18. vitzr, Oct 21, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011

    macrumors 68030

    vitzr

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #18
    I am the original owner of a like new, 15" 2002 G4 PowerBook Ti. Mine is the last of the G4 Ti Series.

    Configured with a 1GHz CPU & 1GB RAM, it was also the first with a SuperDrive.

    While not babying it, yet taking care, it runs as good as day one. Having traveled internationally with me for a bit over one year, it's reliability is well proven.

    Just another example of why I've purchased & enjoyed nearly every model of PowerBook & MacBook Pro since my first PowerBook 170.

    It's a shame the well loved PowerBook model name was abandoned.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #19

    I agree. The PowerBook name certainly had some value. It's amazing to think it has now been nearly forgotten.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    cortese212

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Suburbs of Nyc
    #20
    I'm glad to see you guys are enjoying you ppc's , I just ordered an ibook g4 any upgrades you guys can recommend?:apple:
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    #21
    I use my PB12 every day. It goes with me to work, serves my music at home, and browses the web mostly okay in the evenings! I have a i7 Asus beast, but prefer this little guy.

    I put in the OWC SSD 240GB, and it screams without making a sound. I am also the guy who put in a high-res screen, 1400x1050, which provides a hell of a lot more real estate.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    cortese212

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Suburbs of Nyc
    #22
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #23
    Make sure you max the ram if it isn't already.

    ----------

     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    #24
    I upgraded mine to a 7200 rpm blue drive and that helps a little in the boot times for sure. I think my 12" Powerbook actually gets the most use of any Mac I own. My Fiancee uses one as her only computer and loves it.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    #25
    The HDD swap I did using the iFixit guide. It wasn't too hard, but the guide was incomplete in that there are lots of undocumented little tabs around the battery area that, once I found them, I could separate the top case from the bottom case. In general, just don't force anything too hard! The Apple service manual had these tabs documented.

    I do not know if the 1400x1050 panel would fit in the iBook. The specs are attached, so if you have the appropriate inverter, the same physical dimensions, the same LVD-20 connector, and the time and inclination, you could do it. It was a task.
     

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