Another Source for Hunting PPC Macs

dbdjre0143

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2017
337
354
West Virginia
I've not seen it discussed here in the forums, so I just wanted to call to light a source for PPC-hunting that I figure most folks haven't checked out: ShopGoodwill. It is an auction site put on by the Goodwill chain of thrift stores in the US. On any given day, I have seen PowerBooks, iBooks, and even the occasional PowerMac up for auction there.
The one thing to watch for on that site is that I've noticed some locations really like to gouge on the shipping, so be sure to get the shipping estimate from the "Shipping" tab below the images before bidding

Just as a quick example, I would be a bidder on this sweet-looking A1138 if I hadn't already found mine a couple months ago: https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/50726576

Disclaimer: I did check the forum rules before posting this, and don't feel it violates anything. I could see an argument for the post violating the clause about promoting "commercial, personal, or not-for-profit websites, products, or services", but my goal is not to help out ShopGoodwill in any way, but rather to provide the good folks on this forum with another place to hunt for that special PPC machine we're all watching for. :)
Mods, feel free to shoot me down if you disagree with my interpretation.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,461
15,313
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Yeah, that has been a resource for a while. I've just never found anything I was looking for there when I was looking. But I check periodically.

As far as the rules…as long as you make the disclaimer that it's not your auction, or not you that is selling the item you're fine.

I posted an eBay auction once to show everyone something that was selling and I got a warning from the Mods because they thought it was MY auction I was trying to get people to go see.

After that I always add the disclaimer "MODS, not my auction" to anything I link to from eBay or other places. Just in case a Mod actually does happen to read the thread.

I've never had an issue after that.
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,582
1,345
Kiel, Germany
Concerning that auction, you have linked to:
"Powers on, no hard drive, 2 GB Ram" Only dark screen on the pictures.
2GB of RAM does means, there are physically 2x 1GB RAM-bricks, but no information, if one socket might be broken.
If it was in a working condition before the seller removed the drive, he would/should have made pictures of the screen, so one could both see specs ("About this Mac") and the condition of the screen itself (no stripes, no fainting etc) to sort out damage of GPU or screen. Assuming, the seller has advanced skills about Macs/Powerbooks (he was able to remove the harddrive), he should have been able to fire up the divice using a firewire/usb-disk or just an installation-disk (also to show, that the optical-drive is ok) ...
Surprise, surprise.
 

AL1630

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2016
364
315
Idaho, USA
I actually look on here quite a lot. I see more older Intel Macs than I do PPCs. But it's not a bad resource none the less.
I've never spent much time on shopgoodwill, but what you said about older Intel is true for me on Craigslist. I've been seeing lots of Core Duo/Early C2D Macbooks and iMacs on there, whereas a couple years ago it was mostly G3/G4 Machines. I think it might be the beginning of the end for PPCs being cheap and readily available, at least in my area.
 

Project Alice

macrumors 65816
Jul 13, 2008
1,198
878
Post Falls, ID
I've never spent much time on shopgoodwill, but what you said about older Intel is true for me on Craigslist. I've been seeing lots of Core Duo/Early C2D Macbooks and iMacs on there, whereas a couple years ago it was mostly G3/G4 Machines. I think it might be the beginning of the end for PPCs being cheap and readily available, at least in my area.
Yeah.. same here. I was lucky enough to find an iMac G3 on letgo for 10 bucks a few weeks ago. Have you see how much those things go for on ebay now? more than what I paid for my old iMac G3 back in like 2007. And I got PBG3 on offerup, similar to letgo. 60$, 500mhz pismo. Those are pricey on ebay too.

You're totally right about them being less and less.. It's only us oddities that want them now. I've been buying up every affordable one I can get my hands on lately.
 

AL1630

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2016
364
315
Idaho, USA
Yep, I got my iMac G3 in the summer of 2015 for $20. That summer there were G3s all over craigslist for less than 50 bucks, now there's none. If I knew the prices would have gone up so much in 2 years I would have stocked up! Now I have a 'want list' of PPCs I still want, and if any of them show up at a close to reasonable price, I buy them because they just keep getting harder to find.
[doublepost=1522611885][/doublepost]Ok, wow. I just went to look at the eBay sold listings again, and people are paying up to 200 bucks for these now? I swear I checked a few months ago and most were going for 75 to 100! I mean, I love the iMac's design, but not enough to pay $150 for one.
 
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weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,095
2,406
Is there something alike in Europe or are we left alone with eBay?
There are other avenues but those vary from country to country.

In the UK you can try: Cashgenerator (got an A1138 and a QS 2002 plus ACD fom there), Cash Converters, Gumtree, Police Auctions and occasionally even a charity shop.

I have also had the odd thing on eBid but Mac stuff has dwindled there as of late.
 

dbdjre0143

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2017
337
354
West Virginia
Concerning that auction, you have linked to:
"Powers on, no hard drive, 2 GB Ram" Only dark screen on the pictures.
2GB of RAM does means, there are physically 2x 1GB RAM-bricks, but no information, if one socket might be broken.
If it was in a working condition before the seller removed the drive, he would/should have made pictures of the screen, so one could both see specs ("About this Mac") and the condition of the screen itself (no stripes, no fainting etc) to sort out damage of GPU or screen. Assuming, the seller has advanced skills about Macs/Powerbooks (he was able to remove the harddrive), he should have been able to fire up the divice using a firewire/usb-disk or just an installation-disk (also to show, that the optical-drive is ok) ...
Surprise, surprise.
Yeah, that's an issue with this site. Just like in the physical stores, frequently stuff is as/is and a bit of a gamble. When its cheap enough, that's cool with me, but I bid accordingly. I'm guessing that most of the time the folks listing them are anything but tech experts, but more than likely whoever donated it removed the drive before dropping it off.
 

AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
1,968
2,604
Australia
Just wanted to post this here in case any of y'all would be interested. This is probably the nicest example of an iBook G4 I've ever seen up for sale, in the box, even with a Leopard install DVD! 6h left on the auction
https://www.shopgoodwill.com/item/51156415
Mods: Not my auction
Nice one. The last gen 1.33ghz 12” iBook G4 (w/ 9550 GPU) is on my list of PowerPC Macs I’d like to acquire.

I recently got a second gen 12” IceBook (G3 500mhz trans white) and the first 12” Opaque G3 700mhz models. They are great little machines. One has an Apple branded battery in perfect condition with only 2 cycles recorded on it! Charged it up from zero, and it’s giving 6hrs+

I’ve always liked the 12” iBook over the 14”.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,250
603
Cascadia
One slightly annoying thing - my local Goodwill has figured out that vintage electronics auction for way more than they could sell them in stores for - which means none of my local Goodwill stores *EVER* has vintage electronics of any kind. No old video game systems, no old Macs, nada. They're all only on shopgoodwill now. Used to be able to find older computer equipment for $5-$10 in decent shape. Not any more.
 

dbdjre0143

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 11, 2017
337
354
West Virginia
One slightly annoying thing - my local Goodwill has figured out that vintage electronics auction for way more than they could sell them in stores for - which means none of my local Goodwill stores *EVER* has vintage electronics of any kind. No old video game systems, no old Macs, nada. They're all only on shopgoodwill now. Used to be able to find older computer equipment for $5-$10 in decent shape. Not any more.
You're not the first person I've read making that observation. The Goodwill stores where I live rarely ever had much in the way of electronics anyway, so it hasn't really made a difference here that I've noticed. For me, it's provided the benefit of seeing folks secondhand junk...err...treasures from across the country, but I notice that a lot of the larger metro areas do post quite a bit of cool old stuff that would otherwise end up sold cheaply in store.
 

micahgartman

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2005
97
66
Houston, TX, USA
Just as a quick example, I would be a bidder on this sweet-looking A1138 if I hadn't already found mine a couple months ago: https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/50726576
I won that auction. Got it for 51 dollarydoos. It's in fantastic shape and only needed a hard drive.

My only complaint is that Goodwill didn't ship it until I contacted them.

On the plus side, they packed it very well and shipping was only 10 bucks.
 

AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
1,968
2,604
Australia
I won that auction. Got it for 51 dollarydoos. It's in fantastic shape and only needed a hard drive.
I love this. The worldwide PowerPC community could be almost summed up by the regular posters on this forum :apple:

My A1138 I picked up last week has a blown CCFL tube and is otherwise in perfect condition (no scratches, everything else working fine. The battery had very low cycles and holds a charge as new). $59 Aussie dollars including shipping. A pack of 10x 327mm x 2mm CCFL tubes are coming in from China for $20. I have a few 15.2” PowerBooks to brighten up :cool:
 
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micahgartman

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2005
97
66
Houston, TX, USA
I love this. The worldwide PowerPC community could be almost summed up by the regular posters on this forum :apple:

I have a few 15.2” PowerBooks to brighten up :cool:
You said it, brother!

I'm glad you mentioned CCFLs. Here is a pic of my 1.33GHz sitting next to the "new" 1.67GHz:

http://www.micahgartman.com/misc/IMG_0808.JPG

The hi-res screen is extremely bright and the whites are, well, white. The 1.33's screen is YELLOW. I may need to get your source for those bulbs ;)
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,095
2,406
Just how easy is it to dismantle those Alu displays? I remember eyoungren mentioning he cut himself badly during one attempt.
 

benwild_33

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2016
165
102
Just how easy is it to dismantle those Alu displays? I remember eyoungren mentioning he cut himself badly during one attempt.
They're a bit of a pain to do, they have clips the whole way round and loosening one pops another back in, I had to use a lot of prying tools. I replaced the screen in my 17" G4 with one from a 17" MacBook Pro.
 
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AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
1,968
2,604
Australia
You said it, brother!

I'm glad you mentioned CCFLs. Here is a pic of my 1.33GHz sitting next to the "new" 1.67GHz:

http://www.micahgartman.com/misc/IMG_0808.JPG

The hi-res screen is extremely bright and the whites are, well, white. The 1.33's screen is YELLOW. I may need to get your source for those bulbs ;)
That’s how my 1.5ghz 15” PowerBook looks. Dull and yellow.

This is the Chinese seller I bought from:
https://m.ebay.com.au/itm/10pc-lot-New-15-2-inch-Wide-Screen-Backlight-CCFL-Lamps-327mm-2-0mm-for-Laptop/322223315300

I know they are cheap, but hopefully not nasty. When they come in I’ll take photos of the process and the outcome.

The wiring for the tube will need to be soldered back on and the rubber mounts will also be reused.

Just how easy is it to dismantle those Alu displays? I remember eyoungren mentioning he cut himself badly during one attempt.
It’s not a bad design. A little tricky but do-able. I have done one already, swapping a blown bulb from a damaged panel with a working (bright) bulb from a panel which exhibits IC failure (only one third of the display shows).

My first attempt was to replace the bulb without removing the sheets/film in the display. This resulted in uneven brightness and dark corners. I pulled it apart again and carefully lifted back all 7(?) layers of the display. Shards of the broken CCFL tube, plus dust and crud from the edges of the display inevitably fell in between the sheets and took a long (patient) extraction process. I used tweezers to pull out the shards and a microfiber cleaning cloth to carefully wipe back each layer and eventually had it cleaned up.

The trick to even light distribution was the acrylic diffuser panel at the back needs to sit within the aluminum channel which houses the CCFL bulb. Then each layer sits atop of this.

Despite requiring patience, the tear down was pretty easy and can be done without opening up the guts of the PowerBook.

The most time consuming part involved the sticky strips along the bottom holding the front bezel onto the panel. Next time I do it, I think I will try heating it up first to help free the adhesive. Once I had it out, It took an hour or so to thoroughly clean the sticky stuff off both surfaces. When I reassembled, I didn’t replace this adhesive strip because it wasn’t needed IMO. You could probably just leave it as is and re-use to make things easier.

Anyway, I’ll do a post on this whole process when the parts arrive (probably within a week or two).
 

swamprock

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2015
985
1,319
Michigan
Ugh. I fixed an old restaurant point of sale system screen with dead CCFLs. It's not something I'll ever want to do again, although the fix was successful. I just try to hunt down new screens these days, but back then, the screen for the POS system was $500.
[doublepost=1523749834][/doublepost]
I won that auction. Got it for 51 dollarydoos. It's in fantastic shape and only needed a hard drive.

My only complaint is that Goodwill didn't ship it until I contacted them.

On the plus side, they packed it very well and shipping was only 10 bucks.
I passed on bidding on it because, well, you were... plus I didn't want to take a chance on it being hosed, especially the memory slots. It was so close to my home, I probably could have picked it up had I bid and won it. I'm glad you got it at such a good price, and that it was actually functional. Nice one!
 

micahgartman

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2005
97
66
Houston, TX, USA
I passed on bidding on it because, well, you were... plus I didn't want to take a chance on it being hosed, especially the memory slots. It was so close to my home, I probably could have picked it up had I bid and won it. I'm glad you got it at such a good price, and that it was actually functional. Nice one!
Thank you!
 
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