Apple Powerbook G4 15 inch

iDennis1994

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2015
111
15
Hello.

I'm thinking to buy a second hand Powerbook G4 15 inch for 125,-
Is that still worth it?
I would be watching some youtube video's, and maybe some facebook games?
Can the laptop run facebook games, and maybe watch youtube videos? obviously not in HD..

Specs;

1.5 GHz
1GB memory
Proccessorname; PowerPC G4 (1.2)
 

sbuntin

macrumors regular
Aug 2, 2011
145
49
Portland OR
Don't do it, unless you are very very sentimentally attached to the idea of a PowerBook. You'll be running an OS that is 10 years old, and cannot be updated. Even Firefox and chrome aren't available for PPC, and any Flash (required for youtube) available will no longer work with Youtube. I don't play Facebook games, but I'd bet that most of them, and quite possibly Facebook, either won't work or will work badly.
 

Gamer9430

macrumors 68020
Apr 22, 2014
2,203
1,116
Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
Don't do it, unless you are very very sentimentally attached to the idea of a PowerBook. You'll be running an OS that is 10 years old, and cannot be updated. Even Firefox and chrome aren't available for PPC, and any Flash (required for youtube) available will no longer work with Youtube. I don't play Facebook games, but I'd bet that most of them, and quite possibly Facebook, either won't work or will work badly.
This is, for the most part, false. There are something that are correct, like no flash, no chrome, and the OS is 10 years old. However, I own 4 PowerBook G4s, as well as a multitude of other PowerPC machines being that I collect old macs. YouTube on 480p, while using TenFourFox (fully up to date version of FireFox specify for PowerPC) and enhancements to it made by my friend @eyoungren (easy install version made by another friend @Altemose) makes the browsing extremely fast and easy for 10+ year old machines. I've never tried FaceBook games on them, but I'm guessing they'd work for the most part if they don't need flash and aren't resource intensive. FaceBook itself works fine on TenFourFox. YouTube doesn't use flash anymore (it now uses HTML5, which TenFourFox supports). So OP, I'd say go for it. 1.5GHz is a good speed, and with a RAM upgrade to 2GB and possibly a mSATA SSD and mSATA to PATA adapter, that machine will fly!

Also, I HIGHLY recommend you ask the same question over in the PowerPC forums, where I along with many other users and collectors can be able to assist you. Any forum outside of that and the Apple Collectors forum, you are going to get people trying to get you to have the brand new hot off the conveyer belt Mac as opposed to an older one which can be just as good.
 
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ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
734
240
San Jose, CA
PPC Macs are cool machines, but I wouldn't dare pay that much for one. Also, forget about Facebook games and YouTube will be really choppy even in SD.
 

tom vilsack

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
1,880
62
ladner cdn
I've owned countless powerbook's (I collect older apple hardware) while there great machines,for that money $125 I would recommend getting a late 2006/early 2007/late 2007 macbook (the white plastic ones)...you can install snow leopard on them (you can install lion,but don't as your fans will kick in all the time and it just runs slower)...you can install up to 4 gig ddr2 sodimm (which are cheap) with snow leopard you can still install lastest chrome os/flash and running utube at 720p works np...also facebook should be no problem.

while the powerbooks are beautiful machines,for your needs find a older macbook 2006-2007 (but not early 2006 as only core duo)
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,262
94
This is, for the most part, false. There are something that are correct, like no flash, no chrome, and the OS is 10 years old. However, I own 4 PowerBook G4s, as well as a multitude of other PowerPC machines being that I collect old macs. YouTube on 480p, while using TenFourFox (fully up to date version of FireFox specify for PowerPC) and enhancements to it made by my friend @eyoungren (easy install version made by another friend @Altemose) makes the browsing extremely fast and easy for 10+ year old machines. I've never tried FaceBook games on them, but I'm guessing they'd work for the most part if they don't need flash and aren't resource intensive. FaceBook itself works fine on TenFourFox. YouTube doesn't use flash anymore (it now uses HTML5, which TenFourFox supports). So OP, I'd say go for it. 1.5GHz is a good speed, and with a RAM upgrade to 2GB and possibly a mSATA SSD and mSATA to PATA adapter, that machine will fly!

Also, I HIGHLY recommend you ask the same question over in the PowerPC forums, where I along with many other users and collectors can be able to assist you. Any forum outside of that and the Apple Collectors forum, you are going to get people trying to get you to have the brand new hot off the conveyer belt Mac as opposed to an older one which can be just as good.
I agree with Gamer9430. I have a 1.25GHz PB G4 with 512MB RAM and even though it's slow (due to the amount of RAM I have installed) it is a GREAT machine.

And yes, support for PPC Macs is dwindling. However, those in the PPC forum and other resources available on the inter webs make getting one of these awesome machines fun. My PB G4 can do home sharing and stream all of my stuff to my AppleTV3, sync with any iOS device running iOS 6 or lower, stream to my PS3, works with my more modern wireless keyboard and magic mouse, was designed to extend a display, and is one of my machines dedicated to playing older games with emulators.

Be wary though of one and be sure to test if it still holds a charge, that the ports work properly, that the superdrive still reads both DVDs and CDs, and that the PRAM battery is not dead (like mine). That being dead is a hassle since it makes manually connecting the machine to WiFi every time I boot it a little bit annoying.

If everything works on it though, I would definitely pay that much for the machine if I had it to spend. And depending on where you are, I know where you can find another PB that seems like a good deal as well.
 
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flyrod

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2015
425
109
Well, this is the PPC forum... I use my 12" powerbook as my daily driver. If you just want to get an old powerbook as a second mac for entertainment value, then do it! These computers we used to drool over are now really affordable.
 

Xandros

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2010
211
11
Take it from a two decade veteran of Mac ownership and usage. Don't buy it, especially not for that machine at that price (I really would only recomend the 1.67 DLSD HR with max RAM at this point for that sort of price and even then it's pushing it). If you want a Mac at the very least get an early Macbook.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,178
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Personally, I wouldn't do it. There's simply too little support for PowerPC Macs now.
Be that as it may there is a strong PowerPC community here on MR and elsewhere.

Using PowerPC is still viable if you are willing to work around some things.

But yeah for the average user, that's generally not viable.

However, make no mistake. Loss of support has not killed us. Much to the dismay and irritation of many Intel Mac users it seems.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
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Be that as it may there is a strong PowerPC community here on MR and elsewhere.

Using PowerPC is still viable if you are willing to work around some things.

But yeah for the average user, that's generally not viable.

However, make no mistake. Loss of support has not killed us. Much to the dismay and irritation of many Intel Mac users it seems.
I have two PowerBook Pismos in my closet that I can not find a single use for.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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I have two PowerBook Pismos in my closet that I can not find a single use for.
I have a PowerMac G4 Quicksilver, 1.2Ghz , two 1TB harddrives, three video cards (driving six displays total), bluetooth and a USB2.0/FireWire 400 card.

It runs Adobe CS4, Acrobat 9.4.5 Pro, Suitcase Fusion 3 and QuarkXPress 8.5.1. I have a definite use for it.

TenFourFox 38 (equivalent to FireFox 38) and Office 2008. My QS and PowerBook (17" 1.0Ghz) are still relevant and useful. And do what I have them purposed for.
 

pastrychef

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Sep 15, 2006
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I have a PowerMac G4 Quicksilver, 1.2Ghz , two 1TB harddrives, three video cards (driving six displays total), bluetooth and a USB2.0/FireWire 400 card.

It runs Adobe CS4, Acrobat 9.4.5 Pro, Suitcase Fusion 3 and QuarkXPress 8.5.1. I have a definite use for it.

TenFourFox 38 (equivalent to FireFox 38) and Office 2008. My QS and PowerBook (17" 1.0Ghz) are still relevant and useful. And do what I have them purposed for.

I went through a bunch of PowerMacs myself. 6100, B&W G3, Graphite G4, Quicksilver, MDD. Even had a Power Computing tower for a while. They were fun machines and I still have a soft spot in my heart for classic Mac OS. That's why I have no doubt that machines from that era can run software from the same era fine.

However, I have more powerful machines that run modern software better. In my case, I moved on and didn't look back. Also, the last time I tried TenFourFox, I didn't like it at all.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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I went through a bunch of PowerMacs myself. 6100, B&W G3, Graphite G4, Quicksilver, MDD. Even had a Power Computing tower for a while. They were fun machines and I still have a soft spot in my heart for classic Mac OS. That's why I have no doubt that machines from that era can run software from the same era fine.

However, I have more powerful machines that run modern software better. In my case, I moved on and didn't look back. Also, the last time I tried TenFourFox, I didn't like it at all.
I own a 17" MBP, but it's only capable of Snow Leopard max. It's nice though because I can dual boot Windows 7 on it.

My work Mac though is a MacPro running Yosemite. So, I'm essentially existing in both worlds. It makes me appreciate my PowerPC Macs more though. There is a lot I do not care for in later versions of OS X.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
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As much as I loved how the old MDD was able to pack in four hard drives, the amount of noise and heat that it generated really made me appreciate my first Mac Pro (a 1,1 model) and even more so my current Mac Pro (a 5,1).

I also had an iBook G4 where the GPU got hot enough to require a reflow to get it to work consistently. In contrast, my Late 2008 aluminum MacBook has been humming along without skipping a beat. While it is far from a speed demon, it handles the light duty stuff great. I bought it used a few years ago for $250. One of the best Mac purchases I ever made.

I had an absolute love affair with he old classic Mac OS. I held on to my old MDD for as long as I could, skipping Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, and Panther. I even upgraded one of my old Pismos to a G4 in an attempt to cling on to OS 9 for as long as I could. It was with the release of Tiger that I began my transition to Intel based Macs.

By the time, Snow Leopard was released, I found myself not having booted in to OS 9 at all anymore. I had been fully assimilated. Contrary to many others, I have found each new version of OS X to be better than the last. I think El Capitan is fantastic with the sole exception of the dumbed down Disk Utility, but I can always use Terminal to do what was removed.
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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As much as I loved how the old MDD was able to pack in four hard drives, the amount of noise and heat that it generated really made me appreciate my first Mac Pro (a 1,1 model) and even more so my current Mac Pro (a 5,1).

I also had an iBook G4 where the GPU got hot enough to require a reflow to get it to work consistently. In contrast, my Late 2008 aluminum MacBook has been humming along without skipping a beat. While it is far from a speed demon, it handles the light duty stuff great. I bought it used a few years ago for $250. One of the best Mac purchases I ever made.

I had an absolute love affair with he old classic Mac OS. I held on to my old MDD for as long as I could, skipping Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, and Panther. I even upgraded one of my old Pismos to a G4 in an attempt to cling on to OS 9 for as long as I could. It was with the release of Tiger that I began my transition to Intel based Macs.

By the time, Snow Leopard was released, I found myself not having booted in to OS 9 at all anymore. I had been fully assimilated. Contrary to many others, I have found each new version of OS X to be better than the last. I think El Capitan is fantastic with the sole exception of the dumbed down Disk Utility, but I can always use Terminal to do what was removed.
Granted I've done "abnormal" things to my 1,1, but I can pretty safely say that it's no louder than my dual 1.42 MDD-or any other MDD I have for that matter. In fact, after I upgraded it to 2,1 firmware(to allow the installation of upgraded processors) it would run the fans at full blast when waking from sleep. I "fixed" that by never allowing the computer to sleep.

The 13" Macbooks/Macbook Pros have a universal reputation for being pretty much bullet proof, but the same is not necessarily true on larger sizes. I have what is probably one of the few 15/17" MBPs to not have GPU issues-the mid-2012 "Classic" model. Even the Retina model that came out at the same time had problems, although I think those have mostly been ironed out.

In any case, I can still be very productive on a Powerbook or PowerMac-especially if it's a late model high-rez 15" or 17" or a G5 Quad. I use my Quad regularly.

My "gaming" consists mostly of the games I grew up with, and I prefer to run them natively on OS 9(or earlier) rather than messing around with emulators like Basilisk or Sheepsaver. I'm also a big-time Mac Collector, which makes me enjoy just seeking these old machines out and using them.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
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New York City, NY
Yes, that's what I meant, the Mac Pros are much, much quieter than the old MDDs. My Mac Pro 5,1 is exceptionally quiet. Silent to my aging ears.

Yes, I've seen my fair share of MacBooks/MacBook Pros fail due to GPU issues. It's part of the reason why I continue to cling on to my old one and haven't really looked in to upgrading. Over the years, I have had particularly bad luck with ATI/AMD based GPUs. I have experienced multiple failures of their GPUs. In contrast, I have had very good experiences with Nvidia GPUs with the sole exception of the 8800GT which required a reflow after a few years of use.

I never owned any of the G5 models. I was turned off by the lack of drive bays in the first one and by the water cooling of the later models.

I enjoy occasionally launching some emulators on my Raspberry Pi to play some old SNES or Sega Genesis games or even a few MAME games. I still find the little Pi and what the community has done with it to be amazing. Every few years, I take the plunge and throw away one or two months of my life by starting a modern RPG like Oblivion or Skyrim or Dragon Age Origins.

I remember running Connectix Virtual Game Station on my B&W G3 to play PlayStation games and being amazed at how well it worked. I tried Sheepshaver a long time ago and ran in to too many problems. I gave up and never tried again.