First Mac Ever (iBook G4)

nineteen73

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 9, 2014
54
0
Northern California
Hello All!

This is my first post on and very first MAC to have ever owned. As a long time PC user, I never considered ever buying an Apple product. But never say never, right? ;)

However, I recently purchase an iBook G4from my best friend, for my son who needed a laptop for his high school homework. I was so intrigued with his laptop, I went online and bought two more iBooks for my daughter and myself.

My first question is memory.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2206

Can I used any type of laptop memory, including ram from older PC laptops, if they meet these specs? If the bus speed is higher than PC2100 or PC2700, but is SO-DIMM and 200 pin, can I still use them?

Last question, once I upgrade the memory on each iBook to 1.5gb, should Office 356 run decently on these laptops? Each laptop has OS X 10.5.8. Office 365 minimum specs states I could, but I wanted to see what your past experiences have been with this product. If your experiences have been poor, what other office suite product would you recommend? iWorks? OpenOffice?

Thanks for your help! :)
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,191
13,027
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Hello All!

This is my first post on and very first MAC to have ever owned. As a long time PC user, I never considered ever buying an Apple product. But never say never, right? ;)

However, I recently purchase an iBook G4from my best friend, for my son who needed a laptop for his high school homework. I was so intrigued with his laptop, I went online and bought two more iBooks for my daughter and myself.

My first question is memory.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2206

Can I used any type of laptop memory, including ram from older PC laptops, if they meet these specs? If the bus speed is higher than PC2100 or PC2700, but is SO-DIMM and 200 pin, can I still use them?

Last question, once I upgrade the memory on each iBook to 1.5gb, should Office 356 run decently on these laptops? Each laptop has OS X 10.5.8. Office 365 minimum specs states I could, but I wanted to see what your past experiences have been with this product. If your experiences have been poor, what other office suite product would you recommend? iWorks? OpenOffice?

Thanks for your help! :)
Others can help better with the ram, so I will just take a shot at Office.

Understand that these Macs are old, so anything on the web can cause problems that the newer Intel Macs can blow right through just because they have power that our old Macs do not. So, if Office 365 is web-based then that could be a problem based on the browser you use.

Office 2008 is the last version of Office that will run on PowerPC Macs. Office 2004 is probably a better fit considering you have less max ram than a PowerBook. Also, for browsing I might suggest TenFourFox, which is a PowerPC fork of Firefox that is maintained and current (stable version is 31, equivalent to Firefox 31).

If you have more questions, just ask.

P.S., in relation to your username, mine would be nineteen70. :D
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
You can't run the Office for Mac 2011 included with Office 365 - it needs a Mac with an Intel CPU. Intel CPUs replaced the PowerPC CPU used in your iBook back in 2006.

Last PowerPC compatible version of Office for Mac is 2008, although 2004 will run better on these older Macs.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
That iBook can take PC2100 or PC2700 (depending on the iBook model) 200 pin SO-DIMMs without a problem. Make sure they are low density as high density will either not be seen or only be half usable.
 

nineteen73

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 9, 2014
54
0
Northern California
Thanks for quick response! :D

As such, I have some follow up questions. Please forgive my naivety if these questions should have an obvious answer.

Do I need a copy of Office '04 or '08 for Mac only, or will my PC versions work?

Is there another office suit that would be as good?
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
You need the Mac version. Windows equivalents were 2003 and 2007 respectively. Windows applications are not compatible with OS X.
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,845
842
Manchester, UK
Alternative solution is Apple iWork '09.

Unsure on the freebie opensource packages. Hopefully the PowerPC regulars can advise...
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,191
13,027
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Thank again for helping me see the differences.
You will not be able to boot Windows either. As mentioned, in 2006 there was a transition from PowerPC chips to Intel chips. Because all current Macs have an Intel chip they understand the Wintel instruction set. But PowerPC Macs have to use an emulator to run Windows and Windows apps such as Virtual PC 7 (not to be confused with the free PC only Microsoft product Virtual PC).
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Thank again for helping me see the differences.
I am going to make some pointers on software for you.

Office:
OpenOffice 3.2.1
Microsoft Office 2004/2008
iWork 09

Creativity:
iLife 06
GIMP 2.6
Paintbrush
Adobe Creative Suite CS2

Data:
Dropbox

Video:
VLC
QuickTime

Web Browsing:
TenFourFox
Leopard WebKit

Music:
iTunes 10.6.3
Spotify 0.6.6

Communication:
Skype 2.8.866 (Soon to be deprecated)
iChat
Adium
Yahoo Messenger

Just some apps that will work. If you need links to any (free only-no piracy) let me know. Gavin Stubbs (gavinstubbs09) has a fantastic archive of all the old software.
 

Blackstick

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2014
568
2,180
Sunny South Florida
That was a great Mac in its time, just don't expect too much from that kind of hardware today. If you compare it to windows PCs of the era you'll see it was great in its time.
 

jrsx

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2013
1,057
11
Tacoma, Washington
That's pretty good but I recommend 06. iMovie is practically unusable in iLife 08/09 on G4s but iPhoto is okay.
Yeah I would also recommend iMovie 06' instead of 08'. 08' can of course be hacked (although I never had any success) but I've heard it's awful, regardless. Garageband and iPhoto run pretty well, but I've never really had experience with iWeb or iDVD.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Yeah I would also recommend iMovie 06' instead of 08'. 08' can of course be hacked (although I never had any success) but I've heard it's awful, regardless. Garageband and iPhoto run pretty well, but I've never really had experience with iWeb or iDVD.

iLife '08 originally came with a downloadable copy of iMovie HD. The link is no longer available.
 

nineteen73

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 9, 2014
54
0
Northern California
So far, as I wait patiently for all my orders to come in:

  • (2) iBook G4 1.2ghz 30gb HD 512mb ram
  • (3) 1gb low density sticks of ram for each of the iBooks.
  • (1) copy of Office 2004 (Teacher and Students Edition) with 3 licences
  • (1) Retail copy of OS X 10.5

I'm laughing at myself, for my sudden impulse to dive into an old system, such as the iBook. Part of it is the tinkerer in me that wants to learn the nuts and bolts of a Mac. Maybe, it's part of the nostalgia, since this is my first Mac computer, why not start from older spot in time. The cost for these laptops was a big incentive. My only other experiences with Apple was in grade school with the Apple 2 and 2e. I tried to communicate with Tron, but failed. Anyways, I'm excited. If all goes as I suspect, I may covert and become a Mac user.
 

tom vilsack

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
1,880
62
ladner cdn
You sure these ibooks are gonna work out well for what your high school son needs? If he/she needs a laptop that connects to the internet for home work,you really would be better off finding a used macbook! Yes a ibook can surf the web,but if you come up against a flash heavy site or one that used video you will soon find the limitations of the ibook.

If you use the basic geekbench scoring system your 1.2GHz ibook gets a score of about 630,where as a 2007 2.0GHz macbook will score about 2600.

You should be able to find a used 2007 macbook for $150-200...you sure spending the money on the ibooks,ram,office ect is really worth it?