How did you get into PowerPC Macs?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by gavinstubbs09, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    Figured it would be a good topic that we can all talk about and could share some stories between all of us.

    2009/2010 was the years where all I owned was a Windows machine (not anything stellar either, a mix of Pentium 3 and Pentium 4 towers). I had well over 20 computers between these two years tinkering and learning on them and only being 12/13 years old. (I'm now 16 with many many Macs, not so many PCs!)

    It wasn't until the spring of 2011 I was at a goodwill and came across my first mac. 400MHz B&W screaming bondi blue and was missing some parts (Ram, Video card, ZIP drive cover) but for $20 I had to have it regardless of what needed to be replaced. A friend hooked me up with some ram and a graphics card and I was on my way with my first mac! From there my mac side exploded. Now it's hard to find a PC in my room being that there is a PPC machine in every corner.

    First experience with a Mac?
    Can't recall. But I do remember the stunning colours of each iMac, and I remember back in 2004/5 when my mom wanted to buy a iMac G5 for the home computer which didn't happen, ironically enough my dad bought a 2009 iMac earlier this year.

    Attached Files:

  2. jrsx macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2013
    Tacoma, Washington
    It was only about over a year ago, when my brothers old iBook G4 lay with a dead DC-in board on a shelf collecting dust. I ordered an Apple charger, a DC-in board, and reformatted the hard drive with OS X Tiger. Ever since then, I've been learning more and more about the architecture, (although I will be honest and say I screwed up my first G4's motherboard) and joined this forum within the last 6 months. I got another iBook (currently up for sale, to raise money for school) and a PowerBook G4. So far I've gotten pretty into the whole "PPC Revolution" in the modern technology age. They have a special place as far as computers go, and my PB sure makes me a proud PPC owner! :D
  3. catzilla macrumors 6502


    Dec 15, 2013
    Rhode Island
    My Mac start came in the mid 90's when I found a 512KE in a pile at a Salvation Army store for $5. IIRC it had a floppy in the drive, and I was off.
    I would regularly peruse area thrift and pawn shops for Mac treasures after that. First was a PB 160. The shop guy knew I was into Macs and would page me when another find would appear, I would easily sell my old machines to finance my newer ones. The 160 lead to a 1400C, then a PBG3 266. I maxed that machine out with a G4 upgrade.
  4. crammedberry macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    The Golden State
    I got into PPC Macs in 2003. Back then I was in grade school and had been doing some odd jobs for some spending money. I needed a laptop, at the time my dad had an HP laptop that had about 5 minutes of battery and was really slow. I couldn't really do much with it, much less school work. The family desktop we had was a SONY Vaio desktop, although it wasn't as bad I really wanted my own.

    I went into an Apple store and I remember the first thing I saw were the iMac G4s, those computers were truly something. The design was just amazing, well I wanted to buy it but it wasn't what I really needed. So I saw the notebooks. PowerBook G4s and the iBooks. The PowerBook G4s would have put a serious dent in my pockets at that age so I opted for the iBooks, which I actually liked. The translucent design of the G3 iBook keyboard for some reason seemed appealing to me at the time, I still think they are very well built computers.

    I bought the iBook G3 900 Mhz Combo drive and upped the RAM to make it speedy. In 2003, these machines were really something. Despite being slower than the SONY desktop, the software integration really blew everything else away at the time. I remember web browsing was snappy, I wrote all my papers on it, played all my music and games as well. Took it anywhere I needed to, the thing that differentiated Apple back then from PC laptops was battery life. It was unmatched.

    Though the iBook suffered from the dreaded logic board problems that plagued these machines, it got me through grade school for several years until it was replaced by a MacBook. It was quite the change, jumping from a G3 to a Core 2 Duo.
  5. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I came to PowerPC Macs a bit backwards.

    I've played with PCs on and off for years. In my middle school years, I used to play around A LOT with 386s and 486s(which at the time were pretty much throw away items, the way many PPC Macs are now). Other things took my interest, however, and I quit keeping track of computer development other than just maintaining whatever system I was using at the moment.

    As I went off to college, I transitioned from using desktops to laptops as my main systems, but still stuck with Windows. I went through sort of a revolving door of Windows laptops, with my first Gateway lasting me about 2 1/2 years. Its replacement Toshiba carried me for about 2 more years, lasting into my first semester of graduate school. I then replaced it with another Toshiba.

    The Toshiba was a little over a year old when I started having issues with it. At the time, I was working on my Literature Seminar(a very important project that would determine if I would be able to stay in graduate school), and wanted to just get through that before I really dealt with it. The computer had other ideas, however...I was working in Powerpoint one evening with about two weeks left to go, and my computer shut off. No amount of coaxing could get it to boot again.

    I met up with a friend the next day, who pulled the hard drive and managed to dump all of my work up to that point onto a flash drive.

    My room mate then lent me his old computer...a 2008 Unibody Aluminum Macbook, and that computer carried me through until I presented(and passed) my literature seminar. I went out the next day after passing and bought the 13" Macbook Pro that remains my main computer to this day.

    My first Mac turned me into an Apple fanboy, and also got me interested in the products of the past.

    Earlier this year, my MBP spent a week with Apple, and I was stuck back with my(now resurrected) Toshiba laptop that originally sent me over the edge. I decided that I needed a back-up Mac, so found a reasonably priced and reasonably speced G5 on Craigslist. I'd always wanted one anyway(even before I was a Mac user, I'd admired the G5s) so this was the perfect opportunity to jump on one. That was in late April.

    And, as they say, the rest is history. I've gravitated more to G4s, as they are smaller, less expensive, and the IDE architecture is a lot more familiar to me from my old days of playing with 486s and the like.

    In addition, I've made good friends with our department Scientific Instrument tech, who is a great scavenger and also a hard-core PC guy. He keeps his eyes open for Apple hardware for me(he's found me quite a bit, both complete systems and peripherals), but has also essentially told me to help myself to all the IDE drives, SD-RAM, DDR RAM, and anything else "obsolete" that I want. He's under pressure to clear out his parts stash, so everything I carry off is one less thing he has to worry about. He even has branched out a bit, and brought me a pair of G3 iMacs along with an external LS-120 drive and a bunch of disks and literature that his mother was getting ready to trash.

    I've blabbed enough around the department, too, that as professors clean out old equipment I keep getting things thrown at me. I'm waiting on one professor to get around to moving her B&W G3(I think it will be this coming week), and I think there will likely be an 8600 coming up for grabs as well from the same source. I have my eye on a Xerox box labeled "Mac Cables" in her office that I think will likely get purged as well.

    Although I've(relatively) recently become a Mac guy, I've used my fair share of Apple products over the years. We had Apple IIs in elementary school, and I have many fond memories of playing educational games on those. My high school had a "Mac Lab" that had about 40 iMac G3s in it, and we used a B&W G3 to do the layout for the school newspaper. The deeper I get into collecting/hoarding PPC systems, the more of these things I remember.

    So, through all my rambling-there's my story!

    By the way, there are still a few key pieces I'm pursuing. High on my list is a Cube, and I currently have the high bid on what I think is a nice package(ADC LCD and all) although missing the hard drive. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get that one for a decent price.
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I had a whole big timline laid out and then I stupidly hit the back button and lost it all!

    So, I will just say here since I am annoyed at myself that I've been into computers since I was 10 and that was in 1980. My first Apple experience was the App ][e when my mom (who taught computers) brought it home for a bit.

    Macs were big in school (college, not high school). My first round it was Mac IIs and Mac LCs. My mom got a PM 8100 some time in 1995. She had the only printer connected to it so I had to transfer files from my PC to her Mac to print.

    Round 2 in school (Associate of Arts in Graphic Design) was Mac IIcis and IIvxs. Round 3 was iMacs (1999). My first job at The Desert Sun was all PowerMacs (beige) until they got the G3s later in 2000. I transfered to Indio, CA at some point and my Mac there was a G4 (probably a PCI).

    In 2001 we moved to Phoenix and my next newspaper job had G4s. Christmas of 2001 I got my TiBook 400. Later in 2002 I bricked my PC when I flashed the wrong ROM. I lost all my data because I could not get the drive overlay (for large drive access) to load. Sometime later my ZIP 250 killed more data. I was pissed and moved entirely to Mac. Having gotten comfortable with OS9 I could see that you could cripple a Mac and you could still work. Cripple a PC and you were done.

    I was a PC person until I couldn't rescue my data. Macs just worked and I was tired of screwing around with trying to make PCs work. I still hate trying to make them work because while it's gotten better you can still kill a PC running Windows very, very easily.
  7. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2013
    I got my first Mac in 2001 with a 700 MHz iMac G3. It still runs too!
  8. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    When they got the G5s in the photo lab in 2003. I was using Macs before the PowerPCs though.
  9. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Prior to 2010 I had never touched a Mac and in fact, wrongfully disliked them. I started at a new school in 2010 for 7th grade and they were all Macs in the labs and as the teacher computers connected to the Promethean boards. They had 2008/early 2009 iMacs in the computer lab and mid 2010 Mac Minis in the classrooms. After initially learning the Mac UI and understanding you need to quit apps as they still run after "Xing them out" I was set. The Finder was always happily smiling at me for reassurance after all...

    In late 2010, a local high school donated a bunch of old PowerPC Macs they were getting rid of. Amongst them was a Sawtooth, QuickSilver, and MDD and a bunch of iMac G3s in various speeds. I rebuilt the Sawtooth and returned it to the school. I also tinkered with the MDD and tried to get that running as well. I really wanted a Mac and so I offered to buy the QuickSilver based on the fact that I thought a dual 800 MHz QuickSilver would outperform a 1.25 GHz single MDD. The principal gave the machine to me on a "permanent loan". I later acquired the MDD during the final PPC purge there, but it does have its fair share of issues.

    In February 2011, I decided that I wanted a little bit more power. I ended up saving up my money and buying a refurbished PowerMac G5 from Newegg. It was a dual 1.8 GHz model with 2 GBs of RAM, 250 GB HD, and a Nvidia FX5200 card. Very nice machine and I upgraded it quite a bit. I installed a Western Digital Caviar Green I had lying around and brought it to 1.25 TB of space and bumped the RAM from 2 GB to 3.5 GB. I later went to 4 GB when I could afford the additional sticks rather than just rummaging through my parts bins. It died of PSU failure in early 2013 and I looked to rebuild the PSU but wanted a nicer case too as that one was a bit beat. I ended up ordering an identical machine but rather with 4 RAM slots (not to my knowledge when ordering) and an ATI Radeon 9600 XT installed as I hated the Nvidia FX5200 I had before.

    Meanwhile in early 2012 I ended up snagging a 600 MHz iBook where my portable Mac interest started. I ended up receiving a PowerBook from a friend, and also an Intel MacBook Pro for Christmas 2012.

    So where does that leave me now? What PPC hardware do you have including peripherals?

    15" PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz
    15" PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz
    12" iBook G3 900 MHz (in daily use, by the way)
    PowerMac G4 QuickSilver Dual 800 MHz
    PowerMac G4 MDD 1.25 GHz
    PowerMac G5 Dual 1.8 GHz (June 2004)
    iMac G5 1.6 GHz
    Apple Studio Display 17" (Freebie)
    Apple iSight
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (Aluminum)
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Magic Trackpad

    Granted, I know PowerPC is past its prime. There is no denying that fact. They have been a gateway to Intel Macs like my MacBook Pro and other Intels I am working on. Am I looking to replace the G5 as my main desktop? Yes, I want a late 2009 iMac to replace it. Is the G5 going anywhere once it isn't my daily driver? Probably not unless I take the $450 Best Buy is offering me for it.

    There you have it, I went from never touching a Mac to using one day in and day out all because of the influence that one QuickSilver made on me. I bet this brings a tear to Erik's eye to read such a heart warming story.
  10. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    In 2006 I went school where they taught all kinds of media (sorry, I can't this better explain with my english) and there pretty much everything which had anything to do with music and video was done by using Macs, except for the main edit room which had very powerful Windows PC. On this school there was eMac G4's, two PowerMac G5's and one PowerMac G4 (yes, a small school).

    The teacher who taught audio was clearly a Mac fan, taking some time to bash Windows PC's when he first started to taught us the basics of Mac OS X before going into actual audio work. By then I knew something about computers and I was bit surprised when I looked at G4's specs, especially the low FSB and general clock rate were something I wondered immediately, the audio machine we had was Dual G4 867MHz. Smaller video edit (like adding sounds) was done by using eMacs and then there couple bigger edit rooms with Dual G5's, atleast one was 2.3GHz model. PowerMac G5 seemed impressive computer to me while PowerMac G4 left mixed feelindgs.

    Year or two later I eventually ended up buying iMac G5 1.6GHz which I found very cheaply. Couple my friends suspected that I did buy stolen computer and I was also surprised about the price, it was not dirt cheap but still, below what the usual asking price was. I installed Tiger and played with the machine for a while. I was disappointed to the power of it, while it ran iLife and the OS well in general, it was no match to my Athlon 64 3200+ PC in everything else (I did some gaming back then and my PC had GeForce FX5900XT or even GeFoce 6800 graphics card). So I did come into conclusion that while OS X and the machines are generally interesting, iMac does not offer the usability of PC and therefore I sold the iMac.

    Pretty much after then I have bought Macs just for pure interest until I ended up getting to the Intel machines which I actually use daily, like this Macbook. My main machine, meaning the most poweful not the most used, has always been a PC. Also I usually own atleast one PowerPC based computer even though I don't necessarily use it daily.
  11. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    My first was a Wallstreet back in the day and I have been a member of this forum since pre-Intel days, when PPC was all you could get in a Mac. I lost all my PPC Macs bar a Mac Mini in a burglary and am indulging in nostaglia quite frankly.
  12. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I bought one. My first ever Mac and the first computer I had bought myself. It was an iMac G4. It still works today so I still use it.
  13. L Oquence macrumors regular

    L Oquence

    Jul 10, 2014
    You're much younger than I expected. About the same age as me really.
  14. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland

    I am 16 now.
  15. L Oquence macrumors regular

    L Oquence

    Jul 10, 2014
    17 over here.
  16. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland

    I find it quite amazing that a few of the members here got into PPC even though they are a bit young to even ever have used one. I started with Macs in 2010 so we were solely Intel for a long while by that time.
  17. L Oquence macrumors regular

    L Oquence

    Jul 10, 2014
    Yeah. It definitely is an enthusiast's community.
    I got into them because I just want to have a few mac's as an option along side my windows desktop and laptop. I just don't have needs that would require me having a newer intel mac.

    After that I started to get attracted to the "3rd way" mentality of PPC macs. It's a completely different architecture which I think is so cool. A bit different from the modern pc/macs.
  18. abbeybound macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2014
    My dad ran a personal mac repair business back in the late 90's and early 00's. He also worked as a mac tech for the U of South Carolina. I have a picture of me, four or five years old in 99 or so, posing with a PowerBook 1400.

    We owned about a dozen Performa computers from various years, my favorite was the 200 (Classic II) which actually had a 68k. I ended up breaking this one somehow, I haven't been able to afford or find a classic mac since. Another favorite that I still use is the 630CD, 68LCk40, 36mb of RAM. The Performa 6300 was my first foray into the PPC world, at the age of 10 or so. I had a great time with it, not realizing it was probably one of the worst PPC macs ever made.

    At the age of 11 I was having a ball networking Performas and building the biggest SCSI chains I could. Up until last week, a PowerBook G4 1.5 12" was my daily driver, but being 19 and in college, I finally bought a current computer, the MBA. Even then, I still have a Mac mini G4 sitting on my dorm desk, ready to spring to life at a moment's notice. Then of course, there's always sheepshaver :)
  19. BrettApple, Aug 18, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014

    BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    For me it was elementary school. Our computer lab had iMac G3s (slot load) mostly all blue. And some eMacs in the back. We used Netscape to browse, and some ancient version of office. I do remember it was OS X, but it had to have been a fairly early version. Likely 10.1/2 by then.

    Then in 5th grade they moved to all PC laptops for whatever reason. Bunch of beige/gray Dell Latitudes with Pentium 4/M's and a whopping 512MB RAM. Lol.

    My families first Mac though was a Mid 2007 iMac shipping with Tiger that is still happily in daily use running Mavericks.

    I don't have a newer PPC mac, but I do have a Power Macintosh 7600/132 upgraded to a 200MHz PPC 604e and 384MB RAM. Runs system 7, OS 9, and a hacked version of 10.2. Never use it though, since it isn't capable of much these days.
  20. JohnnyH1012 macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    It was only about two years ago I became interested in Macs in general. I remember that I wanted an apple computer on the cheap side, just so I could get used to the platform before building a hackintosh later on. Thanks to ebay, I purchased myself an iBook G3. At the time, I had very little knowledge of the PowerPC architecture, although I was still expecting software incompatibility because of it's age. I expected a slow machine far past it's best days, but I was surely wrong. I got it for only about $20, upgraded it to max ram and had an amazing experience. That was the point at which I was convinced I loved Macs, and went through with my hackintosh project. Only a couple of months ago, I was staying with some relatives, and noticed they had what I thought was a Mac Pro just sitting in their basement. It had been out of service for a year or so, so I was hoping to help them recover their files and perhaps take it home, considering that it was nothing more than scrap aluminium to them. I took off the side panel, and was absolutely astounded; struck with awe to say the least, when I saw the dual G5 Cover in the case. It was bittersweet, really, knowing that I wouldn't be taking home a Mac Pro, but I was still very happy that I was getting such an amazing computer. It was at that same time I found this PowerPC community on MacRumors, and was truly happy to see that their are still people using their PowerPcs, and trying to keep them running nearly a decade after production stopped. So my story is fairly recent; I only jumped on this bandwagon in June, but I can say, at least this far, it had been an amazing ride.
  21. hamis92, Aug 18, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014

    hamis92 macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2007
    My first Mac was a MacBook, I got that in 2006 (best birthday present ever, I was 14 at the time). I had become interested in Apple computers a year prior but decided to wait over the Intel transition. Before that I was a Windows guy and didn't really think highly of Macs, which is weird in retrospect. Maybe it was due to the fact that the Macintosh felt almost nonexistent in Finland at the time. The iPod mini changed everything, though.

    In 2007 I acquired my first PowerPC Macs: first a 450 MHz B&W G3 and then a 450 MHz Sawtooth, and I still have them. That was out of pure curiosity but they were affordable too. I used them as print servers and "emergency Macs" should my primary notebook fail for some reason.

    Fast-forward to this year: I got a G5 DP in February (from my school at no charge) and a month ago I bought a 12-inch PowerBook. I had never owned a PowerBook before but the first impression I had from it made specifically the 12-inch variant my favourite Mac of all time.

    The PowerBook gave me a spark to really start collecting these beautiful vintage computers. Earlier I wanted these things because I thought I had use for them (which I did), but now I've started to see past that: these are examples of Apple's unique early 2000s design language, and I want to preserve some of that. The fact that I study industrial design may very well play a part in it, and it's just so much easier now that I live on my own and have no one but myself to whom I need to justify it.

    To date I've considered myself an "Intel first" Mac user, but four PowerPC Macs compared to just one Intel Mac would seem to suggest otherwise :p
  22. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Like any hobby or interest, it will die if there is no one new to pick it up. Most of the people my age have moved on to Intel Mac and never looked back.

    It's good to always encourage the new generations because those generations will be the ones to carry on. One of the reasons I hate some other Apple/Mac forums I've been to. Cutting new people down because they do not know as much hurts the long-term viability of the community.
  23. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Since you got a new MacBook Air, what did you end up doing with the PowerBook?


    Did you cry tears of joy when you read my story with the QuickSilver?
  24. bse5150 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2014
    I started out with a Classic II back in 93. PPC has just been part of the natural progression from 68k to Intel.
  25. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Yeah, big crocodile ones. The Quicksilver was another model that made me want to get a Mac. But then you knew that already.

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