Is owning a PowerBook worth it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by theuserjohnny, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. theuserjohnny, Jan 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013

    theuserjohnny macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2012
    I'm thinking about getting a PowerBook to just use as a home center for all my cloud information.

    Because right now I'm streaming music and movies to the multiple AppleTVs from a HDD that is connected to the Airport but in order for the data to be accessible one computer has to be on.

    Currently the house dosen't have a "main" computer we all have separate laptops but I thought it would be nice to have a "main" one.

    I'm not expecting the main one to do anything fancy but would it be good enough to serve as a "home" station and do basic things such as surfing the web and maybe word documents for someone who wants to use it if they're in the living room.

    Was also looking into the old PowerBook MacMinis.
  2. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    You're better off getting a desktop or a Mac Mini if you need it to be on all the time. Or just build a cheap microserver. You can put together a decent AMD A8/A10 one if you want to game a bit for under $200 or a OSx86 compatible Pentium/i3 for as low as $100/$150. Or even grab an older PPC Mac for cheap. I'm not a fan of the idea of leaving a PowerBook on 24/7.
  3. -jc macrumors member


    Jan 18, 2013
    I would not recommend that anyone buys a PPC Mac these days, it doesn't make any sense in 2013 even if they are cheap. The software support is dwindling, they are often slow, and how much longer they will last is also an issue.
  4. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    As a owner of a pb i would say would be better served by using a mac mini.

    ps: new refurb in stock today for $509
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    My first TiBook was on 24/7 when I got it in 2002. It died (the first time) in 2009. All I ever did was close the lid. At one point (about a year) it was at home (on all the time) serving up my iTunes library to me at work.

    Both of my 17" PowerBooks have been on since late 2009. Again, all I ever do is close the lid. I do restart from time to time, but I never shut them off unless I need to and then only for a while.

    Never had a problem from leaving the Macs on all the time.

    OP. Other than light web browsing don't expect much out of a PowerBook. If anyone is expecting lightning quick response from Youtube or Facebook, forget it (including video from Facebook). There are workarounds, but it's not like just walking up to the machine, quickly scrolling through FB and watching a few home movies someone posted up there.

    As to home media, again there are workarounds, but you aren't going to get the latest and greatest to play or stream through these machines. If that is an expectation, then your money is better spent elsewhere.


    Then why are you here in the PowerPC forums?

    There are still good uses for these machines and they can be recommended for those uses. The fact that they are inexpensive now is a bonus.

    I agree in the sense that I wouldn't recommend buying a PowerPC Mac for intensive video editing, high-end graphics work, etc, etc. But they are still good for other things. If they weren't, we wouldn't be discussing this here in this forum.
  6. Falstaff macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2012
    And yet many people did do high end graphics work and video editing on them when they first came out. As long as you go in with your eyes open and know what they can and can't do. Using appropriate software from the time the first came out, they still are great machines. Just don't expect the latest and greatest software with all the newest features to work. But you can even do hd video work on them. I am powerpc exclusive and they work fine for me. YMMV.
  7. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    That's true, and that still makes them useful.

    My comment was more from a general perspective. You can't run the latest versions of those kinds of apps on the PowerPC Mac any more. And anything a higher end Intel Mac will struggle with is going to make a PowerPC Mac catotonic. But as you say, within those parameters you outline this is possible.

    Most people who pick these Macs up nowadays for cheap though don't realize the difference between the PowerMac and the Intel Macs and expect to be able to do anything they normally do in the way they do it. In general, that just isn't going to happen with our old PowerPC Macs. They are capable, but we've developed work arounds and shortcuts to make it so. But that kind of thing is just going to frustrate the average user.

    But there are other things our Macs are good for. Not recommending a PowerPC Mac for something it IS capable of doing and doing well just because it's not Intel or the latest removes an option from the choices available to you.

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