Is the Ibook G4 ok for internet?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by cameroncr95, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. cameroncr95 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2014
    #1
    I need a temporary laptop, and would prefer a mac. My current Windows laptop is unable to charge now because the power jack is bent, so it is basically SOL.

    So I found an Ibook G4 from a trusted seller on ebay and might order it, but need input.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction as to if its good? Thanks guys. You have already been very helpful in my previous threads.
     
  2. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #2
    In general, yes. Do you know the specs on the listing? Like using a 1GHz would be fine but with a 1.5GHz you'll be much happier in terms of speed. You'll also want to consider maxing out the ram as that makes a huge difference!
     
  3. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #3
    iBook G4 is OK if you know couple useful apps for some situations, like YouView for watching YouTube. Flash plugin brings G4 down to its knees but with YouView YouTube performance is good even on low end G4. TenFourFox is still updated and one very good option when using PowerPC to surf internet as Safari available for PPC system has not been updated for a while. Some things like Netflix just won't work and there are probably many other situations where G4 just cannot be recommended.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    As the others have mentioned, in general for light web browsing an iBook G4 is fine, but Flash will kill you.

    Don't expect to be using sites that are heavy on video/flash/javascript with any sense of normality. It won't happen.
     
  5. cameroncr95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2014
    #5
    PPC, 1.20GHZ, 500MB Ram, 60GB HD.
     
  6. harrymatic macrumors 6502

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    #6
    You'll definitely want to max out the RAM - especially if you're running Leopard. I was running my 867MHz 12" Powerbook with Leopard on only 640MB of RAM and it was sluggish to say the least. (I've since upgraded it to the full 1.12GB)

    DDR laptop memory isn't particularly expensive, so if you're getting a good price on the iBook, then go for it.
     
  7. cameroncr95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Ok, would it be possible to install any version of linux?
     
  8. harrymatic macrumors 6502

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    #8
    There are various distros of Linux that will work on PPC Macs but I've never used them for anything serious, mainly because software support is somewhat lacking - then again for just internet you'd probably be fine. I've heard good things about MintPPC, but I haven't had a change to try it yet.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #9
    To add to harrymatic…any PowerPC version you install is likely to be problematic and divert your attention from the reason you bought the iBook G4. You're wanting to know if you can use it for web surfing. If you spend most of your try trying to figure out why Linux is NOT working on your iBook you aren't using the iBook for the purpose you bought it for. If the intent if to install Linux as a way around the limitations of Flash and so on I think you will be trading one problem for another.
     
  10. harrymatic macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I could not agree more with this - perfectly sums up my attitude to Linux on PPC.
     
  11. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #11
    Nothing works better on a G4 than Mac OS. Preferably Leopard, unless you have a processor with a clock speed less than 900 MHz. I would run Tiger then, however it is still possible to run Leopard under 867 MHz. Some may argue that MorphOS is better than Mac OS on PPC, but in reality, it's really not as good as Mac OS. And yes, definitely max out ram, it does make a great difference. Install Mactubes or Youview for youtube videos, and TenFourFox for web browsing, and you're ready to go! btw this message was created on an iBook g4, which I use everyday for web surfing.
     
  12. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #12
    -it really all depends what your needs are and as always the price!

    -if your just wanting basic internet (meaning no flash...use a program called "mactubes" for that) and you don't mind waiting slightly longer for intense web pages like the verge.com ect to load you should be alright.

    -keep in mind that the latest version of osx you can use is leopard,and browsers like chrome and newer versions of firefox and safari won't work...thus your best bet for a browser will be one called "tenfourfox".

    -how much is the ibook costing? what version of osx are you getting with it?
     
  13. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #13
    Forgot about that! To the OP: an iBook G4 1.0-1.42 GHz is not worth more than $100 with Leopard (10.5). An iBook G4 with Tiger is usually found for $60-70. I bought my iBook G4 for $50 with no OS or power cord. I wouldn't pay more than $70 for an iBook G4 with OS and power cord, personally. Keep in mind that if you are going to buy an OS for it, Leopard costs as little as $60 on eBay. You might be able to get restore disks from Apple care for $20, though. You can buy restore disks for the iBook G4 with Tiger (latest OS that G4s shipped with) for around $10-20. Good luck in your search!
     
  14. archtopshop macrumors regular

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #14
    I had Lubuntu 13.04 installed on my iBook G4 1.33GHz last year for about three months. It was a bit of a pain to get the wireless working, and to get it to sleep when the lid was closed, but I finally tracked down the solutions to both problems, and then all was fine.

    There were also problems with the trackpad being too sensitive that I never did get corrected to my satisfaction.

    Firefox runs reasonably well, and there are add-ons to Firefox that allow viewing of Youtube videos. Overall, it worked pretty well.

    However, Lubuntu's performance was noticebly slower than either Tiger or Leopard. After using it for three months, I went back to Leopard.
     
  15. cameroncr95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    $70 with free shipping and it is leopard.
     
  16. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #16
    I would act on that - it's a pretty good price.
     
  17. cameroncr95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2014
    #17
    He has a quite a few of them available for the same price, so I'm in no rush. He apparently got them from in a large lot.
     
  18. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #18
    I would probably go for it...$70 is a good price with free shipping.

    One thing you might want to ask seller or find cheap on ebay is to replace the 256mb ddr sdram with 512 or 1 gig....that ibook will have 256mb built in, so you might consider upgrading the added 256mb stick.....(note: leopard loves ram so if you could afford to max out that ibook to 1.25gb,it really would help with the overall feel)
     
  19. cameroncr95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    All of his are refurbs and have 512MB.
     
  20. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

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    #20
    yes I understand...what I'm telling you, is for the best performance with osx leopard I would look to upgrade the 256 ddr stick (256 is built in)
     
  21. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Texas, unfortunately.
    #21
    I believe what he is trying to tell you is, you need to upgrade the RAM. :p The iBook comes with 256 MB soldered to the logicboard, with one slot for expansion: if your iBook comes with 512 MB, that means there's a 256 MB chip in that slot. You can change that out for a 1 GB stick, and have a maximum of 1.25 GB of RAM.

    I would recommend this as well: I had a 1.33 GHz iBook G4 three or four years back, and I maxed it to the 1.25 GB within a month or two of owning it; even back then, 512 MB was just not quite enough for anything beyond very basic and light use. Today, I don't think anything less than 1 GB on such a machine would be tolerable.
     
  22. cameroncr95 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2014
    #22
    Ah! Now I feel silly. :p
    I did not understand what he meant, but now I do. :p
     
  23. AmestrisXServe macrumors 6502

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #23
    Hmm... I have a rather tall stack of G4 Powerbook and iBook systems, and I didn't think they were fetching more than about £15 a unit now. I am making a netboot-based lab out of them, but perhaps I will thin down the crowd a bit and part with a few if they still fetch a decent price.

    Now, on to the topic:

    General browsing, as mentioned, will be fine. You won't be ablke to stream video (no Netflix, as an example) as client software support (plugins) such as Silverlight, or current Flash simply do not exist for the PowerPC architecture.

    Other websites, such as eBay, will also likely give you some trouble, if they are JS/CSS/Dynamic Content.

    You may actually see a benefit out of this for Google, and Google Images, as the older Safari and Firefox browsers will load the non-COP-intensive versions of the engines, making the iBook a decent academic and work platform.

    I suggest a few things:

    Dump Leopard, and install Tiger (10.4.9 through 10.4.11). This will greatly ease your RAM usage, and your OS install footprint, saving you HDD space.

    If you are only using this at one location, and can cable it by ethernet to a LAN, you will see a great improvement over the built-in WiFi. You can also set up a Netboot OS install, and use that, if you want to further save on HDD space, but the iBook is only 100bT, not Gigabit, so it isn't ideal for a NB environment.

    Tiger will, in any event, cut your CPU usage and RAM usage by about 25%.

    Good utilities for the iBook (hosted from one of my remote accounts on insomnia247, for easy downloading):

    There are three pieces of software that I find essential on G3 and G4 systems...

    SideTrack: Adds tap zones for left/right click, and scroll, tot he trackpad.

    MenuMeters: Adds gauges for CPU usage, RAM usage (including swap), network traffic, and HDD usage; you can show or hide any of these four in any combination, and fine tune them.

    Process Wizard: THis allows you to fine-tune the process priority of software, and is very useful on G3 and g4 systems, or any PPC system if you want to run CPU-intensive software. For example, I use it to give VLC a higher priority, when i am watching videos, and then drop the priority to minimal, when VLC is idle. This helps with otherwise jittery video.

    VLC for PowerPC: An assortment of PowerPC VLC versions that run on 10.3 through 10.5. 0.8.6i is the most stable with a working play-list, but fails to play some codecs; whereas v0.9.6 plays newer codecs, but the play-list is broken.

    If you need any other PowerPC software, please ask. I have a sizeable repository on one of my servers. If you ask by category of software, I can provide a list of what i have available.

    As SideTrack is no-longer sold by the developer, I put a .txt file with the key on the server I would not have done this if it was still possible to buy it, which it is not. The programme is shareware, and the key only removes the shareware reminder that materialises every hour or two. It does not add any functions, and the programme runs in shareware mode perpetually without the key.
     
  24. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #24
    My only disagreement with you here, is yet again Tiger.

    The OP of course will do what he wishes, but you and I have a big difference in opinion about Tiger it seems. :D

    Although I might suggest iStat Menus over Menu Meters. But that's a personal preference kind of thing.
     
  25. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Location:
    Ireland
    #25
    I'd recommend Leopard over Tiger too. I've been using it fine on my iMac G4 (1.25GHz, 768MB memory).

    The one thing about Linux on iBooks and PowerBooks is that getting the battery status to work is a hassle. Other than that it's fine. :)
     

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