Just bought a 400 MHz PowerBook -- Stupid???

K-Funk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 24, 2007
99
0
I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Panther). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

Hipnomac

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2007
148
0
Chicago
I've always been a PC guy, but lately I've been contemplating switching to Macs. I didn't want to waste $1000+ on one if it turns out I don't like it, so I just spent $200 on eBay for a 400 MHz PowerBook G4 Titanium (with 640 mb of RAM, 10 GB hard drive, an Airport card, and Leopard). It should arrive in a couple of days.

I figure if I like it, I'll use it for a year and then buy a new Mac next year.

Now my friend (an avid Mac user) tells me I'm an idiot and that the computer I ordered is so old that it's worthless, and that it will give me an unfairly negative impression of Apple.

I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.
10gb harddrive is worthless by itself, you wont be able to fit anything on it.

And leopard isn't even out yet.
 

MovieCutter

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2005
3,342
2
Washington, DC
Considering this machine won't be able to run the software that makes Macs so great, and the fact that it's probably 1/10th as fast as a $900 MacBook, I'd say your friend is right.
 

K-Funk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 24, 2007
99
0
Considering this machine won't be able to run the software that makes Macs so great, and the fact that it's probably 1/10th as fast as a $900 MacBook, I'd say your friend is right.
So as of 2001, Macs sucked?
 

Nuc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2003
798
6
TN
You'll probably get frustrated with the performance if you coming from a faster PC. If all you do is email and internet then you should be ok but don't expect to much. I had a 500 Mhz G3 and it did pretty good so you might have a pleasant experience... who knows.

Nuc
 

applefan1997

macrumors 6502
$200 is actually great for a PB G4 with the Aiirport Card (they're usually $400+), and 10GB is big enough unless you store thousands of songs, and if you dont use it for demanding software, you'll prolly be happy. My main computer is a 400MHZ iMac G3 and I am really happy with it, and it's really productive. But if you use really modern software, remember that you are using older hardware and it isnt that slow on a newer Mac. But since your'e using it for wireless web and email, you should be more than happy, because it can handle light film editing, and photoshop really good.
 

K-Funk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 24, 2007
99
0
But if you use really modern software, remember that you are using older hardware and it isnt that slow on a newer Mac.
Yeah, I won't be using any modern software. Literally, I'm only going to use it for internet surfing. I don't even need a word processor.
 

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,066
1,168
St. Louis, MO
I'm only going to use the computer for wireless web browsing and e-mail. Any thoughts? Thanks.
10gb harddrive is worthless by itself, you wont be able to fit anything on it.
I was unaware it took more than 10 GB to run Safari and Mail. (; I was using this computer (with a lot less RAM) just last year as a web-surfing and IM machine. As long as you don't expect it to be representative of the latest Macs, I think it was a fair purchase. You'll be able to use it for a few months, get an idea of how Macs work, and still be able to sell it for a decent amount. If you take it for what it is (a 6 year old computer), you'll be fine.
 

Dustman

macrumors 65816
Apr 17, 2007
1,272
47
So as of 2001, Macs sucked?
Macs in 2001 ran software designed for Macs in 2001. It's 2007. ;)
Okay Great! We've all figured out what year it is! :rolleyes: Apple didn't design it's products to only run in the same year it was purchased.

To answer your question, It's kinda hard to say. I'm using a G3 right now with no problems, so i figure for web browsing and email/IM, it'll do just fine. If ur going to use it for music too, id suggest sticking with iTunes 4. Your probably fine with the ram that's in it, but seriously consider ordering a cheap 2nd hand Hard drive off eBay.
 

looklost

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2002
100
0
Chicago Suburbs
I have one but...

Yes, your friend is right, btw I'm typing this on a 400mhz ti-book 768ram OS 10.4.8. Internet media playback = slow, flash = slow, itunes = no cover flow, new iapps = inadequate system requirements, 10gig HD, you will run out of space quickly. I still do some work from time to time on this setup, but not a good "first mac" computer.
Good Luck.
 

Frisco

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2002
2,475
69
Utopia
Flash is going to stink on that machine and with so many websites using Flash today, surfing the web will be dreadful with that old Mac. After using it you will most likely hate Macs!
 

K-Funk

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 24, 2007
99
0
Yes, your friend is right, btw I'm typing this on a 400mhz ti-book 768ram OS 10.4.8. Internet media playback = slow, flash = slow, itunes = no cover flow, new iapps = inadequate system requirements, 10gig HD, you will run out of space quickly. I still do some work from time to time on this setup, but not a good "first mac" computer.
Good Luck.
Eh, I don't have much of a need for media/video. I'm mainly just interested in blogs, message boards, news, etc, and toying around with the Mac OS.

Anyway, sounds like I'll be OK as long as I keep my expectations to a 2001 level and not to a 2007 level.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
4
Eh, I don't have much of a need for media/video. I'm mainly just interested in blogs, message boards, news, etc, and toying around with the Mac OS.

Anyway, sounds like I'll be OK as long as I keep my expectations to a 2001 level and not to a 2007 level.
My wife uses a 266MHz PowerBook G3 running Panther with 256MB RAM for basic web usage and gets along just fine.


EDIT: Until recently it had a 6GB HD.

I don't understand people who think that just because things can't run the latest and greatest apps the computer is worthless.
Until fairly recently I was using a PowerBook 5300 with a greyscale screen to run some music software. :)
 

tristan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2003
765
0
high-rise in beautiful bethesda
It's not a stupid purchase, but no, you're not going to get today's mac experience with a 6.5 yr old machine. If its a project, that's fine, upgrade the RAM and HD and get some older software, and sure, you'll have a good time messing with it. FYI a used G4 iBook with max RAM is probably the minimum useable machine right now that will run all of today's software acceptably.
 

ClassicBean

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
642
2
Torontoland
I've got a 500 MHz G3 iBook from 2001. It's got 384 MB of Ram and a 10 GB hard drive.

It's also super slow for doing anything but surfing and maybe - maybe - email.

That said, if that's all you want out of the computer, you should be fine.
 

dingdongbubble

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2007
538
0
Someone said on this topic that the 2001 MAc is for 2001 Mac software. Well I would like to know with this big development and improvement in software, how more productive have we become as users? I am not talking about pros but normal family folk. I mean I used to browse the web, watch movies and stuff on my PC in 2001 with no problems but nowadays, people keep saying that it will be hard to get anything more out of a 2001 computer apart from web browsing and email. The PowerMacs were professional systems when they came out. Why is it that today they are barely able to keep up with low end consumer tasks that were carried out back in 2001 as well.

People used to design websites back in 2001, we continue to do so today as well. People used to browse the web, watch movies and stuff with ease back in 2001 and we continue to do so today as well. Was it that web browsing was considered as a high end task at that time for which you needed professional computer like the PowerMac?

Is this software development truly bringing out as much productivity as hardware power it takes?
 

aaronw1986

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2006
2,607
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It really won't be representative of what macs are like today, and why so many people are switching. It should still be a fine computer though.
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,038
30
Salt Lake City, UT
Anyway, sounds like I'll be OK as long as I keep my expectations to a 2001 level and not to a 2007 level.
Yeah, this is the key. As long as you're reasonable and realize that a 400 MHz, 6-year old Mac is quite slow compared to a new Mac just like a 400 MHz, 6 year old PC would be compared to a new PC, it'll be good for you. My first Mac was a 400 MHz G4 Power Mac about 3 years ago. Of course, even 3 years ago that was pretty slow, but using it was enough to convince me to ditch my PC, and since then I've bought 3 (new) Macs. My brother is still using the old 400 MHz G4 with Panther as his only computer and gets along just fine.
 

tristan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2003
765
0
high-rise in beautiful bethesda
I guess this thread always had the potential of becoming a referendum on whether old machines can still cut the mustard. :D

If I offended anyone with an old mac, I apologize. I have a lot of respect for people who use and maintain older hardware. But of course, I have my own opinion on what constitutes an acceptable minimum configuration for the average user, and I don't see myself giving up my second CPU core anytime soon. :cool:

There's a great site on older macs that I read every day, and that I highly recommend for the OP. Its www.lowendmac.com, and it has a lot of great info on how to get the most out of older macs.