Just bought a PowerBook G4. Any help?

Ariii

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 26, 2012
682
5
Chicago
Hi, I just got a 15" Aluminum Powerbook G4 at 1.2 GHz off eBay for $75, and it runs Leopard (It was due to something I mentioned in another thread). I'm almost sure this will be my main computer for at least 4 years. Does anybody know how third-party power supplies work in G4's? It comes with one, and the people I know have had bad experience with third-party adaptors. Are most third-party power adaptors okay in the G4's or are they likely to burn it out? And, is an AirPort Extreme card pulled from a water-damaged iBook likely to work (It won't boot so I can't test it)? The one that I ordered didn't come with an AirPort Extreme card.
 

Rodus

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
679
0
Midlands, UK
Third party adapters are hit-and-miss, some are great, some are terrible but they are a lot cheaper then Apples, hunt around and read some ebay reviews.
Stick in the Airport card, if it works then great, if not then you can buy a new one, it won't hurt your machine.
With a machine as old as this do be wary about spending too much on it and best of luck using it for 4 years, you may find the speed seriously taxes your patience.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,715
14,046
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Hi, I just got a 15" Aluminum Powerbook G4 at 1.2 GHz off eBay for $75, and it runs Leopard (It was due to something I mentioned in another thread). I'm almost sure this will be my main computer for at least 4 years. Does anybody know how third-party power supplies work in G4's? It comes with one, and the people I know have had bad experience with third-party adaptors. Are most third-party power adaptors okay in the G4's or are they likely to burn it out? And, is an AirPort Extreme card pulled from a water-damaged iBook likely to work (It won't boot so I can't test it)? The one that I ordered didn't come with an AirPort Extreme card.
Power supplies. I've had a mixed experience with third party, but all in all they've been good. eBay and Amazon have some low price vendors. They are ok and they work but you have to be careful what you order. One vendor I bought from on eBay was advertising 65W power supplies, but the one's he sent only put out 45W. He sent me a replacement, but it was also only 45W.

I have had excellent quality with Mac-Pro Systems, although their power supply is a bit more than others (but less than Apple) and the two I have bought from them have lasted a long time. You can find their power supply here.

I've had one or two burn out (not the Mac, the actual power supply itself). One died, one actually caught fire (will never use that Amazon vendor again). And one I have is intermittent. The cord has to be tweaked just right and then it works. I don't use that one everyday.

As to the Airport Extreme card, I would think it would work, but I'm not an expert.
 
Last edited:

tom vilsack

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2010
1,880
62
ladner cdn
Good price! I would guess airport card would work np...no real harm in trying it out....on a side note i find using set dns server numbers really helps when using wifi...try using googles dns server # (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) system pref/network/airport/advanced/dns + (add server number and then + again for second # then ok...

how much ram did your pb come with?
 

Ariii

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 26, 2012
682
5
Chicago
Thanks! Once I receive it I'll post the quality of the AirPort Extreme card.


Good price! I would guess airport card would work np...no real harm in trying it out....on a side note i find using set dns server numbers really helps when using wifi...try using googles dns server # (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) system pref/network/airport/advanced/dns + (add server number and then + again for second # then ok...

how much ram did your pb come with?
I'm not exactly sure how much RAM it had. The seller showed pictures of the computer but didn't list its exact specs.
 

Ariii

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 26, 2012
682
5
Chicago
Surprisingly, it's only 1 GHz and it's not titanium. Leopard ran pretty well but a lot of applications crashed. It was faster than I expected though. There are a lot of applications on there, including torrents for pirated software. It seems the owner obtained Office 2008 legally though, and PhotoShop. This was the output of ps -ax:



So, other than upgrading the RAM, is there any way to speed it up? There's a bunch of extensions and kexts in it. I scanned it with ClamAV and it showed that there was no viruses, and I think the 3D Dock is just too cool to give up :).

I think there might be some problems with the AirPort, though. Occasionally, it completely loses connection and won't even connect to the internet when a ethernet cable is plugged in. Almost all of the time it works though.
 

GizmoDVD

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2008
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1,303
SoCal
HDD replacement looks like a pain in these. I really want to dump a cheap 60GB SSD inside but...not sure if it's worth the tear down.
 

DrakkenWar

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2010
272
0
San Antonio,Texas
While an SSD is a good bet, don't rule out SATA drives

I recently installed a 320 gig sata drive via a pretty shweet and cheap adapter into the PB in my sig (actually, the computer the computer I am using now to post on this topic.)
The speed increase across the board has been well worth the investment for me, though the 320gig drive came from a dead laptop I had lying around, so it was really buying the adapter and my time for install. :D I know prices in the SSD's have come down a ton in recent months, but if you need space and are on a budget? A SATA drive with an inexpensive adapter might just be the ticket.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
373
Inside
A SATA to PATA adapter won't fit in a PowerBook unless you use the very slow optical bus and remove the optical drive.
 

GizmoDVD

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2008
1,749
1,303
SoCal
I recently installed a 320 gig sata drive via a pretty shweet and cheap adapter into the PB in my sig (actually, the computer the computer I am using now to post on this topic.)
The speed increase across the board has been well worth the investment for me, though the 320gig drive came from a dead laptop I had lying around, so it was really buying the adapter and my time for install. :D I know prices in the SSD's have come down a ton in recent months, but if you need space and are on a budget? A SATA drive with an inexpensive adapter might just be the ticket.
I don't need space in the Powerbook - just looking for speed! so a cheap SSD drive would be awesome. Is there a special adapter needed if I wanted to put one of these in it?
 

Ariii

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 26, 2012
682
5
Chicago
I've been pretty satisfied with my performance, even though I think I want to upgrade the RAM in my PowerBook soon. I have a new problem, though. My cursor occasionally starts moving all around the screen whenever I touch the trackpad. It's usually towards the upper right corner. Does anybody know a way to fix that?
 

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