laptop advice

Am Kestrel

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 16, 2014
13
0
Pennsylvania
Hi everyone I may buy a used PowerBook g4 or G5. Do I need anything else , besides the laptop to get on wifi Why I'm asking,because I never had a laptop or Mac. I thought instead of buying a new rmbp I should just get something cheap for webrowsing and such to see how I like it.any advice would be appreciated.thanks
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,164
12,996
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Well…

• There was never a PowerBook G5. So if you are looking at late model PowerBooks all you can get is a G4. Apple investigated a G5 in a laptop but the chip produces far too much heat. That is one of the major reason for the switch to Intel.

• You can get on WiFi. Keep in mind that Airport Extreme is the best you can get on a G4 PB. That limits you to 802.11 A/B/G. You cannot do N or better. You are also limited to WPA with TKIP encryption.

• Do not expect the same kind of web browsing performance in a PowerBook or even a PowerMac that you may be used to in an MBP. Mozilla abandoned Firefox development for PowerPC with version 3.x and I believe Safari 5 is the best you can do on a G4. Today's modern internet often brings our PowerPC Macs to their knees with the tons of Javascript that exists out there. Flash is out, unless you want to try a hack and even then it will more than likely be slow and drop frames. Browsing in general is likely to be quite slow compared to an MBP. There is a fork of Mozilla called TenFourFox that supports us (equivalent right now of Firefox 31).

• Your highest version of OS X will be OS X 10.5.8. You will be limited to the last PowerPC versions of any apps you may use.
 
Last edited:

Am Kestrel

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 16, 2014
13
0
Pennsylvania
Well…

• There was never a PowerBook G5. So if you are looking at late model PowerBooks all you can get is a G4. Apple investigated a G5 in a laptop but the chip produces far too much heat. That is one of the major reason for the switch to Intel.

• You can get on WiFi. Keep in mind that Airport Extreme is the best you can get on a G4 PB. That limits you to 802.11 A/B/G. You cannot do N or better. You are also limited to WPA with TKIP encryption.

• Do not expect the same kind of web browsing performance in a PowerBook or even a PowerMac that you may be used to in an MBP. Mozilla abandoned Firefox development for PowerPC with version 3.x and I believe Safari 5 is the best you can do on a G4. Today's modern internet often brings out PowerPC Macs to there knees with the tons of Javascript that exists out there. Flash is out, unless you want to try a hack and even then it will more than likely be slow and drop frames. Browsing in general is likely to be quite slow compared to an MBP. There is a fork of Mozilla called TenFourFox that supports us (equivalent right now of Firefox 31).

• Your highest version of OS X will be OS X 10.5.8. You will be limited to the last PowerPC versions of any apps you may use.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,716
3,262
Kentucky
I'm a die-hard PPC fan, but honestly I think an '09 or '10 Macbook or 13" Macbook Pro would serve you a lot better. Shop around and you can probably get the Macbook for less than $200-an early '09 or later Macbook will run the most current OS(10.10, and 10.11 when it's released this fall). Any 13" Macbook Pro will also do this, although it will cost you a bit more than a Macbook. If you want a desktop, look for a Mini from around that time.

As eyougren said, you have to deal with a lot of compromises with PPC Macs. I love them and love making them still relevant, but it gets more and more difficult with each passing year. I'd be afraid that using an iBook or Powerbook would really give you a somewhat poor Mac experience. There are also compromises in the fact that original batteries are now on their last legs for the most part and replacements are either not very good or as expensive as the computer itself. Even with a "good" battery, the battery life tends to not be great for surfing because the modern web is so bloated.

If you are going to get a PPC Laptop, look for either an iBook G4 or an aluminum Powerbook. Both of these will at least give you an Airport Extreme card(or at least the ability to install one) and can still connect to virtually all WiFi networks when running 10.4 or 10.5. The original Airport card can't even see the WiFi networks at the university where I'm employed. If you want to get a desktop, I'd highly recommend either a G5 tower or an iMac G5.
 

Steve.P.JobsFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 27, 2010
974
493
Columbus
Well…

• There was never a PowerBook G5. So if you are looking at late model PowerBooks all you can get is a G4. Apple investigated a G5 in a laptop but the chip produces far too much heat. That is one of the major reason for the switch to Intel.
There was too a G5 PB... in our hearts.

It is STILL in the pipeline. Trust me! ;)

OP - Go Intel.
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,393
6,961
Hi everyone I may buy a used PowerBook g4 or G5. Do I need anything else , besides the laptop to get on wifi Why I'm asking,because I never had a laptop or Mac. I thought instead of buying a new rmbp I should just get something cheap for webrowsing and such to see how I like it.any advice would be appreciated.thanks
Forget the PowerBook G5, at a minimum get the PowerBook P6. Or better yet a refurb late 2013 rMBP. ;)
 

Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
3,022
2,467
Lincolnshire, UK
There was too a G5 PB... in our hearts.

It is STILL in the pipeline. Trust me! ;)

OP - Go Intel.
Considering people make 'laptop' Commodore 64s, X Boxes and Ataris, I'd have thought converting a G5 iMac into a luggable would be relatively easy. Bearing in mind the thickness of the iMac, a slim suitcase version isn't too outlandish - I'd even suspect Apple could have made one but obviously, when Intel machines were just round the corner that didn't require bulging biceps to carry, there was no point :)

5Pac.jpg
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,164
12,996
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Considering people make 'laptop' Commodore 64s, X Boxes and Ataris, I'd have thought converting a G5 iMac into a luggable would be relatively easy. Bearing in mind the thickness of the iMac, a slim suitcase version isn't too outlandish - I'd even suspect Apple could have made one but obviously, when Intel machines were just round the corner that didn't require bulging biceps to carry, there was no point :)

View attachment 564716
You know, the background in that picture, everything around the Mac there, is just a real BAD Photoshop job!

Nothing in that pic is real except the Mac! ;)
 

MacCubed

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2014
1,617
485
Florida
I'm a die-hard PPC fan, but honestly I think an '09 or '10 Macbook or 13" Macbook Pro would serve you a lot better. Shop around and you can probably get the Macbook for less than $200-an early '09 or later Macbook will run the most current OS(10.10, and 10.11 when it's released this fall). Any 13" Macbook Pro will also do this, although it will cost you a bit more than a Macbook. If you want a desktop, look for a Mini from around that time.

As eyougren said, you have to deal with a lot of compromises with PPC Macs. I love them and love making them still relevant, but it gets more and more difficult with each passing year. I'd be afraid that using an iBook or Powerbook would really give you a somewhat poor Mac experience. There are also compromises in the fact that original batteries are now on their last legs for the most part and replacements are either not very good or as expensive as the computer itself. Even with a "good" battery, the battery life tends to not be great for surfing because the modern web is so bloated.

If you are going to get a PPC Laptop, look for either an iBook G4 or an aluminum Powerbook. Both of these will at least give you an Airport Extreme card(or at least the ability to install one) and can still connect to virtually all WiFi networks when running 10.4 or 10.5. The original Airport card can't even see the WiFi networks at the university where I'm employed. If you want to get a desktop, I'd highly recommend either a G5 tower or an iMac G5.
Well Bunn, you've finally been beat with Macs, http://www.ebay.com/itm/MAGNIFICENT-MACINTOSH-MUSEUM/151720242316?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=1&asc=29979&meid=455f807163c641808667f51455b6b4bc&pid=100005&rk=4&rkt=6&sd=141700776814&rt=nc

Mods not my auction, (wish it were)!!