New to laptops!?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Cindy, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Cindy macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    I'm looking at this one: General Specs (PowerBook G3/400)

    * 400MHz PowerPC G3 processor
    * 1MB backside L2 cache
    * 64MB standard RAM, maximum 384MB
    * Available 6.0GB or 10.0GB hard drives
    * DVD-ROM drive
    * 56k internal modem


    * 2 USB
    * stereo in
    * stereo out
    * video out
    * S-video out
    * HDI-30 SCSI
    * IR
    * 2 expansion bays
    * 1 PC card slots
    * ethernet
    * internal modem

    I know NOTHING about laptops and how they hookup to the internet etc... How would this one hookup outside my home IE: work or vacation?
    I can probably use my current ISP but if I'm outside the state, I'd have to look into switching - maybe AOL.
    Because mine doesn't support outside the state.
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    How it hooks up depends on what kind of Internet service you are connecting to.

    If you have broadband service at home (Cable modem or ADSL modem) then you will typically run an Ethernet cable from the Ethernet jack on the TiBook to the modem, (alternatively, to a router, which in turn connects to the modem). You would set your Network Preferences: TCP/IP to "DHCP" which automatically gets the settings from the modem. (but check the specifics with your Internet Service Provider.)

    This is the exact same setup you would use for hooking up with a hotel that provides broadband access. (Check the specifics with the hotel of course.)
    You may have to adjust your eMail settings to allow you to send and receive from the remote network, check with your ISP.

    If you are in a place with no broadband net connection, you can use dial-up access through the modem in the TiBook. You would connect to a regular analog telephone line (NOT a digital PBX line like the phones in some hotels. Check first. Some phones have a port on the siide for Data connections. Keep in mind that using hotel phones is very expensive)

    Then in order to connect to the internet, you either have to call long distance to your hometown ISP, or you have to check if your ISP has dial up numbers in the cities you will be travelling to. Check this before you leave. If they do not, you have the option of signing up for email with a national ISP who has access numbers in many locations or an 800-number access. Check the price of access first. Set your modem up as per the instructions from your ISP.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Hi Cindy,

    Are you looking at that powerbook, btw, because someone is going to give it to you for free, or are you thinking about buying it? It's a nice computer, and it deserves a home, but since you sound like you're pretty new to some things, it might really be better to look for one (assuming this isn't free) that is a little bit more recent. There are iBook G3s available (the white ones that look like the current iBook) frequently for about $300-400 in the US, at least.

    There are two major advantages:
    1) You are going to find it difficult to find instructions for anything you don't know how to do that apply to the versions of MacOS that will be effective on this computer (unless you buy ram and play around and get it running OS X)

    2) It's going to be hard to get a wireless card ("WiFi" or "802.11") working on this, and if you travel, it will probably come in handy, since a lot of places offer it for free (coffee shops, libraries, schools, and so on). So it will be a lot more useable travelling with that.

    But, if it is free, and/or you are definitely fine with phone/modem only, then definitely CanadaRAM's excellent advice applies. :)
  4. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    I wish it were free! It is going for 275.00. Where can I find newer ones for 300?? I heard about good deals on reburbished ones but I have never found any. I was thinking about just staying with dial up. I would still have to change ISP's tho. Mine is just a local ISP with no numbers outside the state.
    I don't have access to cable where I live. I'm pretty happy with my dial up. Some things are kinda slow but when I compare prices to dial up to wireless (for me anyway), it just isn't worth it to me.
    Like I said, I only use my computer for emails, and internet research. Nothing fancy.
    With dial up, couldn't I just plug it into a hotel room jack? I have a friend who takes her laptop when she travels and I remember her plugging it in her room but I wasn't interested in laptops back then so I didn't pay much attention.
    I don't travel much at all - one or two times a year. It would sure be nice to check email while I was away from my desktop tho.
    Mostly, I was looking into getting an older one for a backup. My desktop needs to hit the repair shop soon and I can't be without a computer :eek:
    What about when you want to run it off the battery... I'm not sure how to word this without sounding like a complete idiot.... what do you need as far as hookups if you're running it off the battery? Or is this mainly for non-internet use?
  5. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    You want to find a nice iBook eh? Why not post a thread in the "Marketplace" with the title "WTB: iBook 500Mhz+"!
  6. SchmoBurger macrumors newbie


    Jul 8, 2005
    RAM for it should be cheap as chips... standard PC-133 or PC-100 will work fine. and you only need about 256mb max...As for OSX, it requires absolutely no effort to get it running on the Lombard, which is the model you describe. Just chuck in the CD and install... I'd recommend Panther, it's the fastest and most useful flavour of OSX, and supports the Lombard as is. I have the exact same model of Powerbook G3 with a 10Gb drive and 256Mb and it runs Panther perfectly...

    Their are heaps of cheap WiFi cards out there that will work fine under OSX... I'm pretty sure D-Link, Netcomm and Belkin all make mac-compatible cards that are easy to find... :p

    Anyway, good luck with whatever you choose.
  7. SchmoBurger macrumors newbie


    Jul 8, 2005
    I almost forgot... Don't buy an iBook 500. Get at least a 600mhz one if you must.

    The iBook 500 sucks. A lot of them were sold with shonky logic boards to start off with. Also, aside from the processor speed, the specs are pretty much the same as the Powerbook anyway: 66Mhz bus, 8Mb graphics, 576mb RAM ceiling. the difference being that the Powerbook is a much more well-made machine, and can take two 6hr batteries (the iBook takes one), has a cardbus slot (no iBook has cardbus), a 14" screen (12" on the iBook), much better speakers (IMHO...the stink on the iBook), a sound input jack (the iBook doesn't have analogue sound-in, the only way to do it is a USB input device, which is inferior), and an upgradable CPU. AND, the Lombard has no real history of endemic manufacturing defects... unlike the early iBook.

    Not only that, the Powerbook is a breeze to upgrade compared to the iBook... just lift the keyboard and everything can be accessed. Upgrading iBooks, on the other hand, isn't for the faint of heart or thin of wallet...

    If you must get an iBook, go for a 600 or later, cause these have a 100 or 133mhz bus and 16Mb or 32Mb graphics and are available in a 14" model... mind you though, they still don't have a Cardbus slot or sound-input, but they're better than a 500...
  8. Cindy thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    plugging in

    Got my Lombard and I suppose I'm happy with it. Just a few things I need to work out.
    I'm on a dialup with my ISP. I took my laptop to work with me yesterday and tried hooking up. Wouldn't work. Says it can't detect a dial tone. We tried three different rooms.
    I work at a university and all I can think of is that they are on a weird system. I'm taking it again today and I'm going to try this one room where everyone seems to go with their own laptops. There are phone jacks there as well.
    But, I wonder why it wouldn't work on the other phone jacks??
    I should be able hook into a phone jack and plug it in right? Nothing special.

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