New Uses for Old Computers

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mersea, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. mersea macrumors regular

    mersea

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #1
    Hey folks,

    I have an old iBook G4 (bought literally weeks before they announced the PPC -> Intel move). She was my first computer and a great little machine for years... still in great shape. Currently sitting collecting dust, did wipe the HD and reinstalled the factory disks a whie back. I am so impressed and how solid and long-lasting these machines are.

    Any ideas of what to do with her? Currently I have decided to keep it offline, debating putting some old Adobe CS software on if I can find it, using it for some basic photo editing and for use as a general "clean" machine (ie: no clutter, network connections).

    But I want to hear what you are using your old machines for!
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #2
    I use my PowerMac G3 as my home server. It's got a PCI SATA card and has a 2TB RAID and a 1TB HD in a dock connected to that card via eSATA cables. I also dropped in two Gigabit Ethernet NIC cards so this G3 has Gig-E networking capability.

    My G5 Quad is used as my main work station. Graphic design (Adobe CS4, QuarkXPress 8, Acrobat 9), word processing (Office 2008) and web browsing. My 2.3DC G5 is used for handling all my financial stuff and as a backup to my Quad.

    I take my 17" PowerBook G4 with me to coffee shops for web browsing. It's got an mSATA SSD drive inside.

    The old iBooks are great to use in a dark corner somewhere with large shared drives attached. I used to use one of those for Time Machine backups from my other Macs (my G3 handles that now).
     
  3. ruslan120, Jul 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019

    ruslan120 macrumors 6502

    ruslan120

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #3
    I've paired an old iPhone 5S with a tripod from eBay and made an always-on Reminders device.
    I used accessibility to lock down the device and lock the home button so any guests can't go through my iCloud.

    + Apple Watch + Siri = Reminders on the go that sync right away to all devices

    You could probably do something similar with the iBook + iCloud.com!


    Edit:
    Holy smokes. Beautiful display setup :']
    Also, some people are skipping this generation of Macbook Pros. Sounds like you might get to skip Apple's Intel phase entirely. 0.o
     
  4. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #4
    I used mine professionally for graphic design but now use them for making music:
     
  5. jeyf macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #5
    i am considering buying an old iPad near end of life. Hang it on the wall in a wood picture frame. I bet there are ios apps that could display family photos and maybe time / temperature via wifi and the home filer server.

    even tho I would run it off the AC I would be concerned for its battery in a appliance that old.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #6
    And thou art a wizard at making them play video decently.
     
  7. 556fmjoe macrumors 68000

    556fmjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #7
    Mine spends most of its time as a testbed for C development so I can catch oddball problems that don't show up on an x86. When I'm not using it, I leave it connected by serial cable to one of my sparc64 servers so I have console access if needed without having to go on a scavenger hunt for that blasted cable.
     
  8. z970mp, Jul 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019

    z970mp macrumors 68000

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Location:
    A UNIX System
    #9
    I've got a newfound Power Mac G3 that's being used not only as a testbed for OS 9, 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4, but also for some plain old G3 goodness. It may end up replacing my Raspberry Pi as file server.

    Have an eMac + iBook G4 for similar reasons and to serve as backup machines. And a Power Mac G5 DC / PowerBook G4 DLSD are my primary / portable systems for everything that needs to be done.

    Pretty similar how they would have been used back in the day, overall.

    Sent from aforementioned G3.
     
  9. Lastic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Location:
    North of the HellHole
    #10
    I know which cable so I feel your pain.
     
  10. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #11
    So you've probably got one of those fastest models of the G4 iBooks (1.2 or 1.33 GHz). Sturdy machines!
    I'd max out RAM and put in an mSATA+converter-combo, which makes it much faster, silent and even more sturdier.
    Mine has got installation of Leopard, Office '04/'08, LibreOffice, PDF-software, Group-Fax-Software, built-in-(imap)-email, browsers (Webkit4Leopard/TenFourFox and TFF-Box), iTunes, VirtualPC (Win2k, WinXP-Fundamentals) and besides paperworks and correspondence I make use of ScreenSharing/VNC, FTP/FileSharing, webDAV-cloud-storage.
    YouTube video is great with TenFiveTube from @wicknix.
    And there's also an extra-partition for Tiger/Classic.
    My iBookG4's main purpose is to serve as a beamer-companion and it is able deal with standard Office- and PDF-documents. Sitting next to the beamer it may be used to create a hotspot which allows ScreenSharing from another connected Mac.
     
  11. Lastic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Location:
    North of the HellHole
    #12
    Where do I begin, I swapped a Macbook Air for a Powerbook 12" and have been in love ever since.

    I use these old machines as clients to simulate multi user network enviroments , as test subjects for my meager Python skills, OS X stuff like Netbooting, Macports, learning C again after 24 years and just for the thrill of getting "obsolete" hardware to do exactly the same as my MBpro Retina of 2012.

    My PowerMac G5 didn't get much love lately since it was crammed in a corner of a desk with a 30" Cinema Display but my absence here was due the preparation this past month to install my standing desk.

    I found two of these KAE corp. Pro brackets on eBay

    s-l1600.jpg
    s-l1600_2.jpg

    and today a Belkin Flip with DVD-Dual link to connect the 30" Cinema Display to both my PowerMac G5 and MacPro 1,1

    Belkin Flip.jpg

    Coupled with the Ergotech Freedom Arm HD (for the 30") and a Freedom Arm Dual equivalents made by their European supplier innovativeworkspaces in Denmark and this is the result.

    PowerMac G5 no longer on a desk or on the ground

    VCTL5131.JPG

    Final install with celebration pizza :)

    IMG_4425.JPG

    The corner still needs to arrive and here it is , OS X 10.5 running Quicktime, GNS3 (network simulator) all on the 30".

    XIEE1625.JPG

    I find that for the price of the second hand obsolete machines , I get a lot of performance in return.
    You will have to tinker to get stuff running but the rewards of this learning process are greater than a 3000 EUR machine with no ports,over-powered and bloated from start to finish,
     
  12. z970mp macrumors 68000

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Location:
    A UNIX System
    #13
    I believe you've just summarized the core sentiment of this entire forum in two sentences.

    Very good. :D
     
  13. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    505 USA
    #14
    Speak for yourself. I use PPC because of the hot chicks.

    Love that standing desk kit - very similar to my work rig.
     
  14. z970mp macrumors 68000

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Location:
    A UNIX System
    #15
    Hot running chicks, I take it.

    Maybe you ought to replace their thermal paste. ;)
     
  15. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    505 USA
    #16
    LOL! I do believe that is the first time you've made me laugh out loud, z. Good thing I didnt have a cup of coffee in hand.

    :D
     
  16. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #17
    That means you most likely have a 1.33Ghz or 1.42" iBook correct?

    I love those machines. I use them for era-correct gaming usually, and the later G4s like yours are actually still able to browse the web with tenfourfox or leopard webkit. There are a few newer browsers like articfox people have had success using, too.

    As others have stated these machines work absolutely perfect for anything that came out in the same era.
     
  17. Appleuser201 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    #18
    I know this might come off as a stupid question, but out of pure curiosity what is the bare minimum G4 required for YouTube broswer playback in leopard webkit? Ive seen a 1.25ghz single CPU PMG4 do it... can a 1ghz do it?
     
  18. bobesch, Jul 28, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019

    bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #19
    YouTube on a G4/1,25GHz is yet a struggle and I rather like to use @wicknix ' TenFiveTube or TenFourTube as an out-of-the-box solution. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/tenfivetube-yet-another-youtube-option.2103937/
    Or download the video for playback with CorePlayer. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/coreplayer-is-no-more-rip.1397374/page-9#post-23587366
    @Dronecatcher and @Lastic are the one, who know a lot about all possible ways of video-playback on PPC. There a lot of his postings to find out how to tinker with different players and browsers ...
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/new-youtube-player-downloader-even-for-g3.2031523/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ew-mactubes-mobile-youtube-installer.2030035/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/youtube-options-in-2016.1986056/#post-23195872
     
  19. mrmiketheripper macrumors newbie

    mrmiketheripper

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Location:
    FL
    #20
    My 17" G4 sits on a desk always hooked up to my electronic drum kit. It's got some desktop speakers hooked up to and is always there when I want to sit down and play. Sadly, the battery is iffy about being detected so I'm not able to take it anywhere :(
     
  20. Appleuser201 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    #21
    In this video, by @Dronecatcher this PMG4 single CPU clocked at 1.25ghz plays YouTube perfectly using Webkit. I was asking, can a 1ghz do this? Although as you mentioned, CorePlayer in my opinion is the best way for any video playback, it even allows 720p playback for downloaded YOUTUBE videos
     
  21. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #22
    Sorry, I shouldn't have chimed in, since my slowest iBookG4 is a 1.25GHz-one and I usually use a 1.67GHzPB.
    So I can't tell about the YT-experience with WebKit on a 1GHz iBookG4. But since that my fastest Powerbook struggles at it's limit, when it comes to 380p-480p video, I dare to guess, 1GHz will be less fun, than taking any iOS/Android device for watching.
    Ad-bloated web and compressed video (beyond MPEG3/DV) are at limit on G3 and single-core G4 hardware.
     
  22. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #23
    So, a couple days ago I decided to see if I could turn one of my various Power Macs into a router.
    I succeeded. Unfortunately the connection speed topped out around 6mbps to 15mbps (my ISP speed from the modem is around 450-500mbps).
    I used my "Mystic" G4 gigabit ethernet dual 500Mhz. Using its onboard NIC, and a gigabit NIC from a G4 xserve. I Installed Mac OS X 10.5 server, used the internet gateway assistant and it worked very well. I put my linksys router into bridge mode and we were off. Working wifi and router running off of a Power Mac G4.

    What was interesting is that while the speed tests were showing that slow download speed, the upload speed reached my ISP's max of 20mbps. Also every webpage loaded or "felt" faster than it felt running off my linksys router. I'm almost tempted to do the same thing on a G5 to see if it will get the entire speed (my linksys router caps me out at 100mbps which is why I even started this project in the first place) but I don't know if I can justify leaving a G5 running 24/7 lol.
     
  23. z970mp macrumors 68000

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Location:
    A UNIX System
    #24
    Now that is interesting.

    At first glance, I would imagine the mbps ceiling to be a limitation of its slower 33mhz PCI bus. I would suggest getting a machine that has two Ethernet ports built-in (to circumvent this limit), then connect the spare one to a network switch (that is known not to be a bottleneck), and hook everything up to that. See what happens?

    Good luck with this endeavor. :)
     
  24. Amethyst1 macrumors 6502

    Amethyst1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2015
    #25
    A 32bit 33mhz PCI bus theoretically tops out at 133 megabyte/s, enough for gigabit Ethernet. The practical ceiling will be lower, but I'd still expect to see more than 20mbps.
     

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58 July 19, 2019