parts computers

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by gooser, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. gooser macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #1
    most consumers will buy a new computer when they need (or want) one and then dispose of their old one. those of us on this forum are not always like this. myself, i have a few models that i want to keep running and useful for the rest of my life. pretty ambitious project. i use programs that i used 10 years ago, they worked then, they work now and they'll work tomorrow and brand new computers won't run them. now comes maintenance on these old machines. does anyone here buy old fully working machines for the sole purpose of being able to raid it for parts when the need arises? let's face it, g4 ibooks and g4 imacs are really cheap right now and parts do wear out and may be hard to find when we need them. just wondering how many of us take this approach. please note that i am well aware that the internet is constantly changing but that doesn't mean that everything else that these old macs can do has to.
     
  2. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    I do pick up old PC's and occasionally PPC's, clean them up and reinstall the OS and give them to friends. And I do keep parts computers around. In the last couple of years it's been more PC's and putting Ubuntu on them than PPC's, simply because friends/family want to be able to play youtube and stream netflix, etc.

    That has become such a hassle and as we all know in some (sometimes most) cases impossible on PPC's. It's a shame since they are still so capable for almost every other use, as you point out. They make fine work stations when on a budget or too broke to buy something.

    I've never resold anything I've worked on, but I have a lot of machines out there being used as daily drivers and media centers and workstations for people. It's fun to bring something back to life and keep it out of a landfill.
     
  3. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #3
    That would be a good strategy, as parts will become more scarce, but I do not acquire older Macs for parts purposes; I preserve them in my collection. However, I have many PPC Macs, so I suppose I have a good number of parts to work with. (I sure have a lot of G3 parts).

    Not many people realize that the internet changes WAY too quickly, which is a message I am trying to get across to those who are not as keen about old computers products, like we are. It really annoys me how we as a whole cause our own equipment to become "obsolete", by updating software so frequently and---for the most part---needlessly. We might as well be axing our own feet, for crying out loud. This also adds to the growing issue of e-waste. People who advocate for proper electronics recycling never take into consideration the fact that these piles of "useless" electronics aren't tossed just because the customer wanted the 'great new thing'. In fact, hardware is useful for far longer than most make it to be, but is squandered by the internet and software side. *sigh* I don't want to not be able to effectively use a nice PowerPC Mac on the internet, just because stupid Google decides that it's fun fun to keep ditching support of my browser version for NO reason.
     
  4. gooser thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #4
    i gotta agree with you powermac on the software. some folks upgrade to a newer operating system or versions of itunes the first day they're available just because they can and apple recommends it. do this enough times and guess what? your machine will slow to a crawl. leopard is a good example of this. not knocking leopard, it just gets installed on far too many machines that have no business running it. enough of my rant. my second 1.33ghz ibook showed up last week and one of them eventually will have its battery removed and put away.
     
  5. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #5
    Yeah, it's such a drag. Most people who don't know better will wonder why their computer is suddenly slow on the internet. They will blame the hardware, but most of the blame should be put upon the software that eventually became unsupported by older architecture. The worst part is that that hardware was doing its job JUST fine until, for example, a browser lost its support for an OS. I guess it's not just hardware being put down, but certain software being ruined by other software! (such as an OS being let down by some 3rd party or even 1st party application/plugin). I say that hardware is only obsolete once it becomes too old for pretty much anything. And the word "obsolete" can be taken with a grain of salt, because many still get use out of their old pieces of technology.
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    I've installed Leopard on many machines that didn't officially support it, but did so mostly for proof of concept and not so much as an every day OS(although admittedly my eMac is still running it despite its 700mhz processor). Even for things that are "on the edge" like my 867mhz TiBook, Leopard is a bit laggy and Tiger would probably be a better choice overall.

    All that aside, I'm typing this from a late 2007 Macbook(black!) that originally shipped with Leopard. I'm going to upgrade it to Snow Leopard or Lion(probably Lion as its still supported), but it's amazing to me how lightweight and fast Leopard feels on this particular computer. I'm sure that the SSD helps, but still just in overall responsiveness it's great.

    Of course, I've also never installed Leopard on a Power Macintosh 8600 like Intell has :)
     
  7. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    I used to have a hot rod 7600 back in the day with a 400mhz G4 upgrade and a 10gb SCSI drive. That thing was fast and the SCSI bus made the machine hammer :D I installed various versions of OS X on it and I even clocked it to 450mhz, but that was back when PPC was still relevant.

    These days PPC Macs rarely come up for sale, but honestly outside of maintaining old computers as a hobby, it's hard to justify using these machines as they're just not software compatible.

    • You can't really run office on them thanks to the new XTML documents
    • You can't really use them on the internet thanks to a lack of software support, browsers don't really exist.

    The one saving grace with these old computers is that you can run Linux on them and at least with that you can use a limited range of open source software and browsers.

    As much as you want to maintain old machines like that, it's hard to justify PPC as the arch is now so limited in what you can do with it that only hardcore enthusiasts choose to maintain it. I only really advocate running older Macs in a present day environment if you're willing to run Linux on them as the majority of software available for PPC Macs is too far outdated to be relevant.
     
  8. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #8
    There isn't necessarily one answer to it at all though. The way many see it is that the machines still have their uses outside of being "obsolete". One who really knows how to use a PPC today can do so pretty nicely, but I wouldn't think so for a user who lacks the knowledge. There are actually two current browser builds for PPC Macs. One is TenFourFox, and the other is Safari Webkit. MS Office can be used just fine, although I prefer iWork '08 to any MS Office suite ;). PPC Macs are obviously past their prime and more-so amongst common users. However, that is not to say that they are as useless as they may seem. One can definitely still be used for well over just a single task. In fact, given that I prefer desktop computer over laptop computers, and that I don't have a newer desktop, I use my 2003 PowerMac G5 as my main desktop, and it works fine for everything I do.
     
  9. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Well you can have it both ways https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacOnLinuxHowto. The benefits include modern up to date software and support for native Firefox (Icecat) as well as Webkit based browsers that are up to date. You also get full security patches and updates.

    I really recommend those stuck in their ways give it a try ;)
     
  10. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #10
    I badly want to try this, although it seems like a mess to install and can be about as frustrating/buggy as installing Mac OSX on a Dell, as far as I'm aware.
     
  11. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    It can be a pain in the bum to get up and running, but there's also no such thing as a free lunch, once its up and running you get access to your full system, and it runs natively as in VMWare on a PC because its using your existing hardware.
     
  12. Intell, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014

    Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #12
    Can't really run Office or browse the internet on older Mac OS X PowerPC Macs? That is not true. I'm able to view/edit nearly any docx, pptx, xlsx document on my PM 8600 with Office 2008 or 2004 with XML converter. I'm also able to sign into iCloud.com with Tenfourfox 31.3.0 or Leopard Webkit. While Leopard Webkit is nearing the end of its life, Tenfourfox is still under active development with the latest ESR version, 31.3.0, on par with Mozilla's latest ESR release. While the machine may be slow, it does what I ask of it.
     
  13. gooser thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #13
    i agree with you intell. i do almost all of my browsing on ppc's with tenfourfox and it does everything i want. however tomorrow.....................................
     
  14. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #14
    Right you are. I've been using PowerPC Macs since 2004, and I didn't even get an Intel machine until 2012. Yet, I was still able to do everything on my PowerPC Mac---I even played Minecraft and ran a server on it before native support was lost for PowerPC. Nothing is truly ever "obsolete", as that word can have many meanings to it. As I said to another, the word is something that one must take with a grain of salt.
     
  15. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    In comparison to what you can do otherwise it's becoming extremely problematic as more and more developers abandon the platform entirely, hence as I said it's becoming a situation where in order to maintain compatibility without any headaches you really need to start looking at running Linux.
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #16
    Linux is starting to run into the same problems as Mac OS X. It's only a matter of time before they're both at the bottom of the ocean.
     
  17. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    Yes, sooner rather than later developers will abandon the platform entirely.
     
  18. gooser thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #18
    and what does that mean? it doesn't mean that i have to. does it mean that i will no longer be able to rip cd's into itunes? play dvd's? copy dvd's into video_ts files? play some old games i have on cd-rom? print letters with appleworks? attach my digital camera and import pictures into iphoto? copy vinyl records to cd's? i'm not so inclined but if i wanted to i could edit video and photoshop pictures. all this from a machine that costs less than a $100 on the open market today. as long as i can keep them running they will never be obsolete for me. i know most of these things are old fashioned but i'm ok with that. in this town you can pick up used dvd's at pawn shops for a dollar apiece and a few of them are new movies.
     
  19. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #19
    It doesn't have to mean anything to you.
     
  20. gooser thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #20
    fair enough. i guess i was a little rough.
     
  21. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #21
    I enjoy tinkering as much as the next person while I've got a G5 X Serve sitting on my bench, but, it's getting harder and harder to justify it as even a side interest as these computers become more and more irrelevant each day.
     
  22. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #22
    I'm curious why you would think that? At least as far as Ubuntu goes, it's finally a very usable experience for a non-geek, especially when they finally added an app store with 1 click installations. Dell and other companies have been selling computers with Ubuntu pre-installed, although I have no idea how well those sell. And there are more game companies making games for Linux than ever before. I would think as the other OS's shield themselves off into their own ecosystems that Linux distros would be the beneficiaries, as long as they are easy for a casual user to use. They should sell Ubuntu or other distro installation discs in stores, that would help.

    I've been getting more and more pissed at Apple over the last couple of years for several reasons. I'm still on Macs, can't picture going to Ubuntu or another other OS but it's nice to know there are still some other good choices out there, whether I use them or not. I would never go back to Windows, what a disaster that continues to be. I hate Android and Chrome OS. While Chrome OS is a good choice for someone who only surfs the net, I want to do a lot more than that.
     
  23. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    #23
    I think his point is in reference to Linux development for the PowerPC architecture. That has been slowing down, with a number of distros no longer supporting the PPC at all. Some of those left are just in maintaining mode and are not really doing much else.

    However, the 3 major BSDs still heavily develop for the PPC and will likely continue to do so. NetBSD in particular is adamant about keeping their system running on everything they can, and PPC Macs are cheap and plentiful enough that it is not difficult to find them for testing and development. I don't see them dropping support for a long time.
     
  24. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #24
    Linux on PowerPC Macs is starting to run in to the same problems as Mac OS X. Not Linux in general.
     
  25. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #25

    lol ok, my brainfart there. Thanks.
     

Share This Page