PowerBook G4 12"

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by chrislufc1977, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. chrislufc1977, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013

    chrislufc1977 macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2013
    Location:
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi all, first time Mac owner and new member here :)

    I just picked up a PowerBook G4 12" on eBay for £13.00..collection only. This was great as it was only 3 miles from where I live.

    It's a 867Mhz/256Mb/40Gb/Combo. There is no power adapter and there was very little power in the battery...just enough for 1 turn on in fact! There was the usual Mac sound on start up and then the disk with a question mark in it.

    I have replaced the 128mb stick with a 256mb one. The hard drive is present and the Mac doesn't seem to have been opened up at all previously.

    It's in great condition, no chips or dings on the casing and the screen looked perfect when it did turn on.

    I have ordered a new power adapter and am looking forward to getting her up and running.

    Will post some pics later :)

    Chris

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #2
    Nice Mac! I used to have a 12" 867mhz with 1.25gb RAM & the Go420 (I believe you posted a comment on one of videos yesterday?) & it ran Tiger beautifully. Leopard was very sluggish, even with the RAM maxed out. I'd recommend AppleWorks 6 (iWork '09 was pretty painful), Camino/TenFourFox/Stainless, MacTubes etc. (all standard apps to download on PowerPC Macs nowadays, check the FAQ).

    They're built like tanks, the form factor is just amazing & the keyboard is the best I've ever used. Enjoy it! :)
     
  3. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    #3
    Thanks Goftrey,

    Which OS version would this model have shipped with originally?

    I have very little knowledge of Macs although when I was younger I worked in design so used a Power Mac for Illustrator, Photoshop and FreeHand.

    Just hope I can get this one running again. There doesn't seem to be that much wrong with it anyway.
     
  4. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    Wales, UK
    #4
    They originally shipped with 10.2 Jaguar I believe.
    As long as you have at least 512mb RAM you'll be able to install 10.5 Leopard, but this is not recommended as the Go-420 really struggles under Leopard. If I were you I'd stick Tiger (10.4) on there, max out the RAM and you'll have an absolutely awesome web-surfer/OS 9 gamer!
     
  5. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #5
    Ah, the 12" PowerBook G4. I had one of these as my primary laptop for a good long while, although mine was the final 1.5GHz version, and it was such a wonderful machine. I finally replaced it in 2009 with an Air, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for that little PowerBook. I wish I hadn't sold it, but I needed the funds to put towards my new Air :(
     
  6. mccjim12 macrumors member

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    Sep 23, 2012
    Location:
    Stamford, CT
    #6
    Re:

    really nice looking PB! For some reason I like the look of the 12" a lot more than I used to. I'm even tempted now to go looking for one!

    Good luck getting it running!
     
  7. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2013
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    #7
    Thanks all!

    If I purchased some installation discs for either Jaguar or Tiger would they have to be specifically for the PowerBook G4 12"...
     
  8. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    May 20, 2011
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    #8
    If you buy the grey disks they'd have to be specific to your model - pretty hard to come by. It'd be a lot easier, and a much better option to go pick up a set of retail Tiger disks. Far superior & newer OS & they're really not going for too much money any more.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/mac-os-x-...ftware_Software_SR&hash=item4ac11d0f94&_uhb=1

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-Mac...ftware_Software_SR&hash=item3f21cdfa57&_uhb=1
     
  9. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    #9
    Would these be Ok....Says for PowerBook G4 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/APPLE-MAC-OS-X-TIGER-10-4-inc-MAC-OS-9-2-OPERATING-SYSTEM-INSTALL-DISC-/200893359933?pt=UK_Computing_Software_Software_SR&hash=item2ec62d673d
     
  10. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #10
  11. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2013
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    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    #11
    I got a power adapter today for this PowerBook. I plugged it in and turned on the PowerBook but nothing happens.

    When I first got the PowerBook I was able to turn it on....just the once before the battery ran out. Now the battery indicator just blinks on one light.

    Could the power socket be the problem..:confused:
     
  12. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Ok...i've got it to turn on. I now get the question mark folder for a couple of secs and then a smiley face, then a blank grey screen. I rebooted with the Option key held down and I can see the OSX HDD in the middle of the screen, a refresh button on the left and an Advance button to the right.

    When I click on the Advance button I just get a blank grey screen.

    Does this sound like just a bad HDD....
     
  13. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Tulsa
    #13
    The blinking folder screen means it cannot locate OS files that are necessary for booting into OS X. Meaning, it needs a new install of OS X. Try that and see if it runs properly.
     
  14. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Are there any bootable utilities that I can burn onto CD to check the hard drive and also to test the Superdrive? I plan on purchasing some OS X discs soon but I would like to be sure that my drives are actually working properly first. :)
     
  15. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I've never really used many live discs so I'm not sure what all is out there. But maybe GParted or a build of Linux that runs on the CD?
     
  16. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    #16
    I'm pleased to say that I am typing this message on my PowerBook! :)

    I installed another hard drive and downloaded the Debian 6.0.6 iso and burned that onto a cd. I was then able to boot from the cd and install Debian!

    I now just need to figure out how to change the colour depth as it is not correct.

    I love this little PowerBook and am amazed at the quality of the display and the keyboard is just beautiful! :apple:
     
  17. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    Have just upgraded my RAM to 1.1GB by using a 1GB stick from my Dell laptop. It's PC2700 but I thought the earlier 12" used PC2100...anyway it worked. I also thought this model had 256MB internal RAM but seems like it's actually 128MB in this one.
     
  18. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    It's good that you upgraded the RAM. :) did you notice any improvements? I am going to upgrade my dad's 15" PB to 1.5GB soon and then later to 2GB.
     
  19. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    It seems to boot into Debian a bit quicker...although that is never going to fast!

    I am still struggling to change the display colour depth though and also install my USB wireless adapter. :confused:
     
  20. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    #20
    Well, I finally have OS X installed on my PowerBook 12". It's 10.3.9 but it's fine for the moment for browsing MacRumors, email and the DVD playback is great! I managed to pick up some 12" restore disks on eBay for £10.00.

    I think I might have some video problems as I occasionally get artifacts when scrolling up and down. There was also quite a bit on DVD playback via the Apple DVD Player but none at all since I started using VLC.

    Anyway, I'm loving my PowerBook! Not bad considering I only paid £13.00 for this AND a PowerBook G3...which I've yet to start work on.
     

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  21. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #21
    Pick up a copy of 10.4 when you can. Perfect OS for that PB.
     
  22. chrislufc1977 thread starter macrumors member

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    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    #22
    Will do!

    I could also do with a new hard drive as this one is very noisy when booted from cold. Once it's been on a few minutes it's fine though.
     
  23. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #23
    Speaking with the experience of no less than three (!) 12" PB's (2X 1,5 Ghz and one 867), I strongly agree with MisterKeeks. As a new mac user, you may not be aware that software availability may (by time) become a limitation (Fear not, there are many PPC software's around and many enthusiasts are there to help you). Nevertheless, a number of programs will work on Tiger, while not working on pre-Tiger versions.

    Also, keeping in mind that your machine is not the fastest PowerPC machine out there, so I'd keep away from leopard (10.5) as it quite commonly runs slower on older G4's.

    Congrats on your machine and have fun :)

    RGDS,
     
  24. AQUADock macrumors 65816

    AQUADock

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    Mar 20, 2011
    #24
    I second this, some people recommend 10.5 but i feel its quite a bit slower than 10.4 on a 800 - 1.5 GHz G4 but the software selection is much older than 10.5.
     
  25. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    Nov 15, 2012
    #25
    I don't think there's much of a difference at all.
     

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