Vintage and obsolete G4 Powerbook

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by sallyanne1970, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. sallyanne1970, Aug 28, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016

    sallyanne1970 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2016
    #1
    I have a PB G4 Combi 12" and I am seeking Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) software for it so I can use purely as a Word Processor. Can anybody please let me know where I can purchase this software from? Have searched on Ebay already, no luck!
     
  2. JohnDS macrumors 65816

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  3. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #3
    There are old versions over at macintoshgarden:

    http://macintoshgarden.org/search/node/microsoft office

    Depending on what your requirements are you might also want to consider MS Office alternatives, a few are listed here:

    http://ppcarchive.dyniform.net/productive.html
     
  4. sallyanne1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Many thanks! much appreciated
    --- Post Merged, Aug 28, 2016 ---
    Many thanks, much appreciated!
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #5
    Many people here swear by Office 2004. However, for your reference, just know that Office 2008 is the last version that will run on Leopard PowerPC Macs.
     
  6. bobesch, Aug 28, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #6
    D
    Depending on where you are: here's an option for Office 2004 at ebay/US
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=office+2004+mac&_sacat=0
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...ksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=office+2008+mac&_sacat=0

    Office 2004 is faster and more responsive than Office2008, but to open docx/xlcx/pptx files (from Office2008 and above) with Office2004 you need to convert them with "MS XML Converter" (freeware). I personally prefer 2004 over 2008 (both versions can be installed side by side on the mac) and I use the office 97-04 file format for all my Office versions up to the latest of 2015...
    It's helpful to add more RAM (500MB or 1GB) if your PB sports only 250-500MB. (ca.10$)

    If you run Tiger you may install the Classic-environment and get Office2001 from macintoshgarden.org. This old version offers more space for editing, since the system-fonts are much smaller. It offers nearly the same functionality as Office2004 but also needs the "MS XML Converter" for some occasions.
    LibreOffice or OpenOffice is good to have plus free but lame compared to Office2004 and even 2008.

    Some more helpful basic freeware for productivity:
    - "Skim" to edit PDFs (for certain tasks more capable than Preview)
    - CombinePDFs v.3x free: merges PDFs/images to a new PDF-file
    - TaskPaper1: basic Outliner
    - Scanning: CanoScanLide200/210 are pretty good in combination with the PowerBook
    - email is still up to date
    - browsing: webkit for leopard or TenFourFox
    - webDAV cloud-storage: open a box-account, access box free cloud storage with Goto/Connect with server "https://dav.box.com/dav"
    - you may connect the Powerbook to Ethernet and create internet-sharing via WLAN-Hotspot created by the Powerbook.

    Except from Office and RAM (both for less than 30$) and a new battery the rest is free...
    ... and will make your PowerBook something far from obsolete and pretty good connected.

    PS:
    Looking for a link between PPC and intel Macs I recently found MacJournal (marinersoftware) very helpful to connect my Powerbook with the iPhone (and intel-macs). You have to run version 5 for Tiger/Leopard. Sync is only text, even if both iOS and OS X version may hold attachments. (There's a back to school offer of 50% now - code BTS6) You have to contact the support to get the regcode for version 5 (very responsive people)
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    I'm an Office 2008 fan, but a lot of folks would consider it heresy.

    It will run-and even run well-on much lower spec hardware than the instructions explicitly state.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    I have yet to experience this slowness with 2008 that the denizens here often report. I will admit it takes a bit longer to boot up, but I've never found it less responsive after loading up than Office 2004.
     
  9. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
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    Kiel, Germany
    #9
    Booting time is one thing to get over after the Office applications had been started at least once,
    but this annoying extra-bar (kind of ribbon-predessor) takes a lot of space on the 12" screen and cannot be removed...
     
  10. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

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    Texas
    #10
    In reality, was there ever a worse Office app for the Mac than Word 6?
     
  11. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #11
    Agreed on this.

    2008 all the way for me.

    In fact, I like 2008 so much that I have it installed on my main MBP
     

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  12. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Central US
    #12
    Word 6 was really bad, and on the flipside Office 2001 was the best Mac version ever made.
     
  13. brettroby macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2016
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    Santa Cruz, California
    #13
    I might actually have an authentic installation disc of one or more of the older Microsoft Office for Mac products laying around at work and can check tomorrow for you.
     
  14. sallyanne1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2016
    #14
    --- Post Merged, Aug 29, 2016 ---
    Thanks Brettroby that's very kind of you, however, I seeked out the last version that was for sale on Amazon that JohnDS kindly informed me about and purchased it yesterday. Thanks JohnDS, much appreciated and thanks loads to all that responded to my query and for the in depth advice, esp. from Bobesch. Thanks Bobesch, I've ordered 2004 now, but by reading all your advice, I won't be too disappointed.
    Another query if I may, is it a common problem for PB G4's to spit out CDs? It's hardly every used, so thinking perhaps I just need a cleaning CD for dirty lens, or maybe new disc drive? Sorry to sound vague, but is there a "special" lens cleaning CD I need to purchase for the Mac and won't it just spit it out anyway? :(
     
  15. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #15
    Do you mean audio CDs, software CDs or recordable CDs that have been written on another machine?
    These old machines can be very fussy about recordable disks - your best best is to always use best quality -R format ones. I have a very fussy iMac that spits out most types of disk - I just use USB sticks instead.
     
  16. sallyanne1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2016
    #16
    Hi Dronecatcher, I'm putting in the original PowerBook G4 Software install and Restore CD and thinks about it for a while and then spits it out. I've also tried the Hardware Test CD, same thing and then tried others, but spits them all out! New disc drive I fear! Are they expensive if that is the problem and is that something I can purchase and replace or head to Apple repair shop? I've been given this lovely old mac and it's in mint condition, so want to give it lots of TLC. My next query is about getting on the web if possible. Which I'm excited to read Bobesch mentioning by Ethernet it could be possible, as I've been told by Apple helpline most web pages won't be readable on such an old machine. The spec on the Invoice states the MAC12401 is 56k LAN Blue Airport Extreme Ready 32MB GeForce4 420 Go Boots only into MacOS X 10.2. Means absolutely nothing to me, hence joining this great forum for your help! :) Hence the reason for the title of my Thread "Vintage and Obsolete" because all my previous research that is all I've been told and may as well put it away in the loft for a few years as a nice museum piece! But I want to use it for word processing purposes and to get on the internet, wow! fantastic if possible, but I've been told otherwise.
     
  17. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #17
    There's fussy and there's just down right uncooperative....
    Yes, sounds like a bad drive - a cleaning disk might be worth a shot but obviously a new drive would be a 100% solution. I've no idea how much a Apple Store would charge but the sad fact is you could probably buy another secondhand Powerbook for less.
    Best bet would be get a compatible unit off ebay (I'm sure someone here who's already bought one will advise on the model) and go the DIY route.
    Regarding the OS, if you were to use it only as a word processor, 10.2 is fine, in all other respects going up to 10.4.11 is advised. Your Powerbook could also take 10.5.8 but it won't move as quick.
    All these operating systems are available at macintosh garden - however, as you're stuck with the CD problem you'd have to put the disk images onto USB and boot from there. This involves a bit of homework and dabbling in the system but there is good advice on it in the forum.
    For internet you can go 3 routes - connect a network cable straight from your router (fast & easy but does tie you down a bit), get an Apple Airport card (fits behind the battery) or get a cheap USB wireless bud off ebay (all wireless options need at least OS 10.4 nowadays).
    A lot depends on the model you have and how much RAM you have (click the Apple top left and About This Mac for info) to decide whether it's worth the trouble to get online - it's easily possible but can be slow and clunky plus there's a reasonable learning curve to get the best out of these machines.
    Having said that an awful lot is possible - it's far from being ready to be put to sleep in the loft!
    Feel free to ask away :)
     
  18. sallyanne1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2016
    #18
    Thank you so much Dronecatcher...love this site! :) and I agree, where there is a will, there is a way and I feel obliged to bring this lovely machine back to working order...if it's not too ridiculously priced of course. Like you said, could buy a new one for the cost of patching this one up! But would rather not, really fond of it. Thanks again and have a great BH Monday! :)
     
  19. bobesch, Aug 30, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #19
    sallyanne, what are the specs of your Powerbook? (speed of the processor, RAM-size, size of the hard disk?)
    If processor is equal or above 1.2GHz I'd recommend to install Leopard since it still offers the latest WLAN encryption. (Look at the location within the battery-bay, Dronecatcher mentioned, to see, if it holds an Airport-card? Then the Airport-card will offer WPA2 encryption with Leopard [but only WEP with Tiger./wrong:WPA is possible])
    A cheap Airport-Card, can be found here: http://www.ebay.de/itm/Apple-Airpor...114267?hash=item415db67a9b:g:N5UAAOxy~g5RqZhK ]
    If your your Powerbook sports low specs (1Ghz or 867MHz) Tiger will be more responsive (to be honest, I don't know the exact differences between 10.2 and 10.4 and if those basic productivity apps, I've mentioned above, mail, browsing (webkit for Tiger and TenFourFox) and WPA will work the same on 10.2 as it does on 10.4)
    If you want to install Tiger or Leopard maybe friends of yours do owe a mac with firewire 400. If they boot up their mac with the installation-CD/DVD they can chose your Powerbook's hard drive as the disk for installing OS X, if both macs are connected via firewire-cable. So you don't need to get an expensive DVD-drive.
    The overall costs will be: 10$ for the Edimax (or 15$ for the AirportCard), 1 spare DVD for the OS X from Macintoshgarden, up to 10$ for 1GB RAM. A firewire cable.
    You may get a cheap firewire-case for an external hard drive. In most cases a firewire-cable is included. You can/should use it later for bootable backups with SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner. Scheduled backups are highly recommended, since the old hard disk may fail. With such a bootable backup you may also fire up the Powerbook from the external drive when holding the Alt-key on booting.
    If you should find a cheap external firewire DVD-case/drive, you may also boot from that external DVD-drive AFAIK ...
    Both external hard disk or DVD-drive are extras and can be used with other Macs, so your money won't be buried in the Powerbook ...
    For web-browsing Leopard is the better choice. Leopard also offers inbuilt screensharing so that you may steer another macs screen (for Tiger you will need extra VNC software). Both Tiger and Leopard offer FileSharing with other Macs and connecting a webDAV-server, but the still working Dropbox hack is only working with Leopard.
    Maybe you could post the specs of your Powerbook for more specific advise (Apple-Menu at the left upper corner of the screen/About this Mac).
    Have fun!
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2016 ---
    About purchasing Office2004 you certainly won't regret it ...
    Here some screenshots about Office 2001(Classic/OS9) / 2004 / 2008
    I' don't like the extra-bar below the symbolbar of the 2008 version and do like the 2001-classic version most.

    Office2001(onlyTiger+Classic).png (2001)

    Office2004.png (2004)

    Office2008.png (2008)
     
  20. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #20
    I have WPA on my Tiger Powerbook with original Airport card.
    I agree, Leopard does give you more options - especially browsing - it's the trade off against speed, I'm guessing the machine is 867Mhz or 1Ghz, I'd personally opt for Tiger at that level.
     
  21. bobesch, Aug 30, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #21
    Oh wow, right - thanks for telling!
    I really mixed up WEP and WPA because of the missing "2" in the network-prefs of Tiger - didn't even try to connect with the Airport-Card on the Powerbook with Tiger lately but used the Edimax-stick instead...
    Surely the Airport-Card is the better choice then. Does it work with 10.2 well, I mean WPA?
    As you said, for low specs Tiger would be the better option and maybe speed of browsing with TenFourFox and Tiger would be equal to webkit on Leopard?
    Then one could install Classic/OS9.2.2 too and use Office2001 as a nice option and look for some other gems at macintoshgarden. Since Classic and Tiger work nearly neatless together the use of the free "MS XML converter" for docx/xlsx/pptx will also go hand in glove with Office2001.
     
  22. sallyanne1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2016
    #22
    Wow! thank you sooooo much for all the information. It doesn't have an Airport Card. The full spec on the invoice I have for it is: MAC12401 PB G4 867 256MG 40GB Combi 12" 56k LAN Blue Airport Extreme Ready 32MB GeForce4 420 Go Boots only into MacOS x 10.2.
    I have a Mac Emergency Repair guy living nearby who is selling a White MacBook Snow Leopard OS 10.6 for £150. What do you think of this model and shall I trade the G4 in and pay £100? Going to look at it today.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2016 ---
    Hey Dronecatche, I have a Mac Emergency Repair guy living nearby who is selling a White MacBook Snow Leopard OS 10.6 for £150. What do you think of this model and shall I trade the G4 in and pay £100? Going to look at it today.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2016 ---
    I would love to keep the G4 but now needing an airport card to get online etc. thinking it might be good to upgrade? aahhh decisions decisions and cost of making those decisions!
     
  23. elf69 macrumors 68000

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #23
    Sallyanne1970

    If you are looking to trade in your G4 then on ebay there are several 2009 unibody macbooks (i haves one) which are little under £200.
    Maybe the repair guy buy your mac then you can purchase a newer machine.
    These will run el capitan as mine does.

    Which model is the repair guy offering you?
    Possibly the A1184 model? the one just before unibody.

    I am selling a G4 ibook 1.42GHz with 1.5GB ram OSX 10.5. although this is older than what you are offered.

    But if you have the budget you can go far with the 2009 macbook as will run Sierra too.
    mine now has 8GB ram and an SSD.
     
  24. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Lincolnshire, UK
    #24
    Hello SallyAnne - considering the Powerbook you have is the lowest model 12" and needs a new disk player and wireless card - if the Macbook is in great condition ie no broken plastic and the battery is good, I'd go for a trade. If it does look scruff and the battery is poor (or dead) use that as a bargaining tool.

    You will get an easier ride with the Macbook as it's much more compatible with the modern internet plus it's a lot, lot faster than the Powerbook.
    The downside if you've already purchased Office 2004, is it wont run that at full speed as Office 2004 was designed for the older Macs - they speak a slightly different language :)
    I wouldn't worry though, it'll still run more than ok.

    Unfortunately, as with most gadgets now, they become old hat as soon as you leave the shop, so always bear in mind everything will have a limited lifespan.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2016 ---
    I can't say for certain but I'm pretty sure 10.2 is stuck at WEP - there's no reason not to upgrade to 10.4.11 generally anyway.
    Regarding browsing, no, I wouldn't say TFF on Tiger is same speed/faster than Webkit on Leopard - far from it but for everything else, Tiger is faster - as always, depends on your needs.
    Plus, I can never shake from my mind that Leopard was designed for Intel machines so always expect a performance drop....
     
  25. sallyanne1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
     

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