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B S Magnet

macrumors 601
Original poster
Time to get a fresh thread going here…

This one’s for Early Intel Macs you’ve either been given for free; found for free; rescued (again, for free) from an electronics recycler; or best yet, a dumpster-dive find.

I’ve had a few early Intel Macs in the last few years which have landed in my lap, so to speak, from barter trades, but I’ve also found locally at least three iBook G4s for free last year. If you live in a bigger city or have a lot of relatives or old friends, you’ve probably had a thing or two land in your lap for the low, low price of gratis.

And that’s what this thread is all about! It’s sort of a companion thread to those as “eBay bargains — what’s your latest conquest?

I picked up an Early Intel Mac recently, but before I share, I’d love to hear more about your own fortuitous finds! :D
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
29,001
27,280
You’re basically the resident go-to for old Macs. :D
I am grateful to each member here who has gone through the hassle and often the expense of shipping these Macs to me over the years. In the case of the above named MBP, that was an international shipment.

Some of them I asked about, others were outright gifts. But for each I've tried to prolong their usefulness and keep them running for a purpose.

The members here have been generous both in Macs, parts, help and good advice over the years. I'm grateful to all and very fortunate.
 
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bobesch

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2015
2,138
2,217
Kiel, Germany
I am grateful to each member here who has gone through the hassle and often the expense of shipping these Macs to me over the years. In the case of the above named MBP, that was an international shipment.

Some of them I asked about, others were outright gifts. But for each I've tried to prolong their usefulness and keep them running for a purpose.

The members here have been generous both in Macs, parts, help and good advice over the years. I'm grateful to all and very fortunate.
Many thanks to you! I'm grateful for Your kind help and company. Cheers!
 

SecretSquirrel

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2013
127
195
U.K.
Back in 2014 a work colleague gave me her white 2007 MacBook which she wanted rid of. I still have it:

D43ED649-FC71-40C4-BF65-C5C02FCD1FC0.jpeg

Needs a top case, battery and a purpose but still runs fine - especially with Snow Leopard.
 

Raging Dufus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2018
625
1,149
Kansas USA
Three years ago a family member, who knows I'm an old Mac aficionado, told me about an "Apple monitor" she'd seen set out with someone's trash. I drove by and, lo and behold, there it was sitting curbside on a pile of what someone obviously considered refuse. Said pile was heaped next to a couple of full garbage bins and today was the day it was supposed to be collected. I say all this merely to explain: it was abandoned property. So I took the "monitor" to see if I could do anything with it.

Turns out, it was a 2011 2.5 GHz i5 iMac, with Apple keyboard. It was clean, and nothing was obviously wrong, so I plugged it in and it booted almost all the way to an El Capitan desktop, but kept kernel-panicking before it could finish. Long story short, troubleshooting revealed the problem to be some kind of USB fault in the keyboard. I replaced it with another one and it's been running smoothly ever since.

When I got the thing stabilized, the first time it finished booting it went right into an open Word doc. Apparently this was what the last user had been working on before the machine died and got kicked to the curb. The author seemed to be a woman who, from the doc's contents, had had enough of a relationship and was trying to write a goodbye note to her former partner. Seems she had been given this iMac by said partner, and in her note she related how much she hated Apple computers, she didn't know why she had to use this thing and now, just like her relationship, it was broken beyond repair! I can only imagine that when the thing quit on her in the middle of that letter, it was the last straw. She gave up on the iMac and the relationship then and there, threw everything out on the curb and left... or so it seemed.

She may have had a broken heart, but she didn't have a broken iMac - just a bad keyboard. I hope she's happier now :)
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
29,001
27,280
Three years ago a family member, who knows I'm an old Mac aficionado, told me about an "Apple monitor" she'd seen set out with someone's trash. I drove by and, lo and behold, there it was sitting curbside on a pile of what someone obviously considered refuse. Said pile was heaped next to a couple of full garbage bins and today was the day it was supposed to be collected. I say all this merely to explain: it was abandoned property. So I took the "monitor" to see if I could do anything with it.

Turns out, it was a 2011 2.5 GHz i5 iMac, with Apple keyboard. It was clean, and nothing was obviously wrong, so I plugged it in and it booted almost all the way to an El Capitan desktop, but kept kernel-panicking before it could finish. Long story short, troubleshooting revealed the problem to be some kind of USB fault in the keyboard. I replaced it with another one and it's been running smoothly ever since.

When I got the thing stabilized, the first time it finished booting it went right into an open Word doc. Apparently this was what the last user had been working on before the machine died and got kicked to the curb. The author seemed to be a woman who, from the doc's contents, had had enough of a relationship and was trying to write a goodbye note to her former partner. Seems she had been given this iMac by said partner, and in her note she related how much she hated Apple computers, she didn't know why she had to use this thing and now, just like her relationship, it was broken beyond repair! I can only imagine that when the thing quit on her in the middle of that letter, it was the last straw. She gave up on the iMac and the relationship then and there, threw everything out on the curb and left... or so it seemed.

She may have had a broken heart, but she didn't have a broken iMac - just a bad keyboard. I hope she's happier now :)
I've related the story before, but will share it again. Back in 2000 to 2003 I worked with a guy who ended up getting a free iMac G4 when they were brand new.

He and his girlfriend were returning to their apartment where they found one of their neighbors emptying all sorts of stuff outside her door. One of those things was that new iMac G4. She just left it there. Turns out she'd caught her boyfriend (who owned the iMac) cheating and was throwing him out.

She told my coworker he could have the Mac. :D
 

rampancy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
687
922
Needs a top case, battery and a purpose but still runs fine - especially with Snow Leopard.
With a functioning battery, maxed out RAM and a budget SSD a machine like that would be great for running a lightweight Linux distro like Zorin, mxLinux, or Peppermint. Plus you'd have easy access to up-to-date browsers for the web, too.

...She may have had a broken heart, but she didn't have a broken iMac - just a bad keyboard. I hope she's happier now :)
It kinda makes one think about how we sometimes get little windows into the stories of others when we get someone's old computer. Judging from the tone of the letter you mention, I wonder if she wasn't so much as suffering from a broken heart but was just basically saying "nope" to that relationship - kinda like when my Mac doesn't like what *I'm* doing and throws up a kernel panic.

...they found one of their neighbors emptying all sorts of stuff outside her door. One of those things was that new iMac G4. She just left it there. Turns out she'd caught her boyfriend (who owned the iMac) cheating and was throwing him out.

She told my coworker he could have the Mac. :D
I confess that reminded me just now of when I once gave a former partner a pristine 2.13 Ghz A1181. (That I souped up with maxed out RAM, an SSD, a new battery, and an optical drive-mounted HDD.) That relationship sadly ended very badly (all my fault, really); I wonder if they gave it away or sold it for scrap.
 

VirtuallyInsane

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2018
333
433
If we're allowed to say this, then if anyone has old Macbooks and really doesn't want them, I'm interested. But you have to be in the UK/Europe. So far, I have paid for all my Macs for reduced prices,(except the iMac, which I custom ordered and brought up to 36GB RAM) and I am happy with my purchases but I'd love to look after/refurbish or play with anything old (that's from like 2004 onwards old).

Trying to learn how to fix Macs.

It would be of great help to me.

(And I can help with shipping too if you want or need it as long as it's reasonable).
 

Alexis Trinquet

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2020
168
177
Gouvieux, France
That would be my 2008 A1225 24in... One of my relatives dropped it off at our place seeing if I can pull data out of the hard drive, and if I could fix the Mac, it was mine to keep.

And the rest is history... It's been upgraded to 6 (?) gig of RAM (and boy, high capacity DDR2 modules are expensive!), and as I've said in a thread, the GPU is next, and maybe the CPU.
 

rampancy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
687
922
Presenting my little empire of trash...

In the background is my current daily driver: My Late-2013 iMac 14,1 with a dying internal hard drive that my good friend gave me for free in return for helping her set up her new M1 iMac. Paired with it is my 2015 (?) Razer BlackWidow Chroma which I dug out of my building's recycling bin. On the left is an HP G62 (the famous*** HP G62-219CA) running Zorin OS 15.3 Lite, that I also dug out of the same recycling bin later on. I eventually found its power adapter in the bin, and I patched it up with an Amazon battery, a leftover 120 GB SSD, and some parts scavenged from a Compaq CQ20. I still can't believe someone would just toss a perfectly good working laptop like that...

On the left is my latest Craigslist score: A 1.86 Ghz MacBook 2,1 that someone was just giving away for free (!). Sadly, the DC-in board was toast, and it had just a paltry 60 GB hard drive. With a quick MagSafe board replacement, new thermal paste, upgrades stolen from some other Macs in my collection and a new DVD-RW drive, it's in fighting form yet again. I'm not sure if I'll give it the SSD+Linux treatment, or just load it up with games to show the doubters that yes, you can game on a GMA 950...

IMG_1641.jpg


***And by "famous" I mean, so ridiculously obscure that I almost have no idea what original specs this shipped with, since HP churned out an endless stream of region-specific models that differd wildly in GPU and CPU, and HP seemingly wiped all trace of this machine from the internet when they discontinued it.
 
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