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Author Topic: Wanting to try a ibook, powerbook
Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 11:10      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, right now, I'm not even sure if I really even want to do this, but I want to part with my IBM Thinkpad 600X in light of getting a Mac laptop. (Really want to try MacOSX and they can run Linux, which is my home OS anyhow, so it looks like getting one could be a real winner)

Now, I know very little about Mac, but a friend of mine has a 600mhz G4 powerbook that he got cheap because of a broken hinge. (Must have taken a good hit) That aside, I'm amazed that the build quality of those! They look neat and run quickly as far as I could tell.

My current everyday laptop is a 500mhz IBM Thinkpad 600x with 327megs of ram, 40GB hdd, CDRW/DVD drive, good battery, 802.11G wireless... I upgraded this so much because of the exceptional build quality and it's more than capable of running linux. Any idea what the Mac equivalent of this is? My worry is that if I sell this to get a *book, I'd take a loss. Would it be a good value to actually look for a broken powerbook and fix it ? [Confused] Any ideas? Thanks!

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Mac D
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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 11:30      Profile for Mac D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Getting parts for a Mac is not always the easiest thing to do. And the wireless standard for Mac's, Window's, And Linux is all the same. Apple has something called an Airport Card. It can access any wireless network that your IBM can. It's all built on the same standards.

I for one LOVE my Macs. They are older (G4's) But are still really good computers. If you want to be able to run Windows and the newer versions of Linux (The PPC versions are probably getting little to no attention by now) You will want to get a new one with the Intel CPU.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 12:21      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I traded from a Thinkpad to a Macbook Pro. I love it - it's totally incomparable.

Biggest downside? I hate the stupid one-button mouse (not that the IBM/Lenovo mouse is much better)

As to fixing a broken one - it's possible and fun. I have a friend who did that to restore a Lombard to functional use. It was a fun project [Smile]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 12:31      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's cool, for the heck of it, I'll post this in the Trading post... I have no desire to run Windows, so that's not an issue. Right click, lack of, might take getting used to but not a problem, I'm one who uses keyboard shortcuts. Thanks for the replies!!

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Mac D
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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 16:31      Profile for Mac D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WinterSolstice:

Biggest downside? I hate the stupid one-button mouse

Any 2 or 3 button USB mouse will work with it. Including the wheel mouse.

I have a travel 2 button mouse with wheel for my iBook and a standard 2 button wheel mouse on my Mini.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 16:54      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know - I use a logitech Razor.

I meant the one built in [Big Grin]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Mac D
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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 17:01      Profile for Mac D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, the track pad. You would have thought someone with to much time on their hands would have made something that could change that. You would probably have to take apart your computer and put the new buttons in.

This sounds like a job for google.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 18:11      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, one model of Apple laptop (the Wallstreet or Pismo) actually had the trackpad button set up as though there were two buttons. (it was a stretched out 'v' shape) Naturally, it was configured to click as one button, but I believe some enterprising souls found a way to make it recognize the different buttons and have a real right click!

For me, it took a solid read of a /. comment, and a bit of practice to discover the clever tricks Apple added to 10.4 and modern Apple laptops...and I love it. Initially, I thought the two finger stuff sucked badly, but part of it was do to the counterintuitive way that it's registered. Now that I know how to do it, it works quite well. Two finger scrolling is pretty fantastic, and beats the pants off the stupid 'scroll regions' that various Windows 3rd party drivers make.

Two finger right-clicking isn't bad either, but I'd rather it could recognition taps in succession instead of just simultaneous taps. The way I'd like it to work is that you take your index finger across to the area you want to click, and you strike down with your middle finger. *That* is the logical way it should work, IMHO. Then again, I'm a sysadmin/computer programmer. [Wink]

The only other thing I dearly miss is middle-clicking. That's one of the things I love about Thinkpads - they have a pseudo-scroll/middle-button and it is heaven on earth for this *nix junkie. Also, the Thinkpad has/had The World's Most Perfect Keyboard Layout. IBM lays keyboards out As $DEITY Intended. (Sadly, they've added these stupid extra blue keys on the NW/NE corners on the inverted-T and that mucks it up now.) My Thinkpad is utterly awesome, if not slow - the keyboard feels just like a smaller version of a 104-key keyboard -- complete with an inverted-T down to the right, Escape in the correct spot, and the Ins/Home/Pg... keys up to the left in a typical 6 key cluster. It feels completely natural to use. However, the iBook/MacBook has the next best keyboard for my purposes...it's very comfortable to use, and the keys are well placed. The grouping of the function keys is a little less fantastic on the MacBook, though, as they're equally spaced apart...not groups into sections of 4. This makes F5 harder to seek. [Wink] [More seriously, it makes the brightness/volume keys harder to reach by pure touch.] Still, it's a very usable keyboard, and is one of the reasons why I prefer the iBook/MacBook to the Powerbook/MBP. (I hate the shiny, low, prone-to-heat-up keys on the latter - they're designed for artists, not highly keyboard-centric people.)

Hi, I'm dragonman97, and input devices are very important to me. [Wink]

P.S. Aside - some might mock it, but I rather love the Apple Remote. It eliminates the need to find any keys or switch apps (or for uill...use global hotkeys) to change the volume or tracks. It's also an amusing tchotchke to show pictures with, but keep in mind that I hate iPhoto. [Wink] It's probably far more useful when watching DVDs, at least to pause and play. (I prefer DVD Player.app to the Front Row interface, as it handles subtitles/captions better.)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 15, 2007 19:16      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was actually meaning to ask about the keyboards. The Thinkpad's keyboard is fantastic. Very solid, doesn't have a chintsy bounce to it. Keys aren't too low- just right. So I take it the ibook has a comparable typing experience then...
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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 17, 2007 14:30      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Alright, so on my ebay quest for an ibook (looked at powerbooks too) I've got a question. G3's vs G4's is confusing! Maybe I've been in the PC processor mindset for too long, but why are there 400mhz G4's and 900mhz G3's? G4 is newer right? Is a 400mhz G4 quicker than a 900mhz G3? It looks like there are more g3's and they're cheaper. Would there be any real reason why I'd need a G4 over a G3? I'm just mind boggled [Roll Eyes] Any thoughts? Thanks! [Smile]

BTW, looks like there are a good number of ibooks that boot but don't post video. I've read about taking a heat gun to the gpu to melt the solder balls, fixing the problem. Anyone try/hear of this?

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 17, 2007 16:09      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speak to Macmcseboy my friend - he will be able to enlighten you.

The G3 is now a pretty old architecture but still a pretty good bit of kit... elswhere you referred to the clamshells which are still pretty sought after - especially the 466 Graphite "DV" model.

IIRC when the G4 was introduced it appeared first in the Powerbook line (and I forget the exact performance boost of G4 over G3 but it is significant) so the iBooks continued on the G3 getting incremental speed updates - thus you can get early G4 Powerbooks in the 500Mhz range and later G3 iBooks upto about 900MHz. Beware the G3 White iBook "graphic card mount failure... MMB will explain it better)

A decent late clamshell will run 10.3 acceptably (10.4 is pushing it unless it is seriously loaded with RAM) but will struggle on heavy Flash laden websites etc. A G4 iBook from about 700MHz up will run 10.4 well enough with a decent RAM complement (as usual more RAM and a faster processor is always better) PowerBooks have the PCMIA slots and some other stuff not found in iBooks, like better external monitor oprions etc. but command a premium in the second user market.

Personally I would NOT buy a "fixer upper" Mac... it can be done but if it is beyond simple home repairs it could well cost you a real packet.

My advice is consider what you want/need to do with it and aim to buy a good condition example at the top end of your budget with as much RAM already fitted as possible (yes bloody obvious I know...) - iBooks (and presumably PowerBooks) only have one expansion slot and on some models that is already filled so a base 512Mb model may well have 2x256Mb

One of the best resources for checking up on what model has what is Mactracker

And if you don't like the Mac OS there are PPC Linuxes to be had - Yellow Dog, Gentoo and (K)Ubuntu at the least (the Ubuntu PPC has now gone "unofficial" I believe but I am sure a good recent version is still available)

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RScottV

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Icon 1 posted March 18, 2007 12:38      Profile for RScottV     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Serenak's response is spot on. I will put in my two cents to report that I have owned a graphite clamshell G3 iBook (which is still going strong at a local school), a G3 800Mhz ibook (which sadly died of logic board failure) and a G4 powerbook, which my wife now uses. I loved all of them but the G4 powerbook was the best. It is a solid machine. I like the keyboard better than the ones on the ibooks. I also like having the PMCIA (sp?) slot, which I used to download photos. The current intel-based ibooks are nice and you can find them for a fairly reasonable price. If you get the intel models you can run OS X (through the soon to be released Leopord), Windows, and Linux (all at the same time if you want!)

Good luck!

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 18, 2007 13:23      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks! Right now, I'm looking at ibook G4's since I decided to cap my budget at ~$600 max. Think these will run future versions of OSX?

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 18, 2007 14:03      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Apple have promised to support at least the next generation of OS (read Leopard/10.5) on the older hardware...) I would not be surprised to find that does not include the G3 models at all - current 10.4 only "officially" supports" later G3 (500MHz plus with Firewire) though it can be made to run on older stuff with a poke or two.

G4 was still the current hardware till the intel transition due to the inability to get a G5 into a laptop. I personally expect to see 10.5 fully universal on all G4s and up till maybe halfway through the build up to 10.6 (Garfield [Big Grin] ) at least, and maybe even upto the end of that.

Let's face it, even Classic has only just started to suffer "real world deprecation" nearly 5 years past its "discontinuance"

10.6 I suspect will start to have "intel only" features or may be an intel only release... but we are looking probably 2 years down the line there and I am sure 10.5 would carry on fine for a year or so more on capable hardware just as 10.3 is still currently supported now...

10.3 is still a fine OS for the older G3s that can't manage 10.4 (very few) or don't have enough RAM to run it nicely - a few more... It lacks the "core" features but still many people are still running it quite happily.

I don't know what your budget will buy where you are but I would expect it to get a decent 12" iBook in the 1GHz+ range depending on the RAM and other extras bunged in, and unless you need PowerBook features it is probably not worth the premium you will be asked to pay (IMHO - YMMV)

I recently accquired a near new (and it was like new I assure you) 1.3GHz G4 iBook for my FiL for 400 UKP... and remember prices here are inflated by the initial 17.5% tax consumers are forced to pay... So approx $800 USD got me a very fine late 12" iBook, experience tells my you would expect to play a bit less

Good hunting...

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 19, 2007 15:34      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was bidding on this last night but was outbid-

I just got a second chance offer for $560, that would be awesome! Ebay auction

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 19, 2007 15:51      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dr Watson

that looks like a very good deal... only the "second chance offer" and the seller's measly 3 e-bay deals makes me twitch... the fact the winning bidder only has one deal to their name is also a bit "iffy"

Tread very carefully on "second chance offers" this is a commonly used scam to trap the unwary... by all means if you can confirm the deal is real and the seller is who they say they are go ahead, but the 2nd chance has become a regular way for someone to take 3x the money and never part with any goods at all. (Post a fake item - get mates to bid it up, then offer it 2nd chance to any real bidders)

OK everyone has to start somewhere so having only 3 deals to their name is not necessarily a flag of poor repute - but I tend to like sellers with a good number of transactions under their belt when looking at a fairly expensive transaction. Preferably transactions on the scale you are looking at... 25 or 250 $10 trades is no measure of trustworthiness on a $500 deal - especially if all their trades were purchases.

Email and if possible phone the seller and get a solid "feel" that this is for real beofre proceeding

If in ANY doubt hold off - good deals come along all the time - better to wait and get another deal than be $500 to the bad [Frown]

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Zwilnik

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Icon 1 posted March 19, 2007 15:59      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm running 10.4.9 on a G3 700Mhz iBook 12" and it's quite happy.

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 19, 2007 16:27      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the concern. What I did do is personally email the seller, if all goes well, I'll soon get a reply. The feedback does make me nervous, but granted, I only have a score of 8 myself. The guy will take paypal, a plus. Seems he's good with answering buyer questions as well, not a sure sign of not being a scam, but helpful.

What worries me more is that my Thinkpad just sold... buyer has NO feedback what-so-ever. [shake head] Oh well...

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 20, 2007 14:36      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Selling to low feedback buyers is one thing... if they don't come through you only get to lose the listing fee

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 20, 2007 18:11      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Interesting... the Paypal payment I got says that I need to send the package and type in the tracking number in order to get my money. Yeah right.

Next the d1(k head selling the ibook wants me to pay him through Western Union... so much for that idea [shake head]

ebay can be such a terrible place for anyone uneducated

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 21, 2007 07:07      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Report them both and move on...

Sorry that you got 2 weasels in one go - but at least you didn't do either of them stupid things did you? Watson? Watson????

[Big Grin]

But seriously report them both - ebay needs to clamp down on that sort of stuff, it really is beginning to make it so the idea of buying on ebay is a bit like walking through the roughest neighbourhood at night waving a big wallet full of 50s... and it used to be so nice to deal on ebay.

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted March 21, 2007 09:07      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nope, I didn't go with either ^_^ But yeah... just in October, my account was hacked into by someone in Spain and they listed 100 Nokia cell phones. eBay IS getting to be like said neighborhood! Ibook quest must go on... [thumbsup]

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Dr Watson
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2007 12:32      Profile for Dr Watson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, an update. I finally found an ibook! It's a 12" G4 @ 1ghz, 512mb ram and apx. Only downside is that it doesn't include install discs, so if I install linux, I can't get Mac OS back. Unless there's a way to resize partitions...

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2007 14:05      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, you could get OSX pretty inexpensively on E-Bay, or I'm sure most of us have media that would work.

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2007 11:47      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Watson

Your best bet is a cheap FireWire external drive that can be used to boot the iBook and a copy of the excellent Carbon Copy Cloner

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

Posts: 1937 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged


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