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Motorola Macintosh computers (G3, G4, & G5)


doctorclu
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Seems we don't have a classic computing area for Macintosh yet. Funny. Currently posting this with a G4 Mac (1.5 Ghz) Powerbook that was released on January of 2001. Seventeen years ago!

 

With TenFourFox always updating the browsers for the Motorola processors the experience continues to be quite nice. Perhaps that is why despite how long Macs have been with us (since the mid-80's) there is no section for them in the world of the retro because either they have not left or ever fairly aged Macs are simply only a minor inconvenience to use for everyday use.

 

Anyway, as weird as this might sound, I enjoy the "feel" of the Motorola processors. Powered this laptop up from a long slumber as I had CD's I needed to make into .mp3s. My MacBook Air did not have a CD drive you see. An even better more "computer user" experience was system 9. But all and all powering up this PowerBook G4 has not disappointed.

 

Hard to believe they are almost old enough to graduate from high school. :P

 

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I think the old Macs are a very niche thing -- Apple fans I know like to keep things more current, and retro folks are apt to spend time with a bigger community, like Low End Mac. http://lowendmac.com/

 

I grew up with the old 68000 Macs, was slightly put out when the PowerPC hit the scene (because of the cost), and was working in the field by the time the OSX transition began. I love the modern Intel Mac scene but honestly iOS tugs at my heart more -- probably because it's simplicity evokes the old days of the classic Mac in my mind.

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I also appreciate the older Apple and products. I love those later PowerPC models, operating systems, and software. OS X Tiger 10.4 is my favorite Mac OS of all time (with 9 and 6 following closely behind). Tiger felt special and personal. Sure, modern Apple creates some awesome stuff but for me it feels a bit sterile in comparison.

 

I have a 17" G4 iMac and a couple of G4 minis still in use. Of course I have and use modern computer and OSes, but I still love to use those older Macs running Tiger.

 

 

Seems we don't have a classic computing area for Macintosh yet. Funny. Currently posting this with a G4 Mac (1.5 Ghz) Powerbook that was released on January of 2001. Seventeen years ago!

 

 

Do you have a processor upgrade card in your TiBook? The very first PowerBook G4 Titanium in early 2001 was an impressive 400 or 500MHz. Later that year they updated the TiBook up to 667MHz. http://apple-history.com/pg4 The first 1.5GHz PowerBook G4 wasn't released until 2004. http://apple-history.com/pg4_family

 

I upgraded my iMac G4, G4 minis, and Intel minis with SSDs. It's pretty amazing how fast they boot and perform considering their age. I've read it breathes new life into a G4 PowerBook as well :)

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I miss my beige G3 sometimes, and would like to bring it back to life (last time I tried it, it wouldn't boot from any media). I spent many hours working and playing on that machine, and since it could run OS 8.x it was able to play most older Mac games.

 

I don't especially miss the two PowerBook G4s I've owned, both of which succumbed to video board failures that left the display garbled and corrupted. However I do miss the S-VHS out they had -- handy for emulation or watching videos on my CRT -- and the audio output, which was better than my MacBook Pro's noisy, poor-quality headphone jack.

 

I have a cheese-grater G5 tower that a friend gave to me, but I've never really used it. It's sort of the worst of both worlds, in that it can't boot OS 9 and can't run recent versions of OS X -- though I'm sure Tiger and Leopard are extremely snappy on it.

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^ I also had some issues with aluminum PowerBook G4s. I love the appearance of the 15" and appreciate it as a piece of wonderful industrial design -- on the outside. Open one of them up and they are far less elegant and one of the most unnecessarily over-complicated laptops I've ever worked on. How many ribbon cables does one laptop need? That 15" PowerBook also suffered from RAM slot failures. Apple quietly issued a recall without directly informing owners so many didn't get repaired, including one I owned. Oh well.

 

I never owned a G5 but played with several. They are very impressive machines but their aging liquid cooling system will probably keep me from ever owning one now.

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Mine were 15" models too -- the 1.5 GHz (refurb) and then the 1.67 GHz, which I bought used from a friend. Both developed the same video problem which, as I understand it, comes from the solder balls underneath the GPU eventually cracking and breaking connection as the case flexes under normal use. Maybe if I'd kept them in a pristine state and never transported them anywhere it would've been different, but then what's the point of having a laptop?

 

I also had an optical drive go bad on one, had numerous issues with the terribly-designed power jack (two bad AC adapters, one bad power jack), keyboard problems, and other issues I've forgotten. I hung on to them longer than I should, partly out of spite towards Apple's screwing over owners of PPC machines.

 

Still, there were things I could do on the PBG4 that I can't do on my MacBook Pro -- which is itself now having issues with the keyboard: sigh.

 

I need to open up my PowerBook G4s -- and my wife's old iBook -- and strip out the HDs before sending them to someone who might be able to use them for parts. Is the Low End Mac mailing list still active?

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