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Thread: Powerbook G3 (FW).... toss it?

  1. #1
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    Default Powerbook G3 (FW).... toss it?

    A friend of mine recently received a HUGE box of computer parts from his father..... all Mac related.......including a couple of laptops and a 23 cinema display (real nice)..... apparently, the G4 tower has yet to arrive, but he gave me the laptops to evaluate....

    One is a G4 500Mhz TiBook, with about 768 RAM under the hood, and a 20 gig HD. Without too much hesitation, I told him he'd need to max out the RAM and upgrade the HD to something bigger and faster for sure. He won't be doing anything earth-shattering on it, so I'm sure 10.4.x will run just fine on it, right?

    The other is a Powerbook G3 model with the Firewire ports on the back. Apple article on the different models here:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=24604

    Without even getting into what's under the hood, I was told there's something 'unspecified' wrong with it (nobody knows, could be minor or major), I'm thinking the Powerbook G3 should just be donated and/or recycled, don't ya think? Or am I throwing in the towel too soon on this one..... I'm just thinking with a G3 processor, OS 10.4.x just isn't gonna be that much fun....

    Oh, and one more thing, the Powerbook G3 didn't come with a power cord, either, making evaluation particularly difficult....

    So, what's the Guru's opinions..... am I steering my friend correctly? Upgrade the TiBook and get rid of the Powerbook G3?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    an unspecified problem might not even be hardware... might just need a pram reset. The trouble is spending $ on a power cord to find that out

    I have no idea what it's (G3 FW PB) worth in $$ (ebay could let you know what a working one goes for maybe) but I have stuff I would trade for it that would fit nicely in that G4 Tower ... when you find out what it needs, if friend is interested... 'damien at macgurus.com'

    As to the tibook yeah they run 10.4 just fine. Yeah they need more ram and a bigger HD as well.
    Damien,

  3. #3
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    Pismos are still pretty popular despite their age. Many think it's the best designed PB ever. Easy to work on, and durable. I put a 100GB 7200RPM drive, and a GB of RAM in mine. It runs Tiger pretty good IMHO for basic non-graphics intensive stuff, and kicks ass in 9.

    When I got mine it had been declared "dead". It seemed to be at first, but the second time I just held the power button down until it booted. Other than giving me little scare when I installed the RAM it's been fine since.

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    Default Wattage?

    Hey guys, thanks for the tips, ideas, and suggestions. I'll be sure to let my friend know what you said.

    I've got various powerbooks laying around (more recent models)..... anyone know what wattage the old G3 Powerbook uses?

    What I'm trying to say is, is there any way I can power up the G3 with anything I might happen to have on hand..... or should I tell my friend to bite the bullet and buy a power adapter?

    Thanks

    P.S. Used to have one of those Kensington Power adapter things (for home and car), but the end that connects to the computer got completely trashed in an unfortunate accident)

  5. #5
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    Pismo was considered the last of the NOT Throwaway Powerbooks. And yeah, still has a following despite its age.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    dealmac is showing on of those kensington thingies at Amazon for $10 here:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BWC4SS/...lnewscom923-20
    k

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    The Pismo power supply is 45 watts. Some of the other 'Books use the 65 watter. You can use a 65 to test the Pismo, but I wouldn't leave it that way very long or you could cook the battery.

    Mine has the old "brick" PSU which was recalled due to possible overheating issues. Mine gets a bit warm, but never hot. The replacement for the brick was the "Yo-Yo" style adapter which is more common.

  8. #8
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    Default keep them both

    I have been running a G4 500mhz Ti for nearly a year. I got it as a dead parts machine. I was going to use the ram 1GB and the airport card for my Pismo, also a recieved as dead, it required a new logic board. but was well worth that too. The pismo is now on loan to a Windows user and he loves it. it only reunning 10.3.8 as it has limited 256MB of ram. I have used the pismo in Target mode to back up and restore other 2.5inch Hard drives. The keybooard of the Pismo to me feels nicer that the Ti but got to love the speed of the G4 and 1 Gb of ram. I have upgraded the Ti with a 120GB seagate drive. It handes everything I do from email CADD drawing and iMovie and iDVD with ease. Movie editing and encoding can be slow but just let it run over night.

    As for the Power supply the 65 watt would not worry me as the system is only going to pull what it needs but the Ti has a smaller connector that the Pismo. I understand it is difficult to find the shielded phono plug. If anyone knows a source I would be interested.

    Sounds like you been given a treasure chest.
    Good Luck
    Bob

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    Default Pismo

    If you have ever worked on a Pismo,
    The design, and layout is excellent.
    Perhaps the best powerbook Apple has made.

    Dave
    The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

  10. #10
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    another source to try. Yeah, as sweet as the latest 'books are.....I do miss the ease of service and overall flexibility of these older guys.

    Thank the gods the new Macbooks don't really need to be opened as the RAM and HD are consumer servicable, but the MBPs are not that friendly again. Yet.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  11. #11
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    Default Pismo, so far, is dead....

    Thanks for the helpful info and tips everyone.... sorry I didn't follow up earlier..... was on the road for a few days.

    So far, my friend got an adapter and charged up the Pismo, but nothing so far. He is thinking of taking it into one of the Apple "genius bars" - - since I am now 1500 miles away and can't easily go over to his house to help him with it.

    He is enjoying the TiBook so far, and right now, the real treasure of what he received (the 23 inch cinema display with a DVI adapter), well, he is thinking about getting a new MacMini to go with it, for his home use. I think the MacMini would make sense, but he is already biased via what I've said about 5400rpm vs. 7200rpm Hard Drive performance.... maybe I shoulda kept my mouth shut....

    Anyone here have a new-ish Mac Mini with the 5400rpm HD? How do they perform?

    Thanks again, everyone.... we'll keep you posted

  12. #12
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    I bought a mini for my kids and have been very impressed. It is an older CoreDuo. The newer ones should be even better
    Damien,

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    We have a bunch at work (earlier Core Solo 1.5), and they are very adequate for general work. Don't even notice the 2.5 inch drive for daily stuff........web, Office, email etc. I would expect the current model is very good for normal daily use, as long as you are not doing anything disk intensive like PhotoShop, or crunching video.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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    So far, my friend got an adapter and charged up the Pismo, but nothing so far. He is thinking of taking it into one of the Apple "genius bars"
    I hope I did not give bad advise.
    I would not suggest the "Apple genius bars" for work on a pismo...
    No disrespect intended...
    Suppose he is on his own now.

    Dave
    The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

  15. #15
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    Default No disrespect taken.....

    Yeah, so my friend took the Pismo in, they couldn't figure anything out, wanting, I think, $89 for a diagnostic test...... He decided against it for the time being. I reminded him of Damien's kind offer as well..... he's already out the cost of the power cord, and not sure he wants to put almost another hundred into it at this point, just to find out what's wrong (assuming they can find it)

    We were looking at the used Mac Mini's on Apple's website..... I know some folks here have had some bad luck with Apple refurbished, but I haven't.... he was looking at the dual 1.83 with Superdrive, Airport, Bluetooth, for like $479 (originally $799). Since he's got the 23 inch display, I think it's the way to go for him..... he's seriously considering it.... I think waiting for the end of the month paycheck, if I guess correctly.

    Again, thanks for the tips and suggestions..... I'll pass on the good words about the Mac Mini to him.... and no, he ain't gonna be doing any video editing, AFAIK..... so again, many thanks.....

  16. #16
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    Yeah, so my friend took the Pismo in, they couldn't figure anything out, wanting, I think, $89 for a diagnostic test...... He decided against it for the time being.
    I'm glad he backed out...
    Assuming they can find it is another can of worms,
    Easy to put $300 into parts and service on an old machine quickly.
    I suggest sell the "power supply" and "as is pismo" on eBay or such.
    Nice $$ jump twards the Mac Mini.
    Best of luck,

    Dave
    The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

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