Apple PowerBook G4 “Onyx” (SOLD)

I got this this 15 inch Apple notebook from a gaijin-san who’s moved back home. It is one of my favorite PowerBooks, a titanium-clad model, codenamed Onyx.

It still has use value, so I decided to give it the TLC it deserves.


After cleaning away the muck on it I took out the original 20 GB hdd, the 2x256mb RAM, and put them on Yahoo Auctions. Maybe someone can use them. I wanted to be more respectful to a PowerBook that’s still going strong, and showing no signs of the typical PowerBook faults (broken hinges, faded screen, etc).

Shockingly I pocketed 1000 yen. 😉 Small change compared to what I was about to spend. I splashed out on a ridiculously expensive 512mb PC133 RAM module, the largest of its kind. The top of the line stuff is always expensive, even used.
I was crossing my fingers really. There’s no way to check compatibility before buying. That’s why I only bought one.

It did work, as I later found out. 640Mb (512+128) of RAM at the ready, I prepared a 40GB hard drive which I’ve pulled from a dead NEC laptop.

Instead of putting it in the target machine straight away I decided to get tricky. This PowerBook is 550 Mhz. That means OS X 10.5 Leopard won’t install on it. Apple set the minimum speed at 867 Mhz for Leopard. (I think it must have been the marketing guys.)  Luckily I have a Power Mac G4 desktop, a legendary 933 Mhz “Quicksilver 2002“. I hooked up the laptop hard drive using an adapter, and Leopard installed without a hitch. Updates all done, I moved it back to the notebook, which booted without issues on 1st attempt. Office 2008 and various other bits installed it’s now one of my daily used Macs. Lucky!

Once in use I got hold of an other 512mb PC133 RAM module to max the RAM out. This time it cost even more. Ouch. Well, it’s worth it anyway.

The last touch was the wireless network module. I bought one some time ago for stupid money on Yahoo Auctions. Then I put it in my eMac. Which – as I later found out – was kind of pointless. I seldom run around with a desktop. 😉

Current configuration is 1GB RAM, 40Gb HDD, Wireless and CDRW. It’s fine for browsing the net and daily office tasks. So much more rewarding than a Windows PC. Macs are just more smiles for the buck. 😉 I’m happy I got great results for the time and money invested.

Update 2011-11-19: My last Macintosh LC is gone! Oh my gosh for hours I’ve been without a classic Mac environment in the house. PowerBook to the rescue! Mac OS 9.2.2 installed without a hitch from the internal CD drive. That’s a good workout for the slot-loading disk muncher; that’s a pass as far as read testing goes. Now with Classic back in place I can enjoy stuff from the Macintosh Garden again.

Update 2011-11-22: Ah it’s gone. It was good while it lasted. Waved a teary goodbye and put the eMac back on my desk as the Excel 2008 PC. I’ll have to install Classic on the eMac sometime.

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