Notebook: To PowerBook...

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Macinjosh's picture
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Joined: Feb 12 2004
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OK, this isn't meant as a flame, a strike against, etc. But my PowerBook 1400 is a decade old; it's time.

I had a look around at my other stuff and realized, hey shuffle some of it out the door, and it'll pay for a new toy with no out-of-pocket expense. Currently, there are two options where I am (at around $200: )

1) A 850MHz or so P3 laptop
2) A Pismo or Lombard

From a performance standpoint, hey no contest, right? But I'm a Mac fanatic to the end, and I could have me a reeeeeal nice Batarang-looking PowerBook instead.

And yet, does the Mac factor matter, because either of them would happily end up with Ubuntu installed, so I probably won't be running OS X. But I cooooould...

And besides, the things are TANKS from what I understand. There's a wide variance in quality/toughness/etc I'm sure in the PC side of things.

Am I insane for even considering a machine with half the juice? Am I insane for even considering something of less quality? Discuss...

-- Macinjosh

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iantm's picture
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Joined: Apr 2 2005
Posts: 709
save some more money ...

and get something with a bit more oomph. $500 will buy a lot. From a 12" PBG4, iBook G4, tibook, to a new windows based laptop. Frankly, I'm not sure you'll be terribly happy with what $200 will buy. I'd personally hold off unless someone offers you something in that range for under $100. Though, that's just my view on it.

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Macinjosh's picture
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Joined: Feb 12 2004
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Re: save some more money ...

iantm wrote:

Frankly, I'm not sure you'll be terribly happy with what $200 will buy.

Well, it's like this. I had an OmniBook 6000, 256MB of RAM, 10GB HD, Ubuntu installed. DVDs and DivX with headphones on, streaming radio to fall asleep to... I was TOTALLY in love with it; I had even started modding the outside just a bit.

And then, which I know better on, and I am still REALLY, REALLY kicking myself for this, I put an "open container" of tea far too close to it. Even though I didn't knock it over, well it couldnt have been knocked over if it weren't there.

700MHz PIII = smokeage of 233MHz G3 on a 33MHz bus with no video acceleration to speak of. Cost was a $0 dead unit with a failed power board +$60 for a functioning "bottom half."

And it's not to be my main box really... it's for surfing around, and being occasionally entertained. With Win2K (the COA for which is still stuck under the OmniBook) or Ubuntu, it'll fly for all of that.

For heavy lifting, I've got a generic WinXP Pro box.

So now, I'm leaning toward a Darn Good non-Mac unit. But hopefully that puts it in more perspective.

-- Macinjosh

PS: I totally and wholeheartedly concur on the the sub-$100 point. I do still have a functioning HD, RAM and AC Adapter for a would-be Pismo or Lombard/non-Mac laptop; all survived the Spillage. If I land the right machine, that could significantly help to lower costs... less so, unfortunately, on the Mac side of things.

And true, there is the $500 bargain basement laptop... but I'll be darned if I will buy one with ATi x200 video onboard. Learned my lession there, I'll do Intel GMA before that happens again. That re-opens the entire case right back up though... what's $500? Save a bit more and whammo, Macbook and forget all these old machines.

I can be a little rough on them though; I work outside under the trees here and there; I fall asleep with headphones on and the machine on the floor beside me; my PB1400 looks like Cloud Strife a la FF7, with its missing hinge and CD-ROM bezel... point being, better it be a somewhat cheapo to survive me, shudder the thought of a Macbook enduring such things.

Sigh.

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Joined: Jun 18 2005
Posts: 196
Tough Call

I am in the same boat with my old Wallstreet.
Very upgraded, but very beat-up.
Limited budget here also...
I considered a Pismo, but it would probably need a new PRAM battery, battery, and the upgrades go on and on.
A used Windoze machine ??? Yuck, scares me even more...
I suppose it depends on what you need the machine to do.
And imagine I'll keep my Wallstreet for a while as my road warrior , at least I know what I've got.

Dave

iantm's picture
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Joined: Apr 2 2005
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if buying pc ...

shoot for a thinkpad. Rock solid, sturdy, and pretty reliable. Then again, I lean towards them after having one for a summer while interning at IBM.

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martakz's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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I'd go for the 850Mhz PIII.

I'd go for the 850Mhz PIII. I used a 12" Dell C400 latitude with a 850Mhz chip last year for my uni work and it was defiantly fast enough for documents, simple C++ and pascal coding, although it was rather painful to use when doing SPICE simulations. Also, movies and video worked well - I was quite surprised. I'm not sure about Ubuntu, but the machine ran XP Pro fine. (With all the bloat turned off).

I did upgrade it to a Dell D410 this year, but if I had not been able to upgrade, i'd have been happy to use the C400 for another year or so.

I don't think the small machines are very cheap though - I sold that C400 for $382.42 - which for a PIII laptop, I think is a bit excessive - just because of the small screen size?. Still, you should be able to get a 15" screened laptop for alot less - just don't get anything with an S3 graphics chip - that thing gave me so many problems in Linux...

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Now using x86 machines. Bye bye iMac266 (Strawberry), G3 1400 and the G3 IIsi.