Ambrose, my trusty old PowerBook G4

PowerBook G4

This computer has been sitting in my closet for a number of years, neglected and nearly forgotten. A couple months ago I got it into my head that I should totally put it up on Craigslist and get a couple bucks for it (this is a circa 2003 PowerBook G4 with a couple gigs of RAM and a 1 GHz G4 chip… that’s right, Mac users, there was a time when Apple didn’t use the same chips as almost every other computer maker!).

I got it out of the closet, slapped Snow Leopard on it and then just put it back into the closet.

Today, whilst avoiding working on my new book, I decided that the den really could do with a little tidying (which it invariably can. The den is ‘my room’ in the apartment, which means that Marisa generally allows me to keep it as cluttered as I like… within reason. Sometimes it is too much for her and she cleans up a bit… there is only one place in the entire apartment that is off limits to Marisa: my desk. It is generally a disaster area, and that’s the way I like it. Marisa tried to convince me that it would really be OK if she just straightened up my desk for me from time to time… but I will have none of it! She even went so far as to clean it up thinking I wouldn’t notice. Foolish woman). I spent a few hours recycling paper, shredding stuff, folding clothes, and generally acting outside my normal routine.

As I was putting some pants back in the closet I spied the above PowerBook sitting in its box. I thought, “Heck, I can put it up on Craigslist right now for $100 and be done with it.” So I grabbed it, cleaned it up a little and took a few pictures of it.

All systems were go, but I had forgotten if I wiped the drive of all my data, so I plugged the PowerBook in and powered it up. Well, I should say I attempted to power it up since the PowerBook wasn’t interested in working.

Dead. A dead PowerBook!

Now I can’t even sell the damed thing so I’ll probably end up recycling it.

Oddly enough, seven years ago this month I was making ready to move to Philadelphia, and I even wrote a blog post using this very PowerBook on a train to Philadelphia where I was going to sign the lease on my first Philly apartment (and I was totally right about moving my stuff up four flights of stairs. It sucked… and I was about 100 pounds heavier than I am now so I wasn’t much help. Sean and Elisa moved most of the stuff for me… though I did buy lunch and dinner for them as I recall).

Also found in the PowerBook box was this:

Wireless card

powerbookg4.jpgI know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t Apple sell internal AirPort cards for the PowerBook G4?” They did! Since this was several years ago I couldn’t afford to get the PowerBook with the AirPort card pre-installed. In fact, the only reason I got this PowerBook G4 was because Apple, in a rare move, decided that they had so messed up with the industrial design of the Titanium PowerBook (which I bought the moment it was announced at Macworld Expo 2001. You can check out Steve wowing the crowd with features like a 5 hour battery life, a built-in DVD player (OMG!), being 1 inch thick and made of titanium. “Like the spies planes,” quoth Steve Jobs.) that they had a trade in program. You sent Apple your old and busted Titanium PowerBook (I named mine Timmy) and they would sell you a new, aluminum, PowerBook for a steal.

I sent in Timmy and anxiously waited to see if Apple would send me a new PowerBook (Timmy may or may not have had a run in with a full glass of water that necessitated me leaving the PowerBook off and upside down for a few days to dry out). Luckily, Timmy was up to snuff and Apple sent me Ambrose.

airportcard.jpgI was quite exited to get a new computer, and shortly there after I ordered an AirPort card. The card came, I disassembled the computer to install it… and the darn card didn’t fit! I figured out that I was putting it in upside down (I’m clever!) and it slide right in. All that was standing between me and wirelessly surfing the Internet was a plugging in a small cable from the PowerBook to the AirPort card. The cable was pretty snug, and it was JUST a little too short to plug in, so I pulled on it a little. Nothing. I pulled a little more. Nothing. Finally I pulled a little more and, success! If by success I mean I ripped the cable right out of the PowerBook.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is they I bought this external WiFi card for my PowerBook.

Anyway, I’ll be recycling Ambrose at some point, but he was a good computer (I’m keeping my G4 Cube though!).

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8 responses to “Ambrose, my trusty old PowerBook G4”

  1. Don’t know the difference between Leopard and Snow Leopard, huh? As the owner of a 1.5Ghz 12″ Powerbook that is still used as primary, I wonder………..

  2. I remember Ambrose!
    No need to check; Snow Leopard is Intel-only.
    Btw, you could still sell it. I sold my ancient, non-functional PowerBook G3 on eBay, clearly marked as “broken”, for about $90 several years ago. People who recondition systems are interested in them. The LCD in particular would be of interest.
    That may or may not be worth your effort vs. recycling, though.

  3. If you’ve still got it, I could use the power adapter. My cable broke but my PowerBook works fine. Would be glad to pay…

  4. Why is this a site? Who are you people? What in the world are you writing this for, and why are any of you reading it? Why am I reading it is a better question… I do like Guns and Ambroses though…
    Siriusly,
    the Narcoleptic Dogstar

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