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PowerBook G4 15-inch (2004) "Alice"

My latest laptop purchase is this untested/for parts 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook G4. IF it powers on, and I really hope it does, it will probably become my main laptop for a while as I gush over it. The details in the listng were rather sparse, but I know a couple of things about it. Firstly, it's not in bad physical condition. Scratched, as metal objects from 20 years ago usually are, but the screen appears intact. Secondly, it's an A1095, which were made from April of 2004 to January 2005, which means this is either a 1.33GHz or 1.5GHz model. I guess I will put more info here if it works, and get rid of or cross out the entry if it doesn't. If the hard drive is missing, I will use an MSATA SSD adapter to replace it, as this is going to be my high-end retro Mac.

(how messed up is it that I consider 2004 to be retro, lmao)

Update: IT WORKS-(ish). Here's how it went:

After impatiently waiting all morning for the PowerBook and G4 iBook to be delivered, the PowerBook showed up first. It does post, but it has some issues which I have described in my blog, link at the top of every page. Long story short, I need a backlight inverter, which luckily aren't that expensive.

Update II: I have ordered a trackpad ribbon cable, as the trackpad button also does not work, and a compatible backlight inverter from eBay for a combined total of less than $15. They should be here in about a week (from June 5th, 2023). Soon, I also intend to get an M.2 SATA to IDE drive adapter to put solid state storage in here for better system responsiveness and additional space to have multiple operating systems installed. I'll probably stick with Tiger, plus an install of Sorbet Leopard and Adelie Linux on top.

Update III, June 9, 2023: I'm actually writing this directly in the Neocities HTML editor from my iBook G4 thanks to the InterWebPPC browser. The PowerBook does have some other issues that it's dealing with and I have to assume that they all stem from the keyboard, as they seem not to be present when it's unplugged. These include input issues, sleep issues, and dead or sticky keys. Getting a bit tired of chasing gremlins here.

Update IV, June 14, 2023: I have ordered the keyboard replacement, and that should be here tomorrow. Maybe next time I get paid I can get more 1GB RAM sticks to max out both this machine and the iBook G4 to 2GB and 1.25GB respectively, and finally get the SSD for it as well. But I have some desire for an early MacBook Pro, too. Late '06, probably.

Update V, June 15, 2023: Alright... so it seems like the keyboard was the silver bullet that the laptop needed. Replacing it was not a hassle at all, honestly, after having removed the original once already, and installing a brand new one (and I do mean BRAND new, still in a special plastic bag and had the protective film over the adhesive and everything) literally fixed every problem the laptop still had. The issue where it would not sleep if it was plugged into power has been fixed, which I now wonder if was due to sticking keys, the issue where I couldn't access the boot picker has disappeared, again, probably due to the computer thinking the command keys were being used when they weren't, and of course the dead keys are now working. Good result! Now all that remains to be done is put an SSD in it, lol. I actually typed this update from it, again thanks to InterwebPPC.

Update VI, June 23rd, 2023: I apparently borked the Tiger install while trying to install updates, so it won't open the iWork apps anymore and apps like Safari and the updater itself seemed to be corrupted. Trying to shut it down or open certain system apps often caused a kernel panic which was fantastic. So, I backed up my installed applications and user folder to my G3 iBook and installed Sorbet Leopard using my new MacBook Pro over FireWire. I would have done it sooner with the iBook G3 or G4 but the G3 has USB 1.1 and it would have taken hours to move the DMG over to it, and the iBook G4 seemed to crash around 2.6GB of the 3.8-ish when I was trying to copy it over to the hard drive. The MBP was fast enough to handle it without crashing and without taking literal hours. Everything has been set back up, so all is good.

Update VII, March 4th, 2024: I do have some desire to sell this laptop, but I am not in a hurry. I have an interested party but she's not in a rush either, so it will sit packed up in a box until then.


Cost to me: $95