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Pismo Reborn!
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Mar 4, 2012, 03:00 PM
 
This week my 400Mhz Pismo got a clean install of Tiger from CD, then the 10.4.11 update, and I turned off Dashboard and Spotlight. Runs great! Turned my router to "mixed" and we're up and running. I think 1G of RAM makes a big difference.

Last year's new battery from Newer gives about 5.5 hours so far. Might get another one for road duty.

I even found a driver for our Samsung wireless printer that works in Tiger, making it suddenly more useful than my iPad.

This thing is a tank.

The 900Mhz 12" iBook G3 is next. One for home, one for work, and save the wear and tear on my MacBook carrying it around all the time. I wish I'd thought of this sooner - these machines are still really useful.
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Mar 4, 2012, 03:20 PM
 
Back in summer 06 I had just finished a round of upgrades on my 7 year old Lombard. It had a DVDRW with custom region free firmware, a bigger disk (I forget how big, 80or 120GB) 512MB RAM and a shiny new G4 CPU upgrade @466MHz. I had planned to chop an iSight cam from a MacBook into it but some little ******** broke into my house and stole it. It still enrages me to think of that.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Mar 4, 2012, 05:35 PM
 
Congrats on reviving that Pismo! Those older machines still bear a large amount of usability in daily life. I´m writing this on my 867MHz Tibook. The only thing i´m unable to do is watching HD movies.


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Mar 4, 2012, 08:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by euphras View Post
Congrats on reviving that Pismo! Those older machines still bear a large amount of usability in daily life. I´m writing this on my 867MHz Tibook. The only thing i´m unable to do is watching HD movies.
I'm seriously thinking about a Wegener G4/550 at this point. I've already got all of the software (Office, etc.) and it's still on an upgrade cycle to the docx, etc. formats. Maybe that would defeat the battery advantage, but I've already got one of their slot-loader DVD drives, dual layer, and it is amazing.

PowerBookGuy sent me a spare set of hinges a couple of years ago - they're sitting on a shelf waiting.

I can't imagine using a 2001 Dell or Compaq to do real work these days. This used to be one of the significant advantages of Mac hardware.
( Last edited by finboy; Mar 4, 2012 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Can't spell)
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Mar 11, 2012, 09:40 PM
 
I used a 400 mhz Pismo with 1GB RAM running 10.4.11 and then replaced it with a MBP 1.83GHz CD in 2006. It left the Pismo in the dust. I finally replaced that MBP with a Feb 2011 2GHz Quad i7 MBP this past November. While a Pismo might be usable, it's nice to have a new machine.

I sold the Pismo to someone for about $100. It's probably still running somewhere.

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Mar 12, 2012, 04:56 AM
 
Ah, the lovely Pismo !! I had the 500 MHz model loaded with 1 GB RAM. Its robustness made it look like a ThinkPad with the beauty and gracefulness of a Mac.

Wasn't it for the sucky pinky samsung panel display mine had, I would have kept it forever, instead, I gave it out to a friend who was in need of Pismo spare parts, battery, CPU upgrade, RAM… His Pismo had a LG panel so he ended replacing the Samsung on mine with the LG and voila, a newer, fastest, twice the hard disk, Pismo was reborn to his delight.

Such a nice laptop with a lovely smell… Unibody's don't smell, I miss that.
     
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Mar 12, 2012, 07:18 AM
 
Still annoys me that the damn Apple is upside down.
     
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Mar 12, 2012, 04:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Still annoys me that the damn Apple is upside down.
Ah but it's the right way up with the lid closed

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Mar 12, 2012, 05:23 PM
 
I have a Wallstreet with 10.3 and a crapload of upgrades. Still runs and browses fairly well.
     
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Mar 12, 2012, 07:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
Ah but it's the right way up with the lid closed
I realize that, and it makes sense for those three seconds before you open the display, like a present.

That's not when it's lit up, though, and where it spends most of it's time.
     
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Mar 13, 2012, 09:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I realize that, and it makes sense for those three seconds before you open the display, like a present.

That's not when it's lit up, though, and where it spends most of it's time.
I know, I was messing. It is the right way up now.

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Mar 19, 2012, 08:40 PM
 
I have a Pismo I've upgraded a little bit, although the battery is a bit crap - bought it used on eBay for like $40, and it only gets about an hour.

I love it, though. The keyboard is realy a pleasure to type on compared to my MacBook and my 12" PowerBook G4 (which has a good keyboard, but the idiot who owned the machine before me bent the keyboard in several places after installing an AP card himself). The modular design is really nice, too - something I'm used to with non-Apple laptops, and quite honestly I think it's pretty lame that Apple axed the module bay design for the sake of sexiness.

With the translucent keyboard, I've been thinking about adding LEDs for a DIY keyboard backlight - we'll see...
     
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Mar 20, 2012, 12:35 AM
 
I have a boxed 400Mhz Pismo.
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you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
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Mar 20, 2012, 05:35 AM
 
I realize that, and it makes sense for those three seconds before you open the display, like a present.

That's not when it's lit up, though, and where it spends most of it's time.
Back then it was not clear what was more important, to make the logo look right to the owner before the PowerBook was opened or to have it look right to the rest of the world when in use. Maybe cause laptops were not ubiquitous as they are today.

After having debated about this to his team, Steve thought the most important person in the equation was the one who bought the product in the first place.

It was only when the PowerBook line was redesigned that Steve changed his mind and decided the logo should face the world right-side up. The ephemeral moment of pleasure for the owner started to feel tiny in comparison as laptops had become more and more popular.
( Last edited by angelmb; Mar 20, 2012 at 05:43 AM. )
     
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Mar 26, 2012, 04:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
I have a boxed 400Mhz Pismo.
Too sweet.

My Pismo box currently has a 270c in it. Gotta see if it still works.
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Mar 26, 2012, 06:51 PM
 
finboy, what browser are you using? tenfourfox?
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Mar 28, 2012, 10:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by gooser View Post
finboy, what browser are you using? tenfourfox?
I´m not finboy, but anyway, since i´m also stuck with 10.4.11, i´ll chime in regarding this question. The number of "Tiger" browsers being actively supported by their developers is decreasing rapidly. I´ve been using Camino (currently 2.1.2) for the last three years. Camino was (and is) an awesome experience since it filters about 98 % of ads. But the latest releases are somehow unstable and crashprone. What totally irks me is that these crashes take down the whole system. When Camino crashes, the whole computer freezes and i have to force shut down and restart the `Book.

I have FireFox on my machine, but it is too full-featured (bloated ) to run at decent speed on a sub-1-GHz machine.

Since a few weeks i also have Omniweb (10.5.1) installed, which is now released as freeware by the OmniGroup. It´s decently fast and seems pretty stable (never had it crash the past weeks), but the concept of the drawer located tabs on the left side annoys me a bit.


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Mar 28, 2012, 11:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by euphras View Post
But the latest releases are somehow unstable and crashprone. What totally irks me is that these crashes take down the whole system. When Camino crashes, the whole computer freezes and i have to force shut down and restart the `Book.
This sounds like a known bug in Tiger, where lookupd - a system service that is responsible for DNS lookups but also a lot of other things - stops responding. The solution is to restart lookupd, but that's not possible unless you already have a root shell open, as lookupd is used when logging in.

The workaround is to install unlockupd, a freeware daemon that restarts lookupd when required. I had big problems with freezes in 10.4 after a certain patch level, and unlockupd solved them.
Originally Posted by euphras View Post
I have FireFox on my machine, but it is too full-featured (bloated ) to run at decent speed on a sub-1-GHz machine.
There is the amusingly named TenFourFox, a fork of Firefox, that is optimized for PowerPC Macs running 10.4.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 28, 2012, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The workaround is to install unlockupd, a freeware daemon that restarts lookupd when required. I had big problems with freezes in 10.4 after a certain patch level, and unlockupd solved them.

....

There is the amusingly named TenFourFox, a fork of Firefox, that is optimized for PowerPC Macs running 10.4.
Thanks for the links, i will give it a try!


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Mar 30, 2012, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by gooser View Post
finboy, what browser are you using? tenfourfox?
I've got it loaded, but I just updated Safari and it seems to do everything I need it to. We'll see how that works over time.
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May 23, 2012, 12:14 AM
 
That's great that you revived your old Pismo, those old machines still hold their own in some ways, they were a really great piece of machinery.
     
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May 23, 2012, 11:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by printbucket View Post
That's great that you revived your old Pismo, those old machines still hold their own in some ways, they were a really great piece of machinery.
I've revived my G3 iBook 900Mhz too, but the Pismo still seems to outpace it on just about everything. Pismo has a bit more RAM, but the iBook has more video memory.

I've gone back to Office v.X on both machines - the docx translator works with that version just as well, and it fairly flies versus working in Office 2004.
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May 24, 2012, 01:45 PM
 
I respect the use of old tech when it does the job, but with computing power so cheap, can such old Macs really be worth using for any substantial work?

My iBook 466 still works, but I don't think I'd want to use it for anything in particular.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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May 24, 2012, 11:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I respect the use of old tech when it does the job, but with computing power so cheap, can such old Macs really be worth using for any substantial work?

My iBook 466 still works, but I don't think I'd want to use it for anything in particular.

a lot of us don't do "substantial" work.


i can think of several reasons to prefer older computers
1. style. apple seems to have lost its penchant for being innovative in styling and it's been this way for some time. nothing new is coming out that even compares with the innovative styling of your clamshell, the cube, g3 and g4 imacs.
2. functionality. no more firewire 400, harder to find an optical drive, it's been a long time since you've had a phone modem and does apple make a keyboard with a number pad. i realize that most people have moved away from these things but some of us still use AND PREFER these things.
3. older software. some people prefer certain older programs. and some enjoy farting around in os 9 from time to time.
4. but substantial work? i agree with you big mac, forget it.
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May 25, 2012, 04:13 AM
 
The wired Apple keyboard still has a numpad, Apple sells a cheapish external optical and you can use the FW800 port for FW400, but I do sort of miss OS 9 on occasion. I have considered getting an iMac G4 just to have it around.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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May 25, 2012, 05:17 AM
 
I think people have tended to view Apple products from a fashion standpoint but for the last few years the designs have been a more iterative process. Its more efficient and makes much more reliable products, since every time you redesign the case you risk new issues and flaws.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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May 25, 2012, 08:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I think people have tended to view Apple products from a fashion standpoint but for the last few years the designs have been a more iterative process. Its more efficient and makes much more reliable products, since every time you redesign the case you risk new issues and flaws.

and thinner.
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Jun 12, 2012, 04:53 PM
 
I still use my Pismo (500Mhz/ 384Mb) on a regular basis with Mac OSX Tiger. It is more than 10 years old now. I still consider it one of the best bits of kit Apple have ever made! Unfortunately I can not get a replacement battery for it now here in the UK.

It is only in the last day that I have thought about upgrading to a new MacBook Pro. I just have to decide if I should buy the latest offering from Apple yesterday or buy one of the out going models. I really am a bit out of touch with the current MacBook pros that have been out over the past few years as my Pismo has done pretty much every thing I have asked of it.
     
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Jun 22, 2012, 03:32 PM
 
Does anyone know what to do about the PRAM battery when it's dead? I have found replacements, but quite expensive for what they are. They are made up of two (or three) individual cells inside a plastic shrink wrap. Is there a way to rebuild a PRAM battery using inexpensive parts?
     
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Jul 2, 2012, 10:44 PM
 
Recently revived a Pismo. It was my first Mac. Still prefer its keyboard to the chiclet style.
     
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Jul 3, 2012, 04:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by meador4 View Post
Does anyone know what to do about the PRAM battery when it's dead? I have found replacements, but quite expensive for what they are. They are made up of two (or three) individual cells inside a plastic shrink wrap. Is there a way to rebuild a PRAM battery using inexpensive parts?
You can build your own if you can make good connections to the batteries. I guess metal tape would do the trick. Just take the old one apart carefully and copy it.
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Jul 4, 2012, 11:30 AM
 
At one time I owned two Pismo laptops and I think they were the most satisfying to use of any laptop I've owned. Apple really nailed the design with the exception of the upside down apple mentioned already. I finally parted with them as they both eventually failed.

A friend turned one into a wall picture frame with changing pictures. I believe he was able to fix the second one and continue using it.

The biggest problem with using older hardware is the browser. My kids all want to play flash games. Now I know that flash is an evil word in the mac community but that's what games are made with and that's what kids want to play. The older laptops just can't do it. I wonder if html5 will be kinder to older hardware than flash has been?
     
   
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