I was a bit hesitant at first as I read the Craigs List Ad. A 2001 vintage Powerbook G4 Titanium with a 550 Mhz processor, 512 Meg of RAM. $200. I was a little taken aback. I had always wanted a 12″ Powerbook, as I heard that they were one of the best portables ever. This one was a 15″, and the lowest priced used Apple laptop that I had seen on sale that was still working. I thought I would take a chance and respond to the ad anyway, curious to what condition it would be in.
Gone. Of course it was. I can’t get so lucky, can I? I wrote back thanking the seller anyway. She responded that the buyer hadn’t actually picked the machine up yet, but she was going to wait another day to do the honorable thing, as she had promised him the machine. Hope against all hope?
I mean, it’s not like I really need another computer. Wait, Mothers Day is coming up here in the states this weekend. A faintly veiled disguise of need? Sure, I told myself. A good enough excuse as any. My wife had her iBook, (actually the schools, but with her $50 Tom Bihn Brain Bag!) stolen from her office at the local high school a couple of months ago, and the school has not yet replaced it yet. So, the excuses well entrenched, I waited.
The next day the seller wrote back. The buyer had not shown up or kept in contact, so if I wanted it I could have it. I told her I could be there in an hour. In the coffe shop at the local Borders I waited. When she finally arrived I could hardly hold myself back. Why? Why was I like a kid on Christmas morning? It’s an old laptop, for heaven’s sake! Ah, but it was the infamous Powerbook, at a price I could actually afford. She introduced herself, sat down, and took the silver slab out of it’s case. It did not look like it had a nice, easy life. The paint was gone on the hinges, and it surface was marred by numerous scraps and scratches. I opened it up and it immediately sprang to life. I was handing her the money even as I was pulling up the About This Mac menu, just to make sure. We concluded our business and I was handed over the bag. It contained a firewire CD-R as the older Powerbook did not have but a DVD-ROM drive, cables, power adapter and curiously, an external antenna for the non-existant airport card. It also came with a long life extra battery! This was looking better by the second.
I was pleasantly surprised. It actually works well! It runs quicker than I expected. Since it didn’t have an airport card, I was pleasantly surprised when I plugged in an old Linksys PCMCIA card and it recognized the Airport right away. Nice! (Of course, it looks a little off with a card sticking out it’s side.) Now, I’m laying on the couch writing about this little adventure.
I’m sure that my new iMac won’t get quite as much use as it is does now. Of course, I still need to keep the illusion that it’s for my wife, but I’m sure she won’t mind if I “borrow” it. It just goes to show that the older Macs still have plenty of life in them. It’s half the Ghz of an old PC laptop that I gave up on because it was too slow, yet it is so much quicker! I finally found my “bargain,” and it’s a goodie!