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This past weekend, I engaged in some mutually beneficial voluntary exchange of property with friends. They wanted to set up a home theater PC for their big-screen TV in the basement den, and they had a nice PowerBook G4 they no longer needed. So I traded them my Zotac HTPC, which had been hooked up to our TV but rarely used because we stream Netflix through the Wii.

Looking at the PowerBook, you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s a 5-year-old machine. They look deceptively like the current MacBook Pro models. It’s clad in aluminum, and the keyboard is backlit, which is a nice feature for someone who often writes in low-light conditions—say, early in the morning before the kids get up, or late in the evening when everyone’s in bed. The very last PowerBook model made before Apple went to Intel chips and renamed the line “MacBook”, it still has capable hardware under the hood. It has 2GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive, and a really nice high-res display. The G4, being retired technology, is not suitable for HD video streaming or gaming these days, but it’s perfectly capable when it comes to running Scrivener or Word, and it browses the Intertubes as fast as anything else out there.

A good exchange of value is when both parties walk away from the transaction happy, and they did. My friends have a sweet HTPC and can stream Netflix to their TV, and I have a nice portable writing rig that runs all the software I need to chip the prose from the walls of the word mines.


4 thoughts on “p-p-p-powerbook.

  1. Leatherwing says:

    I have a very similar model, bought it refurbished from apple just before the intel chip systems hit the market. It was my everyday machine for 5 years. Now it mostly gets used when I go to coffee shops, but it works like a charm.

  2. Tam says:

    Heck, I still use my G3 iBook for blogging from hotel rooms. (Although I took the Eee 900 to Blogorado instead…)

  3. Gerry N. says:

    i am, unfortunately, mostly computer illiterate. My Pooter is ah HP G60-125NR (whatever that means) that I bought from Best Buy ’cause it was on sale cheap. I do so wish that there was a way to disable the damnable finger trace thingy that opens, closes, and moves my copy around the screen at random. I can’t avoid hitting it with the ball of my hand while I type. I’d like to have whichever nitwit who designed this keyboard in a locked room for five minutes. His mother would never recognize the handless carcass.

  4. Tam says:

    I still need a TiBook.

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