Leopard on a 12" PowerBook
When we last left our 12" PowerBook G4 laptop, I had taken a shelf of parts from two different PowerBooks and made one working PowerBook. However, I did not have enough RAM to install Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, so I bit the bullet and bought a 1 GB stick from Other World Computing.
With a full 1.125 GB installed, the old (introduced in late 2003) 867 MHz PowerBook has a faster startup time and is much quicker when Safari loads pages. Streaming video still leaves a lot to be desired, but YouTube is no longer jerky.
However, the real reason I got the extra memory was to install "Leopard" and (sort of) join the modern world.
As I mention for the hundred-millionth time, I am fortunate in having retail copies of both OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard, allowing me to install either operating system on any computer that can run them. I wish I could say that the install went flawlessly, but you always have a hiccup. During the install process, Apple allows you to import Files, Preferences, and Applications from another computer. For unknown reasons, the G4 would not recognize my Pismo PowerBook in Target Disk Mode.
Pismo connected to 12" PowerBook using Target Disk Mode.
I continued with the install and then proceeded to update the PowerBook to OS X 10.5.8. That took time. Of course, it's a huge update.
I then turned my mind to solving my account importation issue. I found that if I connected the Pismo to the PowerBook G4 (with both of them logged in and running), I could reboot the Pismo in Target Disk Mode and zingo - the Pismo showed up on the PowerBook's desktop. I ran Migration Assistant, and after yet another long time interval all my stuff was on the PowerBook G4.
One of features on Leopard that I was really looking forward to was Time Machine. I normally backup the Pismo by cloning the drive to a drive that I have in MCE hard drive module. This takes a couple of hours, and the ease of Time Machine really had me anxious to give it a whirl. Of course, the first backup takes forever. But this is just the price of progress and once it is done, all future backups will be short, sweet and in the background.
My built-like-a-battleship La Cie 160 GB external hard drive sits to the right of the PowerBook.
And what about this rare form factor of the Aluminum PowerBook? What is it like to use? Why is it going to take the place of my beloved Pismo as my main work computer?
- It is much smaller than the Pismo and easier to lug to work and back.
- It runs Leopard and Time Machine.
- Even though it only has a 12" screen, it has a full sized keyboard.
- Mobile Me works with it.
- It doesn't look like anyone else's laptop.
I suppose the last point is more important than anything else. Like a hot rod enthusiast, I just don't like having the same computer that everyone else owns. This would be harmless in itself, but I issue you fair warning that if you ask me what sort of computer I have, you will learn far more than you need to know.
True nirvana can never be reached, and the PowerBook G4 has some flaws. At 4 pounds, it is no lightweight. And it does run hot - so hot that I can see Temperature Monitor being added to my list of Startup Items.
It cannot be beat in terms of cost. $50 got me a running PowerBook G4, and now it has Leopard installed.
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