No Windows for Me

How a Heavily Upgraded Power Mac G4 Pulled Me Back from the Dark Side

- 2008.06.23

It's been three months since I've written for Low End Mac, and the MacBook I reviewed in my last column is long gone, regretfully. Since then I've gone through four computers to get where I am today - three of them running Windows.

At times, I became indifferent to the Mac. I still posted on Mac forums like I didn't have a life, but I was happy with my ThinkPads and even built a quad-core Q6600 gaming rig - until I decided I needed a file server.

Like any self-respecting Windows geek would, I went over to NewEgg to configure my system. It was late at night, and I was pretty tired. Out of sheer sugar-crash-fueled inattentiveness, I flicked over to a different tab in my browser. Lo and behold, what should appear but the main page of a Mac forum I had open? A thread caught the corner of my eye. It advertised a "heavily upgraded Power Mac G4 with RAID".

"Hmm," I thought. "This might make an okay file server, but shipping would be preposterous!"

It turned out that the guy who was selling it lived 10 miles away from me!

I raced over the next day to check it out and bought it. For $350, I ended up getting a Sawtooth upgraded to 1.4 GHz with 1.5 GB RAM, dual 160 GB hard drives in RAID 0, AirPort, and a 256 MB GeForce 6200 graphics card.

This was geek heaven, especially for me. I'd always had a soft spot for the G4s, having owned more than 10 in the past, but none as souped-up as this one. Another advantage was the fact that it came with boxed copies of Leopard, iLife, Virtual PC, and Windows 98!

Power Mac G4I'm sure I was so eager to get home that the car I was in looked like something out of Need for Speed: Most Wanted the way it was driving.

I've stuck some more hard drives (it's become the dumping ground for any IDE hard drives I find lying around) and RAM in it, and it's chompin' at the bit to start serving - when I'm done using it, that is!

So what's happened to my Q6600 rig? Well, it sits on my desk, uses 500W of power, looks pretty, glows blue, and kindly doesn't crash when I'm trying to write something.

Why am I not using the G4, you ask? It's currently halfway through being modded (not tellin' ya!) and will be put back into service shortly.

I've just posted my Q6600 rig on Craigslist, because I want to try my hand at the MacBook again!

It's truly amazing how a 9-year-old machine can pull me away from being hopelesly entangled in a pile of jagged, broken Windows. LEM

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