12″ PowerBook G4/867 MHz
Nickname: Little AlBook
- PowerBook/iBook battery recall, The 'Book Review, 2006.08.25.
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Just two months after Apple boosted the 15.2" PowerBook to 1 GHz, they surprised a lot of people by rolling out both the largest and the smallest PowerBooks ever.
The 12" PowerBook G4 is the first PowerBook in years without a PC Card slot. It's also the only current model without DVI support and an official ceiling of 640 MB of memory. It supports 10 and 100 Mbps ethernet, but not gigabit ethernet. In some respects, it's more like an aluminum-clad 12" iBook with a G4 than a low-end PowerBook.
New features include built-in Bluetooth and support for the "five times faster" AirPort Extreme. It is the first Apple portable to ship with Nvidia GeForce4 420 Go graphics, and unlike the similar 12" iBook, the 12" PowerBook G4 supports monitor spanning. The newest PowerBooks also use aluminum cases, rather than titanium, which we helps with AirPort range.
The 12" PowerBook G4 has the third-smallest footprint of any Apple notebook to date at 93.74 square inches, beat out by the PowerBook 2400c (89.25) and baredly edged out by the PowerBook 100 (93.50). It had the lowest total volume of any Mac 'Book until the MacBook Air was introduced in 2008.
- introduced 2003.01.07 at US$1,799; reduced to US$1,599 on 2003.06.02; SuperDrive model available; replaced by 1.0 GHz model 2003.09.16
- requires Mac OS X 10.2.4 or later, may not be bootable in OS 9.2.2
- CPU: 867 MHz G4 (7455)
- bus: 133 MHz
- Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 436
- ROM: 4 MB, NewWorld ROM in RAM architecture
- RAM: 256 MB, officially expandable to 640 MB using PC2100 DDR SDRAM memory (real world testing finds that it supports a 1 GB upgrade for a total 1.25 GB of RAM)
- Level 2 cache: 256 KB at CPU speed
- Level 3 cache: none
- Video: Nvidia GeForce4 420 Go
- VRAM: 32 MB
- Video out: S-video and VGA (with included Apple VGA Display Adapter)
- display: 12.1" 24-bit 1024 x 768 106 ppi color active matrix. Supports resolution scaling for 800 x 600 and 640 x 480 as well as monitor spanning.
- hard drive: 40 GB 4200 RPM Ultra ATA/100
- Optical drive: Combo drive (1x SuperDrive optional)
- floppy drive: external USB only
- expansions bays: none
- USB: 2 USB 1.1 ports
- FireWire: 1 FW400 port
- IR port: none
- ethernet: 10/100Base-T
- modem: v.92 56k
- WiFi: 802.11g AirPort Extreme optional
- Bluetooth 1.1: built in
- PC Card slots: none
- size: 8.6" x 10.9" x 1.18" (219 x 277 x 30 mm)
- weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg)
- Low End Mac's Compleat Guide to the 12" PowerBook, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2008.06.03. The most compact PowerBook ever is very portable and has enough power to run Leopard decently.
- Best 12" PowerBook G4 deals.
- Best classic Mac OS deals. Best online prices for System 6, 7.1, 7.5.x, Mac OS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 9.0, 9.2.2, and other versions.
- Best Mac OS X 10.0-10.3 deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3.
- Best Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.4.
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- What's the best version of OS X for my Mac?, Ian R Campbell, The Sensible Mac, 2008.02.28. Which version of Mac OS X is best for your hardware depends on several factors.
- What's the best Mac OS for your iBook, PowerBook, or MacBook?, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2008.08.19. Tips on choosing the best OS for your PowerBook 500 Series or newer Mac notebook.
- 12" G4 iBooks and PowerBooks are Mac netbooks: Cheap and powerful enough, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2009.02.05. Recent tests comparing a 1.33 GHz G4 iBook and a 1.6 GHz Atom-based netbook show the old Mac holds its own. It also has some advantages.
- The future of up-to-date browsers for PowerPC Macs, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.08.31. With Intel-only "Snow Leopard" shipping, software support for PPC Macs will continue its decline. Also, a look at SeaMonkey 2 and Camino 1.6.9.
- Optimized software builds bring out the best in your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac's Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac's CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- 13" MacBook Pro a practically perfect replacement for the 12" PowerBook, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2009.06.15. Except for being an inch wider, the 13" MacBook Pro surpasses the 12" PowerBook G4 in every respect.
- Tips for installing or reinstalling Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger', Adam Rosen, Adam's Apple, 2009.06.10. Mac OS X 10.4 uses less memory than Leopard, supports Classic Mode on PowerPC Macs, and, unlike Leopard, is supported on G3 Macs.
- MacBook White updated, DIY Mac tablet, danger of 'Safe Sleep', $350 80 GB SSD kit, and more, The 'Book Review, 2009.05.29. Also Apple tablet 'confirmed', 3G and lower cost MacBook Air models rumored, 500 GB bus powered hard drive, Mini DisplayPort adapters, bargain 'Books from $179 to $2,299, and more.
- Mac 'Book power management adventures, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.05.19. If your 'Book won't power up, shuts down while your working, or has other power issues, resetting its internal power manager may clear things up.
- 12", 4 pound Averatech N2700 exactly what Apple should be building, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.05.11. This lightweight laptop has the power of the MacBook, the footprint of the 12" PowerBook, and a $699 price tag.
- Is Leopard slower than Tiger on G4 Macs?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2009.04.17. Truth be told, when you have 1 GB of RAM, Leopard benchmarks an insigificant 4% slower than Tiger.
- Is it worth maxing the RAM in old G3 and G4 Macs?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2009.04.15. Increasing memory can make your old Mac faster and make you more productive, but it probably won't improve resale value by the amount you spend.
- Unibody MacBook 'an excellent successor' to 12" PowerBooks and iBooks, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.04.14. The MacBook is a bit wider and lacks FireWire and a built-in modem, but overall it's a worthy successor to the Apple's 12" 'Books.
- Making the switch from a G4 PowerBook to a Unibody MacBook, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.03.17. The transition to an Intel-based Mac hasn't been without its problems - slow dialup performance, incompatibility with Eudora, and no real gain in speed with standby apps.
- Used 'Book value, overheating 12" PowerBook, Target Disk Mode weirdness, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.02.04. Also Leopard breaks wireless printing for some printers supported by Tiger, and Unibody MacBook the right choice over polycarbonate MacBook.
- Do G4 Macs have what it takes to remain useful in a multicore world?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2009.01.15. With dual-core Intel CPUs running beyond 2 GHz, is any G4 Mac a practical choice?
- Overheating PowerBook, 7200 rpm in a G3 iMac, getting online during blackouts, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.01.14. PowerPC support in iLife 09 a pleasant surprise, no overheating issues with 7200 rpm drive in an iMac, and dialup access as a good backup plan for power failures.
- 2 compact portable USB 2.0 hubs, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.01.12. Compact hubs from Targus and Proporta make a great complement to your notebook computer. Each accepts a third-party AC adapter to provide bus power.
- Heat management for 'Books and the last Mac to run OS 9.1, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2009.01.08. Tips on keeping a first-gen MacBook Air from throttling back with CoolBook, using G4FanControl with a G4 PowerBook, and the fastest Mac that can boot Mac OS 9.1.
- Notebooks and blackouts, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2008.12.23. When the power goes out, a notebook computer with long-lasting batteries lets you keep working for hours and hours.
- The 'better safe than sorry' guide to installing Mac OS X updates, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Leopard on an 867 MHz G4 trounces Vista on a 2 GHz Core Duo notebook, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.12.16. Apple makes sure that each version of OS X runs well on the minimum supported hardware, while PCs well above minimum spec struggle under Microsoft's latest version of Windows.
- Why you should partition your Mac's hard drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. "At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the 'emergency' partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics."
- The Leopard experience at 867 MHz, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.12.02. Mac OS X 10.5 requires an 867 MHz G4 with 512 MB of memory, but is performance really acceptable on a minimum spec system?
- The very best Macs: Sometimes Apple just nails it, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2008.12.01. Apple has produced lots of good Macs, a few dogs, and some 'best of breed' models that stand apart from the pack.
- Leopard runs very nicely on PowerPC Macs, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.11.19. Some claim that Mac OS X 10.5 is so optimized for Intel Macs that it runs poorly on PowerPC hardware. That's simply not the case.
- Every working computer is useful to someone, Allison Payne, The Budget Mac, 2008.11.19. Whether it's a PowerBook 1400, G3 iMac, or Power Mac G4, it could be all the computer someone needs.
- The future of PowerPC Macs and software as 'Snow Leopard' approaches, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.11.13. Apple phased out Classic Mode and G3 support with 'Leopard' last year, and next year's OS X 10.6 won't support any PowerPC Macs. Will other developers abandon PowerPC as well?
- Refurb MacBook Pro value, MacBook too big to replace 12" PowerBook, Pismo noise, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.11.12. Also installing OS X using FireWire Target Disk Mode, running Virtual PC under Leopard, and how to use filters in iCab.
- Unibody MacBook the logical successor to the 12" PowerBook, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2008.11.05. All things considered, the thinner, lighter aluminum MacBook is a worthy successor to the 12" PowerBook beloved by so many.
- Tiger great on old G3 'Books, maximum RAM for 867 MHz PowerBook G4, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.10.01. Also why 4 GB of RAM in a 32-bit Vista PC wastes most of the last gigabyte and system profile software for Windows PCs.
- 9 browsers for G3 and older G4 Macs compared, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.09.26. The latest versions of Opera, Safari, Shiira, iCab, Radon, Firefox, Demeter, Sunrise, and Camino that run on Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger".
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly - but can't if your Mac is off or asleep.
- TruePower AC adapter for iBooks and PowerBooks is rugged, reliable, and affordable, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2008.08.14. Apple's track record with AC adapters is spotty, but the TruePower adapter is tough enough to survive being run over by a truck.
- Tricking out your notebook for superior desktop duty, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2008.07.29. For desktop use, you don't need to be limited by the built-in trackpad, keyboard, and display or a notebook's compromised ergonomics.
- Leopard best OS for G4 PowerBooks, support expectations from Apple, back to Opera, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.09. Leopard features worth a little performance compromise, depreciation and the best value Macs, voice dication software for PowerPC Macs, and more.
- Depreciation game a gamble, best OS for 12" PowerBook, Opera 9.5 fast with unique features, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.02. The depreciation game requires educated guesses, Tiger the best OS for a 12" PowerBook, why Opera rocks, and a Mac using sci-fi writer who loves the free market.
- Can Linux replace OS X on older Macs?, Carl Nygren, Classic Macs in the Intel Age, 2008.06.30. Looking at Ubuntu 8.04 on a 1 GHz PowerBook and Kubuntu 5.04 on a clamshell iBook.
- 'Snow Leopard' and the death of PowerPC support, Carl Nygren, Classic Macs in the Intel Age, 2008.06.23. It looks like Mac OS X 10.6 will only support Intel Macs - and possibly only 64-bit ones at that. Should G4 and G5 owners start looking at Linux?
- Skip 867 MHz 12" PowerBook, iBook sleeps when touched, Netscape 7.0.2 keeps crashing, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.06.11. Also getting a copy of the Mac OS for a Power Mac ONE, and whether it can run Linux.
- WiMax likely, Apple not green enough, next MacBook in Q3, Cool Feet for notebooks, and more, The 'Book Review, 2008.05.23. Also LED backlighting in all MacBooks in 2009, cooling down hot laptops, OLPC plans second generation laptop, universal Apple notebook battery charger, slim external third-party SuperDrive, bargain 'Books from $150 to $2,699, and more.
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn't support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- Prosumer Mac suggestions, bring back the 12" 'Book, Pismo displays, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.06. Readers offer more thoughts on a midrange Mac, the need for a new 12" 'Book, using F-keys as F-keys in OS X, and lid closed video mode for Pismo.
- OS X for PCs, Mac mini with HDTV, 802.11n options, upgrading from Mac OS 9, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.04.22. Also reviving a dead PowerBook 5300, Lucida Grande, external FireWire SuperDrive advice, OS X and the DeskWriter, and royalties.
- $18 USB WiFi adapter, AirPort flaw in last gen iBook, SuperDrive failure in MacBook, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.02.26. Also DVD-RAM for MacBooks, the quietest MacBook, aluminum PowerBooks and Mac OS 9, and expansion slots in affordable Macs.
- Power your recycled laptop with a rebuilt battery, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2008.02.20. Old notebook computers usually mean old batteries that may be dead or on their last legs. You can buy a replacement battery, or you can have your old battery rebuilt.
- The MacBook Air misses the mark, Barry Shell, My Turn, 2008.01.17. As sexy as the MacBook Air is, the 12" PowerBook G4 beats it hands down in terms of practicality.
- Restore stability to a troubled Mac with a clean system install, Keith Winston, Linux to Mac, 2008.01.15. If your Mac is misbehaving, the best fix just might be a fresh reinstallation of Mac OS X - don't forget to backup first.
- Weak AirPort Extreme, Open Firmware hack, deleting old Systems, and spacing problems in Pages, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.12.07. Fixing a weak signal in AirPort Extreme, thoughts on the Open Firmware Leopard install hack, when it's safe to delete an old System, and line spacing issues in Pages.
- iPods, notebooks, and other modern electronics more readily replaced than repaired, Adam Robert Guha, Apple Archive, 2007.12.07. Whether it's an intermittent failure or a broken display cable, more often than not it's cheaper to replace a broken electronics device than repair it.
- Leopard on Pismo, how Apple thinks different, a universal Leopard boot drive, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.11.05. More Mac OS X 10.5 field reports on unsupported and barely supported hardware, including problems with the 867 MHz 12" PowerBook G4.
- Leopard DVD Player requires 1.6 GHz CPU, dual processor questions, and dual boot Macs, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.10.24. DVD Player currently runs on any G3 that supports Tiger, but the new version needs 1.6 GHz of power and other bloat in Leopard.
- FastMac 8x SuperDrive and BurnAgain DVD: Fast and easy multisession disc burning, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.10.08. FastMac's 8x SuperDrive upgrade is remarkably fast compared with older PowerBook burners, and BurnAgain DVD makes it easy to append files to a previously burned CD or DVD.
- Choosing and upgrading a 12" PowerBook, too much about Windows, the blue iMac blues, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.09.11. Also the pros and cons of running Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger' on a blue and white G3 and one more tip for burning CDs that will work on old Macs.
- 12" PowerBook G4 reliability, iMac slowdown blues, PowerTools Mac clones, cooling a MacBook, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.09.05. Also Pismo as the king of PowerBooks, burning a CD for Macs with System 7, and thinking about a small Mac Beowulf cluster.
- Operation FlashBook: Running Tiger from flash on a PowerBook G4, John Muir, Mac Daniel, 2007.05.29. With the hard drive failing and Compact Flash prices falling, it was time to consider running the PowerBook G4 from flash. Looking back at 6 months, was it worth it?
- Silence is golden: Running your existing notebook using flash memory, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Reviews, 2007.05.23. With a new adapter from Addonics, you can replace your laptop's IDE hard drive inexpensively and boot silently from a Compact Flash card.
- 11 ways to optimize your Mac's performance, Ed Eubanks Jr, The Efficient Mac User, 2007.03.12. If your Mac is getting sluggish, here are 11 tips that can help restore its original performance.
- 12" PowerBook G4 the new Pismo?, recovering MacBook Pro wakeup failure, MacBook Pro noise, and more, The 'Book Review, 2007.03.02. Also why you should buy a MacBook Pro, Apple Store's inefficient RAM upgrade, PB/iBook lower RAM slot failure, bargain 'Books from $209 to $2,299, and more.
- How much PowerBook or iBook do you need to run Mac OS X?, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2007.01.15. You don't need the latest and greatest Mac to be productive in OS X. Here are six iBook and PowerBook suggestions built between 2000 and 2003.
- Getting notebook design 'just right', Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.12.05. Some notebooks have just the right mix of design, quality, and features, while others fall short in one or more categories.
- OS 10.4.8 making PowerBook run cooler?, Charles W. Moore, OS X Odyssey, Applelinks, 2006.10.24. "...I haven't restarted, and the 'Book is still running in the high 40°s - low 50°s most of the time. The fan has only activated sporadically while doing heavy multitasking."
- Better laptop performance: What's the best upgrade?, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.10.09. Memory, CPU, bus speed, and hard drives all impact performance and battery life. Which upgrades will give you the most up time in the field?
- Region free DVD viewing options for Intel and PowerPC Macs, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.09.12. Several hardware and software options that will let your view 'wrong region' DVDs on your PowerPC or Intel Mac.
- Inside your notebook's battery: Ordinary AA Li-Ion cells, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.09.08. That expensive battery in your notebook computer probably holds less than $30 worth of off-the-shelf AA Li-Ion batteries.
- 7 tools for keeping your laptop (uh, notebook) cool, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.07.24. A quick look at the Podium CoolPad, ChillMat, ChillHubs, Laptop Desk, Xpad, iLap, and iBreeze - seven stands designed to keep you 'Books running cooler.
- MacBook a bargain, MacBook Pro a dream, Daystar 1.4 GHz G4 upgrades, thin 16 GB Flash Drive, and More, The 'Book Review, 2006.06.16. Also keeping your laptop looking new, iLevel and iLap stands, eSATA card for MacBook Pro, new sleeves and cases, bargain 'Books from $155 to $1,199, and more
- Macs take away Microsoft pain, Macs revive James Bond, iMac king of all media, iWoofer, and more, Mac News Review, 2006.06.16. Also Windows users guide to switching to the Mac, Bluetooth firmware update for PPC Macs, universal USB 2.0 drive adapter, waterproof case for video iPod, and more.
- Improving the 12" PowerBook with a faster hard drive, more RAM, and a better SuperDrive, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.16. Although you can upgrade to a 1.67 GHz CPU, that's a small boost for more recent PowerBooks. Putting in a faster hard drive and more memory is another way to speed things up.
- Drive matters, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.06.14. There's more to picking the right hard drive than size, spindle speed, buffer size, and price. But how can a 5400 rpm drive ever outperform a 7200 rpm drive?
- Power strategies for using your 'Book in the field: Batteries and AC adapters, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.05. One or two extra batteries and at least one spare AC adapter can be essential when you're traveling and need to get hours and hours of use from your 'Book.
- End of G4 models points to unprecedented value for used G4 Macs, Leaman Crews, Plays Well with Others, 2006.06.02. The PowerPC G4 may no longer have a place in Apple's product line, but that's a far cry from saying G4-based Macs are obsolete. If anything, their value is going to increase.
- Heavily used 12" PowerBook on last legs, but what next?, Adam Robert Guha, Apple Archive, 2006.04.13. After three years of heavy use, this PowerBook is worn and feels sluggish. But what would make the best replacement in 2006?
- Making the move from Jaguar (OS X 10.2) to Panther (10.3), Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.04.11. One advantage of Apple's "no upgrades" policy for OS X - someone can give you their old copy after upgrading without worrying about violating their license.
- PowerBook G4 12" hard drive swap, Stefan Horn, Accelerate Your Mac, 2003.06.06. "Note: You should use a 2.5in hard drive with a max height of 9.5mm."
- 867 MHz 12-inch PowerBook G4, Jason Snell, Macworld, 2003.02.17. Little aluminum PowerBook "packs more of a punch than the iBook but not quite as much power as the Titanium."
- Titanium G4 email list, The Macintosh Guy. New list for PowerBook G4 users - count me in!
- Memory pricing at ramseeker.
- Apple specs: 12" PowerBook G4
- Note that some vendors are substituting PC2700 RAM for PC2100 modules. You can't use both types of RAM in the same machine, and since onboard RAM is PC2100, you cannot use PC2700 in this 'Book.
- Portable Computers: Models Which Do Not Have a Backup Battery notes the iBook has no backup battery to retain time and other settings when the main battery is removed. A small capacitor holds enough energy to maintain PRAM contents for 20 seconds, so switch batteries quickly.
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