Trusty Old Powerbook

I have picked up for my writing one ot the best laptops ever made for writers. The keyboard is a dream. My G3 Powerbook "lombard" maybe 12 years old but it is the most comfortable laptop to type on that I have ever tried. And with the wonderful Mac OS X this old workhorse is still very much useable and relevant even now over a decade later. I also find the design to be much more rugged and durable then the Aluminium MBPs a design first introducted with the G4 Powerbooks. The metal case looks cool but definitely shows wear and tear much more.


Unfortunately the power supply in my Lombard died and it would no longer turn on.  Fortunately I found a very gently used G4 Powerbook for $150 in fact I am writing this on it right now and I could not be happier with my newest find.
PicturesOfABetterLife PicturesOfABetterLife
36-40, M
5 Responses Mar 24, 2012

im never going back to mac im sticking with my pc

It is a personal choice but I would never go back to PC. I have to use one for work and it is a nightmare for me. When I use a PC I feel like I have to fight my computer to get anything done.

Well my Lombard's power supply bit the dust. :-(<br />
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The good news is I got a gently used Powerbook G4 Titanium to replace it and I got a brand new battery for it and get 5hrs out of the battery. That is better then the battery on my 2008 HP Mini Note Ultra Portable. :-) This powerbook has become my main machine. Still use my G4 MDD FW800 for my photography though. Nothing beats the 21 inch Apple Cinema display. :-D

I got a lot of mileage out of my Lombard G3 PowerBook. I did have to fix a few things over the years though. The hinges got weak and would barely hold the display up, some of the keyboard keys went dead, the PowerBook started intermittently crashing and freezing, and the low case plastic started cracking from the heat of ll the use. I replaced all the ailing parts and the lower case from stuff I got on ebay. The sporadic crashing a freezing was getting bad and so vexing and could happen at any time, but I found out that some of these PowerBooks didn't have the CPU chip bonded to the daughter card with enough heat (cold solder connection) so I risked trying to reflow the solder and not cook the CPU with too much heat. The CPU is a ball grid array which means the chip sits up on rows and columns of solder balls so I injected some reflow flux under the chip and used a heat gun to bake the chip until the solder melted underneath which took a few minutes. I let it cool down and then reinstalled the board and the problem disappeared! I still have that thing and it works perfectly. It's really slow but if you do simple non-CPU intense tasks it's all you may need.<br />
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Btw I still have my old Blackbird PowerBook 540c with the 603e PPC upgrade. Museum piece I know, but that was a super pricey bit of hardware back in the day.<br />
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My main laptop is a 2007 15" MacBook Pro which is awesome and the aluminum dissipates the heat well unlike the Lombard's plastic, but the aluminum would dent much easier and look like hell if used in a rough environment.

Very cool. You were definitely more professional about the repair. some people have tried and suprisingly have succeeded fixing similar problems by putting their laptop in the oven. I kid you not. My Lombard is being used as a glorified typwriter and that is what I bought it for so I have realistic expectations. I also have a Power Mac G4 as my main desktop. I do all of my photography on it and plenty of other things. I follow the Low End Mac philosophy. I use what what I need and works for me as opposed to what Apple tries to convince me I need. Do I wish I could afford to buy a Mac Pro? Heck yes, but honestly it is way more computer and even way more money then I could ever justify. Although a Mac Mini might be more tempting if it supported ADC for my Cinema Display. All in all my newest Mac is from 2003 and they do what I need them to and that is what matters. My only complaint with the Lombard is a new battery will cost me more then what I paid for the laptop.

I also have an HP Mini Note 2133 ultra portal that has an alluminum case like the Macbook Pro and it does have it's advantages and disadvantages. Some people fined they get alarmingly hot since the computer uses the case as a giant heatsink. Guess that is why they stopped referring to them as laptops and call them notebooks now.

Honestly though I hope Apple brings back the black macbook. I love the look of the G3 powerbook so that model really grabbed me when they brought them out a few years back. Who knows. Maybe that will be my next Mac laptop when I finally go Intel.

I used a G4 Tower Sawtooth AGP for almost 10 years before I bought a 20" aluminum iMac. At the end my G4 had a 1.6GHz Freescale CPU in it. I gave it to my sister to replace her really old G3 iMac and she's so happy with it and not having incessant pinwheels. Yeah these Macbooks can get hot on the legs sometimes. Baking the Lombard's CPU in an oven would work if you set it at 500° F and fluxed it and let it bake for I would guess 15 minutes. You want the solder to reach at least 460° F for 1 minute for a good reflow. I'm an electronics tech and part of my job is developing profiles for a big Pace BGA rework station for changing out chips. My current Macbook Pro and iMac were both bought used on eBay as were my earlier ones. I don't need to have the latest fastest thing out there and when I can get a Mac inexpensively on eBay if I keep browsing around. Like My 15" Macbook Pro 2.8 GHz with LED display was worth about $1300 used at the time but I found it fully optioned in new condition for $580. eBay has been my "Apple Store" for some years now.

Never had the pleasure of trying out a G5 or an Intel Mac. My main system is a Power Mac G4. I use it for my photography and all kinds of other things. My Powerbook is more then sufficient for me since I just use it for reading and when Text Edit and Safari are all I need on there really so I do not need a lot of power. The biggest concern for me is a comfortable keyboard for typing. I had a newer laptop (less then a year old HP) and the keyboard was a train wreck. I was getting repetitive stress pain in no time. So I sold it. Very few laptops seem to be made with typists and writers in mind anymore.

After getting used to the newer, faster processors of the G5, I could never go back to the slower G3. I understand what you say about the keyboard since you are a writer. I, however, usually do a lot of graphic design work and I need as much power as I can get. <br />
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I hate to admit it, but I bought a PC laptop this week. I just couldn't afford the $$$ for a Mac laptop and I got a Toshiba for $400. I really needed it for work because our employee portal was only accessible through Internet Explorer (Windows). Also, my son will use it for school work.