£30 PowerBook

Back before Christmas I was wasting time on eBay when I found a PowerBook G3 for only £30.

Did I need such a machine? I did not. Did I randomly bid on and win it anyway? I did!

PowerBook G3 #1

I won the PowerBook itself for £31.01, the postage was £12.50 and then I spent a further £8.93 on the USB PCMCIA card. So it’s really a £52.44 PowerBook, I guess…

PowerBook G3 #2

Not only did it come with a snazzy faux-leather case, it also came with a battery (holds a whole 10 minute charge…), a power supply (though I had to chase the eBayer a little for that as it wasn’t included in the original parcel…) and a LaCie Zip-100 drive, that even works if you can find any Zip disks to put inside of it.

PowerBook G3 #3

The rubberised top and bottom of the machine were woefully scratched up, but I fixed that…

PowerBook G3 #4

…with a black permanent marker! It looks a little shiny in the wrong light, but is inarguably much better than it was when it was bare silvery metal.

PowerBook G3 #5

Other than said scratched-away-rubber the PowerBook is in pretty good condition. It was a little muddy, but that wiped right off…

PowerBook G3 #6

Unfortunately, the line-in port (second from the left) is mashed in, but the headphone port works fine.

PowerBook G3 #7

As for the rest of these guys, I’ve not actually bothered to try and test them, so they’re a mystery for now.

PowerBook G3 #8

Two PCMCIA slots, and unfortunately the little door is missing from the modem port.

PowerBook G3 #9

See? Black permanent marker to the rescue, especially in the area beneth the latch.

PowerBook G3 #10

An American keyboard layout, which does throw me off when I try and use the right Command key, only to find it is not there.

PowerBook G3 #11

The screen is flawless, with no dead pixels and an even backlight.

PowerBook G3 #12

As it has no USB ports, a PCMCIA card is needed…

PowerBook G3 #13

And happily it works perfectly, though only at USB 1.1 speeds as Mac OS 9 is too old to support USB 2.0.

PowerBook G3 #14

There’s even a cute little rainbow Apple logo. Hoo-hah.

So, I killed the original 8GB hard drive with my static touch when I was taking the machine apart to get to said drive so as I could install an OS on it by putting it in an external enclosure… No CD drive did make that step a little difficult. At the moment there is a spare 20GB drive in there but I’m on the lookout on eBay for a smaller one to use; I need that 20GB in the external enclosure for random file moving!

Also, I briefly tried to install Mac OS X 10.4, but promptly gave up when it wouldn’t even boot. Even had I been able to get it running, this PowerBook is rather underpowered for Mac OS X, whereas in Mac OS 9 it is most mighty.

This PowerBook is a 300MHz G3 with 192MB RAM and a 14.1″ 1024×768 display. It is running Mac OS 9.2.2, Microsoft Office 2001, Adobe Photoshop 7.0 and iTunes 2.0.4.

What to do with it now? I don’t know… I take it to my Mum’s house over Easter, maybe one of my siblings will want it…