The Low End Mac Mailbag

Leopard Pales Before Mac OS 8.5 for Macs Left Behind, Dual Processor Benefits, and More

Dan Knight - 2007.10.23

Mac OS 8.5 Left Behind Far More Macs than Leopard

From Ed Hurtley:

You mention that 60 models are being left behind, and how it is cutting of fairly new machines.

Here is some perspective:

On October 26, 2007, Leopard's release date, the oldest machine that is officially supported will be the 2001 Quicksilver Power Mac G4 at 867 MHz. It will be 6 years, 3 months, 8 days old at that time. (Released 7/18/2001.) The newest machine that is not supported will be the original 12" iBook G4, which is unsupported at 800 MHz. It was sold until 4/19/2004, meaning one bought on the last day it was "new" would be 3 years, 6 months, 7 days old.

So Leopard supports all machines newer than 3 years 6 months and supports some machines going back to 6 years 3 months old. Wow. That's it? Only 6 years 3 months at the top-end, and as recent as 3 years 6 months on the low? (Not counting refurb 800 MHz machines sold after the model was replaced as "new".)

Well, nothing is going to compare to System 7.5.5, whose oldest supported machine was over 10 years, 8 months old when it was released (OS released on 9/22/1996, Mac Plus on 1/16/1986.) But how about a slightly newer OS?

Mac OS 8.5 was released to the wild on 10/17/1998. It shut out all non-PowerPC machines. 8.1 was supported on all 68040s; 8.5 wasn't. That was almost as many models shut out (if you count Performas) as are being shut out by Leopard. (Although I am dubious as to how you count "60 models". When the only difference between two systems released at the same time are processor speed, memory, and hard drive size, they shouldn't be counted as different models.)

At that time, the PowerBook 190cs had only been discontinued for a little over 2 years. (I can't find an exact date, just "September 1996", so it could be anywhere from 2 years, 17 days, to 2 years, 1 month, 16 days.) I feel more sorry for those PowerBook 190cs buyers than I do for iBook G4 buyers. At least iBook G4 buyers could run the latest OS for over 3.5 years.

Leopard supports machines that are almost 2 years older at time of release than 8.5 supported at its time of release.

The oldest machine that supported 8.5 at its release were the original Power Mac x100 series, released on March 14, 1994. Those machines were only 4 years, 7 months, 3 days old. Leopard supports machines that are almost 2 years older at time of release than 8.5 supported at its time of release. So rather than a span of 3.5 to 6.25 years of questionable machines for Leopard, 8.5 had a span of 2 to 4.6 years.

If on Leopard release day, your Mac is newer than 3.5 years old, you are guaranteed to work. And if your Mac is as old as 6.25 years, you have a chance of working. When 8.5 came out, you had to be newer than 2 years to guarantee it would work, and the oldest machine with any chance of working was only 4.6 years old.

In mobiles, Leopard's oldest supported machine is nearly 5 years old (867 MHz PowerBook G4, released 11/6/2002,) whereas at time of 8.5's release, the oldest supported portable was barely 3 years old (PowerBook 5300, 8/25/1995.) So for a supported portable machine, you needed one that was newer time-wise than the newest machine Leopard shuts out.

9 years ago, Mac users were in much worse shape than they are today with the current OS release.

Ed Hurtley

Owner of over 50 Low End Macintoshes, ranging from a Macintosh Plus to an eMac; Macintosh Portable to a MacBook Pro.


Thanks for all the research you did here. I remember standardizing on Mac OS 8.1 at work when we outgrew 7.5.5 because it supported our Quadras, 500 series PowerBooks, and Power Macs. I don't recall much software that required 8.5, though, which is one of the issues moving forward.

Thanks for reminding us how Apple left so many Macs out in the cold - also under the Jobs regime.


Leopard Pales Compared with Macs Abandoned by Mac OS 8.5

From Carl Hult:


I've been reading the articles about the Macs left behind when the latest cat joins the family, and I just want to say that even though it's sad to see so many Macs not supported, I'm still optimistic because it means that Apple wants an OS as fresh as it could be.

Also, people have been lamenting the fact that Macs were left behind before, but where are they now? I remember back in 1998 or something like that, when Mac OS 8.5 was announced. Apple killed off support for non-PowerPC Macs back then. The response from some of the Mac users were very like the response of today. But that debate died very soon.

BTW, the required computers for Leopard can be compared to other limits back in 1998 for example. We have 3 GHz computers today and the limit is 867 MHz. That is a healthy margin even if you have a computer from 2003 or 2004. In 1998 the shift was about leaving a whole chip family (68K) behind. This time it's about cutting one chip family (G4) in half, leaving the "weeds" behind.

I know it's kind of far fetched to compare it to 1998 but the jump in requirements back then was bigger then, at least in my opinion. It's not a brain transplant this time, as it was in 1998. That transplant will come either with 10.6 or 10.7.

Carl Hult


Thanks for writing. There are a lot of different ways of looking at this issue, but what it boils down to for a lot of us it that there is no reason the underlying operating system should have such high hardware requirements. The problem is the eye candy.

For all the grief Microsoft has deservedly received over Vista, they got one thing right: a user interface that makes less hardware demands on less capable hardware.

Put another way, we've been very happy with the user experience in Tiger, so we know the hardware supported by Tiger is capable of producing a more than acceptable user experience - and all of a sudden we're being told that not only 350 MHz G3 or 700 MHz G4, but even dual 800 MHz Power Macs are unable to provide an adequate user experience.

The real problem isn't not being able to run Leopard, which will probably bog down older Macs to a considerable extent, but being unable to run new software on Tiger as the years go by and developers stop providing browsers and whatever else we need to keep up with standards.


867 MHz Cutoff for Leopard


With all this talk about the 867 MHz cut off for Leopard, I have been thinking about it. At least for single processor Power Macs, the 867 MHz Quicksilver has 2 MB of L3 cache, where the "lesser" 733 MHz and 800 MHz only have 256 L2 cache, but no L3 cache. This makes the performance difference much more the actual clock rates of the CPUs would tell. Of course, this doesn't allow for the 800 MHz Dual Processor Quicksilver, which does have L3 cache. Of course, the difference between 800 & 867 MHz PowerBooks. The 867 MHz and 1 GHz TiBook do have Radeon 9000 graphics, vs. the 800 MHz with Radeon 7500, but both the 800 MHz and 867 MHz have 32 MB of VRAM.

All that said, I still think the cutoff should have been something like G4 Processor as a minimum processor and a minimum amount of RAM (and of course hard disc size), and a DVD-ROM (which could be external).

Jay Snyder


Thanks for writing. I also wish Apple had drawn the line a bit lower - maybe at a single 667 MHz G4 or dual 450 MHz G4 so all eMacs, all G4 iMacs, all G4 iBooks, all dual processor G4 Power Macs, and all but the three slowest titanium PowerBooks would be supported.

We are very much looking forward to reading field reports next week and learning how well or poorly Leopard performs on unsupported hardware.


Cutting Off Support at Five Years

From Gary Kohl:

I'm sorry that Mr. Hodges is so angry about this one, but I do have to disagree again with his main points. The fact that System 7.5.5 lasted 10 years is wonderful from a hardware point of view, but any history of Apple will tell you that Apple's inability to progress beyond 7.5.5 or minor variations of it (as Systems 8 & 9 were) almost put Apple out of business.

7.5.5 lasted as long as it did only because Apple couldn't get it's act together and produce a modern operating system. We really don't need those days again. We also don't need a return to the days when each new generation of Mac was a minor speed bump over the previous. Yes, the G3s were a big advance, the G4s somewhat, but the pace of hardware advancement has increased rapidly since the move to Intel and promises to continue to advance quickly.

Remember, again, it was Apple's inability to produce significantly faster machines that depressed the Mac market and led to the Intel switch. Things ran well on G3s and G4s for a long time because Motorola and IBM moved development at a glacial pace. There is nothing wrong with my Yikes machine or MDD G4, and I continue to enjoy and use them on a daily basis. But I certainly am glad that Apple is now in a period where it finds itself moving rapidly from generation to generation. I believe that's what it takes for Apple to compete, and if the price of that is that a 5 or more year old computer gets "left behind", I think it worth the price.

It's certainly better than having no Apple around at all, and that's where we were headed on a few occasions, precisely because of the situations Mr. Hodges cites as "the good old days". Support for 10.3.9 was continued by Apple for quite some time, and I expect Apple will not abandon 10.4 users with necessary updates for some time either. Apple isn't forcing Mr. Hodges to do anything.


It's not System 7.5.5 that lasted ten years - System 7.0 came out in May 1991, 7.5.5 on October 1996, and 7.6 in January 1997. What Ted Hodges was commenting on what how the Mac Plus, introduced in January 1986, was still supported by the current version of the Mac OS right through the end of 1996.

With Leopard we're seeing that cut in half.

Apple was long at the mercy of Motorola and IBM as far as faster CPUs goes, and today it's completely at the mercy of Intel. Motorola got stuck at 500 MHz for a while, then shot past it so Apple could sell 733 MHz Power Macs (46% faster on one jump!). With the switch to IBM's G5, Apple moved from a 1.4 GHz dual G4 Power Mac to a 2.0 GHz dual G4 Power Mac , increasing raw processing power about 40% - and eventually reached 2.7 GHz for another 35% gain in processing power.

In the same time period, Intel moved the Pentium 4 from 3.0 GHz to 3.6 GHz, a very unsatisfactory 20% increase in processing power. Today's fastest Mac runs a 3.0 GHz, and after fifteen months at that point, Apple may finally be able to move to 3.33 GHz or possibly 3.66 GHz by the end of the year.

IBM, Intel, AMD, and the rest of the industry keep running into obstacles, and the only reason the Intel-based Macs are such screaming powerhouses is that Intel backed away from the marketing-friendly Pentium 4 architecture to one designed to provide more processing power - and the switch to dual- and quad-core CPUs.

We'll continue to see progress in processing power, but it's not very often that we'll see the kind of leaps going from PowerPC 604 to G3 - or going from Pentium 4 to the Core architecture. Most of the progress will be slow, but thanks to the switch to Intel we'll at the very least have GHz parity with the Windows world.


It's All About Eye Candy

From Rich Brauer:

Hi Ted,

I think you hit the nail on the head in your latest article [If a Mac Plus Can Run System 7.5.5, Why Can't an 800 MHz G4 Run Leopard?]- I suspect the Leopard system requirements are all about the eye candy. My cursory look indicates that the supported models almost all shipped with 64 MB video cards or better. I'm going to guess that Leopard will need that as a minimum to give the user all of the fancy visual effects without a significant system slowdown (those Macs that are supported but lack 64 MB cards will probably suffer, either by not supporting those effects or slowing down significantly). [And I'd be more certain, but my 3G modem seems to suffer from the rain we're experiencing down here, but while it's not specified on the Leopard page, this is my guess]

My own iceBook has 32 MB VRAM, and is unsupported, as an example. Presumably, the idea is that the 1 GHz version can power through acceptably with the same amount of VRAM.

Your point is unarguable - this is probably largely a result of the "eye candy" effect. On the other hand, every software developer seems to be embracing that (even the latest release of Ubuntu is noted for it); whether that can be combated it debatable.

As I mentioned in my earlier missive, I'll be curious to see how XPostFacto does with Leopard, and how those newer "vintage" machines perform. I suspect that if it's merely a question of clock cycles, XPostFacto, or something similar, will enable them to run Leopard, albeit with the speed issues machines unsupported my Tiger & Panther have experienced. We got OS 8 on 68030s, after all.

Take care,
Rich Brauer

Why Can't an 800 MHz G4 Run Leopard?

From Bill Brown:

Yo Dan and Ted,

Ted Hodges asks: "If a Mac Plus Can Run System 7.5.5, Why Can't an 800 MHz G4 Run Leopard?"

Fellas, 7.5.5 doesn't run on a Plus; it barely crawls. 7.1 and even 7.01• crawl on a Plus. System 6 runs on a Plus. In 1986, most of us were still unaccustomed to throwing away the purchase price of a computer with a .x jump in an operating system came along. Initially, from System 1 of 1984 into System 7 through 7.01•, system upgrading was free. We may have tried the upgrade on a Plus to System 7 because we could do it for nothing. Many have gone back to System 6. Certainly most of the surviving Plus' have gone back to System 6. Most with a Plus never considered moving to to 7.1 for several reasons: System 7.1 cost money, the first Mac OS (a Mac OS was called a System in those days) Apple sold to Mac users rather than giving it away. The sluggish experience of many with the free upgrades through System 7.01• was not inspiring on the Plus, SE, nor later Classic. You needed to spend money on installing extra memory, which wasn't cheap back then. And the simple fact that most Macs go from cradle to grave never having any upgrade of anything. Over its long production life, many Plus' were built. Including until today, I doubt that one percent of them have had System 7.5.5 installed even briefly. Yes, I have a Jasmine external SCSI hard drive with 7.5.5 on it that I can boot my Plus to. "Who cares" is about all that can be said for the fact that a Plus will run on 7.5.5.

All of this is poor performance with newer operating systems than System 6 were okay because a Plus sings on System 6. System 6 is a robust (robust sounds so 80s) system able to offer a user a huge Mac experience keeping many productive to this day. I possess a copy of the very first full color coffee table book "Whale's Song" produced entirely on two Macs and largely on a Plus with System 6. No typesetting, no camera ready copy, no photo engraving, no lithography plates, the Plus even ran the press. The Plus on System 6 goes online, does your email, can even still crudely surf the Web. 7.5.5 offers no increased capability for its sloth performance. System 7.x was for Macs of the nineties. Much like Mac OS X Leopard is for Macs of 2005 and beyond - for a while anyway.

Apple put their Leopard support cutoff where they pleased. So be it. Get used to it. Some of us look to have Leopard up and running on any G4 we see. A few will hack away until we have Leopard running on a hacked G3 or maybe even a Plus just for Ted. Uhhh, Ted, you do have one of those accelerator kits for a Plus that uses a Kelty Clip to clip a 1 GHz G4 processor card onto the Plus' 68K processor, don't you? ;^)

So Ted's article had 4,000+, hits did it. In another year, all of this whining over the last year about where Apple will place their cutoff for Leopard will be ancient history. Nobody will care any more where Apple put their cutoff. We will have any G4 that wants to run Leopard running on Leopard. The Plus will still be running System 6 very happily even though, yes, you can get 7.5.5 on to it and whiners will be pointing to this fact as some justification to whine. G3s and many early G4s right on up through many Core 2 Duos will be happily running Tiger. The whining, and interest, about Leopard's cutoff will happily be over. It made great news while interest lasted. It's over.

Of course, in a year we will be whining about where Apple will place their cutoff for 10.6. Let us start the whining now!

Bill Brown


Yes, there's a difference between being able to run System 7 (or Leopard) and being able to run it well. As a Mac Plus user from the System 6 days, I can tell you that although I got to play with System 7 on my Mac Plus (had to sign a nondisclosure agreement), I went back to System 6 as soon as 7.0 was released. An unaccelerated Mac Plus, SE, or Classic does not run it well.

Memory was costly back then - about $70 per megabyte if I recall correctly. So I took my Plus to 2.5 MB when funds allowed, and later to 4 MB. It only became a System 7 computer after I had a Brainstorm 16 MHz accelerator installed, and System 7 is very usable with a 16 MHz Mac. But at least Apple let the end user decide whether System 7 ran well enough to use - the only Macs it didn't support had less than 1 MB of RAM, and System 7 required 2 MB.

I am very much looking forward to reading field reports about Leopard next week, especially from those running it on older, slower, and possibly unsupported hardware. Then we'll be able to determine whether Apple's 867 MHz cutoff makes sense or not. Until then, I just hate it.


Mac Plus Ran System 7.5.5 Poorly

From Peter Hillman to Ted Hodges:

The 16 MHz IIcx ran 7.5.5 just fine. The 8 MHz Classic was not a speed demon, but it got the job done. As long as you didn't use Adobe Type Manager or a lot of TrueType fonts, any 8 MHz 68000 Mac (the Plus, SE, and Classic) could run 7.5.5 very nicely. Why should we let Apple dictate to us what machines will be too slow? I'm not saying that 4-7 year old Macs will be speed demons under Leopard, any more than I'm saying a Plus was a speed demon under 7.5.5, but it should be up to the user to decide what is and isn't fast enough, not Apple.

A Mac Plus barely ran System 7.5.5. I had a Mac Plus, and System 7 was considerably slower than System 6, and System 7.5.5 was a memory hog and even slower. As you stated, you had to disable software that people used on a daily basis: Adobe Type Manager and minimize TrueType fonts. How does that make someone productive?

You cannot compare the Mac Classic to the Mac IIcx. The Mac IIcx was twice as fast, used a different processor, and supported 128 MB of RAM. Of course it ran 7.5.5 just fine. You couldn't run more than one program on a Mac Plus with 4 MB of RAM with System 7.5. The only reason System 7.5.5 ran on the Mac Plus is because Apple created the Mac Classic in 1990 to lure buyers into thinking they were getting a good computer for less than $1,000 - when in reality it was a computer that was four years old with a new name. If the Classic did not exist, System 7.5 would have required a 68020 or higher CPU. Sure the Mac Plus/Classic ran System 7.5.5, but no one actually did it. They stuck with System 7.1.

If Apple allowed the customer to decide what is appropriate, then they would get sued again and again. If Apple released Leopard claiming it would run on a 400 MHz 1st Generation Power Mac G4 (which is 8 years old), the complaints would be through the roof on how slow it was and how unproductive the computer would be. If Apple retained an outdated 10 year old GUI just so it could run on computers that were 10 years old, who would buy it? You would complain that Apple is not innovative and stuck using an outdated OS.

When Apple was developing OS X, they claimed the Beige G3 was the minimum required computer. Instead of updating the system requirements, they continued to claim the Beige G3 was supported. When OS X was released, users quickly discovered that the floppy drive didn't work, all serial ports did not work, and the onboard graphics were not supported. How could Apple claim a computer was supported by an OS that disabled half of the computer's primary functions?

For printing, Apple recommended printing to a network printer on Ethernet. Not many home users had a network printer. Apple was quickly sued for falsely advertising OS X. A class action settlement allowed Beige G3 owners to obtain a full refund with the return of OS X 10.0. Mac OS X 10.1 and 10.2 improved performance, but the floppy and serial ports were still nonfunctional, and people added a CPU upgrade and PCI graphics card for better performance. They had to modify the computer to make it work well.

So Apple needs to draw the line somewhere, and 5 years is pretty good for OS support. Apple could have easily dropped the G4 altogether, but they adjusted the requirements to include 867 MHz or faster. OS X 10.6 is already rumored to be Intel only. I am sure PowerPC G5 users are going to be pretty upset, especially for Dual Processor owners. If Apple releases OS X 10.6 in two years (2009), why should they support a processor that hasn't been used since 2005?

Peter Hillman


I have to agree with you on the 8 MHz Macs. Although they could run System 7.5.5, they did so v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y even with ATM disabled and avoiding TrueType fonts. But any 16 MHz Mac - including the Mac Portable, PowerBook 100, and an accelerated Mac Plus - ran it quite comfortably. And it was possible to run 2-3 programs at once with 4 MB of RAM, such as Word 5.1, FileMaker Pro, and Excel (whatever version was current circa 1991).

Apple really took a beating over Mac OS X 10.0. Not only were the floppy drive not supported serial ports, there was no acceleration whatsoever for the onboard graphics, and there was no support for DVD playback in a lot of G3 Macs with DVD-ROM drives. That said, Mac OS X was as functional on the beige G3 and WallStreet PowerBook as it was on newer hardware, at least through version 10.2. None of them had floppy or serial drive support, video was never accelerated, but eventually Apple managed to get a DVD player that functioned on G3s.

As for Leopard, there are at least five issues: The first is what hardware you can install it on, and it seems that 867 MHz is rock bottom for Apple. They appear to make no allowance for dual processors with that number, but time will tell.

The second issue is what hardware can run Leopard. We know that the developer preview ran on systems slower than that, and Apple's iChat 10.5 FAQ says a dual 800 MHz G4 is adequate for the app, so it's evident that Apple has also had it running on Macs below 867 MHz.

The third issue is what hardware can run Leopard acceptably. It may be possible to hack OS X 10.5 to run on a a 350 MHz Yikes! Power Mac G4 or a 400 MHz PowerBook G4, but most people probably won't find its performance acceptable. After all, they're well below half the recommended minimum CPU speed. But what about a dual 533 MHz Power Mac or an 800 MHz iMac G4, or a 12" 800 MHz iBook G4? They are likely to be close enough to perform decently.

The fourth issue is Apple support. If Apple recommends 867 MHz, they are under no obligation to provide technical support. Perhaps creating an installer that prevents unsupported installs is part of a strategy to minimize support costs.

The fifth issue is being up to date. With every new version of OS X, we see software that requires that version, leaving owners of earlier versions behind. Right now Tiger is up to date, and so are its apps. But what happens when Microsoft or Adobe or Mozilla draws the line at Leopard? All of a sudden those who cannot upgrade to Leopard are left with outdated versions of Word that may not support the latest document format, Photoshop without the latest and greatest features, and a browser that's not as compliant was what Leopard users get.

Just as with each previous version of OS X, Apple has drawn a line in the sand. And just as then, there will be people who cross the line, not expecting any support from Apple and cursing under their breath because of the amount of work involved in hacking Leopard to run on their hardware.



I agree with you on all points. Here is another thing that is kind of irritating. Why doesn't Apple release new versions of Safari that run on Panther, or maybe even Jaguar? Why is Safari only updated with an OS? My parents don't go for system upgrades. I had to download Firefox, since Safari 1.x is pretty much outdated. So if Firefox drops Panther support, I will have to upgrade their Macs.

I had a Beige G3 with CD-ROM, rev A. It was a great Mac and very stable. Throughout the years, I upgraded the CPU to 500 MHz, 384 MB of RAM, larger hard drives, an ATI Rage Orion video card, and an Apple DVD-ROM drive. It ran Jaguar rather well. Since the Beige G3 required hardware-DVD decoding, the Apple DVD Player was not included in the Jaguar install. I copied the player from my PowerBook G4, and DVDs played flawlessly on the upgraded CPU and upgraded graphics card. I never tried it with the onboard video, but I am guessing it only played DVDs because of the Rage 128 Orion card that was installed.

Anyway, thanks for your replies. I enjoy your site and visit it often . . . to read the articles and to see which Mac is the "Mac of the Day".



I think there's just about zero chance of Apple supporting new versions of Safari on old versions of the Mac OS for one simple reason: It's tightly integrated to WebKit, which is pretty much tied to each version of OS X. The Safari 3 preview installed a new version of WebKit, which caused problems with Safari 2 and some other apps that depend on WebKit and assumed the version used under OS X 10.4 wouldn't change.

I'm very excited about Firefox. At present, Camino 1.5 is my browser of choice, a version of Firefox 2.0 customized for the Mac. (I also use Safari 2, Firefox 2, and the "BonEcho" version of Firefox 2 optimized for the G4.) With version 3.0, Firefox is getting away from the "one interface for all" philosophy and will be designed to work like a Mac app under OS X, a Windows app under Windows, and a Linux app under Linux. Based on the screen shots I've seen, it's going to look very much like modern Mac apps - and a lot like Safari.


Benefits of Dual Processor Macs

Following up on 60 Macs Left Behind by Leopard, Peter Hillman says:


I do agree with you on the dual processor models being capable of running Leopard better than a faster single CPU. Maybe it would have caused confusion trying to specify a min. requirement of a dual 500 MHz as well as a faster single CPU.

Do you think XPostFacto will be upgraded to allow Leopard to be installed on unsupported Macs? It would be interesting to see how they handle Leopard.

With regard to age of computers, my iMac G5 (released in late 2005) will most likely only run Tiger and Leopard. If 10.6 is Intel only, my Mac only lasted for two system upgrades.



We've been proponents of dual processor Macs since OS X became a viable operating system - about the time of version 10.1. Getting my own dual G4 setup confirmed that, and it's especially nice for someone who uses Classic Mode, as that tends to take over a single processor - which bogs down a single CPU Mac but leaves the second CPU in a dual processor Mac free to continue humming along. Switching from a 1.25 GHz eMac to a dual 1 GHz Power Mac did wonders for my productivity.

I don't know if XPostFacto will be resurrected for Leopard. I hope so, as the name is established and it has a great reputation. Regardless, I'm sure someone will discover a way to install Leopard on unsupported G4 Macs that doesn't require having a supported PowerPC model to do the work.

The 800 MHz iBook G4 is already where your iMac G5 may end up; it was only supported by OS X 10.3 and 10.4.


Love the Flat Panel iMac G4

From Alan Norberg:

I'll tell you what, my wife and grandchildren absolutely love the screen, which can be swiveled to any angle, and to boot the machine is dead quiet. This thing doesn't take up much room on a desktop. It was also seen on every TV series as eye candy for quite a while after it's introduction.



Yeah, the G4 iMac does have that going for it. It's a clever design, and I've seen a lot of them on TV, especially in the CSI labs.

Apple does have a thing for visually distinct computers. And back in the days of The Pretender (1996-2000), it was quite obvious to Mac users that the notebook Jarod used was a WallStreet PowerBook with the Apple logo covered over.


iBook G4 800 MHz

From Örjan Larsson:

Nice article.

Perhaps we get better models here in Sweden, but my iBook G4 12" 800 MHz, still used by my girlfriend, does have Airport Extreme. Its 802.11g In fact, it cant even have the old Airport 802.11b card, but requires the newer Airport Extreme card.

Am also hoping I can move Leopard one way or another into it, despite Apple cruel "867 MHz", there sure are features in Leopard that my girlfriend wants. (And she prefer the 12" in iBook, thinks like me that the MacBook 13" is a tad bit too clumsy overall as laptop)

Örjan Larsson


Right you are. Our iBook profile stated in one section that it used AirPort Extreme, another that is used the older, slower 802.11b. We've since verified that was an error and have corrected the page.

A lot of people agree with you about the 12" iBook and PowerBook vs. the 13" MacBook. Here's hoping Apple will someday introduce a smaller notebook.


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Dan Knight has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. Mailbag columns come from email responses to his Mac Musings, Mac Daniel, Online Tech Journal, and other columns on the site.

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