My main computer for the past 19 months has been a Core 2 Duo unibody MacBook. It’s fast, has an excellent LED backlit display, is quiet and reliable. Nevertheless I still log some three to four hours per day on average with my 10-year-old Pismo PowerBooks.
While my new unibody MacBook is pretty state-of-the-art, and indeed the most contemporaneously avant garde computer I’ve ever owned, I’m still a fan of good older hardware and getting a lot of useful work out of my two nine-year-old Pismo PowerBooks.
The Pismo, for a variety of reasons, has proved an extraordinarily long-lived machine in terms of practical usefulness, thanks in no small part to its expandability, connectivity, and upgradability, representing what was arguably the all time high-water mark for those qualities in Mac laptops. It also has a really good keyboard, which makes it a continued tactile pleasure to work with.
Both of mine have been upgraded with G4 550 MHz processors, replacing the original 500 MHz G3s, and 8x dual-layer DVD-burning SuperDrives. The also have 576MB and 640 MB of RAM respectively (and would support up to 1 GB), larger capacity 40 GB and 100 GB hard drives, plus Wi-Fi and FireWire 800 PC Cardbus adapters. They’re running Mac OS X 10.4.11, which is as far as I intend to go with system software notwithstanding the potential for hacked Leopard installs. Pretty modest by today’s standards, but they’re lively enough as to not be at all frustrating for the sort of basic text and web-based stuff I do with them.
Read More about Doing the Job With Obsolete Hardware in a Recession