Smoking Apples has published a lovely post extolling the virtues of an ancient iBook G4, which given a little TLC and a wipe-and-install has been reborn as a perfectly functional household computer.
It’s not up-to-date by today’s official standards – it runs Tiger and Office 2004, rather than more modern equivalents – but for the vast majority of common tasks, it does what’s required.
The post’s author Milind Alvares writes:
“I chose Tiger over Leopard because it was intended on being used by people in an office environment, who needed word processing, internet, and email. And this is what most people use a computer for. They’ve been using the iBook for the past week, day-in day-out, and I’ve received no complaints so far — they have no clue that the brushed metal UI is ugly, even though they also have a Snow Leopard Mac mini running. Techno-lust can lead to a flawed vision, making it difficult to see the true value in things.”
About a year ago, I did the same with my vintage PowerBook G4. Since then it’s been doing an excellent job as the general-purpose family web browsing machine, music player, internet radio hub, and occasional DVD player. Yes, it’s a bit slow and yes, it sometimes struggles with web video, but those things really don’t matter much.
As we approach the season of Goodwill and Excessive Consumption, let’s raise a glass to the old bits of kit that don’t get replaced, but usefully re-used.