Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Old New toy : Headless Powerbook G4

Well my journey to the world of only MAC is now ... well nearly complete. On Saturday night i spotted a Powerbook g4 laptop for sale on Trademe. It didn't have a screen, this was perfect as i was looking for a cheap mac mini or similar to run as the file server backup server for the macs we have.

I was lucky enough to win, as a very reasonable $275.

Once it showed up the first thing to do was install leopard so I could take advantage of Leopards TimeMachine backups and the TimeCapsule I have.

This was more troublesome than I though it was going to be. Since it didn't have a screen and I was using an external monitor. Everything the Leopard install started it treated it as a two monitor setup with the main dialog boxes for the install showing on the missing screen which was there and I couldnt continue with the install. After a lot of Google searches and finding nothing I decide to try this.

Have the monitor plugged in while starting the install, once it got to the point that it required input I unplugged the monitor and waited for 30seconds then plugged it back in. The leopard install defaulted to dual monitors in mirrored mode.... phew I could then continue with the install. Leopard successfully installed, even with only 512MB ram (I plan to upgrade it to 1GB once find some cheap ram)

I am now in the process of making this the file server and backup server.
I now have all my data on a external drive attached to the headless powerbook, this is then backed up via TimeMachine to the TimeCapsule, this covers any local disk failures.  I have also joined Mozy and the whole machine is also (well starting to be will take a while to upload 160GB) backup up to the "cloud"

This covers local drive failure of the external drive / laptop and the online backup covers fire/theft... natural disasters.

The data that is backed up is mainly digital photos, artwork and documents. I have decided at this stage not to upload my itunes music. I will wait to make sure I get all the other data uploaded first.

That 160Gb is only my data, I have to also do my wifes data which is another 200GB.
But for $5 a month per device / umlimited space is cheap piece of mind.

So here are some shots of the old/new wonder headless lappy.

Processor Speed: 1.33 GHz
Maximum RAM: 1.0 GB (Lower max Ram due to lower Ram slot no longer functioning)
Video Card: ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM.
2nd Display Resolution: up to 2048x1536
Hard Drive: 120 GB (5400 RPM)
Int. HD Interface: Ultra ATA/100
Optical Drive: 8X "Combo Drive" capable of reading DVD at 8X, writing CD-R at 24X, writing CD-RW at 16X, and reading CD-ROM at 24X.
Modem: 56k v.92
Ethernet: 10/100/1000Base-T
Ports: Two USB 2.0 ports + One Firewire "400" port and one Firewire "800" port
Expansion Slots: Type I/II PC Card

Not a bad little mac for the price :)