Powerbook G4 15″ HR: 6 Months Later

So. it’s been a little over 6 months since I traded my titanium Powerbook G4 500, which had a LOT of problems after just 3 years of ownership… I sort of didn’t want it to go, but the Aluminum G4 was a lot nicer at the time.

My current stance on the entire trade? if I had to, I’d do it again. and again. and again.
After I acquired my PBG4 HR, I then found out exactly how rare they are to find on eBay depending on when you’re looking. They also seemingly suffer from the same RAM slot issues that the tiny-bit-older G4 1.67 Powerbooks faced, where solder joints holding the RAM slots in would fail or acquire tin whiskers; as my G4 is a somewhat late model one, I don’t think I’m going to see any of that from it. Aside from their usual problems, and my precautions to protect my investment (thermal compound, heatsink rework, dust removal, etc.) the G4 has been a semi-daily driver for me when i’m on the go. it’s just enough of a no-frills, no-bullshit workhorse to get certain tasks done and to keep me occupied in certain situations. the fact the battery still lasts as long as it does makes this even more of an amazing machine to work with.

Battery Life at 92% with average use.

I’m typing this out right now in a starbucks… I think I joined the hipster crowd a bit too well. if it’s not my Powerbook I take with me when I go to these places, it’s my X120e, or the E4200. the G4 goes the most though. it’s interesting, as i’m next to other people around me that have much newer Macs than I could ever dream to own. it’s not too bad a thing, but it does make me laugh sometimes. When I’m using it, I’m usually SSH’ing into the SS5 or Pogoplug to get on irssi via screen. I’m contemplating trying to compile the latest znc for the SS5 and see what happens… it’s somewhat becoming hard to deal with having multiple boxes on a buncha IRC channels, and although I was against it in the past because lazy, it’s soon going to be a fact that I’m going to need it… or at least I need to accept the fact that I do already need it and need to get my head out of my ass.

That’s about it for now.
tl;dr Alu Powerbook G4 HR 15” 1.67/2GB DDR2/80GB/ OSX 10.4.11 is working completely fine for day to day tasks… albeit a bit slowly.

SparcStation 5 UNIXBENCH Results; Single Thread

BYTE UNIX Benchmarks (Version 5.1.3)

System: shimakaze: GNU/Linux
OS: GNU/Linux -- -- #12 Sun Mar 29 07:44:08 EDT 2015
Machine: sparc (unknown)
Language: en_US.utf8 (charmap="UTF-8", collate="UTF-8")
14:36:42 up 7 days, 7:50, 1 user, load average: 0.92, 0.34, 0.11; runlevel 2

Benchmark Run: Wed Apr 15 2015 14:36:42 - 15:06:20
1 CPUs in system; running 1 parallel copy of tests

Dhrystone 2 using register variables 79215.7 lps (10.2 s, 7 samples)
Double-Precision Whetstone 32.4 MWIPS (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Execl Throughput 40.7 lps (29.3 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 11435.4 KBps (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 3534.1 KBps (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 17401.8 KBps (30.0 s, 2 samples)
Pipe Throughput 36236.2 lps (10.2 s, 7 samples)
Pipe-based Context Switching 11164.7 lps (10.2 s, 7 samples)
Process Creation 104.5 lps (30.2 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent) 72.7 lpm (60.7 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 9.3 lpm (64.7 s, 2 samples)
System Call Overhead 48092.6 lps (10.2 s, 7 samples)

System Benchmarks Index Values BASELINE RESULT INDEX
Dhrystone 2 using register variables 116700.0 79215.7 6.8
Double-Precision Whetstone 55.0 32.4 5.9
Execl Throughput 43.0 40.7 9.5
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 3960.0 11435.4 28.9
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 1655.0 3534.1 21.4
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 5800.0 17401.8 30.0
Pipe Throughput 12440.0 36236.2 29.1
Pipe-based Context Switching 4000.0 11164.7 27.9
Process Creation 126.0 104.5 8.3
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent) 42.4 72.7 17.1
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 6.0 9.3 15.4
System Call Overhead 15000.0 48092.6 32.1
System Benchmarks Index Score 16.5

Farewell OptiPlex 760, Hello Pogoplug (and SS5!)

(the DSM-G600 project is on a very small and temporary hiatus while I clean my basement.)


So the other day I made a hard decision. A hard one, but one that would save on power in the end. I had to shut down my main server box, and move to a much more energy-efficient one.

This was NOT an easy thing to do at all. in fact, it was extremely hard to do considering the main box had an uptime of 264 days and was otherwise running fine.

The replacement is my Pogoplug. the 800MHz Kirkwood, 128MB RAM Pogoplug. wielding and running Debian off of a 250GB hard drive, it makes for quite a lovely ARM box, but it’s slow as balls with PHP. this will have to be sorted in the future. for now, it’s working, albeit slowly, as both my web and IRC server.

Related to the replacement, I needed someplace to stick another up-and-coming project of mine, a Sun SparcStation 5 running Debian Etch with a custom-rolled kernel. so it inevitably took the place of the 760 on the entertainment center top.



Off frame to the right is my Beaglebone Black, purchased for $24 at Radioshack before my two local ones closed down.


Not sure what I’m going to do with this one yet…. but it IS running Debian as well. See a trend here?