Apple iBook G4

After my PowerBook's demise I needed a new computer. As I rely on Mac OS X for many things (and couldn't tolerate Windows or Linux anyway), I had to get a new Apple computer. So I got the cheapest one they had on offer: The small iBook. I paid a bit extra to get the 80 GB hard drive – because those are such a pain to replace in iBooks and ordered an additional GB of memory to insert in the machine when it arrived.

My first impressions were all right. And second impressions as well. After many years with the PowerBook, the speed increase was noticeable, as was having a more powerful graphics chip. Having more than twice the RAM in the machine certainly helped as well.

The machine’s drawbacks were that it ran rather hot, that its battery performance was not impressive, that it developed ugly spots on the handrests really quickly, that its Airport connection broke down after a while (which was a software problem caused by having more than 1 GB of RAM that got resolved after a few months), that its USB ports didn't provide a lot of power, that it couldn’t boot off USB drives and that my charger had a problem which gave me yet another opportunity to fight Apple's unhelpful customer service before getting a replacement (✓).

None of that was good. But the small screen started driving my downright crazy. I may have lost just 10% of the PowerBook's screen size – but suddenly everything felt crammed.

And thus, when the MacBooks with their slimmer outline and larger screen came out I was tempted to get one. After hearing reasonably positive reports, I put the iBook on eBay and upgraded to a MacBook – making the iBook the computer I had for the shortest period of time. I even made the effort to figure out that on a cost-per-day scale this wasn’t the worst computer upgrade I ever made.