The PowerBook G4: a lean mean blogging machine

I have meant to post on this for a long time, so here we go: I know I am preaching to the choir when I say that the Mac, especially the PowerBook, is a fantastic blogging machine. Just take a look at the laptops facing you when you speak at a blogging conference, and you will see a sea of sleek aluminum cases with a stylized apple in the middle.

As my PowerBook is rendered obsolete by the announcement of the Intel-based MacBookPro, I would still recommend it as a blogging machine. For a few additional shekels, you can get the excellent NetNewsWire and Ecto, two great pieces of software. I can’t wait for NetNewsWire to be integrated with the NewsGatorOnline back-end so that my feeds and read marks

Obviously, you might also need to run Windows in the office, access your server-based files, run Office, etc. In that case throw in a bit of memory (adding 1GB is good), Office for Mac and ChronoSync. Microsoft Entourage does a reasonable job at replicating Outlook, but for one thing – Tasks (for some strange reason, Outlook Tasks can’t be accessed). ChronoSync is a utility that allows you to backup your PowerBook files on a server, or synchronize a server filesystem on your laptop.

Mike Torres mentioned this last week: synchronization can be a pain to manage. What I have ended up doing is to host my email on Exchange, and all my files on a central Windows server. My files are “automagically” replicated on my two laptops, and only rarely do I face a synchronization conflict.

  • Yann

    Your Powerbook and my Powerbook are not obsolete in fact, and this could really last for many years to come.
    When NeXT closed its 680×0-Motorola-inside factories in 1992(?), the NeXTSTEP operating system, then ALSO ported to the x86-Intel-inside architecture running on beige boxes, my old trusted Motorola-inside-NeXT pizza box kept running updated software way past 1995! (at the time, Universal Binaries were called “fat binaries”!)
    When the OmniGroup, publishers of the very decent OmniWeb browser compiled a new version in 1995, then the gcc compiler automatically created the equivalent instruction set for the motorola-based-machines. Well, in fact, when Mac OS X.1 came out, OmniGroup had little more to do to convert their NeXTSTEP Motorola/Intel binaries to Mac OS X PPC. And nowadays, with the new XCode from Apple, they equally compile Universal binaries for PPC/Intel.
    => Apple is repeating its own “technical tour de force”, albeit a decade after, thanks to the versatile nature of the development environment pioneered with NeXTSTEP: Interface Builder creates the widgets/images, and gcc takes care of the binaries, fat or stripped.
    That being said, my 3-years-old Powerbook could be obsolete in terms of features and raw speed… but it probably could go on for another 3 years!
    I recently installed Tiger on a old candy-colored 400Mhz iMac (2000 vintage), with 1GB of RAM! Guess what: the latest Safari/Mail/iTunes/Ecto/NetNewswire/Firefox/Terminal/SSH compiled for Intel/PPC work just fine. The swapping is a little slow, but mostly because the hard drive sucks!
    I would say that even an old G3 laptop with plenty of memory would be a great lean blogging machine – afterall, it’s the content being blogged that matters right? So as long as the machine does not crash, then you’re game. (CQFD in French).
    Be like Jeff and I, Get a Mac!

  • Kevin Burton

    Yeah.. I have the same setup but I’m totally hurting for the new Macbook Pro.. .this thing is just too damn slow.
    It just plain works though. I’m just used to the speed of Debian on a Dell/Linux chip….