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Ask Max: Is a Powerbook G3 usable for email and web browsing?

Asked on 05/25/2010:

Hi Jacob,

I have a Powerbook G3 that still works - I presume. I have since had a Powerbook G4 and am now on a Macbook pro.

Is a non-Intel machine still useable for email, browsing and simple writing? Other than slow Ethernet, what issues might come up for using a machine like this?




For the task of writing, email or documents, the older Macs are still a decent choice. It does not take increasing processor power to record key strokes as text.

The Web browsing aspect though is a different matter. Older computer hardware just is not capable of running modern web browsers and Internet development is now back in hyperdrive, pushing the limits of what you can do on the web. Websites that worked on your browser yesterday may be rewritten for modern browsers tomorrow and older computers will be left out.

If the exciting new parts of the internet are were you want to go, than older computers are going to have a hard time. FaceBook, Youtube, and the like, will want a better computer to display their content. For that you need some processing power, like you have with your Macbook Pro.

Those G3 PowerBooks are old enough now that out Mac trade in program has stopped accepting them as well, so even overclocked a G3's use beyond a word processor is pretty limited.

- Jacob

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