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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.3 - upgrade OS X version 10.3.9?


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kb38

 
Member Since: Mar 08, 2009
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Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the forum and am not terribly knowledgeable about how computers work. Please bear with me if I get the terminology wrong, and let me know if this should be posted in a different area of the forum. I have a five- or six-year old PowerBook G4 12-inch that runs OS X version 10.3.9. When I click on About This Computer it tells me the following:
Machine Model: PowerBook G4 12"
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.1)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 512 MB
Bus Speed: 133 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.7.5f1

The laptop worked fine except that a few years ago the software update feature quit working -- I assumed it was because the operating system was too old to keep up. Then the hard drive went bad a few months ago and I elected to install a new hard drive rather than buying a new laptop (gotta love this economy). Other than Safari and Firefox crashing a few times per week, the laptop is again working fine.

The problem is that my old hard drive had MS Office for Mac Home Edition on it and my new one doesn't, of course. I need to at least have Word (resumes, etc.) and can't find a version that will work with an operating system as old as mine.

So my questions are:
1. Is there an old version of Word or Office that I can buy that will work with 10.3.9? If not...
2. Can I do anything to my laptop (install more memory, etc.) to somehow bring the OS up to at least 10.4.9 which is the minimum for installing Office 2008? If not...
3. Someone advised me to forget MS Word and use Open Office instead. How cumbersome is this process?

I'm sorry this is long. I'm hoping someone can help me before I have to go out and buy a new laptop (again with the economy). I really only need Word and internet so I hate to invest in a new computer if I don't have to. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

Kim
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leopard-user1

 
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There's NeoOffice, which is donationware and what I use. Built specifically for Mac. There are versions for PowerPC and Intel processors, and I don't think the OS matters, as long as it's Mac.


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17" MacBook Pro, OSX 10.6.2 Snow Leopard
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vansmith

 
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OpenOffice is Intel only as far as I know so take leopard-user1's advice and go with NeoOffice. It is essentially a port of OpenOffice to OS X.

You do meet the system requirements for NeoOffice so give it a try and see if it satisfies your needs. Here is the download page.

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Keep an eye on auction sites such as eBay. MS Word v.X is the one for Panther. MS Word 2004 for Mac will also do.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb38 View Post
1. Is there an old version of Word or Office that I can buy that will work with 10.3.9?
Office 2004 runs fine on Panther (10.3) but will not open the Office 2008 formats unless you upgrade to Tiger.

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2. Can I do anything to my laptop (install more memory, etc.) to somehow bring the OS up to at least 10.4.9 which is the minimum for installing Office 2008?
Your machine will support either Tiger or Leopard, and either would probably cost you $130. I'd recommend you stick to Tiger on that machine.

Quote:
3. Someone advised me to forget MS Word and use Open Office instead. How cumbersome is this process?
Fairly, but it does have the advantage of being free.
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Why is the process cumbersome? I used it for years when I used Linux/Windows and it wasn't cumbersome at all. It opens .doc files pretty well with some minor mistakes once in a while.

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kb38

 
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I'm being told by an Apple Store person that they don't sell Tiger anymore but that there shouldn't be any problems installing Leopard. Do you see any issues with this?

All this time I thought I was stuck with this old operating system -- is it really just a matter of buying Leopard for $129 and installing it, then installing my MS Office for Mac 2008?
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There is no need to do that especially if you are looking to save money. If you have to buy Leopard and Office, you are going to be setting yourself back a few hundred dollars.

If you do go with Leopard, you really should increase the amount of RAM you have in your machine. 512MB is technically within the system requirements but you really want to increase that.

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kb38

 
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when you say there is really no need to upgrade, what do you mean? do you think I should give NeoOffice a try, or are you referring to something else?
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If the free method works for you, there is no reason to spend the money to upgrade. Usually I would recommend the upgrade if it was financially feasible but you make reference to fiscal limitations in your original post. Especially if you don't use the machine for much, I would suggest giving the free route a shot first.

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kb38

 
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Oh, I understand. I have already purchased the MS Office but of course haven't used it -- didn't realize it wouldn't work with 10.3.9 until I got it home. It sounds like I can get Leopard and a 1 GB chip for less than $200 total. That's much more doable than buying a new one.

Although when you add up the cost of the new hard drive I put in recently and the MS Office and add that to the $200 for the new stuff, and considering the laptop is 6 years old, maybe not such a good deal.

Thanks very much for your help.
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kb38

 
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I appreciate all of you who took time to reply to my question regarding upgrading Mac OS 10.3.9.

I have downloaded NeoOffice and it looks like it will work for me. If not, I will look into buying more RAM and upgrading the operating system.

Thanks very much for your input.
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My first post/
Greetings/

Just wondering why you can't use Text Edit for you basic word application.
It's all I have used for years.
It loads images, so why not?
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