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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 05, 2011
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    3
    Two Macs - one or two operating systems?
    I'm looking for advice. I have a 1 GHz PowerPC G4 Tower and an Intel Macbook 1.1. Both now run OSX 10.4.11. I'd like to take advantage of some of the features in OSX 10.5, and I'd like to have both computers using the same OS (I think...see below). OSX 10.6 is inexpensive, but it won't run on the PowerPC machine.

    I figure I could...

    (Option 1): Install 10.6 on the laptop, and use the Tower as a sort-of external hard drive using Firewire, keeping it as an OSX 10.4 machine. In this option, I'm tempted to get a Henge dock and just turn my laptop into my effective desk top, using my keyboard and display from the Tower. (Plus, if I do this, I'll put in additional memory and maybe a bigger hd in the laptop - I've already done that with the Tower). This is relatively cheap, OSX 10.6 won't run on my Tower, but it isn't expensive.

    Or...

    (Option 2): Get OSX 10.5 and install it on both machines. There's an upgrade to 10.5.1 from 10.4.x for about $150, but I'm not sure that it will let me upgrade both machines - there's no doubt a 'grey zone' work around. I don't think I'd need the Henge, in this case, just link 'em via Firewire.

    Or...

    (Option 3): Spend lots more money and get a Mac Mini to use as my "desktop", and run OSX 10.6 on both laptop and mini - and my trusty ol' tower becomes a hard drive.

    My objective is to have things sync effortlessly among my two computers.

    Thoughts? And thanks!

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2004
    Location
    USA
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    4,744
    Specs:
    12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)
    You'll need to buy a license for each machine regardless of which version you install. And it's cheaper to buy a Leopard license and a Snow Leopard license than two Leopard licenses or a Leopard Family Pack.

  3. #3

    baggss's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 10, 2004
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    Margaritaville
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    10,311
    Specs:
    27" 3.4 Ghz i7 iMac-13" C2D Macbook-OSX 10.10.2 -64Gb iPad 2-64 Gb iPhone 6+-ATV 2-14Tb of Storage
    Option 3.


  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    21,874
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 3.3GHz, 512GB Flash, 16GB memory, OS X.11.4.
    Another vote for Option 3 both running Snow Leopard. Be able to link up by Firewire etc. OS X.4 Tiger is no longer supported and doubtless with the release of Lion OS X.7, Leopard OS X.5 will also be dropped.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5

    toMACsh's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    6,138
    Specs:
    Mac Mini (Late 2014) 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 Memory: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3
    Quote Originally Posted by smallspender View Post
    ...there's no doubt a 'grey zone' work around.
    You won't get any help on that around here.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 05, 2011
    Posts
    3
    Thanks!
    Thanks for the good advice. I appreciate it, and it is similar to what I'm hearing from other knowledgeable folks.

    Others have also recommended watching for refurbished Mac minis, and selling my G4 Tower to help finance this.

    I'm not sure what I'll do. I feel a bit like a technological lemming, running breathlessly after the newest (and most expensive) options even when what I have works so well. Don't much like that - doesn't seem sustainable. At least, with all options, I'll be able to keep my display and keyboard.

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
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    34,559
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by smallspender View Post
    Others have also recommended watching for refurbished Mac minis, and selling my G4 Tower to help finance this.
    You could do this...but the G4 Tower is not going to get you much money...it's probably worth in the neighborhood of $75 to "maybe" $100.

    Quote Originally Posted by smallspender View Post
    I'm not sure what I'll do. I feel a bit like a technological lemming, running breathlessly after the newest (and most expensive) options even when what I have works so well.
    I wouldn't exactly say this. Your G4 Tower is about 7 years old, and the MacBook 1,1 is about 4 years old...so I would not say you have been "running breathlessly after the newest" up to this point.

    If your computer equipment is doing everything you need it to do...then there is no reason to buy any new hardware.

    Honestly...your goal to "have things sync effortlessly among my two computers"...is REALLY holding back the potential of your MacBook. The G4 Tower will NEVER be able to run OS 10.6...and your MacBook certainly can. So what I would do is purchase a copy of Snow Leopard (OS 10.6)...upgrade your MacBook...and keep your eyes open for a newer (but used) Intel Mac-Mini (if you still feel you need a newer desktop computer).

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jan 05, 2011
    Posts
    3
    Henge dock in mix? HD upgrade for basic MacBook?
    Thanks very much for the suggestion, and your point is very well taken. I feel no rush to change, since my system serves me very well - in the same time, my wife has gone through 3, now 4, Windows machines (for various reasons, and each has been out of commission for days at a time, while Mac just keeps on working...)

    If I were to install OSX 10.6 on my laptop, would it make sense to get a Henge dock and simply use my laptop as my 'desktop'? Until that Mac Mini comes along at the right price?

    And should I add RAM to 2 MB (the max for the 1.1 MacBook) and the max available hard drive to my laptop? Recommendations?

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
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    34,559
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by smallspender View Post
    If I were to install OSX 10.6 on my laptop, would it make sense to get a Henge dock and simply use my laptop as my 'desktop'? Until that Mac Mini comes along at the right price?
    Why bother with the "Henge Dock"? It's an interesting device (like most laptop docks)...but why spend $64.95 + tax + shipping? That could be $70-$80 bucks spent on a new or used desktop in the future. If all you need/want to do is use a full-sized keyboard & mouse with the MacBook (to make it more like a desktop)...just plug them directly into the MacBook.

    Yeah...the dock makes it easier to plug & unplug everything. But if you get a dock for the MacBook...then why even bother getting another desktop. The MacBook could serve as both laptop & desktop.

    Quote Originally Posted by smallspender View Post
    And should I add RAM to 2 MB (the max for the 1.1 MacBook) and the max available hard drive to my laptop? Recommendations?
    Yeah...I think that maxing out the ram to 2 gig would be a good idea. As far as a larger hard drive. No need unless you need more storage space.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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