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What a difference a decade makes!

I've just dug out my PowerBook 190cs (from 1996) because I'm passing it on to someone via Freecycle. As it hadn't been switched on since 2004 (!) the battery needed to be recharged, so I've had it plugged in all day. As I was writing the last blog entry, I had my current PowerBook G4 next to it, so I grabbed a photo.

PowerBooks 190 and G4

Both these machines were the bottom end units of the their times. Interestingly, they both take about the same time to boot up, and feel similarly snappy in performance!

So PB190 vs PB G4 12"
Processor: 68LC040 66MHz vs PPC G4 1.5 GHz
Memory: 20Mb (Maxed) vs 512 Mb (can go to 1.5 Gb)
HDD: 500 Mb vs 60 Gb
OS: 7.5.2 vs 10.4.7
Screen : Passive 9" vs Active 12"
Networking: serial port vs Bluetooth / Airport Extreme / Ethernet / Modem

The old PB keyboard is better than the current PB, but both are better than the iBook and the new MacBook keyboards. The new machine is lighter, thinner and slightly narrower.

I have a great nostalgia for the old machine because I wrote my first few books for BITS on it. It was also my first Mac, and the machine I bought when I graduated and started working. It was my work horse for a long time, and I built my first websites with it, initially with pure HTML and later with Adobe Pagemill (which I upgraded to GoLive 4.0 when Adobe bought the application from Cyberstudio). The 20Mb of RAM never gave a problem, nor did the processor. It's amazing how much operating systems have bloated since that time. A clean boot of OS X takes around 180 Mb of RAM initially vs 4Mb for system 7.5. Those were the days! But I wouldn't go back.