Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Mar 2007 16:04 UTC
Apple About one year ago, I sold my iBook G4 in order to buy the then upcoming MacBook. Due to an unexpected change of plans (I moved to a new house), that MacBook never reached my desk; I still really missed having a Mac around. Now, almost a year later, I am again back on Mac. So, what did I buy? A sleek black MacBook? An all-powerful Intel PowerMac quad-core? No. David, OSNews' owner, sent me his G4 Cube.
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Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I once had the misfortune of owning a Mac Cube (pre OSX) and it was easily the 2nd most temperamental system Iíve ever used (2nd only to a Windows ME desktop I was forced to use in a former job).

The system constantly crashed (usually due to over heating - even with the vents clear, convection is simply not an adequate form of cooling on modern systems!). Plus the more the system crashed, the more the system became corrupt - leading to more crashes and, eventually, a reformat and reinstall. In fact I'd have to reinstall OS9 on an almost monthly basis.

I'd much rather have an 'ugly' case that contained a stable, cool, environment for a high spec system to work any day when offered a choice between that and a posey, pretty box that crashes as often as it boots.

Reply Score: 5

macro Member since:
2005-07-27

...The system constantly crashed...became corrupt...I'd have to reinstall OS9 on an almost monthly basis...


That's interesting. I own a Cube and ran Gentoo Linux on it as a server 24/7 for 2 1/2 years and never had a problem with it.

The hard drive was sloooow and loud though.

Reply Score: 3

tspears Member since:
2006-05-22

I replaced the hard drive and ran yellow dog and it worked fine for me.... as long as you didn't put anything near the thermal vent.

Reply Score: 1

I just bought one myself
by Wondercool on Thu 29th Mar 2007 16:59 UTC
Wondercool
Member since:
2005-07-08

What a coincidence, I just bought one myself.

Never used a Mac before and this was a great (read cheap) opportunity. The Cube still has to arrive from the US.

I was thinking about making it some sort of home/file server.

A couple of newbie Apple Cube questions:
- Is it easy to replace the 20gb disk with something more modern. And can the cube accommodate 2 drives?
- Will the Airport slot take only Apple stuff?

@laurence: I certainly hope the cube is reliable, else it's no good as a server ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: I just bought one myself
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:06 UTC in reply to "I just bought one myself"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The Airport slot takes only Airport (Apple) cards. Also, the AGP slot requires a special video card since there is not enough space to accommodate a larger, standard one.

As for changing drives, that's fairly easy. It can only house one, though.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I just bought one myself
by Laurence on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:10 UTC in reply to "I just bought one myself"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

@laurence: I certainly hope the cube is reliable, else it's no good as a server ;)


It maybe more stable with OSX running as, in my opinion, OS9 wasn't.

Good luck mate :-)

Reply Score: 1

hmm
by poundsmack on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:01 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

...so where is the sign up sheet to aply for recieving a Cube from David ;)

Reply Score: 4

$1799 for cool looks?!
by ozonehole on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:19 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

And Apple wondered why it wasn't a resounding success? With a price tag of $1799, when an equivalent PC could be had for $600.

Cool looks are nice, but paying an extra $1100 just for that is definitely going to limit market share. OK, you do get OSX rather than Windows, but if you're a devout Windows hater (like me) you can always run Linux.

The author has suggested that Apple revive The Cube with a price tag of $999. That's closer to reality, and some might go for it, but I personally would find it hard to justify the relatively high price (vs. a Linux PC) unless there is more to be had than cool looks. Especially since this machine seems to have a very "uncool" cooling system.

Reply Score: 3

Cube Upgrades
by LobalSurgery on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:36 UTC
LobalSurgery
Member since:
2006-09-07

I bought a Cube last year for $100 as a project computer. Just about everything can be upgraded, the main hold-back, unfortunately, is the system bus, which is stuck at 100 MHz (and is the same on available processor upgrades). I added a new graphics card, 1.8 GHz procoessor, dual-layer DVD burner, hard drive, maxed the RAM at 1.5 GB, and installed an Airport card.

The machine itself can be very tempermental (mostly randon shutdown and sleep issues), but as Thom mentioned, there is an incredible amount of troubleshooting information and support at:

http://www.cubeowner.com

Once you have it set up and running, it's very reliable. I have OS 10.4.9 installed and it makes a great second computer (and was quite fun to upgrade).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Cube Upgrades
by parrotjoe on Fri 30th Mar 2007 13:55 UTC in reply to "Cube Upgrades"
parrotjoe Member since:
2005-07-06

You are absolutely right - the bus is the thing. But, it is amazing how upgradable the Cube is for its size. Oh, and you can put in up to 1.5 GB RAM - that was always a great feature.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Cube Upgrades
by rhyder on Sat 31st Mar 2007 00:45 UTC in reply to "Cube Upgrades"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

Could you add a big, silent fan in there somewhere?

Reply Score: 1

Nice Gesture
by TaterSalad on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:55 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

That was a nice gesture from David to send you his Cube. I'm also looking to get a mac so I can get more street cred in the workforce/job search. I'm going to opt for a mac mini on ebay which according to others should meet my needs pretty well. Just a basic platform running OS X to familiarize with my self with so I can say yes I do know macs.

Your cube is such a whore. She's been passed around more than a basketball. The question is who will she go to next?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice Gesture
by nigwil on Fri 30th Mar 2007 15:30 UTC in reply to "Nice Gesture"
nigwil Member since:
2007-03-30

I nearly had David's Cube too. I was negotiating to purchase it from David about 6-months ago; however, I frustrated David too much over pricing for us to close the deal. I found that the Cube works tolerably if you are willing to max out the memory to 1.5Gb. But the required 512Mb SDRAM memory is quite expensive from the usual sources and a fully loaded Cube can easily cost as much as a new Mac Mini. Acquiring a Cube can quickly become an option only for the nostalgia obsessed unless you stumble on a fully loaded Cube for a good price. Even maxed out the Cube occasionally and inexplicably spins the beach ball wait cursor at random intervals. My experience has been the Cube has been flawless in daily operation and is pleasingly quiet.
It runs the recently released Lisa emulator too, which is an interesting retro-experience in its own right, doubly-so on a Cube.

Reply Score: 1

I don't get it...
by dylansmrjones on Thu 29th Mar 2007 18:30 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

...why did you discharge the casing? That's the coolest power-on/off feature, I've ever seen ;)

Just tapping the desk, and it turned on.. Kool ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: I don't get it...
by hobgoblin on Fri 30th Mar 2007 03:30 UTC in reply to "I don't get it..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

and every time you reached for something on the desk, it would turn of.

hell, i cant understand how something like this wasn't spotted in R&D. creating a computer out of a material that can hold a charge, and giving it the switch that they did is just weird.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't get it...
by deathshadow on Fri 30th Mar 2007 04:13 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't get it..."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> hell, i cant understand how something like this
>> wasn't spotted in R&D. creating a computer out of a
>> material that can hold a charge, and giving it the
>> switch that they did is just weird.


Remember, this is the company that uses the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) because it's the most lax of the OSHA listed labs (and constantly being threatened with being removed from the OSHA testing list)

Why? Because not one single piece of Apple hardware (including the iPods) would actual pass testing with Underwriter Laboratories.

Of course, if more hardware was UL listed, or at least tested to their standards, we'd have less laptop batteries exploding, less magnetic power connectors catching fire, and less rinky switches that break after a mere three weeks of use... a problem NOT unique to the Apple. You get some JUST as goofy if not worse on low end PC's like eMachines, or cost cutting ******* like Dell.

Edited 2007-03-30 04:27

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't get it...
by rhyder on Sat 31st Mar 2007 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't get it..."
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

When trying to appear impressive, he could pretend it was voice activated while surreptitiously touching the table with his finger.

Reply Score: 1

I love my cube!
by Samhain on Thu 29th Mar 2007 19:10 UTC
Samhain
Member since:
2005-07-06

... although I would never upgrade it. All the CPU upgrade require adding a fan.

The biggest reason that I love my cube is because it is truly silent. I did upgrade the hard drive to the quietest one I could possibly find and now the cube is my music computer. I have never heard another machine that is as quiet as this thing is.

I have also never had any issues with it over heating and it does indeed run 10.4 quite well.

It is just a nice looking quiet machine that fits well in the living room (with an Apple flat panel LCD), although I am using a much better sound card then the stock harmon kardon one that came with it.

I think it is a wonderful machine, but yes, it was too expensive when it first came out.

Edited 2007-03-29 19:11

Reply Score: 1

Only nice piece of Apple hardware ever
by TheDiver on Thu 29th Mar 2007 19:18 UTC
TheDiver
Member since:
2006-12-12

The Cube is the only piece of hardware ever produced by Apple that actually is nice. (okay the black notebook is also pretty okay)

But everything else is white, cold, and boring to look at.

Reply Score: 1

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

The Cube is the only piece of hardware ever produced by Apple that actually is nice. (okay the black notebook is also pretty okay)

But everything else is white, cold, and boring to look at.


Are you kidding me? Apple was the first company to start making computers in all different colors. Remember the iMacs you could have in a myriad of colors?

Reply Score: 4

TheDiver Member since:
2006-12-12

If i go to:
http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore

Every computer is white, except a single a lot more expensive and pretty black one.

For many years even alle the iPod's and the clones where white, cold, and very boring to look at.

Reply Score: 1

Dark_Knight Member since:
2005-07-10

Apple has been well known to be a leader in designing aesthetically pleasing products, especially in relation to their computers. As already stated Macs have been produced in various colours over the years. Current Macs are listed in white, silver and black. I love the look of my MacBook Pro with it's silver shell and the Apple logo lighting up on the exterior of the display. It's also more portable as it's the thinest and lightest 17" laptop on the market.

Reply Score: 2

Ah the cube.
by deathshadow on Thu 29th Mar 2007 19:52 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

The pinnacle of what Apple design is all about - FORM OVER FUNCTION.

Seriously, most every decision on it is a serious whiskey tango foxtrot. The 'cooler tunnel' down the middle that barely even touches the cpu with no actual compound and doesn't cool ANYTHING else, the restricted airflow resulting in gpu and RAM temperatures that would make an overclocker cry for liquid cooling and resulting in it chewing through hard drive bearings like they were red hots... and of course the wonderful open top and slot loading DVD that fill up with crap so bad that after a month in an office environment it makes a PC case fan after three years in a smokers home look nice... Ever try to repair a cube after someone spilled coffee near it? There's a reason most people I know who still have them flip them on their SIDE... or worse, COVER the thing in plastic (now REALLY kiss airflow goodbye)

They tried to pack desktop componants in like they were laptop ones, and then wonder why their own service techs screamed bloody murder. (trust me, I used to be one).

To see it in all it's ugliness, check out:
http://www.baconeggs.co.uk/images/dmm/cube_svc_man_02.pdf

A copy of the actual service manual.

Last time I saw a machine built that tight, it was a Sharp PC-7000 luggable. That's NOT a compliment.

Of course, be glad you got a Ge2 in there, given that the Rage 128 version had the habit of heating up enough to make the glue for the heat sink smoke and eventually give out, resulting in the sink falling down into the case usually shorting out SOMETHING.

I love Eugenia's comment about the 'slowest drive ever' - that's par for the course with ANY apple, since they have this raging hardon for 4200RPM drives regardless of form factor. The G4 era in particular has to be the worst of the lot, since they were almost universally rebranded Maxtor 4200 RPM, flat IDE (not UATA!) drives with 2mb cache... Lowest of the low as it were - or at least, lowest of the low after they stopped buying drives from Connor... and enough to make one long for the days when every Mac came with SCSI. There is NO excuse for any company over the past decade to be selling a machine with a 4200RPM drive in the 3.5 inch form factor, but with apple they never sold anything faster.

So, typical Apple. You get a halfway decent CPU while EVERY other componant is stuff a generation or more behind it's release date (see their love affair with the Rage 128 chipset), with concerns like proper airflow, cooling and RF thrown out the window in favor of art *** form factor.

Man, they SO need to stop making hardware - it's been obvious for over two decades they don't have a clue what they are doing apart from sterile hospital ward ikea-like plastic veneers.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ah the cube.
by Kroc on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:21 UTC in reply to "Ah the cube."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Apple don't know how to pick the right parts, but they do know engineering. In your lambastering of Apple's hardware, you've forgot about the innovative and great bits of hardware engineering that no other company did at the time; things like side door on the Power Mac G4, the backlit keyboard on the first AlBook, The 'magic' power switch on the G4 cube (and other hiding lights tricks like the camera on led on C2D-MBPs), the magnetic power adapter and more.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ah the cube.
by deathshadow on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Ah the cube."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Ooh, tis a good day.

>> but they do know engineering.

Methinks you and I have a different definition for that word. When I think great engineering, I don't think Apple, because they always forget Scotts law - determine your tolerances, then double them. I say, I say, that's a joke son...

Let's review some of those 'great bits of engineering'

>> things like side door on the Power Mac G4,
Which swings out the whole mainboard, putting stress on connectors and cables in a REALLY bad manner. You see the same 'ice skating uphill' on certain model Dells. Instead of flipping out the mainboard, how about flipping it around the other way and just making a DOOR that opens. Again though, this type of thing doesn't impress me since I had an XT clone with a swing-top push-button to open lid.

>> the backlit keyboard on the first AlBook
Hardly an innovation, my heathkit Z-180 had that. Ooh look, clear plastic and an LED, how innovative.

>> The 'magic' power switch on the G4 cube
Having replaced at least ten of those stupid rubber grommets, this is NOT good engineering. It's failing out of art school and suddenly trying to apply that knowledge to mechanical design.

>> the magnetic power adapter
Which seems to be a fix for something that was never a problem for me... and in my experience doesn't seem to stay in all that great. Ooh, let's add MAGNETS strong enough to hold a power connector on to a laptop. BRILLIANT. That you cannot even THINK about getting that laptop anywhere NEAR a CRT or TV doesn't help matters much. Of course, that the connector head frays it's cables so easily to the point they've been known to catch fire, this is NOT 'great engineering' - but another example of art *** design.

Again, typical Apple, form over function.

Though my own view might be skewed since I worked as an apple service tech - I only ever really got to see apple hardware when it failed.

Edited 2007-03-29 20:44

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Ah the cube.
by Kroc on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ah the cube."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I don't personally place my laptop on top of CRTs or within an inch of the screen. If you do, you should perhaps consider having your eyes checked.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ah the cube.
by Matt24 on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:41 UTC in reply to "Ah the cube."
Matt24 Member since:
2005-07-23

'Man, they SO need to stop making hardware - it's been obvious for over two decades they don't have a clue what they are doing apart from sterile hospital ward ikea-like plastic veneers."

Did you ever take a look at the specs and inside of the powermacs??

You are just another pathetic PC-troll.

Edited 2007-03-29 20:43

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Ah the cube.
by deathshadow on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ah the cube."
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> You are just another pathetic PC-troll.

Ooh, name calling because I dared to point out documented shortcomings - how original.

Truth really hurt that much?

>> Did you ever take a look at the specs and inside of the powermacs??

I was a apple service tech from 1991 to 1994, and again from 1998 to 2001... So yes. During that time I also worked on PC's and have to say that the moment you look at anything OTHER than the CPU they give you, Apple cuts EVERY concievable corner and ignores the simplest of engineering concepts to ice-skate uphill to fit their form factor.

The BEST video the Powermac came with was a Ge2MX, and stock they ALL had Rage 128's (the Ge2MX was an option on late model 'Digital Audio' versions). The majority of them were 333 to 500mhz G4's - nothing to write home about in the age of 1ghz P3's, and certainly a joke by the time of the P4's introduction (which was when the versions sold with the Ge2's came along).

The ONLY good thing I can say about a G4 powermac is the inclusion of an AGP slot so you could put a decent video card in it - assuming you could find drivers for anything other than a Voodoo 3 or the two cards they offered.

They were basically a really retarded version of the BTX case... with that stupid swing out mainboard that served no purpose apart from 'oh, isnt' that cool' followed by 'wait, what happened to my IDE connectors' followed by the technicain going 'oh great, another mainboard replacement!'

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Ah the cube.
by nivenh on Thu 29th Mar 2007 21:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ah the cube."
nivenh Member since:
2005-07-06

i wish both of you would stfu already and stop trying to have the last word.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Ah the cube.
by Matt24 on Fri 30th Mar 2007 09:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ah the cube."
Matt24 Member since:
2005-07-23

"Truth really hurt that much?"

The truth is I do owe a dual G5.

I truly disgust lying, certainly when if it comes to the current Apple hardware lineup. A lyer only does know one truth: The Lie. But probably you do not have the ability to to discern this.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Ah the cube.
by PowerMacX on Thu 29th Mar 2007 22:18 UTC in reply to "Ah the cube."
PowerMacX Member since:
2005-11-06

"The pinnacle of what Apple design is all about - FORM OVER FUNCTION.
...
Man, they SO need to stop making hardware - it's been obvious for over two decades they don't have a clue what they are doing apart from sterile hospital ward ikea-like plastic veneers.


Sure, that's why that Cube is still running seven years later, and Thom liked it so much as to write a little article about it. That's also why my Power Mac G4 circa early 2001 still runs just fine (the latest version of Mac OS X may I add).

And how were the original multicolor iMacs "sterile hospital ward ikea-like plastic veneers", or the titanium/aluminum PowerBooks or the aluminum MacBook Pro or the aluminum Power Mac G5 or the MacPro or the Xserve or the iPod mini or the iPod nano (2nd gen)? What, that was "over two decades" ago??

Reply Score: 3

Low specifications?
by Riba on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:05 UTC
Riba
Member since:
2006-02-12

"Sure, at USD 1799 they were not exactly cheap; especially taking into consideration the fairly low specifications."

I see this argument often, and I don't quite get it. Low specifications? Cube had exactly the same specifications as the desktop models at the time, down to the available video cards and bus speed (- the expension slots), but for a bit more money you got silence and small form factor. It was not crippled in any way! I bought it because someone made me think saying "yeah, you always talk about upgrade possibilities, but you never acually upgrade, you always buy a new one".
So true, my Cube is still running on the original 450MHz. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Low specifications?
by deathshadow on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:28 UTC in reply to "Low specifications?"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> I see this argument often, and I don't quite get
>> it. Low specifications? Cube had exactly the same
>> specifications as the desktop models at the time,
>> down to the available video cards and bus speed


You didn't buy or even shop PC desktops at the time, did you?

PC-66 RAM when PC-133 was the norm? Stock coming with a Rage 128 chipset five years behind the norm? 4200 RPM 2mb cache drives? Much less that for all the bullshit talk about the 450mhz G4 being as fast as the middle of the road 1ghz P3 at the time, the ONLY application to show it was photoshop and that's because the wintel version basically seems to run on a PPC emulator (pure speculation, but born out by the OSX PPC version running on rosetta benchmarks almost identical to the Windows version via bootcamp on the same hardware! - probably why Adobe is in no rush to make a universal binary version, there is no x86 code base for photoshop! Again, speculation.)

Much less that a 1ghz P3 PC with four times the RAM, double the hard drive at a NORMAL spin rate (7200RPM) and a real video card (original Radeon or Ge2) wouldn't even have cost more than $900 at the time WITH a display?

Which again, is ALWAYS where apple falls flat on it's face, the moment you start talking about RAM, Hard Drives, Optical Drives, and anything OTHER than the CPU or Art *** form factor.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Low specifications?
by Riba on Thu 29th Mar 2007 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Low specifications?"
Riba Member since:
2006-02-12

> You didn't buy or even shop PC desktops at the time, did you?

Of course not. ;)

> PC-66 RAM when PC-133 was the norm?

Cube has 100 MHz bus.

> Stock coming with a Rage 128 chipset five years behind the norm?

Wouldn't know, mine came with a Radeon.

Oh wait, I just noticed that you thought I compared cube with PC desktops? I was comparing it to the Apple desktops, but I see that you already started on your crusade, so don't let me interrupt you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Low specifications?
by deathshadow on Fri 30th Mar 2007 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Low specifications?"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> Cube has 100 MHz bus.

... and the first two production runs all shipped with PC66 RAM.

>> Wouldn't know, mine came with a Radeon.

Which would not be a cube since they were taken off the market in '01... Likely if it had a radeon and was a Ge4, that's a 'quicksilver' Powermac, circa 2002 or later... Tell me the RAM standard, I can tell you the YEAR. in '02 they had just started shipping with PC-100 - Nothing like catching up to 1998 technology five years later.

The REAL kicker was them still shipping with UATA-66 controllers on most models and UATA-100 as their idea of 'bleeding edge' technology (circa 2004) - again a full generation or two behind the PC market. Then the JOYOUS fun of the 'mirrored door' models coming with two ide ports because they used separate controller chips for each port - one UATA-66 and one UATA-100... THAT made sense.

Figure in their chodo for firewire preventing them from adding USB 2.0 support until the next generation of hardware or their using a USB controller that was incompatable with 2/3rds the USB hubs on the market... or the lack of thermal caps or other restrictors on the firewire allowing badly written drivers (like the early yellowdog linux ones) to literally LIGHT THE FIREWIRE CABLE... ON FIRE

Though at LEAST on the 'mirrored door' versions they shipped with a DVD -R writer, even if it was only 2x. Again, good job catching up to technology that's three years behind.

of course, this illustrates the problem with Apple models. You say "G4 Powermac" and the question becomes "which one, the 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003" and even within the years listed there are two to six varients of each. You want to compare the cubes contemporary G4 Powermac, you are talking a entirely different beast mechanically and componant wise than you are the 2003 mirrored door quicksilver with the Ge4 Titanium (or Radeon 9000) with the 166mhz bus and PC2700 RAM. (Which was the last of it's breed - and still behind the curve on support componants by the time of it's release in late 2003)

Edited 2007-03-30 01:04

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Low specifications?
by Riba on Fri 30th Mar 2007 10:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Low specifications?"
Riba Member since:
2006-02-12

">> Wouldn't know, mine came with a Radeon.

Which would not be a cube since they were taken off the market in '01... Likely if it had a radeon and was a Ge4, that's a 'quicksilver' Powermac, circa 2002 or later...
"

No, it was a Cube. Radeon was an option, later replaced by 2MX....do your homework. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Low specifications?
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 30th Mar 2007 09:00 UTC in reply to "Low specifications?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

IIRC, the cube was introduced near the time when Apple introduced the first dual processor G4s. I seem to remember the single CPU cube costing almost as much as the dual CPU powermac which was current at the time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Low specifications?
by Riba on Fri 30th Mar 2007 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Low specifications?"
Riba Member since:
2006-02-12

"IIRC, the cube was introduced near the time when Apple introduced the first dual processor G4s. I seem to remember the single CPU cube costing almost as much as the dual CPU powermac which was current at the time."

They were introduced the same day. DP 500 MHz desktop was over $1000 more expensive than 500 MHz Cube. At the same time 500 MHz Cube would cost you $500 extra compared to 400 MHz Desktop. Single processor 500 MHz desktop did not exist at a time, at least according to everymac (?)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Low specifications?
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 30th Mar 2007 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Low specifications?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

They were introduced the same day. DP 500 MHz desktop was over $1000 more expensive than 500 MHz Cube. At the same time 500 MHz Cube would cost you $500 extra compared to 400 MHz Desktop.


Ah, might be one of the G4 iMac models I was thinking of then.

Single processor 500 MHz desktop did not exist at a time, at least according to everymac (?)


At the time, Jobs made a big deal out of announcing that all future pro-level Macs would be exclusively dual-processor or better.

Reply Score: 2

Random shutdowns
by peskanov on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:38 UTC
peskanov
Member since:
2006-01-15

I am a happy Apple Cube owner (now upgraded to a double G4/1.5 Ghz) and I experienced the random shutdown problem when I bought it, in 2001.
After replacing the infamous gasket, the problems were still there. This replacement was made by Apple, and it was sold at a ridiculous expensive price.

Lucky me, I found the solution of the problem in an obscure forum: just placing a piece of paper between the enclosure and the sensor. After that, everything worked fine!

Is a pity such a good product was released with a silly failure like this. ;)

Reply Score: 2

I was impressed!
by FurryOne on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:40 UTC
FurryOne
Member since:
2006-01-23

A few years ago, I was asked to replace one of the USB ports on someone's Cube. It was like opening a Rubiks cube, but the design left me with a very positive impression. I saw that Cube again a few weeks ago, headed for turn-in. Too bad. well, at least I know the screws I had left over didn't effect it. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Ramblings about the Cube
by pauls101 on Thu 29th Mar 2007 21:39 UTC
pauls101
Member since:
2005-07-07

I had a Cube for a couple of years before selling it to a friend that still has it. It was a refurb (who buys new Macs?) Apple declined to honor their free OSX offer since the model number was slightly too old (though I'd had it only a few months and the description matched.)

The pulsing white light in sleep mode drove my wife crazy at night, so I manufactured a cardboard blind. At least the Cube could sleep: my G5 tower loses contact w/ USB, has to be left on permanently.

It went back to Apple once for a bad power switch. The shipping kit they sent was this elaborate set of dovetailed cardboard and foam pieces that took us half an hour to assemble.

The Cube was dramatically slower than my PowerMac at work (same MHz, 2/3 the memory!) Switching to a 7200 rpm hard drive helped (though not as much as I was led to expect, and it was a pain to do, plus (IIRC) I had a nonbootable OS9 CD (ADC) and the Cube wouldn't boot from FireWire, so I wound up putting the old drive back in and using it to install OS9 on the new one.)

I replaced it with an 800Mhz TiBook, which wasn't really fast enough for OSX either but I managed. It taught me that I like stylish computers, but I'll probably never buy another except maybe a (refurb!) MacTel I can run XP & Ubuntu on as well.

Reply Score: 2

Cracks
by nexex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 22:22 UTC
nexex
Member since:
2006-06-30

Didn't these have problems with the plastic cracking?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Cracks
by deathshadow on Fri 30th Mar 2007 00:55 UTC in reply to "Cracks"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> Didn't these have problems with the plastic cracking?

Oddly enough, it depended on the environment and where you lived. In areas where it is warm/humid, but not hot enough for air conditioning they did fairly well, as their own heat (and lack of airflow)didn't cause oil evaporation. The lack of heat damage to the casing comes from that uber thin aluminum shield they put down inside the plastic. (they preferred to direct it at the componants)

In the far far south in air conditioned rooms a lot of them had breakdown of the oils in the plastics that caused it to crack like peanut brittle - likewise they don't survive New England winters all that well on the same grounds.

PART of the problem is people cleaning them with window cleaners, which broke down the oils holding the plastic together. They used a polycarbonate instead of an acrylic, so windex can cause the plastic to prematurely age, as can direct exposure to sunlight and excessively dry air.

The trick to making the cases actually last a long time? Armor All. Restores a lot of the moisture to the plastic and makes a protective layer - BUT can cause buildup leading to an ugly yellowing.

Edited 2007-03-30 01:02

Reply Score: 1

jido
Member since:
2006-03-06

The Cube is my main computer at home. I have a better, bigger hard drive and a GeForce 2 in it. Also a fan because even though I like it much more without it, I do care for my data.

It works well with MacOS X and with MacOS 9.

Considering the fan issue I can't say I am not eyeing the Mac mini and tracking the price of 2.5" drives...

Reply Score: 1

looks
by MamiyaOtaru on Fri 30th Mar 2007 01:15 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

If I was to get an Apple based on looks, I'd love to grab one of the lampshade iMacs. It's just so Pixar-ish. (getting a comp based solely on looks is usually not a good idea, note the "if" in my first sentance). The school district lent us one for a while and it looked nice in the living room. It also could play Unreal Tournament, which was enough for me ;)

I keep checking MiniITX.com ( http://www.mini-itx.com/projects.asp ) to see if anyone has managed to wedge a mini itx board into an old lampshade iMac shell. That would be fun.

Reply Score: 3

Kind of late in the game....
by mikesum32 on Fri 30th Mar 2007 01:46 UTC
mikesum32
Member since:
2005-10-22

Whatís next for review ? The Apple Newton ? ;-)

Reply Score: 2

Re: Cube, Mini, etc.
by aGNUstic on Fri 30th Mar 2007 02:13 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

Strange. I've named my Mac Mini, well, Mini.

They should have kept the Cube in production and improving on the internal design or technology. With a lower temperature CPU, a quiet internal HD and whisper quiet fan like the Mini has would be a strong selling point to me.

There are quite a few people, like myself, who just don't have room for a huge system. Both the Cube design as-well-as a Mini fit extremely well into office and home environments.

Congrats on the Cube!

Edited 2007-03-30 02:15

Reply Score: 1

These days...
by hobgoblin on Fri 30th Mar 2007 03:06 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Just go for a shuttle bare-bone or something similar...

I think you can even get them as non-bare now.

Im considering a mini-atx (or is it micro?) Case and motherboard the next time i do something to my computer...

Browser: Opera/8.01 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/3.1.7139/1662; nb; U; ssr)

Reply Score: 2

*sigh*
by sigzero on Fri 30th Mar 2007 11:34 UTC
sigzero
Member since:
2006-01-03

I worked at a web startup when they came out and that is what I used. I loved it.

Reply Score: 1

Incomphehensible really
by alcibiades on Fri 30th Mar 2007 18:26 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

The nostalgia for the cube is really hard to understand. A friend of mine bought one back in 2001, just when I was leaving Macs. It did indeed overheat. It cost a fortune for what it was. It did indeed crash and reboot for no apparent reason. Then he had to buy a whole new screen because it had proprietary video. I bought a white box PC at the same time. It had an Athlon XP processor, a Seagate drive, a decent graphics card and main board. It was blindingly fast by the standards of the day.

When I talked to my Apple friends they all shook their heads and muttered darkly about hardware component quality. It was a bit like, you're living in the former Soviet Union, and you leave to take a job in say France. Your friends all shake their heads. Don't know about the food there, they say. Going to have really long queues for anything decent. Working conditions will be terrible, not like here.

I still have the white box machine, it runs Linux now, still quite fast. My friend's Cube? Don't know. But I doubt it was a happy ending judging from the start of the story.

And yet people still talk about Apple hardware quality and the great integration of hardware and software. Its incomprehensible. It must be the same phenomenon as you see in the UK with the Marina owners club. The Marina, you may remember, was a British Leyland car which rusted if you looked at it, burst into flames if you turned on the lights, broke down if you drove it, and what's more, had a square steering wheel. A design feature.

Well, there is a thriving owners club in the UK. More power to them! But its a chapter in the history of eccentricity, not of motoring.

Reply Score: 2

?
by Bringbackanonposting on Sat 31st Mar 2007 11:31 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

Is this for real? Why bother seriously

Reply Score: 1