Feeds

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.3: the Apple G4 Cube

A family heirloom in the making

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Cache in the Attic If you're lucky, old gear doesn't so much die as get given away or retired. Indeed, some kit is just too quirky to dispose of, even though it gets wheezy whenever you fire up a browser. Forget computing with it though, says Andrew Orlowski, the value can lie elsewhere.

Apple Power Mac G4 Cube

Why keep an Apple G4 Cube in the attic? It's not for what it can do, for sure. Today, a £60 laptop from eBay, spruced up a £10 Firewire card, can do almost everything the Cube can. No, the reason I keep one safely wrapped up isn't rational. But it's the same reason people buy and lovingly maintain their DeLorean DMC-12s. The Cube was simply an outlandish, insane design, a one-off. I once speculated it began life when "a millionaire had given a mad bloke on a bus an unlimited budget:

"Hello. You look like you've done a lot of LSD. Well, here's several million dollars - go and design a computer, any shape you want. Just make sure it hangs upside down."

Apple G4 Cube

Hip to be square: Apple's G4 Cube was certainly iconic and inevitably expensive

And that's not far off. The Cube was a computer that looked like Buckminster Fuller talked. It was very much a product of a strange man in a strange time: the first dot.com era, when fabulous wealth could be conjured from nothing, and a new "long boom" of limitless wealth was upon us, we were told. I described my infatuation with it back here at some length.

It was only fairly recently - well, less than five years ago - that it was reluctantly packed away. It had been running 10.4 Tiger well, and doing a passable job as an iTunes player via Firewire and a Yamaha Firewire sound card box, attached to the living room hi-fi. Not long before that, a souped-up Cube was my desk machine at the office. But all good things come to an end. The bandwidth limitations of the Cube bus, running at a fraction of the speed of the CPU, and its sheer bulk in a small flat, meant it had to be retired. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that
The format that wouldn’t die is officially in remission
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.