Feeds

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

A family heirloom in the making

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.