Thanks to Apple’s build quality, old Macs rarely die – they just end up on eBay. You can get a usable machine from under £100.
To cope with modern life it’ll need a G4 or higher processor and Mac OS X. Check the system requirements for any apps you want to run. Macs with PowerPC processors can’t run Intel-based software, such as Windows under Boot Camp.
You can look up Mac specs at Apple’s site; if a part number such as M8950LL/A is given, type it into the search box.
It’s good if the OS has been upgraded to the highest compatible version – Mac OS X editions cost £25 to £75 on eBay – but do ensure the discs are supplied, and the same goes for any installed apps.
All non-prehistoric Macs have USB ports, but if they are USB 1.1 your iPhone, iPad or recent iPod may fail to connect: officially they require USB 2.
Check if Wi-Fi is installed: AirPort means 802.11b, and AirPort Extreme will be 802.11g; if not, search eBay for the appropriate AirPort card, or try a USB adaptor. Alternatively, all Macs have Ethernet ports to cable directly to your router or to an AirPort Express (£81), which then connects wirelessly.
Here’s our pick of the sensible buys. Prices are for eBay; dealers will charge more but should offer some warranty and support. continue reading at TechRadar