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johnnyivan
Dec 8, 2006, 10:07 AM
Hi There! My first post!
I have this clamshell mac. It’s lovely and I use it as a typewriter basically – but even for that it struggles. I'm hoping that it's just a bit tired and needs a clean-out. I run Word on it, nothing else and it doesn’t seem to have the capacity to keep running. I hardly have any work stored on it - just small word docs really. It does things like: “There is insufficient memory to update the display” and then freezes up. Do you know of any way that I can get it running more efficiently. It’s OS9 by the way – perhaps it’ll run OSX? Here’s a spec:

When I go into ‘about this computer’ it says:

OS 9.0.2 Power PC enabler: OS 9.0.2
Built in Memory: 64 MB
Virtual Memory: 65 MB used on OS9
Largest unused Block: 47.6 MB
Mac OS: 20.3 MB

In the Apple System profiler it also says things like:

Disk Cache 2 MB
Video Memory: 4 MB
iBook
Processor Info: PowerPC G3
Machine Speed: 300MHz

As I said, it’s a typewriter really and I’m happy to just keep using it as that – although being able to view images would be useful too.

John



Eidorian
Dec 8, 2006, 10:15 AM
You could install more RAM?

ChrisA
Dec 8, 2006, 10:24 AM
[You need to upgrade the RAM. 64iMB is "way small" you can go up to about 300 (give or take) depending on what exactly what is in there now. bumping the RAM by a factor of 5x will make a huge difference. RAM upgrades are cheap.

The other option is to switch to some lighter weight word processor. Do you really need Word. If so keep it but if not going to something like the Appleworks suit would help.

CanadaRAM
Dec 8, 2006, 10:42 AM
It's desperately short on RAM, OSX is completely out of the question.
Put in a 256 Mb module for US$32 or a 512 Mb.

Other than that, make sure you are not running an excess of programs, fonts, control panels or extensions you don't need. Rebuild the Desktop once in a while, and make sure you maintain at least 2 Gb of freespace on your hard drive, and there's not much else to do to increase performance.

johnnyivan
Dec 8, 2006, 10:53 AM
Thanks Lads.
Is it difficult to install the RAM?

What I don't understand is why this machine - which I presume is in the same setup as it was originally, with the same software - perfoms so poorly. Surely it wasn't always like this? It's running MS Word 98. I think this mac is from 1999.

John

Eidorian
Dec 8, 2006, 10:55 AM
Thanks Lads.
Is it difficult to install the RAM?

What I don't understand is why this machine - which I presume is in the same setup as it was originally, with the same software - perfoms so poorly. Surely it wasn't always like this? It's running MS Word 98. I think this mac is from 1999.

JohnI had someone with a Pismo w/64 MB of RAM. It was running OS 9.0.4 and performing VERY POORLY due to the lack of RAM.

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/iBook-G3-Clamshell/RAM

johnnyivan
Dec 8, 2006, 10:58 AM
Hi CandaRAM,
Thanks for the reply. How do you rebuild the Desktop safely? I just had a look om Google and it seems there's a common - but wrong - way to do it, and a correct way: using certain disk utilities.

4nr-
Dec 8, 2006, 11:36 AM
You could try putting Xubuntu on it, it runs on 64mb ram however 128 is recommended. It should be fully compatable with your ibook if you have 1.5 gb hd space available.

dpaanlka
Dec 8, 2006, 06:05 PM
You could try putting Xubuntu on it, it runs on 64mb ram however 128 is recommended. It should be fully compatable with your ibook if you have 1.5 gb hd space available.

Or you could not recommend that to people who clearly would be totally overwhelmed by installing Linux, and would likely find Linux very frustrating.

The original poster needs more RAM, no two ways about it. He should also upgrade to Mac OS 9.2.2 for the best stability and finder speed optimizations. You can find it at Apple's support site.

If you are happy with 9 don't worry about X.

SkyBell
Dec 8, 2006, 06:13 PM
Perhaps ABiWord (http://www.abisource.com/download/)? I use it as my main editor.

GimmeSlack12
Dec 8, 2006, 06:33 PM
OHe should also upgrade to Mac OS 9.2.2 for the best stability and finder speed optimizations.

Yeah you need 9.2.2 by far the best Classic OS there was (although other people might disagree). As 9.0.X is not that great.

dpaanlka
Dec 8, 2006, 06:44 PM
Yeah you need 9.2.2 by far the best Classic OS there was

A lot of people would prefer you say "it was the best Mac OS 9 there was."

charkshark
Dec 8, 2006, 11:19 PM
Yeah you need 9.2.2 by far the best Classic OS there was (although other people might disagree). As 9.0.X is not that great.

Yes. I'd agree with running OS 9.2.2, it IS the beat classic OS there ever was.
I'd also suggest upping the RAM (of course) maybe even up to 256 MB, g3's with that much RAM, just running word, would fly.

Nermal
Dec 8, 2006, 11:20 PM
A lot of people would prefer you say "it was the best Mac OS 9 there was."

Indeed. I never liked OS 9, but then again I was brought up with 7 and 8.

MACDRIVE
Dec 9, 2006, 12:24 AM
Finally a technical thread I can understand. The guy needs to upgrade his OS and his RAM; I get it. So many of these threads are way over my head though. :o

johnnyivan
Dec 11, 2006, 03:56 AM
Thanks for the tips everyone, very interesting. Does everyone who gets a mac feel as if they've joined a sort of club? There's a lot of affection for them.

I'll see about getting the RAM. I'll geta quote for someone to provide and install it for me before I try and do it myself.

California
Dec 11, 2006, 07:03 AM
Put a new hard drive when you upgrade the ram. it will also speed up the computer.

johnnyivan
Dec 11, 2006, 07:16 AM
Hi California,
New hard drive might be a bit pricey for an old machine, and for what i want?

California
Dec 11, 2006, 07:55 AM
Hi California,
New hard drive might be a bit pricey for an old machine, and for what i want?

Not really. You can pull the new hard drive when you move up from the old machine. Save the old hard drive. You will notice a goodly difference with ram and hard drive and you can always part out the ram and take the hard drive with you. BTW, I have another 64mb ram chip that's yours for a few bucks. It will only help you a tiny bit.

Lord Blackadder
Dec 11, 2006, 08:21 AM
My dad uses his clamshell iBook the same way the OP does.

In order to speed it up I scrounged up a 256MB DIMM and installed a 40GB hard drive to replace the shockingly small (and slow) 3GB it originally had. It is now running Panther and works very well for basic tasks.

Installing the hard drive is a bit of a process, but doable. There is a how-to with pictures on iFixit's (http://www.ifixit.com/cart/catalog/) web site. You need only an assortment of screwdrivers, a grounding strap and a dose of patience.

Spock
Dec 11, 2006, 09:08 AM
Put a new hard drive when you upgrade the ram. it will also speed up the computer.

Have You ever seen the inside of a clamshell iBook?? Putting a new hard drive in the thing is like pulling teeth, its a job that most Apple Techs are scared to do!

johnnyivan
Dec 11, 2006, 09:13 AM
Well, that's me convinced!

Do you know how I got this Mac? My wife's two bosses bought trendy iBooks - thought they'd treat themselves - and use them at Trade Fairs. I think they then discovered that the screen resolution and size was too small for effectively displaying their IT products. It's funny, I guessed that would be a problem when my wiofe told me, but it seems that they had to buy 2 of them first before the penny dropped.

The company moved offices and the one I ended up with was tossed on the skip [rubbish/trash]. Along with quite a lot of other stuff. This was in 2003.

Lord Blackadder
Dec 11, 2006, 10:56 AM
Have You ever seen the inside of a clamshell iBook?? Putting a new hard drive in the thing is like pulling teeth, its a job that most Apple Techs are scared to do!

I've done it myself with the how-to linked above. The trick is to keep track of all the screws...iFixit has a printable screw chart that allows you to lay the screws onto a box on the paper as you take them out - this makes it easy to keep things organized.

Swapping the hard drives took about two hours, going nice and slow to prevent mishaps. It was worth it IMHO, the 40GB Samsung hard drive I installed was much faster and less noisy.

It isn't an "easy" upgrade but it doesn't require special skills - just patience. Getting into a CRT iMac was worse I think - quicker but more risky.

johnnyivan
Mar 22, 2007, 09:51 AM
Hi there, i upgraded the RAM. Actually, when i opened up the Mac i couldn't see any old RAM in it - there seemed to be an empty space for it!

Perhaps the things ran so badly because the previous owner scavenged the RAM before binning the MAC? Presumably they can run on Virtual Memory or something.

Now my wife is saying "You spent 70 Euro on it? They're selling Clamshells on eBay for 100 Euro! They're hardly worth anything!" I'm happy enough - I just need a typewriter and a new laptop would be expensive.

Eidorian
Mar 22, 2007, 10:11 AM
There is RAM soldered onto the motherboard already. You'd only be adding additional RAM via the slot.

johnnyivan
Mar 22, 2007, 10:23 AM
Ah, thanks Ediorian,
That makes sense. So that's the 'inbuilt Memory'?

Built in Memory: 64 MB
Virtual Memory: 65 MB used on OS9

And the Virtual Memory is from the hard-drive?

Eidorian
Mar 22, 2007, 10:28 AM
Ah, thanks Ediorian,
That makes sense. So that's the 'inbuilt Memory'?

Built in Memory: 64 MB
Virtual Memory: 65 MB used on OS9

And the Virtual Memory is from the hard-drive?That is correct.

johnnyivan
Mar 22, 2007, 10:30 AM
Thanks for that!

johnnyivan
Mar 23, 2007, 05:43 AM
Hi There,
I've added the 254MB or extra memory but yesterday I got the old error message:

"There is not enough memory or disk space to update the display"

Crap. What can I do? I had to set the display to greyscale. This was exactly the problem that the RAM was supose to eliminate. Is the disk capacity too limited. I don't understand how the machine ever functioned before with MS Word '98.

john

dpaanlka
Mar 23, 2007, 12:02 PM
What is your remaining disk space?

And go back to About this Macintosh - what is your largest unused block?

johnnyivan
Mar 23, 2007, 12:11 PM
hi, thanks for your time.
I recently upgraded the OS and cleared out a lot of applications from the hard disk. When I go into ‘about this computer’ it now says:

OS 9.2.2 Power PC enabler: OS 9.0.2
Built in Memory: 320 MB (was 64MB)
Virtual Memory: 321MB used on OS9 (was 65 MB)
Largest unused Block: 292.3MB (was 47.6 MB)
Mac OS: 34.7MB (was 20.3 MB)

In the Apple System profiler it also says things like:

Disk Cache: 8160K (was 2 MB)
Video Memory: 4 MB
Backside L2 cache: 512k

dpaanlka
Mar 23, 2007, 12:16 PM
Well, you aught to upgrade to 9.2.2 for starters.

Anyways, what is your remaining disk space?

johnnyivan
Mar 23, 2007, 12:29 PM
Ah sorry, yes it is 9.2.2 now. I was advised here to upgrade it.

Is this the remaining disk space?

"Largest unused Block: 292.3MB"

dpaanlka
Mar 23, 2007, 12:44 PM
Ah sorry, yes it is 9.2.2 now. I was advised here to upgrade it.

Is this the remaining disk space?

"Largest unused Block: 292.3MB"

Remaining disk space is how much disk space is left on your hard drive. Not your memory. Select your main hard drive on your desktop and hit Command + I.

johnnyivan
Mar 23, 2007, 12:52 PM
hi There,
I'm pleasantly surprised. There seem to be two partitions? One icon called 'os9' the other icon called 'work'.

os9:
-------
Capacity: 1.18 GB
Available: 313.2 MB
Used: 901 MB on disk.
Where: os9, (ATA Bus 2 Dev 0, v3.2.8)

'Work'
-------
Capacity: 2.79 GB
Available: 2.77 MB
Used: 25.1 MB on disk.
Where: os9, (ATA Bus 2 Dev 0, v3.2.8)

Funny, the 'where ' info is the same for both.

johnnyivan
Mar 24, 2007, 04:17 AM
I've been reading up more in the 'help'. I see that the Virtual Memory, Disk Cache and RAM Disk are options for improving memory performance/usage. Unfortunately I'm a little confused about them.

I imagine that using more Virtual memory will help performance but reduce disk space: but I seem to have lots of space. I just allocated Vm on the 'work' partition instead of the OS9 one. I don't know how much to use though.

Disk cache? Not sure what to do with that. What the possible negative side-effects might be.

RAM disk. I really don't get this. They talk about files being copied onto it (what type?) and losing or not losing them when the mac is shut down.

-----

I'm wondering why I should even need Virtual Memory and the others to simply run MS Word when i just put in 254MB of RAM. Confused!

hoop
Mar 24, 2007, 02:23 PM
It sounds to me that there's barely any space on your hard drives left. For optimum performance, you need to have at least 10% spare. You need to clear out both partitions - especially 'work'. Delete as much junk as you can.

dpaanlka
Mar 24, 2007, 05:49 PM
I imagine that using more Virtual memory will help performance but reduce disk space: but I seem to have lots of space. I just allocated Vm on the 'work' partition instead of the OS9 one. I don't know how much to use though.

False. Virtual Memory in the classic Mac OS is simply a way to run more programs. It both takes up hard drive space and reduces performance. If you have tons of memory (256mb or more in classic qualifies as tons) it is best to just turn Virtual Memory off.

Disk cache? Not sure what to do with that. What the possible negative side-effects might be.

Leave it set to automatic, and don't worry about it ever again.

RAM disk. I really don't get this. They talk about files being copied onto it (what type?) and losing or not losing them when the mac is shut down.

Just completely ignore this feature. It is not important and does not pertain to anything you want to do.

I'm wondering why I should even need Virtual Memory and the others to simply run MS Word when i just put in 254MB of RAM. Confused!

You don't. Turn it off.

In your situation, with such a teeny hard drive, it is pointless to have two partitions. Your case would be best to reformat them as one single partition.

It sounds to me that there's barely any space on your hard drives left. For optimum performance, you need to have at least 10% spare.

Doesn't apply to OS 9.

johnnyivan
Mar 26, 2007, 03:43 AM
hi Hoop and Dpalka.
just saw your messages thanks! Actually as it turns out, I did switch off VM and it's much better now. Straight away the largest remaining block was 250+MB. It's seems like the Mac is actualy using the RAM now.

The 'work' drive only has a few word docs on it - so it shoud have loads of space.

Re-partition into one drive? Sounds good. I hope there's an easy way to do that! I have the updates to OS 9.2.2. already installed. Does the original 0S9 disc have tools for re/un-partitioning?

thanks!
John

dpaanlka
Mar 26, 2007, 11:01 AM
Re-paritioning into one partition involves erasing both hard disks and re-installing the operating system.

johnnyivan
Mar 26, 2007, 11:18 AM
That's both 'drives' though isn't it? As opposed to both 'hard-drives'?

I'm hoping that if I copy Word and IE off then back on after the reinstall they'll work. I've no idea where the original installation disks have got to.
John

dpaanlka
Mar 26, 2007, 11:33 AM
Well there is one hard drive, and two partitions/volumes/whatevers on them.

zioxide
Mar 26, 2007, 11:40 AM
You really should think about just getting a new laptop. If you look hard, you could probably find someone selling a Core Duo Macbook for like 700 or so.

johnnyivan
Mar 27, 2007, 03:47 AM
It took a few hours last night but I now have one partition with 5GB of free space. Yes, it's not high spec and it is an 8 year old laptop but it was free and I can use word on it. that's all i need at the moment.

Thanks very much for all the assistance everybody, I really do appreciate it very much.

PS: when upgrading to OS 9.1 - there was an error message about a wrong image format or something - installation cannot continue - i clicked 'skip' and ended up upgrading afterwards to 9.2.2. Last time I upgraded to 9.2.2 there was no prob at all. Anyway, despite this error, it seems to be working fine.

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Mar 27, 2007, 04:23 AM
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johnnyivan
Mar 27, 2007, 05:59 AM
Thanks for that. Someday using a Mac at work will become an option perhaps!