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fluidedge
May 18, 2008, 04:12 AM
Hi, I have a 12" iBook, 1.2GHz G4, 512MB, 30GB HDD, Combo Drive and Airport.

I'm wondering what to do with it as it's beginning to come to the end of its life. I have a Mac Pro as my main machine these days though i still love my iBook and use it when i'm in bed/on the couch etc.

I was wondering what i should do with it - the hard drive is really full; only about 1GB left. I think it's a 4200rpm drive as well. Do you think i'd benefit putting in a 120GB 7200rpm drive. Would it speed things up as much as extra RAM?

I'd also like to think about putting in a superdrive, but i don't really want to spend too much on this project.

Are there any other things i can do with an old iBook? I'd be up for modding it. I might even have a go at painting it.

What do you guys do with old laptops that still work really well but have just become...old.



Darth.Titan
May 18, 2008, 04:21 AM
I remember my old iBook G4 got a substantial speed increase from maxing out the RAM and adding a 7200 RPM HD, but YMMV.
As a warning though, the iBook G4's HD is the biggest pain in the posterior to replace in the history of laptops. You are very likely going to damage the case opening it up for this project, especially with the age of the laptop and the fact that the plastic is probably more brittle than when it was new.
Fair warning.

chas0001
May 18, 2008, 04:34 AM
I would definitely keep it. Max out the RAM and put a faster and larger hard drive into it. I have a Powerbook G4 and the hard drive went so I replaced it using instructions from http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/. It is a little tricky, mainly because of all of the different screws, but the guides are really detailed and work. Remember to take your time :)

A second computer is always useful if something happens to your primary computer, especially helping to troubleshoot the problem. You have also indicated that you have a use for it already.

chas0001
May 18, 2008, 04:46 AM
I would definitely keep it. Max out the RAM and put a faster and larger hard drive into it. I have a Powerbook G4 and the hard drive went so I replaced it using instructions from http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/. It is a little tricky, mainly because of all of the different screws, but the guides are really detailed and work. Remember to take your time :)

A second computer is always useful if something happens to your primary computer, especially helping to troubleshoot the problem. You have also indicated that you have a use for it already.

Its also quite fun :D

*Sandy*
May 18, 2008, 08:14 AM
I would hang on to it, you never know what you will want to do in the future.

bigwig
May 18, 2008, 10:15 AM
I have an iBook G3. I don't think I can buy RAM for it anymore (it has 320MB). I'm sure the disk is IDE. Do they still make IDE laptop drives? Probably not worth upgrading anyway. Recycle it?

dcains
May 18, 2008, 12:57 PM
I've got a 12" iBook G4 1.2ghz which I just upgraded to 1.25gb RAM and a Western Digital 80gb 5400rpm Scorpio drive (parts from newegg for just over $100 total). I wanted to keep mine for work and travel, as it's so much easier (and less valuable) than my 15" MBP. I started out with the same config as the OP, and the performance increase was quite substantial, and this now a very usable laptop. It runs Leopard well, and with the new HD I'm getting battery life sometimes over 4 hours for web browsing and email. Yes, swapping the HD was a giant pain in the ass, but the iFixit instructions do cover everything, and if you take your time and use the proper tools (buy a spudger), it's not a bad job. Lay your removed screws out in a pattern so you'll know where they all go, and the job will go much smoother.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136129 (DRIVE LINK)

I would have posted a link to the RAM, too, but don't currently see it listed on the newegg site.

OrangeSVTguy
May 18, 2008, 05:54 PM
That iBook will still be quite capable of anything you throw at it. The largest 7200rpm PATA drive they make is a 100gb($85) version. You can put a 120gb 5400($60) drive in there and max the ram to 1.25gb by adding a 1gb stick($50). You can also add a superdrive to it for around $50 as well. I can't remember if the 1.25 can read hdd's larger then 128gb so you might be stuck with the 120gb drives. For around $150 and a few hours of painstaking work you can have a highly upgraded and maxed out ibook. Just sell off your factory parts to offset the costs. You could get roughly $25 for the combo, $25 for the HDD and $10 for the 256mb memory.

krye
May 19, 2008, 12:51 PM
Rip the guts out along with the display. Mount it in a sweet enclosure and make a digital photo frame.

Here's one I made....

Also, I have connections on the back for Ethernet, USB and headphones. So I can access it on my network or load more photos via Ethernet or thumb drive. I can also plug in speakers and use it as an iTunes Jukebox. It's great.

lil' brudder
May 19, 2008, 05:34 PM
I have an iBook G3. I don't think I can buy RAM for it anymore (it has 320MB). I'm sure the disk is IDE. Do they still make IDE laptop drives? Probably not worth upgrading anyway. Recycle it?

I'll take it off your hands, that is, if you are just going to recycle it anyway...

oh! and krye, nice mod!

OrangeSVTguy
May 19, 2008, 11:25 PM
Rip the guts out along with the display. Mount it in a sweet enclosure and make a digital photo frame.

Here's one I made....

Also, I have connections on the back for Ethernet, USB and headphones. So I can access it on my network or load more photos via Ethernet or thumb drive. I can also plug in speakers and use it as an iTunes Jukebox. It's great.

Yeah I did the same thing with my 600mhz G3. Until it got knocked over and f'ed up the motherboard :(. Had wireless and speakers attached so I could control it Chicken of the VNC and upload more photos/music. Great mod to do!
http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k298/OrangeSVTguy/Stuff/4f1ba454.jpg