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Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:28 PM   #1
jpcoelho
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Does anything fit inside a 12" PowerBook G4 case?

Hi there!

I have a powerbook G4 with a dead logic board... I've always liked it's form factor (I actually believe it's one of the best laptops Apple ever created!), and was wondering if I could manage to adapt a different laptop system to fit inside the case... my first thought was a 11' macbook air, but the Air is wider than the powerbook. Maybe a hackintosh compatible netbook? has anyone tried something like this? Maybe it could be modded into an Ipad dock (similar to an Asus transformer)... open to ideas, please share your thoughts!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:37 PM   #2
GermanyChris
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Originally Posted by jpcoelho View Post
Hi there!

I have a powerbook G4 with a dead logic board... I've always liked it's form factor (I actually believe it's one of the best laptops Apple ever created!), and was wondering if I could manage to adapt a different laptop system to fit inside the case... my first thought was a 11' macbook air, but the Air is wider than the powerbook. Maybe a hackintosh compatible netbook? has anyone tried something like this? Maybe it could be modded into an Ipad dock (similar to an Asus transformer)... open to ideas, please share your thoughts!
I'd get a another 12" PowerBook.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:41 PM   #3
jpcoelho
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Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
I'd get a another 12" PowerBook.
I do own a functioning 12' powerbook...
this one is a surplus (and possible donor for the functional one...), but I am curious to know if some sort of adaptation would be possible!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 03:30 PM   #4
tom vilsack
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You could probably fit a older netbook guts inside...but would probably have to dremel the sides of the pb to access the ports ...no idea how you would go about hooking up pb monitor to netbook...be heck of a interesting project if you had the time and money...

another option would be to find a older cheapo 12" ibook and use it's logic board...once again unsure of ports and monitor hookup.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:47 PM   #5
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My brother and I actually considered this, specifically a modified MacBook or MBA logic board. We're both engineers (he's EECS) and very good at soldering and general electrical engineering type stuff. However, after some research into the work needed to be done, the cost, and the custom chips we'd have to build ourselves, we decided it wasn't time or cost effective to be worth doing.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 05:31 AM   #6
jpcoelho
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Originally Posted by ybz90 View Post
My brother and I actually considered this, specifically a modified MacBook or MBA logic board. We're both engineers (he's EECS) and very good at soldering and general electrical engineering type stuff. However, after some research into the work needed to be done, the cost, and the custom chips we'd have to build ourselves, we decided it wasn't time or cost effective to be worth doing.
Thanks for the feedback... I imagined it would not be easy, the space is very limited...
Regarding the Ipad dock alternative, it seems a lot easier and promissing... the screen size is very, very close to the size of an Ipad, and I imagine there are bluetooth keyboards with similar size that would fit in the bottom case... I think I will look into that!
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 06:42 AM   #7
ybz90
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You could certainly try to do the iPad dock, which sounds like it has potential.

We also entertained ideas ranging from gutting netbooks (which are unusably slow imo, so we scrapped that) to using ARM devices (ie Raspberry Pi) and even an iPad.

I picked up one with a shattered screen we considered putting inside, which would perhaps be the most elegant "upgrade", but we ran into issues with connecting the display, and didn't really want to build any boards to do the conversion. Also the keyboard/trackpad was a similar issue. Maybe this summer we'll try it, but there were too many custom things needed to be done.

Something you can kind of sidestep if you stick an iPad or similar in there is the battery, which is another component you need to consider. We designed a mammoth battery for it, but the other issues were pretty challenging and ultimately, the bill of materials starting running to high to be worth considering for us.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 10:39 AM   #8
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You could certainly try to do the iPad dock, which sounds like it has potential.

I picked up one with a shattered screen we considered putting inside, which would perhaps be the most elegant "upgrade", but we ran into issues with connecting the display, and didn't really want to build any boards to do the conversion. Also the keyboard/trackpad was a similar issue. Maybe this summer we'll try it, but there were too many custom things needed to be done.

Something you can kind of sidestep if you stick an iPad or similar in there is the battery, which is another component you need to consider. We designed a mammoth battery for it, but the other issues were pretty challenging and ultimately, the bill of materials starting running to high to be worth considering for us.
The way you were planning on doing it would imply the ipad would be integrated and not be removable from the dock, or am I wrong? That would definitely need a lot more engineering than I am capable of...
What I was thinking was more of a removable dock, so that you could attach the ipad when needed and remove it at will for portability...
that way, a dock connector would be needed in the screen frame, possibly ending as an USB port in the bottom case to attach a charger, as well as a bluetooth keyboard...
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jpcoelho View Post
The way you were planning on doing it would imply the ipad would be integrated and not be removable from the dock, or am I wrong? That would definitely need a lot more engineering than I am capable of...
What I was thinking was more of a removable dock, so that you could attach the ipad when needed and remove it at will for portability...
that way, a dock connector would be needed in the screen frame, possibly ending as an USB port in the bottom case to attach a charger, as well as a bluetooth keyboard...
I have a 1.33 and a 1.5 logic board if you need it for the 12"...
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 12:02 PM   #10
jpcoelho
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Originally Posted by California View Post
I have a 1.33 and a 1.5 logic board if you need it for the 12"...
Thanks!
I've PM you for details...
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 01:36 PM   #11
ybz90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpcoelho View Post
The way you were planning on doing it would imply the ipad would be integrated and not be removable from the dock, or am I wrong? That would definitely need a lot more engineering than I am capable of...
What I was thinking was more of a removable dock, so that you could attach the ipad when needed and remove it at will for portability...
that way, a dock connector would be needed in the screen frame, possibly ending as an USB port in the bottom case to attach a charger, as well as a bluetooth keyboard...
Yeah, mine wasn't removable because the touch input had failed, but you could theoretically dremel out the keyboard area into a dock like slot and use the iPad itself as a keyboard and perhaps mirror on to the screen, but again, that was one major difficulty in reusing the PB's default screen.

If you could find one with a different connector or one that could easily be ported to something like HDMI or what have you, that would solve that issue as well. I don't think your current idea of having the iPad in the screens frame will work because (1) the bezel is too small / screen too large to fit an iPad unless I'm wrong, I don't have a 12.1 sitting in front of me and (2) the top panel isn't thick enough for it, at least without major stress and flexing on the back aluminum and joints.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 09:03 PM   #12
G4TheWin
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One thing that fits inside a 12" PowerBook G4 case is a 12" PowerBook G4.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 08:12 AM   #13
jpcoelho
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Originally Posted by G4TheWin View Post
One thing that fits inside a 12" PowerBook G4 case is a 12" PowerBook G4.
And indeed it will... thanks to user Calinfornia, this powerbook will live to see another day!!
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