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Old Jan 5, 2008, 02:52 PM   #1
TheNorthWaves
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'99 ibook g3 clamshell- can I put OSX and bigger hdd in it?

My girlfriend has a 1999 Clamshell iBook G3 running OS9 with 320MB RAM, DVDROM and a 10 gig HDD. Not sure of the processor speed, although I guess somewhere around 400mhz. I want to upgrade it for her. A couple questions:

1) is there a limit to how big of a HDD I can install on it? Are there any specific requirements I need to be aware of? 40GB and 120GB HDDs seem to be almost the same price these days.

2) Will OS 10.4.10 install and run properly on this thing? It's ancient! I realize it meets the specs for OSX, but realistically I don't know how well it will run. It has a firewire port and her DVDROM drive is often screwy, so could I make a disc image of the OSX discs and install via an external drive through the firewire port? Will it work for an OS9 to OSX upgrade?

Thanks a bunch everyone - I've got a Mini and a G4 iBook, but I've never worked with a mac this old before...
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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Is that her main computer? Like, the machine she uses most often when she needs to use a computer?
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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It actually is her main computer. She has a major attachment to this computer - I already discussed with her that a modern iBook G4 replacement would make more sense - she wants to keep her lime green iBook G3 regardless, so it's not about the money. She has modern PCs with WinXP at her university computer lab, so if she needs those she can use them.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:00 PM   #4
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1) It only recognize up to 128gb HD Space. Bought a 160GB HD, only sees 128GB

2) Since it is the last revision of the clamshell, it will work with Tiger.
Though i would max out the RAM if going to run Tiger on it.
Can't help you with the image thing.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:02 PM   #5
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what's the max RAM on this particular model? She already boosted it to 320, so the slots are full. I think it's the M6140 off the top of my head... I could be totally wrong though.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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It actually is her main computer. She has a major attachment to this computer - I already discussed with her that a modern iBook G4 replacement would make more sense - she wants to keep her lime green iBook G3 regardless, so it's not about the money. She has modern PCs with WinXP at her university computer lab, so if she needs those she can use them.
That's awesome. I love stories of people using old computers, and resisting the upgrade hype. It also informs my opinion on the issue: if she's fine with the computer, there's probably no need to try to upgrade it for her. It sounds as if this is a project You want to do (though she's happy with the machine already). I wouldn't recommend that; let sleeping dogs lie. The day she's ready to upgrade, she'll get a Macbook or a Pro. Until then, you could easily break something by trying to bring the iBook into the future with various OS and system upgrades.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:09 PM   #7
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Make sure it really meets the minimum requirements. The first G3 clams came out in 1999 but didn't have Firewire and therefore can't go to 10.4 although they can do 10.3. In 2000 Apple release the Firewire clams which can go to 10.4.
Go to the Apple icon, About this Mac and look at the machine ID. It should say either PowerBook2,1 or PowerBook2,2.
Both models can usually take a 512 meg ram chip in addition to the built in 32 or 64 megs on the mobo. There is something weird about their hard drives, they are listed as ATA-2 but I have forgotten what that limits they have.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:11 PM   #8
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Apple says the max ram is 320MB, but just stick in a 512mb Stick, it goes up to 576mb (around this) and address it.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:11 PM   #9
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there's probably no need to try to upgrade it for her. It sounds as if this is a project You want to do (though she's happy with the machine already). I wouldn't recommend that; let sleeping dogs lie. The day she's ready to upgrade, she'll get a Macbook or a Pro. Until then, you could easily break something by trying to bring the iBook into the future with various OS and system upgrades.
I actually explained this to her as well - I told her the upgrade may not go well. She still has the OS9 discs so hey, I can only screw up so badly...

She loves her computer BUT she definitely has been wanting to bring it into the 21st century - and since I started using OSX, she's used my mac and wants OSX pretty badly. Green is her favorite color, the iBook was her first computer, she's a Mac nerd and attached to that thing like a mother to a baby. I offered to buy her a used G4 ibook/powerbook for xmas and she said no, haha.

EDIT: The computer may actually be a 2000 model then. She told me 1999 but who knows, that was like 10 years ago! It does in fact have one firewire slot on the left side, next to the USB slot.


I only have 10.4.10 discs and her 9.4 discs, nothing else
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:15 PM   #10
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what's the max RAM on this particular model? She already boosted it to 320, so the slots are full. I think it's the M6140 off the top of my head... I could be totally wrong though.
The max RAM is 320MB, so you hit the max there. You can install Jaguar, Panther, or Tiger; but not Leopard. The max hard drive is I think 120GB, I might be wrong. I think you have the Firewire 366MHz model, if you check the model number I can tell you the max of everything.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:15 PM   #11
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OS X Tiger require firewire support and DVD drive, make sure if you met this requirement system.

If not then upgrade to Mac OS X Panther.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:16 PM   #12
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Im going to guess that you have this one. http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...ibook_366.html
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:17 PM   #13
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I actually explained this to her as well - I told her the upgrade may not go well. She still has the OS9 discs so hey, I can only screw up so badly...

She loves her computer BUT she definitely has been wanting to bring it into the 21st century - and since I started using OSX, she's used my mac and wants OSX pretty badly. Green is her favorite color, the iBook was her first computer, she's a Mac nerd and attached to that thing like a mother to a baby. I offered to buy her a used G4 ibook/powerbook for xmas and she said no, haha.

EDIT: The computer may actually be a 2000 model then. She told me 1999 but who knows, that was like 10 years ago! It does in fact have one firewire slot on the left side, next to the USB slot.
Its probably either 366mhz or 466mhz since those had the firewire (except the graphite, which later came along)

I would really try to convince her to upgrade, i spent 200$ upgrading my iBook and i feel like i should get a real updated mac. That line of iBook is getting to be somewhat dead, eventually, she'll need a newer one.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:28 PM   #14
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As a long time owner of one of these, I would avoid Mac OS X. The 800 x 600 display is really just awful under the fat GUI of OS X, and the 366mhz G3 is super super slow on top of it. No Quartz acceleration, no AltiVec, tiny cache. Just a big piece of junk, really. I feel sorry for anybody using one.

Even is she bought a slightly newer PowerBook G4 used somewhere it would be a much better investment.

You'd be better off sticking with Mac OS 9 - perhaps a clean installation. For browsing, Netscape 7 will fit the bill nicely - compatible with most sites still (same can't be said for IE5). You can download that for her here.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:29 PM   #15
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M6411 - that's the model
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:31 PM   #16
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she wants wireless modern web browsing, to be able to use iTunes with her ipod, and... I told her about openoffice so now she wants that too. Can all of that be done under OS9?

If I run OSX, will I not be able to use the nifty innate window switcher on her G3? That would really stink.

Newer computer is out of the question - she won't allow it. She wants better functionality, and I assumed OSX was the way to go.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:39 PM   #17
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Ummm... I to use her iPod she needs I think OS X 10.3.9. You should really try to tell her about a better computer. With all the stuff that she wants, she can't run it well enough on that G3.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:42 PM   #18
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I think installing Tiger on that would be a waste of time. Panther would be the best bet. Tiger would run too slow and like the other guy said, the screen is crap and would look pretty bad. Tell her in order to get all this, she needs an upgrade!! Tell her about all the cool features of the newer models (iSight, nice screens, LIGHT!!, thin, FAST, OVERALL BETTER). Just try to convince her I guess.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:43 PM   #19
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Newer computer is out of the question - she won't allow it. She wants better functionality, and I assumed OSX was the way to go.
She's not going to get that functionality without upgrading to a machine better equipped to handle Tiger. if she's not willing to upgrade her hardware, she won't be able to upgrade her software. Water into wine, and all that.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 03:59 PM   #20
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As a long time owner of one of these, I would avoid Mac OS X. The 800 x 600 display is really just awful under the fat GUI of OS X, and the 366mhz G3 is super super slow on top of it. No Quartz acceleration, no AltiVec, tiny cache. Just a big piece of junk, really. I feel sorry for anybody using one.
I tried 10.0 when I only had an 800 x 600 monitor, and I preferred MacOS 9, exactly as you say, because the monitor is too small for MacOS X. 1024 x 768 is just about acceptable. Switched my Mac to 800 x 600 right now, and it is no fun. The "Submit reply" button is almost off the bottom of the screen, that's how tiny it is.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 04:26 PM   #21
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If could get ahold of panther (or jag, or whatever) will it still have the same problems with the screen res?
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 04:27 PM   #22
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All versions of OS X deal with screen resolution in the same way; 800x600 won't be fun on any of them. 1024 is fine, but 1280 is where the fun begins.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 04:29 PM   #23
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Is there a good OS9 Mp3 player out there? Did apple provide one? So maybe it won't work with her ipod, but all her music is on the ipod already, she doesn't care - just wants MP3s on the laptop too. I'm thinking maybe stick with OS9, as long as some modern functionality can be achieved. What about openoffice on OS9?
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 06:04 PM   #24
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i have come across tons of ibooks with tiger installed on them. I even had an indigo 366mhz running tiger. I think if you want to install tiger just make sure you have the max ram and a good size HD 30gb would be fine.
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Old Jan 5, 2008, 06:26 PM   #25
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but the things people here are saying about it - doesn't sound good. Can someone kind of explain what the display issue is? I get the point that 800x600 isn't great - but does it cause "real" problems? or is it just annoying. Does someone have a screenshot or anything? It would be nice to know. Thanks.
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