Perfect G3 Lombard Powerbook - should I mod to picture frame or not?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MacJediDude, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2007
    Need some opinions -
    I have a perfect condition G3 Lombard Powerbook I have stopped using the last year or so. Rather than collecting dust I was considering tearing this apart and building a wireless photoframe. I would keep OSX fully functional along with the DVD drive and all external ports.

    Would you crack this baby open or keep it intact? :confused:
  2. macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    It certainly sounds like a good idea! But I'm not sure I understand why you need to crack it open. How do you want to run the photoframe?
  3. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2007
    Re: Why crack open?

    My plans would be to "gut" the casing to remove the display and all - then stuff these parts behind an actual picture frame. The computer will still work but this will no longer be a laptop (the trackpad and existing keyboard would be removed) to use the computer I would most likely use a bluetooth keyboard & mouse when needed, otherwise my iPhoto library would be running in slideshow mode. :eek:

  4. macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Excellent! Crack it open here:
    Probably want to enable the VNC/ARD in System Preferences, Sharing so you can remotely control it when you are done.
  5. macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    Do it!!! I'd love to see something like this done...if it has been done before, where can I see how to do this? Write up??...Maybe this would be a good idea for my iBook G4 that is crapping out on me and will be replaced. I'm interested.


    EDIT: Found one...well one that isn't very good. But enough for me. I'll be doing this to the old iBook as soon as my new MBP shows up and I have all files transferred!
  6. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Here's a guide I found some time ago for using a Gateway laptop, but I'd imagine it's good enough for any laptop.. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

  7. macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
  8. Mal
    macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    IIRC, the power button is a simple plug in connection on the G3's, so you just pull it, remove it from the casing and mount it somewhere, then plug it back in. Make sure it'll reach, though, or you'll have to splice it and add some wire.

  9. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    Don't do it! Let me buy it!!!:D:D
  10. macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006

    I should have been more clear. I'm going to do this with an iBook G4 1.2 12". IDK if the power button is the same as that. Let me know if anybody remembers what the 'guts' look like inside.

  11. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2007
    G3 Lombard is now a wireless pictureframe!

    I took the leap and couldn't be more pleased! :p
    Here is a quick shot from my iPhone ( early morning - low light ) I will take some better shots both front & back later today.

    Attached Files:

  12. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2007
    You can buy wireless picture frames at walmart you know :p
    anyway nice job!
  13. macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Very cool!

    I'm thinking about doing something like this too. I have an old IBM thinkpad Pentium II 266mhz windows 95 that I'm thinking of doing this to. However, I'd rather deal with OSX :)

    Will you post a step by step guide on what you did?

    Also how many cables do you have going into it? Wired ethernet or wireless? Did you keep the optical drive?

    How do you handle putting new media into it?
  14. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2007
    I will post complete build instructions and photos ASAP

    The quick answer to your questions - only 1 cable exits the frame - the original AC power adapter cord; a belkin PCMCIA card resides to provide network/internet access (OSX sees the card as an airport card ... sweet) I did keep a spot open to dock the DVD drive, that I can pop in and out as needed.

    The best part - adding new photos is EASY via a shared folder on my wireless home network so anyone on the network can add to the slideshow:D

  15. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2007
    yes - but not a 15" screen frame (essentially fits a 8.5" x 11" frame mat) with a 60GB hard drive running OSX on my wireless network. Besides you can pick up a similar old Powerbook to build for a fraction of the price of the retail frames. ;) Isn't it fun to find a great new use for an aging mac that was collecting dust?

  16. macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    That really looks good. I'd love to see more pictures posted and a how to, if you have time, or point me in a direction. I'm ready to tear this thing apart.

  17. macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    Arlington VA
    Looks nice, but on the other hand, you had to butcher a Powerbook :eek:
  18. macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2007
    Sell it and use the money to buy this, can use it as a picture frame if you want lol
  19. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2007
    damn that tablet mod is awesome! I would definitely buy one if they were less $$

  20. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2007
    I know - it was very hard to start the surgery & remove the first screw. But now that it is done, I am very happy with the results. The options were keep an old slow powerbook intact and unused, or build the frame & use it every day. The best part is I can still use it as a computer if necessary via usb or bluetooth mouse & keyboard.

  21. macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2006
    That looks great!

    I was thinking of doing something similar with an old Pismo that has a dead battery, a worn case, and rapidly failing screen hinges and came across this thread. I'd love to see some more pictures of your setup, especially how you fit in into the frame and matted it and such.

    Well done! :)
  22. macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2007
    I now NEED one of those. A picture frame with all the greatness of OSX.
  23. thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 12, 2007
    More G3 Lombard wireless picture frame photos

    Ok here is a shot of the inside - note all exterior casing has been removed, including the trackpad and keyboard. A 1/2" frame has been hot glued on 3 sides and a new on/off switch has been mounted next to the adapter plug.

    The Belkin wireless G card currently resides in the PCMCIA slot.

    The frame was then finished out & velcro added to attach the original fame backing. This is a certificate frame with a pre-cut mat @ 8.5" x11"

    Space has been left inside the frame to dock the DVDrom when needed, a usb bluetooth adapter has been added to use a bluetooth mouse & keyboard. All original ports are still intact if needed.

    The velcro frame cover allows about a 5mm slot on all sides for great airflow.

    Final steps will be to paint out the backing, but I am in no hurry as you can not see it from the front or sides.

    Attached Files:

  24. macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2006
    ...I'm drooling. I definitely want to do that.

    ........but not to my wonderful 12" PBG4:D
    I will have to start looking on craigslist and ebay:rolleyes:
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    1. Find old inexpensive laptop on ebay

    2. tear apart

    3. make picture frame.

    Got my first 3 steps on my to do list now! Now to find the old laptop!!! :-D

    I think i need to design a really sweet designerly frame though... perhaps I can combine this into something neat for my portfolio....

    this is SWEEEEET

    ps. are those wood slats the velcro is on? aren't you a little worried with the wood next to the computer parts? heat wise? I guess it wouldn't get too hot just slideshowing....

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