Build laptop using iBook G3 case? (Clamshell)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by GreatUsername, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. GreatUsername macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2013
    I was thinking of building a laptop and I really like the clamshell iBook case. It seems really sturdy plus it's colorful and really stands out. I was wondering if it'd be possible and more importantly practical to buy an iBook G3, strip it of it's guts (motherboard, hdd, CPU, GPU, RAM, CD drive, old connectors (FireWire, USB 1.0, etc.), screen, etc.) so that there's nothing left but the plastic shell, keyboard, and trackpad, and replace it all with modern parts. I'd then probably install some os like Linux because I don't feel like going through the trouble of making it a hackintosh and I hate Windows. That is, of making it a hackintosh would be easier than I think. Also, I may make the Apple logo on the back glow if I can.

    So would this be something feasible? Does anyone have any pointers?
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    The trackpad is integrated with the charging board and uses the ADB protocol. The keyboard uses a proprietary pinned connector with about 20 pins. You're going to be hard pressed to find a battery that can fit within it that isn't the stock battery. The Apple logo in those already glows, just not as noticeably as with later Apple laptops. It's also upsidedown when the lid is open.
  3. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2008
    Most laptop components are proprietary. Where are you going to find a motherboard that will fit and mount securely in the unit? And connect the kb/trackpad/display/power?
  4. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2013
  5. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Making the logo glow is about the only thing doable. Open up the LCD case and remove the foil sticker covering the logo. I did it on one of mine, and it looks pretty good.
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    There was a guy in the Apple forums once who wanted to know if he could stick the LCD from a 17" PowerBook on his 15" PowerBook. He wanted a larger screen for his PB.

    Same concept here, as has been pointed out.
  7. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2012
    El Salvador

    Sometimes I wish Apple released a 'special edition' Haswell macbook in an ibook clamshell case...
  8. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    No not really, everything in a laptop is totally propertiy.
  9. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    You'd have more room with the PowerBook G3s however you still face the same issue. If you can be the hacker and one to risk it, it would be cool to see vintage machines decked out with today's stuff (like reusing G5 cases for mackintoshes).
  10. GreatUsername thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2013
    Alright, thanks for your responses. Sounds like this'll be a lot harder than I hoped. Maybe I could just cut the connectors and soldier the wires together but idk, I'm not really a genius when it comes to this stuff. I think I'll just hope for some re-releases of older Macs in a fashion like rjcalifornia said. They haven't done anything like that since the Mac Color Classic.
  11. aminorjourney, Mar 24, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015

    aminorjourney macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
  12. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    The new low powered MB would seem to be a better bet. Only one usb port to worry about and fanless like the Clamshell.

    Expensive mod, though.
  13. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2014
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Why not get all the internals together then design a case around them in the style of the iBook and then have it 3D printed? You'd have complete liberty and control - however, I'd guess the 3D printing would come in quite expensive unless you have your own printer.
  14. aminorjourney macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    You're totally right about the cost. But then again, that's not why people build these things is it?

    It's the equivalent of owning a hot rod.

    I used to own a bog-standard 1965 Morris Minor. It had very little power, but was awesome fun. I also owned a 1962 Morris Minor hot rod, with a 1.8-litre k-series engine in it. It did 80 in third gear and went well beyond 100... :D

    (Not my car -- but her hot-rod sister built by the same guy.)

    The original minor was fairly cheap to own and run. the hot rod? About £10k.

    But I wanted a car that looked old and fairly 'standard' that gave me the performance of a modern car... :)

    And I guess it's the same for case modding... the money isn't always the object.
  15. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Man, that MBA is SLOOOOOW. :eek:

    Fun though, would love a handle on a MacBook, and a SuperDrive, haha.
  16. aminorjourney macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2014
    Totally. I loved those things when they were new.

    My ideal would be to have one with an emulator running in the background though. Then you could boot like it was an old school iBook, but also use it as a modern MBA.

    The MBA makes a good choice for a motherboard donor though. Anything else would just heat up too much.
  17. comda macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    That is really cool. I thought of doing the same but i dont have a clamshell and i love those machines too much to tear it apart.... unless i get a dead one.. The guy in the video did it you can too! hopefully yours isnt that slow... My 07 macbook is faster then that.. haha good luck and if you go through with it POST PHOTOS! :D
  18. chip1 macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2014
    That's really cool!
  19. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    ooo a 3d printed laptop, now that is cool! I wonder if anyone has made one...
  20. comda macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    There is.. Its called the pi-top.. basically raspberry pi laptop.. check it out..
  21. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    I know, that's all I found when I searched for "3d printed laptop". All there is is Pi-top but I couldn't find anything about someone who 3d printed a real laptop, with a real motherboard and intel core and stuff. It's all littered with pi-top! What good is a Pi-top? Someone make a REAL laptop!

    But what about the heat? computers get hot and it could melt the laptop. At what temperature does 3d printer plastic melt?
    That could be why all there is is a pi top, because Pis dont make much heat.

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