Buying iBook G4?

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,156
1,363
I came across an iBook G4 listed on Craigslist in my city (finally, something Apple related that isn't more than 50 miles away!) the other day, and I emailed them asking for specs, since the ad was not very detailed. I got a reply saying that the iBook was still available and that she wasn't sure on the specs and how to check them, because it was her husband's old computer and she wasn't too tech savvy. I replied and told her to check the "About This Mac" and send that to me, so we'll see maybe.

My question for you more knowledgable on the matter than me is this: From the looks of the photo, it appears to be a 12 inch model iBook G4 in pretty good shape. Is the $40 it's listed at too much, a steal, or just right? Obviously I can try to haggle the price a bit, but I was curious if $40 is way too much for this.

Thanks in advance! :)
~Slix
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Hey Slix,

Firstly, could you please post a link to the ad?

Secondly, I LOVE iBooks. I love them and I think they are just awesome machines that can be overlooked or underestimated. I've had many of them and have had fun opening them up and just experimenting. An iBook G4 was also my first PPC Mac and I think I got lucky with it.

$40 is not too much to spend if the RA is maxed out and the battery still holds a charge. If it doesn't hold a charge, and it's only minimum RAM, then I wouldn't go for it unless you have extra RAM or a spare battery available.

Basically, the PRAM is in the battery, so if it's dead, connecting to WiFi every time to boot the computer will get annoying.

But mostly I think the iBook G4 line is awesome. The ability to still do most things (albeit a little bit slower) is great and the fact that they had BT/AP standard is another great thing so that way you can use the wireless keyboard and magic mouse as well!
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,074
14,793
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Hey Slix,

Firstly, could you please post a link to the ad?

Secondly, I LOVE iBooks. I love them and I think they are just awesome machines that can be overlooked or underestimated. I've had many of them and have had fun opening them up and just experimenting. An iBook G4 was also my first PPC Mac and I think I got lucky with it.

$40 is not too much to spend if the RA is maxed out and the battery still holds a charge. If it doesn't hold a charge, and it's only minimum RAM, then I wouldn't go for it unless you have extra RAM or a spare battery available.

Basically, the PRAM is in the battery, so if it's dead, connecting to WiFi every time to boot the computer will get annoying.

But mostly I think the iBook G4 line is awesome. The ability to still do most things (albeit a little bit slower) is great and the fact that they had BT/AP standard is another great thing so that way you can use the wireless keyboard and magic mouse as well!
Oh, I got your iBook right here pal!

Wait…I gave it to you already. :D

Nevermind, LOL! ;)
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,659
7,484
My question for you more knowledgable on the matter than me is this: From the looks of the photo, it appears to be a 12 inch model iBook G4 in pretty good shape. Is the $40 it's listed at too much, a steal, or just right? Obviously I can try to haggle the price a bit, but I was curious if $40 is way too much for this.
$40 isn't bad, especially if it's a late 2005 1.33 GHz with working battery.
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
2,193
942
Tampa, Florida
If it's coming with a battery that's not completely flat and a power cable that works, then I'd say that $40 isn't an awful price. Especially if PowerPC Macs are rare around you, I'd go for it.
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,156
1,363
Thanks for the replies guys! :D

PPC Macs aren't uncommon around me, it's just that they aren't often on Craigslist for whatever reason. :p

Here's the link for those wondering. Doesn't give much info, like I said, but there's a photo. http://racine.craigslist.org/sys/5285256143.html

I'll definitely post back when I hear back about the RAM and processor speed.

And in case you guys were wondering too, I actually have an Indigo Clamshell and a 700 MHz iBook G3 already, but I just like PPC stuff. :)

I've been searching for a PowerBook G4 to maybe use as a daily internet/word processing/game computer as an alternative to my MacBook Air, just for fun, but an iBook would fit that role too, so that's another reason I'm interested in this one. They're one of the earliest Apple laptops that still have batteries being made for them from OWC, too.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Well just looking at the photo and seeing the 3rd party power adapter and the fact that they have no information tells me that they are definitely not the original owners and possibly not even the 2nd owners. It also looks like there is a barcode or something on the power adapter that might be a type of inventory sticker. So you might have some luck with this if it was a former education iBook.
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,518
1,254
Kiel, Germany
I came across an iBook G4 listed on Craigslist in my city (finally, something Apple related that isn't more than 50 miles away!) the other day, and I emailed them asking for specs, since the ad was not very detailed. I got a reply saying that the iBook was still available and that she wasn't sure on the specs and how to check them, because it was her husband's old computer and she wasn't too tech savvy. I replied and told her to check the "About This Mac" and send that to me, so we'll see maybe.

My question for you more knowledgable on the matter than me is this: From the looks of the photo, it appears to be a 12 inch model iBook G4 in pretty good shape. Is the $40 it's listed at too much, a steal, or just right? Obviously I can try to haggle the price a bit, but I was curious if $40 is way too much for this.

Thanks in advance! :)
~Slix
Thanks for the replies guys! :D

PPC Macs aren't uncommon around me, it's just that they aren't often on Craigslist for whatever reason. :p

Here's the link for those wondering. Doesn't give much info, like I said, but there's a photo. http://racine.craigslist.org/sys/5285256143.html

I'll definitely post back when I hear back about the RAM and processor speed.

And in case you guys were wondering too, I actually have an Indigo Clamshell and a 700 MHz iBook G3 already, but I just like PPC stuff. :)

I've been searching for a PowerBook G4 to maybe use as a daily internet/word processing/game computer as an alternative to my MacBook Air, just for fun, but an iBook would fit that role too, so that's another reason I'm interested in this one. They're one of the earliest Apple laptops that still have batteries being made for them from OWC, too.
If you owe a G3 you know much about iBooks.
The G4 doesn't come with a smelly keyboard. :)
The processor might range from 800MHz - 1.0 GHz - 1.2Ghz - 1.33 GHz
Presumably the RAM is not maxed out at that certain unit.
Certainly you must get a new battery (25$) because the unit one's is EOL.
Below 1.0MHz Leopard is really slow.
In your situation with a 700MHz-G3 I would only go for a 1.2 or 1.33 GHz Model to run Leopard since with your G3/700MHz you have a good Tiger-machine anyway.
Upgrading the Harddrive to a mSata with mSata-IDE-Connector will speed up the iBook significantly.
40$ is a good price for all models anyway, as long as the AC-adapter is included and everything works fine. You could even replace your G3-Tiger, if the G4 is at the low end.
If it's a G4-1.2 or G4-1.33 model in a good shape and good working it's a no-brainer!!!
Add 25$ for a battery, 30$ for 1GB RAM and maybe 50$ for the mSata-SSD-Mod and you'll have a brilliant machine running Leopard, Office 2004/2008, (slow) LibreOffice and a decent version of iTunes and Safari.
I use two 1.2MHz iBooks for Beamer-Sessions: one connected to the beamer providing it's own HotSpot - the second to control the beamer-iBook via ScreenSharing. No fear about USB-virus-infections if anyone brings his USB-stick for presentations.
Hope this will help your dicision.
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,518
1,254
Kiel, Germany
Uuups!
I took a second look at the photos:
- the display seems to be damaged (at 5 o'clock)
- not an original AC-adapter (as mentioned in another posting before, presumably it's not 1st-hand)
You better keep off...
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,156
1,363
The biggest thing to determine if I get this or not will probably be the processor speed and (now that bobesch mentioned it) if the screen is fully functioning.

The third party power adapter doesn't mean a lot. My mom got a used iBook with an original power adapter years back and used it for a while until the power adapter broke on her, so she bought another one. Doesn't mean the computer is bad necessarily. ;)

My G3 iBook does have a smelly keyboard, but I'm not planning on getting rid of it anyway, since I like collecting these old Macs. :D

Regarding batteries, I looked them up on Amazon and many of the reviews for the $25 batteries said they weren't high quality or original resulting in them not lasting nearly long enough. Wouldn't it be wiser to buy from a place like OWC for a new battery?
 

MacCubed

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2014
1,618
487
Florida
The screen looks fine, it appears to be the light. If you are actually gonna use the iBook as a true laptop, get a NewerTech battery or Recell the current one
 
  • Like
Reactions: WalnutSpice

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,518
1,254
Kiel, Germany
The screen looks fine, it appears to be the light. If you are actually gonna use the iBook as a true laptop, get a NewerTech battery or Recell the current one
I bet theese darker spots in the right lower quadrant are related to a damaged screen. The screen is non-reflective so I don't think its related to the photo.
I would check personally before buying.

The replacement batteries i've got for 20€ are doing a good job, but honestly I didn't ever used an original or expensive one to compare. When I was looking for a new battery for my MacBook Alu 2008 there were a bunch of batteries on the market, sometimes with a misleading descripton about the capacity. One really had to care about those dealers selling crap for high prices.
As far as I remember the batteries for the iBookG4 did all have the same specs (but you cannot look under the hood anyway...)
 

WalnutSpice

Suspended
Jun 21, 2015
456
91
Canton, Oh
I came across an iBook G4 listed on Craigslist in my city (finally, something Apple related that isn't more than 50 miles away!) the other day, and I emailed them asking for specs, since the ad was not very detailed. I got a reply saying that the iBook was still available and that she wasn't sure on the specs and how to check them, because it was her husband's old computer and she wasn't too tech savvy. I replied and told her to check the "About This Mac" and send that to me, so we'll see maybe.

My question for you more knowledgable on the matter than me is this: From the looks of the photo, it appears to be a 12 inch model iBook G4 in pretty good shape. Is the $40 it's listed at too much, a steal, or just right? Obviously I can try to haggle the price a bit, but I was curious if $40 is way too much for this.

Thanks in advance! :)
~Slix
I'd say $40 is a very reasonable price point for a working iBook G4 with descent specs. The last time I had mine was summer 2014, not too long ago but even with my G5 I've noticed a lot of things have become unsupported just in that short time. So I can't speak for this time exactly, but when I had mine it was the best laptop I had owned. Fast (for it's age), reliable, everything on the web worked (not now though, Java 1.5 support is nearly gone(no Runescape on PPC anymore). iPhoto, iMovie 06, Office 2008, it won't let you down. It's also pretty small and compact. Nice to carry around at say, school. I did in 9th and 10th grade and it never let me down. It can even play Halo or older game emulators pretty decently. For $40 and nice specs, jump on it.
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,518
1,254
Kiel, Germany
Read the the description: " the iBook is really slow." (It's 'just' running Tiger, not Leopard!) and look at the pictures, that clearly show signs of a damaged display.
No Information about processor, RAM and HDD-size.
I guess it will be a big disappointment - even at 40$.
Buy cheap, buy twice...
 
Last edited:

WalnutSpice

Suspended
Jun 21, 2015
456
91
Canton, Oh
Read the the description: " the iBook is really slow." (It's running Tiger!) and look at the pictures, that clearly show signs of a damaged display.
No Information about processor, RAM and HDD-size.
I guess it will be a big disappointment - even at 40$.
Buy cheap, buy twice...
I don't think the display is failing and most novice users will say it's slow because they don't know how to properly optimize PowerPC Macs.
 

flyrod

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2015
425
116
I think I'd hold off, particularly if you were looking for a powerbook to begin with. If you're impatient you could probably match that deal on fleabay for a powerbook and let UPS do the driving. Good luck!
 

bobesch

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2015
1,518
1,254
Kiel, Germany
I thing you ought to get hands on this tiny miracle.
Everybody here is curious about what's lying behind this "mysterious" ad at Craigslist.
I've also got a lot of my old stuff via e..y classified ads (similar to Craiglist). Some people want to avoid auctions and packaging/shipment. And theese articles are most often not overpriced and in a good condition. Often but not always. But you can get your hands on them before you buy.

So be adventurous and let the betting begin... :)
Cheers!
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Even if the screen is "slightly" off, you can still install screen spanning doctor and use an external display with the iBook as well and basically have a neat little pseudo desktop setup. I would totally buy it.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
Let me put it this way, I wouldn't pay 40 bucks for that.
Why not? This machine is more than capable of:

1. Streaming media to Apple TV
2. Syncing with iOS devices running iOS 6 or older
3. Playing retro games either native to OS 9/OS X or emulators
4. Running iWork '09/MO 2004/LibreOffice/OpenOffice
5. Running either Safari or TFF for internet browsing including YouTube and the most important MacRumors
6. Geektool for fun stuff to do
7. They normally have AP(post 1.2GHZ models) and BT(2005 models) built in as well which makes working with peripherals fairly simple. I've owned many iBooks and the only one that didn't have bluetooth was an iBook G3.
8. Support for WPA2
9. FW port for TDM as well
10. Using a secondary display after installing Screen Spanning Doctor

For $40, I think that's a pretty fantastic deal for what that machine can do.
 

Xandros

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2010
211
11
The screen's ****ed. You can list features it'll struggle with until your arse is blue, that won't change the fact it'll cost more than you paid for it to fix if and when the screen goes bye bye.
 

RedCroissant

Suspended
Aug 13, 2011
2,268
94
The screen's ****ed. You can list features it'll struggle with until your arse is blue, that won't change the fact it'll cost more than you paid for it to fix if and when the screen goes bye bye.
It might be but it also might be the light reflecting as well from behind the person taking the photo.

It doesn't struggle with those features that I listed at all. It does struggle with HD video when playing but it works great as a media server to stream HD content stored in the iTunes Media folder to an Apple TV and I know this because I've done it.

And that's the case for any laptop unless you have insurance on it. But with any Apple laptop now, a broken display is not covered and usually costs quite a bit to repair.

I would still pay even more than that for a good iBook G4. They're easy to open up/upgrade and they're good quality computers that have plenty of life left in them.
 

MacCubed

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2014
1,618
487
Florida
It might be but it also might be the light reflecting as well from behind the person taking the photo.

It doesn't struggle with those features that I listed at all. It does struggle with HD video when playing but it works great as a media server to stream HD content stored in the iTunes Media folder to an Apple TV and I know this because I've done it.

And that's the case for any laptop unless you have insurance on it. But with any Apple laptop now, a broken display is not covered and usually costs quite a bit to repair.

I would still pay even more than that for a good iBook G4. They're easy to open up/upgrade and they're good quality computers that have plenty of life left in them.
Anyone who says it's the lighting that is causing the issue,I agree with. I would ask for more pictures to determine if it really is damaged.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.