How to extend my iBook's useful lifespan?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by GanChan, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    My 2004-era G4 iBook, bought as a refurb a couple years ago, is still chugging away just fine, but I'd like to maximize its future usability without pouring a ridiculous amount of money into it. My thoughts so far:

    -Max out the RAM. It's just a stock unit, so the result should be a nice performance bump for not much money.

    -Put it on a ventilated stand when using at home. The iBook doesn't get blazing hot, so maybe this isn't a big deal, but the battery area sure gets warm, even when plugged in. Might make a difference over time.

    -Proper battery conditioning. I've just been letting it run down about halfway, then charging it up again as needed. I probably need a more by-the-book method.

    -I might hook it up to an external monitor at home to spare the iBook's LCD screen unneeded use, except I don;t know whether I can actually put the ibook screen to sleep while the external display keeps running....It might not make much difference anyway.

    -Don't drop it. :D

    Other things I can do to keep my iBook viable and healthy?
  2. Whorehay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2008
    Mine is still running Tiger smoothly :) The steps you proposed will work, but these are pretty durable machines, although the screen is sort of dim, but hey, it's a 4-5 year old computer, don't expect it to have the brightness of my MBPs LEDs. Maybe running maintenance on the OS periodically to keep it running smoothly.. since I find some things might lag the G4 processor down. :)
  3. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    What kind of maintenance? Disk Utility kind of stuff?
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think the RAM is worth it. Note that all the iBook G4s can handle a 1GB module in their memory slot, even though the specification for the first gen iBook G4 is that it can only go up to 512MB (for a total of 640MB of memory). I bought mine with 640 back in Dec 03 and then upgraded to 1152MB (1024+128 soldered). It made a big difference for me in Tiger satisfaction.

    I personally wouldn't bother with any of the other things on your list. Running through the battery about once a month was recommended by Apple back in that generation, but I think the issue was more for people who would use their battery once every six weeks (like me). Come to think of it, I can't remember when I last used my Eee on its battery... :eek:

    If what your doing has gotten your iBook through four years, I wouldn't bother doing anything differently, although I guess that your battery is going to, most likely, die out sooner or later for better or worse.

    The rest... I guess, do what you feel comfortable with, but ultimately, why are you working so hard to make this computer last so long? You don't have to do anything special to get a few more years out of it. If you want another decade, yeah, maybe you have to do something special, but....
  5. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    Well, none of that really counts as "working hard" to me; I just want to practice good notebook-maintenance habits. And I have an affection for this one, so I won't just be tossing it out even when I get a new one. But until that day's RAM buyin' time!
  6. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    Max out the ram with a 1gig stick.

    If your hard drive is getting full or having issues, consider a larger and faster upgrade.

    If your battery starts acting up or has a short usage, consider getting a new battery.

    Thats about all I can think of. Just don't drop it, thats what I did to my 2004 12" iBook. But that did give me an excuse for a MacBook.

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