iBook clamshell 466SE as music Plex client?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by r6mile, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. r6mile macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi all,

    I have always wanted an iBook clamshell as I love their retro design, and have just seen one a graphite 466 SE on eBay, with Airport and upgraded RAM (I assume to the max 576MB but not sure) running OS X Tiger. I don't really have any particular need for it but I just fancy one (I imagine many other people on this forum feel the same about some of their machines!) and am trying to justify a way that I might be able to make use of it. I know this machine is very old but am wondering whether this machine might be able to handle being a Plex client for music? I know there is a PPC app for Plex. No video - just music, it would be permanently connected to the speakers in the living room.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    As far as I can tell, no, it will not work.
    Reason being that the only version of the Plex Client for PPC I can find requires a G4 or G5 processor and OS X Leopard.
    The iBook Clamshell has a G3 processor, which both Plex and Leopard will not run on.
    To stream music to a iBook Clamshell, you'd need an app that can stream music that will work on OS X Tiger and a G3 processor. I do know an old version Spotify will work on OS X Tiger, and there is an edited binary of it that will allow it to run on G3 processors (the unedited binary requires a G4). I know it runs quite well, as I have used it on a Bondi iMac G3 with 192MB of RAM and OS X Tiger, which is way below what you are running. I know that it isn't local streaming like Plex, but it would work. Do note that the old version of Spotify in question lacks features such as remote control via phone apps and such, as the version is 5 years out of date. Despite that, it still works for its main feature, music playback.
     
  3. r6mile, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016

    r6mile thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    So I ended up winning the auction - here is the link http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ibook-g3-...th-other-older-model-/281998611719?#cvip_desc

    As you can see from the link, it is bundled with an old G3 Bondi clamshell, from which I will likely remove any plastic bits to replace whatever's broken in the 466SE, at the risk of it ending up looking like a frankenstein iBook! I will then put the graphite's 256MB RAM into, and sell on to recoup some of the cost of purchase (which admittedly was not very high to begin with!)

    Yes it looks like Plex is a no go - I also don't suppose there is any way Plex web client would run on this thing? From the picture of the specs on the picture, it looks like it has 320MB of RAM, which I will definitely upgrade to 576MB. Is it all possible to direct iTunes to play files in a shared network folder? VLC might work if not?

    Another point - is it all worth it installing an IDE SSD in this machine? If so, any idea where I might be able to locate one? The only one I can find on eBay is a Kingspec, which is about £30 for 32GB but a quick google search tells me the iBook's IDE controller is incompatible with that drive.

    EDIT: I have just been doing more reading on this forum, and it looks like mSATA SSD + IDE adapter is the way to go. I imagine a drive like this would be suitable? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Transcend...607871?hash=item2a4c0dee7f:g:IEwAAOSwL7VWp9BX

    Any other ideas as to what I might be able to use my new (very old) machine for?

    Thanks a lot.
     
  4. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    It's a Blueberry iBook, the Bondi colour is exclusive to the first two 1998 revisions of the iMac G3.
    The web client probably won't work either, I'm going to guess it's way too heavy for the G3 processor.
    I think that you could access a file share on the network and use an audio player such as VLC or iTunes fine.
    An SSD would greatly benefit if the original HDD is still in it. The old HDDs are loud, small and slow, an SSD would make quite the difference.
    As for other uses, I'd say for playing old games it'd be a fun little machine. @bobesch still uses his iBook Clamshell for quite a few things, so maybe he'll chime in and explain his uses.
     
  5. bobesch, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #5
    Congrats! That's a good deal for some nice machines.
    You may stream audio from another mac with iTunes 9.1.1. Works fine and the (replacement-) battery will last about 4-5h streaming audio.
    Replacing the HDD with an mSATA SSD (128-264GB) /w mSATA-IDE-Converter is really worth the efford. Enough spare disk-space to hold a copy of your iTunes library on the Clamshell. And the clamshell will be totally silent - exept of the gentel clicking of the marvelous keyboard...
    Harman-Cardon-Soundsticks do look great in combination with the Clamshell.
    VLC will work (v.0.9x) Don't ever activate the equalizer - it completely blew my iMacG3's speakers. CorePlayer is a better alternative now after it had been recovered a few days ago...
    Other useful things:
    Internet-Radio (via iTunes), Office2004, Skim-PDF-Editor. VirtualPC3 /w Win95 (RDP-Connections to older Windows), webDAV, nativ email-client is still up-to-date, webKit-browser for Tiger with new web-certificates, FileSharing, ScreenSharing with any VNC-Client.
    You will need either LAN or e.g. Edimax-WLAN-USB-Stick to hook up to your network. The Airport-card only supports outdated WLAN-security.
    And it's good fun to boot into native OS9 (Office2001, Classilla for web&email, VNC, FTP, webDAV and a lot more things - take a look at MacintoshGarden!)
    If you should attach a >128GB mSATA make sure to create <128GB partitions before since there's a 128GB limit on older machines.
    And you can't change number or size of partitions afterwards without loosing all data!
    30GB for Tiger (still 10GB left after installing all stuff available), 10GB for OS9 and the rest left for data comes in handy on my Clamshell.

    PS: if one of the Clamshells holds a QUERTZ-KB and you are looking for a QUERTY-one please let me know...

    Have fun!
     
  6. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Haha, I said bobesch would chime in!

    The eBay pictures show QWERTY keyboards, so that's fortunately not a worry :)

    Be sure to keep any parts of the Blueberry iBook you have spare. Definitely give a heads up if you're planning to sell them, there are plenty of iBook Clamshell users that could use some!
     
  7. r6mile, Apr 12, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016

    r6mile thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thanks a lot for your very comprehensive reply! Looks like there's a bunch of things I can do on this machine still.

    As for storage, I was thinking I would stick to 32GB or 64GB at the most, but this 128GB Sandisk Z400S seems incredible value at £36 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sandisk-Z...373077?hash=item58d6d48195:g:O-kAAOSwll1W04vu. I assume any mSATA drive is fine? Will any msata-IDE 44-pin adapter work, or are there any particular ones I should watch out for?

    However, this thing about the Airport card is a bummer - I didn't know that. LAN is not really an option because the router is in a different room to where I want to keep the clamshell and a long cable is not an option. The Edimax EW-7811Un adapter is only £7.44 on eBay and has Tiger support so it looks like the way to go.
     
  8. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #8
    Here some specs about mSata and WLAN-USB-Stick: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/granites-ibook-g3-clamshells.1747559/page-8#post-22145815
     
  9. chip1 macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2014
    #9
    40 odds pounds, that a good deal.

    I also have a 366MHz Indigo, have the ram maximized. But not sure how to getting most of this old PPC...
     
  10. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #10
    If you run Tiger then WPA is an option for wireless with the Airport card, albeit at 802.11b speeds. Should be enough for streaming music if you are happy to have mixed speeds running on your router. I found Edimax unreliable on OSX with constant dropouts.
     
  11. r6mile thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Thanks, yes I guess I got lucky! Not many clamshells on eBay UK. It should be less when I resell the older iBook.

    Thanks, good advice. My router is currently set (by default) to WPA-PSK/WPA-PSK - would this work with the old AIrport card? The only other option is WPA2-PSK. This is a brand new Virgin Media Superhub, which has dual 2.4-5Ghz connections.
     
  12. r6mile thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    One other question - I read somewhere there is a 120GB limit for drives in the Clamshell? Is that really the case?
     
  13. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #13
    128GB for the booting partition...
    --- Post Merged, Apr 13, 2016 ---
    No problems/dropouts here ...
     
  14. weckart macrumors 601

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    #14
    As long as you set your Superhub to 802.11b/g/n it shouldn't be an issue. If you have a choice of AES or TKIP then select the latter. Given the less than stellar reviews of both Superhubs I run mine as a modem only and let a fifth gen AEBS deal with the routing.
     
  15. r6mile thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Thanks a lot - I'll let you all know when I get on. It should come in a couple of days, and I've already ordered a 512MB stick of PC133 RAM (the seller has the iBook as one of the compatible machines) for £9.99 which should arrive at the same time. I'll probably get the mSATA SSD once I've played around with the machine a little bit more.

    Annoyingly, I've just checked the pictures and both iBooks (the 466SE and the 300 blueberry) are missing the stem from the Apple Logo. This is not a deal breaker but a bit annoying. Does anyone know where I might be able to source an Apple logo? Or even the whole outer top case for the graphite - if you see from the picture it's missing the graphite coloured 'stripe'; I was thinking of just stealing it from the blueberry and mix and match colours, but if I'm also looking for the Apple 'stem' then I might as well try to source the whole thing. Alternatively I could just cover it with a white Apple sticker but it's not quite the same.
     
  16. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #16
    I am not sure your Blueberry and Graphite parts are completely interchangeable, being different revisions. The coloured rim on the Graphite lid is rubberised. I think the earlier versions are more solid plastic and might be of a different thickness but it has been a while since I hauled mine out of storage so I cannot be sure. Missing logo parts and cracked bezels are par for the course with Clamshells. The cheapest way to source replacement parts is to buy another Clamshell.

    I vaguely remember somebody mentioning that they fashioned missing stalks and leaves from the logo by using coloured hot glue or something similar. That is possibly one course of action if you have some artistic skills and can find a good colour match.
     
  17. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Nope, they have always been rubberized. I have a first gen iBook Tangerine and it is definitely rubberized.
     
  18. bobesch, Apr 13, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #18
    I'd start to use the Clamshells and fiddle around with them just to see if this passion with all restrictions is your's...
    If you decide to get another and better one, you may swap all data to another device via SuperDuper!

    ---
    ...Hu, it just comes into my mind that I've bought an indigo top&bottom case for a firewire clamshell of mine at the end of last year to get the the apple-logo off the top case.
    If you're interested in these parts (w/o the apple logo) you may send me a message...
    It would make your graphite iBook an indigo one. But the graphite apple-logo and the bezel from the optical drive would be of a slightly different color (the indigo-color tends to fade out and starts to look a bit like the graphite one but you'll notice the difference)
    It's also a lot of work to swap the iBooks shell. And the white plastic of my spare case sports some scratches...
     
  19. weckart macrumors 601

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    #19
    Yes, I think my memory is playing tricks with me. I went into the loft and hauled my Tangerine down and it looked and felt like hard plastic to me. Then I compared it with my Graphite SE and it was the same finish. Odd. I sort of remebered it being softer and slightly rougher to the touch.


    As an aside, these links are probably worth bookmarking for Clamshell repairs as an alternative to eBay. This site sells spare parts for old computers and was a godsend when I did my XGA screen mod to my Graphite SE.

    http://pchub.com/uph/model/0--3558-1/iBook-Clamshell-M6411-parts.html

    http://pchub.com/uph/model/0--1036-1/iBook-Clamshell-M2453-parts.html
     
  20. bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #20
    How about that XGA-screen mod...? Are you happy with the result and functions compared to the original resolution? Any pitfalls? I still think about an offer to buy one...
     
  21. r6mile thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Yes I wondered about this as well - is this worth doing? Or more trouble than it's worth? I read you have to mess around with Open Firmware as well.

    As for getting the 'apple stem' back, nearly all of the clamshells on ebay UK have the apple logo missing as well!
     
  22. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Yep, sadly the adhesive keeping the stem and apple in place tends to degrade badly, causing them to fall out. Often it's the stem that goes first, and most miss them, although it's not uncommon for the apple itself to also fall off. Same with the stress cracks around the Apple logo on the screen bezel, it's extremely common. Keep an eye on that Apple logo, so that if it ever falls off, you know it, and you can retrieve the logo and stick it back with some superglue. Sad that such issues plague these nice machines.
     
  23. weckart macrumors 601

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    #23
    Well, yes. The disadvantages were already posted in my XGA thread. Apart from that, the most annoying thing is trying to line up the screen with the bezel as you need to remove the positioning cage underneath so that the new screen will fit. Mine is still very slightly out of true but I can live with that. Otherwise, the longer boot up time even with an mSATA drive inside.

    If you only intend to run OS9 on your Clamshell, you could live with the old screen resolution quite easily but you soon run into problems with OSX, where a lot of programs expect to run in XGA as a minimum resolution with a result that checkboxes and buttons find themselves off screen and unreachable under VGA.

    All you need is a donor screen, any iBook one will do and those from most 12" PBs too along that elusive adapter that I found on pchub.com. It was a very cheap update and not nearly as involved as changing the hard drive.

    You only need to type in a couple of commands at the Open Firmware prompt. Very trivial and easily reversible. I did warn you about the logos falling off these things and the cracked bezel on the first generation Clamshells. To be fair, we are talking about 17 year old laptops that should normally be gracing landfills by now.

    This was my original XGA mod thread to save you hunting.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/right-that-clamshell-xga-mod-then.1800086
     
  24. bobesch, Apr 15, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 65816

    bobesch

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    #24
    Many Thanks - that does help me a lot!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2016 ---
    Here's an ultimate apple-stem mod coming from a tea-spoon.
    A touch of luxury! - you can get those ones easily at the Grand Bazar in Istambul ... ;)

    image.jpeg
     
  25. r6mile thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    The iBook(s) arrived! The 466SE had 320MB of RAM, so I immediately put in the new RAM that I had already ordered, and it's on 576MB - feels much snappier than I would have expected! And it came with a 80GB HDD which is very silent, so I think I'll hold off on that mSATA upgrade for now. The battery also only has 200 cycles, and the laptop came with the original charger.

    Physical condition is better than expected, though nothing to write home about. As expected it is slightly cracked on the inside Apple on top of the keyboard. As you can see in the picture I've managed to put in a stem - I remembered I had an old iBook G4 display housing lying around, so I removed the Apple from the G4 case, cut out the stem, and covered its edges in blue tack and stuck it on the iBook G3 which not only holds it in but also colours it blue. I think it looks all right!

    Only challenge now is getting it onto the internet. Ethernet is working fine, but as expected Airport is causing issues. I have put my dual-router router on b/g/n, but there is no way to turn off the N on the 2.4Ghz frequency so while Airport finds the WiFi, it cannot connect. Airport issues are not unexpected, so I've ordered the Edimax wifi adapter for £6.60 which will arrive tomorrow.

    As for the original purpose of the iBook, which is to locally stream music, I have managed to set this up with iTunes Home sharing (using the latest iTunes that runs on a G3, which is 9.1.1). As you can imagine it's a bit crammed on 800x600 but it's not a big problem.

    And the second iBook (a blueberry 300Mhz), which is better physical condition, also had the RAM upgraded to 320MB! But it still has the 6GB HDD. I have no use for this one so I will sell it. However, before I do that I want to remove the blueberry's rubber edge from the outer case to put it on the Graphite - any ideas how to safely remove this from the blueberry?

    Thanks a lot for your help guys!
     

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