iBook G4 resurrected

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Hughmac, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    Feb 4, 2012
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #1
    Mucking around in the garage yesterday, I came across my old 12" iBook G4 1.33 and thought I'd fire it up, format the hard drive and then trash it.
    After charging the battery I started it up and found everything working fine, updated TenFourFox to the latest, tinkered around a bit and decided to keep it. It's on Leopard by the way ;)
    TenFourFox working much better and more quickly than I remember, and all those PPC games to play with :)

    The battery is good, only 80 cycles, and I also have a spare.

    The only problem is the airport card gives KPs when enabled (a common trouble I believe), so I'm using a USB wireless module which works fine.

    I'm typing this on the iBook at the moment, but, is it worth the bother of totally stripping it down to put an SSD in?
    Looking at a Kingspec 64GB for about £40, or a 64GB CF card with IDE adapter? Failing that I have a 60GB 5400 spinner to spare; the original 40GB 4200 is still in place at the moment.

    Thoughts?

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  2. Totalbearface macrumors member

    Totalbearface

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    #2
    From what I was aware, and from what I've seen, those Kingspec SSD'd perform rather poorly (will try find one of the tests I found and post it). Other than that, sounds like a nice machine to keep hold of, even with a hard drive. I just finished (well, nearly) referring a PowerBook G4 15 and 17, 17 just needing a new airport card I think (and hope!). Kept the original mechanical drives in them though just for sake of originality, but I do believe if you want to go the SSD route there's a product that performs much, much better than the Kingspec, again as show in the comparisons between it. Might have been a CF to IDE adapter actually if I'm remembering correctly.
     
  3. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

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    #3
    It is very much worth it if you intend on using the thing. Make sure you get an mSATA, however. Everything else is slow.
     
  4. Totalbearface macrumors member

    Totalbearface

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    #4
    Actually yes, that's jogged my memory, it was an mSATA SSD I saw, not CF adapter.
     
  5. amagichnich macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

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    #5
    It definitely is! It feels much faster, it is absolutely quiet most of the time and the battery lasts longer. Why do I say it feels faster? You do not get the speed difference you get with updating your 5 year old laptop due to the old hardware. The ide controller is not the fastest (compared to e.g. an eMac) and the system bus is very slow. You will see a big difference in starting small apps like Safari and in reaction time dependent scenarios like Exposé, dashboard and minimising apps. As well es waking up from standby and reading data from cached out files (harddrive swap). I have an ssd in my 12" and I'm amazed every day I use it
    --- Post Merged, Apr 25, 2019 ---
    Just don't do this, use an ssd instead, it will make you much happier
     
  6. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

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    Jun 2, 2017
    #6
    I've got to agree.

    Mine (1.33) has been repasted, has new pads, maxxed RAM, a 32gb mSATA, a super optimized Leopard install, and turns out to be a fantastic little notebook that never fails to get the job done.

    My only complaint is that the keyboard isn't similar enough to the PowerBook's. ;)
     
  7. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

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    #7
    Here to report in that both mSATA and NGFF m.2s (now becoming more common and generally prices at or lower than mSATAs) work very well in older machines!
     
  8. Hughmac thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #8
    So, an mSATA with IDE adapter? Works out cheaper than a PATA SSD :)

    I might even be able to re-solder the airport card while I'm inside, with a little care.

    Thanks everyone, worth thinking about.

    It's working faster already than my Dell Mini hackintosh ever did, an Intel machine with a SATA SSD :D

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  9. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

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    #9
    Yes. Or an m.2-to-IDE adapter. Either will be far less spendy than a PATA SSD!
     
  10. amagichnich macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

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    #10
    haha, that's like putting a Porsche Engine in a BMW Isetta :DD
     
  11. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

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    #11
    Tell that to my PowerBook.
     
  12. GanChan macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2005
    #12
    I just plugged mine back in for the first time in years. The battery doesn't work, but that looks like a cheap fix. The screen is getting kind of blotchy, but i guess I could always attach an external display if I'm too lazy to replace this one. I also happen to have a new Seagate Fast SDD on its way to me -- can I run my iBook off of it and still use it with my intel Mini and Chromebook?
     
  13. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #13
    You'll need an IDE-->SATA adapter. Not sure if together they'd fit in the case. iBooks are all IDE.

    There are alternatives however, such as an mSATA with a IDE-->SATA adapter/casing.
     
  14. GanChan, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

    GanChan macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    This would be an external USB drive. But I see what you're saying.
     
  15. Hughmac thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #15
    My Lite-On 64GB m-SATA SSD has arrived, just waiting for the adapter now.

    I dug out an old external firewire hard drive and backed the system up with Carbon Copy Cloner, so I'll be ready for surgery soon.

    Also on that hard drive are two other partitions with standard fully updated 10.4.11 and 10.5.8 installations, very useful in emergencies ;)

    Amazingly I've just got my Canon MG5500 printer working over wi-fi using the Gutenprint 5.2.10 drivers.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  16. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

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    Jun 2, 2017
    #16
    May I recommend this video by the excellent 8-Bit Guy, formerly known as The iBook Guy.



    Helped me tons of times.
     
  17. Hughmac thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #17
    Thanks, I'll watch it later on my 2012 MacBook Pro as it's not very happy on this iBook ;)
    I also have the iFixit guide to hand.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  18. GanChan macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2005
    #18
    Hey, can I just keep using my iBook even with a battery that won't hold a charge -- just keep it plugged in and use it as a non-mobile device? Or does that pose any risks, etc?
     
  19. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

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    #19
    Of course you can! There are no immanent risks which differ from, say, running a Power Mac or iMac from the mains.
     
  20. amagichnich macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

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    #20
    Just have a look at the battery from time to time, they tend to bloat when damaged or too weak. Especially the cheap ones
     
  21. Hughmac, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019

    Hughmac thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
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    #21
    Or just get a new battery - there's one on eBay (UK) for £26 from Germany, brand new but not a genuine Apple, so they are still around.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2019 ---
    One thing that's bugging me about this iBook is that most times I boot it up it goes into open firmware :(
    I can't work out why, and it sometimes takes a few tries to get it to boot normally into Leopard.
    I normally keep it running and just close the lid to sleep when I've finished but occasionally need to shut it down.

    Any ideas?

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  22. laylow macrumors member

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    Dec 17, 2018
    #22
    What USB wifi adapter are you using? I need one for my old iMac G3.
     
  23. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #23
    I run all my laptops off the power supply. Most of them aren't being used outside the house anyway and I'm too cheap to constantly keep replacing batteries. The ones I have in there now are sufficient to provide enough power to keep the laptops sleeping if I take them off the power supply but other than they they serve to fill the hole that not having a battery would leave.
     
  24. Hughmac thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #24
  25. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #25
    Nah. m.2 is just an interface. Plenty of SATA drives with that, e.g. Crucial.
     

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