Old School stock iBook Clamshell practical today?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ajdb9, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. ajdb9 macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    I may have the opportunity to acquire an old (stock) Clamshell (I think it's the middle of the range, not the 466) - is it practical to run OS9 for emails in today's world? Would be cool for my Grandad to have contact with some family members from around the world.
    To get it to run anything decent and OSX I would need to spend close to what a cheap new computer would cost (ram, HDD, ability to use a USB 3G stick [?] etc).
    What is actually do-able in OS9?
  2. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    You would probably be better off with a netbook honestly. Unless that is that you wan't a clamshell for a hobby computer, but I wouldn't give it to someone to use as their main computer.
  3. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    I've got 3 clamshells. A 300MHz running OS 9.2, a 366MHz with Panther, and another 366MHz with Tiger on it. Here's the deal, they're great fun to toy around with, but I rest easy knowing I can get off and get to a faster computer in a heartbeat. With 576MB of RAM (the most possible) in my indigo 366MHz model, it was rough. Much MUCH slower than using one of my Powermac G3's clocking in at 450MHz. The 800x600 screen resolution is brutal as well. If its OS 9 you wanna do, then 320MB of RAM is enough, but going online isn't any easier. Even with Classilla (a current web browser build of OS 9) modern websites with all the flash, pictures, and video really suck the life out of it. So my advice is this, don't buy it if you want anything more than a cool toy to get a nostalgic kick out of. I love doing some Sim City 2000 or firing up AppleWorks, but they are not a computer I would choose to use every day. Even the 466MHz models are hampered by the RAM cap and low res screens. And for the 3G stick, the USB ports are 1.1 and deep inset into the case rubber. Only the very skinniest of USB devices fit in there, so if your 3G stick is as wide as most are, it won't even plug in.
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Definitely better to get a netbook. 12 or 13 year old processor technology just can't be made relevant anymore. Even inexpensive netbooks can at least play youtube, etc. but there is no way to make an iBook run that.
  5. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    I'm going to say no because there isn't even a broswer for OS9 that supports most modern websites.

    And the hardware is quite old, and not fit for todays standards.

    Best to save the money, and get (unfortunately) a netbook.
  6. Strimkind macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2009
    For Emails it should be fine under OS9. I would not even bother trying to replace the hard drive as you have to disassemble the entire unit to do that and 3-6GB is fine for OS 9. If it is cheap enough just pick it up for tinkering, and don't bother upgrading unless you can get a stick of ram for almost nothing.

    Use Classilla for web browsing, Eudora for email, and there are a few sources of old OS 9 games on the internet that'll fill that void.

    I picked up a good condition Tangerine 300mhz for $20 and I use OS9 and kids games for my daughter. Its a great tool and works great even 11 years later!
  7. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    i wouldn't get for grandpa

    a netbook would be way faster...but leave grandpa open to all types of virus,spam,spyware ect ect

    how about a G4 mac mini or a good used G5 imac (max the ram and)...both could run leopard and grandpa would be safe and happy....
  8. crammedberry macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2011
    The Golden State
    I agree that a stock clamshell iBook would probably not be practical, even if it is for your grandpa. I have a 500MHz Dual USB iBook that is very slow as it is... I can only imagine how slow a clamshell iBook has as fast would be.
  9. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    I had a 466MHz G3 Clamshell with 576MB of RAM running 10.4.11 Tiger for 6 months as my main laptop. It was nice,with the after market battery but in the end it just wasn't worth it. :(
    Your better off getting a netbook or a PowerBook G4 of some sort.
  10. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    It's too slow. I had a 300Mhz Clamshell running OSX and while it is a very well-made machine, it is too slow for today's internet unless you do a lot of fiddling with the right settings and software.

    I would say it's probably fine strictly as an email terminal.
  11. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    It depends what you want to do. If its just OS 9 and classic software a 300Mhz is fine. Heck, I even ran Final Cut Pro on my iBook G3/300 Clamshell in original configuration under OS 9, and it works fine. I also had emails working in Microsoft Outlook 8.2 for OS 9, and used AppleWorks 6 to do basic office tasks - all worked just fine. All of this was until early 2010 by the way.

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