Uses For An Old iBook?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by thesimplelogic, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2014
    Hey everyone,

    So a few minutes ago I decided to boot up my old iBook G4, and I was wondering... does anyone have any ideas as to what I could use this for?
    It's not that great of a configuration - it just has the standard 256 MB of RAM, has a 1.2 GHz G4, and a 25 GB disk size if I remember correctly.

    I don't really want to use it as an internet computer as I have my current MacBook/iPad for that, and I really don't want to let the iBook go.

    Does anyone have any ideas for this old machine?
  2. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    I think there is no special, good use for that machine if you already have comparable machine in terms of size (Macbook) which is noticeable faster and can run current software. Only thing which that iBook G4 would be better or only option would be running Classic and PowerPC -software (assuming you have newer OS X than 10.6 in that Macbook so you would be unable to Rosetta, the PPC emulator).

    I think owning PowerPC machines makes sense only if you need to run spesific software, want to buy Mac cheap or if you have bought that machine long time ago and it still happens to work and offer enough features for you... and of course if you are hobbyist/collector.
  3. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2014
    I'll probably still keep it because it's special to me, but I really don't use Rosetta. I think I'll just retire it to a nice life as a display piece :rolleyes:
  4. Zotaccian, Jun 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014

    Zotaccian macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    Yeah, the design is still great. I personally own this machine just because it was cheap and I tend to now and then buy machines for repair, in its own way it has been funny project which still isn't ready even though I am using this right now when typing. This machine came with all possible upgrades already, except for SuperDrive so upgrading wise this didn't offer much though (I assume 250GB is pretty much the largest laptop IDE drive size). PowerMac G4's are the best machines for that :)

    EDIT: If these machines could run Netflix I could probably use mine for that and all general media, use it like Mac Mini... I also play retrogames now and then and this seemed to handle SNES emulator OK, with some minor slowdowns now and then. At the moment I have drag around my PC laptop and hook it to the tv. I already own DVI to HDMI adapters and my TV has that 3.5mm audio plug so PowerBook has almost everything, except that it has wrong CPU and no power..
  5. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland

    I hate to really say this but if you are in the position of having both an Intel MacBook and an iPad already you probably are not going to enjoy the iBook. They are great computers, and I definitely want to buy one, but their time is coming to the point where the web will be unusable. That being said, they can do most anything your MacBook can, though with older software, except for Adobe Flash.
  6. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    How about a file server for backups on your network? If the battery is still good, you won't even have to worry about a power outage affecting ongoing file transfers. It's pretty easy to set this up with SSH and performance should be fine if you don't go overboard with huge files, like videos.
  7. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    I have always been interested in what this guy did to make a book shelf server.
  8. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I second this.

    I didn't quite have things working this way, but I did at one point have two 500GB hard drives hooked up to an iBook G3. The G3 was connected to my network via ethernet and I had it tucked away. Used it for Time Machine backups and if I needed to do something with it I have screen sharing on so I could access it.

    Once all the initial backups were done, all the subsequent backups were easily handled by it's USB 1.1. ports.
  9. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2007
    Location eh?
    I'd agree about the server reuse idea, that is what my old Thinkpad T61 does with an Ultrabay HDD caddy. Notebooks have a battery which doubles as a UPS and most notebooks use >45W when they're idle vs a desktop/SFF which can often pull 75-150W.

    As far as the iBook "Book Server", the guy removed the screen+keyboard+battery with the CD/DVD drive which was quite dumb but I would note he did remove the modem module to re-locate the power socket and used the old power socket space for a power button/reset since the screen+keyboard were removed. If you want to run any iBook/PowerBook with the screen closed you can disable the sleep latch/switch and give it 24/7 insomina :eek: :cool: :D

    Notebook IDE HDDs topped out at 320GB @7200RPM, however Samsung did at some point make a 400GB(2x200GB platters) 5400 RPM IDE variant mobile Spinpoint on the OEM market with their SATA version. Samsung IDE/SATA drives of that era are much more reliable than Seagate--still have a few Spinpoint IDEs which outlived Seagate/Maxtor drives.
    Desktop IDE topped out at 500GB via Western Digital but performance/reliability it was discontinued fairly quickly.
  10. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    I mainly use mine for internet radio (new/talk stations)...

    If using Tiger you can use up to itunes 9.2.1 itunes
  11. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    There are a few 3.5" PATA Seagate drives that are 750GB. Rather nice, quite, and fast. They were expensive and weren't on the market for long as Seagate started to discontinue its PATA drive line with the 750GB model the first to go. Still have 3 unused spares for use in the Xserve RAID where I work. Out of the 14 drives in it, only 2 of those nice 750GB drives have ever failed in the ~10 years that thing has been on.
  12. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    Given you already have a MacBook there's little reason, other than nostalgia, to keep the iBook. I just sold mine last week as, once I finished with what I bought it for, I saw it sitting around doing nothing (because I have other systems which do everything I need to do so I saw no reason to use the iBook).
  13. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    the year 2044...Christie's auctions

    "Going 3rd and final time for that classic apple ibook.....hammer down! Sold to the wise apple collector for 1.2 million" :eek:
  14. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2014
    Unfortunately, my iBook has the n key missing! :eek:
  15. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    OK...$1 million ;)
  16. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2013
    let's go to the beach for a few days.

    i have two main computers i use, one upstairs and one downstairs. if either of these were to break and i would have to replace or repair them it might take me a while to replace them. i still use optical drives and any replacement would have to include one. also firewire. my ibook that i bought last year could fill in that gap immediately and allow me to be more selective in a replacement. and back to the beach trip. i wouldn't get too bent out of shape if my ibook got lost or stolen from a motel. i keep no sensitive data on it and it's still useful for light browsing, e-mail, playing music, watching movies, viewing pictures, and a few old games. as it stands right now i don't use it very often but if it were to die i'd be searching e-bay the same day for a replacement. it's cheaper and more useful to me than an ipad which i don't own.
  17. thesimplelogic thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2014
    quite true! However the battery on mine is terrible, and every time I attempt to buy a new battery something goes wrong!
  18. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    That's what inexpensive tablets are for. I just picked up a refurbished Eken GC10X tablet from Micro Center for an out the door cost of $43.00. Micro Center has been selling these things by the truckload for the past four months with prices ranging from $40.00 up to $80.00. Too good a deal to pass up.
  19. jrsx macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2013
    Tacoma, Washington
    I thought I'd tell you what I do with my iBook on a daily basis, sure, I don't have a MBP or MBA or any other modern Apple equipment, instead I use my PPC Macs almost entirely (with the exception of an Acer laptop for flash, etc.), and they get the job done for me. I am in the process of upgrading my iBook to its max. I've upgraded the OS to Mac OS 10.5.8 Leopard, max OS, I have upgraded the RAM to 1.5 GBs, the maximum amount. I ordered a 32 GB IDE SSD for it, which according to popular belief barely outdoes a 7200 RPM hard drive, but upon reading a review by a tester, he claims that he compared a Seagate 7200 RPM with an IDE SSD, and the SSD about 1/3 better than the conventional HDD. I will also be digging through the laptop to replace the decade-old thermal pads, which do keep the temps under 160* F, but it's always nice to have them under at least 130-40* F. I also need a new battery, mine only holds about an hour, but it's a really nice laptop to have lying around, and if I were you I wouldn't sell it!! ;)
    What do I do with it if I use it every day? Anything from web browsing with Leopard Webkit, to Photoshop with Adobe CS and streaming music from Spotify and other such apps. It works as a great iTunes and iPhoto library as well. It also has a combodrive and plays DVDs and CDs great!
  20. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    I'll post my feedback for what I do with my iBook.

    Usually when I go on trips I take my MBP and iBook, however the MBP is if I need to do something important (like having to get a poster done for a client in a short period of time, doable on the iBook but the MBP is much better for this application) and usually anything flash like YouTube (which doesn't work well anyways because the internet is super slow and videos take forever to buffer at hotels). But besides that my iBook has iWork 09 and I type up my college essays on it and if I need to research anything I use the iBook. Spotify is used most of the time on my iBook, and if I need to run out to my truck and fix something and need a computer to look up whatever I bring the iBook with me. No doubt a MacBook would do the same things as the iBook but for the price difference between the two there is no point. So the iBook G4 works for me :)
  21. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    1 million dollars in 2044 will be what $100 is today.
  22. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Using Handbrake for encoding a video to h.264 will take a day, but the same power consumption as a PowerMac G5 2x2,3GHz late 2005. So, if you want to safe place and convert video files with an old Mac, go for it ;)

    Plus 1 for server use. With about 17-25W, similar to a NAS.
  23. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Jul 13, 2014
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    It would be good to keep anyway, but maybe you could try to think of something to use it for. I guess there is a charm to using one once in a while. Maybe there are classic games you want to play? I don't know... People use extra computers for various things, but none of those things are coming to me at the moment. I would Google search uses for an old laptop. It doesn't have to be specific to the iBook G4 you have.

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