iBook 1.33Ghz G4 – Better than a Netbook

iBook G4 - Still a damn nice machine!
iBook G4 – Still a damn nice machine!

Well I managed to source an iBook 1.33Ghz 12″ for the grand total of £0.00. Our friend Emma had been having trouble with the iBook rebooting and freezing, and the guys in the so called “Genius Bar” had suggested that the Logic Board was faulty and it would be a better idea to upgrade to a new Macbook. So she offered the faulty iBook to me to break up for parts.

I received the iBook and after looking at the thing (it’s pristine, a great size and too good to break up) I decided to have a go at fixing the thing. Out came the screwdrivers and tweezers and apart came the laptop. After a few hours and a few attempts to diagnose the logic board (checking for loose connections and corrosion) I decided to take a look at the RAM. I know I should have really checked this first, but I kind thought the Geniuses at the Genius Bar would have done that in the first place.

Without the 1GB add on SODIMM the laptop seems a lot more stable, with less freeze ups. On closer inspection, some of the memory slot pins where corroded (probably due to liquid on the keyboard). I cleaned up the corrosion, and ordered a brand new 1GB SODIMM online. 2 days later the SODIMM arrived from Play.com and I slotted the ram in place. The iBook booted no problem and even with a hard core burn in test managed not to crash. In instantly formatted the drive and installed OSX 10.5. Within an hour the iBook was configured with my .MAC details and was up and running.

I am pleasantly surprised with this laptop (typing this entry from it as we speak). it is small and lightweight, fast enough for any daily web/blogging/writing stuff, and runs Photoshop & Dreamweaver pretty well. Whats more it was 100% free! Now for the specs :-

Model Name: iBook G4

Model Identifier: PowerBook6,7

Processor Name: PowerPC G4 (1.5)

Processor Speed: 1.33 GHz

Number Of CPUs: 1

L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB

Memory: 1.5 GB

Bus Speed: 133 MHz

Boot ROM Version: 4.9.3f0

My current iBook 12" Desktop
My current iBook 12″ Desktop

This laptop kicks the arse out of most of the crummy net books available, and still manages to run on battery for around 3.5 hours (although I’m trying to source a new battery this month). The size is ideal for everyday browsing, and I tend to use this laptop more than my more expensive and more powerful Laptops & Desktops due to its size, battery life and good performance as an internet machine. I’m currently running OSX 10.5.6 without issue and the speeds are very good. Everything works as it should, and iLife (iPhoto) runs fine. I play my tunes from my iPod via itunes so the 40GB Hard Drive isn’t a problem (soon to be upgraded to a 250GB drive).

For anyone requiring a friendly all round computer, I’d really recommend grabbing one of the ultra portable G4 12″ iBooks. they have plenty of life left in them and are ideal for everything except really processor intense usage.

The iBook Keyboard is great. Very Clicky and white
The iBook Keyboard is great. Very Clicky and white

John Large

My name is John Large. I am a Web Developer, E-commerce site owner & all round geek. My areas of interest include hardware hacking, digital privacy & security, social media & computer hardware. I’m also a minimalist in the making, interested in the Tiny House movement & the experience economy along with a strong interest in sustainability & renewable energy. When I’m not tapping on a keyboard or swiping a smart phone I can be found sampling great coffee, travelling the world with my wife Vicki (who writes over at Let’s Talk Beauty) & generally trying to live my life as unconventionally as possible.

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