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[Project] I-Book G4 Resurection

so I got this from a friend of mine for $25 and dinner.

I'd say it's a great deal considering what mac's go for these days used, even old ones.

so I'm going to post about my new project, as I work on it!

to start with here's the system in it's current condition.

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It's missing the right shift key

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it's battery doesn't hold a charge for very long.

and this issue here... 

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Kernel Panic!

luckilly that last one can be fixed with an OS load of mac OS 9.22 or any OSX up to 10.4.11 because this is a power PC I-Book and not an intel based one.

my next post will detail what I plan to load on it to test and how that turned out.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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Nice! I've always wanted to get a powerPC based Mac, and always had a thing for them. Back in the old days of Mac, when Steve Jobs was at the helm of everything that had to do with Macs.

Granted, they were slow. Very slow. The move towards Intel was a good one. But some of the other changes in macs in the past few years (such as removing the ports and ruining the keyboards) have made a lot of people think twice.

Please update this, I am very interested!

OS: Mac OS 9.22

Warning, I do not condone piracy and if I had a copy of mac OS 9.22 on hand that was an actual disc... well I'd be one lucky devil, do not do this if you can avoid it.

ok so to start with, short post duration I know but I'm working on this as a project over time, the shift key and battery wil come later and step 1 is always, "Get it working!"

so with step 1 as a test I went and got a copy of mac OS 9.22 (OEM copy for I book G4) to run diagnostics and perform any tests with... obviously I don't have that on hand so I... accqired it via alternative means and burned it to a blank CD... as stated in the disclaimer, always use actual discs and official copies when possible.

anyway after the disc was burned I inserted it into the CD rom drive of the I-book, powered it on, and held down the option/alt button on the keyboard.

this is one of many boot commands that you can use as shortcut keys since there's no BIOS to boot to like on PC's.

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unfortunately this did not work, to my surprise I learned an interesting tidbit... "Macs will not boot an older Mac operating system than shipped with them"

so back to the drawing board, I decided to look under the bottom of the macbook, usually serials are eroded with time due to use but I got lucky my mac book's model is "A1106"
which had the following
Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.3.7 Maximum MacOS: X 10.5.8

so 20 min later and having hunted down a copy of OSX 10.4.11 (again, do not condone piracy).

I burned a disc (DVD this time) and... (again I do not condone piracy).

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ok so after having booted that I then ran some diagnostics... everything seemed OK so I reloaded the OS, apparently the OS was deleted by the previous owner.

edit: image of install.

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my friend's sister who was going to give it to apple to do something with since they didn't want it.

once it was up and running I wanted to really test it out... so I decided to load an old classic onto it that ironically this system meets the exact requirements for.

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note the mouse to the right, it's one of the ones I've had from my various G3's in my basement space and I'm not a fan of touchpads lol.

next time, Part 2, Batteries and Shift key's Tongue

just gotta order them first! lol

edit: I wanted to add one last thing... and this one's an odd special use case these days.

it supports midi... via quicktime... and it souds better than my desktop with added midi support via virtual midi emulation.

wow... just wow? 0_o

this coming from a windows/linux user who can fairly conclusively state that midi support in linux sucks majorly, and windows support no longer exists without 3rd party applications and sound banks.

anyway wanted to point that out.

currently running OSX 10.4.0 because 10.4.11 not only slowed the machine to a crawl but prevented applications from loading so I'm leaving it in it's current revision.

that unfortunately means no WPA2 support so I'm currently using my phone as a hotspot when I need to browse websites until something can be figured out.

WPA 2 is supported in 10.4.11 but again... too many drawbacks.

it's not required really but for now the hotspot thing works and web pages are viewable in firefox 3.6.28

even makestation!

edit: 10-13-18

I did finally get OS 9.22 working in the form of classic mode, it took a lot of research but I managed to track down a mac classic disc that came with the Ibook G4 when it was still available for sale.

with a bit of trickery I managed to get classic mode to read os9 from the OS9 directory on the harddrive and run applications in classic mode seamlessly.

this works perfectly because this is a Power PC macbook and the programs were written to run on power PC architecture... albeit a much older one.

honestly I'm not sure why windows hasn't done something similar with windows 98 or XP but I guess it can't be helped, either way, next update should be a week or so from now as I need to wait for my next paycheck before I order a replacement battery and keyboard keys.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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I'm back guys! and today's post is about RAM, specifically RAM for the I-Book G4.

so a few things I've learned from this process, first, G4 15 inch models like the one I have here are known to have a failing lower ram slot.
second, not all ram of the correct type is compatible, this is due to how the mac regulate's power.

so here's my update for the moment.

I started out by installing each of the two 1gb ram sticks.

for the macbook G4 these are PC2700 DDR so dim ram sticks at 333 mhz.

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the ram slots were easy enough to get into with my electronics tool kit, it has a microphillips of the correct size.

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and after installing the lower then upper ram sticks I placed the cover back on and screwed the whole thing together starting with the top right corner then going diagonal from it, making an X shape as I put them in to ensure even force was placed on the metal plate.

flipping the computer back over it booted up just fine... in fact it booted way faster so already this seems successful, excited I loaded the software utility that displays system information only to find... only 1 GB was detected.

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seeing this I immediately shut down the computer, opened the ram panel back up, swapped the two ram sticks, and still only 1GB detected, same slot so I know it's not the ram that's faulty.

I then proceeded to shut down the computer and remove the top ram stick.

doesn't boot, however I had read about some incompatibilities with 3rd party ram so I decided to stick the original 512 mb stick in the lower ram slot, to my surprise it worked!

I then shut the entire thing down again, placed a 1GB stick in the top slot and once again the bottom slot is not detected.

the next thing I did was remove the battery and let it sit a minute.

why? because the main battery is also the PRAM batttery which means if I remove it the bios settings are reset

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something silly is going on here and having read up on it more it seems the mac may not be providing power to both ram sticks as the 3rd party ram may be slightly incompatible.

having shut the machine down again I removed the 512 mb stick and left the 1GB stick in the top slot.

I would have to buy the recomended crucial 1gb sticks later, for now though it has double what it started with and runs way faster.

because of this I was finally able to update it to 10.4.11 and have it continue to run smoothly.

man though the difference shows, 10.4.11 is a ram hog compared to 10.4.0

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and here I thought microsoft was bloatware! lol Big Grin

in the mean time I can take the 1.5gb I do have and place it in another mac I have in my basement, more on that at a later date.

stay tuned, keyboard keys and battery replacement to come in a future post!
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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I've had similar issues with older PCs myself. It's a shame that some of the old macs have bad RAM slots, I did not know about this until I read your post. Tongue I do know that RAM runs faster in dual channel mode when you have two identical sticks. Although technically the RAM is twice as fast in such a scenario, in practice, it's anywhere from a nominal improvement to about a 10% improvement in speed, thanks to the CPU's cache.

My macbook now is running in single channel mode thanks to a stick going bad. I didn't have a replacement, so I just left one 8GB stick in there. It's 1600mhz and it's still 8GB, so it's plenty. There is definitely a noticeable (albeit relatively minor) difference in speed (mostly at startup) but it's not too significant. And it's well worth not having my computer randomly crash every few hours...

1GB of RAM isn't bad for an older G4 powered MacBook (ahem, iBook Finna). Glad it's working better now, and nice post!

thanks! yeah the speed improvement was dramatic when I doubled the ram... I might be able to bring it up to 2GB since I've tested both ram slots.

after having talked to sci-fi we think it might be a voltage issue?
anyway if I decide to go beyond 1GB I can simply order verified 2x1GB ram sticks that are known to work with powerbooks.

until then though... so fast!

I've got sim city 1 2 3 and 4 running on it as well as the sims, Master of Orion, sim tower, and starcraft! Big Grin

I plan to run the sims 2... if I can find a copy lol.

edit: Friday 10/26/18

after a bit of fiddling I finally got tenfourfox on the macbook, I'm actually writing this from the laptop having successfully logged in!

the login is tricky if you can't change themes lol.

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even better, so long as you set it to 480p and let it buffer a minute... it plays youtube videos via HTML 5!

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Notice that the bottleneck here is the 1.67ghz cpu not the 1gb of ram.
I really can't push it any harder. Cool
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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