Possible PC Switcher Seeks Help on iBook/OS X compatability...

in macOS edited January 2014
Well, after much deliberation, I've become a recent fan of Apple's OS X operating system. Having on numerous occasions gone out of my way to visit my Apple retailers and fiddle around with G4 PowerMacs running OS X, I have come to the idea of buying a 300MHz or 366MHz iBook.

I don't have very much to spend. I am looking to keep it under $500 for the iBook. I have found some 300MHz Tangerine/Blueberry iBooks at a steal for $449. Problem is, I have on the Apple site that the 300MHz models do NOT run OS X. A majority of interest in my iBook has been lost to the idea that I will not be running OS X on it.

www.everymac.com lists the original iBooks as compatable with OS X, so there is a glimmer of hope.

Are there any necessary modifications to be made to such an iBook before it will run OS X? Or am I sold outta luck?

EDIT: "iMac" to "iBook".


  • Reply 1 of 18
    i bet it would work, but you'd be better off trying to save a little more and pick up a machine that's a little faster. i have jaguar on my g3/400 pismo powerbook as well as my titanium 1 ghz. it works fine on the pismo, but the future of the os looks like you'd want to have a bit more power to really take advantage of all that os x offers you. if you could save a bit more, you could probably get a brand new emac or a slightly used one. it really depends on if you just want to have a computer with os x or a MOBILE computer with os x. you're going to get relatively less speed in exchange for mobility.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    If you look hard enough, I'm sure you could find one of the original dual usb ibooks for a little more than your $500. I had one for a very long time and it ran nothing but X. I still miss it.

    edit: I found this on a quick google search. I'll look around for others.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    I agree -- the eMac in particular is actually a pretty good deal right now.

    The 300mhz iBook is going to be fairly painful running OS X -- these models were considered slow running OS 9. (Yikes.) If you get an early iBook, try if you can to get to at least the iBook 466 -- it's considerably faster than the previous three models.

    Have you checked out the Apple Instant Loan ? I don't want to lead you into debt, but if you can budget it in, it might be a thing to consider. Sometimes it's better in the long-term to pay more and get a Mac that's much more future-proof.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Here's another. Look hard enough and I'm sure you'll be able to get something that would run X better than a clamshell iBook.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    isushiisushi Posts: 32member
    Thanks for the links and the tips. I might be able to push slightly over $500, but beyond that, I think I'd just have to get a desktop (G3 iMac) to justify the cost--which really isn't what I'm looking for.

    I am planning on running at lest 320MB RAM if not 576 (the 300s I'm considering come standard w/64). Granted, the RAM upgrade is going to put me right around $500 for 320MB total, but the only real viable alternative is the SE 366MHz model, which comes with 128MB. From what I've read, RAM is more important than processor speed for the Mac OS (please correct me if I'm wrong so I'm not making an uninformed decision), thus, the 300 would better suit my needs and wants.

    As for the Apple Instant Loan, I'm only a student, and without any real credit record...the APR is credit-dependent, right?
  • Reply 6 of 18
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    Jag on a clamshell iBook isn't that bad if you spend the money to up the ram...

    I forget the max on the old machines, but I put a 256 stick in my grandmother's original 300 and that brought it up to 288 if my memory serves me correctly...

    you have to turn some CPU intensive things off in X tho like icon bouncing and the genie effect...

    all in all the main limiting factor on those books is the 800X600 12" display and the lack of Firewire... on X 1024X768 is almost essential, it will work but your money would be better spent on a more modern book...
  • Reply 7 of 18
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    You're right to an extent that ram is more important than overall proc speed for X. But the problem with the clamshell ibooks is not the speed. It's the screen resolution. OS X at 800x600 isn't fun. It works, but you really need more room than that. And I think that the 500mhz book will be able to run panther more effectively due to a number of factors, not the least of which is the speed. Spend as much as you can so you can hold on to the computer for longer.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    1337_5l4xx0r1337_5l4xx0r Posts: 1,558member

    ou have to turn some CPU intensive things off in X tho like icon bouncing and the genie effect...

    Hell, I turned those off because they're annoying...

    AFA Clamshell iBooks, the 800x800 resolution, ATI rage 64-bit graphics acceleration and very small HD are the biggest draw backs. However, to get your toes wet, and use WiFi (if u want) and just use OSX such a machine will do.

    Just don't have illusions about it being a speed demon, is all. The slower processor, bus, HD, graphics et al are going to determine performance.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Isushi, you may want to check out this MacNN post, possibly in your range:

  • Reply 10 of 18
    isushiisushi Posts: 32member

    Originally posted by MCQ

    Isushi, you may want to check out this MacNN post, possibly in your range:


    Yeah, I actually saw that and sent the seller a letter, however it seems there are several interested parties and I've yet to get a response .
  • Reply 11 of 18
    big macbig mac Posts: 480member
    The first generation iBooks were really limited. The lack of firewire is truly the most problematic issue with them. In contrast, my iBook Graphite 466 is the best iBook that has ever been produced. (I'm not really a fan of the iceBooks. . .) Also keep in mind that the original iBooks are pretty heavy. I wouldn't recommend anything lower than an Indigo 366; also beware of people trying to pawn off eye-piercing Key Limes on you. Graphite 466s are at the $500 level on eBay right now.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Some info on the Apple Instant Loan since no one's said anything about it yet...

    I used an Apple loan to buy my iBook (800 MHz version, last December). The reason I got it was so I could buy the iBook, and then sell my previous computer after I transferred the data over to the iBook. Then I sold my old computer and used the money to pay off the loan before I had to start paying interest on it. I am a student with basically no credit rating but I was still approved for $1100. Since you get 180 days interest-free (you still have to pay the interest but once you pay off the loan in less than 180 days they send you a check for the amount of interest you paid), if you can get the money together within a couple months you can use that to your advantage. It's good just make sure you pay it off within 180 days because otherwise they not only start charging interest, they also charge you interest retroactively on the first 180 days of the loan.

    Anyway, my advice would be to get at least a 366 MHz Indigo iBook. Avoid 366 MHz Graphite iBooks because they have small hard drives and no Firewire and even cruddier graphics acceleration. So either 366 Mhz Indigo, 466 MHz Graphite, or any of the newer, white iBooks. I'd strongly suggest skipping a clamshell and going straight for a white iBook, because they have better screens, they are a bit faster, and they're much much lighter. You should be able to find a barebones 500 MHz CD-ROM version for $600 or so, which is an excellent price. If you want to comfortably run OS X, you need at least a 300 MHz G3, a Rage 128 graphics card, 256 MB of RAM, and 8 GB of hard drive space. And those are absolutely the least you want to go with... a G3/500 or any G4 is far better, and you will probably want a solid 512 MB of RAM, 20 GB of hard drive space, and a Radeon graphics card for good performance.

    PowerMax has a 500 MHz iBook with the standard barebones configuration - CD-ROM, 64MB, 10GB - for $650. Normally I don't recommend them because they are often extremely overpriced, but they have good service and this is a fairly good deal. Also, I saw a few 500 MHz CD-ROM iBooks on eBay for $500-$600. If you can pick one up there for under $600 it'll be a steal. Basically, only get a clamshell if you find one for REALLY cheap... usually, clamshells sell for only a small amount less than white iBooks, and a lot of times they end up selling for quite a bit more. You might save $50-$100 but you will be less satisfied with the computer.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    nerudaneruda Posts: 439member

    Originally posted by Hobbes

    I agree -- the eMac in particular is actually a pretty good deal right now.

    Two pieces of advice:

    1) If you can, try to avoid buying old hardware if you can. The newer models general run OS X better (G4 are far better than G3s in this regard).

    2) Instead of applying for the Apple loan (9-19% APR) go to CompUSA and apply for their credit card. They have an 18 month same as cash deal for all Mac systems over $999. That way, you can get a new Mac, make monthly payments and avoid paying interest.

    If you absolutely must buy old hardware, try Ebay. Although I would advice you to be careful (use Paypal/escrow) you can find some pretty good deals there.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    isushiisushi Posts: 32member
    Well, what I ended up doing was buying one of Apple's refurbished 700MHz eMacs w/CD-ROM (planning on upgrading to a combo eventually) for $599. I couldn't find any feasible way to get a 500MHz+ iMac/iBook at a competitive price, as few models cam packaged with OS X 10.2 and the upgrade often made up close to, if not more than the difference.

    As of Wednesday, I will officialy be a "switcher" .
  • Reply 15 of 18
    If your still checking this ....

    OSX WILL run on any iBook ... it runs fine on my 466 iBook, and also runs just fine on my 266 iMac. I wouldn't make my living running photoshop on these machines... or rendering big DV files... but it works great for most consumer tasks!!!
  • Reply 16 of 18
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    I'm running OS 10.2.6 on a 400Mhz Firewire Powerbook G3 with 320MB of RAM. Definitely upgrade the RAM, and as long as you don't try to render in iMovie etc. (use the machine for internet, e-mail, iPhoto, etc.) you should be happy.

    In fact, I use my Powerbook more often than my 1Ghz Intel Laptop because of OSX, but I rarely notice a speed difference since I use my desktop (17" iMac) for most demanding tasks.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    Will the 900MHz iBook run Panther? I'm not sure if that's been said or considered. I would like to get one but I won't if it won't run Panther.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Yes, it certainly will. I put Panther on my 800 MHz iBook for a while but I removed it because it's buggy.
Sign In or Register to comment.