How to get an old clamshell iBook?

im really stubborn when it comes to things I want. im suppose to be getting a new laptop for school either this week or next week. and frankly… I could careless about how fast it goes or how much stuff I can hold. im always stuck on how it looks. (they’re so cute. =] hah ) my mom says its people like me that the American economy rely on. “its very patriotic of me” she says anyway she wants to get me a new computer but I really really want the old clamshell ibook (preferably in tangerine)

I know I can get them on EBAY for like.. 300 dollars if you do the whole “BUY IT NOW”

my question is, can I refurbish that type of laptop? im really just using it for school, writing essays…maybe the occasional research. but I feel like I don’t need to waste over 1000 dollars for something im barely going to use.

or should I just get a new one?

Answer #1

Agreed…

golf claps

Answer #2

clapping

Answer #3

Aha…

I have a particular interest in older computers, and trying to eke the most out of them (you should see my room…). Yes, you can refurbish a clamshell iBook, that should not be a problem at all, but there will be limitations. For instance:

  • It won’t run the new “Leopard” operating system, and it won’t even run the previous “Tiger” system - its maximum is “Panther”, I.e. OS X 10.3. From user perspective, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue - you could get away with using 10.2 even - but keep it in mind when you choose the software to go on it - it won’t run the latest and flashest programs, so you might run into some compatibility issues from time to time. Do not go for OS 8 or 9 - OS 10 is light years ahead of the others, and will keep your iBook ‘in the game’.

  • For a Tangerine Clamshell iBook, its going to be 300MHz (unless someone’s put newer guts in the machine, which I would think to be unlikely), and can have a maximum of roughly 320Mb ram (but it only has 1 Ram slot, so that maximum’s going to just be theoretical rather than practical). You’re going to want to have as much ram in it as possible - at least 256Mb I would think, this will help create a noticeable speed improvement. The larger the hard drive in it, the better… to give you enough space for your system, programs, and files, I’d suggest no less than 6Gb for the hard drive. Oh, and the Tangerine iBook didn’t have a DVD drive, so you can’t watch DVD’s on it, or read DVD data disks.

  • It will only have 1 USB port, and that port will only be USB 1.1, not USB 2, so it will transfer things a bit slower. The Tangerine model of iBook did not have a firewire port to compensate. However, you can always get a USB hub if you need to attach more than 1 USB device to your iBook.

  • Try to get one with “Airport” or Wireless capability - they didn’t come with it by default back then, but it will make a huge difference in the way you can use your laptop.

  • It won’t be overly fast, but if you just want to use it for word processing and surfing the net, it should be fine (although some things such as multimedia might not work so well). Remember, you would be taking a computer basically at the end of its practical life and trying to have it compete with new machines in some respects.

  • Most importantly, the battery… its going to be safe to say that the iBook’s battery will be basically shot. I’d suggest trying to buy a new one (if you can find one). This would make a huge difference to the computer’s useability, instead of having to be near a wall socket all the time.

So, if you’re that dead set on it, go for it, its not impossible - but it helps if you know a thing or two about them. If you’re not absolutely set on Tangerine, then another colour will have newer specs and be a better prospect - the best one from a technical point of view would be the 466MHz model (in Graphite or Key Lime) that had a DVD-ROM drive also.

Any further questions, I’d be happy to answer!

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