The November 2002 14″ iBook runs at 800 MHz, 100 MHz faster than its predecessor. The new Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics offers improved video performance and has 32 MB of video memory, twice as much as the previous 14-incher.
MacInTouch has called the dual USB G3 iBooks Apple’s most unreliable notebooks ever. According to their survey of iBook and PowerBook Reliability:
…by affected percentage of models, the G3 iBooks were the worst by far, with more than half requiring logic board replacements. Apple created a warranty extension program for some versions, but not all. (MacInTouch readers are still reporting newly failed iBook G3s, and the warranty extension program has ended.)
The white 12″ iBook G3 series became much less reliable through its first five revisions, reaching a 73% failure percentage! The last revision dropped to a 49% failure percentage – much improved over the previous model, but still unconscionably high. The problems appear to have been solved, for the most part, in the newer iBook G4 series.
Keep in mind that Apple had an extended replacement program on many iceBook models, so most problematic motherboards have already been replaced.
It can boot Mac OS 9.
- Got an iBook? Join our G-Books Group or PowerBooks and iBooks Forum.
- Got an iBook? Join the iBook Talk List.
- Our Mac OS 9 Group is for anyone using Mac OS 9, either natively or in Classic Mode.
- Our Puma Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.1.
- Our Jaguar Group is for those using Mac OS X 10.2.
- Panther List is for those using Mac OS X 10.3.
- Tiger List is for those using Mac OS X 10.4.
- introduced 2002.11.06 at $1,599; replaced by 14″ iBook 900 2003.04.22
- Requires Mac OS 9.2 or later, Mac OS X 10.1 through 10.4 Tiger
- CPU: 800 MHz G3 (PowerPC 750fx?)
- Bus: 100 MHz
- CPU performance: unknown
- FPU performance: unknown
- ROM: 4 MB, NewWorld ROM in RAM architecture
- RAM: 256 MB of SDRAM (128 MB soldered in place), expandable to 640 MB using one 1.25″ 3.3V PC100 compliant SO-DIMM
- Level 2 cache: 512 KB on-chip cache
- Video: ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 with 2x AGP
- VRAM: 32 MB
- display: 14.1″ 24-bit 1024 x 768 SVGA 91 ppi color active matrix, resolution scaling for 640 x 480 and 800 x 600 modes
- Video out: VGA and composite video
- Hard drive: 30 GB IDE
- optical drive: 16x8x24x CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive
- floppy drive: external USB only
- expansions bays: none
- USB: 2 USB 1.1 ports
- FireWire: 1 FW400 port
- Ethernet: 10/100Base-T
- Modem: v.92 56k
- WiFi: 802.11b AirPort optional
- Modem: 56k
- Microphone: built in
- PC Card slots: none
- Battery: rated at 6 hours
- size: 12.7 x 10.2 x 1.35″ (32.3 x 25.9 x 3.4 cm)
- Weight: 5.9 pounds (2.7 kg) with battery
- Dual-layer SuperDrive upgrade, MCE Technologies, $99. 6x4x8x DVD, 24x24x24x CD. 2 MB buffer. Must be installed by MCE or MCE authorized upgrade center.
- Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to the Dual USB iBook G3, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.01. From a 500 MHz model introduced in May 2001 through 12″ and 14″ 900 MHz G3 iBooks rolled out in April 2003, these iBooks offered unprecedented value.
- Best iBook G3 deals.
- Best Classic Mac OS Deals. Best online prices for System 6, 7.1, 7.5.x, Mac OS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 9.0, 9.2.2, and other versions.
- Best Mac OS X 10.0-10.3 Deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3.
- Best Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.4.
- iBook Talk List
- Guide to iBooks. A quick comparison of G3 iBook models.
- WiFi cards for PowerBooks with PC Card slots, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.08.12. Includes instructions for hacking an Orinoco Silver card to work in a G3 iBook.
- Low End Mac’s Compleat Guide to Mac OS 9, 2008 Edition, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.05.12. Mac OS 9 remains fast and stable, but Classic software hasn’t kept up with the changing internet. Which Macs support OS 9, where to buy it, and how to update to 9.2.2.
- What’s the best Mac OS for your iBook, PowerBook, or MacBook?, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.08.19. Tips on choosing the best OS for your PowerBook 500 Series or newer Mac notebook.
- The Future of Up-to-Date Browsers for PowerPC Macs, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.08.31. With Intel-only “Snow Leopard” shipping, software support for PPC Macs will continue its decline. Also, a look at SeaMonkey 2 and Camino 1.6.9.
- Checking out Safari 4 on an old PowerBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.06.30. Safari 4 is the fastest it’s ever been, but it’s not without some frustrating drawbacks.
- Optimized Software Builds Bring Out the Best in Your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac’s Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac’s CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Tips for Installing or Reinstalling Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, Adam Rosen, Adam’s Apple, 2009.06.10. Mac OS X 10.4 uses less memory than Leopard, supports Classic Mode on PowerPC Macs, and, unlike Leopard, is supported on G3 Macs.
- Salvaging parts from a dead iBook, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2009.05.26. With a broken power plug, the iBook was unusable – but the RAM, hard drive, and optical drive can live on.
- Mac ‘Book Power Management Adventures, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.05.19. If your ‘Book won’t power up, shuts down while your working, or has other power issues, resetting its internal power manager may clear things up.
- WiFi hotspot insecurity, iBook longevity, and WallStreet value, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.05.06. The dangers of WiFi hotspots, reliability of the 500 MHz iceBook, and the value of a used WallStreet PowerBook.
- The iBook Can’t Replace the Hard Drive Blues, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2009.04.28. Replacing the hard drive in a Pismo PowerBook or polycarbonate MacBook is easy. But those iBooks are another thing entirely.
- Hacking a WiFi PC Card to work in Apple’s AirPort Card slot, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2009.04.21. Apple’s AirPort Card has become expensive since it was discontinued. Here’s how you may be able to adapt an 802.11b PC Card to replace it.
- How about an 802.11g card for the original AirPort Card slot?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2009.04.16. There are a lot of old Macs with 802.11b AirPort Cards still in use and with poor security. Someone should make a plug-and-play 802.11g replacement card to provide better security, higher throughput, and improved range.
- Is It Worth Maxing the RAM in Old G3 and G4 Macs?, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2009.04.15. Increasing memory can make your old Mac faster and make you more productive, but it probably won’t improve resale value by the amount you spend.
- Making the switch from a G4 PowerBook to a Unibody MacBook, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.03.17. The transition to an Intel-based Mac hasn’t been without its problems – slow dialup performance, incompatibility with Eudora, and no real gain in speed with standby apps.
- Dialup Is outdated, Eudora on Macintel, improving Tiger on low-end Macs, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.02.25. Ongoing frustrations with Eudora and dialup, ways to tweak Tiger for better performance, and problems with a WD MyBook external hard drive.
- Is Camino now the best browser for older Macs?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.01.13. Camino 1.6.6 works very will with Mac OS X 10.3 through 10.5 and seems especially well suited for slower PowerPC Macs.
- 2 compact portable USB 2.0 hubs, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2009.01.12. Compact hubs from Targus and Proporta make a great complement to your notebook computer. Each accepts a third-party AC adapter to provide bus power.
- Notebooks and blackouts, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.12.23. When the power goes out, a notebook computer with long-lasting batteries lets you keep working for hours and hours.
- 4 GB RAM problem persists after firmware update, TriBook concept MacBook, DIY Mac netbook, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2008.12.19. Also using third-party monitors with ‘Late 2008’ MacBooks, MacMagSaver protects MagSafe cord, $25 802.11g USB adapter, bargain ‘Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ Guide to Installing Mac OS X Updates, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Why You Should Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. “At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the ’emergency’ partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics.”
- Every working computer is useful to someone, Allison Payne, The Budget Mac, 2008.11.19. Whether it’s a PowerBook 1400, G3 iMac, or Power Mac G4, it could be all the computer someone needs.
- Getting the most from your G3 Mac, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.10.03. Most G3 Macs can be upgraded so they can run Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ quite nicely. Here’s how.
- The best browsers for older Macs running Tiger, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.09.25. A dialup user’s overview of browsers for Mac OS X 10.4 puts the emphasis on reliability, downloads, and speed.
- 9 browsers for G3 and older G4 Macs compared, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.09.26. The latest versions of Opera, Safari, Shiira, iCab, Radon, Firefox, Demeter, Sunrise, and Camino that run on Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger”.
- There’s still a place for G3 Macs in the Age of Leopard, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2008.09.09. Whether it’s a sage iMac or a Pismo PowerBook, G3 Macs can be very productive with Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’.
- Are G3 Macs still viable work machines?, Simon Royal, Tech Spectrum, 2008.09.08. For basic tasks – writing, email, and using the Web – a G3 Mac with Mac OS X 10.4 and sufficient memory provides plenty of power.
- TruePower AC adapter for iBooks and PowerBooks is rugged, reliable, and affordable, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.08.14. Apple’s track record with AC adapters is spotty, but the TruePower adapter is tough enough to survive being run over by a truck.
- Tricking out your notebook for superior desktop duty, Charles W Moore, ‘Book Value, 2008.07.29. For desktop use, you don’t need to be limited by the built-in trackpad, keyboard, and display or a notebook’s compromised ergonomics.
- Bumps in the road for G3 Macs, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2008.07.28. MobileMe wouldn’t sync with the Pismo, and Skype’s software refused to install, but both problems were solved.
- The Compressed Air Keyboard Repair, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.24. If your keyboard isn’t working as well as it once did, blasting under the keys with compressed air may be the cure.
- Turn your old Mac into a web server with Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.07.09. Step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP on an older Mac.
- Macintosh reliability improving since the shift to Intel, Kev Kitchens, Kitchens Sync, 2008.07.07. For a while in the G3 and G4 era, Apple was plagued with logic board failures and analog board problems, but they seem to be a thing of the past.
- Praise for Opera, low cost iBook mobo replacement, IrDA and IRtalk, WaMCom recommended, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.06.18. Also the use of ‘compleat’, booting from CD, new Toshiba 1.8″ drives too thick for MBA, and PowerPC support and Snow Leopard.
- Mac OS X 10.2 ‘Jaguar’ can unleash the power of G3 iBooks, Carl Nygren, Classic Macs in the Intel Age, 2008.06.17. After pulling a bad stick of RAM, the Dual USB iBook didn’t have enough memory for Tiger or Linux. But even with just 128 MB of RAM, Jaguar did the job.
- Linux on PowerPC Macs: Debian runs nicely on a G3 iBook, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.06.06. Mac OS X 10.3 felt sluggish on a 700 MHz G3 iBook with 384 MB of RAM, but Debian runs very comfortably on the same hardware.
- Overpriced Macs, 4-core Mac Pro value, USB for G3 PowerBooks, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.04.24. Also reader feedback on running a keyboard through the dishwasher, tips for using external DVD drives, and 8 GB partition issues with the Classic Mac OS on the beige G3.
- OS X for PCs, Mac mini with HDTV, 802.11n options, upgrading from Mac OS 9, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.04.22. Also reviving a dead PowerBook 5300, Lucida Grande, external FireWire SuperDrive advice, OS X and the DeskWriter, and royalties.
- 2.6 GHz MacBook Pro worth it?, iBook video fixed, Compact Flash vs. SSD, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.03.13. Also buying a used Power Mac G4, a Power Mac 7600 still in daily use, OCR software for modern Macs, and Leopard on a Blue and White G3.
- Power your recycled laptop with a rebuilt battery, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2008.02.20. Old notebook computers usually mean old batteries that may be dead or on their last legs. You can buy a replacement battery, or you can have your old battery rebuilt.
- 3 ways to better YouTube viewing on older Macs, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.02.06. Watching YouTube videos in your browser on G3 Macs can be painfully slow, but there are several ways to improve your YouTube viewing experience.
- Better YouTube viewing on older Macs, too many dead pixels, Safari problems in Panther, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.02.05. Also picking the right used G4 iBook, Quartz Extreme support for PCI video, problems with Mac OS 9.x on G4 Power Macs, open firmware problems with 667 MHz PowerBook, and more.
- DRM in Mac OS X, Ubuntu and BSD as alternatives to OS X, the power of Eudora, and more, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.01.14. More thoughts on Apple’s digital rights patent and OS X, free non-DRM alternatives to OS X, Eudora and dialup, and adding AirPort to a white iBook.
- iPods, notebooks, and other modern electronics more readily replaced than repaired, Adam Robert Guha, Apple Archive, 2007.12.07. Whether it’s an intermittent failure or a broken display cable, more often than not it’s cheaper to replace a broken electronics device than repair it.
- Is a used iBook still a sensible low-end option?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.10.15. From 500 MHz G3s through 1.4 GHz G4s, used iBooks range in price from under $200 to over $700. Are they a good choice, or do reliability issues say otherwise?
- The future of G3 iBooks in the Age of Leopard, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.09.14. All of the G3 iBooks can run Mac OS X, but which ones run it well? And which version should you use?
- Tiger on a G3 iMac and Pismo, running OS 9 from a flash drive, 7200 rpm drive heat, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.09.13. Also iMac upgrade advice, iBook G3 video chip resoldering, and how to get your website indexed by Google.
- Are the white iBooks still a good bet or should you steer clear of them?, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.08.20. The dual USB iBooks have the worst repair record in Mac history, yet some are exceptionally reliable. Should you consider buying one or avoid them?
- Aluminum keyboard complaints, scope of iceBook problems, 2007 iMac value, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.08.13. Also more on Newton’s virtual keyboard, additional info on USB with Beige G3s, and preparing a hard drive before you sell your old Mac.
- iBook ‘Road Apple’ debate, new iMac looks horrible, Apple’s new keyboards, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.08.08. Also how one user rescued a SCSI drive his Mac could no longer mount, troubleshooting an LC 575, and USB issues with the Beige G3.
- New Mac speculation, G3 iBooks as Road Apples, hard drive warranties, and touch screen iMacs, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.08.07. Thoughts on what Apple may introduce today, the pros and cons of G3 iBooks, a touch screen iMac, and the realities of OEM hard drives.
- G3 iBooks ‘Road Apples’, drive warranty may outlast Mac warranty, G4 in a G3 iMac, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.08.06. Also thoughts on a Mac mini replacement for the workplace, a Mac docking system, running a Lombard from Compact Flash, easy window capture, and the possibility of using a touchscreen LCD with an iMac.
- Even if Leopard leaves G3 behind, Tiger users will still be able to run up-to-date apps, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.06.18. While Apple may drop G3 support in OS X 10.5, there will continue to be plenty of options for 10.4 users who want to run up-to-date browsers, email clients, and instant messaging programs.
- Operation FlashBook: Running Tiger from flash on a PowerBook G4, John Muir, Mac Daniel, 2007.05.29. With the hard drive failing and Compact Flash prices falling, it was time to consider running the PowerBook G4 from flash. Looking back at 6 months, was it worth it?
- Silence is golden: Running your existing notebook using flash memory, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Reviews, 2007.05.23. With a new adapter from Addonics, you can replace your laptop’s IDE hard drive inexpensively and boot silently from a Compact Flash card.
- Why Apple must continue G3 support in Mac OS X 10.5 ‘Leopard’, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.05.08. “We’re worried about what happens if Apple unchecks that box in Xcode to include the instructions necessary to run OS X on G3 processors at all.”
- Format Any Drive for Older Macs with Patched Apple Tools, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.04.25. Apple HD SC Setup and Drive Setup only work with Apple branded hard drives – until you apply the patches linked to this article.
- How much PowerBook or iBook do you need to run Mac OS X?, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2007.01.15. You don’t need the latest and greatest Mac to be productive in OS X. Here are six iBook and PowerBook suggestions built between 2000 and 2003.
- Deodorizing a stinky old iBook that smells like sweat, Hardy Menagh, Empowered, 2006.10.19. Different ways to mask and otherwise attack the problem if your G3 iBook suffers from Stinky Keyboard Syndrome.
- Better laptop performance: What’s the best upgrade?, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.10.09. Memory, CPU, bus speed, and hard drives all impact performance and battery life. Which upgrades will give you the most up time in the field?
- Inside your notebook’s battery: Ordinary AA Li-Ion cells, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.09.08. That expensive battery in your notebook computer probably holds less than $30 worth of off-the-shelf AA Li-Ion batteries.
- Apple updates battery recall, MacBook ‘best computer for school’, random MacBook shutdown, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2006.09.01. Also more on battery safety, high capacity battery for 14″ iBooks, low-cost USB 2.0 PC Cards, turn your ‘Book into a reading light, bargain ‘Books from $380 to $2,399, and more.
- Merom and the MacBook, Apple’s original Duo laptop, Dell battery woes may impact Apple, iBook G3 SuperDrive, and more, The ‘Book Review, 2006.08.18. Also MacBook a back-to-school recommendation, MagSafe patent may block third-party power adapters, wrist rug and trackpad film for MacBook and Pro, bargain ‘Books from $119 to $1,699, and more.
- Is the G3 still a practical choice?, Matthew Jay, Macs to the Max, 2006.08.10. Although the G3 is several generations old, it has enough horsepower for most of the things we do on our computers.
- Customizing Mac OS 9, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.08.01. Fiddling with themes, picking a browser, and making the Classic Mac OS work just the way you want it to.
- 7 tools for keeping your laptop (uh, notebook) cool, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.07.24. A quick look at the Podium CoolPad, ChillMat, ChillHubs, Laptop Desk, Xpad, iLap, and iBreeze – seven stands designed to keep you ‘Books running cooler.
- Power strategies for using your ‘Book in the field: Batteries and AC adapters, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.05. One or two extra batteries and at least one spare AC adapter can be essential when you’re traveling and need to get hours and hours of use from your ‘Book.
- Making the move from Jaguar (OS X 10.2) to Panther (10.3), Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.04.11. One advantage of Apple’s “no upgrades” policy for OS X – someone can give you their old copy after upgrading without worrying about violating their license.
- FastMac’s $190 8x dual-layer SuperDrive for PowerBooks and dual USB iBooks, Charles W Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.01.30. For US$190-250 you can replace the CD-ROM, CD-RW, Combo, or slow old SuperDrive in most PowerBooks, white iBooks, slot-loading iMacs, and Cubes with a faster, dual-layer drive.
- Web browser tips for the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.01.03. Tips on getting the most out of WaMCom, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, iCab, Opera, and WannaBe using the classic Mac OS.
- The best browsers for PowerPC Macs and the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2005.12.16. Two browsers stand out from the pack: iCab 3 is modern and remains under development, and WaMCom brings Mozilla to older Macs.
- Updated iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program Frequently Asked Questions, Apple.
The Updated iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program covers iBooks that have a particular component failure on the logic board, resulting in the computer starting up but the built-in and attached external displays exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms:
- Scrambled or distorted video
- Appearance of unexpected lines on the screen
- Intermittent video image
- Video freeze
- Computer starts up to blank screen
- iCook, swieskoswski.net, 2004.06.01. Utility allows user to control clock speed of PowerPC 750fx processor used in some iBooks, although stability may suffer at higher speeds.
- SCSI and FireWire Disk Modes, Paulo Rodrigues, Tangerine Fusion, 2000.11.29. How to use SCSI Disk Mode and FireWire Target Disk Mode for ultrafast file transfers.
- iBook (Opaque 16 VRAM), (32 VRAM), (14.1 LCD 32 VRAM) – Technical Specifications, Apple
- There is an incompatibility between the Kensington Startup ADB extension and the Trackpad control on the iBook with Mac OS 9.0.4. Symptom: trackpad responds during boot, but not later. Solution: disable Kensington Startup ADB extension. This may also apply to other USB portables and versions of the Mac OS.
- Portable Computers: Models Which Do Not Have a Backup Battery notes the iBook has no backup battery to retain time and other settings when the main battery is removed. A small capacitor holds enough energy to maintain PRAM contents for 20 seconds, so switch batteries quickly.
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