Restoring a G4 iBook

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Joined: Apr 11 2012
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So the other day I was given an iBook G4 by the Photographics teacher at my high-school who knows that I am into older technology. Having owned one in the past I jumped on the opportunity of having one again. However this time it is to be different... You see this particular iBook G4 has seen a life of abuse and was rescued by the teacher when the owner was going to throw it out (in to the trash, not the window - though we think it may have gone out of the window at some point!)After inspecting the damage I decided that rather then just restoring it stock I would do what I never dared to my first iBook and customize it and use it as a small lightweight laptop to take with me when I am doing my photography (Before you scorn, my main laptop is a 15" Powerbook - just about anything is smaller and lighter than that thing!) So far I have stripped the machine down and have noted extensive damage to the display assembly but the rest of the machine is in pretty good nick (except for being brown and covered in acrylic paint...)first thing is to clean and sand the case (and just clean the keyboard), the next step is where my difficulty lies - replacing the damaged display assembly. The magnesium display frame was shattered (!) and the LCD panel itself was dead (from being thrown out the window?). Short of spending hundreds of dollars (which I do not have thanks to investing in my photography) to buy a new display assembly is there any possibility of using the display assembly from a G3 iBook (might be able to call in a few favors on that one)? Taking it from there I plan on switching the key caps with those off an Aluminum Powerbook (already checked they fit - using my own Powerbook keys to test)and give the machine a custom paint job. Any help or advice you can give would be extremely helpful!

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schmoburger's picture
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Joined: Feb 5 2005
Posts: 23
Re: Restoring a G4 iBook

Great work mate... good to see a bit of interest about in restoring/ customising the new-old tech of the NewWorld PPC era. Smile

I took on a Pismo as a project a few years ago myself that had seemingly seen similar abuse throughout it's life. LCD had internal damage that caused a masive shattered looking black patch across it, case was worse for wear, was missing a DVD drive and initially it wouldnt power up. After reseating the CPU daughtercard and finding it to still be a bootable machine (common Pismo issue), I set about dismantling it, repairing the case and replacing the LCD panel, hinges, hinge cover, etc with an assortment of parts from a Lombard I had parted out years ago... That machines been my road workhorse now for a few years since I retired the Lombard with its sadly OSX-unsupported graphics controller. Smile

Looking forward to seeing and reading the progress of the build!

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Powermac G4 'Yikes' 500mhz Encore, 1Gb, 60Gb+40Gb, DVD/RW, OS X.3.6
iMac G3 Snow 600mhz, 1Gb, 60Gb, DVD, OS X.4
PowerBook G3 'Pismo' 400mhz, 512Mb, 40Gb, DVD, Airport, X.3.6

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Joined: Apr 11 2012
Posts: 75
Re: Restoring a G4 iBook

So I have been able to source spare parts for the iBook and so this project can now go full speed ahead (hopefully). More updates later...

*Edit* Could anyone confirm or deny whether an iBook G3 (Dual USB) display will work in an iBook G4?

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schmoburger's picture
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Joined: Feb 5 2005
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Re: Restoring a G4 iBook

swinsor wrote:

So I have been able to source spare parts for the iBook and so this project can now go full speed ahead (hopefully). More updates later...

*Edit* Could anyone confirm or deny whether an iBook G3 (Dual USB) display will work in an iBook G4?

Listed as a common part between iBook G3, iBook G4, and 12" AlBook on PBMedic, so I'd say that's an affirmative. Smile

Here's the link...

http://www.powerbookmedic.com/121-Display-LCD-Screen---Powerbook--iBook-p-16605.html

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Powermac G4 'Yikes' 500mhz Encore, 1Gb, 60Gb+40Gb, DVD/RW, OS X.3.6
iMac G3 Snow 600mhz, 1Gb, 60Gb, DVD, OS X.4
PowerBook G3 'Pismo' 400mhz, 512Mb, 40Gb, DVD, Airport, X.3.6

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Joined: Apr 11 2012
Posts: 75
Re: Restoring a G4 iBook

schmoburger wrote:

Listed as a common part between iBook G3, iBook G4, and 12" AlBook on PBMedic, so I'd say that's an affirmative. Smile

Here's the link...

http://www.powerbookmedic.com/121-Display-LCD-Screen---Powerbook--iBook-p-16605.html

Sweet, thanks. I have an idea that I want to explore for this project... More info on that idea in the next week (hopefully)! Also, eventually I will add some photos to this thread, just not quite yet...

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Shooting film doesn't make me a hipster, it makes me someone who takes photos...