Recently, a friend sent me a link to the following Ebay auction:
Wherein the seller claims to be able to modify a clamshell by placing down a G4/800:
"And if you want faster, I can custom solder a G4 ZIF processor for you, however...that's a pricey maneuver...inquire with me seperately if you want to turbocharge this model of laptop to up to 1.2GHz speeds. I have successfully modded my Graphite iBook to a 800MHz G4 processor.
Comes with a USB port but NO Firewire port. It also comes with a headphone port for audio streaming (non A/V module -- add an extra 40$ for an A/V module). 128MB - 64 upgraded, 64MB onboard all at 100-133MHz speeds. I can stick in 576MB and max out the machine for an extra 60$USD."
Well, this is interesting, I thought. I had a hard time believing it, as to the best of my knowledge, G3CX processors arent pin compatable with the G4 CPUs you would use to get 800 MHz (7440 - different number of pins if I read the silkscreens correctly). So, I emailed the guy and asked about his hack.
Among other interesting tidbits we talked about [stuff in brackets are my comments for clarity]:
"I picked the Clamshells because the CPU is part of the bus. If I change the CPU, the bus is also going to be affected. So I can crank up to any speed I feel like going without causing trouble with the other board resources. I don't use daughter boards, they just wouldn't fit. Plus, that would totally mess up the Clamshell design. I have a micro-welding iron and a bunch of hand designed, machine made parts: it's all I need. The commercial world is in the dark ages when it comes to technology."
"I haven't fully tested all of my upgrades, but the 800MHz G4 Clamshell I have hasn't given me a problem so far. In fact with it's 800MHz bus...it kills most Intel Core Duo machines at a lot of stuff...under 5 minutes for video encoding a movie about three hours long in iMovie!"
"Sure I could shoehorn a G5 in there [to a clamshell] , Mac never switched over from ZIF and mini-ZIF to anything else. Once you have a ZIF controller you can put any ZIF chip you want and reprogram the whatever size ROM you wish to use on your controller. "
"I can also increase the resolution to at least 1024x768 [for a clamshell]. I've invented somewhat of a SVGA to XGA converter. I've done a circuit to do it for the Clamshells. It's a pain in the arse to reprogram the ATI video card (because ATI is so nice as to NOT give me the diagram for an obsolete design), but it allows you to put in a 12"/13" screen (chop up the sides a bit...I can't stand 12", but 13" isn't much better anyways) and enjoy up to 1600x1200 pixel resolution (don't quote me on it, I've only had the patience to program up to 1280x1024)."
"I can add RAM to your board my friend [to a clamshell]. I can desolder those memory chips and put them on your board, and yup, they'll register as a base 128MB. Not bad huh? The iBook I sold last week had an onboard 128MB, the buyer now can fit in up to 512MB + 128MB = 640MB. Not the biggest I've made though. I can fit up to 256MB onboard."
"Nope, I've done it [install mac OS X on a PB 1400), X requires a larger RAM partition than 64MB, everything else is just software. X doesn't care if it's NuBus or PCI, as long as the firmware can load the root values of the kernel. A PCI bus was a convenience because it didn't require a bridge bypass from the bus controller. The NuBus controller IS the bus architecture in older Macs and will usually respond at the speed of the CPU or bus itself, and is therefore faster but maniacally smaller and not tolerant for many devices (likely 2-3, I forget...). "
Some of this stuff is just plain goofy as far as I can tell, but I am no expert. Is this guy the Solder Gun Messiah, or just plain nuts ?