This is frankintosh
It started off as a simple iBook, but went through mad scientist like transformations to become, frankintosh. Muhaha
This is a 12 inch 800Mhz dual USB IBook G3. This is a fairly light little yet rugged iBook. It was being recycled from my old job and I think I paid $40 for it. This system is very functional, but isn’t very powerful. It is perfect for light web browsing, email, word processing, and blogging.
The first thing to get upgraded was the RAM. I’m a RAM junky, so I crammed in as much as it would hold. A 512 stick of RAM was about $30 from ebay. The iBook has 128MB soldered to the board. So it gives me a grand total of 640MB.
Again, from ebay I got a new (not refurbished and not used) battery for about $30 dollars plus shipping. This battery lasts between 2.5 and 3 hours with the pata spinner hard drive. When suspended the battery lasts for many days.
The Optical Drive
A friends laptop, i think it was an HP, died. I examined it for parts. The hard drive was no bigger than the iBooks, and no other parts were compatible with anything I had. I looked at the DVD Read / CD Write drive because I was thinking of converting it to a USB drive. But I noticed the connectors appeared to be the same as my iBook. I shrugged and put it in. Installed, the tray wouldn’t close so I had to trim down the plastic of the door with a utility knife and then smoothed it with sandpaper. It worked! It will read DVDs and it can burn CDs. I haven’t watched a movie on it yet, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. The thing I love the most is the button on the tray door that pops it open. Macs seem to lack this handy manual way of opening the tray.
Pics of drive with the top off:
I need a pic of drive with iBook top re-assembled.
The Hard Drive
I finally bought a Solid State hard drive for this system. Hard drive replacement on these iBooks is not for the faint of heart. You can find directions at ifixit.com, so I wont get into the details, but it is a lot of work. I paid $60ish for this 16GB solid state drive from an online store on ebay.
I did some unofficial tests today. I was at the coffee shop on battery power for an hour and a half and used about 20% of my battery charge. If that rate continued it would be looking at 7 hours or more of battery life. Yes i know battery monitors are rarely so linear. Even conservativly speaking I bet I top 4 and a half hours.
hdparm -tT /dev/hda test with original pata hdd
Timing cached reads: 102 MB in 2.00 seconds = 50.91 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 70 MB in 3.02 seconds = 23.21 MB/sec
hdparm -tT /dev/hda test with new ssd hard drive
Timing cached reads: 160 MB in 2.00 seconds = 79.82 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 78 MB in 3.07 seconds = 25.42 MB/sec
Not much improvement in the buffered reads, which isn’t surprising. The cached reads improved by a decent margin. It still isn’t as fast as a more modern sata drive. Of course performance tests never reflect the real world and ‘feel’.
I recorded my boot up before and after this installation. With the spinner the boot was right at 1 minute and 20 seconds and after it is shaved down to right at a minute. This from press of power button to a login prompt. And I swear, it hangs at the yaboot prompts longer with the new drive. One can modify that so it waits less time. I wonder if I did that with the old hard drive and forgot to do it with the new hard drive. I suppose I could post videos of the before and after boot times if anyone is interested.
UPDATE: Well, I just realized the readahead isn’t installed, and I know it is on the original hard drive. So after installing that I expect a few more seconds shaved off. Probably not a whole lot, though.
UPDATE: again, here is some more tweaking on the SSD
The Operating System
Mac OS sucks. So, I put linux MintPPC!! MintPPC out performs Mac OS in speed, user friendliness, and flexibility. Not to mention cost. This OS is a lightweight and attractive and very functional. It is perfect for light web browsing, email, word processing, and blogging. By default, it has media & music software, network tools, graphics tools and much more. At least for my iBook, all of the hardware just worked out of the box. Even the wireless with WPA support. If you read my other blog posts you can see that I’ve tried a lot of other distros on this iBook and nothing compares to mintPPC. Of course, I’m probably biased as I’m a mintPPC developer.
The Case To complete the frankintosh I removed the top of the display case and painted it green with krylon plastic spray paint. I put several coats on. Now I can’t see that stupid apple. And the green lid does look different.
This boot up video was recorded pre updates described above. After the updates I shaved the boot time down a bit.