12″ Dual USB iBook G3
Code names: P29, Marble
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The original clamshelliBook was rugged, hada useful handle, and had great battery life. It was also heavy,bulky, and had a relatively low resolution 800 x 600 display. The"Dual USB" iBook was meant to remedy all of its shortcomings.
Where the clamshell model had weighed 6.6 lb. and was 2.1"thick, the new iBook weighed just 4.9 lb. and was a mere 1.35"thick. Apple claimed the new iBook was even more rugged than theold one. Apple eliminated color options; the new iBook only came inwhite. And the new model had a faster system bus, 100 MHz vs. 66MHz on the clamshell iBooks.
Perhaps the most useful new feature was the 12" 1024 x 768display, especially as Mac OS X began to displace the ClassicMac OS as the dominant Mac operating system. That extra screenspace makes a huge difference. And the second USB port wasn't a badidea, either.
All dual USB iBooks support the Classic Mac OS as well asOS X. They officially support adding 512 MB of RAM to whateveris soldered on the logic board (128 MB in most cases). No G3 iBookever shipped with a SuperDrive.
Introduced in May 2001 at US$1,299 and up, the dual USB iBooksuse a tray-loading optical drive, and theoriginal 500 MHz iBook was available with CD-ROM, DVD-ROM,CD-RW, or a CD-RW/DVD Combo drive. A 10 GB hard drive was standard,and a 20 GB drive was an option.
The "iceBook" uses an ATI Rage Mobility 128 with 2x AGP with8 MB of video RAM. It supports VGA output with an includedadapter and has two speakers for stereo sound. It was also thefirst iBook with a built-in microphone.
Base memory is 64 MB soldered to the logic board. Appleincreased base RAM to 128 MB on the CD-ROM model and switched to a15 GB hard drive in October 2001.
Apple speed bumped the iBook in October 2001, introducing a600 MHz model while leaving a 500 MHzCD-ROM model in the line as an entry-level option. The October 2001models all came with 128 MB of onboard memory and included 15 GB or20 GB hard drives. Other than that, they were almost identical tothe early 500 MHz model.
The next improvement took place in May 2002, a year after thefirst white iBook had been introduced. Thenew iBook G3 had a more efficient G3 CPU with twice as large acache. It was the first iBook with ATI Mobility Radeon graphics,and it has 16 MB of video memory (twice as much as earlieriBooks).
The US$1,199 CD-ROM model ran at 600 MHz and had a 20 GB harddrive. The US$1,499 Combo drive model ran at 700 MHz and included a30 GB hard drive.
In October 2002, Apple speed bumped theiBook to 800 MHz and again moved to an improved graphicsprocessor. The ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 supported up to 32 MB ofvideo memory.
As before, the CD-ROM model was slower, running at 700 MHz, andit included 16 MB of video memory. The 800 MHz model had a Combodrive and 32 MB of video memory.
The ultimate 12" G3 iBook wasreleased in April 2003 and ran as fast as 900 MHz. 32 MB of videomemory was standard on both the CD-ROM and Combo drive models. Harddrives were bigger, and 128 MB was still the default RAMconfiguration.
The 800 MHz CD-ROM model retailed at US$999, and the 900 MHzCombo drive model sold for just US$300 more.
The G3 iBooks were replaced by G4 iBooks in October 2003.
- SuperDrive upgrade, MCE Technologies, $379. 1x1x8x DVD,16x10x24x CD. 2 MB buffer. Must be installed by MCE or MCEauthorized upgrade center.
- Combo drive upgrade, MCE Technologies, $249. 8x DVD, 24x10x24xCD. 2 MB buffer. Must be installed by MCE or MCE authorizedupgrade center.
- Low EndMac's Compleat Guide to the Dual USB iBook G3, Charles Moore, 'BookValue, 2008.07.01. From a 500 MHz model introduced in May 2001 through12" and 14" 900 MHz G3 iBooks rolled out in April 2003, these iBooksoffered unprecedented value.
- Best iBook G3 deals.
- Best classic MacOS 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 10.0-10.3deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and10.3.
- Best Mac OS X 10.4Tiger deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.4.
- WiFi cardsfor PowerBooks with PC Card slots, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum,2008.08.12. Includes instructions for hacking an Orinoco Silver cardto work in a G3 iBook.
- What's thebest Mac OS for your iBook, PowerBook, or MacBook?, Charles Moore,'Book Value, 2008.08.19. Tips on choosing the best OS for yourPowerBook 500 Series or newer Mac notebook.
- What'sthe best version of OS X for my Mac?, Ian R Campbell, The SensibleMac, 2008.02.28. Which version of Mac OS X is best for your hardwaredepends on several factors.
- iBookTalk List
- Guide to iBooks. A quickcomparison of G3 iBook models.
- Low End Mac'sCompleat Guide to Mac OS 9, 2008 edition, Charles Moore,Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.05.12. Declared dead by Steve Jobs 6years ago, Mac OS 9 remains fast and stable, but Classic softwarehasn't kept up with Web changes. What Macs support OS 9, where to buyit, and how to update to version 9.2.2.
- New 'Books have better displays,digital vs. analog audio I/O, Craigslist restrictions, and more,Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.07.15. Also three browsers- Opera, Stainless, and Cruz - compared, and installing Mac OS X fromDVD on a Mac that can't mount DVDs.
- Checking out Safari 4 on anold PowerBook, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.06.30. Safari 4 isthe fastest it's ever been, but it's not without some frustratingdrawbacks.
- Optimized software buildsbring out the best in your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac's OnlineTech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac's CPU canload more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universaluse.
- Tips forinstalling 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, issupported on G3 Macs.
- Salvaging partsfrom a dead iBook, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2009.05.26.With a broken power plug, the iBook was unusable - but the RAM, harddrive, and optical drive can live on.
- Mac 'Book powermanagement adventures, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.05.19. Ifyour 'Book won't power up, shuts down while your working, or has otherpower issues, resetting its internal power manager may clear thingsup.
- 12", 4 poundAveratech N2700 exactly what Apple should be building, CharlesMoore, 'Book Value, 2009.05.11. This lightweight laptop has the powerof the MacBook, the footprint of the 12" PowerBook, and a $699 pricetag.
- WiFi hotspot insecurity, iBooklongevity, and WallStreet value, Charles Moore, MiscellaneousRamblings, 2009.05.06. The dangers of WiFi hotspots, reliability of the500 MHz iceBook, and the value of a used WallStreet PowerBook.
- Looking backat the Dual USB iBook on its eighth birthday, Charles Moore, 'BookValue, 2009.05.01. Introduced on May 1, 2001, the white iBook had afresh new design that endured until it was replaced by the MacBook fiveyears later.
- The iBookCan't Replace the Hard Drive Blues, John Hatchett, RecycledComputing, 2009.04.28. Replacing the hard drive in a Pismo PowerBook orpolycarbonate MacBook is easy. But those iBooks are another thingentirely.
- Hacking a WiFi PC Cardto work in Apple's AirPort Card slot, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum,2009.04.21. Apple's AirPort Card has become expensive since it wasdiscontinued. Here's how you may be able to adapt an 802.11b PC Card toreplace it.
- How about an802.11g card for the original AirPort Card slot?, Dan Knight, MacMusings, 2009.04.16. There are a lot of old Macs with 802.11b AirPortCards still in use and with poor security. Someone should make aplug-and-play 802.11g replacement card to provide better security,higher throughput, and improved range.
- Is it worth maxingthe RAM in old G3 and G4 Macs?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum,2009.04.15. Increasing memory can make your old Mac faster and make youmore productive, but it probably won't improve resale value by theamount you spend.
- UnibodyMacBook 'an excellent successor' to 12" PowerBooks and iBooks,Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.04.14. The MacBook is a bit wider andlacks FireWire and a built-in modem, but overall it's a worthysuccessor to the Apple's 12" 'Books.
- Dialup Is outdated, Eudora onMacintel, improving Tiger on low-end Macs, and more, Charles Moore,Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.02.25. Ongoing frustrations with Eudoraand dialup, ways to tweak Tiger for better performance, and problemswith a WD MyBook external hard drive.
- Is Camino now thebest browser for older Macs?, Charles Moore, MiscellaneousRamblings, 2009.01.13. Camino 1.6.6 works very will with Mac OS X 10.3through 10.5 and seems especially well suited for slower PowerPCMacs.
- 2 compactportable USB 2.0 hubs, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2009.01.12.Compact hubs from Targus and Proporta make a great complement to yournotebook computer. Each accepts a third-party AC adapter to provide buspower.
- Notebooks andblackouts, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2008.12.23. When the powergoes out, a notebook computer with long-lasting batteries lets you keepworking for hours and hours.
- 4 GB RAM problem persists afterfirmware update, TriBook concept MacBook, DIY Mac netbook, andmore, The 'Book Review, 2008.12.19. Also using third-party monitorswith 'Late 2008' MacBooks, MacMagSaver protects MagSafe cord, $25802.11g USB adapter, bargain 'Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- The 'better safe thansorry' guide to installing Mac OS X updates, Charles Moore,Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problemsusing Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Comboupdater means far less chance of trouble.
- Why youshould partition your Mac's hard drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings,2008.12.11. "At the very least, it makes sense to have a secondpartition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you haveproblems with your work partition, you can boot from the 'emergency'partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics."
- Every workingcomputer is useful to someone, Allison Payne, The Budget Mac,2008.11.19. Whether it's a PowerBook 1400, G3 iMac, or Power Mac G4, itcould be all the computer someone needs.
- Getting themost from your G3 Mac, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.10.03. MostG3 Macs can be upgraded so they can run Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger' quitenicely. Here's how.
- The best browsersfor older Macs running Tiger, Charles Moore, MiscellaneousRamblings, 2008.09.25. A dialup user's overview of browsers for Mac OSX 10.4 puts the emphasis on reliability, downloads, and speed.
- There's still aplace for G3 Macs in the Age of Leopard, John Hatchett, RecycledComputing, 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 stillviable work machines?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.09.08. Forbasic tasks - writing, email, and using the Web - a G3 Mac with Mac OSX 10.4 and sufficient memory provides plenty of power.
- TruePower ACadapter for iBooks and PowerBooks is rugged, reliable, andaffordable, Charles Moore, 'Book Value, 2008.08.14. Apple's trackrecord with AC adapters is spotty, but the TruePower adapter is toughenough to survive being run over by a truck.
- Turn your oldMac into a web server with Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, JasonPacker, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.07.09. Step-by-step instructionsfor installing and configuring Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP on anolder Mac.
- Macintoshreliability improving since the shift to Intel, Kev Kitchens,Kitchens Sync, 2008.07.07. For a while in the G3 and G4 era, Apple wasplagued with logic board failures and analog board problems, but theyseem to be a thing of the past.
- Praise for Opera, low cost iBookmobo replacement, IrDA and IRtalk, WaMCom recommended, and more,Charles 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, ClassicMacs 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. Buteven with just 128 MB of RAM, Jaguar did the job.
- Prosumer Mac suggestions, bringback the 12" 'Book, Pismo displays, and more, Dan Knight, Low EndMac Mailbag, 2008.05.06. Readers offer more thoughts on a midrange Mac,the need for a new 12" 'Book, using F-keys as F-keys in OS X, and lidclosed video mode for Pismo.
- 2.6 GHz MacBook Pro worth it?,iBook video fixed, Compact Flash vs. SSD, and more, Dan Knight, LowEnd Mac Mailbag, 2008.03.13. Also buying a used Power Mac G4, a PowerMac 7600 still in daily use, OCR software for modern Macs, and Leopardon a Blue and White G3.
- Poweryour recycled laptop with a rebuilt battery, John Hatchett,Recycled Computing, 2008.02.20. Old notebook computers usually mean oldbatteries that may be dead or on their last legs. You can buy areplacement battery, or you can have your old battery rebuilt.
- 3 ways to better YouTube viewingon older Macs, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.02.06.Watching YouTube videos in your browser on G3 Macs can be painfullyslow, but there are several ways to improve your YouTube viewingexperience.
- Better YouTube viewing on olderMacs, too many dead pixels, Safari problems in Panther, and more,Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.02.05. Also picking the rightused G4 iBook, Quartz Extreme support for PCI video, problems with MacOS 9.x on G4 Power Macs, open firmware problems with 667 MHz PowerBook,and more.
- DRM in Mac OS X, Ubuntu and BSD asalternatives to OS X, the power of Eudora, and more, Charles Moore,Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.01.14. More thoughts on Apple's digitalrights patent and OS X, free non-DRM alternatives to OS X, Eudora anddialup, and adding AirPort to a white iBook.
- Is a used iBook still a sensiblelow-end option?, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings,2007.10.15. From 500 MHz G3s through 1.4 GHz G4s, used iBooks range inprice from under $200 to over $700. Are they a good choice, or doreliability issues say otherwise?
- The future of G3 iBooks in theAge of Leopard, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.09.14. All of the G3iBooks can run Mac OS X, but which ones run it well? And which versionshould you use?
- Are the white iBooks still agood bet or should you steer clear of them?, Charles Moore,Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.08.20. The dual USB iBooks have theworst repair record in Mac history, yet some are exceptionallyreliable. Should you consider buying one or avoid them?
- Even if Leopard leaves G3behind, Tiger users will still be able to run up-to-date apps,Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.06.18. While Apple may drop G3support in OS X 10.5, there will continue to be plenty of optionsfor 10.4 users who want to run up-to-date browsers, email clients,and instant messaging programs.
- Why Apple must continue G3support in Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard', Dan Knight, Mac Musings,2007.05.08. "We're worried about what happens if Apple unchecksthat box in Xcode to include the instructions necessary to runOS X on G3 processors at all."
- Format any drive for older Macswith patched Apple tools, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations,2007.04.25. Apple HD SC Setup and Drive Setup only work with Applebranded hard drives - until you apply the patches linked to thisarticle.
- How much PowerBook or iBook doyou need to run Mac OS X?, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living,2007.01.15. You don't need the latest and greatest Mac to beproductive in OS X. Here are six iBook and PowerBook suggestionsbuilt between 2000 and 2003.
- Deodorizing a stinky old iBookthat smells like sweat, Hardy Menagh, Empowered, 2006.10.19.Different ways to mask and otherwise attack the problem if your G3iBook suffers from Stinky Keyboard Syndrome.
- A stinky old iBook that smellslike sweat, Hardy Menagh, Empowered, 2006.10.13. You just don'texpect an iBook to smell like strong perspiration, but this problemseems to afflict a number of G3 iBooks.
- 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 impactperformance and battery life. Which upgrades will give you the mostup time in the field?
- Using FireWire Target Disk Mode toinstall OS X on Macs without DVD drives, Charles Moore,Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.09.14. Two methods for using FireWireTarget Disk mode to install OS X on a Mac that can't readDVDs.
- 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 holdsless than $30 worth of off-the-shelf AA Li-Ion batteries.
- Merom and the MacBook, Apple'soriginal Duo laptop, Dell battery woes may impact Apple, iBook G3SuperDrive, and more, The 'Book Review, 2006.08.18. AlsoMacBook a back-to-school recommendation, MagSafe patent may blockthird-party power adapters, wrist rug and trackpad film for MacBookand Pro, bargain 'Books from $119 to $1,699, and more.
- Is the G3 still a practicalchoice?, Matthew Jay, Macs to the Max, 2006.08.10. Although theG3 is several generations old, it has enough horsepower for most ofthe things we do on our computers.
- Customizing Mac OS 9,Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.08.01. Fiddling withthemes, picking a browser, and making the Classic Mac OS work justthe way you want it to.
- 7 tools for keeping your laptop(uh, notebook) cool, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings,2006.07.24. A quick look at the Podium CoolPad, ChillMat,ChillHubs, Laptop Desk, Xpad, iLap, and iBreeze - seven standsdesigned to keep you 'Books running cooler.
- Installing OS X 10.4 'Tiger' onDVD-challenged Macs using FireWire Target Disk Mode, CharlesMoore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.07.10. Mac OS X ships on asingle install DVD, which Apple will exchange for CDs at $10. Butif you have access to a DVD-equipped Mac and a FireWire cable,you're good to go.
- Getting IE 4.5 to work with LowEnd Mac, 7200 rpm drive heat in an iMac, upgrading OS X on a whiteiBook, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2006.06.29.Configuring Internet Explorer 4.5 to work with CSS-based websites,overheating issues with iMacs, positive results with OS X upgrades,and problems getting an SD flash card to work in a PowerBook1400.
- Power strategies for using your'Book in the field: Batteries and AC adapters, Andrew JFishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.06.05. One or two extra batteries andat least one spare AC adapter can be essential when you'retraveling and need to get hours and hours of use from your'Book.
- Making the move from Jaguar (OSX 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 withoutworrying about violating their license.
- Dvorak adoption notice, tips forApple's Yo-yo power supply, old iMac a good value?, and more,Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.02.27. Also a 'Pismoup in smoke' update, Lombard up in smoke, iBook G3 logic boardproblems, Wangwriter appreciation, and more.
- FastMac's $190 8x dual-layerSuperDrive for PowerBooks and dual USB iBooks, Charles Moore,Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.01.30. For US$190-250 you can replacethe CD-ROM, CD-RW, Combo, or slow old SuperDrive in mostPowerBooks, white iBooks, slot-loading iMacs, and Cubes with afaster, dual-layer drive.
- Web browser tips for theclassic 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 MacOS.
- The best browsers for PowerPCMacs and the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, EmbracingObsolescence, 2005.12.16. Two browsers stand out from the pack:iCab 3 is modern and remains under development, and WaMCom bringsMozilla to older Macs.
- iBook (white)disk upgrade pages, Graham Cox, 2003.02.26. Step-by-stepinstructions for replacing the hard drive in an iceBook.
- Overclocking the iBook (2001), Tycho, Accelerate Your Mac,2002.08.21. Warranty-voiding mod boost performance 40% by hitting600-650 MHz on 100 MHz bus.
- iBook Portector, The 'BookReview, 2002.01.04. "The Portector is a custom molded urethanestrip that fits snugly over the expansion ports of your Apple iBookprotecting it from dirt and dust."
- Tote and Tilt Adds Handle toNew iBook or TiBook, The 'Book Review, 2001.10.19. $40 and $45handles make it easy to transport iceBook, TiBook.
- The ultimate iBook review, part1, Michel Munger, 2001.08.02. Initial impressions, setup, andsome troubleshooting.
- The ultimate iBook review, Part2, Michel Munger, 2001.08.03. A look at the screen, keyboard,battery life, and sound.
- The ultimate iBook review, part3, Michel Munger, 2001.08.14. A look at performance,networking, and value.
- Hands on: iBook vs. upgradedWallStreet, Rob Art Morgan, My Turn, 2001.08.02. Pros and consof the 2001 iBook compared with an upgraded 466 MHz WallStreetPowerBook.
- Bottom-feedernotebook shootout, AAPLtalk. How the new iBook compares withsimilarly priced Windows notebooks.
- Just howsmall is the new iBook?, Mac Observer, 2001.05.03. In terms ofvolume, the iceBook is Apple's second smallest ever. (The PB 100 takes third place.)
- iBookgrows up: It ain't Titanium, but it's close, Amy Hoy, DailyMac, 2001.05.02. "This iBook has a built-in omnidirectionalmicrophone, something all iBooks up until this point lacked."
- Apple's iBookPage
- NewiBook first thoughts, Charles Moore, Applelinks,2001.05.01.
- Firstlook: Apple unveils new iBooks, Andy Gore, MacCentral,2001.05.01.
- SCSI and FireWire Disk Modes,Paulo Rodrigues, Tangerine Fusion, 2000.11.29. How to use SCSI DiskMode and FireWire Target Disk Mode for ultrafast filetransfers.
- Recovering a stolenPowerBook, The 'Book Page. One user'sexperience.
- iBook memory pricing,ramseeker
- Updated iBookLogic Board Repair Extension Program Frequently AskedQuestions, Apple.
The Updated iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Programcovers iBooks that have a particular component failure on the logicboard, resulting in the computer starting up but the built-in andattached external displays exhibiting one or more of the followingsymptoms:
- Scrambled or distorted video
- Appearance of unexpected lines on the screen
- Intermittent video image
- Video freeze
- Computer starts up to blank screen
- There is a misprint in the manual regarding keyboard removaland replacement that can result in key damage. There is reportedlyan extra step in the TIL article iBook (DualUSB): Replacing/Installing the Keyboard that is missing onpages 28 and 30 in the iBook User's Guide that instructs you toturn the small locking screw next to the num lock key.
- PortableComputers: Models Which Do Not Have a Backup Battery notes theiBook has no backup battery to retain time and other settings whenthe main battery is removed. A small capacitor holds enough energyto maintain PRAM contents for 20 seconds, so switch batteriesquickly.