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November 1999



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Review: iBook: A Laptop for the Home User

by David Spencer,


Company: Apple Computer, Inc.


Price: $1599


ibook When Steve Jobs introduced the iBook, I knew I had to have one. At the time, I owned a PowerBook 2400c and was looking for a machine to replace it. I didn’t need, nor could I afford, a machine that had all the bells and whistles. What I needed was a machine that could handle word processing, Internet access, and play games on the go. Most of all, I wanted a machine that would compliment my desktop machine. The iBook fit the bill almost perfectly: its price was decent (if a bit high), it had solid construction, and the 300 MHz G3 processor was exactly what I needed for the tasks I had in mind. Its good looks were just icing on the cake! I ordered my iBook just hours after it became available at The Apple Store.

The iBook fills a vacancy in the Macintosh lineup. Where the PowerBook is geared for higher end professionals, the iBook is geared for the average consumer—home or college users. With that in mind, the iBook is a truly great machine. Many reviewers giving the iBook low marks seem to forget that point. If you plan to do some non-linear video editing or some other highly intensive graphics work, don’t be cheap and buy an iBook thinking it will do the job. An iBook customer is most interested in a machine that:

  1. Is all-in-one, meaning everything you need comes with it.
  2. Can access the Internet easily and quickly.
  3. Can run many applications, particularly games and word processing programs.
  4. Costs less than a PowerBook, but performs fast enough for an average user.

It’s All in the Details

One of the first things I noticed when I opened up the box was the iBook’s size. It’s larger than I imagined, which disappointed me at first. But after using it a while, I grew to appreciate its size, which makes it damage-resistant. The computer itself has a thick, rubberized shell around it, making it somewhat large. While I don’t know how much protection the casing really offers, it feels sturdy enough that I trust myself to carry it by the handle.

The iBook’s oversized shell becomes especially noticeable when you open it. The LCD screen has the most protective plastic around it, making it look top heavy. Rumors of the display being so top heavy that it tips over the whole machine at sharp angles are untrue. I sat the iBook on a table and it wouldn’t tip over at any angle.

handle The carrying handle is another excellent feature that men may be apprehensive about using. Yes, when carried by its handle, the iBook looks like a purse. Few people poke fun at my iBook, however, because they’re always in awe of it!

Because the iBook doesn’t have the traditional security slot, Apple states that you can run a security cable through the handle and it will do just fine. At first I found that to be of little comfort, but the handle actually appears to be very sturdy, with a metal bar running through the middle of it. When it comes to someone trying to steal your iBook, I figure if they really want it, they will find a way to take it no matter how attached to the desk it is. But a thief would probably either destroy the iBook in the process of disconnecting the handle or would need a very loud saw to cut through it. It’s a very tempting target for thieves—I just make it a point to not leave my laptop unattended.

When I show off my iBook to colleagues, the first thing I do is let them try to open it up. Because of the clamshell design—and it is like a clamshell—virgin iBookers tend to have trouble opening it up. I enjoy watching people fiddle around with it for a while, unsuccessfully trying to open it. At first, people are very gentle with it, but soon they are pulling and tugging on it in the strangest ways! Just before they use a crowbar to pry it open, I stop them and show them how to open it. They are amazed at the elegant simplicity of it.

The keyboard is similar to that of the iMac. Personally, I love the feel of the keyboard and think it is very responsive. Several friends have given negative feedback about the keyboard, saying that it feels a little loose and that the top right part of the keyboard bends up a bit. This will happen if you don’t reattach the keyboard correctly after making an installation. Speaking of installations...



Apple has made access to the internal components easier than ever. There are two small latches on the keyboard, located between the sets of function keys. When unlatched, the keyboard lifts up, revealing the hard drive, AirPort card, RAM, and CD drive. You can easily add RAM—there’s even a diagram printed inside showing you how to do it! There really isn’t access to anything else, and it would void your warranty anyway if you opened it up any more.

There are two problems with this easy access: first, it is too easy to open. A child could remove the keyboard in five seconds and wreak all sorts of havoc. Worse, a thief could steal your RAM or AirPort card in a matter of seconds. Given a few minutes, a thief could also remove your hard drive and CD drive. The only security device “locking” the keyboard down is a tiny screw that, when given a 1/2 turn, is supposed to hold it down. Don’t rely on it. All a thief would have to do is give the keyboard a hard yank and it will break off from its other (plastic) hinges.

The second problem becomes obvious when you lift the keyboard. You realize that the keyboard itself is fragile when not attached. Most alarming is the strip of cable connecting the keyboard to the computer. If you’re not careful, you could rip the cable right out of the machine. The strip is just long enough to move the keyboard aside and make installations, no more. This needs to be redesigned.

As with PowerBooks, the iBook has a trackpad. There are three differences. The trackpad itself is silver, a nice cosmetic touch. The button is extra large and is wider than the trackpad itself. Also extra large is the wrist rest. You’ll really appreciate these features when the laptop is on your lap for three or four hours on a plane.

Three or four hours may be all the time you’ll get to use that iBook while on a plane. Apple claims the iBook’s battery will last six hours—more than enough for a trans-atlantic flight. From my totally non-scientific tests, the iBook runs out of fuel somewhere over England. With a full charge, I can expect to get around four hours of usage. During my tests, I did a variety of things, like play Nanosaur, surf the Web, work in AppleWorks, and edit some images in Photoshop. I even left the machine idle for a good hour. I don’t know how Apple figured the battery would last for six hours—with a full charge, the battery level indicator never topped 5 hours, 10 minutes of estimated life. The actual battery life, which is around three hours, is fairly typical for laptops, so my only problem is with the false advertising. The typical iBook customer probably isn’t going to be doing lots of work on long flights anyway. Again, if you’re doing office or graphics work, the iBook wasn’t intended for you.



Apple redesigned the battery for the iBook. The battery is slim and long, located underneath the machine. To access it you need a penny to turn two large screws, which remove a cover plate, underneath which lies the battery. Unfortunately, you cannot swap the batteries with the machine asleep.

Preinstalled Software

The iBook comes preinstalled with enough software to get a beginner off on the right foot. Among the software included is: Mac OS 8.6, AppleWorks, Microsoft Internet Explorer & Outlook Express, Netscape Communicator, Acrobat Reader, Nanosaur, Bugdom, and QuickTime 4.

The included OS 8.6 has some new features for the iBook. There is improved power management as well as two sleep modes. The first is the traditional sleep mode. The second sleep mode, when selected, will save the contents in memory to your machine. In the event that power is completely cut off from the iBook, whatever you were working on would be safe if this option were selected.


The single biggest problem with the iBook is the lack of RAM. It comes with 32 megabytes, which doesn’t allow the 300 MHz processor to perform very well. Almost all users will want to immediately install more RAM. I upgraded to the maximum of 160 MB and there was a noticeable and much needed speed boost. Playing Quake 2 or running Virtual PC is smooth (as smooth as Virtual PC gets, that is).

davidandibook Another problem with the iBook is its display. Its maximum resolution is 800x600 with millions of colors. I constantly have windows stacked on top of each other. Forget doing touch-up work in Photoshop with the iBook—the palettes all but completely cover the actual image. To its credit, the display is extremely bright and colors are exceptionally vibrant for a LCD.

Graphics for game play is good, but not exceptional. The iMac does a better job, as expected, but if you’ve got to play Unreal while on that long flight, you won’t be disappointed. I noticed that the CD drive was a bit slow at times when playing games. When a CD is in the drive, the iBook becomes rather loud.

The speaker sitting on the base of the laptop is barely acceptable. It can barely be heard at medium volume. With the volume at maximum, the speaker sounds awful. (Except for system beeps—they sound great!)

One of the features touted was an instant wake-up from sleep mode. While the waking up speed is faster, it’s not instant. Sometimes the computer is ready after two or three seconds. Other times, it takes ten seconds or more. Most of the time it wakes up quickly, but sometimes I still see the pointer turn to a watch.

Is it for You?

What makes the iBook such an extraordinary machine are the small touches that went into the design. From a glowing sleep indicator to a sheet of stickers that let you label the function keys, a lot of thought went into this machine. It’s not designed for high end work of any kind, so keep that in mind. If you love the iMac and are happy with its features, you’ll love the iBook.


Technical Specifications

Bundled Software

  • 300 MHz PowerPC G3
  • 6 Hour Lithium-ion battery
    (3 or 4 hours are more realistic)
  • 4 MB SDRAM Video
  • Built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
  • Built-in 56K modem
  • 12.1 inch Active Matrix display
  • Supports millions of colors at 800x600 pixel resolution
  • 3.2 GB hard disk drive
  • ATI Rage Mobility graphics accelerator
  • AirPort wireless networking
    (up to 11 megabits/second)
  • Built-in 24x speed CD-ROM
  • One 12-Mbps USB port
  • 16 bit stereo output
  • Full size keyboard w/76 keys
    (4 arrow keys with inverted T arrangement)
  • Mac OS 8.6
  • AppleWorks
  • Palm Desktop Organizer
  • Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Outlook Express
  • Netscape Communicator
  • AOL 4.0
  • EarthLink TotalAccess
  • EdView Internet Safety Kit Family Edition
  • The World Book Encyclopedia
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • FAXstf
  • Nanosaur
  • Bugdom
  • QuickTime 4

apple Copyright ©1999 David Spencer, Reviewing in ATPM is open to anyone. If you're interested, write to us at

Reader Comments (186)

Becki Farthing · February 7, 2002 - 16:36 EST #1
Hi. I'd love to hear if you know of any great bargains on these laptops because I just love them and I'm waiting for a really good bargain so I can get my parents to buy one. Very sneaky! So, if you hear of any good bargains, give us a shout.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · February 7, 2002 - 23:24 EST #2
Becki - best thing for you to do is keep track of deals on eBay and search on DealMac.

It might not be available anymore by the time anyone reads this, but one good example is that I just found a refurbished iBook (ice version) on MacConnection for $849.
Janessa · July 14, 2002 - 17:55 EST #3
Where would I be able to find a new keyboard to install on my iBook?
Eric Blair (ATPM Staff) · July 14, 2002 - 18:49 EST #4
It's probably a part that Apple provides for repairs and such--i.e. quite expensive. Either an Apple Store or an authorized repair center would be my guess.
Chris Lawson (ATPM Staff) · July 15, 2002 - 03:16 EST #5
There are a couple places on the web that specialize in PowerBook parts. I think is one such place, founded in the aftermath of the "falling keycaps" fiasco of 2000.
Greg · July 16, 2002 - 02:02 EST #6
Would anyone know where I could find some really good deals on some used G3 300MHz iBooks? I really want to buy one. Can you take stuff from Windows and use it on the iBook? We only have computers with Windows. I would really like to have one mainly for the internet and e-mailing pics. Do they have a floppy drive in them? My digital camera saves the pics to a floppy. Thanks.

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 16, 2002 - 20:38 EST #7
Greg - other people might have other good suggestions, but you might start with Computer Shopper. I found an iBook Graphite (366 MHz, 64 MB, 6 GB) for $750. Keep watch on eBay, too, if you don't mind using eBay.

For your other questions ... what is it you want to transfer from Windows? Documents? Sure, so long as you have some sort of application on your Mac that reads that document. The Mac won't run Windows applications unless you purchase and install Virtual PC to emulate Windows on your Mac.

iBooks and all of the newest Macintosh computers do not have floppy drives. You can, however, purchase an external drive that plugs directly into the USB port. These drives are available from any Mac mail order vendor. And yes, the Mac will read a PC-formatted floppy disk.
Michael Cadena · January 28, 2003 - 14:34 EST #8
Hi. I've got an iBook G3 300MHz, 6 GB, USB. I am having trouble with some CDs burned on a PC. Sometimes the iBook doesn't even read them. It just makes a lot of noise and spins and spins until it asks to eject. This doesn't happen with all the media I had burned, mostly from PCs, but the noisy behavior occurs with most CDs. Any comments about this? Thanks.

...from Columbia, South America
Amy · July 5, 2003 - 12:46 EST #9
I am a soon-to-be grad student look for the original iBook clamshell laptop. I intend to use the computer for word processing, predominantly.

I can not find one. Some on eBay are damaged. I seek one in mint or excellent/good condition.

I know you can not buy this model any more and am so upset about it.

Does anyone know where I can search this out?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 6, 2003 - 11:05 EST #10
Amy - Computer Shopper was already mentioned, above. Additionally, Low End Mac has a used best buy section as well as a used Mac dealer page. Finally, you may also want to check the "Systems" section of DealMac. Make sure you also look through the 30-day archive section and not just the current listing on the main page.
Jessica · November 7, 2003 - 13:06 EST #11
I really want an iBook G3. I have seen good prices for this computer, but how can we see it and see if it's in a good condition before buying it?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · November 24, 2003 - 23:28 EST #12
Jessica - since you didn't specify, I can only assume you mean that you've found G3 iBooks for sale online. If you point to a few examples, perhaps we can give some opinion how reputable the source is. If it's XYZ seller on a place like eBay, I'll be honest—people have had problems on occasion. eBay has policies established to help protect both buyers and sellers, but they're only policies. My dad once tried to buy a vintage pickup truck via eBay and nearly lost his money. Law enforcement managed to recover it, thankfully.

I don't mean to scare you, but eBay is what it is.
Jainya Hyde · December 30, 2003 - 16:08 EST #13
I am looking to buy a G3, but am worried that any documents I have previously typed using my PC will not be able to open on my Mac. I saw the previous post regarding Virtual PC and looked it up on eBay to see that it costs nearly $200. Is this necessary in order to open Word documents on a Mac?

Also (bear in mind I am computer illiterate), can a laptop be hooked up to DSL or must it run on a 56K modem? How difficult is it to figure out how to use the internet on the Mac? I have a PC with DSL, but would like a laptop to type on when I am in bed and maybe search the internet on. Will I be able to do this?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 30, 2003 - 16:41 EST #14
Jainya - you'll be pleased to know that you do not have to have Virtual PC to open Microsoft Word documents. The latest version of Microsoft Word for Mac OS X should be able to open and permit editing of documents created on a Windows machine. Keep in mind, however, that MS Word or MS Office doesn't typically come with a new Mac—let alone a used one. The full MS Office suite, without Virtual PC, is $400. MS Word by itself is $230.

Yes, you can absolutely connect an iBook to a DSL line. If you're running Mac OS X, configuring it is insanely easy. Most broadband services provide the network information automatically, so you simply open the Network System Preference window select whether you're connecting with an ethernet cord, or if you have a wireless connection, and chose the setting to retrieve network information automatically. Your internet provider can tell you whether this is how they are set up, or if you have to enter specific network information and/or login information. If the latter is the case, contact us and we can try to assist.
Jacob Wypych · March 16, 2004 - 01:49 EST #15
I got very used to storeing my documets on USB pendrives , will G3 have any problems with that device?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 17, 2004 - 00:17 EST #16
Jacob - if you're running OS 9 or OS X, you'll have no problems. if for some ghastly reason you have to stick with OS 8, make sure it's up to version 8.6 and you should be fine there, too.
Jacob Wypych · March 20, 2004 - 13:38 EST #17
I've got another one ;)
My iBook has only 64 MB RAM , do I need to buy some kind of special memory or can I put any (ex. one from my PC desktop)?
Additionally is there some alternative to AirPort cards( they tend to get kinda pricey where i live) is there some substitue?
Will my new iBook work in an wireless environment created for PC computers?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 20, 2004 - 15:04 EST #18
Jacob - the older iBooks use 10ns SO-DIMM chips. I'm not aware that any desktop machine uses the same type of chips. Check DealRAM and Chip Merchant.

The only options other than an Apple AirPort card is a third-party PCMCIA card or perhaps a wireless ethernet bridge. Never mind the fact that not many of these cards have Macintosh drivers, iBooks do not have PC Card slots. There are devices that you plug into the ethernet port and convert the connection to Wi-Fi. You could research those, such as the Linksys WET11.
Michael Sleet · May 11, 2004 - 18:49 EST #19
I have seen batteries for the Powerbook 100 on ebay...It is not a problem.

Michele · May 14, 2004 - 08:53 EST #20
Hi, I'm up to buy an used ibook G3 300 and I wonder if it supports 512 mb on a so-dimm with the original bios firmware or should I update it? Which hard disk can I put on? I have a 30 GB ata-66 2,5" hitachi 5400 rpm, can I use it? How much does an airport card cost?
Can i replace the standard cd-rom unit with a new dvd-+r/rw one?
Thank you!
Steven · May 16, 2004 - 14:32 EST #21
I would update the firmware just in case. When i went to put Panther on my iMac it told me I had to update firmware, and then it fried the logic board. Also, I could not find a replacement CD-RW, DVD-R drive for my blueberry iBook G3, so I dont know if they are avaliable.
Brett Ballard · October 14, 2004 - 00:13 EST #22
Hey, I just bought a blueberry iBook and I've been able to upgrade it with an extra 512 mb of ram and a 40 gig hard drive. You can also buy combo drives with DVD/CDRW support. Look at Wegener Media's website. But look for cheaper prices on EBay if you want.
R. Magaz · October 21, 2004 - 19:46 EST #23
I bought a CD drive to replace the broken one; but am having trouble opening up the unit; the keyboard comes out, but how do you access the CD unit to replace it?
I unscrewed visible screws; do the 4 screws underneath, in the battery compartment, have to also be removed?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 22, 2004 - 02:09 EST #24
R. Magaz - It would help to know which model iBook you are working on. Is it like the one pictured on this review page, or is it one of the more recent models?
simon hamliton · November 20, 2004 - 09:59 EST #25
hi im about to buy a apple ibook Blueberry 300mhz but im not sure if its going to preforam very good iv heard apple computers r faster than pc's and wanted to get a ibook but do they work okay for a 4 year old computer? 0o0oh and putting more ram in it will it make the laptop faster? thanx
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · November 20, 2004 - 10:54 EST #26
Simon - one can't just say that Macs are generally faster than PCs. It will depend on exactly what task you are performing and many other variables.

While a 300MHz iBook will definitely run Mac OS X 10.3 and essentially any software written for OS X, I'm afraid it will seem a little pokey. Maxing out its RAM will help, but not drastically. More RAM doesn't make a computer faster, but it does allow more stuff to stay in memory instead of having to take more time to load it off the hard drive.

I've been helping a colleague with his 333MHz iMac. It does okay for what they need—e-mail, web, and running QuickBooks—but I sure wouldn't want to do much else on it.

So, if budget really is an issue, yes, this iBook would perform probably just well enough to justify the low cost (and if you pay much more than $200, I think it's not a bargain).

If you don't need the portability, you should look at eMacs which can be had for just $800, or $1,000 if you want a bigger hard drive and a DVD burner.
shelby · March 30, 2005 - 20:22 EST #27
I have recently purchased a clamshell ibook and was wandering what type of Airport card it requierd for the wireless internet
ATPM Staff · March 30, 2005 - 20:32 EST #28
Shelby - it's pretty simple. All G3 iBooks will only support the original AirPort card. All iBooks with G4 processors must have the AirPort Extreme card. As I understand it, the slots are a different shape, so none of Apple's computers can take either card.
krystal · April 5, 2005 - 17:13 EST #29
i have just received my clamshell i book, i bought the computer used and it came with no information or anything i have pretty much figured out the computer on my own but i am still unable to find the games!
ATPM Staff · April 5, 2005 - 17:44 EST #30
Krystal - what games are you looking for? There's no telling what the previous owner did on the computer before selling it to you. Mac computers have generally not bundled games except perhaps simple ones like solitaire. You probably should ask the person who sold you the computer.
maka · April 18, 2005 - 17:04 EST #31
does anyone have experience running an ibook 300 tangerine with the latest os 10.3.7-9?? about to buy one for my girl, but im sceptical if it will work??
ATPM Staff · April 18, 2005 - 17:36 EST #32
Maka - it may be pretty slow, but it will work. Max out the RAM for best performance.
Paul Langley · April 29, 2005 - 23:05 EST #33
Hi. I recently bought a tangerine ibook G3 300 s/h very cheap. It has 288 mb ram. 256 + 32. I tried putting OSX on it and found that it runs fine! I am using stock 3 gig hdrive. Thought that was impossible. Using mariner write, usb vision sw to drive belkin video box and graphic convertor I can do everything I want on it. importing video and sound no problem at all, and external drive makes up for lack of hd space. All I need now is an external burner. Its a great machine that partners very well with my BW G3 desktop. I have OSX and OpenOffice on that one.
Loading osx on the ibook, I eventually reloaded it without BSD, after partioning the drive and loading OS 9 on one partition. Then, loading OSX it senses the drive is too small and comes up with a custom install screen which allows delselection.

Of course, once I get a bigger internal hard drive in the ibook, such things wont be an issue. But osx seems to run better on the 300mhz ibook than it does on my G3 BW 350 - mainly I guess as I was using Microsoft office under OS9 and sometimes the keyboard input with weird. Since I install (free) OpenOffice for OSX with X11 I have had no problems. OpenOffice for OSX (sun microsystems website) is good and free so by bye Microsoft office...

Andrew McDaniel · May 12, 2005 - 20:49 EST #34
I think that the iBook clamshell is indeed one of the best designed laptops ever. I have had every laptop that Apple has ever designed, and think that my iBook 300mhz clamshell is the funnest to play around with!!! Kudos to the people who designed the Clamshell iBook.
Illa · May 13, 2005 - 13:22 EST #35
Hi. I've been using this Graphite 1st generation iBook for a few years now. It is still running at its 64MB and 366Mhz and been running OS 9.2 and Debian Linux. I'm wondering if it is possibly to run OS X on it. Do I need to upgrade anything in order to run OS X? Even though the new iBooks look great but iBooks clamshell look sooo cute and I don't want to replace it.
ATPM Staff · May 14, 2005 - 01:02 EST #36
Illa - Your first-generation iBook can run Mac OS X 10.3, but you'll have to upgrade the memory to at least 128 MB. I'd recommend installing the maximum amount of memory because, even then, it won't be terribly speedy.

According to Apple's support pages, the minimum iBook required to run Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) is an iBook with FireWire or iBook SE with FireWire. If your iBook is the one without a FireWire port, as far as I can tell, Tiger is not compatible. In addition, you must have a DVD-ROM drive to install Tiger, unless you've ordered the replacement CDs from Apple.
Rian Batista Bezerra · June 16, 2005 - 12:59 EST #37
I have an ibook g3 300 just the same green one as shown in this page. my prolblem is to conect it via phone with its internal modem. some friends says i'll have to install the o.s 10.3etc, 'cos my old 9.2 does not recognize my internal modem. or-i can down load a modem drive and than install in my computer, etc...
my question for you: wath is the right thing to do?
Chris Lawson (ATPM Staff) · June 17, 2005 - 00:05 EST #38
If OS 9.2 doesn't recognise the internal modem, I suspect the problem is with the hardware. You can try re-installing only the Apple Remote Access portion of the OS (which includes all modem scripts), but it's far more likely that the modem has either failed or come loose.

If Apple System Profiler doesn't recognise that the modem is installed, you'll need to try re-seating it or replacing it.

gareth strachan · July 11, 2005 - 23:17 EST #39
I am a bit confused. Some people seem to think that it is possible to put OSX onto this lovely piece of aquatic machinery, and some not so confident. I do not have a fire wire port on my clamshell, nor a dvd player, and am currently running OS 9.2. I would love to put OS X on the little guy, as long as he is still going to be able to perform alright. I was told that I would need to buy "Tiger" the latest operating system as I did not have a dvd player to install OSX. I have just upgraded from 256MB to 512MB. Do I also need to maximise my RAM as someone up above suggested. Please advise.
P.S. Is there anyway to establish the gender of your computer - I've tried turning upside down but to no avail. Is it just the old blue for boys and tangerine for girls...
ATPM Staff · July 12, 2005 - 02:46 EST #40
Gareth - as stated above, Apple does not officially support Tiger running on this model iBook. There may be hacks to make it work, but they're just that—hacks. It's not advised. If you can get your hands on a copy of Jaguar or Panther, you should be okay.

As for the computer gender—ahem, well, that's between you and the computer, I'm afraid! :-)
Jenna Tesch · July 12, 2005 - 13:41 EST #41
Hi, I was wondering where else I could find a Tangerine Apple Macintosh G3 ibook Clamshell laptop? I know you can go to ebay and shopzilla and other already used places to find the ibook, but I was wondering does anyone sell the ibook new? With all the papers and disks and stuff like that?

.....Jenna from Indiana
kervin miguel · July 13, 2005 - 15:13 EST #42
Hi! im thinking of buying this G3 clamshell laptop. is $250 a good buy?

kervin from manila
ATPM Staff · July 13, 2005 - 15:41 EST #43
Kervin - $250 is probably pretty good if it's in proper working order, batteries will hold a charge for more than just several minutes, and preferably if it has more than base RAM.
Grace · July 15, 2005 - 19:00 EST #44
I have a tangerine iBook that I purchased in August 2000. What steps do I need to take so that I will have wireless Internet access? What equipment do I need, and can I purchase any of these at a discounted price?
ATPM Staff · July 15, 2005 - 23:55 EST #45
Grace - first, confirm that you have an AirPort card installed in your iBook. If you don't know, locate and launch the Apple System Profiler application that should be on your hard drive. There should be an AirPort Card listing on the left. If the listing is either not there, or there is no useful information visible when you select that listing, then you have no card and you'll need to acquire one. Your model iBook will not accept Apple's newer AirPort Extreme cards, and they don't sell the original ones any more. You'll have to hunt through the online e-tailers and/or eBay to find one. Just make sure it's the original style and not Extreme.

Then, you'll need a wireless router to send the signal from your broadband modem (we're assuming you have cable or DSL) to your laptop. I've been considering buying a Motorola router from CompUSA that's on sale for $20 and has all the latest encryption standards, but I know nothing of its reputation. If you'd rather err on the side of well-known brands, consider either a Linksys BEFW11S4 or a Netgear MR814.

That should essentially be all you need. Follow the router's instructions and built-in Apple help for enabling AirPort and setting up the router, though if you don't want to worry about encrypting your connection, the router may work right out of the box with no settings changed.

As for discounted prices, again, that's just a matter of digging through e-tailer web sites. Because original AirPort cards are so hard to come by these days and demand is somewhat high, they're selling for about as much as an AirPort Extreme. The cheapest I found on Amazon is about 80 bucks. Unfortunately, you cannot use a third-part wi-fi adapter because the iBook has no PC-Card slot. Even if it did, there aren't many PC-Card slot wi-fi adapters that include Mac drivers.

With the router, CompUSA has the MR814 for about $40 and it's often on sale for less. has it for $16 right now! Snag it if that's the one you want! is another good source of inexpensive computer products.
ben symes · July 18, 2005 - 21:22 EST #46
Am just about to buy an older Clamshell, G3 ibook. Found your webpage very helpful and informative. Will be in touch if I have any problems!

Janne Lindkvist · July 24, 2005 - 16:33 EST #47
I have two tangerine clamshells.
I've put 30 gig harddrives and 288MB RAM in both of them. I also run OS X 10.3.9 in both and it works without any problems at all. T change the harddrives was a hassle, but the result rendered a reapairman-job for 6 months... I love my clammies!!!
Kristina Salonibell · July 24, 2005 - 20:08 EST #48
Hello! I want to buy and iBook but, after hearing some of the things that are wrong with it or can happen to it I'm afraid to. I am very worried about what your saying with the keyboard. I don't want to buy it and then have it fall apart the first time I use it. Some of the things in the article made me very discouraged to buy the iBook. I really would love to get one but the keyboard is holding me back. So, if I do buy the iBook should I have some one at the computer store put the keyboard in place?
Wendi · July 25, 2005 - 06:20 EST #49
I am going back to school and am thinking about buying G3. My question is, I need Microsoft Office for class. Are the applications pretty much the same in PC or Mac? I really want a Mac, but know that PC is dominant in the workforce. Do both Office programs work the same? I also need Access, which I can't seem to find the equivalent to Apple? Any suggestions? And is there any place to buy a brand new G3, even though they have been discontinued?
ATPM Staff · July 25, 2005 - 12:32 EST #50
Wendi - Filemaker Pro is one of the strongest database applications for Apple. Microsoft does not make Access for Macintosh, so if your schoolwork specifically requires Access, you'd be out of luck...unless you ran Virtual PC and a copy of the Windows version of Microsoft Office.

As for Word and Excel, they operate mostly similarly. There are certainly a lot of operational differences between the platforms, but both can accomplish the tasks, and you can take documents from one platform to another with little trouble. The same is probably true for PowerPoint, though I've heard it can be quirkier in hopping across platforms.

Also keep in mind that the e-mail program, Entourage (which is pretty decent) is not exactly the same as Outlook for Windows.

Good luck finding an unopened G3. I'm not going to say they no longer exist because as soon as I do, someone would pop in and say, "here ya go." All we can suggest is, keep searching eBay and Amazon shops. But don't hold your breath.
Cyril · July 25, 2005 - 16:13 EST #51
Hello All,
I just bought a clamshell 300 Tangerine and I would like to know the reference of the HD to put in as I am considering a 40 Gig as well as the reference of the 512 RAM please.
ATPM Staff · July 25, 2005 - 17:10 EST #52
Cyril - has an iBook page that should contain all the information you need.
Glenn Bolivar · July 25, 2005 - 17:30 EST #53

I bought a iBook blueberry 300-Mhz, 192-MEG memory, used at the San Luis Obispo, California Flea market in July of 2005. It had a dead battery but functioned properly on 120AC. The first procedure I did was to upgrade to OSX. Its CD drive works but does not stay closed. I had to tape the door closed when OSX loaded. What can be done to repair the door so it properly closes and would you replace the dead battery with a geniune apple battery cell and pay the premium expense?

Anne · July 27, 2005 - 11:49 EST #54
im looking to buy an clamshell iBook g3, but i have only seen blue ones on ebay and 1 tangerine. are there any other colors and how much is to much to pay for an iBook? also is it easy to use for a teenager if it is there first laptop?
ATPM Staff · July 27, 2005 - 15:54 EST #55
Anne - the blue and tangerine iBooks were the first revisions that were available. Later versions (which featured faster processors and more memory) were made available in other colors, including (but not limited to) lime, purple, graphite, etc. Then, of course, the later iBooks up through the current models are only available in white, but these are not the clamshell design any more.

Price of an iBook completely depends on which model, how old it is, or if it's a brand new iBook G4, what condition it's in, and simply how much it's worth to you. It's difficult to say "an iBook is worth X amount." We can, however, say that any used iBook shouldn't cost more than several hundred dollars, seeing as how the low-end version of a brand-new iBook G4 only costs $999.

For your last question, that's tough, too. We're sort of biased. We'd like to tell you "absolutely" an iBook is a great machine for a teenager's first laptop. But it will largely depend on what you want your computer to do. If you simply need a machine to access the internet and perhaps type a few papers, it would be superb. If you need to be compatible with Windows applications your school uses and/or play a lot of popular games, it may not be the best choice......though many games are now showing up for both Mac and PC, so that's less of an issue.
Frank · August 6, 2005 - 03:33 EST #56
I just got an iBook G3 @300MHz (Blueberry). I believe it is the first generation model since I only have one USB port and CD-ROM. the built-in memory is 32MB and the seller installed a 128MB PC100 SDRAM for me. I was wondering if it's possible for me to install a 512MB 144-pin SDRAM to replace the current one. The website from Apple says my model support only 256MB for this opening slot. But I do see people selling theirs with 512MB installed in it. Could you please help me with it?
Frank · August 6, 2005 - 03:44 EST #57
I applogize. I found that info from a memory seller. My model can install a 512MB in that slot and the max for this model is 544MB. Do you know if it's possible for me to overclock this iBook to 400MHz like the guy I mentioned on the website did? If so, how? I'm installing Panther and would like this iBook run as fast as possible. What are other tweaks I could do to make it happen? Thank you so much for answering these and your website is truly super helpful.

Just in case anyone wonders, I got mine for $160 cash with very good condition and a one hour battery. The other guy sold the same model with maxed-out memory, 60GB HDD and Aiport Card included for $300. Don't pay more for your seller if they don't match. (Laptops are so cheap today)
Mr. Jon · August 9, 2005 - 13:10 EST #58
Please help me with this common question...

I have an iBook G3 900 MHz (the model before the iBook G4 was released). For wireless networking, is there any alternative to finding an old Airport card? A salesperson at my local electronics box-store said that it can be done with a PC card of some sort and a little fancy driver-hunting online.

ATPM Staff · August 9, 2005 - 13:52 EST #59
Jon - iBooks do not have PC Card slots like 15 and 17 inch PowerBooks have, so a PC Card wi-fi card will not help you. There are USB-based wi-fi solutions, but few (if any) will work on the Mac because essentially none of them have Mac drivers available.

You might be able to find a wireless ethernet bridge—something that connects to a wi-fi signal and attaches to your ethernet port—but it would be an extra device that would be tethered to your laptop and they generally require being plugged into a power source.

The shorter answer to all this is, you're really best off acquiring an original-style AirPort card.
Jane · August 12, 2005 - 12:43 EST #60
I have found some iBooks online on eBay. They all have some wear and tear and there are few tangerine ones. I was wondering if you found any other sites that might sell some because I have been on and searched the sites you have posted previously and the only place I can find any is on eBay. If you have found some new sites et me know. Thank you.
Mauricio Gomez · August 17, 2005 - 23:06 EST #61
i need to overclock my ibook g3 300 can anyone help pls?
Marc Correa · September 5, 2005 - 10:11 EST #62
I have a clamshell blueberry, I updated its RAm to a total of 160 RAM (the 32 Mb original + 124 that I add later) but I would like to have more RAM..I am confused if the maximum allowed is 256 MB or not???

I want to add it a bigger hard it possible to install it by yourself or is it very challenging..??
ATPM Staff · September 5, 2005 - 13:55 EST #63
Marc - there were two flavors of the very first iBook. The later one came with 64MB of RAM onboard. If yours only had 32MB, then the maximum that Apple officially says it can handle is 288MB. This means you can put a 256MB SO-DIMM in there. You'll probably not get any higher than this for the sole reason that I'm not sure SO-DIMMs exist that are any larger than 256MB.
ATPM Staff · September 5, 2005 - 14:07 EST #64
Marc - regarding the hard drive, you can do it yourself, it just takes a bit of patience and care. Here are some instructions.
lewis clarke · September 29, 2005 - 16:56 EST #65
hey i am getting a apple clamshell laptop for my 14th i cant wait they look so amazing the looks are incredible and never fail to catch attention
Kym Davey · September 30, 2005 - 13:27 EST #66
Hey! I really want a G3 iBook Clamshell, but i live in england and haven't a clue where to get one from! can you help me out? i really would like one and id also like a rough idea of a price in england! cheers!!
Sue B. · October 14, 2005 - 01:36 EST #67
Hi, our school has the blueberry ibooks (M6411), but most of the cd-rom drives on several computers are making this horrible whirring noise when I put in a CD. Is there a site that explains how to fix this, or how to replace the drive? Is it relatively easy to fix, and is it costly to buy a replacement drive?

Thanks! Our school will thank you. We are on budget and we need to get these fixed for our students.

ATPM Staff · October 14, 2005 - 09:06 EST #68
Sue - just Google it. You'll find 'em everywhere.

J Fiola · October 23, 2005 - 22:45 EST #69
I recently bought a 466 MHz clamshell iBook. My question is probably incredibly dumb. Is there an easy way to open the DVD ROM door in order to put a DVD into it? The button on the door is very hard to operate. I was wondering if there is a button on the keyboard or place in an onscreen program that will make the door open? I'm running OS 10.1.5 and don't have many programs installed yet. Thanks...
ATPM Staff · October 23, 2005 - 23:11 EST #70
J Fiola - Mac keyboards have an eject button somewhere near the upper right region. It generally doubles as the F12 key.

If you wish, you can also open the Menu Extras folder located inside
/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras
and double-click the item to create an Eject icon in your menu bar.
Wally Viray · October 25, 2005 - 12:48 EST #71
Hi. I have had my cute Tangerine Clamshell iBook G3 for so many years and it behaved superbly until now. A thin bluish line appears vertically on one side of the screen and does not want to go away. I have Airport, 512MB RAM and a 60 GB HD. Is there anything I can do? I am not covered by the logic board replacement policy as mine is the first iBook single USB. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
ATPM Staff · October 25, 2005 - 16:14 EST #72
Wally - a local laptop repair shop can probably help if the connection cable is slightly damaged or unseated. They may can also help if the LCD itself is damaged and the shop can match the style and replace it. If the video circuitry on the motherboard is damaged, they probably won't be able to do a thing. You can contact Apple Support and they may be able to fix it, but the fee would probably but not much less than just investing in a new iBook.
Simon Lea · November 4, 2005 - 05:16 EST #73
Hi, We've just bought an orange clamshell ibook which we love, and want to set up a wireless internet connection and increase the RAM but don't know how. Its a G3 300MHz with 64 Meg RAM and 5.6 Gig hard disc drive with 4 gig still available. Do we need an airport card to do this? where can we buy memory and how easy is it for a novice to install?
Simon (London, UK)
ATPM Staff · November 4, 2005 - 09:30 EST #74
Simon - our September 5 entry, above, includes links for replacing many user-upgradable parts on the clamshell iBook.

Yes, you do need an AirPort card to achieve wireless access on your iBook. Be sure to purchase an original-style AirPort card, as the newer AirPort Extreme will not fit.

There are also links above (ATPM always encourages skimming prior comments before posting your own) for RAM sources—places like Chip Merchant, Crucial, and RAM Watch.
anonymous · November 7, 2005 - 08:58 EST #75
Hello everybody,
here is a link that will help...
J Fiola · November 16, 2005 - 23:39 EST #76
I'm back with a similar problem. When I was running OS X on my clamshell, F12 opened the DVD drive door. Then I reinitialized the hard drive & loaded OS 9.2.2. Now F12 doesn't open the door & I don't have a 'Menu Extras' folder. It seems the only thing the 'F'keys want to learn is how to open a program. Any suggestions on how to open the DVD drive door easily or how to teach the 'F' keys to do 'undo, cut, copy, & paste'? Thanks...
Ben Rose · November 27, 2005 - 22:04 EST #77
Hello, I am interested in purchasing a clamshell iBook, and found one equipped with an airport card for $150, however, the battery is not holding a charge. Is it likely that i may replace the battery and it will work, or is the problem possibly something to do with a power board or another internal problem?

Thank You
ATPM Staff · November 27, 2005 - 23:43 EST #78
Ben - Lithium batteries are known to lose their ability to hold a charge after a number of years—especially if they aren't used in normal patterns. It shouldn't be too difficult to find replacement batteries. Just Google around.
Adam Kingsley · December 9, 2005 - 14:49 EST #79
I have an ibook G3/900 and am about to purchase an original AirPort card to gain wireless capability. I have a D-Link wireless router already in the house for use with a PC. Will I be able to get a signal from this D-Link router to my ibook or will I also have to invest in an AirPort base station? And in what ways will I be able to maximize the stability of the connection between the router and the ibook?
ATPM Staff · December 9, 2005 - 20:02 EST #80
Adam - it should work just fine assuming the router is providing 802.11b access. An AirPort Base Station is just Apple's brand of a wireless router. It provides the same connectivity as any other wi-fi router.
william Bryce · December 22, 2005 - 04:19 EST #81
i have been gifted an Apple G3 blueberry clamshell Laptop,its old but in very good condition.. i really like its look and want to get acquainted with this mac....

I cannot find a users manual/ instruction manual of any kind on line, in London there is no manuals.

Is it possible for someone to copy one for me or give me one that is not used by an old mac user..

This is my first Mac and i am only familar with PC`s
So would like to get to know the G3
ATPM Staff · December 22, 2005 - 10:06 EST #82
William - you can download iBook manuals in PDF form from Apple's support site. The fourth link down is for the original clamshell iBooks.
Kahmali Cole · December 23, 2005 - 14:43 EST #83
Can you use a wired netgear router with the I-book
ATPM Staff · December 23, 2005 - 15:28 EST #84
Kahmali - yes.
Miles B · January 2, 2006 - 02:21 EST #85
ATPM Staff,

Out of curiostiy are you still using your original iBook Clamshell? Also, what do you think would be a fair price to purchase a clamshell at these days? Some people feel the price of the clamshell is going up. I am not sure..
ATPM Staff · January 2, 2006 - 12:01 EST #86
Miles - while I personally have never owned one, I believe there are some on our staff who do.

Your best resources for gauging the value of an old iBook would either be to look at the average final selling price of them on eBay (make sure to compare similarly equipped models) or to peruse Low End Mac.
Roy Salfarlie · January 10, 2006 - 02:23 EST #87
I bought one of these machines yesterday from a friend. I'm only going to use it for basic things like accessing the internet for emails and travel info and carrying my digital photos to show to people. My question is what is the cheapest way to connect this pc to my Netgear DG834G wireless Modem Firewall Router. My G3/300 is running OS 9
ATPM Staff · January 10, 2006 - 09:39 EST #88
Roy - the absolute cheapest way is to connect it with an ethernet cable, but I'm assuming you want to do it wirelessly. Perhaps someone can chime in if they know otherwise, but I strongly suspect no 3rd party wireless cards are going to work on OS 9 and, if memory serves, the iBook never has sported a PCMCIA slot. This means you're limited to Apple's own AirPort card—and the only one compatible is the older style that Apple itself doesn't sell any longer. They only offer the AirPort Extreme which can only be used in newer machines. The original AirPort cards turn up on eBay all the time, so keep watching there. You can also search

Alternatively, you could try a wireless ethernet bridge. This is a device that you plug into your ethernet port and the box converts your ethernet line to a wireless adapter. To set it up to connect to a network, you log into the box with a special IP address—just like you would a router. This would be cheaper, but it would mean an extra small box you'd have to carry around and have sitting somewhere nearby. They also require being plugged into a power source, so you wouldn't be able to use it on the go if you couldn't plug in.
Rissy · January 17, 2006 - 18:26 EST #89
I want to buy a laptop and was wondering how much these usually ask for?On ebay I found one for $100 but I'm not sure if it would work is that a good price?...Can you tell me how much people(or stores ect.)ask for them. also can you download animation shop and or paintshop pro?thanks!
Jamal P. · January 19, 2006 - 23:22 EST #90
I have been a big fan of the Clamshell Ibooks for a long time, but sadly I was unable to buy a new one because it was discontinued. I am now searching again for it but this time with 466MHZ not 300MHZ. I was curious...if I was able to a High Quality used one...what would be upgradable? I want one so badly...I'd buy a new battery but I kinda need more ram or possibly even more space than 10GBs if possible (although I doubt it can pass 10GBs) due to the amount of work I'd do on it because of school.

Basically can anyone give me the best upgrade-advice about the Ibook 466MHZ?? or even a 300MHZ? I'd really appreciate it.
ATPM Staff · January 19, 2006 - 23:47 EST #91
Jamal - you're increasingly going to find more and more software that does not support the G3 processor. I've tried running OS X on an iBook and it was awful—even with the RAM maxed out.

We recommend for information about how you can upgrade older computers as well as some pointers for where to buy them. And of course, keeping watch on eBay is always the usual advice.
Jamal P. · January 20, 2006 - 00:19 EST #92
So it'd be better to not buy it due to the hard possibilites of finding newer software for it?
Kim · January 20, 2006 - 01:09 EST #93
Does anyone know where I can get the System Restore disks for the 466MHz or 300MHz clamshell ibooks?
ATPM Staff · January 20, 2006 - 01:51 EST #94
Jamal - indeed—especially when you consider that a brand new Mac mini is only $500 for the base model that is capable of a LOT more than an iBook. Though, with the recent introduction of Intel-powered Macs, I'd probably wait for an Intel-powered mini.

Kim - Apple certainly doesn't make them available any longer, and you can't legally download the later versions of Mac OS 8 or any release of OS 9. Keep using Google and eBay.
Joao Hess-Oliveira · January 25, 2006 - 11:06 EST #95
Hi there,

I intend to buy a second hand clamshell, and I would also consider to buy a new external USB DVD/ CD-RW to use with it.

Have anyone tried to use an USB CDRW-DVD combo in any of the clamshells?

Which models? (300 or 366mhz?)

How was the playback of movies? (Salving the size of screen and resolution, was the playback good enough?)

And the burning of CDs?

What about software compatibility?
Cause I suppose that the original OS9 or even the OSX once installed in a clamshell may not have a DVD player. Is there any other way around for that?

Thanks a lot in advance for the replies.
joao hess-oliveira · January 27, 2006 - 10:24 EST #96
Hello again guys!

I want to buy an OS X to install on my clamshell.

Initially I'll have only 128mb of RAM (I'll need to save some more before a proper RAM upgrade, as my Phd fees are quite 'demanding'), so which one will perform better? Jaguar or Panther? (I don't know much about Aqua, but everyone seems to think that is the worst so far). And I guess that Tiger is too much for such a little machine. In terms of price I guess that jaguar will be much cheaper, as is also older.

Also, as I'll have either an external cdrw-dvd or internal (if I manage to swap the cd), does any of these OS have embedded any DVD software player and CD burning programs?

Well, something else that I'll need is some sort of office program, but I read somewhere that OpenOffice X is quite good, so I can save some pennies in buying it from Microsoft.

Well, that's all folks.
Thanks a lot in advance for your replies.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 27, 2006 - 11:22 EST #97
Joao - You cannot run current versions of Mac OS X on 128MB of RAM. Minimum required is 256.

Moreso, I can tell you from experience—a colleague of mine tried running OS X (and it was 10.2, not the current 10.4) on a 333MHz iMac with the RAM maxed out, and it was still dog-slow. So even though you can run OS X on a clamshell iBook, it may not be all that pleasant.

I mentioned the RAM requirements which I believe Panther (10.3) also required. Jaguar (10.2) may have worked with 128, but I'm not sure there. But it may be of little consequence since it could be very difficult to find a copy of prior versions for sale. Scour Amazon and Google. Apple itself will only sell the most recent version.

If you do get them going, all versions of Mac OS X included a DVD Player application and built-in CD burning support, so no worries there.
Jay Jackson · February 1, 2006 - 08:35 EST #98
I want to get a clamshell, but would like to have the system set-up that I have on my emac, i.e. the choice of OS 10 and Classic mode [for which I have the software disk]. Can I install it on a clamshell and if so, what are your recommended specs? If not, is it possible to get a clamshell with System 9 loaded and load the OS X off my E-macs CD? I would really love to have the clamshell be my only computer. I have really low-end needs [no music, movie downloads or playing, no wireless, etc] but have a couple of Classic software programs that I cannot do without and can't afford to replace with newer versions.

I'd appreciate any help you can spare.
ATPM Staff · February 1, 2006 - 13:16 EST #99
Jay - you won't easily be able to transfer the OS X system from the eMac to the clamshell. You must have an OS X installation disc to put OS X on it. You do realize, I hope, that the clamshell iBooks are not as powerful as the eMacs and will operate much slower. If you want comparable performance to the eMac, you should consider one of the white G4 iBooks. But if you go with a G3 clamshell iBook instead, you'll want to make sure it was one of the later models that included a firewire port. The first few iBooks did not have one. With the firewire port, when you do a fresh OS X install, during the setup/configuration, you'll have the opportunity to connect your iBook via firewire to the eMac and all of your documents and configuration will be copied from the eMac. Note that this is not the same thing as copying everything over from the eMac. You're not copying the system—only your documents and personalized settings.
Ale · February 3, 2006 - 18:38 EST #100
Ibook G3 300 Mhz models are fantastic but surfing the web with 800 x 600 screen resolution is there a way to get images and text smaller during surfing the net?
ATPM Staff · February 3, 2006 - 22:01 EST #101
Ale - I don't imagine there's a way to make the images smaller because they're based on a specific pixel size. But since fonts (and we're talking actual text and not type that is really a graphic) are based on point sizes and are scalable, there should be a preference in your web browser to set the default font size to something smaller. But keep in mind that modern stylesheets are able to perform a certain amount of overriding and your font size settings may not apply to such pages.
Michael Tsai (ATPM Staff) · February 4, 2006 - 09:57 EST #102
I believe the Opera browser can scale down both the text and images.
raindance · February 11, 2006 - 03:26 EST #103
I'm using an iBook Tangerine 300 with 10.4.4 at home now. It works great. Secret is to get more than 300 meg of RAM in it. It's pretty easy to install OSX on it if it's Panther or below since they come on CDs. Tiger is a bit more a of pain since it mainly comes on DVD only (you can order the CDs from Apple) but it can be done without CDs (I've done it). I use it wirelessly with my Linksys 54G router and WPA Personal (Panther and above with updated Airport drivers allowed the original Airport cards to do WPA). Granted the thing isn't the fastest computer in the world. And yes, 800x600 is kinda clunky. But for general surfing and MS Office use the old G3 iBook rocks. If you can get one cheap, or if you have one go for it. It's a lot of fun. Besides the things are absolutely bulletproof. Very hard to break.
Richard Greene · February 20, 2006 - 15:49 EST #104
Hey ATPM Staff,

Great help site.

I've got original 300 MHz 3GB clammy with 128MB added. Not many problems with running - a little slow maybe and can only open about 3 apps. at a time.

Can you confirm that my sturdy but aging baby will take the 512MB card. And what's the fastest and biggest hard drive I can put on it.

Also, the phone line socket and the power socket are loose and the cables need to be weighted down all the time. Are they both on the logic/mother board.

Also, Shift, Control, Option and Apple buttons don't work - are these related to the logic/mother board as well [fingers crossed].

Would be great if you could start me off on my overhaul of my tangy clammy.
koimatsuba - from UK · February 22, 2006 - 18:27 EST #105
Hi ... Got an ibook g3 indigo 366mhz with Jaguar 10.2.8 and 320mb ram.

Use it for itunes/web/business banking.

Added 256mb sodimm pc133 CL=2 3.3v ram to inside to max out ram. Didn't notice that much differece to the 128 I had b4.

Apart from the 800 x 600 display, I think they are great machines. I have a main Sony vaio PC which I use for Gaming/ebay/surfing and as a main PC with broadband. Have got the ibook connected vai a crossover cable via the network slot in the sony vaio and ibooks. The ibook can surf the web now at broadband speed and I can see the ibook from my sony pc. May change to a G5 laptop later next year 2007, and sell both the sony and ibook for one system.

But for now the Mac is great.
Chris Erwin · February 23, 2006 - 20:32 EST #106
I just found this website and it has been very helpful. I recently got a ibook clamshell with 300mHz, 6 G HD and 300 Ram (added). I have been trying now for 3 days to install OS X any version. 10.2.4 and 10.3.4 and neither will work. I have heard about problems with instlalling these if the laptop does not have firewire... is this true? It is a basic ibook with only one USB port. It seems to have no other problems running OS 9.1 but I can't get it to run OS X.

When I have attempted to install it will not even recognize the CDs when I am attempting to install... it comes up with a response that the CD is not formated and would I like to re-format it.

The CDs are from the installs for my eMac, and while I love my eMac I need some mobility with school.

Any thoughts? I have searched on google a lot but your website was the first I found to be helpful.
ATPM Staff · February 23, 2006 - 23:07 EST #107
Chris - Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3 (Jaguar and Panther) will install on any model of iBook. It was 10.4 (Tiger) that bumped up the requirements to Firewire-enabled iBooks.

The problem you are likely having is that the system discs that come with a computer are designed to only allow boot-up and installation on the model computer they were shipped with. This cuts down on illegal installations of the OS. For example, it's not legal to buy a brand new Mac and use the bundled discs to upgrade the OS on an older computer you already own. You're supposed to purchase a copy of the version of OS X you want to install on that older machine, or purchase a family pack of five licenses (which sells for less than the cost of two normal licenses).

Since Apple is only going to sell the current version of OS X which will not run on non-Firewire iBooks, you'll need to do some searching around for a vendor (or via eBay) who still has some boxes of Jaguar or Panther.
raindance · February 24, 2006 - 17:23 EST #108
Chris - Use XPostFacto4 to install Tiger on your 300 Clamshell. That's how I got it on there and it works just fine (there is another way but it requires a little manipulation of the Installer PKG.) As far as CDs not being recognized, not sure on that one (unless something is wrong with the drive on your iBook.) I had no problem installing Panther from CD.
Marcus · March 23, 2006 - 18:43 EST #109
Thanks for the site. I am a new ibook user. I was given one for 20.00. I wanted to upgrade the ram from 192MB. Does it matter what kind of ram I intall? Do you have any recommendations on brand or is generic okay? Also, will it hold a 512MB stick? Thanks.....
ATPM Staff · March 23, 2006 - 18:50 EST #110
Marcus - yes, it does matter. Try visiting this site, clicking the Apple iBook link, then selecting your model iBook to find the type of RAM you need. The left side column will have some specs about your machine including the maximum amount. Keep in mind that you can either choose to buy the RAM from Crucial, or use that information to buy it elsewhere if you can find it cheaper. is a good place to look.
Marcus · March 27, 2006 - 12:51 EST #111
Thanks. One more question. I have a Clamshell revision B. I wanted to hook it up to a projector, but there is not a VGA input on the machine. Do you know of any USB port VGA inputs that I could us to hook up a projector with my USB port.

ATPM Staff · March 27, 2006 - 13:17 EST #112
Marcus - I'll have to do some checking and respond later to that one. Initially, I want to say you're out of luck. The original clamshell iBook had no video output options, but there may be workarounds. The simple fact is, the older iBooks are simply not well-suited for connecting any type of external display.

Don't count on getting any form of VGA output easily, but there may be a way of getting a composite video signal that you can plug into the projector's video input. If I find details on that, I'll post again.
ATPM Staff · March 27, 2006 - 21:20 EST #113
Marcus - maybe a reader can state differently, but from my digging, I've essentially determined that The original iBook and the first iBook SE cannot do any form of video output. The third version—the iBook SE Firewire—added a proprietary port that had composite video out. You'd have to obtain Apple's adapter to convert that to an RCA or S-Video jack.

If you have one of the earlier two versions of iBooks, you may simply be out of luck. No offense intended, but if there actually is a hack to get video out from an original iBook, my bet is that based on your earlier questions which admittedly labeled you as anything but an expert in computer hardware, it's reasonable to assume you wouldn't possess the necessary skill to perform the hack.
Taylor Leavy · April 24, 2006 - 23:53 EST #114
Hey, i have a slot-loading blue iMac. This thing is pretty much my DREAM computer. I mostly use it for instant messaging, email, and school work. I was wondering if you knew of any where I could get an iBook G3 (clam shell) on a paperboy's budget? (im serous, im 13 and my paper route is my MAIN income. I make about $30/wk) Is there anywhere to get one of these for like, $150 that ISNT eBay??? I would LOVE one of these. ive wanted one since i pulled up an iBook as iMac to go promo on the internet. This computer would be mostly used for browsing the web on a DSL line (ethernet connection, i used to have a PC so i had a wireless addapter for my parents DSL modem but that dosnt work with Mac OS 9 so i just put the modem in my room) and school work. Also, i have the iMac system restore kit, will this work on an iBook??? And by the way, im NEVER updating to MacOS X, i had a Power Macintosh G3 All-In-One that my mom got me before my dad got me the iMac and Mac OS X screwed it up, is there anyway to replace the hard drive and if i could sell this thing as-is would it be enough for like HALF of an iBook??? Its a REALLY good computer and its fast, i just need to get it up and running again. Also, i have a pretty good music collection on my iMac (40 somethin songs, all i really listen to) could i transfer this directly from iMac to iBook (using ethernet)??
ATPM Staff · April 25, 2006 - 09:45 EST #115
Taylor - what's your gripe against eBay? That's usually the best way to find stuff that isn't made any more.

You could try which tracks availability of discontinued hardware, but the sources/vendors listed usually aren't representative of the cheapest price you could get because they're marking up to make a little bit of profit. Buying direct from an owner (through your local classifieds or an online auction) is nearly always the cheapest way to buy something because the owner is usually looking to get what the item is worth, unlike a business trying to sell for what it's worth plus whatever amount of additional profit they can make.

Yes, you can replace the iBook hard drive. Here's one page with pictures that may be of help, but if it's not clear enough, just do some additional Googling for "replace g3 ibook hard drive" and you should find more help.

Yes, you can transfer your songs. It's a matter of enabling File Sharing on the computer you want to send to, and connecting to it using the Chooser (in OS 9 and earlier) from the computer you're sending songs from. Copy them over then drag them into the new copy of iTunes on the destination computer.
Mauricio · May 15, 2006 - 13:57 EST #116
I have one
G3 300 Mhz
runing osx 10.39
320 MB Ram
runing like a champ!!
Rayfard Johnson · May 19, 2006 - 14:38 EST #117
how can i sign on to this tangerine apple ibook , if i purchased it off the streets and didn't get the pass word!and i can't locate the person that i bought it from ,he's NOW in another state somewhere?? PLEASE HELP
Eric Blair (ATPM Staff) · May 20, 2006 - 02:10 EST #118
You need to get an OS install CD set (I don't think the iBook had a DVD option - make sure you don't buy an installer DVD). I believe the iBook will run 10.2 or 10.3. The installed CD has a Reset Password command that should fix you're problem. Here's one set of instructions I found on the web..

You should be able to find the older OS versions on sale at either small Mac retail shops or on the web. I know OWC has the 10.2 CDs for $30. 10.3 CDs might be harder to find.
Robert Massey · May 31, 2006 - 22:46 EST #119
I just recently purchased a used ibook G3 (800 mhz) off ebay and was hoping to use it for the purpose of doing some live music recording. I purchased a ram upgrade to max it out at 620mb. Whate else should i do to it to make it ideal for recording? What program should i use (can it even run protools or anything similar)? What kind usb device do i need to run mics through? I dont know much about macs as i have been a pc man since birth, but after losing the only recording of my bands best performance to date, I find i have no option but to use an ibook.
Marctraider · June 8, 2006 - 10:00 EST #120
I have a 300MHz iBook Blueberry with 160MB and 6GB hard disk!

Overclocked to 400MHz and 100% stable, I've tried 433MHz as well and stress tested it for 2 weeks, just after 2 weeks it gave the first problems...
Ricardo Parra · June 11, 2006 - 13:26 EST #121
Hello, I was wondering if I can install a 256 MB 144 pin SODIMM on my blueberry G3-300 Clamshell, but 100 or 133 mhz, pc66 dimm are far impossible to find in Chile. Besides, I would like to know what versions of MS-Office can I find for MacOS 9.3 or 10.3. And Finally, is there anyway to plug the magic shell to a datashow for presentations purposes?

Amit S · June 13, 2006 - 17:14 EST #122
Hi, Just to follow on from the question posted by Marcus · March 27, 2006.
The Way to get video output on a clamshell before the third revision is by using the "my view" box by EsKape ( hauppage ).
This connects to the USB port to give a composite and s-video output @ 640x480 in thousands of coulours. Not really good enough for a projector but still something!
Andrew C. · June 15, 2006 - 19:48 EST #123
I have an original Blueberry iBook an am looking to upgrade the harddrive. Does anyone know if 40 gig is the max or can I go to 80? Also, what is the max watts that the harddrive can use since the most that I have seen run on 5 watts. The current one that I have uses 4.7 watts. I would appreciate the help.
Scott Stringer · July 13, 2006 - 09:17 EST #124
This is a great page, I have just purchased a g3 ibook clamshell its the light blue model only has on usb port. I paid $100 for it the local school was selling them off. Eveything works including the airport card, it has 64 mg ram and 3 gig drive. I am going to upgrade ram and hard drive. Thsi site has been great
Donald Walters · July 19, 2006 - 11:53 EST #125
I have a 1999 G3 ibook w/ 32mb ram and 3.2gb harddrive. Can it hold a 256mb ram upgrade and a 40gig harddrive?
ATPM Staff · July 19, 2006 - 13:14 EST #126
Donald - according to, your model can accept up to a 256mb 3.3v 1.25 SO-DIMM memory chip. The page also says you can put in a 6gb hard drive. However, these specs were last updated about the time the iBook was discontinued. I've found at least two online stores that claim you can install a 512mb RAM chip, and possibly up to 120gb hard drive. Try here.
J Fiola · July 21, 2006 - 23:34 EST #127
I have a Graphite Clamshell 466 MHz running OS 9.2.2 and 10.0.4. I dropped a 512 stick in it so now I've got 576 MB of RAM. Some of the RAM websites say it is OK to put a 512 stick in the Clammy so I gave it a try. It's a faster speed but that doesn't matter, I think it's a 133 vs 100. No problems whatsoever...
ATPM Staff · July 21, 2006 - 23:47 EST #128
J. - yes, I believe a 512 chip is fine, too. And yes, a faster speed chip doesn't hurt. You get no benefit from the faster speed, but it will still work. It just slows down to the maximum the computer can handle.
C Hoogner · July 29, 2006 - 00:15 EST #129
I have a 300 mhz clamshell and was wondering if those little USB wireless internet adapters would work with my machine, its a much cheaper and easier route than hunting down an old airport card.
ATPM Staff · July 29, 2006 - 16:08 EST #130
Hoogner - only if they come with Macintosh drivers—specifically OS 8 or 9 drivers if you aren't running OS X on the iBook. The majority of USB wireless adapters only come with Windows drivers.
Tony O · August 3, 2006 - 08:35 EST #131
Hoogner- D-Link Makes a USB wireless Adapter and its for the Clamshell iBook G3, it also can be used on other Mac Computers with OS X Panther and Tiger. I use it, and it was very easy to set up.
Arthur "King" Henrick · August 9, 2006 - 03:05 EST #132
Sunnyvale, Califonria:

Well, I have an Original (one owner) iBook BlueBerry Clamshell. We bought it for $1599 back in 1999. 300 MHz, orginally 6 gig hd (noicy sucker!!!...WINE Wine). I added a 256 Meg chip long memory says 320 Megs total. I have OS 9.22 on it, OSX 10.2.8 and OSX 10.3.9. I recently updated the Hard drive..took HOURS... very tricky but now SOOO QUIET....VERY QUIET...and not hot at all (compaired to my Compaq 2145US (that died after 2.5 years).

The iBook cooks on 9.22 and runs very well web pages/Word 2001. Problem with OS9 is Internet explorer is SO old (5.1.7) that many web pages will NOT LOAD.

So, OSX 10.2 or OSX 10.3.9 run very nicely. Pages with moving graphics or videos (like do poorly. Great WiFi range (400 ft vs 80 feet for my dead Compaq). I have MS Word Office X for Mac... runs great. AOL for X also but a bit slow. Again, videos kill the poor ibook but iTunes works fine (the lastest and greatest).

I do like the tough case that iBook Clamshells have. When we first got it, my son, Jesse, (age 2) started jumping up and down on the closed iBook. We yelled at him but no damage done.

So presently 7 years, some cracks on the hard plastic and one missing key (z key). Had to replace the batters years ago... one has 1 hour left, the other has 2.5 hours remaining. Sending the bad batter off to Replacement Land.

Well, we just purchased for $1450 a new Core Duo (two hearts in Latin) Mac Book. 1 Gig Memory, 80 Gig HD. VERY fast compaired to the old iBook and A LOT HOTTER. She loves it, BRIGHT SCREEN, 4 hours battery and great WiFi Range. It does have trouble overheating ..especially if you close the lit BEFORE it shuts down completely.

Well, the old iBook is sitting around so I descided to updated it. Ordered a Hitachi 8 mm 40 Gig drive... found the directions but NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. Took me 7 hours... dropped screws here and there, nearly broke the poor mac. Was worth it, quiet as a dead mouse.....very little heat.

Well, my two cents worth. The old iBook is great for e-mail/Word.... enjoy.
Sidney · September 22, 2006 - 21:19 EST #133
After reading your article, I went to, and purchased an iBook G3 clamshell! I got a tangerine one, and boy is it cool!!!!!!!
Aydin Dogan · November 17, 2006 - 10:05 EST #134
hi, i have also iboook g3 but how can i find the english operating system.
i have the italian one and also the keyboard.
so, how can i have these things?
Taylor Leavy · November 27, 2006 - 20:15 EST #135
does anyone know a good store that sells (any) ibooks that are REALLY cheap??? id prefer a Clamschell (i dont care about speed, i just need if for school craps) but if something is cheaper and not a clamshell ill take it. Thanks! :-)

Also, does anyone know where to get a cheap iMac G3??? i really want one for my aunt and all she does is Email, IM and web stuff, thanks again!
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · November 27, 2006 - 20:58 EST #136
Taylor - Google is your best friend. Just keep searching "ibook for sale"

Keep watch on eBay, too.
David Dowling · January 5, 2007 - 20:57 EST #137
I recently purchased a m6411 ibook indigo for my daughter. It was relatively inexpensive. I would like to be able to connect to the internet. I don't want to spend the money for a wireless card therefore I am trying to connect via a direct cable from a Linksys wireless router. Model #WRT54G. We currently have cable internet and modem. When I connect the cable and try to connect it gives an error message. It says the software is not configured correctly.

Is there anything I can do without spending alot of $$?
I am very new to Apple and have read enough on the subject to be very confused.

Thank you,
Theron Melchior · January 8, 2007 - 14:12 EST #138
Howdy, Great page for the ol ibook.
Many questions answered many more though.

~ how expensive/hard is it to upgrade GB

~ is there a way to use firewire devices on the ibook? I have an external HD that is firewire.

~ my itunes wont upgrade. I want to use a middle version of itunes (the version that will recognize your ipod but not pull a bigbrother on it and take your music like the newest version does)
Do you know which I would need for a 30gb photo Ipod to connect?

Thank you mac supporters
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 8, 2007 - 14:39 EST #139
Theron - how to upgrade GB? I'm not sure if you meant hard drive or memory. If you're asking about the hard drive, try this page. If it's memory, follow this page.

To my knowledge, there's no feasible way to add firewire to an older iBook that did not originally have it.

As for your iTunes/iPod, I'm not even going to address the "pull a big brother" comment since no one is pulling a big brother. If you rip your own music, it's business as usual. You can choose not to buy songs from the iTunes Music Store and you're not subject to any of the DRM that comes with it. But I will say that the "newest version" does not just "take your music." Why don't you try elaborating on what you mean. Just because you have a problem with how something worked (or didn't work) doesn't mean everyone else did, too. I use iTunes 7 and am quite content with its operation.

If you want an older version of iTunes, you'll have to search through Apple's support/downloads pages. It may be that it simply isn't available any longer. You might find it on the original CD that came with your iPod photo.
Theron Melchior · January 8, 2007 - 17:57 EST #140
Thank you for your response.
Also, thanks for the link.
I am bummed about the firewire not working.
What I experienced with The later version of Itunes was a bunch of my songs (meaning songs I wrote, recorded and put on my Ipod) and a few other items were erased when I plugged into a friends computer. Kinda upset me is all. I have heard other complaints from folks.
As an independent musician I respect what apple does to protect us.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 8, 2007 - 18:50 EST #141
Thereon - what you described is not a fault of iTunes. It's the way it works. If you use automatic synchronization (the default setting), an iPod is only going to sync to one library at a time. You'd have found this in the initial user information if you had read it. The mistake people make is that they don't understand that in auto sync mode, an iPod is simply a mirror (either entirely or partially) of their iTunes library. Connect the iPod to another library, and it's going to become a mirror of that library. You can get your songs back on the iPod by resyncing it to your own library. Please don't tell me you removed the songs from your computer after you synced it to your iPod!

iTunes would have warned you before it performed the sync that it detected a previous library on the iPod and that it has to erase it before syncing the new library. Are you one of those people who just click "OK" or "Accept" without reading what it is you're approving?

Conversely, you can use manual synchronization and have an iPod contain contents from more than one library, but this means highlighting a number of songs and dragging them to the iPod icon in the list on the left side of the iTunes window.

People shouldn't be complaining about something that's caused by their own inability to not understand the technology they're using. This has nothing to do with Apple protecting you. It's a matter of your choice—use auto sync and mirror one library at a time, or use manual sync and put files from any library you wish. Simple.
Richard Sponder · January 27, 2007 - 14:16 EST #142
I have a 366Mhz IBook with 64M RAM running 9.2.2. I am thinking of upgrading to OS X.3. Should I get a 256M or 512M chip? Will I have any problem with a 512 M PC133 SODIMM? Thanks.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 28, 2007 - 01:55 EST #143
Richard - I'll have to let someone else speak to the chip type you mentioned, but I will say this...

You can never have too much RAM. OS X is going to poke along badly enough on a 366MHz iBook. Don't give it even more of a reason to crawl. Max out the RAM in that sucker.
chip · January 29, 2007 - 00:28 EST #144
I have a 300 mhz g3 ibook the clamshell as people call them, for sale if anybody would like one.

I wish they still made the same style
thats what made them sell,the look was so wild.
ollysugar · March 7, 2007 - 03:25 EST #145
I have inherited a tangerine 300mhz machine - gonna max the RAM - will I be able to connect to wi-fi networks ie Starbucks/metropolitan installations? If so, how? I have a USB bluetooth dongle - is that any help? Is there any benefit to trying to stay on the Classic OS? If so, where can I download Classic contemporary apps? Is there an optimum version of OS X? Many thanks,

ATPM Staff · March 7, 2007 - 08:47 EST #146
Olly - it will make no difference whether you're using OS 9 or OS X. If it's OS X, a 300mhz machine even with maxed RAM is liable to feel a little like wading through molasses with OS X 10.3 and up. 10.4 might be a bit more than it can comfortably handle.

Regarding USB wi-fi adapters, in my experience, there has been very limited driver support for those. If you have or can find software for them, it may only be available for OS X. Obviously you cannot use a PCMCIA wi-fi card since the iBook didn't have a PCMCIA slot. The ideal choice would be to search eBay and other online e-tailers to find an old Apple AirPort card that your iBook is compatible with. You might want to check to be sure you don't already have an AirPort card installed.

Once you have a properly recognized USB adapter or an AirPort card you should be fine to connect to metro wi-fi hotspots.
Annalisa Sommariva · March 23, 2007 - 20:24 EST #147
Thank you for this website. Really useful and informative. I just bought a used tangerine Ibook on ebay and I'm in love with it. I have to spend an awful amount of time on laptops/desktops, usually writing or editing documents, therefore I don't need anything too powerful or new. The only thing I'm worried about is the noise, as I often need to work in libraries and I would hate to disturb other people. Any suggestions?
amelia · March 27, 2007 - 22:45 EST #148
i noticed you mentioned about how hard apparently the comp is to open, but i'm getting mine in less than 12 hours (second hand - not straight from the original owner) and am assuming it's going to stump and frustrate me. as it's going to be coming with no manuals, discs or anything else bar the comp itself, can you please help me out on this?

you know... just in case...?

thanks :)
Paullingling Chingching · May 24, 2007 - 08:02 EST #149
Hello! I want a tangerine iBook original clamshell G3 with wireless AirPort card that is cheap, good quality and handy for postage and packaging. Any ideas where I can get one? I am looking for one that is $10-$100 and I really need help. It is just for everyday stuff on the internet like msn etc. Please reply. :)
shifuimam · May 31, 2007 - 11:04 EST #150
Look on eBay - they routinely go for $100-$150. You won't find one for cheaper than that unless you know someone who's trying to unload theirs for any price.
corri batten · July 16, 2007 - 23:09 EST #151
I need a good game for my 300 Mhz clamshell running os 9 and a good movie player can you help me
Chip Mullins · August 1, 2007 - 08:42 EST #152
Hi i am wondering do I have to have the Airport card inorder to connect wirelessly?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 1, 2007 - 09:05 EST #153
Chip - yes.
george · August 15, 2007 - 00:34 EST #154
Do you know where I could find system restore discs for this model? I'm stuck! Apple doesn't have them.

thanks, geo
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 15, 2007 - 01:40 EST #155
George - Google around. I found this link, maybe it will be useful:
elle Kummer · October 17, 2007 - 03:25 EST #156
Hi I have a ibook white case made 2001 just bought it know nothing about macs need some advice if possible
I turned it on and a window pops up telling me to set time or applications may run funny. I followed per instructions in OS 9.1 Went to system pref. opened control panel doubled clicked the time/ date settings, After I did this I hear I think 2 chimes and it will not let me change the time or date.
Anyone know whats going on and why it's not letting me change the time and date.
Katherine Mcarthy · November 9, 2007 - 16:31 EST #157
hi! i want to buy a ibook G3 clamshell laptop too,but the only way i can get it really cheap is if i get it at ebay and my friend said that it might be already used,so im not sure if i can get one.anyhoo im still going to ask my mother even if the laptop is used. because i really want one!bye-bye!thanks for listening.
Craig Phillips · November 25, 2007 - 01:39 EST #158
Did you know that you can max out the RAM by adding a 512 stick of RAM. i did that with my iBook clamshell and its running better then ever!
Kimberly Hernandez · December 6, 2007 - 01:06 EST #159
I bought an indigo clamshell off ebay as a replacement for my Hewlett Packard that was only 3 years old and decided to go postal. I don't know why anyone would be squeamish about buying one off ebay. This one was refurbished with 320 Mb of RAM and a 60 GB hard drive and it came loaded with expensive software. The seller swapped out the CD drive with one from a Graphite DVD model. It came with Microsoft office for mac, appleworks, adobe photoshop, and a great utility program. It runs panther just fine and I can watch movies, listen to music, and it's blazing fast on the net. I did have to buy an external burner for it but it was worth it. I paid around 460 for it with the warranty. It wasn't a bad deal considering how much I put into my old laptop. It's still going strong and I love it! All I had to install was an antivirus and a little firewall and I don't worry about a thing. So I would recommend just scouring ebay for the right one. Of course they're used, but some sellers take pride in their work and you might even get a good deal. I went Mac and never looked back!
theron melchior · January 12, 2008 - 15:43 EST #160
I have a orange clamshell g3 with osX and have a couple questions....

what is the best version of itunes to use?

are those airport wireless cards still the best way to go for wifi connections?

Also how do you defragment (or what it is you do to a mac that cleans up its data)? I think I remember open apple cntrl at the start up?

is osx the best for the g3?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · January 12, 2008 - 16:29 EST #161

1 - the latest version is the best to use—or whatever the last version is that an old G3 is capable of running.

2 - Airport cards might be your only way to go. They're the only cards that will go into the Airport slot inside the laptop. Even if you found a 3rd party PCMCIA (PC-Card) wireless card with software to work on a Mac (which is rare), the iBooks didn't have PCMCIA slots anyway.

3 - There are numerous utilities for defragging a drive, though there's not generally a huge need to do so. I don't know of any command you can invoke to have the Mac do it automatically.

4 - The G3 iBook should at least be fine running OS X 10.3. It *might* run 10.4, but would struggle. I seriously doubt it can run 10.5 and even if it can, it'd be so slow, you'd wonder why you bothered.
Patrick Lafferty · January 31, 2008 - 21:18 EST #162
my wife dropped our ibook 300 clamshell. now the cd rom won't stay closed. I've been to the apple site to look for any instructions on how to access the latch system for the cd-rom drive, but to no avail.

any ideas on how to open the cd rom so I can see where the latch is either disengaged or broken??
Gordon · March 16, 2008 - 18:50 EST #163
Hi there, I have just bought a G3 300 blueberry from ebay, 64Mb ram what is the most ram I can put into it, I dont need any fancy software just need reliable playing of MP3's for backing tracks. prob itunes.I saw previous post for 512 but no mention of model. many thanks,

Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · March 16, 2008 - 20:35 EST #164
Gordon - That particular iBook officially supports a 256mb RAM chip as the highest, but people have successfully added a 512. Look for 144-pin PC66 SO-DIMM chips that are at least 10ns in speed.
Chris Gordon · March 26, 2008 - 09:52 EST #165
I"ve upgraded my graphite ibook as much as possible I'd like to change the DVD/Cd player for a CDRW/DVD. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to look or has done this themselves?.

By the way, if you can run OS10.4 on your ibook, you can buy a USB wireless adapter rather than hunting for - and paying a great deal - for the compatible airport card. And a 512 mb ram upgrade works very well!
Janne Lindkvist · May 28, 2008 - 16:34 EST #166
I've been using a wireless USB-adapter from D-Link for 3 years now. I'm running 10.3.9 on my Blueberry G3.
Tonia Redfurn · June 14, 2008 - 16:35 EST #167
i love your site! i just purchased a tangerine clam from ebay last sunday. Im waiting for it to arrive i'm so excited. jsut wanted to say that your site is heavenly and helpful :)
peno · October 29, 2008 - 18:01 EST #168
Does anyone know of a site I can download drivers for the original clamshell? I'm specifically looking for the airport drivers. -peno
ATPM Staff · October 29, 2008 - 19:17 EST #169
Peno - is your clamshell running Mac OS 9 or OS X?
peno · October 29, 2008 - 21:42 EST #170
Its running 9.0 now but I was thinking of going to X. Is that recommended? I really just want to use it as a web-surfboard. The airport card is: apn 630-2883. Are there any updates you recommend? Thanks -peno
ATPM Staff · October 29, 2008 - 21:52 EST #171
Peno - Apple's legacy downloads are at and May have what you need for OS 9.

I'm not sure that the clamshells can run Mac OS X 10.5, but if you can find a copy of 10.3 and max out the RAM, it should do well, and OS X has the AirPort software built in. Not to mention OS X will be more stable and secure than OS 9.
Scott Thomas · November 17, 2008 - 16:53 EST #172
I purchased my blueberry clam shell new in 2000 if memory serves. It is running 9.0.4 with a 366 G3 and a 64 mg HD. I would like to be able to hook it up to my wireless B/band router. It doesn't have an airport card. Do I need to get an airport extreme card? More RAM? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated in getting the old girl up and running on the internet for my son.
Rina · November 27, 2008 - 22:39 EST #173
@Scott Thomas

You need to get the original (no extreme) Airport card, it's around 30-35 bucks on eBay. I'm not familiar with OS9 but under Tiger (with Dashboard and Spotlight disabled) my clamshell (466, 320 mb, 10 HD) is doing almost perfectly. The network was detected at once! For websurfing I recommend using iCab or Camino (Safari is a memory hog) and no Youtube for you inside the browser, it's horribly slow (but you can access the mobile version, that runs flawlessly). I've done some Word documents while listening to music and being in Adium and no problems until I opened Camino, went a little slow, but that can be fixed by disabling flash temporally. Good luck with your project!
Laura Lee · November 28, 2008 - 18:55 EST #174
I purchased a blueberry clamshell, and opened it to play and all works fine, and connected to internet with airport card picking up my network router. The second time I went to play, i opened entourage and it walked me through something that wanted to set up my e-mail. Now it says it can't find the server and won't connect to internet. Any advice???
staranna · December 4, 2008 - 21:07 EST #175
whoa. please., if anyone knows anything about this mac computer, will you contac me ? someone has it for 25.00 and i figure its worth the hour drive to get it for my 9 year old who only uses his shared laptop with his 11 year old sister for youtube country song viewing...what do you think??

The guy said the only problem is that the door wont stay shut , you have to hold it shut...can that be fixed???? i looked it up on the net and it shows that sometimes the doors get STUCK and you can unstick them from the control panel??
Katherine · February 2, 2009 - 18:52 EST #176
Hello mac lovers,
I am looking to sell my tangerine iBook G3/300. I stumbled across this website and thought I might see if anyone is interested. I bought it off ebay for $220. It works great, but I am going off to college and a specific laptop is required. The iBook was upgraded and comes with an airport card. More specs for interested buyers. Please post a reply if you are interested!
George Gomez · March 26, 2009 - 03:25 EST #177
no you can't play internet videos on the clamshell the play at 1kb per second but i think works. buy it for 25.00 put 512mb ram then sell it for much more no ebay. but their still very good laptops. they do the job dont miss out
George Gomez
wanda dupree · July 24, 2009 - 19:06 EST #178
Can I use wireless at restraunts, and motels that offer free wifi with the clamshell if I have a airport card
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 24, 2009 - 20:27 EST #179
Wanda - the clamshell model used the original Apple Airport card, not the Airport Extreme. If the Airport is already installed in the clamshell, then yes, the wifi is the same and you should be able to sign in just fine. The only caveat you may encounter would only apply if you're using OS 9 instead of OS X on the iBook and you are trying to connect to a password-protected wifi signal. In older versions of Mac OS and the Airport software, the algorithm for passphrases was different, and you actually had to get the actual hexadecimal key that corresponded to the passphrase. Kind of complicated. But the open wifi that isn't encrypted should be fine. There may be a proxy page in your web browser you have to sign into before you can do much with the internet, but that's a different thing than the wifi password.
Jon Lewis · August 13, 2009 - 14:48 EST #180
I have a Clamshell G3 SE. I want to give the to my 6 year old.
When she Visits some websights like Webkins some pages display to large. Is there a way to terminal and change the resolution? thanks
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 14, 2009 - 08:25 EST #181
Jon - someone is welcome to correct me, but I'm nearly positive there's no means—at least none simple—for faking a higher resolution on an LCD screen.
Eric Dawson · February 14, 2010 - 03:31 EST #182
Jon - There is no way to change the resolution on the old clamshell models - they were designed to have a maximum resolution of 800x600 pixels and as a result webpages may appear "large".

Depending on what version of Mac OS and web browsing you are running (I recommend Firefox), there is a simple workaround: decrease the level of zoom; this will make the webpages display correctly but the text will most likely appear considerably smaller.
Duane · February 26, 2010 - 21:43 EST #183
What the largest hard drive I can use in a 466 mhz clamshell?
Daniel Tobin · March 13, 2010 - 09:51 EST #184
It will take up to 128 Gig hard drive if you update the firmware to the latest version. Also will take 512 Meg module of ram. I use a Belkin F5D 8053 wireless N USB adapter for fast internet. I'm running 10.4.11 Tiger.
Naê Cruz · July 2, 2010 - 13:20 EST #185
Hi there, I always had this dream to buy a G3 ibook and I found one. My question is: Is it worth it to spend around 200 dollars on a laptop that has only 466mhz processor,RAM320MB,HD 10GB,DVD-ROM? It includes a battery, an Apple adapter, Office 2004, and a clean install of Mac OS X "Tiger". It has a wireless card. Airport Wireless Ready!! (Card is included)

This iBook has Firewire and 8 MB of VRAM. I asked both my father and my brother if it`s worth it, and they said NO but I want an answer from a third part.

Daniel · July 3, 2010 - 01:28 EST #186
It will have it's limitations. It's a novelty at this point. You can use it as a word processor, light web browsing, listening to music, texting, etc. You will only be able to do one task at a time. The hard drive can be upgraded to around 120 Gigs. It's hard to do but it is possible. Is it practical as an every day computer? Not really. But if you think it's cool and you want to turn some heads, go for it.

If you want a useful everyday computer get at least a G4 at 1.33Ghz or more. They are going for about $300.00 and can run Leopard. (not Snow Leopard). That's my opinion. In the end it's what you want. A novelty or a truly useful laptop.

Hope that helps.

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