iBook Server: For those times when speed, storage, and current software don’t matter - Macenstein

iBook Server: For those times when speed, storage, and current software don’t matter

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

It’s never easy when a Mac dies. On the one hand, you want to show your Mac the respect it deserves for serving you so well all those years. On the other, you REALLY want to cut it open and see if you can make its carcass do anything cool.

Such was the dilemma which faced faithful Macenstein reader Jonas Krøyer over at c-h-a-o-s.com. He came into possession of a 500 MHz G3 iBook with a nonfunctional screen, and decided to make lemonade out of that lemon. With very little additional investment, Jonas was able to turn that old iBook into an “iBook Server“, as he calls it. The process involved quite a bit of cutting, gutting, and soldering, but in the end, he ended up with a pretty sweet-looking (if not sweet-functioning) piece of hardware.

Of course, using a 500 MHz G3 iBook as a server certainly has its limitations. For one, I believe they shipped with no larger than 15GB drives, so assuming he did not replace that (he doesn’t say) there isn’t a whole lot of room to serve from. Also, there is no Airport, and you are stuck running Tiger on G3’s, but still, it is an impressive hack and deserves a big Mac Geek salute! Great job Jonas!

6 Responses to “iBook Server: For those times when speed, storage, and current software don’t matter”
  1. Peter F. says:

    Totally cool hack.
    I also love his “getting ready for OSX Leopard” project http://www.c-h-a-o-s.com/2007/05/17/c-h-a-o-scom_chaos_leopard-ready-hdd/

  2. Rowlings says:

    I love stuff like this. thank god tech gets obsolete. It leads to cool hacks like this!

  3. Gaspar H. says:

    Very cool hack indeed. I wouldn’t do it, but it’s good to know that people actually show respect to obsolete and failed hardware, and they give it new life. I myself own a 600 MHz G3 iBook and for the last day or so it’s been acting as our “router” since our APe (AirPort Express) decided to get unstable. I got a generic Linksys Wireless G router as its replacement. What’s odd is that my APe still works for AirTunes with no stablity issues. Oh well.

  4. imajoebob says:

    I’ve got to replace my PowerBook Ti (1GHz) fairly soon, and it deserves a noble retirement. It’s 4 years old, the battery died and pressure on the case above it will shut the system down (bummer!), so the slot is left empty. The bottom bezel clips don’t all clip, the top bezel is cracked above the DVD slot, the modem died (big whoop) and, of course, the hinges are both broken. The screen is angled at about 95º to stay open, and I use Duck® Tape to keep it from falling backward. It’s also on it’s second HD (upgrade from 40 to 60GB!). But the damn thing works, and works well, including the AirPort. I also have a couple Firewire external drives (only USB 1.1), so it could make a great home server.

    But the nice binder may be putting lipstick on a pig (no offense, computer). Besides, it wears it scars with pride. This is a certain bookmark for when I bite the bullet for a new MB Pro.

  5. Aaron says:

    Back in 2001, I worked for a technical company and we wanted to upgrade the Windows 2000 web server over a weekend. So, I brought my (then) new iBook G3/500 laptop, copied the content over to the iBook and started Mac OS X 10.1’s web sharing and swapped out the server for the iBook.

    The upgrade on the Windows box went horribly wrong (surprise!) and my little iBook had to run web server duty for a week, serving close to 4GB per day. Amazingly, customers and internal customers were amazed how much faster the web site was… especially when I told them it’s running on an Apple laptop with a very early version of Mac OS X!

  6. Peter F. says:

    He just posted a new article on Mac fun…kinda cool to
    Not as cool as the iBook server though…

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