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My own little iBook G4 project

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So I recently revived an iBook G4 (12" 1.33ghz) that was abandoned by the original owner because it kept crashing from kernel panics. At the time, Apple told him that the only solution was to replace the logic board itself for hundreds of dollars.

The alternative to this, which they either weren't aware of or chose not to divulge, is to just disable the Airport. No more kernel panics.


So it's back up and running, which is excellent, but it was still hindered by a small hard drive and no wireless capability.


Using the kext file and instructions (provided in this thread by Simania_NL) I was able to successfully install a Linksys WUSB54GC, thus restoring wireless functionality.


A SimpleTech Signature Mini 320GB external hard-drive provided the necessary upgrade in available space, and it's working out quite well. The one drawback is that it requires 2 USB inputs in order to function. This is a significant drawback because the iBook is only equipped with 2 USB inputs.


This means that I can't use the HD and the wireless dongle at the same time. Not a major problem, but still an inconvenience.


Anyway, on to the actual modding.


I figure the only reason one would need/want a laptop is for portability. If you have to carry around a bunch of seperate cables and peripherals, the portability aspect takes a hit. So I wasn't prepared to do that with the external HD and the wireless dongle (which sticks out a fair bit, so it wouldn't be the safest thing to have in all the time).


Velcro to the rescue.




As you can see, both peripherals are now securely attached to the back of the monitor (as is a Wiimote, which I use to control iTunes when the laptop is hooked into the car stereo - there's another velcro strip on the car's armrest where the Wiimote sits when in use).


The length of the wires for the Linksys is a small issue, but one that's easily remedied with a shorter cable (purchase pending).


There exist three main problems that still need to be addressed:


1) The inability to have the Linksys and the SimpleTech in use at the same time. This can only be fixed with a USB hub, but the problem there is that it needs to be self-powered (I don't want to have to carry around a seperate AC adapter just for the hub). The problem with that is that a self-powered USB hub capable of running an external HD that already requires 2 USB hubs to function, as well as a wireless dongle, as well as a USB IR receiver (which I'll eventually get to improve the IR functionality of the Wiimote) looks to be impossible.


2) The peripherals are exposed. To fix this, I'll need to fabricate/purchase a shell that can attach to the back of the monitor, thereby protecting the peripherals. This shell will need a hinged door for easy access to the Wiimote, it needs to be easily removable in case I need to use the HD with another computer, and it needs open ports on the side for the Linksys and SimpleTech USB cables to run through.


3) White cables. I need white USB cables.


So, there it is so far. Not much of a true mod at this point, but it will be once I get that shell on there.


Any suggestions?

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If you want to accomplish that mod the case and put a USB hub inside. Then make the top screen cover [bezel] a little thicker and hook up your third party items through there while making sure that the scrren is secure.

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