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Old August 9th, 2005, 06:18 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 8
Buying a used ibook

I'm thinking about buying an old ibook just for playing around with wireless internet and word processing. Maybe a little imovie also. I have a G5 that I'll use for everything serious, this is just a machine that will let me do some work out of the office. I'm looking at the 12in ibooks. Does anyone have any experience with a G3 800mhz, 640mb RAM, running Tiger? What would be a good price for this system?
12-inch display
800MHz PowerPC G3
640MB memory
32MB video memory
30GB hard drive
Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
Built-in AirPort (wireless internet)
Built-in Firewire
Built-in USB
Latest Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.2)

Additional infos:
Has a brand new display (was replaced in April 2005)
Matt Weber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2005, 06:53 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,462
It should be fine for word processing and web browsing, but not snappy. We have a bunch of the original white 12" iBooks at work (500 mhz G3). Funny the LCD screens failed on several of them too - also the CD drives. Just recently I was updating a 700mhz G3 15" iBook, I put Panther on it last year. It ran a lot better under Panther than it had been on OS 9. But compared to my 1ghz 15" powerbook it seemed *really* slow. And last year I updated one of the 12" 500mhz G3 iBooks to Panther. Again, big improvement over OS 9. But it's just really slow by today's Mac standards. You will really notice the slower CPU while web browsing when you open large JPEG's or anything else that requires the CPU to decompress something.

I have never tried iMovie on any of these, but I suspect it will work. The internal drive may not be up for it, but a 7200PM FW drive should be better (on second thought, not sure that iMove will work on an external drive...). In college 4 years ago my daughter and her then boyfriend made hours of iMovie projects (really quite good!) on her iMac DV which was a 600mhz G3 with 256MB RAM running Mac OS 9.0.1. I was surprised how well iMovie ran on that machine.

I'm just wondering if you'd be better off sticking to an older version of MacOS and iMovie. Have not played much with iMovie HD yet, but I wonder if it was written with a much faster processor in mind?
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2005, 10:10 PM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 234
I have a 12" iBook (700MHz, 384MB RAM, 20GB HD, CD, Panther 10.3.x) that I have been dragging around for years. It's never been anything more than a word processor (just TextEdit, nothing fancy) and a portable, wireless Web Browser (FireFox) so I can check my email and surf when I want to be portable.

I wouldn't dream of running iMovie on it, or for that matter ANYTHING that's processor intensive. But then again, I don't run processor intensive stuff on my old G4 Dual 450 anymore either, and that's a LOT more powerful than the little iBook.

Don't get me wrong; I love my iBook and I'd be quite lost without it, especially on my out-of-town trips (a dozen or so a year) but it's not really up to the task of intensive work...even with iMovie.

Duane Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2005, 09:45 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 424
I bought the same iBook, the 12 inch 800mhz model when it first came out. That model had a lot of problems with a bad logic board, in the 2 1/2 years I have had mine, the logic board got replaced twice, it will still be under the logic board replacement extension from Apple until this Dec. If you bought one used and it went out then you would have to pay $500 to replace it.

You might be better off just getting a new iBook. Unless you knew the person who owned it, buying used laptop is kinda risky, I think. Who knows when it will crap out on you and if the warranty is no longer valid, repairs to a bad iBook will have you wishing you bought a new one.

I have a G5 to do all my work, I rarely use my iBook anymore, sometimes I'll take it with me to show photos or some work to a someone who I'm working with. Plus, the battery will only have enough power for about an hour and a half now, so I should get a new battery if I start taking it out more.
ChorizoSmells Video
Barrio Tamatsukuri, Osaka, JAPAN
Rik Sanchez is offline   Reply

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