Revised with new information November 20, 2016

Picture of a lime green iBook Still loving my lime iBook!

(but needing help
for continuing to use it)
(scroll down to see the list of software and versions I use)

As of 2008, it was retired as my primary computer... but I still LOVE my "old" lime iBook (clamshell), which I named "Elvis." When I got it, I was as excited about the performance of this computer as I was with the very first Mac I owned, back in 1990 (a Mac Classic II, still the best computer I've ever had). I wonder if I'll ever feel that way again about a Mac... For more than seven years, it was my primary computer: reliable and powerful, and it has never stopped having SASS, even today. I don't know how to say in techno-jargon why this computer is so great. I just know that it is. I took it to Germany, I took it to Spain, I took it to Afghanistan... it never let me down. My lime green clamshell iBook, bought in December 2000, came loaded with just about everything I needed for work and for fun, certainly more than Macs come loaded with now. Unlike today's Apple laptops, I knew how to use it immediately, as well as how to make the desktop look exactly the way I wanted. I was able to navigate my documents and applications exactly the way I wanted to. I could do almost everything with it I do with a computer now - I could even use it for live video chats with a program called iVisit. And it was LIME GREEN. People came up to me in airports and hotel lobbies to ask me about it. The guy at the Macintosh store in Cologne, Germany was in love with it on first sight when I brought it in seeking additional memory in 2001. 

Because of the changes in most web sites (NONE of which improve content delivery for users - it just makes it possible to send out more advertising and eat up bandwidth) which prohibit many old browsers from accessing such, because of changes in how wireless Internet works, and because of some VoIP technologies that aren't accessible, I finally had to buy a new computer (yes, a Mac) in 2007 - and just a few years later, yet another.

I cannot get this key lime green clamshell iBook on the Internet anymore, either wirelessly or plugged in directly to the Internet, but others say that it IS possible. I'm not looking to surf the web, because I know that's impossible because of modern web sites (except for maybe some very simple mobile-ready web sites), but I would love to be able to listen to online radio / live streaming via my clamshell. Someone on eBay was selling a key lime green clamshell in 2016 and said that use of the Internet on this machine, wired or wireless, does work, though it's quite slow and subject to crashing. The seller said the wireless card inside these laptops is “B” and, therefore, your Router/Access-Point needs to be set up on WEP Security, NOT WAP (most networks today are “N”, with WAP security). And even with Internet access, the seller says it is not possible to use Facebook or YouTube or most social media sites. They said Camino is the best web browser for this machine. But that seller also said that the lime green iBook is still great for listening to and managing a music library, for word processing (appropriate to the operating system), and for keeping and looking at photos.

My Lime Green Clamshell details:
I also have a vintage AirPort Base Station M8440, introduced in November 2001. "It is only capable of providing a 802.11b wireless network" - so does that mean cannot be used to access the Internet? Could it be used as just a local network to transfer files? Anyone? It has two ethernet ports and one USB port. It is not an AirPort Extreme. Back in the day, this base station could serve a maximum of 50 wireless clients simultaneously. This model is based on Motorola's PowerPC 855 processor and contained a fully functional original AirPort Card, which can be removed and used in any compatible Macintosh computer. From what I understand, for Internet connections to an M8440 Airport base station, a laptop would need to be directly connected to the base station, via an ethernet cable from the LAN port on the base station to the ethernet port on your laptop. "Then, bring up your AAU 3.1.1 to finish the reset." No idea what that means. The software I have on my iBook to talk to it is Airport 2.0.4.


I would love to hear from you if you have an Apple Clamshell iBook and still use it. What operating system do you use? What have you done to it in terms of hardware upgrades/changes? Can you use it to access the Internet? What software do you have on it, and what versions of such? And how do you actually use it? Tell me more! Please contact me!

One issue I'm having with my clamshell iBook is that it no longer recognizes CDs when I install music from such into the iTunes library. It plays them, it saves the music, but it doesn't download or show any song or CD info. Any ideas on what I can do to solve this?

On eBay, I found someone selling a Tangerine Apple iBook G3 300 MHz Clamshell Running Debian Linux 8.6 - a 16 year old laptop/notebook that is running a 2 month old operating system. "So in addition to being super retro and cool looking, it also runs one of the newest, safest, and most stable operating systems in the world." The profile says that "numerous programs are installed including three different desktop environments and one window manager (See picture 11). This means you have four variations of Debian desktops and their associated programs to choose from. " It's model M2453, an iBook G3 300MHz released in 2000). Other details: 40 GB IDE (2.5 inch laptop hard drive); the original hard drives were 6 GB. CPU: 300 MHz PowerPC processor, RAM: 576 MB (64 MB built in plus 512 MB). Video RAM = 4 MB. Here's what the eBay seller says about it:

Is it slow? Yes, heavier programs are slow, but its not a complete sleepfest as some things are actually fast. Check out the Various Programs and Web Browsers video below. A few things are not going to work like most movies, videos or video related projects. At 4MB, there just isn't enough video RAM. Some music CDs work, some don't.

Did I "refurbish" it? Depends on your definition. This is what I know and did. Purchased three dozen at a state auction in 2004. Quick external cleaning, tested and kept stored for 12 years. Last month I disassembled this one for inspection and to install a 40 GB hard drive. I upgraded the RAM to its maximum amount of 576MB. I cleaned it externally and internally as I proceeded. Normally there is very little dust, etc in these machines because they have no fans. I also check for proper placement, loose screws, heat spots, blocked exhausts, broken plastic, screw mounts, dried thermal paste or pads and anything else out of the ordinary.

Here are actual test results from using the machine listed in this auction. During tests, it was plugged into AC power and connected with Cat5 Ethernet cable through a switch to a cable modem. Test times varied some, so times are approximate, averaged or show a range. Other programs were NOT open during tests. Your results may vary. Test results follow.

From pressing the power button to the login screen takes 1 minute and 35 - 40 seconds. After choosing a desktop environment and typing the password at the login screen, it takes these times to reach full desktop for each desktop environment:
It takes these times to shut down from each desktop environment: What about wireless internet? Numerous wireless devices work with Debian. On this iBook model, one has two choices, Airport card or USB wireless. Airport cards have old 802.11b WEP level security. Their security, speed and range suck. Your other choice is to plug a wireless device into the USB slot. The USB slot on these iBooks run at USB 1.1 speeds. If you can find a USB 1.1 wireless LAN device, it will suck like the Airport card. Sadly, the speed of a USB 2.0 wireless device will suffer dramatically in the USB 1.1 slot. If it works at all, there may be no speed benefit and may be slower than the other two choices. Security should be better than the other two as most USB 2.0 wireless devices have 802.11g WPA level security. Its hard to say which would be fastest of the three possibilities. In any event, I strongly recommend using a high speed wired connection for internet use.


Through December 2007, before I upgraded to a new computer, I used my iBook, which still runs OS 9, to:

Some of those things you can still do with an iBook running OS 9 - but most of the things I can't do anymore, because I cannot get the computer on the Internet anymore, either wirelessly or plugged in directly to the Internet. I would LOVE to be able to remedy this, not to surf the web, because I know that's impossible because of modern web sites (except for maybe mobile-ready web sites), but just to listen to online radio / live streaming.

If you have any specific advice on getting this iBook running OS 9 on the Internet - or if you have managed to do so - please contact me!

What do I use my iBook for now? To:
I would love to use it to livestream radio stations, but can't get it on the Internet. If you have any specific advice on getting this iBook running OS 9 on the Internet - or if you have managed to do so - please contact me!

I'm relatively certain I could get the computer on the Internet if I upgraded the OS to 10, and I've heard it can be done. I've got the discs... but I'm afraid to do it...

Here's advice for a web browser for the iBook:


I have an old Airport that both I and my then beau, now husband (an IBM/Clone user with an old version of Windows) used to access the Internet via wireless network. In August 2005, I bought a LaCie d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface (USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, 160GB), so that my data could stay here while I took my laptop on the road more often -- and I saw a marked improvement in my iBook performance because I moved so much data to the external hard drive. The LaCie hard drive also makes backups a breeze. In addition, I installed (okay, a friend installed) a 256 internal memory upgrade from, and that made the iBook oh-so-much faster and more powerful. Total cost of the hard drive and the memory upgrade: around $250. HOWEVER, now that my MacBook also accesses the LaCie, my iBook takes several minutes to connect to such.

Could I use an iPod with my lime iBook? According to what I've read online, only if it's a 1st or 2nd generation, and NOT anything later and NOT a mini. Also, you need for the iPod to be loaded with all of its original software and settings. Anything else will NOT work with such a computer, because Apple has put in all sorts of blocks on later iPods to prevent non-OSX users from using the tools (and I've yet to read about anyone hacking such for OS9).

I could use a webcam with my iBook -- but I never bothered to buy one, as none of my friends or family had such then, and few of my professional associates used them when this was my primary computer.


What software am I running? It's all "old," and I share this list to help others who are also running old machines (as far as I know, this is the latest versions of all of the following that will work on a computer such as mine):

Read a complete inventory of software I use on the iBook, and what is comparable on the Macbook

: In 2006, when I tried to empty my trash on my iBook, I got a -127 error message. The trash showed a jpeg file that was more than 130 GB -- impossible on my little lime iBook with just over 9 GB of disk space. The date and time also reset itself, twice, to January 1, 1901. Zapping the pram or rebuilding the desktop with TechTool did nothing, nor did using Disk FirstAid. Someone on the Open University Mac Users Forum recommended DiskWarrior, and since nothing else would work and I couldn't find any other advice for this problem, I ordered it. It arrived, I used it, and the -127 error was gone and my computer trash was empty! I'm not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to technology tools (and cannot understand why anyone would ever confuse me for a techie), but had no problems using DiskWarrior at all, straight out of the box. And it was awesome to find a product that works with OS 9x (let me say it again: not all of us have the funds to upgrade our systems to OSX and all of our software to work with such). DiskWarrior not only fixed my problem, it also cleaned up my iBook's "directory structure," (which it turns out it very much needed). An added bonus: DiskWarrior has an internal diagnostic that can let you know if a drive is in danger of physical malfunction, so you can back up your data before the drive fails (something I'm always afraid of).  


It is wasteful and silly to get rid of a computer and software just because a new model or an upgrade has come out. I'm the same way about vehicles. If I can still use it, and it does everything I need it to, why upgrade? It's bad for the environment, I can't afford it, and even when I can afford it, I'd rather spend my money on other things.

I used DOS-based computers in the work place (just for word-processing and some basic database management) until 1990, when I worked at a place that had Mac Classics and Mac SEs. And I fell in love with those machines... So easy to use. Everything seemed intuitive. They worked the way I think. No need to have a computer manual by my side. The desktop publishing capabilities were awesome, particularly for a non-designer... Later, I was thrilled with my very own Mac Classic II -- what a work horse!

In 1996, I upgraded to a Macintosh Performa 6300. I wasn't thrilled with it the first two years -- the hard drive failed, the mother board had to be replaced, and the monitor had to be repaired twice. However, Apple replaced or repaired all of these things for free, and once they were fixed, the machine worked well at long last. It did everything I wanted it to do -- surfed the Web, played Quicktime movies, designed brochures, and, ofcourse, e-mail, e-mail, e-mail. And it made no difference that my work place for a while was an IBM/Cloned environment -- it was easy-as-pie to bring things home and work on them on the Mac.

But five years later, I was moving to Germany to work with a UN agency and I decided I did, indeed, need a new, more powerful and more mobile machine to do everything I needed to do online and off. I had intended to buy a PowerBook. The salesperson at UT Campus Computer Center listened to how I used my computer currently, how I intended to use a new computer in the future, and why I liked Macs so much. She said that, based on my information, the less-expensive, more durable iBook would be a much better choice. She demonstrated a model for me, and I was impressed. There was no cherry/red choice, so I went for the lime (it had more personality than the blue or cobalt).

It arrived a week later. And I still love it. For seven years, it did everything I needed it to. It made me a reborn Mac disciple. This is how a computer should work! All I needed was a power adapter for European electrical outlets, once I moved to Germany (available in many large grocery stores and Woolworth's), and I was all set... I use a zip drive or a memory stick to take care of file-transfer issues that can't be resolved via e-mail.

Why am I not running OSX on the iBook? If a lime iBook user upgrades its internal memory, as I have, he or she can run OS 10.2, but according to most of what I've read, nothing higher than that. An unaltered lime iBook cannot run OSX. As noted earlier, I have, indeed, upgraded my iBook's internal memory... but I have not upgraded the OS. I don't see a reason to, as I will lose almost all of my software if I do, because most of it will no longer function on OSX. It will cost thousands of dollars to replace all the software that will not work with OS X -- it would be more economical to just buy an entire new computer.


I'm sad to say that, according to Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics, Apple ranks near the bottom in getting toxic chemicals out of its products and adopting a first class recycling policy. The toxic chemicals Apple uses in its products end up in scrap yards in Asia where they contaminate child laborers and the environment. Apple's voluntary 'recycling' program is weak and non-existent outside the U.S. unless required by local governments (I've certainly never heard of it, and I visit the Apple web site frequently). In addition, Apple continues to oppose the adoption of strong recycling programs in the U.S. Please tell Apple to go green. I have!

iBook and other vintage Mac Resources

When you are ready to get rid of your old technology, be sure you recycle or dispose of the technology properly, so that you do not contribute to toxins poisoning our land and water.

You can read more about My tech: the networked technology tools I use (and have used over the years).

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