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The iBook is a now discontinued line of laptop computers that was developed and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. between 1999 and 2006. It was targeted at the consumer and education markets, with fewer features and lower prices than the PowerBook, and more recently, the MacBook Pro. The MacBook replaced the iBook line in May 2006.


[edit] iBook G3 ("Clamshell")

After much speculation, Steve Jobs unveiled the consumer-targeted iBook G3 laptop computer during the keynote presentation of Macworld Conference & Expo, New York City on July 21, 1999. The design was influenced by Apple's consumer desktop, the iMac, with a large distinctive shape, translucent clear and colored plastics. Its marketing slogan was "iMac to go".

The iBook G3 design catered to children and students. A carrying handle was built into the hinge. Apple demonstrated Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of Marketing, holding the iBook G3 while jumping off a height (onto cushions) to tout the durability of the casing. Like the iMac, the iBook G3 used a PowerPC G3 CPU, and included no legacy Apple interfaces. USB, Ethernet, modem ports and an optical drive were standard. The ports were placed uncovered along the side, as a cover was thought to be fragile. Similarly, there were no latches. The bottom surface had additional power connectors that allowed multiple iBooks G3's to be easily charged on a custom-made rack. The iBook G3 was the first Mac to use Apple's new "Unified Motherboard Architecture", which reduced the parts count (condensing all of the machine's core features into two chips) and added AGP and Ultra DMA support.

The first iBook G3 was the first mainstream computer ever designed and sold with internal wireless networking. The display bezel contained the wireless antenna, which attached to an optional internal wireless card. Lucent helped in creating this wireless capability and in establishing the industry standard. Apple released the AirPort Wireless Base Station at the same time.

There was heated debate over many things such as the aesthetics, features, weight, performance, and pricing. The iBook G3 was heftier than the PowerBook of the time, with lower specifications. Standard features like PC card slots were absent, as were long rumoured features like touch-screens, and an ultra-long battery life. The iBook was labelled "toilet seat", among other things, due to the distinctive design. Nevertheless, this same distinctive design made the iBook G3 visible in movies and televisions shows.

The iBook G3 was a commercial success. The line continually received processor, memory, hard disk upgrades, and new colors. FireWire and video out were later added.

[edit] Models

  • iBook G3 (July 21,1999) – First iBook (Tangerine, Blueberry)
    • 12.1-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (800x600 max resolution)
    • PowerPC G3 300 MHz
    • 66 MHz bus
    • 32 MiB RAM (soldered to logic board)
    • Expandable to 544 MiB (288 MiB specified by Apple)
    • 4 MiB ATI Rage Mobility AGP 2x
    • 3.2 GB Hard Disk (ATA-33 Controller)
    • CD-ROM
    • USB, Ethernet
    • Airport (802.11b, optional)
    • Mac OS 8.6
  • iBook G3 SE (February 16, 2000) – Minor addition to existing line (Graphite)
    • 366 MHz
    • 64 MiB RAM (soldered to Logic Board)
    • Expandable to 576 MiB (320 MiB specified by Apple)
    • Mac OS 9.0.2
    • 6 GB Hard disk
    • (Other Specifications Same as iBook)
  • iBook G3 Firewire/SE (September 13, 2000) – Major revision (Graphite, Indigo, Key-lime)
    • 12.1-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (800x600 max resolution)
    • G3 366/466 MHz
    • 64 MiB RAM
    • 8 MiB ATI Rage 128 Mobility AGP 2x
    • 10 GB Hard Disk (ATA-66 Controller)
    • CD-ROM/4x DVD-ROM
    • USB, Firewire, Video Out (through a special 3.5mm cable), Ethernet
    • Airport (802.11b, optional)
    • Mac OS 9.0.4
    • (Other Specifications same as iBook and iBook SE)

The original iBook G3 design was discontinued in May 2001, in favor of the new "Dual USB" iBooks.

[edit] Expandability/Upgrades

The original iBook's only customer-serviceable parts were the memory (RAM) and AirPort card, accessed via two slots under the easily-removable keyboard. No other modifications could be performed in warranty, and no PCMCIA port existed to provide additional expansion capabilities. Complicated procedures are required (such as removing nearly 40 screws) in order to access any internal components such as the hard disk and optical drive. Most iBooks shipped with Mac OS 8.6 or 9.0. Support for these iBooks is built into OS X v10.0 through v10.3.9. OS X v10.4 (Tiger) requires a Firewire port and DVD drive, essentially restricting it to the late-model iBook SE. iFixit offers a set of guides for the iBooks that provide instructions with pictures covering how to get to any internal component.

The third-party software XPostfacto enables installation of Mac OS X (10.0 and later) on unsupported Macs.

[edit] iBook G3 Dual USB (12.1-inch & 14.1-inch)

The next generation iBook G3 debuted at a press conference in Cupertino on May 1, 2001. The machine had been totally redesigned from scratch. Bold colors and the radical form-factor were abandoned for a white and slim-line polycarbonate shell, a design which earned Apple accolades from the computing industry and inspired the look of countless other products. The handle was removed, as was the latchless design. An L-shaped hinge reduced screen height, a feature Apple adopted in all its future portables.

With the iBook G3, Apple began its use of translucent and white polycarbonate in most of its consumer machines such as iMac, eMac, Mac Mini, MacBook. In contrast, most of its professional products used an anodized aluminum finish.

[edit] Models

  • iBook G3 Dual USB (May 1, 2001) – Second Generation iBook G3
    • 12.1-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (1024x768 max resolution)
    • PowerPC G3 500 MHz
    • 256 KiB L2 cache
    • 64 or 128 MiB RAM
    • ATI Rage Mobility 8 MiB VRAM
    • 10 GB Hard Disk
    • CD/CDRW/DVD/Combo
    • USB 1.1, Firewire, Video Out, Ethernet
    • Airport (802.11b, optional)
    • Mac OS 9.1
    • 2.2 kg
  • iBook G3 Dual USB Late 2001 (October 16, 2001) - Minor revision
    • 600 MHz
    • 15 GB Hard Disk (most models)
    • Mac OS X 10.1
    • (Other Specifications Same as Dual USB)
  • iBook G3 14-inch (January 7, 2002) – New model, larger 14-inch display
    • 14-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (1024x768 max resolution)
    • 512 KiB L2 cache
    • 256 MiB RAM
    • (Other Specifications Same as Dual USB Late 2001)
  • iBook G3 Mid 2002 (May 20, 2002) – Minor revision
    • 600/700 MHz
    • ATI Mobility Radeon 16M VRAM
    • Mac OS X 10.1
    • (Other Specifications Same as 14-inch)
  • iBook G3 Early 2003 (April 22, 2003) – Minor revision
    • 800/900 MHz
    • ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 32M VRAM
    • 30/40GB Hard drive
    • Mac OS X 10.2
    • (Other Specifications Same as Mid 2002)

[edit] iBook G4

A PowerPC G4 chip, slot-loading optical drives and a solid white case and keyboard were added on October 23, 2003—finally ending Apple’s use of the PowerPC G3 chip. The translucent case finish and magnesium components were replaced with opaque plastics. The iBook G4 is notable for lacking the translucent case finish, transluscent keyboard, magnesium chassis and palm rests, and magnesium display hinge (replaced with a plastic part) of the former iBook.

[edit] Models

  • iBook G4 (October 22, 2003) – Major revision, processor switch
    • 12-inch or 14-inch Active-matrix TFT Display (1024x768 max resolution)
    • G4 800/933 MHz/1 GHz
    • 256 MiB RAM
    • 30/40/60 GB Hard Disk
    • Slot-load Combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM)
    • USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Video Out, Ethernet 10/100
    • Airport Extreme (802.11g, optional)
    • Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther"
  • iBook G4 Early 2004 (April 19, 2004) - Minor revision
    • G4 1.0/1.2 GHz
    • Slot-load SuperDrive (DVD-R) Built to Order Option
    • (Other Specifications Same as iBook G4)

  • iBook G4 Late 2004 (October 19, 2004) – Minor revision
    • G4 1.2/1.33 GHz
    • 30/40/60 GB Hard Disk
    • Slot-load Combo (DVD/CD-RW)/SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • AirPort Extreme Standard
    • (Other Specifications Same as iBook G4 Early 2004)
    • The three models are: M9623LL/A (12-inch, 1.2 GHz, combo drive), M9627LL/A (14-inch, 1.33 GHz, combo drive), M9628LL/A (14-inch, 1.33 GHz, super drive)
    • Originally shipped with Mac OS X v10.3 Panther but with the release of Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger, all current iBooks shipped with the more up-to-date operating system.
  • iBook G4 Mid 2005 (July 26, 2005 to May 16 2006) – Minor revision and the last PowerPC iBooks
    • G4 1.33/1.42 GHz
    • M9846LL/A: (Retail $999) 1.33 GHz; 12-inch display; 40 GB hard disk; Slot-Load Combo Drive DVD-ROM/CD-RW
    • M9848LL/A: (Retail $1299) 1.42 GHz; 14-inch display; 60 GB hard disk; Slot-Load SuperDrive DVD±RW/CD-RW
    • While the 14-inch display is bigger it is the same resolution as the 12-inch.
    • Both models now feature: 512 MiB memory (expandable to 1.5 GiB) at 333 MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9550 graphics processor with 32 MiB video RAM; Sudden Motion Sensor (parks the hard drive head if the iBook is dropped); scrolling trackpad; Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
    • Both have a bus at a 10:1 ratio (133 MHz or 142 MHz).
    • (Other Specifications Same as iBook G4 Late 2004)

[edit] Expandability and upgrades

The iBook keyboard lifts up allowing installation of the AirPort (wireless) card and additional memory. This gives the keyboard a "spongy" effect, especially in PowerPC G3 models with the translucent keyboard. The "spongyness" was reduced in the later PowerPC G4 models.

However, accessing the hard drive is a complex and time-consuming procedure involving partial disassembly of the unit and the removal of over 20 screws, of many different types and length. iFixit offers a set of Fixit Guides for the iBooks that provide instructions with pictures covering how to get to any internal component.

Installing memory in the iBook G4 involves removing the keyboard, Airport (Wireless 802.11b/g) card and opening the RAM shield with a Phillips 00 screwdriver. While some of the lower models, eg. 800mhz and 933mhz G4 have specified a 640 MiB RAM limit, it may be possible to have a total of 1.5 GiB of RAM installed (512 MiB built-in, 1 GiB so-dimm add-on).

[edit] Discontinuation

On May 16, 2006, the Intel-powered MacBook replaced the iBook line.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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