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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Considering a iBook clamshell w/ OS 10.3 Panther

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Member Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posts: 2
yrcarroll is on a distinguished road

yrcarroll is offline
This question is for people with iBook clamshells, however anyone who has run or is running Panther 10.3 on any mac please chime in.

I'm seriously considering getting an iBook clamshell, used of course. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to do my research so I need some help. I do want to get a macbook (the latest version), so all my research has gone toward the MacBook and the iMac not the iBook.

I have a PC running XP and will be keeping it. So, I won't be stranded if my iBook can't do some of the things below. However, I really want to not have to spend any (or very much) time on windows anymore.

Here's the iBook specs:
PowerPC G3
366 Mhz
192 MB Ram
10 GB Hard Drive
Phone modem
Panther - OS 10.3

What I currently do on my computer:
Web surf - I've used plenty of different browsers including Opera and Firefox. I'm looking forward to using Safari.
Email - I use yahoo mail, so as long as there's a browser that I can run on 10.3 that can handle Yahoo mail, I'm fine.
Download and play AVIs - Some of my files are 20 minutes to 2 hours long. I use bit torrent clients to download and different players including DivX.
Connect to the internet through a cable modem - I don't do phone lines.
Do some word processing - Any old text editor will do.
Use a 2 Gig or 4 Gig flash drive - Hopefully, I can go back and forth between OS 10.3 and XP.
Read CD-ROMs - If I burn documents, pictures, AVIs, etc to a CD-ROM on my Windows XP machine, will OS 10.3/Panther be able to read that CD. I know I have to have the right software to actually open/run the files. My question is will the ibook at least be able to read the CD and "see" the files or not?

Should I be concerned about doing any of the above and is 192MB Ram low for OS 10.3. I know 512-1Gig is recommended for Panther.

Also, links are good. Please feel free to link to resources that can help me.

I'd really like to hear from actual iBook users on this.

iBook Clamshell - PowerPC G3 Mac OS X (10.3.x) Don't own it yet...
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You can do a lot with a clamshell, though it will be slow compared to modern machines. However - its a good cheap way of getting your feet wet.

MOdems - a USB cable modem will work with it

Panther - thats the best OS for that machine

RAM - 192 will not really cut it - I think you can max it out to 512, check its specs on and

Browsers - you will need an older version of Firefox

PC disks - all versions of Mac OS since the ninetees have been able to read PC disks. You can read only NTFS but read write FAT32 and Fat16. CDs are also fine

Word Processing - your ibook will run NeoOffice - it even opens word 2007 files and is free (its a port of OPenOffice)
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Member Since: Jan 15, 2008
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Thanks for your reply.

I had heard that Macs could read PC disks, but now that it's "Go Time". I need to verify these things. (I may have the iBook by the end of January.)
Thanks for answering my disk questions.

I've heard of both Neo and Open office. I'll check Neo out.

I figured I'd need older versions of some programs. I hope they aren't too hard to find online. I appreciate the Firefox link.

I had already planned to upgrade the ram, but hope I can wait a couple of weeks at least. Then again I think I found some for $30 plus shipping:

Do you think running on 192MB for 2-3 weeks would kill me or not, considering what I do?
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Probably not.
I currently have your exact Clamshell Model running panther.
I got it like 2 weeks ago, I haven't hardly used it at all due to a modem problem im having which im trying to solve on the forums with no luck,
but it seems decent so far. Good for the basics. Only mine has no battery and every time i move it the powercord gets bumped a tiny bit and it moves the jack and it turns off. Also when you get yours you might want to make sure the PRAM battery isn't dead. It gets irritating.
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