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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Hardware Hacking > Clamshell iBook questions - LCD, CD, logic board

Clamshell iBook questions - LCD, CD, logic board (Page 9)
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Nov 16, 2007, 03:24 PM
 
That might be an option. Video works, but only on TV output. Which means it's not an issue with the hardware. It's an issue with faking out the iBook to think it's got an XGA display installed. I don't have a working 500MHz iBook anymore...I wonder what would happen if we booted directly off another PPC Mac via target disk mode, and went that route? If that worked, it could very well a software issue.

Anyone have a newer iBook or PowerBook we can try?
     
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Nov 20, 2007, 04:39 AM
 
Hi, there

has anyone tried to install Leopard yet?

BTW, I have access to a G4 12" PowerBook. What do you exactly want me to check, shifuiman?
     
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Nov 27, 2007, 10:08 AM
 
I guess the question about the newer iBook or PowerBook would be putting it into Target Disk Mode and booting it connected to the clamshell with the hacked firmware.

If doing that allows proper DVD playback, we can be fairly certain that the problem lies with a plist file or something else software/OS-based.

I haven't tried Leopard. I'm still running 10.3.9 on mine - haven't seen a reason to upgrade, although I do have a Tiger DVD so I may give it a shot. I have a feeling that all the pretty fluff in Leopard will make it too resource-heavy for these things.
     
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Nov 27, 2007, 01:38 PM
 
Heh, I have Tiger running on mine. I actually swapped out the hard drive for a 40GB one from a G4 iBook. It runs just as fast as Panther, spotlight works well, but dashboard takes a little time to load, but once loaded the first time, works perfectly from then on in. I'd imagine Leopard would be stretching it a bit as I already have maxed RAM and 466mhz. However - if you want the Leopard look, this shapeshifter theme is excellent:
OSX Leopard 9A527 Theme by ~maximusgratus on deviantART
Good luck with the technical stuff!
Taigen
     
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Dec 2, 2007, 08:07 PM
 
So, apparently some guy allegedly figured out how to enable XGA without killing DVD playback...but it magically kills video out on the 3.5mm minijack...his auction is here:

Apple Mac iBook Clamshell Graphite SE 466Mhz XGA LCD!!! - (eBay item 120191522594 end time Dec-10-07 17:21:23 PST)

It's really too bad that people take a project like this and refuse to share what they've figured out, for the sake of being a d0uchebag.

Anyhow...if this auction isn't a hoax, it means that dvd is possible, which means that there is hope. Yay!
     
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Dec 3, 2007, 02:43 PM
 
I wonder how many of them he sells at over $700! Jerk. Does ebay have a way for me to put him on a "do not buy from" list? I don't ever want to make that mistake.

Here is the part I found interesting:

"No modifications have been made to the open firmware or OS's to accomplish this."

that leaves three possibilities.
1. He is lying through his teeth.
2. He has either a different or modified screen cable.
3. He has hacked the motherboard.

Edit: at his prices I probably won't buy from him anyway!
     
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Dec 3, 2007, 03:25 PM
 
I've done a little research on this today, and have noticed a couple things.
  • If the OF and OS are not modified in any way, the only possible way he's done this is with a physical hardware hack.
  • If you look at the screenshots on the auction, he shows the Hardware Overview portion of System Profiler in OS X. The bottom value in the list is called Sales Order Number. Ths does not always display in System Profiler for a Mac, but what it means is the model number of the computer - which always begins with M/. In his screenshot, that Sales Order Number is a nonexistent model number - Z02J00K7S.
A friend of mine found this article on LowEndMac.com that insinuates that such a weird model number means that this is not a stock or standard hardware configuration.

Now. We have known for awhile that it is possible to change the clock speed of the processor in a clamshell (or other iBooks, more than likely) by moving around resistors on the logic board. We also know (at least, I'm 99% sure) that the GPU on the 466MHz last revision clamshell and the 500MHz first revision 12" white iBook is identical - an 8MB ATI Rage 128 Pro, identified as "ATY,RageM3" in System Profiler. Both GPUs are capable of the exact same specs and system performance - XGA output and DVD playback without skipping or stuttering (via hardware or other low-level DVD decoding).

So what's to say that Apple didn't use the same resistor mechanism to limit the capabilities of the GPU in the 466MHz clamshell? We already know we can trick Open Firmware (the NVRAM) into thinking the attached display is from a 12" 500MHz iBook. Could it be possible that we might be able to actually change the hardware configuration - by way of resistors or some other method directly on the logic board - so that the OS identifies it natively as an ATI GPU outputting XGA with DVD playback ability?

If this is the case, it would explain several things:
  • Why video out doesn't work - changing the GPU's hardware identification/configuration makes the iBook think that it's not capable of video out through the 3.5mm minijack. If the GPU configuration is altered to appear as though it's on a 500MHz board, the hardware coud be expecting different information from that 3.5mm minijack, as well as the logic board in general, and when it doesn't get that information, it doesn't see video out as a possibility.
  • Why Yellow Dog Linux fails - from the little I know about this distro, YDL is pretty specialized for Apple hardware. If it always expects to see particular hardware configs from Apple laptops (which in theory it should, since this level of hardware change should never be expected to exist), a hardware change like this would kill it.
  • Why DVD playback works - if I'm right in my assumption that Apple's own DVD Player software is accessing the GPU directly to decode DVDs, changing the hardware configuration or information on the GPU to match the installed display hardware could be the key to making DVD playback work correctly.
If you ask me, this seems to be a rabbit hole worth falling down - I have a couple 12" G3 iBook boards - a 500MHz and a 600MHz - plus my own 466MHz board in my Tangerine, although I'm hesitant to mess with that one, since it's the only good board I have for that clamshell. The two white iBook boards, however, are hosed (one won't charge batteries or run off AC; the other is completely dead and will only charge batteries), and have agreed to be frankensteined for this project.

I'm the last person on the planet who should even touch a soldering iron, so I'll be needing the knowledge and assistance of you EE types if we're going to pursue this angle.

One would think that such a mod would also mean that the boot screens would be in full XGA, but it could be that the resolution used for the OS boot splash screens is determined from some data in OF that is inaccessible by NVRAM edits.

Also : on that guy - he has two other iBooks for sale, both at terribly inflated prices. This is the second time he's listed that modded graphite clamshell - I'm hoping he doesn't sell it, because it's an utter ripoff, and I'm disappointed that someone would further a mod like this and refuse to share their knowledge. I doubt this guy would ever have even thought to do such a mod before I proposed the idea more than a year ago.

I'm determined to figure this out. I don't like that someone's taken a project that I started in order to help anyone better mod their hardware, used it for profit, and refused to share their knowledge with other people who have been interested in this project from the start. I'd much rather figure out what this guy has done so that the rest of us can benefit from the knowledge!
( Last edited by shifuimam; Dec 3, 2007 at 03:35 PM. )
     
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Dec 4, 2007, 11:43 PM
 
This guy is a complete jerk. What kind of a person takes knowledge gained from a forum where people openly share ideas and then bases work off of it and attempts to make a giant inflated profit by ripping off some poor sap. If this guy had any conscience whatsoever, he would at least post how he was able to do it. He acknowledges this forum so it's obvious that he got his idea from here and is jealously hoarding it for profit. I can't stand people like this.
Macbook (White): 2Ghz/2GB/160GB 5400/SD/AE/10.5
Powerbook (15"): 1.5Ghz/1.5GB/60GB 5400/SD/AE/10.5
iBook (Clam): 466Mhz/576MB/40GB 7200/CD/AP/10.4
     
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Dec 5, 2007, 04:28 AM
 
If I had the money I'd buy it from him and "reverse engineer" his work. Then I'd share the info here, and sell just enough of them on ebay for peanuts to put him out of business.
     
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Dec 5, 2007, 04:46 AM
 
Has anybody noticed in his system profiler report under machine model: it says "Powerbook 2,2" instead of "iBook"?
     
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Dec 5, 2007, 10:32 AM
 
"PowerBook 2,2" is the machine model for the 466MHz clamshell.

However (and I can post screenshots tonight), in the System Profiler hardware overview for my iBook, it does not give a machine model - it just says "iBook". Plus, on my iBook, it does have a Sales Order Number, but it's the M/ model number of the iBook - not that janky number in those images on that guy's auction.

A friend of mine who knows someone on the inside at Apple says that we can basically be certain that the strange Sales Order Number gives away this guy's secret - that it's a hardware mod, not a software one. Now we just need to figure out what that mod IS. I'm on vacation the rest of the week, so I'll be investigating this tomorrow.
     
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Dec 5, 2007, 06:54 PM
 
He said he'll tell the person who purchases it, but honestly, I wouldn't want to drop $750 on a friggin clamshell. Thats asinine.
Macbook (White): 2Ghz/2GB/160GB 5400/SD/AE/10.5
Powerbook (15"): 1.5Ghz/1.5GB/60GB 5400/SD/AE/10.5
iBook (Clam): 466Mhz/576MB/40GB 7200/CD/AP/10.4
     
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Dec 6, 2007, 05:57 AM
 
hello. Excuse me for my bad english... it's possible accelerate the Clamshell 466? thanks.Toni
     
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Dec 6, 2007, 08:09 AM
 
Does anyone have an idea if a Samsung 12" LT121SS-123 from a G3 500Mhz PowerBook would work?
I've been following this thread for a while and must say, I was interested in doing this mod 2 months after buying my 466 iBook, but gave up when I couldn't find anyone else believing it was possible...
But... I'd like to give it a try when I find an LCD-display. So, I found this LT121SS-123, but can't see if it can be used. Can anyone help me? Thanks!
zjokke
=:-)
     
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Dec 7, 2007, 12:54 PM
 
Incidentally, I'm not going to be around here anymore (thrilling news, I'm sure), so you all can carry on the project yourselves. I'm on AIM, Yahoo!, and Google Talk as shifuimam. Hit me up there if you want to talk about this thing.
     
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Dec 7, 2007, 02:11 PM
 
NOOOOOO!!!!

Why would you leave us now, when we are so close?
You are the backbone of this project!
     
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Dec 12, 2007, 05:09 AM
 
Hello again

I tricked the installer and got Leopard installed on my 466 clamshell, but booting from it was a no-go (it hangs on the grey Apple). I bet it has something to do with Altivec in the instructions set, because people with slower machines have been able to run Leopard (450 Mhz G4 Cubes, i. e.).

Greeetings.
     
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Dec 14, 2007, 10:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Parasite View Post
I tricked the installer and got Leopard installed on my 466 clamshell, but booting from it was a no-go (it hangs on the grey Apple). I bet it has something to do with Altivec in the instructions set, because people with slower machines have been able to run Leopard (450 Mhz G4 Cubes, i. e.).
I think tricking the installer by altering the clock-speed in OF will only work on a G4, because you're only altering the clock-speed, and not the processor family. There may be a way of doing it in OF, but I agree with taigen: I think Leopard would be way too heavy for a 466MHz G3 with a paltry 8MB of RAM. I don't know if it even supports Quartz Extreme, and there's no chance it'll support Core Image. I think even if you did get it to run, you'd probably end up moving straight back down to Tiger because the clamshell would be running so slowly...
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 10:08 AM
 
I agree, but I was curious anyway :-)
     
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Dec 19, 2007, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Parasite View Post
I agree, but I was curious anyway :-)
As I suspected, it turns out Leopard definitely won't boot on a G3. It's a bit of a shame, but ultimately a pragmatic move on Apple's part: allowing it to run on G3s would cause major problems and performance issues, and cause the Apple support forums (and MacNN) would be inundated with people complaining about the fact Leopard runs like crap.

On the subject of the iBook screen upgrade, I'm going to carry it out over the Christmas period when I'm back home; stupidly, I got the cable shipped to my parent's house instead of my own. I'm really looking forward to joining the XGA club. Once I've done that, my biggest issue with the Clamshell will be solved. The other bonus is that it'll give me something to do when I'm at home!

Anyone know why shifuimam has left MacNN?
     
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Dec 21, 2007, 11:24 AM
 
I still want to keep on this project, so I'm moving it to here:

The iBook Modification Project

If you want to post about this project, just create a LiveJournal account and join the community. Send me an IM (shifuimam on google, yahoo, msn, aim, and ljtalk) and I'll approve your request to join the community, and we can go from there.
     
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Dec 21, 2007, 11:50 AM
 
shifuimam requested this page locked. doing it.
     
 
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