Tinkering with my iBook

So a few years ago I bought this laptop cheap on Trademe: a 2000 iBook G3 (Indigo), which had been used by a school for years before being retired. I bought the laptop, and after failing to install a burnt copy of Os X 10.3, I formatted it and reinstalled Mac os 9.2.1. This little machine has been a project of mine recently, as I’ve been trying some of my favorite PC games from the period that were ported to Mac and reliving them on contemporary tech.


This laptop is the clamshell model, with  366 MHz and 64 MB of RAM. It has a neat old ATI graphics card which means it’s fairly high-end for Mac OS 9 software, the only program I was able to install but unable to run being Warcraft III, which is three years newer than this system and released well after Mac OS 9 stopped being mainstream. This meant that I was able to run such greats as Starcraft, Unreal Tournament, and even Sacrifice!


So when I first got a hold of this machine my first thought was “what games can I play on this?” My second thought was “Probably nothing, it’s a Mac from the period when Macs generally weren’t for gamers”. But I took a look around, and fond that many games from this machine’s release period that I was playing on PC were released on Mac OS. The trick with finding games for this machine is to be sure they are compatible with Mac OS 9, rather than OS X, which was released a year after this machine and is still being iterated upon to this very day. So I found a fantastic website, Macintosh Garden, that keeps archived copies of the Mac versions of abandonware games and software, and was set to making this machine useful.


Apart from wanting to make the iBook into a very specific period piece as a retro gaming machine, I also wanted to use it for productivity; it has got Wi-Fi, but it can’t access most networks as it doesn’t support network security more advanced than old WEP passwords, meaning that WPA and WPA2 are ruled out. This means that the iBook is very useful for cutting off distractions by internet, and I figured it would be useful in allowing me to write in a focused environment.

Next I’ll be showing my experience with Microsoft Word and how productive I was able to be on this machine.