My freakish/hideous laptop.

The Story:

It’s made from parts of three different iBooks!

My sister used to have an orange iBook that she stopped using when my dad gave her his key-lime colored iBook. She’s a big orange fan though, so she asked if I could switch the cases for her. I knew the display case would be pretty trivial to switch, so I did that, but told her that I couldn’t do the bottom. She was happy enough with just the top, so that was that.

Some time later, my white iBook died of the dreaded logic board problem for the second time. My warranty was out and they hadn’t yet announced the extended support plan, so I tore it apart.

I figured I might as well put the good parts like the brand now 40GB HD, combo drive, 512MB dimm, and wireless card to use. So I pulled my sister’s old iBook out and threw the extra parts in there.

Bottom case, processor and screen from an orange iBook, display case from a key-lime iBook, and everything else from a white iBook. Runs great as a couch machine. Couldn’t ask for more.

Frankenstein lives on:

After spending a weekend trying out ways to revive Frank’s usefulness, I came to the conclusion that he’s still kicking. I was going to try to install Ubuntu Linux on it to see if that would make the system faster. That was a definite no. I also used XPostFacto to install 10.4 which certainly gave Ubuntu a run for it’s money. With speed seeming like a choice between 6 and a half dozen. I obviously picked OSX. The GNOME desktop environment is simply too pokey to be realistically usable on Frank, and certainly can’t stand it’s own against OSX anyway. I certainly was impressed with Ubuntu as far as distro’s go though. It certainly gets my recommendation.

So with a fresh system on it, I began fiddling with settings and was convinced enough that it was still very usable for anything but graphics. It has plenty of disk space, it plays EyeTV recorded MPEGs just fine and can play older games and emulators well enough. The only thing holding me back from using it on a regular basis is that the battery is shot. So I decided to bite the bullet and buy one for it.

Only time will tell if it is worth the money.

Yes, it was worth the money

Even though it’s as slow as molasses, and doesn’t have hardware accelerated OpenGL to run most of my programs, it’s still very useful. There’s still a lot of code that I can use it to write, and works just fine for wirelessly surfing the web. It also gets great battery life, 5-7 hours. I find it very likely that the next computer I get will be a new laptop. We’ll see what Apple does with the Intel iBooks (or whatever they decide to call them). Maybe if I get a good internship this summer I could splurge for a MacBook.

Update for the Curious:

I did in fact get a good internship that summer. See: Gimp-Ruby I ended up buying a MacBook to do my development work on, and have been very happy with it. Frankenstein still gets a fair bit of use for playing network Starcraft and playing old OS 9 games (such as the old Ambrosia Games).