kalleboo's retro tech blog

PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze Keyboard)

Buying it

I had already bought the PowerMac 8500 and PowerMac G4, but I realized why I didn't use a desktop computer anymore, and I was running out of space so I decided my next few Macs will have to be laptops.

As a kid I loved the "shark" Apple print ad, and I loved the Bronze keyboard. But the Pismo has... USB and Firewire. I need AT LEAST SCSI so my only option was the original Bronze Keyboard with SCSI and USB (no ADB or Serial).

Buying it was easy. I camped out on Yahoo Auctions and pounced when I found one that looked intact and wasn't horribly overpriced. The seller had listed the power supply seperately so I got that once and he bundled the shipping for me.

PRAM battery rebuild

summary: I bought replacement cells, tore apart the dead one in the machine and resoldered in the new cells

PATA SSD upgrade

summary: i found a PATA SSD, bought it, and apparently bought the last one since it sold out

Battery replacement

There were a bunch of guides online to re-cell G3 batteries. All of them had batteries that looked different from the 2 I had, and mine couldn't be easily split in 2.

So... I bought a new old stock one from Vintage Computer. It works amazingly well - lasts for hours on a mixed productivity workload. Never would have expected a NOS Li-Ion to be anything but dead. If it's been rebuilt, there's no way to tell.

The Quest to install MacOS X

summary: tiger requires DVD install media. I had no DVD drive. I went down a lot of false paths (like trying to boot from CF) but ended up getting original install media and an original apple dvd drive

My screen broke - Pismo hinge swap

summary: i bought a replacement pismo after my hinge cracked, and a forum post that claimed that pismo and lombard screens were interchangable was LIES

RAM upgrade

summary: started out with crappy ram from a HARD OFF junk bin, it was crashy, replaced with fancy IBM RAM, no more crashy

Optical drive upgrade

summary: was gonna swap in an IDE laptop drive but in the end I just stole the DVD drive from my parts pismo

The wonderful world of PCMCIA

summary: never used PCMCIA before in my life

The quest for WiFi

There are a bunch of sites out there that say "just get a Lucent card!" "just get a card with the Proxim chipset!". I thought this was going to be trivial...

Read the article on PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze Keyboard): The Quest for WiFi!!

Bluetooth and tethering a 1999 PowerBook G3 to an iPhone XS

summary: with an old d-link adapter it works fine in old OS X

Weight saver

summary: this is dumb

Last updated: 2019-04-25
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