iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log

Posted by: tayedrumma

iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/03/08 03:12 AM

Hello all...
This is my first post here but i have been lurking around for quite some time. Here is what i have had going through my mind. I am going to be purchasing a new Black MacBook Touch from Troll touch in the next month or so at which point my 12" iBook will be retired as far as daily duty is concerned. I would like to turn it into a tablet much like the modbook only slightly different. My main goal is to have a completely portable touchscreen slate style tablet to run my itunes through an airport express. Also will be used for photo editing and organizing in the field. So here is my first question...

I rarely use my cd drive so if i remove that, can i plug in a second hard drive in its place?

While i have the computer torn apart i will be replacing the current 40GB hard drive with something much much larger. I'm looking at the Western Digital 250 GB 2.5" Hard drive. I will most likely get two of those if i am able to replace the cd drive with a hard drive. I will also be maxing out the ram while i am at it. The keyboard/trackpad would be removed, the speakers as well.

Second question:

Should i attempt to source a touchscreen kit from troll touch, they did sell them for a long time, i just know that it will not be very cost effective. So if you have any other ideas please post. It will most likely get a paint job as well. So give me some thoughts!!!
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/03/08 12:22 PM

quite a few views, comments anyone?
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/03/08 12:34 PM

Also, i will be adding GPS (maybe) and an isight camera.

I know these dont really fit along the original needs of the tablet that i listed but i figure while it's open i might as well make it better right?
Posted by: Caboose

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/05/08 11:44 PM

I plan on doing something similar to a 12" Powerbook G4 I just purchased.

I found this on Ebay and was planning on replacing the existing 12.1" XGA display with that.

It comes with a wacom digitizer, probably 256 or 512 levels of pressure sensitivity, I havn't looked too hard yet.

If it'll work, it's a win-win. I'd have a little mac tablet, and a 1400x1050 desktop rather than 1024x768.

I think the iBook and the PB12" have the same sized display, just throwing that out as an option for you.
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/06/08 11:45 AM

For the touchscreen try these guys:


However a real tablet is the way to go. head over to the OSX86 project forums and search there for the exact model of PC laptop the digitizer mentioned above came from. If it works for them it may well work for us as well. The PC tablets have 256 levels of pressure. The tablet itself is serial and will need to be hand wired to a usb adapter of some sort. The driver for the tablet is called tabletmagic. I am trying this myself as well with a 14" ibook and the screen from a gateway M275 tablet. The screen should arrive on monday. Between the group of us putting our heads together we just might pull this off.
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/07/08 12:51 PM

i'll check out some of these different options. i may be putting the tablet idea aside in favor of replacing my internal hard drive with (2) 16 GB Compact flash cards and then i want to also remove the combo drive, which i rarely use, to put in a couple more CF cards. I would love to have the computer to be completely spinning disk free as it already takes some abuse. I have had the hard drive replaced three times since i've owned it. Now i'm ready to do it myself.

What interface does the stock combo drive of an ibook g4 use? I know that the hard drive uses IDE and i have found this adapter that i will be using:


So my hope is that the combo drive also uses IDE, then i could use that adapter there as well. Any insight?

All of these mods will start once i get my new MacBook in about three weeks. The macbook will immediately get the 500GB hard drive upgrade from OWC and a 4GB Ram upgrade before it even gets booted up for the first time. smile
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/07/08 01:31 PM

Well the G3 ibook has both the HD and the CDR on a single ata 66 ide bus. The G4 ibook has two separate bus connections, an ATA 100 or 133 (can't remember) for the HD and an ATA 33 for the CD. The connection for the mini optical drive is called a 50 pin JAE and is a flavor of IDE.
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/07/08 02:43 PM

Mine is a G4 so it would work right? I've been look at the Samsung 16GB SSD for the main drive then a CF adapter from addonics and two CF cards.. or just dual samsung ssd's or i could get the 250GB Western digital drives. but i worry about heat with two regular hard drives. so i'm struggling on what to go with.... i'm definitely leaning towards at least one 16GB SSD and then maybe wait till prices come down and get a bigger ssd for storage?? my main thing now is, i want to just have a light fast laptop for school... i can use my new macbook for everything else. I think my main hard drive now is about to go so i'm gonna back it up and then go from there really soon... so i would love some more input from you
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/07/08 02:43 PM

newegg has the samsung ssd on sale for $219 right now, so it would be a good time to pick those up... the good news is, i get my rebate check this friday smile
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/09/08 06:02 PM

you guys are just in time for the Great Mod Challenge too. Remember the submissions will be due at the end of August. We'll have more details on judges and prizes soon.
Posted by: tayedrumma

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/09/08 07:16 PM

unfortunately, i dont know if the cash flow or the time will work out and be done by the end of august... i think until i get the new macbook i'm just gonna throw a 1 gb stick of ram in and a 160 gb hdd... maybe i'll have it done for next year... but i'll see if i can kick some butt and get it done this month
Posted by: scotttherobot

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/15/08 04:43 AM

Oh, man! I would LOVE to join the band-wagon here, as my 14.1" iBook G4's battery just decided to stop working. Its time for a new one over here, and I'm eying the MacBook Pro or the MacBook Air, probably the pro...

I found this 14.1" screen with digitizer on Ebay,


It looks to be the right size, although i am slightly confused about these panels. These panels have a single 30 pin LVDS connector, while standard panels in the iBooks have only 20pin cables, which would mean that some adapter would be required. A small breakout PCB would be nice, with one 30 pin to go to the monitor, a 20 pin to the iBook, and then another connector with the touchscreen data to go to USB/Serial. Im sure the great companies like SparkFun or LumenLab could whip something up, or even a user of the boards here. This is the most important part of the whole mod, the screen. If anybody finds anything out, please do share!

Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/15/08 11:06 AM

Oh am I your best friend. This is the panel from the Gateway m275. I have one myself and I am going to try to wire it into an ibook as well. The ibook g4 has 2 different cables available for it. The second version, shipped with later models is a 1.5" 30 pin and fits this panel.


I also have the serial pin outs for the wacom panel itself, which you will need to adapt to usb and run tabletmagic as the driver. Get the LVDS cable from the gateway as well as it has the little connector you need to attach to the tablet.

[attachment=0]<!-- ia0 -->WacomPinout.pdf<!-- ia0 -->[/attachment]
Posted by: scotttherobot

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/15/08 04:34 PM

Dang! I wrote a post, paused and looked something up on Ebay, and when i hit post, i had to re-login and it deleted my message!!!!

That news about the screen connector in iBooks is the best i have heard all week !! ;D

Anyway i said how lucky i would be to have a 1.33GHz ibook with that connector, and that i may have to check it if someone doesnot provide an alternate identification method *cough* you forum users *cough* LOL

I also suggested a prolific based USB-->Serial adapter, they are cheap and readily avaliable on Ebay and at RadioShack marketed as Cell Phone data cables. They are the ones with the "lumps" or "warts" inline with the cable. These would easily fit with a micro-hub into the modified shell of an iBook. Now, for a protective screen cover?
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/15/08 05:31 PM

That gateway screen already has a textured glass plate over it.
Posted by: scotttherobot

Re: iBook tablet questions/ideas/build log - 07/17/08 05:33 AM

Great! Have you gotten the screen part working yet or are you waiting on the LVDS cable? Let us know, im sure we are all waiting in anticipation. shocked
If it works for you, i might order one of those panels.. Good luck!