iBook picture frame mod issue.

Posted by: jkielyjr

iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/09/07 08:19 PM

Hello,
    Sorry to the "toiletseat" faithful but I just made a picture frame out of a clamshell iBook G3. It's a 1st gen w/ (300mhz no firewire). Because of cooling issues I made the case/box plenty big enough with convection holes for plenty of airflow. Installed a clean install of Panther and ran Software Update and all the usual procedures. The only 3rd party software I added was SpyMe since I intend to control the "frame" remotely. I kept most of the EMI shield in place on the motherboard and actually kept and cut the back of the machine to keep the mboard attached to the base in my frame. The iBook had no issues before the mod.

        My problem is this, seemingly every other boot sequence (randomly) the frame will start up I see the grey apple on the grey screen with the circle spinning thing (open firmware I think) and then just before it says Welcome to Mac. and turns the screen blue the screen goes black - obviously the boot sequence continues as I can log in via SpyMe and see the "hidden" desktop. The real wacky thing is that if I go to displays in sys prefs I can alter the brightness level of the LCD and see it change behind the black as it were. This issue is random enough that a couple of power cycles will sometimes restore the LCD to normal operation. I figure this has to be a software glitch since the initial boot screen is crystal clear. Only when OS X gets involved in the startup does the screen go dark.
        Any ideas? Thanks for any direction you can think of, I want to get this up on the wall. peace, -J.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/10/07 12:05 AM

Can you see if the problem happens on an external display too?
Posted by: jkielyjr

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/10/07 10:18 AM

this iBook doesn't have a connection for an external display. And the real pain of this is that it's not 100% of the time. Every so often the machine starts normally. Something in the boot sequence is telling the GPU or the OS not to use the LCD connected to the machine.

from the system log:

Jul 10 09:00:33 localhost syslogd: restart
Jul 10 09:00:33 localhost syslogd: kernel boot file is /mach_kernel
Jul 10 09:00:33 localhost kernel: standard timeslicing quantum is 10000 us
Jul 10 09:00:33 localhost kernel: vm_page_bootstrap: 37676 free pages
Jul 10 09:00:33 localhost kernel: mig_table_max_displ = 68
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: IOKit Component Version 7.9:
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: Wed Mar 30 20:07:52 PST 2005; root(rcbuilder):RELEASE_PPC/iokit/RELEASE
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: 56 prelinked modules
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel:
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: using 409 buffer headers and 409 cluster IO buffer headers
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: ApplePMU::readI2CbattData ERR 0, status = 0xfd, err = 0xe00002bc
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: ADB present:84
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: Security auditing service present
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: BSM auditing present
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: From path: "/pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-4@1f000/@0:6,\mach_kernel", Waiting on <dict ID="0"><key>IOPathMatch</key><string ID="1">IODeviceTree:/pci@f2000000/mac-io@17/ata-4@1f000/@0:6</string></dict>
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: Got boot device = IOService:/Core99PE/pci@f2000000/AppleMacRiscPCI/mac-io@17/AppleKeyLargo/ata-4@1f000/KeyLargoATA/ATADeviceNub@0/IOATABlockStorageDriver/IOATABlockStorageDevice/IOBlockStorageDriver/TOSHIBA MK6014MAP Media/IOApplePartitionScheme/MacOS@6
Jul 10 09:00:34 localhost kernel: BSD root: disk0s6, major 14, minor 6
Jul 10 09:00:35 localhost kernel: Jettisoning kernel linker.
Jul 10 09:00:36 localhost kextd[82]: registering service "com.apple.KernelExtensionServer"
Jul 10 09:00:37 localhost kernel: Resetting IOCatalogue.
Jul 10 09:00:45 localhost kernel: Matching service count = 0
Jul 10 09:00:45 localhost kernel: ROM ndrv for ATY,RageM_Lp is too old (0x000146c7)
Jul 10 09:00:45 localhost kernel: AppleRS232Serial:        0        0 AppleRS232Serial::start - returning false early, Connector or machine incorrect
Jul 10 09:00:45 localhost kernel: ATIRagePro: using AGP
Jul 10 09:00:45 localhost kernel: CHUDProf.kext version: 3000000
Jul 10 09:00:45 localhost kernel: CHUDUtils.kext version: 3000000
Jul 10 09:00:47 localhost kernel: UniNEnet: Ethernet address 00:0a:27:ab:b5:32
Jul 10 09:00:47 localhost SystemStarter: Welcome to Macintosh.

It's at this point, before the "welcome" that the LCD goes black.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/10/07 11:10 AM

Try repairing your permissions?
Posted by: jkielyjr

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/10/07 01:21 PM

multiple times I've run the repair permissions via SpyMe.
Today the "frame" has been 100% dark after the initial boot squence. I've enabled open firmware so it shows that fine and doesn't go "dark" until the beginning of the OS launch sequence.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/10/07 01:36 PM

Can you do an archive & install?
Posted by: jkielyjr

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/10/07 04:35 PM

unlikely that I could. I just tried the archive and install and the screen goes black at the usual point in the boot process, even off of the Panther Install CD.

the only way would be to pull the HDD, drop it into a firewire case and install the OS via my Pismo. That I can do.

I must have restarted the frame 20 times in the last 24 hours. The issue no longer seems to random. I haven't seen the real desktop (other than SpyMe's presentation on my G4) in a couple of days. But, I swear it HAS WORKED and only stopped working when I killed the power and tried to restart it. In fact it does load and work as normal since I can hear the HDD spinning up every few minutes and serving another picture up in the slideshow. Hmmmmm. This was not supposed to be this hard. Ugh.
Posted by: jkielyjr

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/10/07 08:02 PM

Okay, plot thickens. This is completely irrational.

I ripped out the HDD, formatted it as a firewire drive attached to my Pismo. Downgraded and installed Jaguar 10.2 on the 3GB drive. Rebooted the Pismo running on the new Jaguar install. No problems.

Pulled the drive out of the firewire caddy and reinstalled into the iBook. Rebooted the iBook. Up came the LCD, up came the desktop. With an Airport card already installed Software Update ran and Jaguar updated to 10.2.8.

The iBook then asked to be restarted. Up came the grey apple on grey screen with the spinning icon. Then blam. Black screen. Nada. Nothing.

It's not crashing or hanging. It's running, just shutting down the screen during the boot sequence. Why is this.

I'm about ready to throw the whole thing in the backyard.

(images attached)

Need more ideas. I've thought about digging around in Open Firmware, but then I'd really be over my head.

Not so fun this project.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/11/07 12:42 PM

This is sounding more and more like an issue I have found with Beige G3 PowerMacs. They do the exact same thing and 10.2.8 seems to be the worst OS for making it happen. Actually had a G4 PowerMac do it today as well. That was running Tiger.
Posted by: jkielyjr

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/11/07 05:07 PM

Not sure if 10.2.8 is the worst. 10.3 was pretty bad for me.
Basically after last night's tirade I unplugged the MacFrame from power and did something else to frustrate me. Before bed I plugged it back in and hit the power switch. Viola! Up it booted - all the way to the desktop. As SpyMe won't run on 10.2 that's not installed. Networking is Airport now. At this point I'm just afraid to restart it. Also cannot find the "shutdown/startup" schedule pane in Jaguar, although at that point last night I was just looking for sleep.

The whole issue is obviously based in low-level boot code in the OS since it's shared through versions. The fact that Open Firmware treats the LCD fine with no issues is really odd to me. This is a fairly early blue clamshell iBook 300mhz (192mb) we're talking about. I want to make more of these frames, but problems like this make me think twice.

Thanks again for all your help and thoughts.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/12/07 04:44 AM

Have you tried using newer/faster/different RAM. OS X gets pickier and pickier as the versions progress. 10.3 being alot worse than 10.2. OS 9 is usually fine with any old RAM, but X hammers it alot more. If the RAM isn't up to it, it could cause your issue, though it would usually be less consistent with timing and symptoms. You would get scrambled images as well as just a black screen. Worth a try if you have more RAM. Try PC133 if you have any.
Posted by: jkielyjr

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/12/07 09:07 AM

I don't actually have any other RAM for this iBook. I guess I'll find some and give that a shot. The MacFrame has been running straight for 24 hours now. Still afraid to wake it up and shut it down for fear it will never come back on. What a totally vexing annoyance this is. And I thought a picture frame mod was easy! Ha!.  Thanks for all your advice. I'm pretty clueless.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: iBook picture frame mod issue. - 07/12/07 02:42 PM

This is a pretty tricky problem for anyone really. Unless you've seen it before.