What to do with an old busted PowerBook G4
December 1, 2004 12:34 AM   Subscribe

I have recently acquired a busted PowerBook G4 Titanium with the 15" LCD. I've determined the logic board is shot, so it's really not worth much to me. I've pulled out the interesting parts—hard drive for an external FireWire enclosure, AirPort card for eBay or a friend's iBook, battery—but I keep looking at this beautiful LCD.

Is there anything I can do with this, interesting-fun-hack-wise, instead of just selling it off for parts? I'm very handy with electronics and soldering and all, but I wouldn't know where to start on a project like this. Ideas?

And hey, happy Decemberween!
posted by symphonik to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Your fully assembled iBook may have been covered by Apple's logic board repair program.
posted by sequential at 12:55 AM on December 1, 2004

Response by poster: Psst. PowerBook. Not iBook.
posted by symphonik at 1:02 AM on December 1, 2004

Off topic: I'm interested in the AirPort card if no one else is.
posted by nthdegx at 3:10 AM on December 1, 2004

the standard take on this is that they're driven by specialised controllers, which vary from screen to screen, so it's difficult to do much at all. i'm pretty sure it's been asked before (though not particularly about powerbooks), so you might try digging back for info.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:33 AM on December 1, 2004

Well, if you take apart the screen, the cold cathode backlight could be fun to play with.. and you can use the plastic sheets in the screen make awesome diffusers for blinky-light projects.

However, people pay a lot of money for replacement TiBook screens. You are probably better off selling it and using the money to fund your next project.
posted by rajbot at 3:46 AM on December 1, 2004

argh, my google fu is failing me, but I have seen that someone made a ddigital picture frame out of an old LCD screen (apple as well) and created a step-by-step homepage of the adventure. That might be an idea! if I could only find that page again... grr
posted by dabitch at 4:29 AM on December 1, 2004

Stripped LCD + overhead projector = video projector for a very low price (and equally low-priced maintenance costs). Here is a forum to bounce some ideas around, if necessary.
posted by magullo at 5:09 AM on December 1, 2004

There's a couple of sites out there showing step by step how to make your own nifty digital picture frame out of old laptops:

JunkTop revival (with an old Dell 7500), chuma.org projects (with an AST Ascentia J30 laptop), monochrome digital picture frame (with an old Macintosh Powerbook 100, and Morehow Hibimoyo (with an old CTX laptop)

Coincidentally, I've got the same old CTX laptop lying somewhere around the house, so I've got myself a weekend project next year. You may need a little more than the LCD screen to make it work though.
posted by icontemplate at 5:56 AM on December 1, 2004

Well, a friend of mine that used to run a computer shop would take the old LCD screens and essentially make window shades from them.

Here's something along those lines: The Virtual Window Project.
posted by Plinko at 6:54 AM on December 1, 2004

all these projects assume (from what i've looked at) that the screen still has a controller. i suspect that is integrated into the (broken) logic board in this case.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:21 AM on December 1, 2004

Response by poster: You guys rock. Thanks for the tips.

I'll post a thread if I end up doing something really cool with it. That virtual window is freakin' sweet! Unfortunately, without another spare PowerBook, I think andrewcooke is right. The controller's on the busted mobo.
posted by symphonik at 9:38 AM on December 1, 2004

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