Powerbook G4 12" revamping, part 1

I decided to give my trusty powerbook G4 a second chance. But I thought it might be a good idea to upgrade some parts of it in the meantime. Now being as it is, I can't upgrade the CPU or RAM (G4 is fixed at 1Ghz and RAM at 1.2GB), but I could upgrade the disk and screen. This time I upgraded the disk plus I replaced the thermal toothpaste with something much more efficient so it wouldn't get as hot.

I won't go into the actual details of doing the upgrades, these are covered by the excellent ifixit.com articles:

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/PowerBook+G4+Aluminum+12-Inch+1-1.5+GHz+Hard+Drive+Replacement/548

and

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/PowerBook+G4+Aluminum+12-Inch+1-1.5+GHz+Heat+Sink+Replacement/550

The main difference for the thermal paste is that I used the expensive but nearly top of the line Innovator Cooling Diamond 24 carat, which really dropped the temperature and now the fan doesn't kick in as often as it did -I'd say it did a 8-10C temperature drop on average.

This is the one:

http://www.amazon.com/IC-Diamond-Carat-Thermal-Compound/dp/B0042IBAOG

As for the harddisk replacement, I wanted to go with an SSD, but PATA 2.5" SSDs are rather expensive, so I opted for another solution, use a 1.8" SATA SSD with an adaptor. Specifically, I bought from ebay:

* Laptop 1.8" Micro SATA Hard Disk Drive SSD HDD to 44 pins for ~€15
* TOSHIBA THNS064GG2BNAA 1.8" SATA SSD 64GB for ~€55

The speed difference is very apparent, hdparm -t /dev/sda reports a whopping 74MB/s compared to just 23MB/s with the 7200RPM hitachi PATA 2.5" disk!

Now, since the 1.8" SSD+adaptor are quite smaller than the 2.5" PATA disk, I had to make sure they keep steady and firm inside the case, so I used some kind of plastic foam that was used in another package, cut it in the dimension of the disk+adapter combo and put it on both ends. It is both firm and insulating. The end result can be seen at the attached photo.

Next I'll post about installing new Debian using only a USB storage (no cd/dvd, I removed it completely both because it was broken and for weight reasons, the powerbook is heavy for a 12" laptop by today's standards). I'll also be using grub exclusively, no more yaboot!

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