What are the best upgrades for the PowerBook G3 Pismo?

I have a PowerBook G3 Pismo that I am trying to upgrade or refurbish to use as a Netbook, mostly to surf the web (Apple PowerBook 500MHZ/1MB Cache/128MB/12GB HD/8 MB Video/DVD).

Can anybody recommend what they think are the best internal upgrades for the PowerBook G3 Pismo? I am already thinking of purchasing either an Airport or PCMIA Card - don't know which would be best and/or upgrading the RAM or processor. This comuter has Mac Classic OS9 running here and from my past experience, I think this would be the best system as when I tried an early version of 10 it was really really slow.

Any recommendations and brief summary of the effects of the upgrade would help

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Hi. I still have 3 Pismos all going strong, one I use at home and the other 2 used by my mother in law (!) and sister. Best cost-effective upgrades are 2 x 512MB PC133 RAM to take it to 1GB total, which is good to run Tiger 10.4.11 and all the apps you'd ever need (if you're still using a Pismo, i.e. you're not doing video editing, playing the latest games, etc.). The 2 modules of RAM should run you about $50-60. Note that they're compatible with the Titanium PowerBook G4's and G3 iBooks, so you would have no problem re-selling them in the future to recoup your money. Also get a bigger, faster IDE hard drive: as many GB as you think you'll need and 5400rpm, e.g. a 100-120GB drive should run you $50 or so. So that's 2 excellent upgrades for about $100. I've installed Combo CDRW-DVD units in all my Pismos to replace the original DVD/CD reader. Easy to do and there are LOTS of options out there: see xlr8yourmac for feedback on models. You can also opt for a PCMCIA card if you can't find the Airport card cheap. I use the Motorola WN825G, which uses the same Broadcomm chip as the Airport Extreme card and gives you 54g speed. It is recognized by 10.4 and 10.3 as a real Airport Extreme card, and uses the Airport sw. You can find them around $15-20 on eBay. You have to weigh the costs vs. the utility of the Pismo, but remember that all of the components are compatible with more recent computers and could easily be resold in the future to recoup most of your original outlay. And in the meantime you can enjoy your Pismo.

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Hey, thanks also for this great detailed answer! Very much appreciated as I'm still thinking about how to upgrade my Pismo!

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Running OSX with 128MB ram gives you a slow performance since OXS needs more ram to work adequately. I would max the ram to 1GB (2 X 512MB PC 133 sodimm ram), replace the 12GB 4200 rpm hard drive with a IDE 2.5" 5400 or 7200 RPM hard drive and install Tiger 10.4.11 or Panther 10.3.9.

There's a 500MHz G4 processor upgrade for the Pismo. You may search the web via Google to find it. Concerning the wireless I would go for the Apple Airport Card first generation ($30 to $40) since the Pismo internal antenna has a good reception.

The Pismo was one of the best Apple laptop but unfortunately it has only 8MB video ram and that's not enough for actual internet use so no youtube or video streaming.

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I agree with lemerise's answers above. I'll add that I have a 550MHz G4 upgrade card in my Pismo running 10.4.11. Also, you can check out lots of user reports of various kinds of upgrades for this or other machines over at xlr8yourmac.com. Have fun with your Pismo, I agree it's a great Mac

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Thanks Guys, very much appreciate the comments and thoughts here as this gives me more than a little to think about here!

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Even iBook G4's have slow youtube performance from what i have read (I Have an iBook G3) so i would recommend a MacBook, or MacBook Pro if you plan to upgrade.

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Thanks again guys as our main use for this one is really the internet and flash based applications, youtube etc. so this gives me a lot of great information here to mull over further. Much appreciated for the recommendations.

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