My 12-inch PowerBook G4 turned three years old today. Really, it did, constructed in the factory on March 25, 2005. So, I decided to give it a big birthday present… a 160 GB hard drive (nabbed at Best Buy on clearance for $25). So, Tonight I took apart my 12-inch PowerBook G4. This is regarded as one of the most difficult systems to take apart. Probably the only one more difficult is the original iMac… which I’ve done… twice.
This is the first time I’ve been able to plug the fine folks at iFixit. iFixit sells parts for Mac, iPod, and iPhones. But, they don’t stop there. They offer, free of charge, the best take-apart guides for Apple products I’ve ever seen. They are much better than Apple’s own Service Source documents.
To take apart any Mac (other than a Power Mac or Mac Pro), you need to have a game plan. I prefer the map-and-tape approach. This is where you take a piece of paper, write down the name of what you’re taking out, and then tape the screw right below that on the paper. Then you have a map of what each screw was located at, and better, the screws are secured to the paper. No lost screws!
Be very careful when lifting the top case. The side closest to the trackpad button doesn’t seem to want to lift. There are now a couple of small dents in my case thanks to the spudger scratching it.
Don’t use a Philips #0 on the screws on the hard drive itself. The screws started to strip. I used a regular philips screw driver and that finished them off.
The bracket on the drive is very non-standard… take note of how the 3-piece bracket is connected.
After dissecting a 12-inch PowerBook G4, I can see why Apple went with the MacBook Air instead of a 12-inch MacBook Pro. The nature of the 12-inch wonder in many ways was more specialized than the Air. The Air, in order to be profitable, has a niche and they can get away with reconstructing everything (wider profit margins give way to smaller, slower, thinner parts).
The 12-inch, on the other hand, had to cram standard parts (2.5-inch hard drive, standard optical drive), into an ultra-small case. Oh, and be as fast in every respect as its larger bretheren. That is probably as hard a feat as the Air, if not harder.
But, here’s hoping Apple will wake up and smell the 12-inch coffee. I’d still pay $1999 for a 12-inch MacBook Pro.