suon the thing. I'm not convinced I succeeded in running a permissions repair, so it seemed like a good time to reinstall the OS. I brought it back to SD with me since I didn't have the System 10.3 install CDs with me this trip. And as long as I'm reinstalling it, I may as well install 10.4 instead. Problem: 10.4 ships on a DVD, and Dad's iBook is old enough that he saved a hundred bucks by ordering it with a CD-ROM instead of a DVD-ROM drive.
I stopped at Fry's to look at 5.25" external drive cases with USB2/FireWire bridges in them, thinking I could slap an IDE DVD drive into it and use that to boot the iBook off the install DVD. I held off since I remembered I now have two Fry's gift certificates at home I should really use. I'm impatient, so I wanted to try something else in the meantime. Someone on the internets mentioned copying their DVD to a .dmg image on their iBook, and mounting the iBook on their upgrade system in FireWire target mode.
So I went that route with my iBook. Created the image. Rebooted it, connected it to Dad's, rebooted his and held down the Option key to select the boot device. My iBook's drive showed up... and so did the actual install DVD, which I'd forgotten to eject from my iBook. I selected the DVD, and away it went. It's reasonably fast for a non-local device, even.
Once again, It Just Fucking Works.