I took the broken mac to the apple doctor, and I was told that all ibook G3's have the same defect with the video card, after a while it detaches from the mother board, rendering the machine unusable. Apple deals with the issue by replacing the motherboard to the tune of $429. A little steep to be fixing a five year old machine.
Luckily the mac doc spoke frankly with me and said "theoretically" I can solder the piece back to the motherboard. This weekend is Frankenstein time for the little machine. Confounding the issue a bit I thought it would be easy to find the soldering fix for the iBook G3 on line, (when I replaced my ipod battery I found instructions easily enough) however the only site I could find with pictures detailing the fix for the laptop is in French. I guess I'll have to have the translator open as I do the procedure.
Wish me luck.