You can't boot your Mac CDs.
http://www.powerbookmedic.com/Powerbook-G3-Slot-Loading-Internal-Combo-Drive-CDRW---DVD-p-16512.html seems nice enough. Wait and see what others write about.
i-book g3 Model # 6497 OS9.1
basically thats it - i place a cd for apps or music and it just doesnt recognize its there. i'll put the same disc in my ibook at work and its fine - so i know its not the disc.
any ideas? if it is broken can this be replaced/fixed? and where do i take it?