The 'Book Page

The PowerBook & iBook Sites

March 13, 2000 - Dan Knight - Tip Jar

The iBook & PowerBook Page is just a bit player in the realm of PowerBook sites. We have a few editorials, but mostly we gather links to articles of interest to PowerBook and iBook owners elsewhere on the web.

O'Grady's PowerPage (begun 1995)

O'Grady's PowerPage, part of Go2Mac.com, has a very attractive, fast loading home page featuring the ten most recent site articles. Begun by Jason O'Grady in 1995 to cover the PowerBook 5300, it's one of the few Mac-centric sites to bear it's founder's name. The site is displayed using Verdana (when available), one of the best web fonts available, at one size smaller than whatever is normal in your browser. Should that be too small, you can increase size in Internet Explorer or iCab.

O'Grady's is first and foremost a news site with a lot of brief stories about Apple, PowerBooks, iBooks, and related technologies. Readers are given the opportunity to provide feedback on each article.

PowerBook Central (1996)

PowerBook Central won't win any awards for flash. The home page uses a very subdued color scheme in a three-column format. Text is one size smaller than your browser's default, but you can increase that in Internet Explorer or iCab. PowerBook Central will display in the very legible Verdana font if it's installed on your computer.

The home page is extra-wide, probably optimized for a full-screen 800 x 600 browsing experience (I prefer to surf with a half-screen browser window, which is about 640 pixels wide on my 21" screen).

The best reason to visit PowerBook Central is for current pricing. The site has PowerBook and iBook price trackers that are updated regularly. In fact, most of the site content is deal-related: bargains on refurbished and discontinued models make up the bulk of the site's content.

The PowerBook Source (1997)

The PowerBook Source (PBS) has a very clean one-column design containing news for the past three days. It loads quickly and is easy to read. PBS will display in your default font and size. Those using Internet Explorer or iCab will be able to resize type if necessary.

PBS has a forum and helpful price guides for memory, batteries, and cases.

If you're looking for one PowerBook site to visit daily, choosing between PBS and O'Grady's won't be easy. They are simply the best PowerBook sites on the Web.

The PowerBook Zone (1998)

The PowerBook Zone (PB Zone) has a nice, fast-loading design and is updated regularly. The page design is probably optimized for an 800 x 600 screen, since the navigation bar on the right is hidden with my browser window at about 640 pixels wide (half the width of a 1280 x 960 monitor). The site uses your default font at normal size. Text can be made larger or smaller in Internet Explorer and iCab.

PB Zone does a good job tracking current PowerBook and iBook issues, regularly including reader feedback on the home page. The site also has forums.

iBook Zone (1999)

iBook Zone is the oldest site dedicated to the iBook, started on July 21, 1999. The home page is an attractive single-column design that loads fairly quickly and uses an easy-on-the-eyes shade of blue for accent.

Text will be displayed in your default font and size; it can also be made larger or smaller with the Larger and Smaller buttons in Internet Explorer and iCab.

iBook Zone is updated irregularly, usually one to three times per week. There's not a lot of content, but what's there is worth knowing.

iBook2Day (1999)

iBook2Day is a subsite of iMac2Day, one of the earliest iMac sites. The home page has an attractive, fast loading design with a blueberry accent. Text is displayed in Geneva at one size smaller than your default, which can make reading a bit difficult. Fortunately the Larger button in Internet Explorer and iCab can easily increase that to a friendlier point size.

iBook2Day is updated very infrequently. When I visited, the last five articles were dated 1/19/2000 (although labeled 1999), 1/8/2000, 1/3/2000, 12/31/1999, and 12/27/1999. iBook2Day is the weakest site in this overview.

iBook Planet (1999)

iBook Planet LogoiBook Planet, a publication of Mac OS Planet, is very different from the other iBook and PowerBooks sites - it looks like a personal iBook fan site. The look is cluttered, unprofessional, and incomplete. There are places where the text overlaps design elements, such as in the right navigation bar. I find their logo (right) especially amateurish. The site was recently resurrected and has some good content (including a recent article on running OS X DP3 on an iBook).

The page is rendered using your default font and size; using the Larger and Smaller buttons in iCab and Internet Explorer will increase or decrease font size. The page is wider than my normal browser window, but probably looks fine with a fairly full-screen window on an 800 x 600 monitor - such as the iBook's screen.

iBook Planet is a helpful site, but the cluttered look works against it being perceived as a quality site.

Honorable Mention:
Charles W. Moore's Road Warrior columns

One of the longer-running PowerBook columns is the Road Warrior by Charles W. Moore. The column recently moved to MacOS Daily (it had been on MacSimple, run by the same people) from MacOpinion, where it was a staple from December 1998 until the end of 1999. Prior to that, Moore had been writing a general Mac column for Mac OS Daily, which closed up shop in late 1998 and is currently being resurrected.

Charles also writes regularly for Applelinks and has his own Miscellaneous Ramblings column here on Low End Mac. On those sites, he covers a broader range of topics, but frequently focuses on PowerBook and iBook issues.

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