Charles Moore's Mailbag

PowerBooks, Startup Drives, and Word Perfect

Charles Moore - 2002.01.07 - Tip Jar

Kanga question

From Bob Friede


Has anyone come up with an effective way to reduce the incredible heat levels generated within the P'Book 3500 without resorting to gizmos like PC Card-style fans? The CPU temp in mine is never lower than 90° C (as read by G3 Strip), and I can't believe that running apps at 110° C and up can be good for the machine in the long run. While it never seems to lock up due to heat problems, nevertheless I worry.

Bob Friede

Hi Bob,

Ouch! 90°-110° C is pretty hot. My WallStreet runs at about 140°-150 ° F in summer, and it's running at 122° F right now on a chilly winter night in Nova Scotia. My 500 MHz Pismo runs about 20° F cooler, thanks, I guess, to its copper G3 chip vs. the WallStreet's aluminum one.

One thing you could try is Road Tools' CoolPad or Podium CoolPad. Most laptops dissipate some of their heat through the bottom, and the more air that's allowed to flow under the bottom, the better chance that heat will dissipate. Creating open air space under the PowerBook allows more efficient heat dissipation by convection. The hot air rises, and cooler air circulates in to replace it.

The CoolPad increases the airspace as well as elevating the back (or, for better ergonomics, the front) of the laptop. The six small rubber pads on the bottom of the CoolPad hold the PowerBook in place.

There are two versions of CoolPad, the basic, classic model, and the Podium CoolPad, which allows you to adjust keyboard tilt using Lego-like spacer blocks.

The original CoolPad is available online and in all Staples stores, the Podium CoolPad is only available online, and is available at the Apple Store as well. The Podium CoolPad's price is $29.95.

Re: TOTT/WallStreet

From Mike Young


I enjoyed your Tools of the Trade piece on your Wallstreet. I, too, have nothing but good things to say (*) about my WallStreet 250/13.1" that I purchased 5/98. It has been a genuine workhorse and, although tempted at times, I've never been convinced it needs to be replaced. Your tips on the shareware you've found useful are appreciated - I'll check them out. I do share your enthusiasm for TypeIt4Me!


(*) I did have to purchase a new battery unfortunately after a year of bizarro behavior...

SuperMac hard drive startup

From Guy Bartle

Hi there,

Have just read your article about the startup delays on your SuperMac S900. I know this article is ancient and has probably been answered somewhere else on the SuperMac site (I haven't looked around yet), but I recognised the problem.

I'm sure you'll have a gleaming G4 by now, but I still use my old S900 and had the same problems with a starting up from a second hard drive I installed. Went through all the processes you describe and eventually traced the problem to the external SCSI Zip drive I had.

Physically remove the Zip drive from your SCSI chain and everything will run like clockwork!

I only connect up the Zip if I have to read Zip disks from someone else.

Like I said, I'm sure this has already been answered and won't matter now anyway but thought I'd mention it in passing...

Guy Bartle

Hi Guy,

In my case it turned out to be a bad hard drive, a Seagate Barracuda 2 GB unit. When I replaced that drive with a Quantum 4 GB unit, the problems disappeared. The ZIP Drive seems to have no ill effect.


iBook (Dual USB) issues

From Ian Campbell


Back in October, I purchased my first brand new Mac, a shiny new iBook. The machine has been stellar in terms of speed and basic computer tasks. However, the machine is not without it's flaws. When I open the machine up to use it, the screen hinge makes a loud popping clicking noise accompanied by it not opening as easily, as if something is broken. I spoke with my friends at the local Mac shop, and they told me that an iBook had come in with a similar problem, but the screen casing broke completely. I was also told that the customer had experienced the same case symptoms as I am having now. I don't know if anyone knows anything about this phenomenon, or what I should do. I'll be sending mine in to Apple within the week, though this seems ridiculous for a machine that is not even 6 months old.


Hi Ian,

It shouldn't happen, but this has been a fairly common complaint with the dual USB iBook.

I'll be interested to hear whether the repair is satisfactory.


WordPerfect 3.5

From Gregory Carter

I tried to download the free copy of WordPerfect you mentioned in your 2.12 article and got the dreaded 4-nought-4. Do you know where I can still get a copy of it? Thanks.

Hi Gregory,

You may find it here:


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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