Charles Moore's Mailbag

Transferring AppleCare, Low Cost Pismo G4 Upgrade, Benefits of G4 on OS X, and Memory for NuBus Macs

Charles Moore - 2003.10.27 - Tip Jar

iBook failure and AppleCare

From: Jeff Hewitt

Hey Charles!

I recently upgraded from a PB 5300ce to a 700 MHz iBook. While I've been overjoyed with its performance, I've recently begun to experience the random shutdowns referred to in your most recent LEM column, and am greatly troubled. The gentleman I purchased the 'Book off eBay advertised that the 'Book had 9 months of AppleCare left, but I received no documentation on this. My question is as follows: How does Apple track whether or not one of it's products are still under warranty? Does the warranty still apply even tho I am not the original purchaser? And am I eligible to upgrade the warranty?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer! Love your column!

-Jeff Hewitt

Hi Jeff,

Wow! From a 5300 to a 700 MHz iBook is quite a performance leap.

If your iBook is registered with AppleCare, its serial number will be on file with Apple, and my understanding is that AppleCare coverage is transferable, so you should, *I think* be OK.

I would suggest contacting AppleCare, explaining the situation, to find out for sure where you stand.

Glad to hear you enjoy the columns.


Lower cost Pismo upgrade

From Tim Lee


Try FastMac for a cheaper upgrade. 500 MHz @ $239.95 and 550 MHz @ $289.95.

I met with these guys at Mac Expo Paris, and they claimed to be the people who did the actual work for the other players, but have decided to have their own shop front now. At least that is what I understood them to mean.

I bought a G4 upgrade for a Blue & White at a far lower cost than I had ever seen it anywhere else.

Tim Lee

Hi Tim,

Thanks for jogging my memory on that one - an unfortunate omission from the article. I posted an item on the FastMac Pismo upgrades in the 'Book Review last Friday.

Another reason the FastMac upgrades are less expensive is that they require you to send in only your processor daughtercard, not the whole computer.


Go with a G4 for OS X

From Fred Goff

Folks who say there's not difference between a G3 and a G4 except AltiVec are right. What they fail to mention is that OS X, the operating system itself, makes heavy use of AltiVec. You will see an improvement in OS X performance by using a G4 chip as opposed to a G3 chip.

Hi Fred,

You're right, although I expect there's not much in the difference between a 900 MHz G3 and a 500-550 MHz G4.

The real shortcoming of the Pismo for OS X is, of course, its lack of Quartz Extreme support. My 700 MHz iBook, which does support QE, is quite lively in OS X.


TiBooks and wireless

From Robert Friede

Hi Charles,

I'm using a 1 GHz TiBook nowadays and by default enjoy the usual abysmal AirPort signal strength. I have tried some of the items you're touting this week and thought I'd provide some feedback.

QuickerTek's Whip provides moderate improvement, although having an antenna stuck to the back of my machine's lid and attached by a wire generously running out of the PC Card port is no aesthetic triumph. QuickerTek's Stub (I have what QTek says is an early model) provides only the slightest improvement over the internal antenna. I have tested these with all three ABS models.

For me, using an Orinoco/WaveLAN Gold 802.11b PC Card beats QuickerTek's offerings hands down in Jaguar with the addition of essential Jaguar-compliant software from SourceForge.

Internet Connect won't work now, but it's easily replaced by Jon Sevy's functionally superior freeware AirPort Modem Utility.

Other goodies there, too.

Still waiting for someone to produce a good 802.11b/g PC Card for Macs!

Best wishes,
Bob F

Thanks for the report, tips and links, Bob.


Question on RAM for NuBus Macs

From amacman

Which should I get or which is better EDO SIM OR FPM my 6100, 7100, 7200, 8100, 840Q?

Where is there a list of sellers on VRAM and cache memory?

And which VRAM will fit other models or are interchangeable?

Hi amacman,

Other World Computing is a good source for RAM for the NuBus Power Macs and for the Quadra. You can check stock numbers for compatibility among your various machines

Unfortunately, they don't appear to have video RAM or cache memory upgrades for any of these units.

You might also try Galaxy On-Line.


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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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