Menagerie of Macs #3

Ah, freedom. It truly is amazing that we can put the power of a 45 pound computing ensemble into the case of a book and have it weigh in at about five pounds. The freedom that a laptop gives you is beyond compare. You can write, compile, archive, or even edit that new action flick for next summer. All this can be done on your lap, anywhere, assuming that your battery has a fresh charge.

Menagerie of Macs

With a laptop, you can pack your entire office in one small briefcase, or all your records for the hot new e-zine that you write and edit (whichever the case may be). You can’t deny that despite their lack of horsepower, a 100 series laptop still fits onto an airline tray table better than a G3 minitower and a 13-inch monitor (hey, sometimes you have to skimp in the name of space).

PowerBook Duo 210What brought this sudden outburst of laptop affection? I got my hands on a Duo 230. That’s right, the traveler’s dream. The Duo isn’t that powerful, but it still gives you the power of an LC III or maybe a low-end Performa in the palm of your hand.

The Duo was an ingenious design that Apple had to abandon. The inch-thick, four pound grey brick is perfect for anyone who likes to work in different places (when you procrastinate, like me, you need a change of scenery to keep things interesting). All it has at the back is a serial port and a phone jack – that’s all you really need when you’re on the go.

PowerBook Duo in a DuoDock

PowerBook Duo in a DuoDock.

When you get home just pop it in the Duo dock and it’ll charge up for you, you can then even use it as a desktop machine.

I prefer the Duo, but there are plenty of great laptops that can suit your needs. The x400 line was pretty good, but if you can shell out the cash get yourself a G3 PowerBook – they’re the best thing going. If you can’t part with the clams (we all have to eat), then pick up a 140 at your local used Macs store. My friend got one, and he’s been amazed at where he’s been getting things done.

You may be thinking, “Hey, wait a minute. Isn’t the theme of MacWorld this month all about PowerBook survival?” Relax. I thought of the idea a week before I saw the cover. However, I still decided that next month may be better.

Send in your tips and tricks for mobile computing, and I’ll amalgamate them into the best PowerBook article ever! Of course, full credit will be given, if desired. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to network my laptop with my buddy’s at the coffee house… mmmm, cappuccino.

Brad Harrison

Website of the month

On strong recommendation from reader Emma Peel I must submit for your approval, the website of the month.


It’s not Mac related- but you can use it to surf any Mac website you want.

Shareware of the month

From my own travels I have come across this game. Domain 1.0. It is a great alternative to Othello. There’s only one problem, it gets tough after the medium level.

Brad Harrison

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