MacWorld Expo, New iBook and TiBook Bags, PowerBook Upgrade Center, and More

2001-07-20: Macworld Expo report. New iBook and TiBook bags. PowerBook upgrade center. More ‘Book news.

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars.

Macworld Expo

Well, Macworld Expo was pretty much in nonevent for Apple portable aficionados, precisely no hardware announcements at all. No “Son of Pismo;” no colored or bigger screened iBooks; no faster TiBooks with CD RW drives. Nada.

However, we people of the ‘Book can rest comfortably in the fact that the iBook and TiBook are currently the most exciting systems Apple has to offer, as witnessed by sales of 187,000 iBook two-and-a-half months and the tsunami of enthusiastic reviews for both machines from all points of the compass.

Spire Introduces the Icon Backpack for TiBook and iBook

Cool notebooks need a fitting companion to carry them, and we’ve got it. The 2002 Icon is Spire’s latest daypack. The Icon includes a padded sleeve (Boot) specially designed for thin computers. It isn’t tiny – the pack is large enough to handle your computer, books, accessories, and more.

The Icon can hold your computer snug and secure and looks incredibly cool doing it. Some features of this pack are:

  • Includes removable, padded sleeve (Boot) that integrates perfectly with the pack or can be used on its own. The sleeve is held securely in its own compartment within the pack, so your computer won’t bounce around. Check out our competition – their sleeves aren’t included in the price of the bag, and they charge $30-40 extra for it.
  • For those with small computers, we include a 2″ foam ShockPad to ensure your computer doesn’t bounce around inside the sleeve. (The pad fits into the bottom of the Boot)
  • Exterior is all ballistic nylon – a great, durable fabric that will protect your gear from back country to boardroom.
  • Double-padded bottom for extra protection where you need it the most.
  • Rubber carrying handle for comfort
  • Easy-access front pocket for storing keys, airline tickets, etc.
  • Ergonomic, die cut shoulder straps – won’t rip out or kill your shoulders!
  • Cushy mesh back to wick away moisture.
  • Waist belt to prevent the bag from swinging around while you carry it.
  • Interior pockets for carrying cell phone, PDA, extra batteries, pens, etc.
  • “Spaghetti Pocket” for stuffing gnarly cords and cables away

Dimensions: 18.0″ x 11.0″ x 6.0″

Maximum Computer Size: 13.5″ x 9.5″ x 1.3″ (without ShockPad), 1.5″ x 9.5″ x 1.3″ (with ShockPad)

Weight: Approximately 3 pounds

Exterior: Ballistic nylon

Available Colors: Blaze Red/Black, Graphite Grey/Black, Midnight Blue/Black, Stealth Black/Black

Price: $130 US

Dr. Bott LLC Has iceBook Bags for iBook

Dr. Bott LLC is offering “iceBook” Bags for the iBook Dual USB from West Ridge Designs. Available in three designs. The iceBook Sleeve is designed to provide the extra protection needed when carrying the iBook in another bag like a backpack.

iceBook Sleeve allows easy charging via the PowerPort built-into the top of each sleeve. The PowerPort allows charging in the sleeve so you don’t even need to remove the iBook for charging. With the iceBook Sleeve you don’t even need to remove it from your backpack for charging, just open the top of your bag and your have access to the charging port.

Padding surrounds all sides for added protection. Cinchable buckle means that your stuff is secure and it looks great regardless how full you stuff it. Vertical orientation allows the bag to move with you whether using the grab handle or the included shoulder strap. At about 3/4 of a pound the iceBook Sleeve Deluxe won’t slow you down. Magazine pouch on the back give you easy access to a little reading material or your important papers.

Decked out in silver & black the iceBook Sleeve is stylish but doesn’t announce to the world that you are carrying a computer

“The new iceBook Tote and Sleeves offer great options to carry and protect iBook Dual USBs,” said Mitch Lea, Operations Manager of Dr. Bott LLC, “The sleeves are really creative and economical ideas especially for students who want to put their iBook in a backpack.”

“iceBook” Sleeve: Designed to slip into another bag, basic protection for the iBook and easy charging via PowerPort. Retail: $34.95

“iceBook” Sleeve Deluxe: Vertical orientation with more room for accessories- grab handle and shoulder strap. Retail: $49.95

“iceBook” Tote: Conventional horizontal orientation with room for all your iBook accessories- grab handle and shoulder strap. Retail: $64.95. If you want all three of these items, you can order the Sleeve/Tote3 Pak. Pak includes iceBook Sleeve, iceBook Sleeve Deluxe and iceBook Tote for all of your iceBook needs. The price tag is $144.95.

The IceBookTote is perfect for the iBook user on the go. Room for your iBook essentials and a few extras.

Padding surrounds all sides for added protection. Cinchable buckle means that your stuff is secure and it looks great regardless how full you stuff it. At just over a pound the iceBook Tote won’t slow you down. Magazine pouch on the back give you easy access to a little reading material or your important papers.

Morris suspension system cradles your iBook when using the included shoulder strap. The iceBook Tote is designed to offer scratch and bump protection to your iBook while being compact enough to not cramp your style on the run.

Tom Bihn BrainBag

The Brain Bag is even bigger now, made to accommodate a Lap Dog computer case (essential to protect your computer – purchased separately). Still the ultimate, on-your-back, student or business organizer, the Brain Bag consists of two main compartments plus four external pockets. The small top pocket on the back is perfect for a wallet and has an inside snap-hook for keys. The two vertical back pockets are large enough for water bottles or even a small thermos; inside both pockets are pen/pencil organizers. The left pocket has an outside flat mesh pocket for brochures, plane tickets or even a small U-Lock. Between the pockets are two lash straps for umbrella or rain coat. Both main compartments have snaps that accept the optional laptop computer case (Lap Dog), so you can carry your computer or your books against your back, as you like. You can actually carry two Lap Dogs, and therefore two laptops in the Brain Bag . Side compression straps compress the bag when it is not full and stabilize the load. Latigo leather palm pad on 2″ webbing handles, contoured shoulder straps with sternum strap, 2″ waist strap. The back is made of Dri-Lex Aero-Spacer mesh and is padded with 3/8″, high quality, closed-cell EVA foam.

  • Available in Black with Sapphire Blue, Black with Crimson Red, or Solid Black
  • 1000 denier Cordura® and #9 & #10 YKK Zippers
  • Main compartment zippers are now lockable for security (locks not included)
  • Over-all dimensions: 18 x 14 x 9″ (450 x 350 x 230mm); weight: about 3 lbs (1.3 KG)

To carry a computer, add a Lap Dog

2001 Lap Dog by Tom Bihn, $50.

G4 Lap Dog by Tom Bihn, $50.

To organize your Brain, add a Snake Charmer

MadsonLine G4 Saver

Protect your PowerBook G4 from marks and scratches with 1/4″ (6.5mm) the MadsonLine G4 Saver.

  • Durable nylon handles.
  • Black exterior color
  • Handmade in Germany
  • Price: $58
  • 30 day money back guarantee.
  • 12 month workmanship guarantee.

SmartDisk Introduces 8x FireWire Portable CD-R/W and FireWire Portable Thin Drive Designed to Match PowerBook G4

SmartDisk Corporation has announced new versions of its SmartDisk VST FireWire Portable Thin Drive and SmartDisk VST FireWire Portable CD-R/W Drive, both designed with, silver-colored casings to complement Apple’s Titanium PowerBook G4.

The drive measures just 5.5″ x 7.0″ x 1.0″ and features a front-loading/ejection CD tray, ideal for small work spaces. Because the drive is FireWire-powered, it doesn’t require an AC adapter or battery pack. The unit derives its power from a computer’s FireWire bus via a standard two-foot FireWire cable. In addition, the drive features “plug & play” support, which allows immediate use upon plug-in without the need to shut down or reconfigure the computer.

Included with the SmartDisk VST FireWire CD-R/W Drive is CD burning software for both Macintosh and Windows. The drive works with Macintosh computers with FireWire support and Mac OS 8.6 to Mac OS 9.x, and also supports Apple’s iTunes.

The small casing – 3.0″ x 5.5″ x 0.68″ – and weight of just six ounces make them easy to carry and use with mobile applications. The new SmartDisk VST FireWire Portable Thin Drives feature improved data transfer rates of up to 17 Megabytes per second. Because the drives are FireWire cable bus-powered, no external power source is necessary even when they’re used with a notebook computer such as the PowerBook G4. They also feature hot-plug/unplug support, which means users don’t have to shut down or restart the computer when they install the drives.

The SmartDisk VST FireWire CD-R/W is priced at $329.95 MSRP. The SmartDisk VST FireWire Portable Thin Drive is available in three capacities to accommodate a range of digital lifestyle needs. For less demanding digital applications, the 10 GB model is well suited, while the 20 GB and 30 GB models provide larger capacities for a variety of digital video, Internet content, audio and multimedia applications. Prices are $392.95 for the 10 GB drive, $469.95 for the 20 GB drive and $669.95 for the 30 GB drive.

The drives will be available in July through retailers and distributors, as well as through the company’s Web site.

MadsonLine ‘Generation Gap’ Adapter Converter for MadsonLine MicroAdapter

Convert your existing MadsonLine G3 Micro-Adapter to work with the new PowerBook G4 and iBook (Dual USB) with this handy and economical device.

Note: This version of the Generation Gap is incompatible with Apple AC Adapters.

A Gen-Gap for Apple adapters is currently under development and will be available in July.

Price: $20

PowerBook Source Launches Upgrade Center

The PowerBook Source’s Upgrade Center is dedicated to helping readers find not only price-competitive laptop products but also useful review articles and advice in making their purchases

WallStreet/Lombard Power Adapter Recall Substitution Creates Disgruntlement

Some people receiving replacement power adapters under Apple’s recall program for the rectangular black M4402 power adapters that shipped with WallStreet and Lombard PowerBooks are disgruntled to discover that what they get as a replacement is a iBook/Pismo style “yo-yo” shaped power adapter. Mine arrived last week, and it’s one of the units manufactured by Delta Electronics in Thailand, which is by reputation the best of several versions of the yo-yo unit.

Still, I preferred the more compact, subdued-looking M4402, as, apparently do many others.

To sign up for a new adapter, visit Apple’s PowerBook G3 AC Adapter Exchange Program page.

The eligible units are small rectangular black AC adapter boxes with a permanently attached cord on one end to connect to the computer and a detachable two-prong cord on the other end to plug into an AC outlet. The adapter is approximately 4.75 inches long by 2 inches wide. The label located on the side of the adapter reads in part, “Macintosh PowerBook 45W AC Adapter” and “Model Number: M4402.”

PowerLogix Blue Chip G3/466/1 MB for Wallstreet PowerBooks for $249

Small Dog Electronics has an excellent special price on the 466 MHz Blue Chip processor upgrade for WallStreet PowerBooks – $249, or about half the usual going rate.

The stock processor card pops out and the BlueChip G3 goes in its place.

Note: You MUST have a working CPU module in your machine prior to installation of the BlueChip. The ROM transfer must be completed from a working CPU before the BlueChip can operate.

  • PowerPC 750 @ 466 or 500 MHz
  • 1 MB of backside cache
  • No downtime or trade-in hassles
  • Compatible with the following computers (Apple family number M4753):
    • PowerBook G3 Series 233 (no cache)
    • PowerBook G3 Series 233 (233/117/512K)
    • PowerBook G3 Series 250 (250/125/1 MB)
    • PowerBook G3 Series 266 (266/133/1 MB)
    • PowerBook G3 Series 292 (292/146/1 MB)
    • PowerBook G3 Series 300 (300/150/1 MB)

Bargain ‘Books

This Week’s PowerBook Deals

The auction site

  • PowerBook G3 233 MHz 96/10 GB/20x/56k. Last time I looked it was bid up to $561. The auction ends 7/20/01
  • PowerBook 1400cs 133 MHz notebook. Current bid $21. The auction ends 7/25/01

There’s also an iBook lithium ion battery – new; was $39.00 auction ends 7/23/01


  • PowerBook G3/266 64/4 GB/20x CD/56k/10Base-T/ 14.1″ TFT, 1 MB Cache / Refurbished/ House 90 day Warranty – $899.99
  • PowerBook 1400cs/133 32/1.3 GB/Floppy/ Refurbished/House 90 day Warranty – $399.99

The PowerBook Guy

  • PowerBook G3/400 Pismo 128/6 GB/DVD/56k/FireWire/14.1 Active – $1549.95
  • PowerBook G3/333 Lombard 64/4 GB/CD/56k/SCSI/14.1 Active – $1299.95