PowerLogix BlueChip Price Drop, PCMCIA Tutorial, WallStreet FAQ, Bargain ‘Books, and More

2001-04-20: PowerLogix trims price of 466 MHz G3 upgrade for WallStreet. PCMCIA tutorial updated. FireWire Depot intros titanium laptop drive case. More ‘Book news.


Except as noted, prices are in US dollars.

PowerLogix Drops Price on BlueChip Processor Upgrades for WallStreet

The PowerLogix BlueChip G3 466/233/1 MB has dropped $150 from $599 to $449. The BlueChip G3 500/250/1 MB dropped from $699 to $599. BlueChip upgrades for the Apple PowerBook G3 Series I and Series II (Wallstreet and PDQ).

The BlueChip G3 upgrade is useful for users who who want to do higher-end tasks like video editing in their PowerBook but have found the processor demands of this software overwhelming their stock processor. Once the BlueChip is installed, it puts higher-end, more desktop-level tasks within reach. Other computing challenges that are met by the BlueChip G3 upgrade include digital audio development and editing, QuickTime editing and graphics editing.

Taiwan and the Laptop Industry

In Made in Taiwan, Forbes Magazine’s Andrew Tanzer notes that more likely than not, your laptop was made somewhere close to Taipei, Taiwan, by a company owned by billionaire Barry Lam.

Lam is founder and chairman of Taiwan’s Quanta Computer, which builds one seventh of global laptop computer production, including Apple PowerBooks (iBooks are made by Quanta’s Taiwanese competitor, Alpha Top). Taiwan builds a whopping 55% of world notebook computers. Quanta makes notebooks for Dell, Compaq, Gateway, Apple, HP, IBM, Sony, Sharp, Fujitsu, and Siemens. Kinda makes arguing about relative build quality a bit silly, at least in the laptop orbit.

Quanta has 500 design engineers in Taiwan, and Tanzer says the company did about half of the design work for Apple Computer’s G4 notebook and 60% to 70% of the design work on Dell’s Latitude models.

PCMCIA Flash Card Tutorial Updated

Frank Klassner of The PowerBook Source has updated his tutorial on The Pros and Cons of Using PCMCIA Flash Cards in PowerBooks.

Klassner notes that, “Over the last two months here at the PBSource there has been a flurry of interest in using ATA Flash Memory PCMCIA cards as supplemental storage in PowerBooks… As more devices like MP3 players and digital cameras that use flash RAM are becoming established in the marketplace, and as long as Apple keeps producing laptops with PC card slots, it makes sense to explore the issues behind using Flash RAM cards in PowerBooks.

Potential Benefits:

  • Boot Device: PowerBook 5300s, 1400s, 3400s, and WallStreets are able to use ATA flash cards as boot drives. Klassner says that he’s found that “on 5300’s, 3400’s, and WallStreets, my 40 MB card has bought me 60-90 minutes extra battery time when used as a startup disk.”
  • As a secondary drive for caches/apps
  • As a possible support for faster Virtual Memory
  • Convenient data exchange

PowerBook Cases from Tom Bihn

G4 Lap Dog

G4 LapDog case

The G4 Lap Dog is designed to fit your Titanium PowerBook G4 like a glove with the same bombproof protectionof the 2001 Lap Dog. Cradled in soft foam padding, your TiBook hangs suspended in a corrugated plastic insert. It closes on the top, like a cereal box, except with Velcro®, and snaps into the Grand Central, and the Brain Bag, turning them into great computer cases.

Since the G4 Lap Dog is so slim, it will take up less space in either of the Brain Bag’s main compartments, leaving you with even more room for your books, magazines, files, etc. For use on it’s own, the G4 Lap Dog features an open-top, snap closing front pocket of Spandura® stretch Cordura® to accommodate your power supply, cables and/or external drive and that’s all; webbing handles and optional shoulder strap.


  • Available in Basic Black
  • 500 Denier Cordura® & Spandura® Stretch Cordura®.
  • Interior Dimensions: approximately 13-1/2″ x 10″ x 1-1/4″.
  • Exterior Dimensions: approximately 14″ x 11-1/2″ x 2″.

Price: $50.00

G4 Eclipse

G4 Eclipse case

The G4 Eclipse is a compact, micro-briefcase designed to take advantage of the G4’s slight size & light weight.Why carry around a big bag when your laptop is so small? Designed to fit your Titanium PowerBook G4 like a glove with the same bombproof protection of the 2001 Lap Dog. Cradled in soft foam padding, your TiBook hangs suspended in a corrugated plastic insert.

The top zips shut with a #9 YKK zipper, and under the buckled flap there is a substantial front pouch for your power supply, cables and/or external drive, etc. Inside the front pouch, an organizer has pockets for your PDA, cell phone & pens, plus a snaphook for your keys. The entire front of the pouch is a zippered pocket. On the back there is a simple, open-top pocket for a file or a magazine. Padded handles and optional shoulder strap.


  • Available in Basic Black with Silver
  • 500 Denier Cordura®.
  • Interior Dimensions: approximately 13-1/2″ x 10″ x 1-1/4″.
  • Exterior Dimensions: approximately 14″ x 11-1/2″ x 4″.
  • Weight: approximately 1.5 lbs.

Price: $85.00

Dell Ships Inspiron 2500, a $1,049 Notebook

Dell continues to keep the price pressure on Apple with the launch of its first near-$1000 notebook, the Inspiron 2500.

With a base price of $1,049, this entry-level system includes a 700-MHz Intel Celeron processor, 64 MB of memory, a 5 GB hard drive, a 24X CD-ROM drive, Windows Me, and an active-matrix 12.1-inch display.

The main enabler for this price point has been the drop in LCD display prices.

Apple may need to rethink holding the price point for the next upgrade of the iBook at $1,499.

You can find out more in this PC World article.

FireWire Depot Offers 2.5″ Titanium External Drive Enclosures

FireWire Depot has Titanium enclosureannounced the arrival of and immediate availability of their new 2.5″ Titanium enclosures.

If you have a PowerBook G4, you may want to get one of these.

No screws are required. The enclosure opens using a pressure release on the top cover. Once open, the drive slips into the enclosure and is held in place by four pressure arms on the bottom of the enclosure. The top is put back in place, and you are ready to go.

Troubleshooting PowerBook G4 Fax Software Not Working

A recently posted Apple Tech Info Library (TIL) article 88113 describes how to troubleshoot the symptom of fax software not working on a PowerBook G4 computer.

The PowerBook G4 comes with FaxSTF software installed. Apple does not provide support for this software. Apple suggests that users refer to the Smith Micro website.

Answers to Your WallStreet Questions

Another series of Apple Tech Info Library (TIL) articles contain frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the PowerBook G3 Series II (WallStreet/PDQ) computers, with answers to those questions. These questions pertain to the PowerBook G3 Series models that were released in September 1998.

Bargain ‘Books

Small Dog Electronics again offers the reseller-refurbished Blueberry Apple iBook G3/300 32/3.0/CD/56k/100Base-T 12.1-inch TFT notebook for $889. It’s the lowest price that we know to be available for this configuration. A 90-day reseller warranty applies. Details at DealMac.

MacSelect offers the factory-refurbished Apple PowerBook G3/400 “Pismo” 64/6.0/DVD/56k/100Base-T 14.1-inch TFT notebook computer for $1,599. (To find it, click “PowerBooks” on the left-hand side of MacSelect’s home page.) A 90-day Apple warranty is included. Outpost.com has a similar deal but adds free 2nd-day Airborne shipping, for a lower total cost. However, Outpost.com’s offer only includes a 30-day warranty. Details at DealMac.

PC Warehouse offers the Key Lime Apple iBook G3/366 64/10.0/CD/56k/100Base-T 12.1-inch TFT/ model no. M7722LL/A, for $1,399.99. This is a new, factory-sealed 366 MHz iBook. (You must add the iBook to your shopping cart to see the discounted price.) Details at DealMac.

And last, but not least (except perhaps for price), MacResQ/MacWeek offers refurbished Pismo 400s for $1,399. PowerBook G3/400 128/6 GB/DVD/SCSI/14.1″ LCD/Refurbished/90 day Warranty.