The 'Book Review

Swiss Army Knife for Geeks, iBook Hard Drive and Backlight Tutorials, MacSurfer Modem, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2002.12.27

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars.

Victorinox CyberTool (Ruby), a Swiss Army Knife for Geeks

This is very cool. I love my Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, and here's a new one for people who mess around inside computers.

What was once a simple pocket knife with a few basic implements has matured into one of the worlds most Victorinox CyberToolrecognized hallmarks of versatility, reliability and functionality. Precision crafted in Switzerland to be the finest pocketknives available, Victorinox Original Swiss Army Knives have been the official equipment on the world's most remarkable adventures, from exploring the North Pole to NASA space shuttle missions.

This advanced version of the original Swiss Army knife is the ultimate techie tool, making computer repairs easier and faster. Handsome stainless steel with world famous styling features over 34 different functions - including 4 double-head hex bits for servicing computers.

Tools included: large blade, small blade, scissors, pliers w/ wire cutter, reamer w/sewing eye, corkscrew, mini screwdriver, straight pin, key ring, toothpick, tweezers, screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener, #2, #3, Phillips head screwdriver, DIP switch setter, bit wrench with case, 5mm, 4mm hex socket, #8, #10, #15 Torx bit, #0, #1 Pozi drive bit.

Comes with manufacturers' one year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship.

Price: $49.95 from

iBook Hard Drive Upgrade Tutorial

While it's not recommended, if you're brave and reasonably handy with tools, it is possible to upgrade the hard drive in your Dual USB iBook.

An illustrated PDF tutorial created by CyberGreg shows you how, but think long and hard before taking the plunge.

iBook Backlight Replacement Tutorial

Is the backlight on your clamshell iBook getting a bit murky? Check out this tutorial on how to replace it cheaply (US$12).

This illustrated presentation shows you what to do and how to avoid some of the potential pitfalls by benefiting from the author's experience.

You can find replacement backlight tubes at or JKL Lamps (see next entry).

Source of Replacement Laptop Backlights

JKL Lamps offers a wide variety of miniature lighting solutions that include incandescents, LED's, fluorescents, neons and a wide array of special application lamps, LCD's, replacement laptop computer lights, and instrument cluster illumination.

One of the most common applications for Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFL's) is LCD backlighting in laptop computers. JKL Lamps have been used for replacements in laptops/LCD's manufactured by Apple, AST, Cannon, Compaq, Data World, Dell, DTK, Epson, Everex, Gateway, Goldstar, Hyperdata, IBM, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Swan, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Zenith Data Systems.

To find your replacement lamp, JKL recommends that you measure the physical characteristics of your old lamp and find the closest match on the Fluorescent Lamps Page or identify the manufacturer and the manufacture model number off the back of the LCD screen within the laptop and email it to, or call call the JKL Sales Department at 1-800-421-7244. The JKL sales associates have a customer derived cross-reference list for many laptops. Please note that JKL CCFl Lamps are available from the JKL Lamps Sales Department and Digikey.

MacSurfer II PC Card Modem

A Mac modem that successfully combines speed and stability. Equipped with an Intel chipset, the MacSurfer MacSurfer IIis the fast, reliable way to browse the Web, send and receive emails and faxes, and view streamed media. Ideal for educational use and great for games.

Software included: WebWorks 2000 is the software toolkit to get you online easily. It has all the utilities, applications and information to guide you through modem installation, Web surfing basics, choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and more. Get the most out of your time online with WebWorks 2000.

Features & Specifications

Data Mode Compatibility

  • ITU-TV.90/V.34+/V.34/V.32bis/V.32
  • Up to 56 Kbps receive and 33.6 Kbps transmit.

Fax Mode Compatibility

  • ITU-T V.17 / V.29 / V.27ter / V.21
  • Group 3
  • EIA Class 1

Voice Mode

  • Enhanced ADPCM CODEC
  • Incoming Call Discrimination
  • Concurrent DTMF Detection
  • Data Compression/Error Correction
  • ITU-T V.42bis/ITU-T V.42
  • MNP5/MNP 2-4

Data Throughput

  • Up to 115,200 bps
  • Operating Features
  • Auto Dial and Auto Answer
  • Auto Speed Mode/ Mode Selection
  • Auto Power Management
  • Digital Echo Cancellation
  • Answering Machine / Voice Mail
  • Full-duplex speaker phone
  • ASVD (Asynchronous voice and data)
  • V.80 for video conference
  • Low power consumption

Minimum Requirements

  • PowerPC Processor
  • OS 8.0 or higher
  • 32 MB RAM
  • 1 spare modem port
  • 1 CD-ROM drive (drivers also available on floppy disk)

Price: $69

MCE Battery Charger for iBook (Dual USB)

The MCE Battery Charger for the 500 and 600 MHz 12-inch dual-USB iBook provides a convenient MCE Battery Chargermeans to charge one or simultaneously charge two Apple iBook Li-Ion batteries quickly and easily. Two and a half hours is all it takes to have two fully charged batteries ready for use at any time.

Package Contents

  • Battery charger
  • Universal AC adapter
  • User's Guide

Price: $139.95

PowerBook ScreensavRz

ScreensavRz not only protect your precious display surface from abrasion caused by the close tolerances in today's ultra-thin notebooks, they clean your screen too! Made from a woven, ultra-thin (1.5 mil) optical-grade microfiber cloth, ScreensavRz, even when dry, allow you to safely clean the screen, or any surface of your notebook.

This super-soft cloth shields the display surface when transporting your notebook computer and is machine wash and dryable. ScreensavRz are so thin, soft and supple, they stow as easy as a dollar bill. For late model Apple notebooks, combine ScreensavRz with WildEepz Display Cushions to transform your 'Book into a rock. Don't betray your portable computer investment, get saved!

Choose from

  • PowerBook ScreensavRz for Titanium, $14.95
  • PowerBook ScreensavRz for G3s, $14.95
  • PowerBook ScreensavRz for iBook '01, $14.95


  • Black color ensures great looks for life.
  • Polish your entire notebook - especially good for iBooks.
  • Sizes for all recent Apple notebooks.
  • Custom sizes, configs available.
  • No oily residue like tanned leather.
  • Combine with WildEepz for maximum protection on PB G4 and Dual USB iBook.

Bargain 'Books

There are two different versions of WallStreet running at 233 MHz, the cacheless MainStreet version and the later Series II with a level 2 cache. It's not always possible to determine from the vendor's listing which is being offered, so we've included links within this paragraph to the two models. The same goes for the PowerBook G4/667 (Gigabit Ethernet/2001) and G4/667 (DVI).


  • iBook 600 12", 128/20 GB/CD-ROM, Mac OS 9.2 and 10.1, $949
  • iBook 700 12", 128/20 GB/Combo, Mac OS 9.2 and 10.1 $1,199
  • iBook 700 14", 256/30 GB/Combo, Mac OS 9.2 and 10.1, $1,499
  • PowerBook G4/550, 256/20 GB/Combo, Mac OS 9.2 and 10.1, $1,979.10
  • PowerBook G4/667, 256/30 GB/Combo, Mac OS 9.2 and 10.1, $1,999


  • PowerBook G4/667, 256/30 GB/Combo, $1,989
  • PowerBook G4/667, 256/30 GB/Combo, free 256 MB upgrade, $1,989
  • refurbished PowerBook G4/800, 512/40 GB/Combo, AirPort, $2,099
  • refurbished PowerBook G4/800, 512/40 GB/Combo, AirPort, AppleCare, $2,349

PowerBook Guy

  • PowerBook Pismo G3/500, 128/10 GB/DVD, $1,199.95
  • PowerBook Pismo G3/400, 128/6 GB/DVD, $999.95
  • PowerBook WallStreet G3/233, 96/2 GB/CD-ROM, 14.1", $699.95
  • PowerBook 3400c/180, 32/1.3 GB/CD-ROM, floppy, $299.95

Baucom Computers

  • PowerBook 1400c w/ G3/333, 64/2 GB/floppy, $294
  • PowerBook 1400c/117, 64/2 GB/floppy, $218

Small Dog Electronics

  • PowerBook G4/667, 512/30 GB/DVD, AirPort, $1,849
  • PowerBook G4/667, 256/30 GB/Combo, $1,949

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