The 'Book Review

iceBook Hard Drive Upgrade Tutorial, TiBook Handles, Combo Drive for Lombard and Pismo, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2003.02.28

Except as noted, prices are in U.S. dollars.

Dual USB iBook Hard Drive Upgrade Tutorial

Graham Cox has posted a detailed tutorial on upgrading the dual USB iBook's hard drive. He writes:

"If you are finding the 10 GB hard disk of your white iBook (2 USB ports) becoming a bit of a limitation, and can't find out how to upgrade the disk, this is the page you need!

"This upgrade is, if everyone else is to be believed, impossible. Well, I've done it, it wasn't that hard, and I'm going to show you how. The reason the upgrade is not encouraged is because it definitely does require patience, some bravery, and a couple of spare hours - however, if you are careful and methodical, the upgrade can be carried out by anyone with a reasonably delicate touch. However, naturally this will void any warranty on your laptop, and while I have carried out the procedure myself with no mishap, I can't make any guarantees here - so, you're doing this entirely at your own risk!!"

Titanium PowerBook Handle on sale, limited time

Apple's Titanium 15" PowerBook is slim, stylish, and oh so cool. But because it is so compact, the Titanium can be a little difficult to tote around. How do you get a good grip on it? Enter the Titanium PowerBook Handle.

The Titanium PowerBook Handle attaches with four screws onto the back of your PowerBook. The screws go in existing holes in your PowerBook, giving you a rock solid hand grip for toting the book around and the handle fits the style of the book so well you'd swear your PowerBook came from the factory that way. The handle installs in minutes and does not void your warranty.

When you're ready to use your machine, the handle folds under and props up the PowerBook - creating a comfortable tilt for the keyboard. The tilt also allows cooling air to circulate under your PowerBook increasing battery life and performance. The open design of the handle means all the ports on the back of your machine are easy to access.

"We have handles on all our PowerBooks, PowerBook handles make it so much easier to tote them around!"

  • Compatible with all 15" Apple G4 Titanium PowerBooks (from the first one through the 1 GHz; not compatible with the 12" or 17" Titanium PowerBooks)
  • Easy to install - put it on in minutes!
  • Leaves you easy access to all your PowerBook connection ports!
  • Flip down handle creates a relaxed typing angle for the keyboard and Increases airflow and allows for better heat dissipation!
  • Provides a secure and simple way to tote your PowerBook across the room or across town!

Sale Price: $29.95 for a limited time

TiBook Tote and Tilt

TiBook Tote and Tilt features:

  • Tote your PowerBook by a handle.
  • Tilt to allow for air circulation under your PowerBook, helps to increase battery life and performance
  • Easy access to rear data ports.
  • Installs in five minutes.
  • Does not void warranty.
  • 100% handmade in the USA.
  • All aluminum construction for lightness & sturdiness.
  • Color powder coated to complement the PowerBook.

Price $44.95 from the Applelinks Store.

PowerBook Expansion Bay 16x/10x/x24 DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive

Wanna get more use of your PowerBook? Slide this Combo drive in your right side bay to experience your PowerBook's maximum capabilities. This Combo drive allows full DVD and CD-RW capabilities, including:

  • 8x DVD
  • 16x CD burn
  • 10x CD rewrite
  • 24x CD-RW/CD read
  • Full OS boot compatibility - just hold "C"
  • Fully compatible with OS 9 and OS X 10.1.3 (and later)
  • Burn with iTunes or use the desktop CD Burner to save your data



  • Buffer Underrun Protection - no more bad CDs!
  • Fully Compatible with iTunes, CDBurner, Toast, even Retrospect!
  • New mechanism by OEM mfr!
  • Just slide into your right hand bay, and you're in business!
  • Get $40 rebate for sending in your old DVD drive (dead or alive)

Price $289.99

For more information, visit Wegener Media.

CableMax 2 Port PCMCIA 1394-FireWire Adapter

The CableMax 2 Port PCMCIA 1394-FireWire Adapter AP-1002 is a 32-bit CardBus AP-1002 cardPC Card with dual 400 Mbps FireWire/IEEE 1394 ports. It can enable your portable for high speed external devices.

Package contents:

  • One FireWire/1394 Dual Port 32-bit CardBus PC Card
  • 6-pin to 4-pin FireWire/1394 cable (6-feet)
  • Ulead VideoStudio Basic SE v.4.0
  • User manual

Warranty: Lifetime

System requirements: PowerBook with CardBus support (G3 Series May 1998 or newer)

Price $49.50 

BooqPaq Laptop Backpack

Resist the ordinary and get the first fun backpack that's got it all.

Based on the successful original, BooqPaq2 is the second generation BooqPaq, with small but important design improvements that make this product more comfortable, easy to use, and even more durable.

BooqPaq2 is the state-of-the-art mobility solution for all your tech gear. More than just an ergonomically designed laptop backpack, this supercharged gear center achieves extreme levels of design refinement, with among the highest quality of materials and finish. With its bombproof 1680D nylon exterior with PVC backing, neither the harshest weather nor the most abusive wear can harm this tough and tech-loving laptop carrying case.

Designed to be the perfect technology center and versatile laptop backpack BooqPaq2with tons of storage options for your laptop and gear, MPEG-Player or CD-Player, media, digital camera and documents, this laptop backpack leaves plenty of cubic space for all your other stuff you'll need on your next trip.

BooqPaq2 also makes for a great school backpack or college backpack. This backpack is comfortable to wear &endash; even for long hikes at heavy loads &endash; due to our attention to ergonomics and human factors in design. In fact, since we've paid special attention to female ergonomics, BooqPaq2 also makes an extremely comfortable women's backpack!

While the actual laptop backpack is available in black and navy, as well as a cool gray, the bag's detachable front piece "Shell" comes in a variety of styles, so you can build your personal BooqPaq, and change styles whenever you want.

BooqPaq2 Laptop Backpack Features:

  • Second Generation BooqPaq Laptop Backpack with Gallons of storage room
  • Securely stores your large or small laptop or notebook (up to 14" x 12" x 2.25")
  • Laptop Backpack made from tough, weather-resistant 1680D Nylon
  • External front pocket stores up to 10 CDs, disks etc.
  • Large side pockets hold cables, pens, cell phone etc.
  • Multifunctional interior pocket array neatly stores disks, flash cards, business cards, pens
  • convenient, protected multimedia pocket for CD or MPEG Player - listen on the go
  • padded super comfy, large-area BodyHuq™ shoulder strap design for optimized load distribution
  • attach FonePaq™/PDApaq (included in BooqPaq System) to shoulder straps
  • padded carrying handle
  • sternum strap for additional comfort
  • High-density polyurethane foam/layered mesh padded back for extra rigidity, comfort and optimum breathability
  • Integrates interchangeable cover piece "shell", comes in a choice of colors
  • Adjustable hip strap with padded hip flaps for secure active wear
  • Large back document pocket holds folders and documents - flat
  • Equipped with high-quality zippers
  • Built with the toughest nylon straps and webbing

Colors: black, navy, grey

Shell color (detachable front piece): gray ripstop, khaki ripstop, camo, black ripstop, orange ripstop, leather-look (waterproof PVC)

Price: $110, free shipping

Willow Stikine 12" iBook Slipcase

The Stikine 12" iBook slipcase offers a lightweight, compact yet flexible solution for carrying your iBook, Stikine 12" iBook slipcasepower supply and cord and, when you need it, a pile of accessories. The stylish design offers excellent protection for your iBook in a compact and expandable case.

Stikine 12" iBook Features:

  • excellent protection for your iBook afforded by 1.2 cm (0.5") soft "gushy" foam reinforced by corrugated plastic on the top and sides.
  • a clean, very lightweight and compact size.
  • great carrying comfort assured by a foam wrapped, polyethylene cored, padded handle designed with the seam at the top so it doesn't dig into your hand.
  • contoured, thickly padded shoulder strap with a special sticky bottom to keep it on your shoulder.
  • nylon web handle, quadruple reinforced with rivets, to insure the safety of your notebook.
  • convenient rubber luggage feet riveted through a high density polyethylene bottom piece to keep the slipcase off the ground if you're leaning it against your chair or desk.
  • vertical configuration allows power adapter to be plugged into iBook while store in the slipcase.
  • outer front organizer panel with pockets for business cards, pens, calculator plus extra space at the bottom for the Apple power supply, power cord and a separate mouse.
  • rear flat pocket which can bellow out to 2.8 inches deep when needed.
  • convenient under lid pocket which can be flipped up easily with the slipcase on the shoulder to access change, tickets or other smaller items.
  • business card holder under the lid for identification plus storage of extra business cards in addition to the front organizer pocket slot.
  • very handy, covered outer key chain clip to allow home or office keys to be immediately accessed on the daily commute.
  • stylish and protective reflective strips on slipcase front and sides for superior night time visibility.
  • lifetime guarantee against defects in materials or craftsmanship.

Available colours: black, charcoal, navy, taupe, burgundy

Price: $118 Cdn/$79 U.S.

PCMCIA Announces Development of New Expansion Card Technology

PCMCIA, a leading technology trade association, has announced the development of a new specification, code named NEWCARD, that takes the next step in PC Card evolution. The new specification builds on the successful characteristics of the PC Card: reliability, ease of use and wide industry support, while delivering external expansion with reduced size, increased speed, lower costs, and support of advanced serial I/O technologies, USB 2.0 and PCI Express.

NEWCARD marks the first time expansion card specifications will be shared among mobile and desktop PCs. Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Dell, HP, Lexar Media, SCM Microsystems, and Texas Instruments are among those supporting development of the new standard. Two key industry groups, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) and the PCI-SIG (Peripheral Component Interconnect-Special Interest Group), are collaborating with the PCMCIA to support the underlying bus technology used in defining the NEWCARD form factor. PCMCIA will lead the NEWCARD specification development effort.

"Innovative applications and technologies continue to be developed at an amazing rate, requiring PC clients to have the latest expansion capabilities," said Brad Saunders of Intel Corporation and chairman of the PCMCIA. "By drawing upon USB 2.0 and PCI Express, the NEWCARD specification will bring serial bus technology to a smaller form factor that offers more performance and improved ease of use. This new specification will revolutionize how PC developers and OEMs utilize the expansion slot for next-generation features such as wireless networking, storage and card readers.

"This initiative also marks the first time that three major industry work groups - PCMCIA, USB-IF and PCI-SIG - have partnered to promote and validate a specification. We expect NEWCARD to have a widespread impact on the industry because it leverages existing technology to make PC expansion easier and less expensive," added Saunders. In addition, the PC Quality/Ease of Use Roundtable, an industry group that focuses on reducing enduser issues, is providing guidance around human interaction with NEWCARD.

NEWCARD is targeted for both mobile and desktop system developers and OEMs seeking small form factors and sealed systems for smaller and thinner mobile system designs. Consumers will benefit from the compatibility of add-in cards between their mobile and desktop systems, similar to how USB devices can be shared between laptops and desktop clients.

The specification is slated for release later this year. Companies wishing to participate in the specification development are invited to contact PCMCIA. Currently, products supporting NEWCARD are scheduled to debut in the second half of 2004.

PC Card technology adds expansion capabilities such as memory, mass storage, networking and wireless communications to computers and other communications and consumer electronics devices. Future expansion capabilities range from wireless communications, TV tuners, security card readers to optical storage media.

More info at Digital Photography Review.

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).



PowerBook Guy

  • iBook 300, 96/3/CD, $599.95 (available late February; taking preorders)

Power Max

  • PowerBook WallStreet 233, 96/2/CD-ROM, no modem, 14.1" screen, $599
  • PowerBook WallStreet 233, 160/2/CD-ROM, no modem, 14.1" screen, $619
  • PowerBook WallStreet 266, 64/4/CD-ROM, no modem, 14.1" screen, $637
  • iBook 300, 32/3/CD-ROM, no modem, blueberry, $659
  • PowerBook WallStreet 292, 192/8/CD-ROM, 56k modem, floppy drive, 14.1" screen, $778
  • PowerBook Lombard 333, 192/4/CD-ROM, 56k modem, $779
  • iBook 366, 192/10/CD-ROM, 56k modem, Indigo, $779

Small Dog Electronics

For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our Best PowerBook G4 Deals and Best iBook Deals.

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