The 'Book Review

iBook G4 Logic Board Petition, Wireless Broadband for Older Macs, WallStreet G3/500 Upgrade, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.09.30

This Week's PowerBook, iBook, and Notebook News

General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review. News about Apple's transition to Intel CPUs and other Intel developments is covered in The Macintel Report.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion


Products and Services

Windows Watch

Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

iBook G4 Logic Board Petition Started

Deep Thought's Thomas Davie reports:

"There is currently a petition on calling for Apple to extend the iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program to the first generation iBook G4s (800 MHz 12", 933 MHz 14"). The petition states that the original iBook G4 suffers from the same scrambled video issue that afflicts many iBook G3s....

"Full disclosure: The writer owns an iBook G4 1.2 GHz and has owned a 900 MHz iBook G3 that had four fried logic boards. The writer's iBook ownership in no way influenced the writing of this article."

iBook G4 Logic Board Petition

To: Apple Computer

It is our wish that Apple Computer acknowledges that iBook G4s produced between October 2003 and April 2004 (12" 800 MHz, 14" 933 MHz, 14" 1 GHz) commonly have a manufacturing or design fault causing the graphics card to fail and requiring the logic board to be replaced. We ask Apple to extend it's logic board repair program for iBook G3s to cover these models.

The symptoms of the failure are:

  • Scrambled or distorted video
  • Appearance of unexpected lines on the screen
  • Intermittent video image
  • Video freeze
  • Computer starts up to blank screen

The Undersigned

Hard Drives Are Here to Stay

BusinessWeek says:

"Chang Gyu Hwang is chief executive of the world's largest supplier of flash memory chips, South Korea's Samsung. Over the last few weeks, he has been quoted as hailing the start of the 'Flash Rush Era.' Flash memory chips - specifically, a type of flash known as NAND, which is used to store data in devices such as music players and digital cameras - will in time challenge and may even replace small hard drives.

"To Bill Watkins, chief executive of Seagate Technology, the world's largest manufacturer of hard drives, that sounds like a challenge. Samsung also manufactures hard disk drives, but in much smaller quantities. 'It's kind of funny,' says Watkins. 'I see so much opportunity that I would be more than willing to take his hard drive unit off his hands.'

"...Watkins isn't worried about hard drives becoming obsolete anytime soon - not with a market of 380 million units this year and 420 million next year, according to market researcher IDC. The CEO of the $7.5 billion company says that flash memory and hard drives will coexist for some time."


What EVDO Card for Your PowerBook? says:

"If you are looking for a EVDO card for PowerBook, I will recommend, Sierra Wireless Aircard 580, which after some hacking gives you better performance than any other PC card. However, it doesn't work as well with Windows Laptops. It was giving me about 350 kbps on Mac and 115 kbps on a PC laptop. Novatel's Merlin v620, however is a solid and brisk performer on Windows Machines, with average speed of about 270 kbps. It got 115-120 kbps on a Mac."

Products and Services

MACh Speed G3 & G4 WallStreet Upgrades

PR: The XLR8 MAChSpeed G4 & G3 WallStreet upgrades with their superfast 250 MHz backside cache and exclusive MAChSpeed Control software transforms your PowerBook G3 into an AltiVec (G4 only) energized supercomputing laptop. This is a factory installed upgrade.

Fully compatible with Mac OS X. The XLR8 466 MAChSpeed G4 WallStreet upgrade with its superfast 1 MB cache (twice the size of the G3 900) and exclusive MAChSpeed Control software transforms your Apple PowerBook G3 WallStreet into a G4 AltiVec energized laptop. Great for graphics, video and games, it's an absolute necessity in Mac OS X, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger.

For the G3 options, simply select the correct speed choice in the product options.

Mac OS X and all native Graphics applications are now optimized for the G4's Velocity engine. You'll experience bursts of speed that are up to 7x faster than your current system. Even Mac OS X's Finder is snappy, with windows popping open immediately. The system is fully compatible and runs faster than a 400 MHz PowerBook G4. This is the only no-compromise upgrade solution. Factory installation and testing ensures that you'll be running at full G4 speeds with no upsets - just power-up and go!

This is an exclusive Daystar product, and backed by Daystar's unique 90/728 Warranty program.

The Ordering Process

Please make sure to choose the correct system and system status when placing your order. Choose your shipping options, and any other options you desire. Your serial number is required. This can be found on the bottom of the system, or via the System Profiler (in Applications/Utilities).

  • All shipping costs are configured on this page. No additional charges are added during checkout.
  • Once your order is placed, you will receive an order confirmation via email.
  • Depending on your choices, you will receive either a pre-shipment box in a couple of days, or instructions via email within a short time.
  • You can login to the site anytime to check your status. The login is your email address.
  • International customer should contact Daystar direct via email at
  • For Weekender service (in on Friday, back on Monday) just choose the 1-day service and the 1-day Weekender return. Your upgrade will be performed Friday night and shipped after testing on Saturday.

Upgrade Process

This upgrade is a 24-hour factory installed system upgrade. The complete process is handled by Daystar's Apple Certified Technicians.

  • Price - $199
  • G3 500 MHz - $20
  • G3 400 MHz - $50
Link: MACh Speed G4 & G3 WallStreet - PowerBook CPU Upgrades

Kyocera Router Lets Older Macs Use Wireless Broadband

Kyocera KR1 EVDO RouterPR: The Kyocera KR1 Router is almost available. This $200 EVDO router will allow iBooks, 12" PowerBook, and any desktop computer to hook up to wireless broadband using Verizon or Sprint.

The Kyocera KR1 EVDO Router allows you to insert a Verizon or Sprint EVDO card and access the EVDO via WiFi/AirPort or ethernet. This $200 device is great for allowing devices that do not have a PCMCIA slot (iBook, 12" PowerBook, iMac, etc.) to access high speed wireless broadband (which they couldn't access affordably before this product). This router also allows desktop computers to access high speed wireless Internet via the built-in 4 port ethernet hub.

Windows Watch

TechRestore Launches Overnight Repair & Upgrade Service for PC Laptops

PR: TechRestore, Inc. has begun offering an overnight repair and upgrade service for PC Laptop customers located in the continental United States. The new service expands TechRestore's overnight repair and upgrade programs for PowerBooks, iBooks, and iPods to all major brands of PC Laptops. LaptopRestore offers customers a fast and hassle-free repair and upgrade service from virtually any location.

"Our new LaptopRestore program builds on our experience repairing Apple PowerBooks and iBooks over the last decade," said Shannon Jean, Founder and President of TechRestore. "With the launch of LaptopRestore, PC laptop owners can now experience both the high speed and unmatched customer service that TechRestore has become known for."

LaptopRestore is a complete, door-to-door overnight repair and upgrade service for U.S. customers. Customers schedule service by calling 1-877-34-Repair or by visiting Once a repair is scheduled, a custom laptop RestoreBox is sent via overnight courier to the customers home, school or office where their system is picked up and brought back overnight to TechRestore. Within 48-hours of receipt, the customer is contacted with a complete diagnosis and a repair price for their approval. Approved repairs are completed within 72-hours and the repaired laptop is sent back to the customer's location via overnight courier.

The cost for the LaptopRestore program is just $79, which includes all overnight shipping charges, the RestoreBox and the complete diagnosis. Laptop LCD Screen repairs are available for a flat-rate, including overnight shipping and installation.

"Our customers and our Resellers have been requesting PC Laptop service for some time now," said Jean. "We're very excited to add repairs for all major brands of PC Laptops to the TechRestore family of services."

  • TechRestore 80 GB 7200 rpm Nationwide Overnight Laptop Hard Drive Upgrade Service with installation and data transfer - $319.99
  • TechRestore 120 GB 5400 rpm Nationwide Overnight Laptop Hard Drive Upgrade Service with installation and data transfer - $359.99
  • TechRestore 100 GB 7200 rpm Nationwide Overnight Laptop Hard Drive Upgrade Service with installation and data transfer - $449.99
Link: Overnight Hard Drive Upgrades

Panasonic Toughbook CF-51 Semi-rugged Notebook

Trusted Reviews reports Riyad Emeran reports:

"Panasonic has been making notebooks for a long time, but you may not have come across the Toughbook brand before. The reason for this is that Toughbooks tend to attract a buyer who is more concerned with durability than design and performance. To get an idea of who the Toughbooks appeal to, next time you see a BT engineer working on a junction box in the street, take a look over his shoulder. It's a near certainty that he'll be working on a Toughbook.

"As the name suggests, Toughbooks are built to be, well, a bit tougher than your average notebook. In fact, the fully rugged units sported by field engineers are built to withstand impact, water, dust and just about any other environmental hazard that mobile computers might be subjected to. But not everyone wants to carry around a large, heavy, metal and rubber clad notebook, no matter how strong it might be. With this in mind, Panasonic created semi-rugged Toughbooks."

World's First Dual Core AMD Mobile Workstation

PR: Eurocom Corporation, a leader in the Desktop Replacement notebook technology since 1989 has launched a more powerful than ever before Mobile Workstation. Eurocom has taken the next step in the evolution of the desktop replacement by combining workstation like features, power and flexibility with Eurocom desktop replacement technology and AMD Dual Core and FX Single Core Processing Power.

Dual Core Processing Represents the next step in computing evolution and Eurocom already has announced a mobile system supporting the technology before many desktop manufacturers have reached this goal.

Professionals using desktop based workstations are limited today to large expensive systems complicated to operate, fixed locations, lack of portability, and the need to work and maintain with at least two computers systems, one in the office and one outside, resulting in high operating cost ($6000 USD per system yearly cost of support). They are unable to work outside of office with customers due to lack of sufficient power and flexibility of traditional notebooks currently available on the market. With the creation of the new class of notebooks, producers, designers, engineers, architects, programmers, animators, film editors and special effects gurus can go mobile and practice their craft anywhere they see fit equipped with mobile systems capable of running 3D modeling and engineering software with a single computer solution.

AMD Dual Core Technology Advantage As stated by AMD, "In today's digital world the demands of complex 3D simulations, streaming media files, added levels of security, more sophisticated user interfaces, larger databases, and more on-line users are beginning to exceed single-core processor capabilities.

Multicore processors enable true multitasking. On single-core systems, multitasking can max out CPU utilization, resulting in decreased performance as operations have to wait to be processed. On multicore systems, since each core has its own cache, the operating system has sufficient resources to handle most compute intensive tasks in parallel. Multicore technology can improve system efficiency and application performance for computers running multiple applications at the same time."

Definition of Mobile Workstation

Mobile workstations are designed with a professional user in mind. With unrivalled power, unsurpassed features and unmatched style, the Mobile Workstation is the ultimate evolution of the Desktop replacement notebook. Mobile Workstation is the most powerful notebook on the market. It is engineered for the highest quality, best performance, long-term stability and latest computing technology. Mobile workstation features the most innovative computer technologies such as:

  • the fastest processors on the market - AMD Dual Core and FX 64-bit, Intel Pentium 4 Prescott up to 3.6 GHz (FSB800)
  • dual-channel memory DDR 400 MHz and DDR2 533 MHz up to 2 GB
  • high-end upgradeable graphics with 256 MB of DDR2 video with ATI and Nvidia chipsets certified for OpenGL
  • large capacity notebook hard drives up to 160 GB or 320 GB of storage with multiple drives
  • data integrity solution with RAID 0 and 1 in a notebook (RAID 5 coming soon)
  • mega wide displays such as 17-inch widescreen LCD with the highest resolution of WSXGA+ (1680x1050) or WUXGA (1920x1200) and Super Clear Glossy Surface
  • 1 Gigabit LAN and wireless 802.11a/b/g or 802.11b/g LAN and Bluetooth
  • multiple optical drives including 4x DVD+-RW (DVD Burner) and multi DVD Burner
  • 102-key full size keyboards with a separate numeric keypad
  • internal TV tuners, dual monitor support via DVI-I port
  • internal PC cameras for video conferencing
  • internal subwoofer and, card readers and more...

Mobile workstation market trends and opportunities

In considering the types of people that require large amounts of processing power in order to be productive, several groups come to mind. The mobile workstation market encompasses design professionals such as engineers and architects who require high performance computers and are thus limited to working on multiple computer systems. Using mobile workstations on a job site or as a sales tool for live demonstrations of virtual walkthroughs and 3D modeling will give edge to firms who wish to appear tech savvy.

Digital Content Creation (DCC) is one area that is growing daily along with the growth of the Internet. DCC also can make use of portable processing power. With the instantaneous nature of the Internet, having a mobile workstation on hand for real time image capture, video editing, sound mixing and graphic work will allow companies to bring all kinds of services and information to the web in real time (shareholder meetings, press conferences etc.) Digital Content Creation is not just limited to web work either but to all kinds of design work for marketing, advertising, writing, coding, Flash design, Photoshop work etc.

Another market for the mobile workstation lies of course with gamers. No other group demands the latest and most powerful hardware and has been willing to pay a premium for it. This group is looking more and more at mobile systems that allow them to come together at LAN parties and compete en-masse for prizes and pride. This group also is heavily into customization of their hardware, and very knowledgeable about the latest equipment. Eurocom hardware has found much success with this group already.

There is another trend in the market that makes the portable workstation ideal for a growing section of the workforce; outsourced, freelance and teleworkers. The finance and accounting outsourcing market alone is expected to generate $37.7 billion worldwide by 2004, according to research firm Gartner Inc. Some estimates price the global outsourcing market at $300 billion annually. All kinds of jobs are being outsourced, including engineering, design, marketing, accounting and more. These jobs are being done by people that need to be mobile, but also demand a high degree of productivity from their equipment.

Eurocom D900K F-Bomb notebook

Introducing the D900K F-Bomb, the world's first notebook with a Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor for blistering application performance. From artwork design to video editing and gaming, the dual core processor will make sure that your system stays responsive when taking care of the most complex multiple tasks. The Xtreme 64 delivers true multitasking, allowing you to switch from one program to another without waiting for the computer to catch up. The D900K F-Bomb features fully upgradeable video technology with 256 MB GDDR3 and 16-pixel pipelines to ensure that even the latest applications and games look their best wherever you are. It supports the most powerful mobile graphics accelerators available from ATI and Nvidia including ATI's Mobility Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition, Nvidia 6800 Ultra or Nvidia's Quadro FX1400. Take the optional AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 to boost your fps even further. Our unique UltraBright Glossy screen technology comes as standard giving a wider viewing angle and improved colour brilliance. Choose your D900K F-Bomb with Windows XP Professional x64 Edition for a fully 64-bit capable notebook and take advantage of new 64-bit applications and games which will harness this increased power now.

Technical Specifications

  • Fully 64-bit capable super notebook
  • Processor: socket based, fully upgradeable, single or dual core, 64-bit - up to 4800+ AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core; 939-pin; 1 MB cache - up to 4000+ AMD Athlon 64 FX57; 939-pin; 1 MB cache; single core
  • Memory: up to 2 GB DDR400 SODIMM; 2 sockets
  • Choice of Video with Eurocom upgradeable VGA technology: - 256 MB GDDR3 Nvidia Quadro FX 1400
    • 256 MB GDDR3 Nvidia 6800
    • 256 MB GDDR3 Nvidia 6800 Ultra
    • 256 MB GDDR3 ATI Mobility Radeon x800
    • 256 MB GDDR3 ATI Mobility Radeon x800 XT Platinum Edition
  • up to 240 GB of HDD space with 2 physical PATA or SATA HDDs and RAID 0,1
  • 2 physical Optical Drives; up to 8x Dual Layer Multi DVD-RAM/+-RW; 2nd DVD Burner optional
  • Internal MCE TV Tuner available
  • Virtual 8-channel audio output; SRS WOW support; 7.1 Surround Sound Output
  • Standard DVI-I port; 4 x USB 2.0; 2x IEEE 1394a ports
  • Standard 10-in-1 card reader
  • Integrated webcam for video conferencing

Mobile Workstation technology

1. Power Processor technology

  • AMD 64-bit Dual Core and FX processors for greater stability and higher performance for today's demanding users, wireless mobility, and long battery life and built-in support for next generation AMD64 software.

2. Memory

  • High-capacity memory up to 2 GB of Dual-Channel DDR2 PC4200 533 MHz (4 memory sockets and 2 dual-channels) offers the path to higher bandwidth memory solutions
  • DDR2 is the next logical progression for memory standards and speeds. It incorporates several new designs and specifications which play a part in its increased speed. DDR2 allows higher processing speed due to higher density of the memory chips

3. Display technology / Video

  • upgradeable video module with 256 MB DDR2 Nvidia two next generation graphics cards with OpenGL and HDTV output - the most powerful video chipset with Open GL standard, that is necessary for high-end 3D design and modeling applications; in the future there will be other modules available for D900 model
  • 16x PCI Express supplying up to 150W of power to Nvidia graphics card. The Eurocom D900 F-Bomb is the 1st notebook with PCI Express architecture. PCI Express architecture provides for extremely high bandwidth at low cost. PCI Express can offer up to 70 times the bandwidth of today's PCI architecture and is scaleable for the future
  • 17' mega wide WUXGA (1920x 1200 pixels) with clear glossy finish for reduced glare give perfect clarity and 16:9 aspect ratio - provide plenty of room on a desktop for menus, toolbars and palettes in graphics applications, and limit scrolling from the left to the right when working with spreadsheets and financial applications; for widescreen DVD movies
  • internal TV tuner supports both NTSC and MultiPAL systems

4. Storage

  • 2 physical high capacity and high performance hard drives for maximum storage up to 240 GB
  • support ATA or regular IDE ATA drives
  • support SATA - a new interface development that runs in a serial mode instead of the parallel mode of the older IDE standards which allows for greater bandwidth (1.5 GB/s) and smaller cables. SATA transfers data in a single stream (serially) in comparison to PATA that transfers in multiple streams
  • fault tolerance RAID 1 and RAID 0 setup
    • RAID level 0: Level 0 is disk striping only, which interleaves data across multiple disks for better performance. It does not provide safeguards against failure. RAID 0 is widely used in gaming machines for higher speed.
    • RAID level 1: Uses disk mirroring, which provides 100% duplication of data. Offers highest reliability, but doubles storage cost. RAID 1 is widely used in business applications.
  • Portable storage: Standard internal 10-in-1 card reader supports all major memory cards such as: Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, SmartMedia, CompactFlash.

5. Optical drives

  • 2 optical drives to allow CD or DVD duplication
  • Choice of drives such as: DVD-ROM, COMBO drives (DVD-ROM and CD-RW), dual 2x, 4x DVD Burners (DVD+-R/+-RW) and 4x Slot Super DVD Multi Drives (DVD-RAM/+RW/-RW; CD-RW; DVD/CD-ROM).

6. Communications

  • Wired: 1 gigabit LAN and 56K V90/V92 WinModem
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g or 802.11b/g wireless LAN and Bluetooth
  • video conferencing with internal CCD camera (1.5 Megapixel webcam positioned just above the LCD)

7. Surround Sound

  • High performance SoundBlaster Pro compatible audio system with virtual 6-channel audio output; S/PDIF Digital output (5.1 CH), 4 internal speakers and optional subwoofer offer home theater-like experience
  • Audio on D900 model: AC97; 3D stereo; virtual 6-channels; SB Pro

8. Full size Keyboard

  • full size 102-key 25-inch long desktop-like keyboard with a separate non-embedded numeric keypad makes typing and number crunching easy and very comfortable

9. Interfaces/Ports

  • 2 x onboard FireWire IEEE 1394a (400)
  • MDC module
  • 1x RJ45 - Internal LAN Interface
  • 1x S-video In with TV Tuner option
  • 4x USB v.2.0
  • 1x S-video Out for TV/HDTV
  • 1x External Monitor DVI-I with max resolution 1600x1200 dpi
  • 1x parallel LPT1; ECP/EPP
  • 1x serial
  • 1x dual for keyboard and mouse PS/2 Port
  • 1x Kensington port for Security Cable and Lock.

Price - Cdn$3,299

We live in a stressful world, and nothing is more stressful than knowing you have no control over the environment in which you work. Eurocom wants to give more people the opportunity to make use of the latest technology where they feel the most comfortable. For some people that is in the office environment, but for many and increasingly - it is at home, at a friends' house or at the coffee bar. Can you imagine lugging a bulky 200 pound workstation into Starbucks? By offering a new complete mobile computer solution such as mobile workstation, Eurocom invites people to empower themselves and decide when and where they are at their most productive.

Eurocom Corporation: Eurocom Corporation is a leading innovator in the notebook industry. The company has produced many firsts, such as manufacturing the first notebook with a 15.1-inch LCD panel and a full-size, 102-key, keyboard. Since 1989, Canada-based Eurocom Corporation has led the Desktop Replacement Notebook™ industry with over 950 dedicated resellers and agents worldwide.

Bargain 'Books

Bargain 'Books are used unless otherwise indicated. New and refurbished units have a one-year Apple warranty and are eligible for AppleCare.

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 (VGA) and G4/667 (DVI), the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz, and 1.25 GHz to 1.5 GHz 15" PowerBooks.

Apple Store

  • refurb 12" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 256/30/CD-ROM, $699
  • refurb 14" iBook G4/1.2 GHz, 256/30/Combo, AirPort Extreme, $749
  • refurb 14" iBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, AirPort Extreme, $899
  • refurb 12" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/SuperDrive, AirPort Extreme, $1,299
  • refurb 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, AirPort Extreme, $1,449
  • refurb 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth 2.0, $1,699
  • refurb 17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SuperDrive, AirPort Extreme, $1,949

Baucom Computers

  • used 15" PowerBook G4/500, 256/20/DVD, $599
  • used 15" PowerBook G4/867, 512/40/Combo, $879


  • used 12" iBook G3/700, 256/20/Combo, $499.99
  • used 15" PowerBook G4/667 (VGA), 256/30/Combo, $849.99

PowerBook Guy

  • used 12" iBook G3/800, 256/30/CD-ROM, $399.95
  • used 12" iBook G4/1 GHz, 256/30/CD-ROM, $649.95

Wegener Media

  • used 12" iBook G3/300, 96/6/CD-ROM, $279.99
  • Order with AirPort Card installed - 89.99
  • Upgrade to 320 MB RAM - $39.50

For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our best aluminum PowerBook G4 deals, best titanium PowerBook G4 deals, best iBook G4 deals, best PowerBook G3 deals, and best iBook G3 deals.

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