The 'Book Review

15" PowerBook G4 Memory Slot Repair Program, Expect MacBook Shortages, MacStyles Gives 'Books Color, and More

This Week's Mac Notebook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2006.01.27

This Week's MacBook, PowerBook, and iBook News

This week's top news is Apple's "Repair Extension Program" for 15" PowerBook G4s, something we covered three weeks ago. Only 1.5 GHz and 1.67 GHz models produced between January and April 2005 are included although sources "suspect it is probably as a 'known issue' in all of their 15" G4 PowerBook Models."

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


Bargain 'Books

News & Opinion

15" PowerBook G4 1.5/1.67 GHz Memory Slot Repair Program

Apple has announced a PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5 GHz) Memory Slot Repair Extension Program - a worldwide program covering repair or replacement of the memory slot in PowerBook G4 models manufactured between January 2005 and April 2005 (2005-01 through 2005-04) that are experiencing specific component failures. If your PowerBook G4 has a serial number within the eligible range and is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, it may be eligible for repair, free of charge. Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) will determine eligibility under the program. Repairs will be covered by Apple for up to two years from the original date of purchase even if your computer is out of warranty.

Affected PowerBook G4 systems will exhibit one of the following symptoms:

  • The computer does not start up; instead, there are three short beeps (typically) followed by the the sleep LED flashing periodically.
  • When both SO-DIMM memory slots are filled (populated), only one slot's memory is recognized.
  • System performance may be degraded because the memory in only one slot is not recognized.

These symptoms may only occur intermittently.

If your PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67GHz/1.5GHZ) is not experiencing any of these symptoms, you do not have to contact Apple or any Apple Authorized Service Provider. You can disregard this article.

The PowerBook (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz) Memory Slot Repair Extension Program is available for certain PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz) computers that were manufactured between approximately January 2005 and April 2005 in these serial number ranges:

The affected PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz) computers have eleven-digit serial numbers in this range:

W8503xxxxxx through W8518xxxxxx

To participate in the program, call your local Apple contact center (1-800-275-2273 in the United States), or bring your PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz) to the Mac Genius Bar at your local Apple Retail store or Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP). If you are located outside the U.S., please see Apple's international contact list for your local Apple Technical Support phone number.

The repairs outlined in this program, including shipping charges, are covered at Apple's cost.

The program covers affected PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz) computers for up to two years from the original date of purchase. Apple will continue to evaluate the repair data and will provide further repair extensions as needed.

Link: About the PowerBook G4 (15-inch 1.67/1.5GHz) Memory Slot Repair Extension Program

There are allegations that a much broader range of 15" PowerBooks have this problem. For more information, follow these links:

Apple: Expect MacBook Shortages

TechWeb News' Gregg Keizer reports:

"Apple Computer will likely run into shortages of its first Intel-based laptop when the machine debuts next month, company executives said as they laid out the Mac contribution to its most profitable quarter ever.

"'We may not be able to meet the demand on the MacBook Pro,' said Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, in a telephone briefing to analysts and reporters. 'The limited number of weeks to ship [the MacBook Pro] in the second quarter, and the very strong response we've gotten means we may not be able to meet demand.'"

Link: Apple: Expect Intel Laptop Shortages

MacBook Pro: What's in a Name?

PowerPage's DoubleB says:

"I was sitting there Tuesday morning all stoked about what would be revealed at MWSF, clutching my mouse and double clicking the refresh button on all the news sites. I eagerly waited. I guessed the Intel iMac debute and waited anxiously for the Intel Mac mini but to my surprise the PowerBook received the Intel chip - or should I say the 'MacBook Pro?'

"Eek... MacBook Pro?!....

"The PowerBook name worked on so many levels. The word 'Power' really worked because it portrayed serious computing power that could be harnessed while on the run and away from the typical desk. The word 'Power' associated with 'Book' help to differentiate itself from the herd of other lame laptops out there. And from a marketing perspective, it just worked."

Link: MacBook Pro... What's in a Name?

Getting a MacBook Pro

MacDevCenter's Chuck Toporek says:

"As I've mentioned in earlier blog posts, I have the oldest running PowerBook in O'Reilly. At present, I'm using a 667 MHz PowerBook G4 with 768 MB RAM - a TiBook. Aside from a minor problem that came with the PowerBook when it arrived (the wireless antenna wire wasn't, um, wired), my O'Reilly-issued PowerBook has served me well. And despite the fact that the display cracked (due to no fault of my own, mind you), and that it's titanium casing shields all WiFi signals (which forced me to get a PCMCIA wireless card), it's been a faithful little road warrior....

"Then yesterday, Chris pops up on iChat to let me know that a PO had been put in for me to get a MacBook Pro. Imagine that! Cool! I was so happy about that that I forgot to look at the specs he sent me, and I guess I could go dig through my iChat logs and see, but really, who cares . . . I'm getting a new Mac. Well, okay, not right now, but sometime next month, a new box will arrive here at my 'home/office' in Portland, Oregon, and I'll soon be driving one of the new Intel-based Power . . . er . . . MacBook Pros."

Link: Getting a MacBook Pro

Why My Next Mac Will Be a MacBook's Bill Palmer says:

"So we can all stop pretending there's any chance that the iBook will be renamed to something other than 'MacBook' when it goes Intel, right?....

"But with Apple's impending laptop lineup presumably consisting of the MacBook and MacBook Pro, the more intriguing question is that of whether the two lines will actually join each other to become one solidified lineup....

"As for me, I'm awfully tempted to jump on a 15 inch MacBook Pro the day it hits the market. My iBook is fast enough, but I know how much more productive I could be on a machine whose processor rates out four to five times faster than the one I'm currently using....

"...Most folks don't like buying 'Rev. A' models, but I don't think it's as much of an issue as it used to be. Apple always used to want to hold something back until the second revision so they could get that secondary sales bump down the road, but what the heck are they holding back at this point? I'd say they've thrown in the kitchen sink this time. This thing's a multimedia iMac with a flip-top head."

Link: Why My Next Mac Will Be a MacBook


Definitive, Annoying Fix for PowerBook G4 Audio-Skipping Problem

Mac iLife's Jim Heid says:

"The world's eyes may be looking ahead toward the imminent arrival of the MacBook Pro laptops, but many recent PowerBook G4 buyers are still wondering when and if Apple ever plans to fix a serious flaw in its final generation of G4 laptops.

"I'm one of them.

"The annoying PowerBook audio-echo problem persists. I was hoping Mac OS X 10.4.4 would address it, but it didn't.

"I poked around on Apple's support discussion boards, and found some lively conversation on the topic. One user even posted a recording of what the echo sounds like.

"In that discussion thread, I found what appears to be Apple's 'fix' for the problem: running only one 'audio application' at a time."

Link: The Definitive, Annoying Fix for the PowerBook G4 Audio-Skipping Problem

PowerBook G4: 65W Power Adapter Doesn't Charge Battery; Charge Light Is Off

An updated Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"If your PowerBook G4's 65 W AC power adapter seems not to work anymore (the charge indicator light does not stay on and the battery does not charge) you may want to check a few things.

"65 W AC power adapters first shipped with the 15-inch PowerBook G4 (1 GHz/867 MHz) and the PowerBook G4 (17-inch). If you have one of these or a later model aluminium 15-inch or 17-inch PowerBook G4, you probably have a 65-watt power adapter."

Link: PowerBook G4: 65 W AC Power Adapter Doesn't Charge the Battery; Charge Light Is Off

Products and Services

MacStyles Changes the Look of Your 'Book

PR: has relaunched an all new and expanded website

MacStylesMacStyles are custom-cut vinyl decals for iBooks & PowerBooks. They can be made in a variety designs (also known to followers as "voices") and are crafted from a selection of 21 colors. Eleven new colors are being offered as of January 20th, and they will prove to be an anticipated expansion. Along with the addition of MacPads and MacStyles Pro, the company is working on a line of decals for iPods, appropriately called "PodStyles". Also in the works is an extended line of accent decals known as "Maccents".

"MacStyles were created to mask the easily scratched plastic surface of iBooks. It only seemed logical to expand the line to include PowerBooks and iPods," said Scott Rafferty, MacStyles" president. "We offer an inexpensive way to revitalize your tired notebook in a major way. With over 80 designs they not only enhance your computer, they personalize it. That"s what MacStyles is all about protection and personalization."

colorsThe company plans on continually adding new voices and colors.

MacStyles and MacPads are set to sell at $19.95 and $4.95 respectively. All MacStyle add-ons - such as custom monogramming and Maccents are $4.95 as well. A premium line is also said to be in the works.

"The premium line will really take MacStyles to a new level; we expect that new vinyl types like carbon fiber, brushed chrome, ultra-metallic and "shade-shifter" - whose color changes depending on the viewing angle - are going to be in high demand."

Prices on this line have not been disclosed as of yet, and no release date has been reported, but the company hopes to begin offering them in the first quarter of 2006.

MacStyles can be viewed, customized, and ordered online.

Link: MacStyles

TechRestore 160 GB 5400 RPM Overnight Hard Drive Upgrade Service

PR: TechRestore, Inc. have announced that they have begun offering a 160 GB upgrade as part of their overnight hard drive upgrade service for PowerBooks, iBooks, and PC Laptops. The new upgrade features the first 160 Gigabyte drive upgrade available for laptop users.

The service includes overnight pickup of the customers laptop from any location in the continental United States, installation of the new drive with data transfer within 24-hours and return overnight shipping back to the customers location. In addition, the customers old hard drive is returned so that they will have a backup of their data. The customer can choose to have their old hard drive installed in a portable case for only $19.99.

The 160 GB overnight upgrade is $489 including the drive, all shipping costs and installation. The upgrade includes a 1-year warranty from TechRestore and a 5-year warranty on the hard drive from the manufacturer.

The service is available immediately.

Link: TechRestore 160 GB 5400 RPM Overnight Laptop Hard Drive Upgrade Service

Waterfield Designs Adds SleeveCase for MacBook Pro

Waterfield Designs SleeveCasePR: The MacBook SleeveCase is now available from Warterfield Designs, designated Size #25.

This version of the SleeveCase is designed specifically to protect your MacBook Pro . . . and comes in 30 other sizes for the rest of us....

What do you get when you wrap your laptop in a neoprene and ballistic shell? A nearly bullet-proof SleeveCase that holds its own - in or out of a bag. And if that weren't enough, it's designed for one-hand access.

Link: Waterfield Designs SleeveCase


coconutBattery Free Laptop Battery Monitor

PR: coconutBattery v2.x is completely rewritten...preferences menu...dashboard widget...more languages(coming soon)...many groundbreaking new features are planned for the next versions...and it's still freeware(but donations are more than welcome)

coconutBattery iconcoconutBattery is a tool that reads out the data of your notebook-battery (iBook/PowerBook). It gives you live feedback, what's going on in your battery (not only a snapshot like other tools).

It shows the current charge of your battery as well as the current maximum capacity related to its original. If coconutBattery detects that you have connected the wrong charger (i.e. an ibook-charger plugged in a PowerBook) it will warn you! That's a cool feature!

Of course you are able to save the current maximum capacity of your battery - with just one click! coconutBattery uses Apple's new and really powerful technology named "CoreData" to realize that.

Finally coconutBattery calculates the age of your Mac exactly! So you can derive the age of your battery. And last but not least: coconutBattery is Universal Binary (you can run it on Intel-Macs! - cool!) and it is complete localizable!

Many localizations are ready to start but still need some bugfixes.

If you want to help translating coconutBattery to your language, just write me an email - but you should wait these few days until I know what localizations needs a update.

By the way: The really really cool and absolutely coconut-flavoured icon was created by - really good job! Check out the webpage.

New in version 2.2:

  • widget bugfixes and improvements,
  • new localizations (Finnish, Spanish, French, German),
  • minor bugfixes

New: in version 2.1:

  • much cooler widget - chinese localization - minor improvements

New in version 2.0:

  • completely rewritten, added a dashboard widget, preferences menu for custom values and much much more!

System requirements:

  • Mac OS 10.4.3 (Tiger)
  • An Apple notebook (PowerBook or iBook)

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later.

coconutBattery is free.

Link: coconutBattery

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.

PowerBook, iBook, and MacBook profiles linked in our Portable Mac Index.

Wegener Media

  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, $779.99
  • Upgrade to SuperDrive - $129.99
  • Add 512 MB RAM with purchase of machine (total of 768 MB) - $49.99
  • Add 1 GB RAM with purchase of machine (total 1.25 GB of RAM - $189.99
  • 1 year extended service warranty (w/purchase of machine) - $99.99
  • Add AirPort Extreme card - $39.99
  • Upgrade to 80 GB hard drive - $119.99


  • 15" aluminum PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/60/Combo, BT, $1,179.99
  • 17" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 512/60/SuperDrive, APX, BT, $1,499.99


  • used 12" iBook G3/800, 640/30/Combo, $499
  • used 12" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, $499
  • used 12" iBook G3/900, 384/40/Combo, $549
  • used 14" iBook G3/900, 256/40/Combo, Scratch and Dent, $499
  • used 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $699
  • used 12" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/SuperDrive, $749

Baucom Computers

  • 12" iBook G3/600, 256/40/CD, $399
  • 15" PowerBook G4/867, 256/40/Combo, $798
  • 15" PowerBook G4/800, 256/40/Combo, $749
    • extra 512MB add $89

Apple Store

  • refurb 12" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/60/Combo, APX, BT 2.0, $1,099
  • refurb 15" PowerBook G4/1.33 GHz, 256/60/Combo, APX, $1,299
  • refurb 15" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/Combo Drive, APX, BT 2.0, $1,399
  • refurb 15" PowerBook G4/1.67 GHz, 512/80/SuperDrive, APX, BT 2.0, $1,599
  • refurb 17" PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz, 512/80/SuperDrive, APX, $1,699

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.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Page not found | Low End Mac

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

Most Used Categories


Try looking in the monthly archives. :)

at BackBeat Media (646-546-5194). This number is for advertising only.

Open Link