The 'Book Review

The 'Book Review 2001.09.10

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2001.09.10

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars, bold links are to outside sites, and regular links lead to 'Book profiles on Low End Mac.

PowerBook G4 Hard Drive Upgrade Tutorial Posted

Accelerate Your Mac's Mike Breeden has posted an illustrated, step-by-step, PowerBook G4 Hard Drive Upgrade Guide.

The PowerBook G4 manual shows how to remove the bottom cover and the hard drive assembly, but doesn't cover how to actually replace the drive in the bracket. This tutorial shows you how.

Mike notes that:

Replacing the internal drive on the PowerBook is usually a lower cost upgrade than buying an external FireWire drive. And since it's internal, you always have access to the extra space without having to carry along cables and external drives. Don't get me wrong, I love my portable FireWire drives, but if I had to choose one drive upgrade for a PowerBook, I'd go with a larger internal drive.

Mac OS 9.0.4, $58.95 (Free Upgradable to OS 9.1 and 9.2.1)

Other World Computing is offering Mac OS 9.0.4 for $58.95. If you've been holding off upgrading to OS 9.x, here's a good chance to do it for a friendly price. OS 9.0.4 is a solid system in its own right, and it puts you on the free (sequential) upgrade path through OS 9.1 to OS 9.2.1.

If you're running an older version of the Mac OS, here are some reasons why upgrading to Mac OS 9.x is worthwhile (according to Apple):

  • Sherlock 2. The search for the ultimate search engine is over. Your personal shopper on the Internet, Sherlock 2 not only finds the products you're looking for, it's also an easy way to find people, news, and just about everything else on the Internet.
  • Multiple Users. Turns one Mac into however many users are there who share it. Now you can share your Mac without hassle or worry. This feature securely stores each individual user's preferences and files for privacy and convenience.
  • Voiceprint Password. Your voice is your password. Mac OS 9 analyzes your voice and stores your voiceprint. Then when you talk, your Macintosh listens. And lets you - and you alone - log on and access your files.
  • Keychain. Forget keeping track of those dozens of Internet passwords. The personal keychain in Mac OS 9 securely stores all of your user IDs and passwords. Your voice - or one typed password - unlocks them all.
  • Auto Updating. Keep your Mac up-to-date, automatically. Always have the latest software. Mac OS 9 can automatically download software updates over the Internet, and even installs them for you.
  • Encryption. Send files across the Internet securely. Mac OS 9 helps you keep your private information private with industrial-strength encryption.
  • File Sharing over the Internet. Apple's easy-to-use File Sharing now works the same way over the Internet. So you can share files, folders and data with anyone. No more boundaries.
  • AppleScript over TCP/IP. Put your Mac on automatic pilot - remotely, over the Internet. AppleScript lets you automate tasks on your Mac. Now AppleScript over TCP/IP takes that to the next level, letting you remote-control your Mac (or a whole battery of Macs) from wherever you happen to be.
  • Network Browser. The Internet is about to become much more manageable. The Network Browser in Mac OS 9 lets you find Internet file servers, FTP servers and web servers about as easily as you find printers on your network.

System Requirements:

  • Mac OS-based Apple computer with a PowerPC processor
  • 32 MB of physical RAM with virtual memory set to at least 64 MB (Note: don't even think about it without at least 64 MB of physical RAM installed. CM)

Laptrap Portable Office/Case For Laptops

Shaun Jackson Design, Lapwrapmakers of the Lapdog notebook case, have introduced a new product - the Laptrap.

The Laptrap is a padded sleeve for your computer that unfolds in seconds for use on your lap or desk. Compact enough to be stored in your current briefcase or backpack.

The Laptrap is a solution for users who want the protection of a compact, dedicated Laptop case with the added functionality of a portable office, but do not want to give up their current briefcase, bag or backpack.

Two versions will be available. A rugged Cordura nylon for the adventurous, and a leather for the urban warrior. The nylon will be available first with the leather soon to follow. Send inquiries to

(leather estimated cost $199.95)

Will not fit the new G4 at this time. A larger G4 version will be available this Winter.

The Laptrap sells for $59.95 + shipping.

REI Wheeled Cases

With curved, padded REI wheeled caseshoulder straps, padded back and wheels, these bags roll for stress-free hauling.


  • Panel-loading main compartment accommodates books and binders, or a day's worth of gear
  • Large front zip pocket features the student organizer to hold keys, pens, pencils, cell phone and other essentials close at hand
  • Side mesh pocket is ideal for a water bottle, secured in place with elastic cord
  • Front mesh elastic pocket is the perfect place for that apple for your teacher
  • Sealed ball bearing inline skate wheels operate smoothly over sidewalks, carpets and uneven terrain for quiet rolling
  • Heavy-duty telescoping T- handle lets you pull the bag without stooping over; telescoping handle extends to 17" in length
  • Foam-padded, curved shoulder straps let you comfortably carry the load when you don't want to roll it; straps easily hide when not in use
  • V-pull side compression straps effectively and efficiently stabilize and control the load
  • Made from water- and abrasion-resistant 500-denier Kodura® ripstop polyester with a heavy-duty 1000-denier Kodura bottom for added durability


  • REI Cruiser Travel Pack $175.00
  • REI Rover Travel Pack $195.00
  • REI Bookpacker $45.00
  • REI Musette Bag $65.00
  • Swiss Army Brand Mono Gear Pack - 24'' $285

For more information, visit the REI Outlet.

PORT EasyRoller Cases

Another choice in roller cases are these PORT models.

PORT 2.1 EasyRoller Case

Designed for the mobile business traveler with maximum storage capacity, this business solution case-on-wheels can carry any size laptop computer with a hideaway retractable 36" handle. Inline skate wheels glide effortlessly. And 3 extra accessory pockets in rear compartment hold overnight items. Part of the new Port 2.1 Series Notebook Carrying Cases, featuring the Ergon Handle and Chameleon Notebook Compartment with the floating wall to fit most size notebook computer. And our trusted SafePORT adjustable Air Cushion to guard against damaging drops and bangs.


  • Meets carryon guidelines for most major airlines
  • Chameleon Notebook Compartment
  • Ergon Handle
  • Internal Lightweight Panel Construction
  • Extra Large Rubber Bumper Feet
  • SafePORT Air Cushion Protects your Notebook
  • Non-slip Elastic Neoprene Shoulder Strap with Cross Corner D Ring Strap Attachment on Case

Price: US$ 149

PORT EasyRoller

This case eases your burden when traveling from office to home, around your campus, or through airports. Featuring telescoping handle, inline skate-style wheels, and plenty of storage. Meets carryon guidelines of major airlines and provides PORT's industry-leading Air Cushion for your notebook computer. Tilt EasyRoller on its wheels and you're on your way!


  • Meets carryon guidelines for most major airlines
  • Letter/Legal File Capacity
  • Strong aluminum 4-stage telescoping handle extends to 36 in.
  • Inline skate-style wheels
  • Top-Loading Style
  • Repositionable SafePort 4 way air cushion provides a snug fit for varying sizes of notebooks

Price: US$ 99.99

USB 2.0 CardBus For $84.95

Page Computer is offering the Orange USB 2.0 Hi Speed CardBus adapter for $84.95

With this adapter, you can Take advantage of USB 2.0 hi-speed on your Mac OR PC laptop. USB 2.0 transfers data at 480 MBIT/SEC and is backward compatible with USB 1.1 devices. power supply included.


  • Four (4) external USB 2.0 auto speed selectable Type A USB ports.
  • EHCI based 480 Mbps USB 2.0 hi-speed compliant.
  • OHCI based USB 1.1 compliant
  • 5V 500 MA maximum per port (power supply included)

System requirements:

  • Mac OS 8.6-9.x
  • Mac OS X or greater

Standard Warranty: 1 year

  • Device Type: USB 2.0 PC Card
  • Number of Connectors: 4
  • Speed (MBITS/SEC): 480 Mbits/Sec.
  • Bus: other 32 bit CardBus
  • NE2000 compatibility: yes
  • Configuration: Plug N Play

Bargain 'Books

This Week's Best PowerBook Deals

Small Dog Electronics


  • PowerBook Pismo G3/400 320/6 GB/DVD/56k/FireWire, 14.1" LCD, $1399.99. This is the best price I've seen on a 400 MHz Pismo.

For low end shoppers:

PowerBook Guy

DataTech Remarketing

For the best prices on current models, see the week's best iBook & PowerBook deals.

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