The 'Book Review

The 'Book Review 2001.10.12

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2001.10.12

The 'Book Review returns to Fridays after a brief experiment with Monday publication. 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.

A Portable Mouse for Portable Computers

Logitech has announced a new mouse with an ultra-slim profile optimized for notebook computer users. Logitech MouseManTravelerTired of struggling with a difficult-to-use integrated pointing device such as a touchpad or stick? This small optical mouse has been developed to meet the needs of road warriors. Logitech's MouseManTraveler is currently available in the US at retail outlets and online for $49.95.

MouseMan Traveler features a seamless industrial design of brushed aluminum that gives the appearance of one solid piece of metal and harmonizes nicely with either the TiBook or iceBook. Its slim body allows it to easily slip into a notebook case or work on small airplane serving trays and other cramped work spaces.

In spite of its small size, MouseMan Traveler is equipped with a new optical sensor that is now in all of Logitech's optical mice, providing an 800 dots-per-inch (dpi) resolution that yields twice the accuracy of previous sensors for improved tracking on all surfaces without the need for a mousepad. The mouse also offers the convenience of a three-button design with scroll wheel. Each MouseMan Traveler ships with an attractive black protective carrying case and includes a three-foot USB extension for desktop use.

Using Logitech MouseWare drivers, each of the buttons can be programmed to the user's preference. The iTouch software, included with all Logitech mice, lets users instantly access the Internet and favorite web sites by simply depressing the scroll wheel button. MouseMan Traveler uses either a USB or a PS/2 interface and is compatible with Macintosh OS 8.6 or later as well as Windows95 or later operating systems. MouseMan Traveler has a five-year limited warranty.

MouseMan Traveler uses a proprietary optical positioning sensor developed by Logitech and Agilent Technologies. The sensor tracks its relative location by "taking a picture'' of the surface on which the mouse is operating. Each captured image is then sequentially analyzed by a powerful digital signal processor, which detects the speed and direction of even the slightest movement and translates it into smooth cursor movements on the computer screen. Optical mice offer more precise pointing and movement, and because they have no ball or cavity, no cleaning is necessary.

Do It Yourself TiBook Hinge Repair

Kjartan Petur Sigurdsson of Iceland has a posted a photo tutorial of his do-it-yourself Titanium PowerBook hinge repair. Kjartan decided to engineer and execute his own fix when Apple quoted him $1,600 to fix his damaged five-month-old TiBook. The repair he came up with cost 1/160th that amount.

Sigurdsson's tutorial shows how he fashioned new hinges for the TiBook from thin aluminum sheet metal and fastened them with epoxy adhesive.

He also has some suggestions for Apple, which include:

  • Apple should redesign these very expensive hinges.
  • Apple should have a closer look at the drop test program for the Titanium.
  • Apple should lower their repair prices. It is disconcerting to pay almost the same amount for one simple repair as you can pay for a refurbished Titanium 400 MHz with a 1-year warranty
  • Apple should take better care of their best market in the world, the Icelandic market with most sold machines per capita.

Kjartan Petur also says he likes his 1-1/2 year old G3/500 MHz Pismo better than the TiBook because it does not have scratches all over it that make it look like it's 3-4 years old.

PowerLogix Fixes Production Flaw in 466 MHz BlueChip Processor Upgrade Card

The PowerBook Source has posted a letter PowerLogix has sent to all customers who purchased the 466 MHz BlueChip CPU upgrade card for their WallStreet PowerBooks over the summer.

Apparently one batch of cards shipped last summer had a timing flaw.

The failure mode that was evident on these cards prevented them from booting properly. If you have a 466 Blue Chip that boots in your PowerBook then your card is not affected and will not need replacement.

PowerLogix is replacing the defective cards free of charge If you have any questions regarding this replacement program, email

APM Tuner Adjusts APM Value to Quiet Noisy PowerBook Hard Drives

APM Tuner allows you to adjust the Advanced Power Management Value (APM Value) for hard disks in the internal ATA bus and expansion bays of recent PowerBooks.

Advanced Power Management is a feature found in hard disks for portable usage aimed at conserving power. However, APM can effect the user experience, creating a sense of "lag" or clunking sounds when the head is parked. By increasing the APM Value, the drive will "park" its heads less often. The result is a more responsive drive with less "clunking."

I've been using APM Tuner for nearly two years, and it makes my WallStreet PowerBook much nicer to live with, both with the original 2 GB IBM hard drive, and with the 10 GB Toshiba drive I upgraded to a year ago. I hate computer noise, and the constant hard drive "hunting" noises even when the drive is not being accessed drive me nuts. APM Tuner silences them. Happily, now there is an OS X version available - one less obstacle to upgrading.

If you set the APM Value larger than the factory default (I keep it at the max of 254), power consumption will increase. It is recommended to set a higher APM Value only when the PowerBook is in a stationary condition with the AC Adapter plugged in (this is where the separate settings for AC and battery power is useful).

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.1 or higher
  • Mac OS 8.5 or later
  • The disk must support Advanced Power Management (APM is a feature of ATA/ATAPI-4, so only recent, larger disks support this and will benefit).

Here is a partial list of hard disks and PowerBooks that work with APM Tuner. Many reports were gathered at the PBG3 BBS (in Japanese) and also via e-mail. Please contact me with new information and corrections.

Hard disks where APM Tuner worked


  • DARA-206000 6 GB (233, 2400c/180, iBook SE, FW400)
  • DARA-212000 12 GB (FW500)
  • DARA-218000 18 GB (266/14", Lombard400, FW400)
  • DBCA-206480 6.4 GB (Lombard400)
  • DBCA-203240 3.2 GB (iBook)
  • DKLA-24320 4.3 GB (2400c/240, Lombard/333)
  • DJSA-220 20 GB (?, iBook, Lombard400, FW500, G4 400/500)
  • DJSA-210 10 GB (iBook Dual USB)
  • DJSA-232 32 GB (Lombard/333)
  • DJSA-230 30 GB (FW500)
  • IC25N020ATDA04-0 20 GB (iBook)
  • IC25T048ATDA05-0 48 GB (FW500, Wallstreet + BlueChip G3 500 MHz)


  • MK6014GAP 6 GB (iBook, 233/14", Lombard/333, FW400+Expansion Bay, FW400/500)
  • MK1011GAV 11 GB (Lombard400, FW400)
  • MK1214GAP 12 GB (250/13.3"+XCaret Pro, Lombard/333/400, iBook 300, FW400/500)
  • MK1814GAV 18 GB (Lombard400, FW400/500)
  • MK2016GAP 20 GB (iBook SE, G4 500, FW400/500)
  • MK1016GAP 10 GB (iBook SE, FW400, G4 400)
  • MK1017GAP 10 GB (iBook Dual USB)


  • DK229A-10 10 GB (Lombard/333)
  • DK239A-65 6 GB (233)

APM Tuner made no difference:


  • DCXA-210000 10 GB (?, 2400c)
  • DARA-225000 25 GB (266/14", 300/14")

APM Tuner did not work


  • MHJ2181AT (FW500)
  • MHK2120AT (FW500)
  • MHK2060AT (FW)
  • MHH2048AT (Lombard/333)
  • MHH2064AT (Lombard/333)
  • MHN2300AT (FW500)
  • MHM2100AT (iBook SE)


  • MK4309MAT 4.3 GB (Lombard/333)
  • MK6411MAT 6 GB (Lombard400)
  • MK3211MAT 3 GB (iBook)

APM Tuner is provided as freeware to the PowerBook community.

Willow Design NL-11 Titanium G4 PowerBook Carry Case

The Willow Titanium G4 Case has been specifically designed to maximize the protection of your G4 and to compactly Willow NL-11 casecarry the accessories that are a part of your working system. Everything is protected by sturdy outer foam walls reinforced with corrugated plastic and a hardboard bottom. There are many dividers to separate the Titanium, adapter, accessories and paperwork. The case also features a convenient support panel which can be pulled out to use as a more stable base for laptop computing.

Willow Titanium Case Features

  • excellent protection for your Titanium G4 afforded by 1.2 cm (0.5") foam reinforced by corrugated plastic on the upper display side, high density polyethylene reinforcement on the handle side and 4 mm (1/8") hardboard on the bottom.
  • clean, lightweight and flexible design with a multiple compartments to carry all your accessories.
  • superb comfort insured by a thick, reinforced padded handle and wide contoured shoulder strap.
  • double thickness high density briefcase handle polyethylene reinforcement with quadruple rivet reinforcing through wrap handle to insure the safety of your laptop.
  • convenient DVD, CD-ROM & cable pockets located in the laptop section for easy access plus extra room for manuals or other letter sized paperwork on lower accessory level.
  • simple outer front organizer panel with pockets business cards, pens, pencils, etc.
  • outside flat, outer pocket for airline tickets, thin paperwork, etc.
  • flat external rear pocket especially handy for maps, magazines or newspapers.
  • easily removable horizontal divider for the Titanium G4 which doubles as a comfortable and convenient laptop work surface with special foam spacer to maximize airflow cooling.
  • extra protection for the display screen afforded by corrugated plastic layer and extra 0.5 cm (1/4") protective space between Titanium and laptop lid level.
  • three separate Velcroed elastic straps to lock down Titanium G4, adapter and accessories and extra items.
  • handy mesh pocket in the lid for safe and convenient storage of cables or other thin items.
  • luggage feet riveted through the hardboard bottom of the case which actually keep it up and off the ground when you want to set the case down whilst entering and leaving your vehicle.
  • lifetime guarantee against defects in materials or craftsmanship.

Available Colors: Black Charcoal Navy Teal Purple

Price: $123.00 U.S.; $185.00 Cdn

PowerBook Zone Launches PowerBook Desktop Image Contest

The PowerBook Zone is looking for the best/most interesting/most attractive desktop image you can possibly create, preferably with a PowerBook theme. The only catch is that it must include "The PowerBook Zone" and the site's URL somewhere in the image.

Prizes include

  • Shrinkwrapped "MacAdvocate" CD from 1997. This is a full CD of propaganda, including all the Apple commercials made up until that point, among other neat stuff. You could order as many as you wanted back in the day, and Apple would send them to you, free of charge.
  • A 8" FireWire cable.
  • 1 Dr. Bott T3Hub

The contest closes October 21st at noon.

Dr. Bott TiCase G4 PowerBook Case

With style, elegance, performance, and protection, Dr. Bott's TiCase is ideal for the sophisticated road warrior. Dr Bott TiCaseThese cases may look sleek and satin-smooth, but they're also tough and durable, with brushed aluminum shell, combination lock, and an interior which combines elegance with ease.

TiCase sports a skin of brushed Aluminum - size, shape, and color perfectly complimenting the TiBook. TiCase includes 2 inches of closed cell Styrofoam provide the necessary protection.

Matching cutouts cover the power supply, power cable and accessories to protect the TiBook from accidental scratches. The total combined weight of TiCase, Titanium PowerBook, power supply, and power cable is less than 11.5 lbs.

Lift off the lid, press gently on the rear corners of the TiBook and your favorite laptop lifts into working position.

The "LiftoMatic" telescopic feet raise the rear of the TiBook so that the natural decline of your knees is properly balanced and the TiBook comes to a level rest in desk height.

As a side effect LiftoMatic makes room for ample air circulation under the TiBook.

And if you now look at the back of the TiBook you will be pleased to discover that you can easily flip down the lid covering the ports. Whether you fancy a mini-mouse or you require a projector to amplify your ideas - all ports are directly accessible.

Now shipping in limited quantities.

TiCase price: $399.

Bargain 'Books

This Week's Best PowerBook Deals

Since we are moving back to Fridays from Mondays, this is a short week for the 'Book Review, so I wasn't able to find a whole lot of PowerBook and iBook deals that weren't covered in Monday's edition. However, I did spot a super deal on the QPS Que! M2 FireWire Hard Drive. Read on.

PowerBook Guy

Global Deals

Power Max

Mac Zone

I have one of these units, and I love it. The M2 hard drive makes an excellent companion for a PowerBook QPC driveor FireWire iBook, and it mounts nicely on my WallStreet through the Macally FireWire PC Card adapter.


  • Data Transfer Rate: 16.6 MBps
  • Average Seek Time: 13 ms
  • Spindle Speed: 4200 rpm
  • 1 year warranty

QPS claims that The Que! M2 QuadSlim is the industry's first and only externally shock protected storage device in the world. With the included suction cup and belt-clip accessories you can attach the M2 to any smooth surface, or clip it to your belt.

QPS also gives you hot-docking/stacking connectability. Connect up to five drives by stacking and interlocking the QPS built-in vertical FireWire IEEE-1394 connectors located on the top and bottom of each drive, or up to ten M2's with the optional 2U-10-bay rack mount accessory kit. Simply run a single cable to your computer to power up and connect all stacked drives for up to 100 GB of RAID ready storage.

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