The 'Book Review

The 'Book Review 2001.12.07

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2001.12.07

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.

Sorting out G3 PowerBooks

'Book Review reader John S Comeaux writes:


Can you tell me the difference between Pismo, Lombard, and WallStreet? I am searching the Power Max site for a used PB, and the numbers just don't tell the story. I haven't kept up with all the models. Is there a simple difference or a Web site pointing out the uniqueness? Which one should l not buy.

Plus, have you seen how these babies hold their value? Urk! That iBook keeps looking better and better. I need to be able to run MS Word, ClarisWorks 4, and a floppy drive would be nice.

The range of G3 PowerBooks can be confusing. As John notes, there are three separate models, unofficially known as WallStreet, Lombard, and Pismo - which are at least more distinctive than the official nomenclature of PowerBook G3 Series, PowerBook G3 (Bronze Keyboard), and PowerBook G3 (FireWire).

Actually, the WallStreet was available in three subcategories: The original WallStreet 292 MHz and 250 MHz with 1 MB of backside cache 83 MHz system buses, plus a 233 MHz model with no backside cache ("MainStreet"), and the "PDQ" revision in 300 MHz and 266 MHz models with 1 MB of backside cache and 66 MHz system buses, plus a "LE" entry level model with a 233 MHz CPU and 512 KB of backside cache.

For a quick overview, see Low End Mac's Guide to G3 PowerBooks.

The WallStreet and MainStreet 'Books were available with 1024 x 768 resolution 14.1" and 13.3" active matrix displays, and WallStreetthe MainStreet could also be had with a passive matrix 12.1" display.

The two faster PDQ models all had 14.1" active matrix screens, while the "LE" had an 800 x 600 12.1" active matrix display.

Things got a little less confusing with the introduction of the Lombard in May, 1999, which only came in two models, 333 MHz and 400 MHz, each with 1 MB of backside cache, a 66 MHz system bus, and a 14.1 " 1024 x 768 screen. The 400 MHz model also came with a DVD-ROM drive. The Lombard was also the first PowerBook to ship with built-in USB ports, and no serial or ADB ports. It did still have a SCSI port. Lombards also have just one PC Card slot instead of the WallStreet's two.

The Pismo replaced the Lombard in February, 2000, and looks virtually identical to its predecessor. It has Pismoa completely different motherboard architecture with a 100 MHz system bus and 400 MHz or 500 MHz CPUs, both with DVD-ROM drives and two FireWire ports instead of the Lombard's SCSI port.

None of these machines is irredeemably bad, although the cacheless "MainStreet" is slow and the passive matrix 12.1" screen is murky and slow compared with the active matrix units. The 13.3" WallStreet screens also had some unfortunate problems with unreliable ribbon cable video connectors.

The WallStreet has been plagued with screen hinge failures, especially on 14.1" screen models, and since the Lombard and Pismo have somewhat similar screen hinge engineering, they may also be afflicted as they get older. WallStreets have also had more than their share of power management board failures.

Both the WallStreet and Pismo have their CPU units mounted on processor daughtercards, which makes them processor upgradable. The Pismo has its CPU soldered to the motherboard and is an unlikely candidate for processor upgrading. A G4 upgrade for WallStreet is reportedly coming, which might be a consideration.

WallStreets have held their value amazingly well, while Lombards and Pismos have not done so well in that department (although their initial prices were generally lower than WallStreets).

What sort of connectivity ports you need or want may be key to your decision.

I own a WallStreet LE and a 500 MHz Pismo. My son had a WallStreet LE and now has a 333 MHz Lombard. These have all been excellent, trouble-free, tough machines. A well-cared for example of any of these units should give you excellent service.

New Willow Case for Titanium, iBook & Printer

Willow is finishing its first run of the LapMac Portaprint Case, specifically designed for the Titanium or iBook plus any of the portable printers. "The case came out of many requests LapMac Portaprint Casefrom Mac travelers with portable printer and others who are just carrying around a pile of gear they wanted centrally protected", commented Willow president Nigel Peck.

Although the LapMac Portaprint is not included in the Willow Year End Sale going on right now, Willow is extending its half-price shipping for cases shipped by ground in Canada and the United States until December 15th, so the LapMac will be covered. Cases are expected to be ready for shipping by December 14th.

The sale has been a huge success with many of Willow's case color selections being wiped out. Peck commented that new runs are being produced as quickly as possible, but, once again, Willow was overwhelmed by the reaction of the Mac community.

"We've been making cases for 15 years now, always trying to raise the standard - it's really humbling to find that philosophy so embraced by the Mac user community. For us, it's now even more important to meet or exceed peoples' expectations," says Peck.

J.R. Hill Shipping iPod Sleeve

J.R. Hill's new iPod Sleeve carrying cases for Apples new iPod MP3 player are made of full grain leather with a nylon elastic along the sides for a snug fit.

The first version, the iPod Sleeve (CA10), functions as a simple carrying case with belt clip. There is a small opening on the top for access to the headphone jack.

The second version, the iPod Sleeve Deluxe (CA11), functions much the same way cell phone cases do. It has a clear plastic area for the display and a round, open area beneath to access the special jog dial to control the iPod. It will also feature a hole on the top to access the headphone jack and a belt clip.

Both iPod Sleeves come with a lifetime warranty.

  • CA10 iPod Sleeve, $29.99
  • CA11 iPod Sleeve Deluxe, $39.99

Which AC Power Adapter Goes with what 'Book?

Apple has posted a document providing information for all PowerBook and iBook computer power adapters, batteries, and battery chargers, and how to identify them.

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.

Small Dog Electronics


  • PowerBook WallStreet G3/233, 32/2 GB/20x/14.1", $699.99
  • PowerBook 1400cs/133, 32/1.3 GB/floppy, $299.99

Power Max

PowerBook Guy

Here is an interesting study in how prices of the three G3 Series versions have converged:


  • PowerBook WallStreet G3/233, 32/2 GB/CD/12.1", $750
  • PowerBook 3400C/200, 16/2 GB/6x CD/modem, $525

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