The 'Book Review

The 'Book Review 2001.12.14

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2001.12.14

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.

G4 Processor Upgrade for Lombard and WallStreet Coming

PowerLogix hopes to release its new BlueChip G4 and BlueChip LS G4 processor upgrades for the Lombard PowerBook before the end of the month, with a WallStreet version expected in January.

The BlueChip G4 upgrades will support the maximum memory specified by Apple. You must have a working CPU module in your machine prior to installation of the BlueChip. A ROM transfer from your existing processor is required before the BlueChip can operate.

At this writing, the BlueChip G4 and BlueChip LS G4 are only compatible with OS X 10.x. However, PowerLogix is reportedly working on a software workaround, and OS 9 support could be in place by the time the cards ship.

BlueChip G4 and BlueChip LS G4 Features

  • PowerPC 7410 @ 500 MHz
  • 1 MB of backside cache
  • No downtime or trade-in hassles

BlueChip G4 will be compatible with the following computers (Apple family number M4753):

BlueChip LS is compatible with the following computers (Apple family number M5343):

Other World Computing is accepting pre-orders for the Lombard version (as well as a 500 MHz G3 Lombard upgrade at special introductory prices:

  • PowerLogix BlueChip LS G4/500 for Lombard, preorder special price: $465.00
  • PowerLogix BlueChip LS G3/500 for Lombard, preorder special price: $342.50

30 GB IBM TravelStar Laptop Drives for under $150

Googlegear offers the IBM Travelstar 30GN 30 GB 4200 RPM Mobile Hard Drive for $148.99. I paid $159 just a year ago.

The TravelStar's innovative hard drive design combines Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motor technology, an ATA-100 interface, IBM giant magnetoresistive (GMR) head technology, Partial Response Maximum Likelihood (PRML) digital channel, a head load/unload feature, and Enhanced Adaptive Battery Life Extender* (ABLE) 3.0. This design provides the exceptional quietness, storage capacity, performance, power management, quality, and reliability required by today's notebook systems.

Features and Benefits

  • Capacity: 30 GB
  • Rotational Speed: 4200 RPM
  • Interface: ATA-5
  • Average seek time: 12.0 ms
  • Warranty: Three year manufacture warranty.
  • Coverage: Covers repair or replacement of the product.
  • Technical Support: IBM Technical Support at 1-888-IBM-5214 or email at
  • Service Location: IBM provides warranty service at a mail-in location. is offering these drives for $146 plus FedEx Saver shipping for $10.

Deals on Zip 100 Expansion Bay Drives for Lombard and Pismo

VST's Expansion Bay Zip 100 Drives make transferring large files easy. They are hot swappable, so there is no need to sleep, restart, or shut down, and they have a seamless user interface, so they behave just like a floppy drive. The drives are compatible with standard 100 MB Zip disks and work in the expansion bay of the PowerBook G3 Lombard and Pismo bronze keyboard units.

We have VST Zip 100 Expansion Bay drives for both our new Pismo and my daughter's old PowerBook 5300. They're a lot more slick and convenient than hooking up a SCSI cable to our external Zip drive (not possible without an adapter with the Pismo).

MacZone has an excellent deal on these drives right now - the VST Zip 100 MB for Lombard and Pismo PowerBooks at $69.99, a fraction of the original list price. Limited to stock on hand; no backorders accepted.

  • Device Type Removable disk drive: Zip disk
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 6" x 5.6" x 0.8"
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs
  • Removable Storage Type: 1 x Zip disk - proprietary plug-in module
  • Storage Removable Capacity: 100 MB
  • Removable Storage Interface Type: SCSI
  • Data Transfer Rate: 11.2 MBps (external) / 1.4 MBps (internal)
  • Media Type: Zip disk 3.5"
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Applelinks Store Offers LaidBack Laptop Portable Workstation

The Laptop LaidBack workstation for laptop users is a solution to portable computing comfort. LaidBackEasy to assemble, fully adjustable, solid hardwood and Melamine construction, easily stored.

Laptop LaidBack features include:

  • Fits all laptop computers.
  • Eliminates overheating.
  • Perfect for computing in bed, sofa, and recliners.
  • Highly adjustable.
  • Very stable.
  • Quality components

Laptop LaidBack's solid construction with attention to detail makes it a fine piece of furniture. The robust plastic knobs are user friendly, strong, and attractive. Two T-knobs in combination with specially designed hinge inserts provide angle variation. Laptop LaidBack is particularly effective for those who wish to use a laptop while completely reclined. It can enable computing for individuals with certain long term disabilities as well as those recuperating from surgery or undergoing rehabilitation.

It's easy to adjust the table position of the Laptop LaidBack. Two lock knobs facilitate adjustments. The Laptop LaidBack folds flat to fit just about anywhere - behind a door, under your bed, beside a desk or table.

The Laptop LaidBack fits most large laptop bags and carry on luggage bags.

Laptop LaidBack sells for US $89

You can check it out at the Applelinks Store.

You can read my full review of the Laptop LaidBack here on Mac Opinion.

Lapvantage Laptop Stands Released

The Plasticsmith, Inc. has announced a new product line of Lapvantage laptop stands ergonomically designed to respond to the growing number of users who prefer a choice in viewing modes.

The Portrait Edition pivots the laptop to a long-screen orientation, giving the typical user up to 40% more usable portrait editionscreen space - the same vertical screen space of a 20" desktop monitor. In the majority of everyday applications, including word processing, emailing, and web browsing, a premium is put on vertical, not horizontal, space. With Portrait Display's PivotPro 6 (sold separately), laptop users can instantly switch from landscape to portrait viewing in any application. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, Apple laptops do not support portrait mode viewing.

For use in the standard landscape orientation, Lapvantage: Ergo Edition offers three models that raise the laptop to the optimal viewing point - at the eye level of the user. This can help prevent the development of eye strain, neck pain and shoulder fatigue. The Ergo Edition also makes possible the use of a more ergonomically-friendly keyboard and mouse. Each with its own unique look, the Clear Model stands sleek and modern. The Black Model conveys a more formal look. The Storage Model provides the tidy look, with a rear pocket to store cords, USB hubs, power adapters, and other peripherals.

The Portrait model is available for $49.95, the Ergo models for $29.95, all four are sold exclusively at The Plasticsmith's online store.

SportFolio for Titanium G4 PowerBooks, SportFolio II for iBook

The SportFolio laptop case offers rugged, high-tech neoprene construction with a built-in plastic shell for impact protection. The exterior features an easily accessible front pocket, a back zippered pocket and a vulcanized rubber bottom and sides for a secure grip. The case zips closed to hold its contents securely. The all-black interior features a soft, plush fabric, and a large pocket. A removable black shock-absorbing shoulder strap is included. All in all a great combination of features that make this case stand out from the crowd.

Case features:

  • Easily accessible exterior front pocket
  • Roomy, zippered back pocket
  • Large, secure interior pocket
  • Dual zippers for easy opening
  • Rugged 3 mm neoprene construction
  • Plastic inner shell for impact protection
  • Plush-lined interior with document pocket
  • Easy-grip bottom for carrying as a folio
  • Padded for all-around protection

Shoulder strap features:

  • Easy-grip, shock-absorbing design
  • Swivel clips prevent twisting
  • Adjustable length for maximum comfort
  • Easily removable

Colors: Black / Blue / Graphite

Price: $44.95

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 G4/500 with Brenthaven Titanium 1 Carrying case, 768/20 GB/DVD/56K modem, new with 1 year Apple Warranty, $2,259

L.A. Computer

PowerBook Guy

Power Max


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