The 'Book Review

Madsonline MicroAdapters, RAM and Drive Install Tutorial, Minuscule PC from IBM, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2002.02.08

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars.

IBM to Unveil Minuscule, Modular PC

Reuters reports that on Feb. 11 IBM's research division has will unveil a portable computer weighing 9 ounces and measuring 5 inches long, 3 inches wide, and about three-quarters of an inch thick that has the computing power of a typical notebook or desktop computer.

The tiny PC, code-named "MetaPad," will have 128 MB of RAM, a 10 GB hard drive, an 800 MHz CPU, and run Windows XP.

InformationWeek also has a report on the new IBM prototype, noting that it easily converts from a desktop computer to a notebook to a handheld, or any number of other configurations.

"Now, a laptop becomes an accessory," Ken Ocheltree, manager for next-generation mobile at IBM Research is quoted commenting.

InformationWeek says that IBM has already built a prototype MetaPad core, a compatible handheld shell with a touchscreen display, and a cradle for desktop use, and that consumer version could be available within a few years and would be comparable in price to a low-end laptop computer.

PowerBook RAM and Hard Drive Installation Online Tutorials

Trans Intl., a supplier of hardware upgrades for Apple portables, has recently posted complete instructions for installing and upgrading the RAM and the in the PowerBook G3 (Pismo, Lombard, and Wallstreet) and iMac (233-333 MHz) models.

The tutorials include:

  • Installing RAM into the PowerBook G3 Pismo
  • Installing RAM into the PowerBook G3 Lombard
  • Installing RAM into the PowerBook G3 WallStreet
  • Installing RAM into the older iMacs (233-333 MHz)
  • Installing Hard Drives in PowerBook G3s (Pismo, Lombard, WallStreet) Offers Madsonline MicroAdapters

The MadsonLine MicroAdapter is the world's smallest power adapter for your PowerBook. Most customers buy another adapter to use at another location to reduce the hassle of packing up the adapter, or they simply don't like the amount of space the "yo yo" style Apple adapter takes up in their bag. In either case, the MadsonLine MicroAdapter is a great (and simple) accessory for your PowerBook. is offering a black model for what they call the "Pre 2001" models: the PowerBook G3 (all models), PowerBook 1400, 2400, 3400, pre-2001 iBooks, and Duo 2300. We are also offering a silver model which fits the new PowerBook G4 Titanium and "Dual USB" or "2001" iBooks.

MadsonLine offers a 12 month guarantee on the electronics and a lifetime guarantee on the product's casing. We handle all returns as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Willow Design Releases New Apple Case Catalogue and Three New iBook Ice 14 Cases

Willow Design has announced three new cases for the 14" iBook. They also have set up a new catalogue devoted solely to sorting out all the different Apple case models they make.

The newest addition to the Willow line is the iBook 14 Sylph, which provides reasonable protection for the iBook in the smallest possible package. Protection is supplied by quarter-inch foam reinforced by wafer thin polystyrene reinforcement panels on all sides plus an extra foam layer sandwiched around the outer perimeter of the slipcase. The top and bottom of the slipcase feature extra high density polyethylene panels to reinforce the handle and convenient rubber luggage feet on the bottom.

The Sylph works fine on its own with a padded shoulder carry strap and padded wrap handle, but it is intended for those wanting to stuff it into other bags, briefcases or packs. The very thin profile and smaller protective top flap make it particularly easy to get the iBook in and out of packs without removing the slipcase. The Sylph also features two zippered outer pockets for some accessories, cables and the power supply.

For those wanting a more substantial 14" iBook slipcase, Willow has created the iBook Ice 14 Slipcase. iBook SlipcaseIt features thick half-inch foam padding, stiffening plastic panels to protect the notebook all around with extra high density polyethylene on the top and bottom. The slipcase has a zippered, front organizer and flat rear magazine pocket plus a large zippered mesh accessory pocket built into the protective front flap cover. Carrying comfort is assured by a padded wrap handle plus a contoured, a special non-slip, padded shoulder carry strap.

The third addition for the iBook is a more traditional carry case which affords Willow's heavier duty level of laptop protection. All three are covered by Willow's lifetime guarantee against defects in materials or craftsmanship.

The new Apple catalogue was a necessity, says Willow president, Nigel Peck. "With 32 different cases designed for the Apple in mind, it was just too difficult figuring which case worked with which product."

What Willow did was build the catalogue around the different Apple products, so, for example, the Titanium is currently covered by nine separate cases, not including the different laptop backpacks. "Hopefully it will make finding the perfect case for each person's needs a bit easier; we certainly have the selection."

Computer Cases from Lowepro

Lowepro offers a wide variety of computer cases in several families

D-Res D-Res 300300

A sleek briefcase, with a wealth of storage - a padded computer compartment, smaller padded pocket for a handheld electronic organizer, cell phone or digital camera, organizer pocket for office essentials plus special pockets for memory, airline tickets, letter-size files, even magazines - 12 pockets in all. Includes 2 attachment loops for SlipLock™ add-ons, detachable strap with non-slip shoulder pad and padded DryFlo™ mesh handles.

  • Inner Dimensions: 13W x 1.5D x 10.75H in. (33 x 4 x 27.5 cm)
  • Computer pocket size: 13W x 2D x 10.75H in. (33 x 5 x 27.5 cm)
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz. (567 g)
  • Materials: Outer fabric: Water-resistant 420D Nailhead and 1200D ballistic TXP
  • Color: Black/Silver


A new, designer-style sling bag that wraps around the body for carrying comfort and security. Eleven pockets keep everything organized. Wear it on your back and it swings around easily so you can grab your gear fast. There's a quick-release buckle on the shoulder strap and handle that make it easy to remove and DryFlo™ mesh lining to keep you cool on the hottest day. Includes a phone pouch.

  • a premium backpack for digital photojournalists, sports photographers
  • first created for Kevin T. Gilbert, president, White House News Photographer's Association
  • fully adjustable backpack harness has sternum strap, back pad with DryFlo™ mesh for carrying comfort
  • removable padded computer case adjusts for left or right access, can be used separately with its own shoulder strap
  • computer case has ID pocket, 4 exterior pockets and soft, brushed tricot lining
  • Street and Field™ Cell Phone Pouch included detaches and clips to a belt with the SlipLock™ attachment tab
  • storage includes 3 Neoprene lens cases, 2 neoprene pockets for extra bodies or accessories, 6 inner and outer pockets and covered ID pocket
  • All Weather Cover protects gear from rain, snow, dust
  • holds 1-2 pro SLRs (digital or 35mm film), 3 - 4 lenses, laptop (up to an Apple PowerBook), cell phone, change of clothes, toiletries, office supplies, accessories
  • Size: 13.5W x 4.75D x 21H in. (34.5 x 12 x 53.5 cm)
  • Computer case: 13W x 3D x 11H (33 x 7.5 x 28 cm)
  • Outer fabric: water-resistant 600D TXP rip stop and 2000D ballistic nylon
  • Color: Black/Silver

Madison 1300

Lowepro's take on the backpack briefcase: a multifunction laptop-and-peripherals briefcase with a backpack harness and sternum strap, removable waistbelt, a convenient webbed handle and Lowepro's patented All Weather Cover. The padded computer compartment provides remarkably easy access, there's an outer "stuff-it" pocket for a newspaper or light jacket, plus endless pockets for everything you normally carry, from a cell phone and sunglasses to business files.

  • Front Compartment: 10W x 2D x 14H in. (25.5 x 5 x 35.5 cm)
  • Main Compartment: 11.5W x 4.5D x 17.5H in. (29 x 11.5 x 44.5 cm)
  • Computer Compartment: 10.5W x 2D x 8.5H in. (26.5 x 5 x 21.5 cm)
  • Weight: 2 lb 6 oz (1077 g)
  • Materials: 600D TXP rip stop and 1200D ballistic TXP

Lind Electronics Announces Auto DC Power Adapter for iPod

The Lind #APiPOD Power Adapter is manufactured by Griffin Technologies and can be purchased directly from Lind. This adapter connects to the iPod via the included FireWire cable.

The adapter provides power to charge internal battery and operate the iPod from automobile 12 VDC. The power adapter is housed in a lightweight composite ABS plastic case with an LED to indicate that power is present.

The Automobile Adapter #APiPOD offers the following features:

  • Keeps your iPod fully charged
  • Unlimited iPod play when connected
  • Works with all 12 VDC automobile accessory outlets and cigarette lighter sockets
  • LED status indicator
  • Detachable 4 foot FireWire cable
  • Price $19.95

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

The PowerBook Guy

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