The 'Book Review

High Res DVI TiBooks with Mobility Radeon 7500, Apple PRAM Battery Guide, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2002.05.01

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars.

Apple Titanium PowerBook G4 Upgrades Improve the Breed

The big news in the 'Book orbit this week is that Apple introduced significant upgrades to the PowerBook G4 line. The new models feature a higher resolution display, faster PowerPC G4 processors (up to 800 MHz) with a 1 MB level 3 cache, the industry's first integrated Digital Visual Interface (DVI) port on a portable, and the industry's only integrated gigabit ethernet in a notebook.

The new 15.2" mega-wide display features a resolution of 1280 x 854, 23% pixels more than previous models, along with higher brightness and better color saturation.

The new PowerBook G4 also features:

  • 1" thick Titanium design weighs just 5.4 pounds
  • 256 MB or 512 MB SDRAM, expandable to 1 GB
  • a slot-loading Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
  • 30 GB or 40 GB Ultra ATA/66 hard drive, up to 60 GB optional
  • up to five hours of battery life on one Lithium-ion battery
  • DVI, DVI to VGA adapter, S-video, USB, FireWire, audio line-in, and audio line-out ports
  • new Mac OS X version 10.1.4, as well as Mac OS 9.2.2
  • a small, lightweight power adapter

The 667 MHz PowerBook G4 is available for a suggested retail price of US$2,499 and includes 256 MB SDRAM, 30 GB Ultra ATA/66 hard drive, and is AirPort ready with integrated antennas and card slot.

The 800 MHz PowerBook G4 is available for a suggested retail price of US$3,199 and includes 512 MB SDRAM, 40 GB Ultra ATA/66 hard drive, and built-in AirPort Card with integrated antennas

And, mirabile dictu, a real analog sound-in port is restored to the PowerBook. Never shoulda been deleted. USB audio is miserable.

All in all, a modest but welcome upgrade, and enough that I might be tempted to forsake my Pismo if I had the budget to upgrade (which I don't).

ATI's Mobility Radeon 7500 Shipping in Apple's New Titanium PowerBook G4

ATI Technologies has announced that its Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics processor now ships in Apple's latest PowerBook G4.

The Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics processor brings all the features and performance of a desktop PC to the notebook space, including lightning-fast 3D acceleration, superior video editing capability, smooth DVD playback, integrated TV-out, multi-monitor support, and the ability to run the latest high-power video games and the industry's most graphics-intensive applications.

"ATI is delighted to deliver an outstanding visual experience and screamingly-fast 3D graphics to the Apple community," said Reuven Soraya of ATI. "ATI's Mobility Radeon 7500 accelerates 3D visual effects faster than ever before, enables full frame-rate DVD video, and offers the best display quality in the industry, which will benefit both creative professionals and avid gamers."

The ultimate mobile studio for creative professionals, Apple's new PowerBook G4 features ATI's Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics processor with AGP 4x support and 32 MB DDR (double data rate) video memory. The PowerBook G4 also features a slot-loading Combo drive), and a Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connector that increases display options by providing a pure digital connection to DVI-enabled projectors and displays, as well as Apple's own lineup of award winning flat panel displays (requires Apple DVI to ADC Adapter). The award-winning PowerBook G4 offers up to 5 hours of battery life and a 15.2" TFT XGA display housed in a 1-inch thick, 5.4 pound titanium enclosure.

"The Titanium PowerBook G4 is an incredibly powerful and versatile professional notebook," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior director of Hardware Product Marketing. "Creative customers are really going to enjoy the performance boost and new video advancements such as higher resolution, digital video output, and amazing graphics performance enabled by ATI's new Mobility Radeon 7500."

Peripherals and Parts for 'Books

Baucom Computers has a neat bunch of bits available at attractive prices.

  • VST Zip drive module for Lombard and Pismo PowerBook G3s, new, sealed, $67
  • VST SuperDisk module for Lombard and Pismo PowerBook G3s, $70
  • VST SuperDisk module for WallStreet PowerBook G3, reads floppies and 100 MB SuperDisks, $64
  • DVD drive module for Lombard and Pismo PB G3s, free with CD trade-in
  • DVD drive module for WallStreet PowerBook G3 (without decoder card), $65 with trade-in of CD-ROM drive
  • CD-ROM drive module for WallStreet PowerBook G3, $88
  • VST floppy drive for USB PowerBooks, $45
  • Floppy drive module for WallStreet PowerBook G3, $48
  • Floppy drive module for PB 1400, $62
  • AC adapter for PowerBook 1400, 3400, all G3s, $62
  • Dual battery charger for Duo series,$13
  • LinkSys 10/100 ethernet card (PCMCIA), $30
  • modem/ethernet adapter for 3400 and PB G3/250 ("Kanga"), allows both ethernet and phone line to attach, $5
  • SCSI adapter, HDI-30 to DB-25, w/Dock Switch to connect a PB to another Mac, $20
  • SCSI adapter, HDI-30 to DB-25 (without Dock Switch), $16
  • SCSI adapter (50-pin Centronics to 30-pin PB port), $9
  • battery for 5300 PowerBooks (used, good charge), $25
  • 56k modem (internal) for WallStreet PowerBook G3, $33
  • 56k modem (internal) for 1999/2000 G3 PowerBooks, $38

WildEepz Portable Solutions from Radiologic Technologies

WildEepz replacement display cushions provide a solid and stable display to chassis interface for your G4 PowerBook or iBook when latched.

WildEeps display cushions

Protect display, bezel, palmrest, paint and pride. WildEepz can replace the original cushions if the "stock" look is preferred. Color-matched. Clean styling. Compliments the G4 design. Make your Ti as tough as it looks. Very solid look and feel. Aerospace adhesive-backed Cushions will not fall off.

Maintains optimum latch tension. Helps eliminate unintentional opening.

4 cushions offer substantial protection and rigidity. 8 cushions transform the G4 into a rock.

Each set includes 8 cushions for $9.95.

WildEepz ScreensavRz for TiBook/iBook. ScreensavRz not only protect your precious display surface from ScreensavRzabrasion caused by the close tolerances in today's ultra-thin notebooks, they clean your screen, too. Made from a woven, ultra-thin (1.5 mil) optical-grade microfiber cloth, ScreensavRz, even when dry, allow you to safely clean the screen or any surface of your notebook.

Optical-grade sheet protector and cleaning cloth. Polish everything, dry or damp. Clean your screen and chassis dry or damp. No oily residue like leather. Very supple and unobtrusive. Very easy to stow.

Price as low as $9.95

TiGlide PowerBook Hinge Conditioning Kit. TiGlide is a metal conditioner, not a lubricant. It functions at the molecular level to fill every microscopic void in the metal-to-metal surfaces of the hinge with an ultra-refined, hydrocarbon derivative. The result: display rotation becomes smooth and effortless.

Price: $14.95

FireWire Formac CD-RW Drive

The new FireWire Formac CD-RW offers a 3-in-1 solution. It allows you to easily record, erase, and Formac CD-RW driverewrite CDs - all that with unparalleled reliability and speed! To give you a taste: Formac CD-RW 40x writes a 650 MB disc in well under 3 minutes, the industry's fastest CD recording speed.


  • Ultra fast FireWire CD-RW technology. 40X burns complete 650 MB disc in well below 3 minutes
  • Quiet: hermetically sealed enclosure virtually eliminates noise of drive
  • Burn-Proof technology eliminates buffer underrun errors that occur in fast write modes
  • Revolutionary design: Your Mac will never know it has been adopted
  • FireWire: plug-and-play installation and hot-swappable
  • Roxio Toast 5 LE Software included  
  • iTunes: Rip, Mix and Burn your favorite tunes on disc        

Available Versions: CD-RW 24, CD-RW 32, CD-RW 40

  • Interface: FireWire 1394
  • Write speed: 24, 32, or 40x
  • Rewrite speed: 10x
  • Read speed: 40x
  • Media Support CD-DA, CD-ROM Mode-1, CD-ROM XA Mode-2 (Form 1 and 2), Multisession PhotoCD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-I, Video-CD, CD-Extra/ CD-Plus, CD-TEXT
  • Package contains Roxio Toast 5 LE, manual, FireWire cable, power supply
  • System Requirements Mac OS 9.04 or higher, FireWire 2.5 or higher
  • Dimensions 6.0" x 3.0" x 10.5"
  • Price: $199 (24), $229 (32), $249 (40)

Formac CD-RW 24 is compatible with Apple's iTunes and Disk Burner Support for the 32 and 40 is in the works. If you have Roxio Toast 4.x, you must disable all iTunes extensions to use Roxio Toast.

Formac CD-RW come with the revolutionary Burn-Proof technology. Burn-Proof eliminates buffer underrun errors that can occur in fast write modes. These are errors that result in "coasters" - CDs rendered unusable due to a failure during recording. Burn-Proof not only compensates for slower source drives but also allows Formac CD-RW to be used while multitasking. You can now do other things with your computer, like send emails or surf the Web, while burning CDs (Roxio Toast 4.12 or higher required).

PowerBook + Flat-panel Display + Adapter = $150 Savings Promo

Now you can use the new Apple DVI to ADC Adapter to connect a PowerBook G4 computer to an Apple flat-panel display. You'll get the big picture - and save $150 when you buy all three at the same time.

Willow LapMac Portaprint TiBook/iBook Case

The LapMac Portaprint offers a lightweight, compact, highly protective solution for carrying the Titanium, Willow LapMac PortaprintiBook, accessories, plus most of the portable printers. The case offers superb protection for all your gear with separate compartments for all the different components with extra afforded by the front and back zippered pockets.

LapMac Portaprint Features:

  • great protection for your display plus all the extras afforded by 1.2 cm (0.5") foam reinforced by corrugated plastic on the front, back and lid plus 4 mm (1/8") hardboard on the bottom.
  • extra protection afforded by cross directional corrugated plastic internal separation dividers.
  • great protection assured by a design which allows all your hardware components to be located in a central superbly padded compartment.
  • up to five separate compartments for your Titanium or iBook, portable printer, adapter, and accessories.
  • disc and CD-ROM pockets on the laptop compartment lid.
  • an outer front pocket organizer panel for pens, pencils, chequebook etc.
  • a zippered external front and back pocket which will fit 3.0 cm (1.2") of legal sized file folders or other gear each.
  • a zippered flat front paper pocket.
  • a convenient flat pocket on the back suitable for maps, magazines or newspapers.
  • 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 display down whilst entering and leaving your vehicle.
  • secure thickly padded briefcase style handle with web anchors quadruple stitched and additionally reinforced by quadruple rivets through high density polyethylene underneath the fabric top panel.
  • contoured, thickly padded shoulder strap with heavy duty snaphooks for secure carrying.
  • lifetime guarantee against defects in materials or craftsmanship.

Available Colours: Black. Charcoal. Navy. Teal. Purple

Pricing: $200 Cdn/$129 US

iShuttle iBook Case

This water-resistant and durable iShuttle iBook caseEVA case comes in five colors: Blueberry, Tangerine, Graphite, Lime and Indigo.


  • Made of a semi-hard, water resistant EVA material
  • Padded computer compartment with Velcro securing straps and adjustable/detachable padded divider
  • Interior file pocket
  • Holders for pens/pencils, business cards, floppy and Zip disks, and CDs.
  • Adjustable/detachable strap with anti-slip pad
  • Ergonomic, comfort grip handle
  • Dual pulling, self-healing zippers
  • All metal hardware

iShuttle iBook Case sells for $98.95.

Macintosh PRAM Battery Type Database

Confused about what PRAM battery your 'Book uses. Apple has posted a guide to Macintosh batteries providing information and part numbers for backup and system batteries used in portable and desktop Macintosh computers.

Most Macintosh computers have a backup battery to maintain system settings, such as the date and time, when the computer is turned off. The battery may last up to five years. However, this will vary due to the battery's shelf life and usage patterns of the computer. The batteries used in Macintosh computers are lithium or alkaline and are commonly 3.6V to 4.5V.

When the computer does not retain PRAM settings after it has been turned off, this generally indicates that the battery needs to be changed. Some Macintosh models may display a black screen when you turn them on if the battery needs to be changed.

iBook Bag

West Ridge Designs introduces a "Macintosh inspired computer bag," the iBookBag.

Not just another pretty face, the iBookBag is built on proven principles with proven materials. Thick foam padding protects your iBook from accidental bumps. The bottom and leading edges are protected by a shock absorbing closed-cell foam. The sides are padded with a firm open cell foam to help the bag feel softer against the body while deflecting and absorbing bumps. The exterior of water resistant nylon pack cloth and DuPont Cordura keeps out the elements and deflects the gaze of would-be iBook snatchers. We placed the smoother nylon pack cloth where it will rub against your body to be gentle on clothing.

Padded pockets hold your power supply and external drive. Two deep, letter size folder pockets one on the back and one inside help keep you organized. Inside the curved front pocket you'll find a convenient pocket for cell phone, checkbook and writing instruments.

The all leather snap-around palm pad keeps the handles together and reduces hand fatigue. Why leather, and not some soft padded material? Leather will form to your hand's individual contours over time, making the bag extremely comfortable. A larger diameter grip would actually fatigue the hand sooner because the fingers would be kept in an open position, relying on the muscles of the forearms, rather than using the locking mechanism of the hand bones, which is less tiring. The adjustable shoulder strap features swivel snap hooks for your tangle-free carrying convenience.

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 G4/667, 256 + 512/30 GB/DVD-ROM, AirPort installed, MCE Transport Pro 40 GB FireWire & USB Portable Hard Drive ($50 mail-in rebate available through MCE), refurbished, $2,749
  • PowerBook G4/400, 128/10 GB/DVD, refurbished, $1,449
  • PowerBook G4/667, 512/30 GB/DVD, AirPort, refurbished, $2,199
  • iBook G3/500, 128/10/DVD, refurbished, $1,049
  • iBook G3/500, 128/10 GB/DVD+CD-RW Combo, refurbished, $1,179
  • iBook G3/500, 128/15 GB/CD-ROM, refurbished, $995


Power Max

  • PowerBook G4/667, 512/30 GB/DVD/56K/AirPort, refurbished, $2,388
  • PowerBook G3/400 (Lombard?), 64/6 GB/DVD/56k/14.1", refurbished, $1,399

Baucom Computers

  • PowerBook G3/266 WallStreet, 1 MB cache, 160/4 GB/CD/56K/14.1", $531 (add floppy for $35)
  • PowerBook G3/233 WallStreet, 512 KB cache, 128/2 GB/CD/56K/14.1", $488 (add floppy for $35)
  • PowerBook G3/250 Kanga, 160/5 GB/CD/56K/12.1", $405 (add extra battery for $20)
  • PowerBook 2400c/180, 48/2 GB/10.4", w/ floppy drive, 56K card, Newer Tech BookEndz, $375

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