The 'Book Review

512 MB Modules for TiBook, IBM 5400 RPM Notebook Drives, Zip 250 for Lombard and Pismo, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2002.05.10

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars.

512 MB Low Profile SDRAM Modules for TiBook

The new 512 MB low profile SDRAM memory module brings the memory capacity of the PowerBook G4 up to one gigabyte.

Trans Intl's unique design allows upgrading the top and bottom slot of the PowerBook G4 with 512 MB SDRAM SO-DIMMs. The new 512 MB Low Profile SDRAM DIMM is compatible with Apple Firmware Update 4.1.8 and both Mac OS X and 9.1.

Pismo PowerBook Memory

Up to 1 GB with new 512 MB 100 MHz SDRAM DIMMs. Trans Intl. brings desktop memory capacity into portables by introducing half-gig 100 MHz SDRAM DIMMs operating at maximum speed [2-2-2].

512 MB of RAM in a PowerBook Lombard or WallStreet

The new 256 MB SDRAM SO-DIMM enables users to maximize main memory up to 512 MB by installing the memory module in the lower slot of the system. This memory module is compatible with PowerBooks G3 Lombard or the PowerBook Wallstreet and the older iMac [233-333 MHz] systems.

New IBM 40 GNX Enhance 40 GB/20 GB 5400 RPM Drive for PowerBooks/iBooks

Trans Intl. has announced the availability of a new IBM 40 GNX 2.5", 5400 RPM hard disk drive offered in 20 GB and 40 GB capacities delivering advanced notebook performance to entry-level and mainstream users.

The new 5400 RPM drive offers users accelerated performance in a thinner (9.5 mm) hard drive. In earlier 5400 RPM drives, "spindle speed" was the top-of-the-line feature for mobile power users. It was only offered in the highest capacity drives - which also required a thicker (12.5 mm) hard drive (mostly supported in the majority of bulky notebooks).

The Enhance 5400 RPM provides the capability for increased "power-on" hours, making 2.5"h drives suitable for mission critical applications. This offers users the ability to leave the power on around the clock. Other performance features of the drive are high RPM, increased data rate, advanced cache management software, larger cache size, and, most notable, 5400 spindle speed in a drive with 9.5 mm thickness. Traditionally, 9.5 mm hard drives offer performance at 4200 RPM, which are used in the vast majority of notebooks on the market.

This new 40 GB/20 GB GB 5400 RPM drive is also available as an external FireWire portable unit featuring the fastest sustained data transfer rate of 20-35 MB/s enabled by an Oxford 911 Fire Wire to IDE bridge chip.

VST Zip250 Drive for PowerBook Lombard and Pismo for $39.99

MacZone has a great price on VST Zip250 expansion bay drives for Lombard and Pismo PowerBooks. VST Zip250 Drive for PowerBook 99/00 with 2-pack Zip Media. Price: $39.99 .

IOxperts Releases Universal WiFi Driver for Macintosh

Non-AirPort equipped PowerBooks can now be easily networked using the 802.11b protocol and the help of IOxperts' beta Universal WiFi driver. The driver supports most popular wireless PC Cards that have only been Windows-based until this point. The universal WiFi driver allows PowerBooks as old as the 190 and 5300 connect to a wireless 802.11b network (the same protocol as Apple's AirPort). Supported cards include Belkin, D-Link and many other popular brands sold as "Windows Only" cards.

Techpack PowerBook Backpack

This top loading, rugged pack is ideal for moving around campus or the casual office. Easy access to your laptop and great protection makes this one of our favorite packs!



  • Exterior: 17" x 12.5" x 5.75"
  • Padded Computer Compartment: 13.75" x 11.50" x 1.75"


  • Made of Nylon Ripstop
  • Top-Loading, Padded Inner Computer Case.
  • Exterior Zippered Flap Pocket with Holders for Pens/Pencils, Cell Phone, Business/ID Cards and a Key Chain Clip
  • Padded Computer Compartment Includes Storage for Diskettes, Files and Documents
  • Large Padded handle.
  • Adjustable, Non-Slip, Padded Shoulder Straps
  • Lifetime Replacement Warranty

Price: $44.95

Willow Somerset Laptop Backpack/Briefcase

Willow's Somerset laptop backpack briefcase is designed for those with shorter backs or those who want Willow Somerseta more compact case. Despite the Somerset's smaller size, you can still carry around most 14" or 15" laptops such as the PowerBook and iBook. The Somerset carries your laptop and accessories, up to three inches of letter sized paperwork and features our convenient outer organizer pocket system.


  • Elegant design - at home on the road and acceptable in the boardroom in its briefcase form.
  • Increased personal security by making your case not look like a briefcase or laptop case
  • Superb laptop protection through a centrally protected location surrounded by thick, single piece foam padding on the back, sides and bottom
  • Front protection is assured by three separate levels of foam layers
  • Easy storage of adapters, cables, etc. with convenient Velcro secured, fold-down accessory divider /pocket system
  • Extreme carrying comfort with contoured, padded shoulder straps
  • Removable sternum strap for increased stability and comfort with additional doubling of shoulder strap material for extreme durability
  • contoured pack back and bottom which will not allow anything to dig into your back, especially in your low back area
  • Additional thickly padded removable wrap handle for extra comfort in briefcase or vertical handle carrying mode
  • .090 thickness of high density polyethylene reinforcement underneath the web handles with quadruple rivet reinforcing for even greater strength and durability
  • A thickly padded traditional single shoulder carrying strap when you want to look more cosmopolitan
  • Room in the paperwork compartment for a six centimetre (2") depth of letter sized file folders or other items plus a centimetre (0.5") of legal sized file folders.
  • Lots of organizer pockets in the outer pocket and throughout the case
  • convenient shoulder strap flap to hide away shoulder straps which can double as an easy to get to newspaper or magazine pocket
  • Security pocket on back panel hidden under shoulder strap flap
  • Convenient shallow outer zippered pocket for airline tickets, change or other items you want fast access to

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

$202 Cdn/$131 U.S.

J.R. Hill and Company Introduces Leather Lap Protector

J.R. Hill and Company has announced its new leather Lap Protector. The Lap Protector is designed to eliminate the uncomfortable heat that is transferred to your legs or lap from the bottom of your iBook or PowerBook. There is an 1/8" piece of full grain coach leather on top and a 3/8" piece of sole light rubber on the bottom, which are attached with adhesive and a decorative but strong stitch around the edge.

The Lap Protector measures 15-1/4" long x 11-1/4" wide x 1/2" thick, weighs just one pound, and fits the PowerBook G4 perfectly. It can also be used with any notebook on the market today. The Lap Protector retails for $42.99 plus shipping and comes with a lifetime warranty.

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.

Baucom Computers

Small Dog Electronics

  • PowerBook G4/667, 256/30 GB/AirPort, refurbished with Brenthaven Titanium 1 case, $2,299

PowerBook Guy

Power Max


  • iBook 300, 64/3.2 GB/CD, Apple refurbished, $799.97
  • iBook 500, 128/10 GB/CD-RW, 12.1", Apple refurbished, $1,029.99
  • iBook 500, 128/10 GB/DVD-CDRW, 12.1", Apple refurbished, $1,129.97
  • iBook 600, 128/15 GB/DVD, 12.1", Apple refurbished, $1,099

For Canadian readers,all prices below in Canadian dollars.



  • PowerBook G3/300, 14.1", 64/8 GB, used with 30 day warranty, $1,299.99
  • PowerBook G3/266, 14.1", 128/4 GB, used with 30 day warranty, $1,199.99
  • iBook 300, 128/3 GB, used with 30 day warranty, $1,099.99

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