The 'Book Review

Combo Drive Upgrade for DVD TiBooks, USB 2.0 CardBus Controller, FireWire Conversion Kit, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2002.06.07

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars.

MCE Technologies Announces Combo Drive Upgrade for Early PowerBook G4s

MCE Technologies, LLC, an Apple Developer, has announced an internal CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive upgrade for the PowerBook G4 (Titanium) 400 MHz and 500 MHz models. The MCE PowerBook G4 Combo Drive MCE Combo Driveupgrade is designed to replace the original CD-RW or DVD-ROM drive that shipped inside those PowerBooks. Customers may ship their PowerBooks directly to MCE, or they may have the upgrade done at an Authorized Upgrade Center. MCE began accepting PowerBooks for upgrade on June 3.

"The MCE PowerBook G4 Combo Drive upgrade enables customers to burn CDs and play DVDs on their PowerBook G4 without the added weight and hassle of extra hardware and cables to drag around." said Arnie Ramirez, President, MCE Technologies. "It also brings them up to par with the currently shipping PowerBook G4 models which ship standard with a Combo drive."

The MCE PowerBook G4 Combo Drive writes to CD-R media at 8x speed, to CD-RW media at 8x speed, reads CD-ROM discs at 24x speed, and reads DVD-ROM discs at 8x speed. The drive is bootable and is compatible with both Mac OS 9 and OS X, as well as Apple's iTunes, Disc Burner, and DVD Player software. The MCE PowerBook G4 Combo Drive is also certified by Dantz Development as compatible with Retrospect.

The MCE PowerBook G4 Combo Drive has a retail price of $299. Customers may arrange for the upgrade via the Web or by calling MCE Technologies directly. Turnaround time is expected to be one to two business days. Repair and upgrade shops interested in becoming an Authorized Upgrade Center for this product should contact us either by phone or send an email to

MCE Technologies, LLC designs and markets a wide range of Apple Macintosh-related products and solutions to distributors, dealers, and end users domestically and internationally. For additional information contact MCE Technologies, LLC, 30 Hughes, Suite 203, Irvine, California, 92618; telephone (949) 458-0800, fax (949) 458-1803, or on the Internet.

Sonnet Lowers Prices On Crescendo/WS Processor Upgrades for WallStreet PowerBooks

Sonnet's Crescendo/WS G3 500/1M processor daughtercard upgrade has been reduced to $299.95 from $399.95.

The Crescendo/WS line of products is compatible with the following models:

  • PowerBook G3 Series 233
  • PowerBook G3 Series 250
  • PowerBook G3 Series 266
  • PowerBook G3 Series 292
  • PowerBook G3 Series 300

30 GB Fujitsu 2.5" IDE Hard Drives, $115

Wagener Media is offering brand new Fujitsu 2.5" IDE hard drives for $115. ($7 extra international shipping Fujitsu hard drivecharge added for Europe/Asia/Australia customers.) They'll fit the following PowerBooks: 190, 5300, 1400, 3400, and G3 (Kanga), and all G3 Series (Pismo/FireWire, Lombard/Bronze, WallStreet, etc.).

Units are new and ready to install. They carry the full manufacturer warranty.

These will also fit any PC laptop that accepts 12 mm drives. They are fully ATA-5 compliant.

Model MHL2300AT

  • Height 12.5 mm (0.49 in)
  • Storage capacity (formatted):1 30.0 GB
  • Disks 3
  • Heads (read/write) 6
  • Track capacity (formatted) 185,856 to 287,232 bytes
  • Bytes/sectors 512
  • Track per cylinder 6
  • Cylinders: 19,936
  • Sectors/track: 363 to 627
  • Seek time
    • Track to track: 1.5 ms typ.
    • Average: 12 ms typ.
    • Maximum: 22 ms typ.
  • Average latency time: 7.14 ms
  • Rotational speed: 4,200 rpm

HD-225 Translucent Blue USB 2.5" IDE Portable External HDD Case

The HD-225 is a 2.5" external enclosure. When you upgrade your notebook hard drive, it is suitable for hard drive enclosureyou to install your old 2.5" HDD in to become a portable 2.5" drive.

  • USB to IDE 2.5" HDD case. It can be used with PC or Mac.
  • Easy to install.
  • Portable for your 2.5" HDD.
  • Supports plug and Play.


  • HDD height must be 12.5 mm or less
  • Compatible to PC Win98/SE/ME/2000 and Mac OS 8.6, 9.0, and higher.

Package Includes

  • Translucent Blue USB to IDE 2.5" Translucent Blue HDD Enclosure
  • 6 ft USB Cable
  • User Manual
  • Driver on CD

Price: $14

You can check it out at PC Micro Store.

Edge Memory Upgrades for Titanium PowerBook G4 and eMac

Peripheral Enhancements Corporation has announced that it now has in production memory upgrades for the new 700 MHz eMac and 800 MHz PowerBook G4. Peripheral, a Premier Apple Macintosh Developer, offers 128 MB, 256 MB, and 512 MB SO-DIMM Edge memory modules for the PowerBook G4, and 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, and 512 MB 168-pin Edge memory modules for the eMac.

"We continue to do our best as a manufacturer in staying ahead of the curve by being able to offer memory upgrades tailored for these new systems when they go to market. Memory upgrades, especially for Mac users who run many graphic intensive programs, are extremely important for optimum performance. We're pleased to be able to offer high-quality upgrades for these new machines," stated Brian Sartorius, Vice President of Operations for Peripheral Enhancements.

With speeds up to 800 MHz and 1 MB of L3 cache for an impressive performance boost (a first in a notebook computer), the new PowerBook G4 renders large digital files and digital video. With its elegantly engineered slot-loading combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW), the PowerBook G4 enables movie editing, DVD viewing, as well as CD burning capabilities. Additionally, the PowerBook G4 promises top performance, a wide workspace, and exceptional portability.

The new eMac was designed for educational use and was sold only to schools, universities, teachers, and student until this past Monday. Some of the benefits of the new eMac are G4 power, Mac OS X reliability and productivity, and sophisticated design. The eMac is also the most affordable of Apple's G4 systems.

USB2 CardBus Controller 2-Port USB 2.0 CardBus Host Controller

Simple to install and setup - adding USB 2.0 support to your portable computer has never been easier. USB 2.0 offers transfer speeds up to 480 Mbps (faster than FireWire, and 40 times faster than USB 1.1), perfect for next generation of external high-speed storage devices that's available on the market today.

The bundled Mac OS X driver enables hi-speed USB data transfer for storage devices such as the FireXpress USB2 storage conversion kits.

CompuCable's USB 2.0 CardBus Controller has the ability to sustain a high-power (500 mA) USB 2.0 device, such as bus-power USB hub, without external power input. The controller can automatically detect the devices power consumption and enable 500 mA support on demand to the required port, and provides over-current protection to protect your investment. Optional DC input allows two high-power devices connected to the controller.

The USB 2.0 CardBus host controller supports MacOS 8.6, 9.x and OS X, and Windows 98 SE/ME/2000/XP and works with 3.3 Type II PCMCIA.


  • Add two USB 2.0 High-Speed ports to portable computers
  • Low-Profile extended back design to eliminate dongles which is prone to breakage and misplacement
  • Supports hot-plug and swapping of USB devices
  • Supplies High-Power (500 mA) to one bus-power USB device without external power supply
  • Over current protection
  • Supports optional external DC power source
  • Mac and Windows compatible, with unique Win98/Me hot-plug utility
  • Mac OS X USB 2.0 Driver included

FireXpress 250 USB2 Combo 2.5" FireWire + USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Conversion Kit

Looking for external Mass Data storage but not sure if you want to go with USB for its popularity, or do you go with FireWire for it's speed advantage? The FireXpress 250 USB2 Combo is now faster than ever with USB 2.0 support.

This external 2.5" ATA hard disk drive conversion kit provides the USB 2.0 and FireWire interface to connect to both Mac and PC. The data stored on the hard drive is fully accessible with either interface, and do not require special partitions. With maximum transfer rate of 400 Mb/s or higher on either of the Bus, you are guaranteed superior performance with any system.

Whether you are extending the life of a current notebook drive, or putting in a brand new high-capacity drive, FireXpress 250 USB2 Combo can provide you with blazing fast portable storage . 

The conversion kit includes a premium IEEE 1394 cable, USB cable, driver software, FireCable - Universal FireWire power adapter, and a vinyl pouch (large enough to hold the drive, cable and driver/utility CD.)

FireXpress 250 USB2 Combo is also available preinstalled with 2.5" HDD.


  • Provides IDE to FireWire and IDE to USB 2.0 conversion in one kit
  • Supports 2.5" Notebook size IDE hard drive (supports drive height up to 12.5 mm, such as IBM TravelStar 60 GB)
  • Supports IDE ATA100/66 protocol
  • Transfer Rate: Up to 400 Mb/sec FireWire; 480 Mb/sec USB 2.0 (backward compatible with USB 1.0/1.1)
  • Hot-swapping capability (Including between USB and FireWire)
  • Easy installation, no jumper or ID setting
  • Dual LED: Indicate power and driver activities
  • FireWire bus-power feature supported
  • Bundled with FireCable system
  • Milk-white casing with protective end caps

PowerBook G4 S-video to Composite Adapter Fulfillment Program

Some new PowerBook G4 systems with an integrated DVI port may not have the S-video to composite adapter included in the accessory kit as stated in the product manual. If your PowerBook G4 did not come with an S-video to composite adapter, use this Web page to order a free replacement.

6 GB hard drives for all G3 Series PowerBooks are $29.97, while 4 GB drives for Pismo/Lombard only are $23.97.

Rob Art Morgan of Bare Feats has posted some PowerBook G4/800 and new PowerBook G4/667 performance benchmarks. That G4 TiBook is one quick machine!

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.

Wagener Media

Free Installation & Setup

Power Max

Small Dog Electronics

  • PowerBook G4/667, 256/30 GB/DVD/AirPort with MCE Transport Pro 40 GB Portable FireWire & USB Hard Drive, factory refurbished, 90 day warranty, $2,439

Baucom Computers


  • PowerBook 190cs, 8/500/10.4" Dual Scan 256 color display, System 7.5, Refurbished, 90 day warranty, $149.99

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