Charles Moore's Mailbag

PowerBook 1400, CD-ROM Drivers, ADB vs. USB, Free Email, and a WallStreet Question

Charles Moore - 2003.04.14 - Tip Jar

PB 1400c/166

From Colin Yarwood


I read your note on the well.

I have one running 8.2.2 fine, but my daughter has given me her G3 PB, and I am asked by another daughter if I can let her have the 1400! She wants to be able to access the Broadband with it, and without better than 8.5 it a non-starter.

My old 1400 has 32 MB; is that enough to run system 9.0?

Colin Yarwood in UK

Hi Colin,

8.2.2? Never heard of that OS. ;-)

Anyway, 32 MB is pretty marginal for running OS 9.x, as the system itself wants almost that much. I would suggest OS 8.6 as the ideal compromise. That's what I have on both of our 1400s, which have 40 MB and 64 MB of RAM respectively. I tried running OS 9.1 but found it just too sluggish.


Re: PowerBook 1400: A Very Likable Legacy 'Book

From Doug Simpson

Dear Mr. Moore,

I've just finished your fine article and am filled with renewed hope! (grin)

I have a PowerBook 1400 (Sonnet 333 MHz upgrade) and just received in the mail a used USRobotics Megahertz XJAEM3336 modem/ethernet card. The card is said to work, according to the 3Com website that hosts its driver download and sketchy installation docs. I d/l'ed the driver, rebooted, inserted card, plugged in ethernet cord (card appears on screen correctly identified) - but no TCP/IP connection. ???

No CD drive with mine; just a floppy.

I made AppleTalk active/inactive (jic) no fix there....

Only available connection method in TCP/IP and AppleTalk is "alternate Ethernet" - does this correspond with what you remember seeing? I'll take it home to try the modem function but am not expecting much at this point. :(

Sounding helpless, but maybe just rudderless.... :)

Doug Simpson
(in and around Eugene, OR)

Hi Doug,

Sounds like you might not have the correct driver. Or possibly the ethernet function in the card is defective. Hard to diagnose from afar.


Editor's note: "Alternate Ethernet" is what shows up any time you're not using built in Apple ethernet or ethernet hardware that doesn't use Apple's drivers. That's what you should be using, since the USR card isn't supported by Apple's drivers. dk

System CD

From Mike Babjak


I have a [SuperMac] C600 that I've put quite a bit of work in restoring. (Not worth the time, I know; did it just as a hobby) When I installed OS 9, the CD-ROM no longer works because I believe it messed with the drivers.

Is there any way I might be able to look up drivers for the original Umax C600 CD-ROM drive, or do I need to start looking for the system disc (which I don't have)


Hi Mike,

I'm not sure what your problem might be. I've had every Mac OS version from OS 8.0 to OS 9.1 (except for 9.0.4) installed on my Umax S900 at one time or another, and the CD-ROM drive worked with all of them. However, it's an Apple CD-ROM drive. Maybe you r easiest solution would be to find a used Apple CD-ROM drive and see if that would cure the problem. They can be picked up for very little these days.


Editor's note: Most non-Apple CD-ROM drives - which includes all of the drives used on Umax, Motorola, Power Computing, and other clones - simply will not work with Apple's drivers. Umax and the other cloners supplied such drivers with their version of the Mac OS. If you can't put hands on a copy, check out the various drivers available from the Mac Driver Museum. dk

Griffin iMate Lets You Use ADB Devices with USB Ports

From David Stein

Thanks for the tip. But have you noticed that cursor control is much poorer under USB - and especially OS X - than with ADB. I like like ADB, and it is also good to note that Kensington makes a couple of USB/ADB dual support devices.


Hi David,

Yes indeed, I have noticed that. I think that in terms of functionality, ADB is superior to USB.

In OS X the difference is especially noticeable, and IMHO OS X's input device support still needs a lot of work.


Kent Keneshiro replied:

"IMHO OS X's input device support still needs a lot of work."

And, yes, every year it's called a major revision with a new price tag. Jaguar, Panther, Bobcat, Cougar, Leopard, Cheetah - that will carry us to 10.2.7 at least!

Enjoy your writing,

Re: posted email inputs - I need help

From Daphne Johnson

Hello. I have Yahoo as my email address. I was searching for another type of POP3 email other than Yahoo (nuisance of logging in) and Hotmail. I found your site, which was very helpful, but I am having some difficulty trying to configure my Outlook Express/Microsoft Outlook. I have tried configuring it to the help page on 21box site, but still no luck. I was wondering, since you have/had 21box as an email, could you tell me what should go in the outgoing/incoming box?

Daphne Johnson

Hi Daphne,

I went to the 21box site and signed up for an account to check out what your problem might be.

I don't use Microsoft software unless there's no alternative, but I used the Outlook configuration instructions on their website to configure Eudora and had no problems. If you have no compelling reason to use Outlook Express, you can check out some alternative Mac email clients in Moore's Omnibus Mac Email Client Roundup.

Make sure you are entering your full email address as the login/user name - i.e.:


Email problem

From Kent Keneshiro

Hi Mr. Moore:

I have been using GMX free email service for over 2 years, and I encountered a problem recently.

I don't know why, but I cannot receive any email sent through Yahoo anymore.

I didn't do any configuration or try to block those emails.

Do you know what might be the problem?

Thank you for your help.

Kent Keneshiro

Hi Kent,

I can't say for sure, but GMX may be blocking mail sent from Yahoo as an (overzealous) antispam measure.


Hi Charles,

I've got the problem solved.

I checked my antispam setting; one of the functions that blocks Yahoo emails and Hotmail was set on. So I just had to turn that function off in order to receive emails send from Yahoo.

Thank you very much.


WallStreet question

From Joel Wolfson


Do you happen to know if there is any reason why I wouldn't be able to use an external FireWire CD burner on a 1998 WallStreet PowerBook running Mac OS 9.0.4 and a FireWire PCMCIA card?

The drive is a Club Mac with a Teac CD-W516EB mechanism. I believe that the Club Mac enclosure is made by Macally. Any help here would be much appreciated.

Joel Wolfson

Hi Joel,

I'm unclear as to whether you're experiencing problems or tentatively anticipating them prior to purchase.

I have no experience with the Club Mac burner, but my Que! FIRE 16x10x40 CD burner worked fine with my son's Lombard and a Keyspan FireWire PC Card adapter.

Bus powered FireWire devices won't work with PC Card adapters, however,and there may be other issues with some devices and configurations. There are too many variables to generalize comprehensively. If possible, try before you buy.


From Joel Wolfson

Hello Charles,

Thanks so much for your prompt reply. The owner of the PowerBook is in Hawaii and wants to purchase my Club Mac CD-RW. I didn't want to ship it there without knowing it will work for him. I apologize for not having more of the specifics - I'll contact Club Mac tech support to see if they know of any unusual problems with that setup.

Thanks again,

iBook goes to war II

From Stephen Stanton

I'm sure plenty of people will show you this, but the article above your "iBook goes to War," piece on LEM had a link at the bottom of their battery tips to this:

Those little iBooks are as tough as our troops.

Stephen Stanton

Letters sent may be published at our discretion. Email addresses will not be published unless requested. If you prefer that your message not be published, mark it "not for publication." Letters may be edited for length, context, and to match house style.

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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