Charles Moore's Mailbag

Panther on a WallStreet, Working Inside PowerBooks, USB Mouse Problems, and More

Charles Moore - 2003.12.15 - Tip Jar

XPostFacto on WallStreet

From Henry Harrison in response to Wireless Network and Used P'Books:

"Since you are using Photoshop and mentioned speed, my recommendation among the machines you mentioned would be a Pismo (with or without a processor upgrade) or a Lombard (likely with a processor upgrade). The 3400 is just too slow for your purposes.

"A WallStreet would be an option, and it is also processor upgradable, but it doesn't support OS X 10.3 (Panther). In the price range you're considering, you might also check out refurbished Dual-USB iBooks."

Hi Charles

Just thought I'd let you know that OWC's XPostFacto software (alpha version 3.0a9) allows Panther to install on a WallStreet. I appreciate that not everyone is comfortable with alpha software, but this is basically to achieve an install. Once installed, Panther works pretty much as it does on my 12" G4 PowerBook. The speed is very useable on the WallStreet; I have mine wirelessly networked and am gradually setting it up as a server. The only gotcha with the install to watch is to install onto the first partition, no larger than 8 MB (assuming you have upgraded the stock drive.

Kudos to Ryan and OWC for their work on this; it is brilliant.

Cheers and regards

Hi Henry,

Thanks. Last time I looked, Ryan was still saying that WallStreet support for Panther installs with XPF was still to come, but I did read somewhere last week that somebody had been successful getting Panther running on a WallStreet using XPF.

I agree. XPF is a great effort.


WallStreet tale

From Andrew Main


Some thoughts for your correspondent with the dead WS:

Good places to go to ask questions and get help are two mailing lists:

Sound/power card failure is very often the cause of inert WS and other G3 PBs, as the power input is mounted on this card. (I've just been restoring a WS that had a bad sound card.) Sound cards can be found on eBay.

The bear is taking the PB apart far enough to replace the sound card, a job not for the faint-hearted. As you know, Apple service manuals are available via Web downloads, but I know you can't publicly advertise this possibility. However, some good take-apart instructions have been posted by PowerBook Tech repair/parts service, which also might be a good source for parts. (Unfortunately the site seems to be down at the moment so I can't look at it, but as I recall their instructions were roughly as good as the Apple manuals, at least for the dismantling procedure itself.)

Andrew Main

Hi Andrew,

Yes; I was party to stripping down a WS one time. Not for the faint-hearted indeed. (We did get it back together).

Thanks for the info.


PRAM Battery Replacement (WallStreet)

From Carlos Robinson

I have a PowerBook WallStreet, and now it time to replace the PRAM battery.

Do you have any how to on opening up this beast and replacing the battery. I'm sure there are many who have these old PowerBook and have the same problem.


Hi Carlos,

I frequently get requests for info on how to tear down G3 Series PowerBooks. Having done a WallStreet once without benefit of instructions, I'm pleased to note that German PowerBook fan Michael Kliehm has posted three excellent, and beautifully illustrated tear-down tutorials for the three PowerBook G3 models: WallStreet, Lombard, and Pismo.

You can check them out at:

• WallStreet:

• Lombard:

• Pismo:

The PowerBook Medic online store offers detailed take apart guides for various Apple portables. These manuals include detailed pictures and explanations of take apart procedures. After purchasing the manual, you will automatically be able to download it. The PowerBook Medic manuals cost $9.95 each.

Take Apart Manuals are available for: Titanium G4 Gigabit, Titanium G4 400, iBook White "Ice", iBook Clamshell, G3 Pismo FireWire, G3 Lombard USB, G3 WallStreet 1998, G3 Original Kanga, 3400c, 2400c, 1400c/1400cs, Duo 230, 280, 2300c, 550c, 500, 190/5300, 150, 100, Macintosh Portable


Re: PowerBook 1400, Kanga, and WallStreet Reflections

From Paul Barton

Mr. Moore,

I still have my Apple PowerBook 1400c from 1997. It runs fine on OS 8.6, but I am interested in upgrading it.

I have read that I can upgrade it with a Sonnet Crescendo processor to a G3 capability.

With the new Sonnet G3 processor, how far current could I get with Apple's operating system?

Is it possible to upgrade RAM on this machine?

Would it be possible to do the following also:

  1. Make the WiFi capable with my Apple airport?
  2. Make it USB compatible?
  3. Allow for an ethernet connection?
  4. Connect to external monitors?

I look forward to your reply and hope you can help with this project.

Paul Barton

Hi Paul,
Re: 1400 processor upgrades, the G3 makes the old 1400 much faster, but even with 466 MHz of G3 power, you're still going to be hobbled by:

• A slow, 33 MHz system bus (compared with a Pismo's 100 MHz or the iBook's 100 MHz)
• A RAM upgrade ceiling of 64 MB (CompactFlash cards are a potential workaround fudge, but I have no experience with them)
• Mediocre (16-bit) and non-upgradable video support
• Video out requires optional add-on card
• A 800 x 600, 11.3" display - passive matrix on the 1400cs
• Nonsupport of SCSI Disk Mode with hard drives over 4 GB
• Non-CardBus PC Card slots
• Ethernet requires either an internal expansion card (which means you can't use the video out card simultaneously) or a PC Card
• No way to add USB or FireWire
• No OS X support (OS 9.2.2 is the end of the line)

For more on this topic see my Road Warrior column Does a 466 MHz PowerBook 1400 Make Sense?

As for WiFi support on the 1400, see the RoamAbout wireless card and my Road Warrior column The AppleCare Dilemma and the Wireless PowerBook 1400.

With Lombard and Pismo prices getting down into the $400-$650 range, I would be inclined to point you in that direction.


Jerky, Freezy Mouse

From Jeff T. Matsuda

Dear Charles:

I have an iMac flat screen running OS X 10.2.4, and recently I've noticed that the mouse will start getting "sticky" and "jerky" on the screen, then freeze up altogether, taking the rest of the keyboard with it, forcing me too shut the machine off and restart using the power button.

Some sites have suggested that it might be a sign of bad memory. I've used Disk Tools to repair permissions and cleaned out the cache in my user library, to no avail.

Other sites have suggested that it might be low power to the USB connections. This might be part of the problem as the USB connectors in the keyboard (which the Apple Pro Mouse plugs into) are fairly loose. Under this theory, the machine loses sight of the connected device and disables it, and then when there's enough juice again, it reengages it again.

What do you think? Thanks.

Jeff T. Matsuda

Hi Jeff,

There are a vast number of possibilities as to what might cause this type of behavior. I doubt that it's bad memory, though. I'll provisionally go with the evidence - those loose USB ports. I suggest hooking up another keyboard and mouse to see if the problem goes away.

I would also suggest upgrading your system to OS 10.2.6 (free download) which is IMHO the most stable version of Jaguar.


iMac G3 CD-ROM Drives

From Lotas Smartman

Dear Charles,

I have a question about iMac CD-ROM drives. I bought an iMac about a month or two ago (got it or 110 Euro, which wasn't bad since most of them sell for 300+). its a 333 MHz Rev D. I have upgraded RAM so far, but the CD-ROM is totally dead (hence the reason I got it at 110 Euro). I have tried getting a new one (MCE have a CD-RW drive, but its $200+). Any ideas how I can get a replacement iMac CD-ROM drive cheap? I have seen new non-CD-R drive for ~ $100, but that's quite expensive since the Mac its self was just a little over that.

Any ideas?


Lotas Smartman, Ireland.

Hi Lotas,

Check out these drives at Wegener Media.

Not sure they will fit as a drop in, but they could probably be made to work.



Editor's note: Wegener Media also has a page of drives just for iMacs.

Whining About the G5

From Proz

For the person who was complaining [in Question: G5 Optical Drives], I remembered I had some mockups I did since I thought it'd be nice if they had more internal storage options in that case.

One thing to consider is where to put things. The G5 is, I think, the tallest Apple case ever. 20" tall. G4 at 17" tall. The old monster Quadra 950 case was only 18.6" tall. The 840AV, 14". When you bear in mind that adding another CD-ROM slot would increase the size at least 2", that's getting to be a rather large case. 22"? Probably closer to 2 feet when the internal spacing is tweaked for optimal airflow?

Sure, I'd love a G5 with more internal storage. However, I think Apple recognized, correctly, that most people would complain about how much space the system takes. Most people probably do not need 4 internal hard drives or 2 internal optical drives. Those who really need another optical drive can invest in a $30 external FireWire or USB2 CD-ROM enclosure (some good deals on on these).

More internal storage is definitely an enthusiast thing. And heck, the guy got a single 1.6 GHz G5. Most enthusiasts would have gone for the dual 2 GHz or, now that its available, a dual 1.8 GHz. I truly wonder what additional "performance" the guy expects from another internal optical drive....


MisFox vs. More Internet

From Robert Friede

Re: MisFox Alternative

From David Deckert


Not sure if you've covered this already, but More Internet is a freeware standalone solution that works well:


Hi David,

Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.


Gee, I just replaced More Internet with MisFox! Hope to read your own views on these two when compared. MisFox handles much more, IMO.

Bob Friede

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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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