Charles Moore's Mailbag

Apple PCI Radeons for $35, iBook G4 Questions,iBook G3 Heat, PB G3 Upgrades, and More

Charles Moore - 2004.06.14 -Tip Jar

TerraSoft Selling PCI Radeons for $35

From Lyall Moffitt

Hi Charles,

Thought you may be interested in posting this [Xservedrives, video cards, gig-e cards, and CD-ROMs for sale: 2004 05/13]on LEM:

Yellow Dog Linux Enthusiasts,

Terra Soft is pleased to offer, for a limited timeonly, the following items:

  • 60GB Apple Xserve Drivebay Module: Apple drivebay modules from new(never been used) Apple G4 Xserves. use to expand Xserves or RAIDboxes. Supported by Mac OS X and Linux - $100 ea
  • Quanta Storage internal CD-ROM Drive PN: TCR-241: Internal laptopCD-ROM drives from new (never been used) Apple G4 Xserves. Use torefurbish systems. Supported by Mac OS X and Linux - $35 ea
  • Broadcom BCM5703CHKB Gig-E Cards 10/100/1000: PCI Gigabit ethernetcards from new (never been used) Apple G4 Xserves. Perfect forimproving inter-computer communication on any PCI computer-x86 orPowerPC. Supported by Mac OS X and Linux - $50 ea
  • Radeon ATI Graphics Cards: PCI graphics (video) cards fromnew (never been used) Apple G4 Xserves. An inexpensive means of addingor replacing an entry-level video card in a server or desktop PCI Mac.Supported by Mac OS X and Linux - $35 ea

These prices are given for units purchased inquantities of 1 to 10. Shipping not included. Volume pricing may beavailable, depending upon quantities desired and remaininginventory.

Call 970-278-9243 or send email to awolf@terrasoftsolutions.comto place your order



Thanks for the heads-up and link, Lyall.


iBook G4 Questions

From Sandy Mitchell

Hi Charles,

I have a couple of questions I hope you won't mind helping me with.I was very fortunate recently to receive a brand-new G4 iBook fromApple, after my 1st generation 500 MHz "iceBook" had needed it'slogic board replaced three times.

The first question is fairly simple (I hope!). I loved my little G3iBook, which was a pleasure to use, but which had some signs of wearthat I hope to prevent on my G4. I seem to recall reading on yourwebsite about some products that were designed to protect the'wrist-rest' areas of the 'deck' of the iBook, as well as some forprotecting the surface areas of the trackpad/clicker areas.

As I recall, they were pads that would stick in place and avoid wearon the surface finish. I've searched widely for these items and canonly come up with a pad for the trackpad area. Can you point me toanyone who can supply the other pads?

I think I'm also going to get one of the film-type keyboard coversthat are designed to cover the keyboard while you're using it - do youhave any experience with them?

I think I'll put off asking you about my other question, which hasto do with problems I'm encountering with my Entourage email program,as you may not even be familiar with Entourage... but if you are, andare willing to consider it, let me know.

Sandy Mitchell

Hi Sandy,

The bad news is that Mac Skinz has suspended production oftheir iBook and PowerBook protector products.

The good news is that they will be reintroducing theseitems soon.

You might also check out Radtech's PowerSleevz,which are a formfitting, sleeve case that insulates your PowerBook G4or Dual-USB iBook from life's little hazards.

I'm afraid that the only advice I can offer aboutEntourage is if you don't have a compelling reason to use it, why notswitch to a better email client.

You can check out what's available for the Mac inMoore'sGuide To Mac Email Clients And Free POP3 Email Services - 2004Edition.


Re: G4 iBook Questions

From Sandy


Many thanks for responding to my questions. I was delighted to hearabout the Mac Skinz products and got on their email list to be informedwhen they resume selling them. But I was actually asking aboutsomething different - two things, actually - one is called iSkin and goes directlyover the keyboard keys to protect from spills, etc.

The Skinz are obviously designed to protect the outside ofthe iBook, which is a great idea, and I'll get them when available. ButI was trying to find products to protect the finish on theinside surfaces; the trackpad/clicker areas and those to theleft and right where my wrists rest while I'm typing. Those areas hadgotten worn smooth on my old G3, and I'd like to prevent that on myG4.


Hi Sandy,

iSkin keyboard protectors are also available at the Think DifferentStore.

I finally found the palm rest pads in a 2001edition of The 'Book Review. They were sold by MacImports for $11.99 .However, the "Buy Now" link doesn't work, and they are no longermentioned on the MacImports main page, so it looks like they've beendiscontinued.

You could check with MacImports about availability oran alternate source.


'Book of Fire

From William Reese

I've had the same problem withthe Apple iBookG3/800. It happened to me twice. The first time it occurred, Icontacted Apple Care, and the technician told me that under nocircumstances should you move your iBook while it's on - and it's oneven when it's asleep. Ever since then I have shut down the laptop andhaven't had the problem since (well once, but that was an embarrassingmistake).

Hi William,

Thanks for the anecdote. I rarely shut my 'Books down,and have had no heat problems transporting them while asleep in casesad backpacks, but perhaps the AppleCare guy knew what he was talkingabout.


OS 9 on Newer Macs

From Guy Serle

Don't know if you have any answer for this. I have some software(okay, it's a game) that won't load in Classic mode on my G4 iBook. Iwas able to play it on some earlier machines by booting directly intoOS 9, playing the game, and then using prefs, switch back intoOS X. With the new iBook, I can no longer boot into OS 9.Classic is useless for this game (MacPlay's Driver). Are you aware ofan OS X version anywhere out there or some way to boot intoOS 9 from newer machines? Thanks for any advice you may be able togive, although I have a feeling I may just have to permanently "retire"this game.


Hi Guy,

I think your surmise is probably correct. Theinability to boot OS 9 is not an OS problem, but a ROM/bootenabler problem. The G4 iBook uses a variant of the 12" PowerBook logicboard, and no OS 9 boot capability was ever developed for thatboard.

Perhaps you could pick up an older PowerBook or iBookon the cheap as a game platform if you're really missing that game.


RE: OS 9 on Newer Macs

From Guy Serle,

Thanks Charles,

I appreciate the quick response. I do have a machine (Quicksilver 933) that I canuse to play it if I wish, but I only use that machine for "finishing"audio and video projects begun on the iBook. With wireless networking,I rarely need to use my tower for Internet access except for systemupgrades. Looks like Driver will be heading for the dustbins unlessMacPlay or someone else picks this up. I have looked on the Net for aworkaround, but none seem to be present. Oh well, who has time forgames?

Thanks again.

Hi Guy,

Not me. :-O

I used to play a bit of chess with my computer, butit's been years.


G3/900 Upgrade

From Mark Nigara

Hi Charles,

Thanks much for printing Bob'sresponse to my email. Thanks,too, for the link about the heat sink mods. The G3/900 seems to run alittle too hot, yes? It may have the edge in speed, but it seems theG4/550 is still the most reliable, if not the best choice.

Thanks again,

I'm very happy with my G4/550.


Re: Installing a New Hard Drive

From Juan Andres Munoz Fernandez

Hi Charles,

Thank you for your help. Finally I got why I could not install theHD. The partition had to be not only smaller than 8 GB, butsmaller than 7 GB... :)

I am very happy now with my new space!


Hi Juan,

Now you've provided me with some interestinginformation. I wonder if that could be why I haven't been able to getJaguar to install on my WallStreet?


Re: OS 9 Distributed Computing after SETI@home

From Kevin L. Knoles

An update is in order.

Dave Anderson told me that BOINC should be out of beta real soon,like maybe in a week or so, and things will move rapidly after thatwith an OS X BOINC GUI and the death of SETI@Home for OS 9within a few months. I get the impression that other distributedcomputing apps for OS 9, like Evolution@Home and the DNET Client,won't have user friendly GUI's by then and, consequently, OS 9users will just have to wait until they arrive or stop using their Macsfor distributed computing. I expect this will be all the talk ofOS 9 SETI@Home users in a few months. "What can I replaceSETI@Home with?" will be the big question with no good answer. Almostas bad as the death of Napster (sniff!).

Thanks, Kevin.


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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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