Charles Moore's Mailbag

More on Pismo Upgrades, Dead Pixels, Price Comparisons, Combo Drives, The Message, and a Digital Rolleiflex

Charles Moore - 2004.09.20 - Tip Jar

Dueling PowerBook G3 CPU Upgrades

From Andrew Main

Go to Accelerate Your Mac

In "Step 1: Select a Mac Model Category:" select "PowerBook G3 2000 Rage 128 Mobility" and click "Search" for a large collection of user reports on Pismo upgrades.

Thanks, Andrew.


Dealing with Dead Pixels in TFT Displays

From A. S. Eyles

Dear Charles,

I found your article on dead pixels very useful and am writing to inform you of the new address from which LCDtest is available.

Please update your article if possible...

Thank you
Abdullah Eyles
Ankara, Turkey

Thanks Mr. Eyles,

I've forwarded your note to Dan Knight, who is in charge of website corrections.


Re: 'Book Price Comparison?

From Peter da Silva

"Not as cost-effective perhaps (provided the PC alternative holds up durability-wise - Apple still leads the pack in that department according to PC Mag's latest survey)"

My own experience over the past 20 years as the system and network administrator is that the high-volume name brands tend to be junk (though I still have some Compaq 386 boxes in service as routers, running FreeBSD), but I've found that well made "white box" PCs are cheaper and more durable and quite in line with the Macs I've restored and reconditioned.

Meanwhile, the recurring quality issues in PowerBooks have been another reason I've wanted to hang on to my ThinkPad.

On average, I suspect Macs are better than most name-brand PCs, but they're not that outstanding.

"but cost is not the only factor."

Of course not. It's not even the main factor - Mac OS X is. The OS has always been the reason you buy a Mac rather than a PC: Apple is a software company that makes their income out of hardware sales, like Network Appliance or Cisco.

But we're not talking about people running Mac OS X. If you're not running OS X, then the cost of the hardware you get is really the only issue. And even if you give Macs points for quality, they rarely make sense as Linux boxes.

Nothing else is an Apple 'Book, even to run Linux on,

Almost. Yes, nothing else has a single-button trackpad to make using Xterm a chore, but there are Intel based machines with as mediocre keyboards, and I'm sure there must be at least one that has such serious heating problems if you run them closed.

although I agree with David Coursey that OS X is the sensible "desktop Linux."

OS X is not Linux. OS X and Linux are both Unix.

Hi Peter,

We may not be too far apart, but I expect we'll have to agree to disagree somewhat. I put "desktop Linux" in quotes. I'm aware of the distinction. However, OS X's Unix side does beg the question of "why desktop Linux?".


The DVD-ROM M7931 Blues

From J. Helms

Hi Charles and PEA,

As I mentioned about a week ago I have just installed a FastMac combo drive in my Pismo. While I am very happy with the service I received from FastMac I would recommend that you search or similar service for the bare drive (Matshita CW-8123). I have seen them for as little as US$80 + S&H.

I should note that FastMac bundles several software titles (iLife v.1.0, Jaguar, etc.) with their drive, but none of them were useful to me so the bare drive would have been acceptable and cheaper. Alternatively, I now have my original OEM DVD-ROM drive (bare... no sled) that I would be willing to sell at a reasonable price so that you don't have to go through the agony of an eBay auction. If you are interested in the drive just ask Mr. Moore for my email address. IMHO the OEM drive looks better than the combo, but I love burning CDs from my Pismo too much to go back.

Good Luck,

Rolleiflex TLRs and Digital

minidigiFrom Darryl


I read your article on Rolleiflex cameras and was wondering a few things. I own a 1954 MX-EVS type 2 TLR which I absolutely love. I am still not convinced with digital cameras, as the technology is still improving as we speak, and by the time you buy a camera something will surpass it.

My issues are mainly not having control of depth of field and high quality lenses like that on a standard TLR or SLR. The digital SLT's are still quite expensive and bulky. I wish someone made a digital back for a TLR - that would be worth investing in. I still love the quality of medium format though... I own 2 Rolleinars for close up work, but there isn't a zoom equivalent for their TLT unless you own the Telerollei. I still love all its eccentricities as a camera and the fact that it isn't perfect (parallax error anyone?).

Have you had any experience with the minidigi digital TLR that appears to be only sold in Japan? It seems quite expensive for a 2 megapixel camera (even a very stylish one).


Hi Darryl,

Being a twin lens reflex junkie, I am tickled to hear that a digital TLR actually exists, but I have no experience or prior knowledge of it.

I agree with your observations. I have a 3.1 megapixel digital, and digital photography is seductive, but the quality at that level is not nearly up to my 35MM rig and falls miles short of what my TLR Rolleicord can do.

A digital back for the Rollei would be sublime.


Re: Rolleiflex TLRs and digital

Rollei MagnarFrom Darryl

Hi Charles,

Thanks for the reply. I am investigating the Rollei Magnar at the moment - the 4x zoom lens produced before the war. I hope it fits my TLR, at around £300 (in a store) it's pretty expensive but cheaper than buying a Rollei Tele or the Mutar (which I have heard isn't that great). The lens looks pretty big, but I'm going to go try it out. It's a shame about medium format focal lengths being so much larger compared to 35mm, but that's part of the package I guess.

The mini digital TLR can be found here:

The digital backs for the SLR Hasselblads and Rolleis look pretty bulky, and I'd hate to lug one around with me. I guess they're made for studio use. Do you know anywhere else in the UK to check out Rollei accessories besides the main photo stores (the prices are usually quite high)?


Hi Darryl,

Wow; that Rollei Magnar telephoto is interesting. I had no idea they existed. I had a Yashica telephoto adapter the fit the filter bayonet of my Rolleicord Vb's Xenar 75mm lens, but the image quality was disappointing, so I sold it. A Yashica wide angle adapter that I have is not too bad though.

Thanks for the mini digital link. It's very cool, although not really a serious camera with only 2 megapixel support. Too bad. The virtues of the TLR would really harmonize well with digital photography.

My knowledge of the photo accessory market in England is virtually nonexistent,


"The Message" Translation

From Pastor Bob Chell

I am looking for a software program that has "The Message" Bible translation for the Mac.

It need not be fancy, I will use it to look up texts.

Any guidance you can give me is appreciated.

Pastor Bob Chell

Hi Pastor Bob,

I don't know of any Mac software program that includes "The Message" translation (although that doesn't mean there isn't one).

However, the entire text can be accessed online here:

God Bless,

Re: "The Message"

From Pastor Bob Chell

Thanks for the great link! Just what I was looking for.

I appreciate your help, have a great weekend.

Bob Chell

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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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