The 'Book Review

iBook Repair Program Expanded, $190 Combo Drive for DVD TiBooks, Lombard G4/433 Upgrade, and More

This Week's PowerBook and iBook News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2004.05.10

Except as noted, prices are in US dollars, bold links are to outside sites, and regular links lead to 'Book profiles on Low End Mac.

Apple Expands iBook Repair Extension Program

Apple Computer has expanded its iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program to cover a wider range of machines.

After Apple announced the iBook repair program in January, some Mac users complained that their iBooks had similar problems but were not included within the range of eligible serial numbers to qualify for the remedy.

The program originally covered iBooks made between May 2002 and April 2003; it now been expanded to cover units made through October 2003. This will be good news for owners of the last batch of G3 iBooks made, but I have had letters from owners of pre-May 2002 iBooks who claimed to have similar symptoms to those covered under the program.

The Updated iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program is a worldwide program covering repair or replacement of the logic board in specific iBook models manufactured between May 2002 and October 2003 that are experiencing specific component failures.

The Updated iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program covers iBooks that have a particular component failure on the logic board, resulting in the computer starting up but the built-in and attached external displays exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Scrambled or distorted video
  • Appearance of unexpected lines on the screen
  • Intermittent video image
  • Video freeze
  • Computer starts up to blank screen

The program covers affected iBooks for three years after the first retail sale of the unit. Apple will continue to evaluate the repair data and will provide further repair extensions as needed.

The program is now available for iBooks with serial numbers in the following range(s):

UV220XXXXXX to UV342XXXXXX

iBooks with the serial numbers listed above may be referred to as:

  • 12" iBook (16 VRAM)
  • 14" iBook (16 VRAM)
  • 12" iBook (32 VRAM)
  • 14" iBook (32 VRAM)
  • 12" iBook (800 MHz 32 VRAM)
  • 12" iBook (900 MHz 32 VRAM)
  • 14" iBook (900 MHz 32 VRAM)

$190 Refurbished PowerBookResQ Combo Drive Self Service Upgrade for G4 PowerBooks with DVD Drive

Burn CDs and play DVDs from within your titanium PowerBook G4.

The PowerBook G4 Combo Drive upgrade for the PowerBook G4 (400 MHz to 1 GHz) is a slot-loading CD-RW/DVD drive designed to replace the built-in CD-RW-only or DVD-only drive with a drive that can burn CDs and play DVDs, thus eliminating the need to drag around extra hardware and cables.

The PowerBook G4 CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive upgrade is compatible with Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, iTunes, Disc Burner, and Apple DVD Player. The drive is bootable and has been certified by Dantz Development for use with Retrospect. The drive writes CD-R media at 8x speed, writes to CD-RW media at 8x, reads regular CD-ROM media at 24x speed, and reads DVD media at 8x speed.

In order to be compatible with the required software, your PowerBook must be running Mac OS 9.2.2 or OS X 10.1.3 or later.

System requirements: PowerBook G4 with an existing DVD drive.

Price: $189.99

Is the PowerBook with 128 MB Video Memory Faster than the 64 MB Version?

Bare Feats' rob-Art Morgan asks and answers:

"Does the newest PowerBook with 128 MB video memory option go faster than the 64 MB version? That's a burning question for which we all want the answer. Bare Feats lab has ordered a PowerBook with 128 MB option, but in the meantime, we were able to get one test result from a 'remote mad scientist.'"

Yes it does, but by how much?

Using Your PowerBook as a DVD Player with an External Monitor or TV

A new Apple Knowledge Base Article says:

If your PowerBook has a DVD-capable optical drive, you can use your PowerBook as a DVD player to watch movies on an external monitor or television.

Basic Steps

  1. Shut down the PowerBook and turn off the external monitor or TV.
  2. Connect a video cable from the video output port on your PowerBook to the video input port on the monitor or TV. You'll have to find the right combination of ports on the computer and monitor or TV. For example, if your computer has an S-video output port and your TV has an S-video input, you could use that connection for the picture, then connect an audio cable from the sound output port on your computer to the sound input port on the TV.
  3. Turn on the monitor or TV, then start up your PowerBook. You'll probably also have to switch to the video input on your TV once it's on.
  4. Make sure you can see the computer's desktop and menu bar on the monitor or TV. If not, check settings in Displays preferences (Mac OS X) or the Monitors control panel (Mac OS 8 and 9). Depending on your PowerBook model, you might have to reduce the number of colors on the screen to give enough memory to the DVD Player. Choose Thousands instead of Millions of colors.
  5. Deselect the Video Mirroring if it's selected. You can't watch a DVD on the built-in display and an external display or TV at the same time.
  6. Open DVD Player and insert a DVD-Video disc.

BookEndz Docking Station for 15" Aluminum PowerBook Shipping

BookEndz Docking StationOne of the great things about a portable computer is that you can take it with you wherever you go and the latest models are as powerful as a desktop system. However, having to connect and disconnect all those cables every time you come into or leave the office is a hassle.

With BookEndz Docking Stations, you connect everything to the BookEndz, then connect your computer to the dock, and you are done. To leave, just disconnect your computer from the BookEndz Dock.

BookEndz Docking StationNow you can turn your portable into a desktop, which allows you to use an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, hard drives, etc. without the inconvenience of having to search for the cable that fell behind your desk. It's there, connected to the Dock, ready to go all the time.

BookEndz offers docking stations for the new 12" PowerBook and 15" Aluminum PowerBooks (released end of Summer of '03) and will have information on a Docking Station for the 17" PowerBook in May.BookEndz Docking Station

  • BookEndz Dock for 1999 "Lombard" G3 PowerBook, $229.95
  • BookEndz Dock for 2000 "Pismo" G3 PowerBook, $229.95
  • BookEndz Dock for 2001 "Titanium" G4 PowerBook (Titanium), $244.95
  • BookEndz Dock for 2001 "Titanium" G4 PowerBook (Black), $229.95
  • BookEndz Dock for 2002 "DVI" G4 PowerBook (Titanium), $244.95
  • BookEndz Dock for 2003 12" PowerBook, $179
  • BookEndz Dock for 2003 12" PowerBook with mini-DVI, $179
  • BookEndz Dock for 2003 15" PowerBook with ports on both sides, $244.95
  • BookEndz Dock for 2001 G3 iBook (Black), $144.95
  • BookEndz Dock for 2001 G3 iBook (White), $159.95

Daystar Announces PowerBook Lombard XLR8 G4 Upgrade

Daystar Technology has expanded the XLR8 system upgrade technology to include the Apple PowerBook G3 1999 series (Bronze Keyboard), also known as the "Lombard" PowerBook.

Combining technologies from Daystar and XLR8, the new upgrade not only provides fast G4, OS X performance, but also features a low-power design that extends battery life and runs cooler than competitive offerings.

The MAChSpeed G4 Lombard is factory installed and tested by Daystar in a unique 24 hour turnaround program. Daystar adds additional speed to the installation process with its exclusive "Week-ender" installation program, providing 12 hour turnaround. The Week-ender program allows users to achieve near-zero downtime by sending their PowerBook in on Thursday evening, then receiving the upgraded system on Monday.

PowerBook Lombard XLR8 G4 Upgrade"The Lombard is a unique upgrade, in that the Lombard itself has a number of RAM and system incompatibilities'," said Gary Dailey, president of Daystar. "We want to achieve the 100% customer satisfaction record that we have with the Pismo upgrade. While there is still an 'OS 9 sleep' issue when OS 9 and OS X are installed on the same volume, we have been able to eliminate every other possible incompatibility. The upgrade is as near to perfect as it can be and still assure compatibility as the OS changes."

MAChSpeed G4 Lombard standard pricing Includes all unit 2-day, 2 way shipping, CPU upgrade installation, testing, MAChSpeed Control OS 9 & OS X installation, additional shipping options are available.

433 MAChSpeed G4 Lombard, $259

MAChSpeed G4 Lombard Week-ender Pricing (In on Friday, back on Monday) Includes all unit 2-way, overnight shipping, CPU upgrade installation, testing, MAChSpeed Control OS 9 & OS X installation

433 MAChSpeed G4 Lombard Week-ender, $299

Due to the sensitivity of the electronics within the PowerBook G3, and the need for low-power tuning, Daystar handles the MAChSpeed G4 Lombard as a factory installation. Unlike some competitive PowerBook upgrades, Daystar completes all upgrading and testing within its own facility, using its own state-of-the art equipment and worldwide recognized professionals.

  • The user is shipped a professional foam shipping container.
  • They complete the checklist, then use the prepaid label to return the container with their PowerBook G3 to Daystar.
  • Daystar tests and checks the system, performs the upgrade, then tests the upgraded unit overnight and returns the upgraded unit to the user.
  • The user then opens the box and starts working at G4 speeds.

All shipping costs of the Lombard unit and insurance is included in the MSRP listed above. The user pays an additional shipping fee for the initial shipping of the container.

Support For International Lombard Units: International orders are available with the standard 24 turnaround only. International users can choose from a variety of shipping and return choices.

Glide Kits PowerBook and iBook Chassis Maintenance Kits

RadTech Glide Kits are machine-specific chassis maintenance, adjustment, and tool kits specifically configured for each model Apple portable.

Each Glide kit contains comprehensive instructions and all the tools necessary for performing routine chassis maintenance and adjustments, display hinge tensioning, lubrication, memory installation, and service access.

All Glide kits feature RadTech's exclusive molecular metal conditioner, Syndrol HD. This 100% synthetic metal conditioner works in ways oils and lubricants can't, penetrating to the molecular level of your notebook's hinges and providing unparalleled friction reduction and smooth, silent rotation.

iGlide for dual USB (white) 2001 and up iBook

Kit includes RadTech's Syndrol HD metal conditioner for silencing stiff, creaking iBook hinges. This kit also includes 1.5mm and 2.0mm short arm Hex keys for removing and reseating case fasteners.

Ti-ToolTiGlide for all 15" titanium PowerBooks

Optimize titanium PowerBook G4 chassis alignment, fit, and display hinge tension. This kit allows you to correct and optimize PowerBook G4 chassis alignment and display hinge tension. The result is a significant improvement in appearance and functionality while minimizing the chance of component failure, saving cost and downtime. Kit contains Syndrol HD, which penetrates the hinge components much better than conventional lubricants. RadTech's custom Ti-Tool is also included for easy hinge tension adjustment. The result is unbelievably smooth and effortless display rotation.

TiGlide also features other tools and aids for easily aligning the display-to-case clearance, eliminating finish abrasion, and improving your machine's looks. You'll wonder how you lived without it. Easy for any user to apply. Takes 5-10 minutes to totally align and adjust a PowerBook G4. Includes simple instructions, metal conditioner, a Ti-Tool hinge spanner, and chassis alignment shims. Also available with a T-8 Torx wrench, this makes a nice addition to any Ti owner's toolbox.

AlGlide for all 12", 15", and 17" Aluminum PowerBooks

Kit includes RadTech's Syndrol HD metal conditioner for silencing stiff, creaking hinges. This kit also includes 1.5mm and 2.0mm short arm hex keys for removing and reseating case fasteners, and a #00 precision Phillips driver for RAM installation and service access.

Features:

  • Prolongs hinge, display, and case life.
  • Quiets noisy, creaking display hinges.
  • Extremely long-lasting hinge lubrication, benefits remain even if washed off!
  • Works in ways oils and lubricants can't, Syndrol HD outperforms them all.
  • Unaffected by heat or cold.
  • Included tools fit small fasteners correctly without marring.
  • Heat cycling loosens fasteners, Glide kits provide the tools to keep them tight

iGlide Contents:

1, 2ml Syndrol HD metal conditioner
1, L-Style 1.5mm hex wrench
1, L-Style 2.0mm hex wrench
1, Illustrated instruction set

AlGlide Contents:

1, 2ml Syndrol HD metal conditioner
1, L-Style 1.5mm hex wrench
1, #00 Precision Phillips driver
1, Illustrated instruction set

TiGlide Contents:

1, 2ml Syndrol HD metal conditioner
1, RadTech Ti-tool spanner
1, Non-marking pry tool
1, Display alignment shim set
1, Illustrated instruction set
1, Optional T6,T8 Torx wrenches

Glide kits are priced at $10, $13.95, $16.95, and $17.95.

PowerBook Wish List

O'Reilly Network's Brian D Foy says:

"I want to buy a new PowerBook. This one will be the fifth PowerBook I have bought, and I still have two of them, only because I passed on the others to computerless friends. Old Macs never die, they just become servers or fancy hard drives.

"I never research these purchases. I just buy the one in the middle, and take whatever features it has....

"Now, I know that the PowerBook I am going to buy already has a lot of features that I would look for, like a DVD Burner, Bluetooth, 802.11g, and so on. Not counting those things that I expect in a PowerBook, what else would I want?"

Brian's list includes:

  • Multiple hard drives
  • RAID
  • A sliding door
  • Detachable screen
  • Stretchable screens, add a TV tuner and stretch the screen to 15 foot mode.
  • Wireless Power, I would even settle for a really small nuclear reactor inside the case, as long as I could get 3 years out of my battery.
  • External display
  • Cellular Phone Jammer
  • Flash card reader
  • Manual CD eject button
  • Pneumatic pads. Pump these up to bring the PowerBook a comfortable height off the desk
  • Sound input. Whatever happened to sound input? (Editor's note: It's back, albeit unfortunately not PlainTalk)
  • Track lighting - tiny lights embedded on the top edge of the screen
  • MP3 player
  • Carrying handle

iBook Aces European "Electro-smog" Radiation Tests

Reader Richard Kähler of Germany passed this interesting item along:

Dear Charles,

Just found this message in my favourite German Mac-newsmagazine, MacGadget:

(16:20 Uhr) Kaum Elektrosmog-Belastung durch iBook G4. Notebooks liegen im Trend, auch bei Apple (http://www.apple.com/de/). Fast jeder zweite verkaufte Mac ist mittlerweile ein Mobilrechner. Doch wie sieht es in Sachen Elektrosmog aus? Die Zeitschrift Ökotest (http://www.oekotest.de/) ging dieser Frage nach und testete (http://www.oekotest.de/cgi/ot/otgs.cgi?doc=32130) acht Notebooks unterschiedlicher Preisklassen auf ihre Strahlungswerte. Das Ergebnis: Nur das iBook G4 (http://www.apple.com/de/ibook/) von Apple erfüllt die strenge TCO-Norm und erhielt das Prädikat "sehr gut". Drei Geräte erzielten ein "befriedigendes", weitere drei (von Medion (http://www.medion.de/), Samsung (http://www.samsung.de/) und Sony (http://www.sony.de/)) ein "ausreichendes" Ergebnis. Ein Dell (http://www.dell.de/)-Notebook erhielt von den Testern ein "mangelhaft". Laut Ökotest wurden die Elektrosmogmessungen praxisnah und in Anlehnung an die von der schwedischen TCO-Norm geforderten Meßmethoden durchgeführt. Der vollständige Test ist in der Mai-Ausgabe von Ökotest nachzulesen.

Rough translation:
The German test magazine 'Oeko-test' (which is very stringent at testing every kind of product for being harmful to health!) had tested eight notebooks for electro-smog (radiation of high- & low frequency electric fields & electrostatic). And the only one which passed the tests and being totally okay with the very severe Swedish TCO-Norm (which is acknowledged on workstations here in Europe) has been the Apple iBook G4 (Hooray!). All the other notebooks (for instance a Samsung X30 WVC 1700 and a Sony Vaio PCG-GRT916Z) did radiate electro-smog 10 to 40 times higher than allowed by TCO. The worst results of all notebooks had a Inspiron 510m by Dell.

The whole test-text (in German) can be found at <http://www.oekotest.de/cgi/ot/otgs.cgi?doc=32130>.

iBatt 1.1 PowerBook Battery Monitor, Net-enabled [OS X 10.2 up]

iBattiBatt is a battery monitor for PowerBooks. It goes far beyond the basic charge level information reported by the system and tells you your battery's capacity, voltage, and overall health report. In addition, it will provide a running graph showing trends in your battery's performance.

What useful information does it provide?

iBatt will almost certainly tell you things about your PowerBook's battery that you never knew. All batteries degrade over time, and OS X has no built-in way of showing you just how worn out your battery is. But your PowerBook knows, and iBatt knows how to get that information.

Have you ever wondered if your PowerBook falls short of others in terms of battery performance? iBatt is not just a standalone application, but an Internet-based statistical tool. It reports how your battery measures up against other PowerBooks of your model, and gives you the option to submit your own battery statistics to iBatt's Internet database.

New in this version:

  • Y-axis on graph changed from mAh/s to the more standard Amps.
  • Computer listing now shows actual internal PowerBook model code
  • Removed PowerBook-related wording from the program, since iBatt works with both PowerBooks and iBooks.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.2 or higher
  • PowerBook or iBook

iBatt is $15 shareware.

IOGear Launches Industry's Shortest 802.11g Notebook Network Card

Mobile professionals are now free from having to insert and remove a notebook network card each time they want to work wirelessly, with IOGear's new Wireless-G Notebook Network Card.

The 802.11g card's compact antenna board design appears to be almost invisible to laptop users when plugged into a PC's CardBus slot. This makes it very attractive for road warriors who may now leave their WiFi card inside a notebook when traveling. The Card provides access for Internet surfing, networking, file-sharing and printing in any home or office equipped with 802.11g access.

The device comes with built-in, advanced security features for safe networking. It is priced at $49.95 (MSRP) and is available immediately from all major catalog resellers, online resellers, and selected retail outlets.

"The purpose of mobile computing is to make staying connected from any location more convenient. Having to remove a WiFi network card each time users pack up their notebooks is a nuisance," said Miranda Su, vice president of sales and marketing at IOGear Inc. "In order to simplify WiFi connectivity, IOGear shrunk the design of its CardBus card so it can remain plugged in at all times. This makes it just one less tool to pack when computing on the go."

IOGear's Wireless-G Notebook Network Card is PC compatible and operates on Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP systems. It comes with IOGear's standard three-year warranty.

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. The same goes for the PowerBook G4/667 (Gigabit Ethernet/2001) and G4/667 (DVI) and the titanium vs. aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 at 1 GHz.

Baucom Computers

Power Max

For more information, visit:
http://www.powermax.com/cgi-global/generate_css_temp.cgi?i=PM_CN_PU&t=Ultra+Compact+PowerBook

Amazon.com

  • 12" PowerBook G4/1 GHz, 256/40/Combo, $1,394 less $100 mail-in rebate, $1,294 after rebate. Shipping is free.

Apple Store

New leftover previous generation models:

For more deals on current or recently discontinued models, see our Best PowerBook G4 Deals, Best iBook G4 Deals, and Best iBook G3 Deals.

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