Recycled Computing

Stupid Pismo Tricks, 2008 Edition

- 2008.03.24

It's time for our completely random annual series of "Stupid PismoTricks". For those of you who own Pismos, this is familiarground. To the rest of you, please be patient, and I will try toexplain the esoteric foibles of this old Mac.

The Weight Saving Device

All Pismo owners know about the PowerBook weight-saving device. Thisis a hollow piece of plastic that fits into one of the Pismo drive baysto reduce the weight of the laptop. It is a pretty useless device tome, as I always have both bays filled with batteries or the DVDdrive.

Or is it?

If you have a thin bladed standard jeweler's screwdriver orversatile fingernails, pry the weight-saving device apart.

  1. At this point, you could use the device to store importantpaperwork and/or paper money, traveler's checks, etc. I find that onceyou pry the weight-saving device apart, it is easier each time to pullapart the device. I don't advise that you store the weight-savingdevice with your valuable loot in the Pismo's modular bays, as even thedumbest thief will steal a Pismo. (It's a computer, dude!) If you leaveit around the hotel room, only the illiterate thief will steal it. Cometo think of it, you're better off storing cables, dongles, or othertiny items that you use.
  2. While the WSD (wow, that was a quick acronym) is open, you couldfill it with sand, glue it together, and use it for a paperweight ordoorstop.
  3. While the WSD is open, you can use a Dremel tool (a dangerousobject for those of us who probably shouldn't be using hand tools dueto a proclivity for playing chess during shop class) and cut a coupleof notches in the base and use it as an ashtray. (You shouldn't smoke.)And using the Dremel tool, you can clean up the top to use a drinkcoaster. (You probably shouldn't drink as well.)
  4. You could convince somebody that without a WSD his Pismo isincomplete and sell him yours.
  5. The problem with number 4 is that there doesn't seem to be ashortage of these things on the market, and practically any vendor hasa supply of these things that they are more than willing to sell to you- cheap!
  6. Since there seems to be no shortage of WSDs, maybe some futuresociety will use them as a method of exchange. (Hey, Charlie! That harddrive will cost you 50 WSDs.)

Pismo as a DVD Player

Now this isn't that a stupid Pismo trick. Run down and pay for anS-video-to-RCA adapter. I had a sad experience with the DVD player thatwas attached to our TV in the bedroom. (I know - pure decadence, but ifyou have three teenagers in your house, you will understand why my wifeand I retreat to our sanctum sanctorum.)

The DVD player had a laser that was misaligned and would have costmore that it was worth to repair. Pismo to the rescue! With the S-videoadapter, the Pismo's DVD Player allows my wife and I to watch videosthat appeal to the older generation. You know what I'm talking about -movies without a car explosion every 2 minutes. LEM

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