Recycled Computing

Pismo! Pismo! Pismo!

- 2011.03.09

Recently, both Charles Moore, in WallStreet Was Great, butPismo Is the King of Expandable 'Books, and Low End Mac'süber-editor Dan Knight, in Too Much Focus Means TooFew Mac Expansion Options, posted articles about the Apple PowerBook G3 Pismo, and Ifelt I had to add my two bits.

I still have my battery dead,pink screen Pismo, but I have moved all my work to my 12" PowerBook G4.

Still, I really miss some of the features that the Pismo provided,and I really think that Apple should give the tiny minority of totallyfanatical Pismo owners some sort of bone.

I know that you should never give the controls of the company overto loyal "cult of Mac" users. Apple has made a fortune by ignoring thepeanut gallery and sticking to its design protocols and business model.So why listen to me?

I have no clue, but I would love to have a 17" MacBook Pro withremovable modules like the Pismo. Ever since I got my Pismo, I lost myinterest in desktop computing. A laptop gives me freedom, and a 17"MacBook Pro has as much computing power as many desktops, if notmore.

Why tie your self down to a desk? Get up and roam around!


The Pismo has survived so long because of its versatility and itsability to upgrade to meet new hardware and software challenges. Theinterchangeable modules - batteries, floppy drive, optical drive, harddrive - are part of that, but so is the PC Card/CardBus slot. I haveUSB 2.0 ports on my Pismo, thanks to a PC Card, while my 12" PowerBookG4 is stuck at USB 1.1. I know that the 17" MacBook Pro has an ExpressCard slot, but the aftermarket is chock full of PC Cards that provideconnectivity or storage options.

Sometimes old tech is full of possibilities not open to newerstuff.

The Pismo, introduced inFebruary 2000 and the first PowerBook with FireWire, also has an easyprocessor card to remove and replace. There are still G4 processorupgrades available for the Pismo. You just pop out the old card and putin the G4 card. An even greater idea would be having a removablegraphics card.

At this point, you're thinking that it's getting a little crowdedunder the hood, but with removable modules, you don't need to put in anoptical drive. You don't even have to make a DVD module yourself. Didyou know that the aftermarket has produced a Blu-raymodule for the Pismo?

This is just a pipe dream, of course. Like a shark, Apple is alwayslooking forward and moving forward towards the next big thing. Rightnow, it's portable (or post-PC) devices.

But here at Low End Mac, I don't think we should be blamed forlooking backwards. Someone has to. LEM

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