Posts tagged “ibook”.

Film director still uses ‘obsolete’ iBook G4

November 29th, 2008

Film director Jonas Cuaron still uses an iBook G4 as his main computer, and is fine with it.

Amen, brother. My iBook is still my “main” Mac, even if the iMac G4 gets more day-to-day use.

What’s your “everyday” Mac?

[Courtesy of The Guardian.]

We have liftoff.

November 28th, 2008

Ahem.

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Details on Monday!

Newton eMate gets the (positive) recognition it deserves

November 25th, 2008

best_laptop_block_300

We seem to be in a constant state of list mania in the Newton world, and Mac|Life adds to it with a list of the top five best and worst Apple laptops. For once, a Newton product – the eMate 300 – makes it to a “best-of” list instead of the usual what-were-they-thinking roundup.

Says Mac|Life:

Better known as the PDA That Never Stood a Chance, the eMate was a stripped-down, retooled Newton built exclusively for students and teachers. With a near-30-hour battery; 480×320 resolution, backlit, touch-screen display; serial and IrDA ports; full-sized keyboard; and Newton OS 2.1, all housed in a tough, translucent-blue clamshell case with an $800 price tag, the eMate was a revelation that came at precisely the wrong time — about four months before Steve Jobs regained his position as Supreme Ruler.

Lists like this are conversation-starters, and I’ll take the bait, because I disagree with listing the iBook G3 clamshell as one of the worsts. The magazine pokes fun at the design of the iBook (“equal parts toilet seat, suitcase and clam”), which is purely subjective, while it ignores the clamshell’s functionary details. The same features Apple pioneered with the original iBook – the handle, the ruggedness – were never seen again after the IceBook replaced the clamshell model G3, which perhaps says something.

Some Apple laptops, like the PowerBook 5300 series (hilariously called the “HindenBook” for its ability to spontaneously combust) and the Mac Portable, seem to end up in the scrap heap in every list. Macs like the Twentieth Century Macintosh and the Titanium PowerBook go either way.

Still, it’s nice to see the eMate get some positive recognition for once.

Opinions needed: NuPower iBook G3 batteries any good?

November 18th, 2008

I read about NuPower’s replacement batteries for clamshell iBooks a few months ago, and they would make a great Christmas present to myself.

But I’m wondering: does anyone have any experience with these, or other non-stock batteries for iBooks? I’ve seen a few floating around eBay, too. The price and the reliability make me nervous.

My iBook G3′s battery is on its last legs. It barely holds a charge anymore. I would love to use it as a coffeehouse model, or a more reliable road laptop, but the battery is kaput.

Any other suggestions?

Project: the iMac G3 / iBook G3 RAM swap

November 16th, 2008

The G3s.

I try to practice what I preach, so when my grandma’s old Packard Bell computer exploded, I bought a used blueberry iMac G3 to fix up and upgrade for her to use.

The iMac bears the scars of its duration in the public school system, but it still chugs along. I bought a 256 MB SO-DIMM RAM chip for it, thinking it would help pull a new Panther install along on the 333 MHz machine, but I think grandma’s model was one of the iMacs that will only recognize some of the RAM it’s given. Given that, it seems 256 MB of RAM would be better used in my iBook G3 333Mhz blueberry clamshell.

But first, I needed to swap that RAM chip (a PC133 model) with a 256 MB chip inside my Bondi Blue iMac G3 (a PC100 model). More… »

‘Steve Jobs and the Portal to the Invisible’

November 14th, 2008

From Esquire, by Tom Junod:

Like the iMac, the iBook was designed not to be an instrument of utility but an object of desire; like the iMac, it was designed to be a pleasure both to look at and to use; like the iMac, it was designed to be designed, and by introducing it a year after he introduced the iMac and two years after coming back to Apple, he made it clear that he was not going to play the same game as those whose idea of technological innovation was beholden to the number of transistors that could fit on an integrated circuit.

Amen. The iBook G3 clamshell is still a joy to behold, even though the translucent plastic look has been gone since the G4 series. It was rugged, truly portable, and very Apple.

Later in the article, Junod quotes someone on the Newton:

“Like Newton. Remember Newton? It was the first PDA. It might not have worked, but it was the first. That’s not what they do now. Now they start with what makes an existing experience crappy. And that’s where Jobs is a genius. That’s where his ruthlessness comes in. He’s ruthless with himself, ruthless with other people — he’s also ruthless with technology. He knows exactly what makes it work, and what makes it suck. There were MP3 players before the iPod, but they sucked. So he’s like, Okay, what do we have to do so that they don’t suck? Same with the iPhone.”

“It might not have worked” is a pretty strong statement, don’t you think? Is the Newton experience “crappy”?

eMate was the original Apple netbook, says blogger

November 6th, 2008

Maybe Apple already created a newtbook…er, notebook?

That’s what Charles Moore over at the Apple Blog says:

It’s not as if Apple hasn’t charted this territory before. We could argue that Apple pioneered the netbook concept back in 1997 with the Newton eMate 300, which combined PDA engineering and features in a laptop crossover form factor.

Moore goes on to say that the eMate’s networking abilities, cheaper pricetag, and small footprint was a great example of Apple stuffing many features into a small form-factor.

This is something I hadn’t thought of. The 12″ iBook seems more like a capable netbook prototype to me – just make it thinner and you might have a deal.

What do you think? Is Apple gearing up for a netbook Mac? Do you even care?

[Photo courtesy of Applefritter.]

Defending the white 16 GB iPhone 3G

November 3rd, 2008

White iPhone 3G 16 GB

Frankly, I’m tired of everyone picking on the white iPhone 3G.

When it was announced, the wow-it’s-girly comments began almost immediately. Who could imagine buying such a wimpy, weanie, feminine piece of gadgetry? Anyone who opted for the white 16 GB iPhone was immediately branded a girly man (unless you’re a girl – then, for some reason, it’s okay).

I say, enough. It’s time for the critics to realize that white is a great modern tradition among Apple products. Are the same folks who laugh at the white iPhone willing to laugh at the white iMac or iBook G4? How about the “new” discounted MacBook? What about the prevous iPod models?

I’ll agree: Apple is moving to black and metal. Even the new iPod Classics come in metal or black, and the once-white MacBooks and iMacs are moving to the iPhone-like fit and finish. Over the last few years, Apple has moved from white to aluminum.

So maybe that’s why the original iPhone, with it’s metal enclosure, was my favorite. It was the device that kicked off Apple’s new design sensability. Seeing the rest of the product line, maybe the black iPhone makes the most sense now that we can’t have a metal one anymore.

But telling me the white iPhone is some how the namby-pamby choice among the 16 GB versions is to ignore almost seven years of iPod, iMac, iBook, and even MacBook history. Apple picked white because of its clean, no-frills look and snow-white aesthetic. Just because Apple doesn’t do white anymore doesn’t mean its the lesser choice. We tucked white iPods in our pockets for years, and we lived right through it. I still carry my 30 GB iPod video around and no one picks on me.

Truth be told, no one picks on me about my white iPhone, either. Maybe they’re too amazed by my phonesaber or the cowbell I can tap with my finger.

Just be thankful we have a choice this time around. The Newton came in one color: green. Sure, there was rugged camo green and see-through transluscent green, but green was it.

Now we have choices, and I’ve made mine. I’m so proud of my white iPhone 3G that I bought a white Countour case for it while I was at the Chicago Apple store. It’s missing the shiny Apple logo on the back, but it’s gleaming white, and I love it. Now my main Apple devices – my iBook G4, iMac G4, and iPod – all match perfectly. I wish the iPhone still came in aluminum, I really do, but since it doesn’t the pearly-white phone will still fit comfortably in my pocket, thankyouverymuch.

All you white iPhone haters can purchase your black model and join the sheep that are too nervous to grip a beautiful piece of gadgetry in public. Maybe you’re prejudiced against the purest of the color schemes. That’s fine. We won’t agree. But can we at least agree that, no matter what color people opt for, the white iPhone 3G isn’t such a bad choice after all?

Today’s Macs are fast enough, says blogger

October 16th, 2008

Kirk McElhearn over at Kirkville says his current Mac Pro is fast enough to last a few years:

So we’ve finally reached the point where computers are fast enough, and people don’t need to upgrade to catch up to their software. With four cores in the Mac Pro, and two in the MacBook Air, I don’t have any situations where I even use all the processor power I have…So, thanks, Apple. You’ve given me a reliable, powerful computer that has already lasted longer than I expected, and should easily see me through another year.

That’s “good for me, but not so good for you,” Kirk says, because he won’t be buying a new Mac anytime soon. With software unable to keep up with the processing power of today’s multi-core Macintosh systems, what’s the point of upgrading?

Helping a friend purchase a refurbished iMac, I understand what he means. What’s the difference between a 2.0 Ghz model and a 2.4 Ghz model, besides $50?

Back when megahertz meant something, the speed of your Mac was a bragging point. But now it seems RAM and screen real estate are more important than, say, hard drive size and speed.

Dealing with low end Macs, speed is a huge issue. A PowerMac G4 doesn’t “scream” along like it used to, and your only hope is a processor upgrade or more RAM. But my iBook G4 turns three years old this winter, and is just now starting to show it’s age – and that’s mostly due to it’s hard drive running out of space, I think. Even my iMac G4 purrs along fine at 800 Mhz, but there are some tasks it’s not cut out for.

These days, none of that is an issue. There are work horses like the Mac Pro that are mini supercomputers, but even the iMac is getting up there in specs.

Until software developers figure out how to program for those quad-core beasts, all that processing power will go to waste. But it also means you can worry about specs other than speed when buying – or holding off from buying – a new Macintosh.

New Macs copy Apple gadget design…again.

October 15th, 2008

It’s interesting that Apple chooses to transfer the look and feel of its gadget line into the Mac aesthetic, especially with its new line of notebooks.

The iMac G3 and G4 stood out on their own. They didn’t look like anything that came before them. The iBook G3, when it was released, copied the iMac G3 design (and maybe a bit of the eMate look), unifying the consumer model Macs:

The iMac G4 (see below) was a pioneering design. Then Apple released the iPod, and suddenly the iMac G5 took on its design:

The promotional video for the new iMac said so itself: the rounded corners, the brilliant white, the giant color screen – all of it in homage to the iPod.

Since then, Apple has unleashed the iPhone, with its reflective glass, aluminum casing and black borders, onto the world:

Sure enough, the Macintosh line was soon to follow. First the (admittedly sharp) aluminum iMac:

And now the new MacBook and MacBook pro (with the Air):

Apple seems to take the consumer line of Macs and make them look like whatever new handheld device that’s hot that year. Even the new 24″ display follows this trend. The only Macs to resist these choices are the Mac Pro and Mac Mini, but that’s only because they were metal to begin with.

(An aside: what would a Newton-inspired Mac look like? Would it be a rubberized green?)

The unification scheme makes the hardware sharp and easy to market, but some choices should be optional – like the glossy-only screen option. Sure, slick glass looks great on the iPhone, but on a graphic design machine like the MacBook Pro? Some color-conscious designers are non too pleased.

I don’t have strong opinions either way. The consistency across the Mac line makes aesthetic sense, and helps us distinguish between revisions. The G3 line, for instance, featured translucent, colored plastic (except for the PowerBooks). The G4 line had smooth gray (PowerMac and PowerBook) or ice white designs (iMac and iBook):

The Intel era has featured a mish-mash of the G5 designs and the new, iPhone-inspired Macs. As it stands now, the iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, the new display, and the portable line all hold up to design consistency, with a little wiggle room:

[click for larger image.]

Personally, I was a fan of the white consumer Macs with the metallic pro line. But times, and designs, change – and all the Macs are looking pretty darned good. In fact, this is probably the most consistent design scheme ever. All metal, all the time.

What do you think of Apple using its iPod/iPhone look on the new Macs?