Posts tagged “ibook”.

How many Macs are too many?

September 16th, 2008

Getting out of hand.

I don’t know, but I think I’m getting close. This doesn’t even show the two Mac SEs and the iBook G3 clamshell. Getting out of hand, much?

More Mac users? Let’s embrace them.

September 11th, 2008

A ChangeWave survey of 4,000 Americans shows that more PC buyers are more likely to buy a Mac in the next 90 days than any other brand, which is great news for us Mac fans: more users, more Apple goodness, more switchers coming to the bright side of computing. This quote from a ChangeWave official is pretty telling:

“Apple’s reached the tipping point,” said Paul Carton, ChangeWave’s research director. “Where the early adopters and the discretionary spenders were leading the charge, now as we go into the 30 per cent range [for planned purchases], the change to Apple looks permanent. What we have in the end, actually we’re sort of there now, is that buying an Apple is as normal as buying a Dell or an HP [computer] in America.”

Buying an Apple considered “normal?” Wow. And with Apple selling record levels of Macs, this “tipping point” everyone’s talking about is seeming more and more likely.

Which means there’s a ton of new Mac users out there who may have never been faced with OS X or a single-button mouse or the Finder – rookies who, like me, will have to relearn a few things they’ve been pre-taught by Windows machines.

I think we, as the Mac community, should reach out with open, embracing arms and help out the switchers. Don’t leave it up to Apple, who only interfaces with customers at their retail locations, or on their web site (where I learned most of what I know about Mac operations). Let’s figure out a way to hand new Mac users the keys and help them learn how to drive their machines.

First, Mac users are a passionate bunch. No duh, right? But we ought to transfer that passion into a helpful coaching of recent Mac buyers. These are folks who probably bought an iPod, wondered how they lived without it, embraced the OS X gloss, and took a real risk by stepping away from something comfortable (Windows, Dells, HPs, etc.) and into something only vaguely familiar. Working an iPod is easy. Working a Mac is still intuitive, but a little more complicated – and we Mac veterans ought to be there to help them out.

I think back to my own Apple initiation in the winter of 2005. Two years out of college, into my first career, I started to shop for my first computer. At a graphic design conference, I remember asking a panelist about his 12″ iBook G4 – how he liked it, whether it was worth purchasing, the usual – and that was the first thought I remember having about making the switch.

I grew up with Macs in school, learning typing and Sim City on Macs in middle school, and eventually working on PowerMac G4s while working on my college newspaper – right when OS X was first coming out, and the new iMac, and my co-editor at the time made the switch. For a while, after graduation, I didn’t think much about Macs anymore.

But then that ’05 winter came and, while shopping for a laptop, I kept coming back to Apple. The Dells and the HPs and the Toughbooks (I was worried about sturdiness in my first PC) were nice, but they all seemed the same. The clean, white iBook kept calling out to me. I take forever to make big financial decisions, so after weeks of agonizing over which laptop model to purchase, I lept into the Apple pool and bought my 14″ G4 iBook.

I remember the day it landed on my apartment doorstep, and how excited I was to tear open the box and start fiddling around with it. It was so new, and so fresh, and yet so easy to grasp. I was hooked.

When I take on a new hobby or interest, my tendency is to take it as far as I can go. I bought Apple Confidential and read up on the history of the company, I soaked up all the how-to articles on Apple’s web site, and – that December – I stumbled on a working Bondi Blue iMac at my recycling organization’s electronic waste site. That’s when my passion for classic Macs began. My G3 clamshell iBook goes everywhere I do, my Newton 110 ignited a whole new world for me, and my Mac SEs let me play that old classic, “Oregon Trail.”

I said all that to say this: Macs hook you. Macs give you something to talk about with other Apple fans. They’re an automatic hobby, and they inspire a dedication that, soon, a whole new group of Mac switchers will adopt for themselves.

This is our chance, then, to reach out to these newcomers and welcome them to the fold. A site like MyAppleSpace is a good way to connect with new Mac owners, and there are plenty of up-and-coming blogs and sites that can help guide Mac newbies. Apple users give gracious answers to even seemingly silly questions, and we should strive to help even more folks learn to love their new machines. Especially these days when, as we hear more and more, Apple products are having a hard time living up to the high expectations ascribed to them.

Strike while the iron is hot, as they say, and friends – the iron has never been hotter.

The most searched for post on Newton Poetry has been my tutorial on how to install a classic Airport card in a clamshell iBook. The comment section of that article gets a new post even months after I posted it, and I think it’s because people need to know more nuts-and-bolts information about how to make their Macs their own. And God bless ‘em, even little things like a non-working router doesn’t get the DIYers down. These are the folks we can help, and once they accomplish their first DIY Mac project, they’ll be hooked for life.

So that’s what Newton Poetry is going to help with. We all have our interests, and things we’re good at – let’s use them to help spread the Apple virus.

On vacation

May 16th, 2008

It’ll be a slow posting week this week, because I’ll be driving around New England and discovering the “old” America for about 10 days. I leave today, May 16, and will be back on May 25 (or so).

WordPress makes it easy to schedule posts ahead of time, so Newton Poetry will have fresh content while I’m gone.

Check out my trip blog if you’re interested. I’ll be taking pictures and posting – hopefully – every night when I land somewhere. I’ll be taking the Newton, and my clamshell iBook G3 (it goes everywhere with me), plus an iPod with my entire music collection on it.

Until then!

HowTo: Magic Eraser your Mac.

April 28th, 2008

Magic Eraser for my iBook?  You bet.

Owning a two-and-a-half year old iBook is not without its drawbacks. That clean white Apple finish? Totally gross from palm sweat and finger goo.

But I’m here to testify to the power of the Magic Eraser.

It all started when a friend of mine bought a new white MacBook. I brought my iBook G4 over to show her how things have changed. She took one look at my keyboard and said, “Yuck, is that how mine’s going to look?” I said probably, but I was kind of embarrassed. I love Apple’s white, clean look. I didn’t want mine all dirty.

So I bought a sample pack of the Magic Erasers at the dollar store, and gave it a try.

In a word: wow. It’s like a whole new laptop.

I was worried that the Magic Eraser’s intense abrasive action (it works like super-powered, but gentle, sandpaper) might damage the iBook’s finish. But no worries. One swipe and the palm rest looked brand new. And the keys on the keyboard? Gorgeous. A simple application of water, wring the Eraser out completely (don’t want any water sneaking in anywhere), and a paper towel to wipe up the excess. That’s all it takes. It’s like an undo button for your Mac.

Now I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to try it out (others have met similar results). I also wish I had taken some before and after shots, just to show you how nice my iBook looks now.

Next up are the apartment walls and my iPod, whose scroll wheel is looking a little worse for wear.

[Image courtesy Mr. Clean.]

NewtMail: Taking a clamshell iBook to China

April 15th, 2008

The twins.

Hi,

I was just reading your Sunday project to install a wireless card in your iBook. It seems relatively easy to do and was exactly what I wanted to know about.

I just wanted your opinion. I’m in grad school and am going to China for 2 weeks in May on a school/business trip. I want to bring a computer but I’m too nervous to bring my MacBook Pro. I found a clamshell laptop on ebay for a really good price. Do you think if I buy a new battery for it and install the wireless card it would be a good laptop to take with me? I haven’t bought it yet. I just wanted someone else’s opinion first. I pretty much just need it for internet and word processing. I figure it would be a rugged computer to take on such a long trip.

Any tips, advice, opinions would be great.

Thanks!
Amy

Hi there, Amy,

Good question! In fact, that’s exactly what I bought my G3 iBook for – I drove Route 66 a few summer ago, and felt too nervous to take my then-new iBook G4. So I did what you did: shopped on eBay and got a cheap clamshell. I stored all my photos, sent all my e-mails, and kept my travel journal on the G3, and it was perfect. I just wish I had my Airport card then, because just about everywhere I went there was wifi.

I think it would suite your needs perfectly. They’re rugged as heck, and the wireless standard Airport uses is pretty universal. You should be able to hookup just about anywhere.

The battery part may be a bit trickier, but I know there are some online retailers that sell them. You could find one on eBay, too.

Good luck on your trip, and good luck clamshell shopping!

Dave

[Have a question or comment? Leave it in the comments, or e-mail newtonpoetry AT gmail DOT com.]

March 7, 1997: Apple introduces the eMate

March 7th, 2008

The Newton eMate 300

On this day eleven years ago, Apple released the Newton eMate to try and reach the education market.

Applefritter has a nice rundown of the eMate’s abilities, but I’ll tell you: they’re so cheap on eBay now I’ve thought about getting one.

I like them because, in a way, they’re the harbingers to the original clamshell iBook G3 – my favorite Apple portable of all time.

Unlike the handwriting-based MessagePads, the eMate is keyboard-friendly. It sports an ARM 710a 25MHz RISC processor (view more technical details here) and hosts a word processing program, a drawing program, spreadsheet, address book, calendar and graphing calendar.

Sunday project: AirPort on a G3 iBook clamshell

March 2nd, 2008

The subject.

[NOTE: I forgot to add this, but I'm running OS X 10.2.8 - just in case the network stuff doesn't look familiar.]

I love my G3 iBook. I bought it right before my Route 66 trip because (a) I was nervous about taking my then-new G4 and (b) the thing is built for road-warriors and students. It’s the toughest laptop I’ve ever seen, and I knew if I took it all the way across the country, it would survive in a pinch.

And it did, both on the Route trip and the Seattle trip. But one drawback was its lack of wireless connectivity. I underestimated the number of hotels – even run-down ones – that have wireless internet these days. One night, in Needles, California, I drove to three different hotels looking for an ethernet connection, never finding one (which is one reason why the Route updates didn’t come as often as I wanted).

Now that’s all over with. I grabbed an AirPort card off eBay for a reasonable price, and took today to actually install the thing. More… »

Apple.com, circa 1997: eMate 300

January 29th, 2008

Apple.com in 1997, via Kernal Panic.

Macenstein is hosting a great down-memory-lane look back at Apple.com – like here, where in 1997 you could still grab an eMate 300 that was “mobile, affordable, & smart.” No kidding?

Macenstein also put together a great video, featuring all the Apple.com homepages over the past decade, all from Kernal Panic’s Flickr photos. Now that’s sharing.

I love stuff like this; a rare glimpse into Apple’s past. And I really dig the old marketing messages (“iBook: black tie optional”) and photos of all my favorite Macs.