OT - Question about using a older Apple

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Wed Apr 19 01:30:48 UTC 2006

On 18/04/06, Wade Smart <wade at wadesmart.com> wrote:
> 04182006 1859 GMT-6
> I have maybe the opportunity to get a pretty solid
> PowerBook. Its the older model that is black
> with a 14" screen. When you see them for sale its
> the one with the shark on it.
> Anyway, anyone have any experience with this?
> Im thinking, a good laptop, a good OS, its not
> that fast, 500 I think, but I can type and still
> learn the OS.

If it's got a shark on the screen it's probably _not_ 500 MHz. The
sharks went hand-in-hand with the PowerBook G3 Series (aka
"Wallstreet") IIRC.

Just a quick and dirty run down on the black PowerBooks (the best
looking laptops ever made IMNSHO):

Really Old (stay away, will probably cause your brain to explode):
1. "PowerBook G3" code name "Kanga" (1997, 250 MHz)

Old (YMMV, these PowerBooks use "OldWorld" FirmWare and require
"BootX" as their bootloader (a little complicated and not formally
supported by Ubuntu or YDL)):

2. "PowerBook G3 Series" code name "Wallstreet" or "Mainstreet" (1998;
233, 250, 292 MHz) (avoid the 233 MHz, it's a lemon)

3. "PowerBook G3 Series Rev. 2" code name "PDQ" (1998; 233, 266, 300 MHz)

Not-so old (will work nicely, uses "NewWorld" Firmware):

4. "PowerBook G3 (Bronze Keyboard)" code name "Lombard" (1999; 333 &
400 MHz). Nice machines. USB 1.1 & SCSI.

Sort-of-newish (very nice):

5. "PowerBook G3 (FireWire)" code name "Pismo" (2000, 400 & 500 MHz)
Very nice machines. Best laptop ever made IMNSHO. If it were 10x
faster it would _nearly_ offer exactly what the fastest laptops out
there today offer.
USB 1.1 & FireWire (400 Mbps)

1. CPU upgrades are available for nearly all these laptops so you need
to make sure you understand whether it's a 500 MHz upgrade
"Wallstreet" or a 'real' "Pismo" (the Pismo is a much, much, much
nicer machine).

2. The PowerBook G3 (FireWire) aka "Pismo" also has a special Airport
slot (a modified PC slot) for an Apple Airport wireless card (damned
expensive... they're more $$$ USED than the NEW Airport Extreme card
that Apple currently sells)

3. You can add 3rd party PC cards to all of these laptops which'll
give them FireWire, USB 2 or 802.11b/g.

4. If you fall in love with this form factor, it's possible to get a
CPU upgrade to 800 MHz G3 or 500 MHz G4.

Happy hunting.

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