G4 Maintenance Road Test: Wild Eepz

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Date: Tuesday, April 30th, 2002, 10:05
Category: Archive

Ah, the PowerBook G4. Sleek. Powerful. Sexy. Okay, not so sexy when the display unlatches itself in its bag or the hinge breaks or there are nasty marks on the screen. But suffering is the mother of invention here at the PowerPage, and reader John Grzeskowiak of Radiologic Technologies began marketing his own custom solution for hinge conditioning, display cushioning, and screen cleaning and protection, now available from DevDepot. “A business borne out of a PowerPage comments thread. That’s gotta be a first,” says John. I’ve now had the opportunity to road test John’s display cushions under the abusive conditions my Ti endures daily, to see if comments threads can produce a worthy product: and if accessorizing is the answer to one of the Ti’s design flaws. Click read more for the full review.


Ah, the PowerBook G4. Sleek. Powerful. Sexy. Okay, not so sexy when the display unlatches itself in its bag or the hinge breaks or there are nasty marks on the screen. But suffering is the mother of invention here at the PowerPage, and reader John Grzeskowiak of Radiologic Technologies began marketing his own custom solution for hinge conditioning, display cushioning, and screen cleaning and protection, now available from DevDepot. “A business borne out of a PowerPage comments thread. That’s gotta be a first,” says John. I’ve now had the opportunity to road test John’s display cushions under the abusive conditions my Ti endures daily, to see if comments threads can produce a worthy product: and if accessorizing is the answer to one of the Ti’s design flaws.

While some readers felt that a DIY solution was just as good, I can’t imagine anything better for replacing / augmenting Apple’s anemic display cushions than the Wild Eepz Cushionz. The clever minimal design involves four round rubber cushions. Installation is very easy, thanks to a template that you can Scotch-tape to the display to help with alignment. Basically, you just stick the things on. By default, Radiologic suggests installation along the top of the display, which I think looks quite cute. But if you don’t like the look, you can also replace the existing stock Apple display cushions on the front sides of the machine. (These are so small you may not have noticed them unless, like some readers, you had them fall off or wear down.) I’ve been impressed with the quality of the material as well as the adhesive: they’ve remained very secure through intense conditions.

Immediately, I found that I no longer had to worry about the display crashing into the bottom of the `Book when closing it — which had chipped paint near the latch hole on the base of the computer — or about the machine opening itself while in a bag and waking from sleep. The whole machine feels more rugged as a result, and as promised, hinge tension is more properly maintained while the unit is closed. If you have difficulty with a hinge being too loose or tight, you may want to consider John’s hinge treatment solution, as well. If you find that you can’t close your PowerBook without holding the base down, for instance, it’s likely your hinge is too tight, which could increase stress on the hinge and potentially even break it. The last product in John’s PowerBook suite is a keyboard display protector, basically a nice piece of cloth to cover the keyboard and trackpad and keep them from marring your display. It’s likely to appeal to those who wanted a “cruelty free” solution as opposed to the existing leather products. And the ScreensavRz cloth doubles as a cleaning cloth — very cool.

The Cushionz (8 pack) and ScreensavRz sell for US$9.95 each at DevDepot , while the hinge treatment kit is $14.95. At these prices, this is a no-brainer: get them, you won’t regret it. Congratulations, John, on designing and marketing your own products, and giving the rest of us a hand.

Next time I’ll cover the next G4 owner’s woe: paint loss. Stay tuned. And keep us alerted to your products if you’d like us to try them.

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