Just the thing if you’re feeling nostalgic about the PowerBook

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Date: Friday, February 21st, 2014, 20:47
Category: Apple, Archive, Fun, History, PowerBook

apple-powerbook-g3-wallstreetThis website was pretty much founded on writing about Apple’s PowerBook line, so I thought this would be a nifty tidbit to pass along. For those of you whose history with the Mac only dates back to around five years, the PowerBook line was the first series of Mac laptops. When Apple made the jump to Intel chips inside their portable lineup, they switched the name to “MacBook” and “MacBook Pro” and have carried on that convention ever since.

The first PowerBook was the PowerBook 100 which made its debut in October of 1991 and culminated with the PowerBook G4 in April of 2006. Except for the plastic cased MacBook which replaced the iBook G4, all of the rest of the MacBook line-up has been made from aluminum and haven’t changed dramatically in their outward appearance. Then again, the MacBooks are only 8 years old, while the PowerBooks spanned 15 years. In that time the PowerBook’s design went through numerous changes as technology and sensibilities evolved. Here are just a few:


During the first 8-9 years, it was also common to have one model with a greyscale LCD screen, because it made the laptop cheaper, and a model with a color screen. There were also clever innovations, such as the G3 line (third from the left), like the two bays that would let you swap out a CD/DVD module for a floppy, Zip disk, or hard drive module, or a second battery. That is just a glimpse of the relatively long history of the PowerBook, but if you are hungry for more details, or had one or more of these groundbreaking portables and want a trip down memory lane, you need to head over to Low End Mac‘s web site. This web site is a great resource for details about Apple’s laptop lineup, links to places you can still buy the older hardware and software, upgrades, and best of all a price guide that will tell you what a particular model is selling for right now. Invaluable if you plan on selling your older Mac (not just laptops) and need to figure out how much to price your old hardware. Going back to the history aspect, check out Low End Mac’s Compleat Guides which covers a number of older Macs and much of their history. Too bad they don’t mention some of the product placement campaign such as the tie ins with Independence Day and Mission Impossible (the first one. yes, Tom Cruise hacks with a Powerbook). Oh, and before I forget, I did not misspell “complete”, as Low End Mac explains;

* No, it isn’t a typo. Compleat is a legitimate, albeit archaic, spelling for complete. As Kenneth G. Wilson says in The Columbia Guide to Standard American English: “This obsolete spelling of the adjective complete suggests an air of antiquity that seems to please some of those who name things….” We find that fitting for Low End Mac’s Compleat Guides to “obsolete” hardware and software.

So there you go. Have some fun and brush up on Mac trivia to impress your friends, and don’t forget, the PowerPage was there to see it.

Any PowerBook stories, share them!



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