MCE CardBus Activation for PowerBook 2400

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

You probably remember that the some models of the PowerBook 2400 ship with a CardBus capable PC card slot ? but it comes from Apple disabled. According to Mac Components Engineered the company in gauging interest in a CardBus activation service for PowerBook 2400 owners.

We have, in our labs, several 2400/180’s running CardBus PCMCIA cards of various types…some 100BT, some SCSI cards. These 2400’s were previously incapable of using these cards and would crash or freeze upon their insertion. We have been able to successfully “awaken” the CardBus protocol which was lying in wait like some sleeping giant. We are in the midst of running a battery of tests on these machines to make sure that stability and compatibility are maintained to a high degree. Results are positive so far. Also, we have been able to maintain complete usability of the ADB port on these machines.

We have actually been working on this project for some time now and we are a bit concerned about the “hack” web sites relating to this topic. There are differences between our heavily researched process of “awakening” the CardBus protocol on these machines and the haphazard process shown on the web sites. Our more advanced process allows us to fully and completely implement the CardBus protocol as well as ensure full 32-bit bandwidth while maintaining ADB usability. Also, working inside the 2400 is, in general, not for the faint of heart, and the possibility of permanent damage is high with these machines.

We anticipate being able to offer customers this service very soon should all testing turn out favorable. We are currently defining a minimum set of system requirements, as well, in order to take full advantage of the CardBus protocol. Indications now are that you may need a G3 processor and be running Mac OS 8.5 or higher. We are also comprising a list of CardBus cards which we have found to work properly.

Also, due to different motherboard designs that Apple used, there are some PB2400 units which cannot be modified to enable the CardBus protocol. We are still researching this and we will release more information as it becomes available.

We are awaiting FireWire CardBus cards from Ratoc and Newer Technologies in order to test our CardBus enhancement further. We are hoping to be able to complete all testing by late next week and make an announcement regarding this service by July 1.

This modification will void any existing Apple regular or extended warranty as well as any third-party warranty. Motherboard modification generally has that effect.

We are trying to gauge interest. We’ll probably offer the service for US$149 plus shipping. PB2400 owners interested in having us activate CardBus for them as well as test their system with various cards, including FireWire should e-mail to:

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