iBook: “something else”

What could be interesting in the household computer, especially portable? If it has developed a crazy (in a good way), the company that think differently than all, it can be a lot interesting. And “laptop candy style” requires continued…

Home computers were something second-class, was designed as a residual, was made from obsolete parts, unsold in warehouses. They are still buying because it is cheap… Or bought – so that’s pointless and not too capacious market, what can you do.

And Apple… Well, in the era of “fast rotting Apple” when the head of the company signed, without reading any documents, it would be better to say “Apple”. Although, at the time, even Apple was inconsistent, all of a sudden creating masterpieces “home & education”, anything essentially has not changed. These masterpieces have failed, one by one, Reaffirming the futility and worthlessness of direction.

But the errors of Apple, resonated: one story of hundreds of thousands of copies of Performa, cheap and useless, worth. For them, Apple paid twice. First for development and production, and then for the withdrawal from the balance and for disposal.

But the iMac and the portable iBook option to ignore it was impossible. After their attitude to “home computers” has changed radically and forever. To treat Apple differently, developing their company pursued its own essentially selfish interests. But the attitude of “domestic segment” is changed!

iBook already appeared on the pages of the website, in the series about the iMac. It’s the same iMac, only in portable version. sometimes called the iBook “iMac to go”. I was sure that the matter was closed and that the return to it is not necessary.

If you’ve ever tried your hand at fiction, you are faced with this effect: at some point, the heroes of the story begin to live your life, and sometimes even out of control. iBook stubbornly insisted on continuing…

The wireless revolution

Those who long and daily talked with Steve jobs (the more fun, actually), saying that a dislike to the abundance of cables and wires on the desktop, and hatred of waste product of computing devices (to noise, and you have to think about?), was he strong and sincere. He is not depicted.

Wi-Fi so he decided to thrust into the world immediately and at any cost.

iBook participated in the wireless mutiny turned into a revolution. Even if iBook was gray and insignificant “another domesticated notebook”, he still went to the history.

Presentation of the AirPort was like a circus. On stage miracles happen: sawn into two halves assistants and assistant move my toes, separated from the head by several meters of empty space. Banknotes and rabbits appear out of nowhere. And Steve is a field distortion of reality, a Mirage… a Circus!

But when the Mirage melted away, was that the magic AirPort is not an illusion. The world’s first AirPort-Ready computer, iBook, fell into the hands of users in September 1999, and there were those who (if it were not iBook) certainly would try, after a visit to the circus, saw someone, and see what happens. We know of several cases: a dozen sets of the iBook, AirPort Base Station and AirPort Card was purchased for the public exposure of magic.

But… everything worked.

That is, domesticated portable computer, sometimes white, and almost fluffy to the touch (in those places where the plastic case was covered with a layer of rubber), was also revolutionary.

And if only that…

The crisis is a good reason to change something

iBook was the first not only in the field of wireless technologies.

Taking this opportunity, and under the yoke of circumstances, Apple engineers got the stuffed shells in full. The oppression was unbearable; they demanded, at the same time, to create something with characteristics superior to “real computers” of other manufacturers, and cheap.

Like Japanese cars, to conquer the automotive market of the USA in the 70s, the most American market in the world… until the Japanese invasion.

With “Goodies”, the LCD screen(TFT) with a diagonal of 12.1 inches (30.7 cm), with support for millions of colors, 24x speed CD-ROM drive (all configurations), a very good and expensive video card is ATI Rage Mobility.

All models of the first series of iBook included a V. 90 modem 56Kbps, USB (1.1), Ethernet 10/100Base-T, and of PowerPC 750 processor with a clock frequency of 300 MHz with external second level cache for a volume of 512 KB.

Professional laptops with specifications similar to this, it was necessary to look for more. And not just laptops. This “cosmetic” not inferior to desktop machines of the time.

But it is expensive. How can I achieve, all at the same time, low prices?

iBook was the first Mac om with Unified Logic Board Architecture. Don’t even translate, the translation does not explain the essence of this phenomenon. Within this architecture, almost all of the basic elements of the computer were realized in two chips. Technological, mass production, cheap, reliable, beautiful… outside of these chips left AGP, Ultra DMA, and something else, but the cost has decreased. Costing is one of the most terrible secrets of the company, from the category of “before reading destroy”, there is no accurate data and will not be – but about 10-15% of the reception cost is reduced.

Another step to reduce cost – use the New World ROM. Instead of the chip 4 MB of permanent memory, scored extremely compressed libraries and utilities that are unique to each model and version Mac (Old World ROM), ROM new world was universal, that is, produced in huge numbers – and the greater the circulation, the lower the cost the instance.

A side effect of the “new world” – the Gestalt for all models with New World ROM return the same value. ROM the new world, from time to time, changed – and with it the number returned by this function – but to understand what specific model Mac and start our program using the Gestalt became impossible. We shall return to this below.

To enumerate all the tricks, which went to the engineers for cost reduction, will not succeed. It has been almost 20 years, all who participated in this creative feat of the signed non-disclosure agreements without time limitation, therefore, of the memoir no one left… But the result is impressive: 1 $ 599. No AirPort Card, tax, shipping cost to USA, but still…

Perhaps the most difficult step was the suppression of greed. What if the “weld” on each copy sold not 60 %, but, for example, 55? But this is just a guess.

It was a hoax

Probably some of you readers will read it here. Not only information about PB 105 Iceberg, representing, in fact, a perpetual motion machine; but the search of the missing link of evolution in the line PowerBook was… a hoax.

According to the materials of April fools day rooms “Apple” the media of the time. And memories. What I didn’t say “bruised Apple”…

In fact, the model IDs PowerBook was not. Clerks Apple incredibly, almost maniacally meticulous, and such errors do not commit, it is possible.

Model ID PowerBook2,1 was, and PowerBook2,2 – too. But the audience knew them under other names. It was…

You are absolutely right. It was a “shell”, “cosmetics bags”, “candy laptops in style iMac”, “iMac to do” – that is, iBook’and first design.

Have iBook’s-purses continued. About him in the sequel

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