iBook G3 (Mid 2001): give a steer to designers?

Insanely beautiful “marble” plate. Of translucent plastic. It is not necessary to include, it can just look like on fire the fire – will not come off! Especially if it is not included. To argue against beauty no less foolish than to make a cult of it.

Their story is beautiful. The new iBook was like a computer. He became lighter and thinner. Case thickness is 3.4 cm, the thinnest household notebook at the time. 2.2 kg is still the easiest. And the most beautiful (although the taste and color…), is recognized even “enemies”.

Code names and nicknames new series of Marble (marble), iceBook (translate as “notebook PC-ice”, there is no objection?) – emphasized the features of its appearance. New iBook’and really was like a neat thin plate of marble or of ice, carefully polished, gently rounded edges.

And besides, they were more powerful and more productive. He would be one of the greatest Macs, the disadvantages that even somehow uncomfortable to remember, if not…

This is the fourth part of a series about the iBook, a list of the previous parts below:

First: Laptop candy style: iBook;
Second: iBook: “something else”;
Third: the World of Steve jobs, and iBook.

Ice that did not melt

It was brand new computer. From previous iBook models, he inherited only the name and the place in the strategy of the “four quadrants” (in the square at the intersection of “household” and “portable” computers). Form and content were different.

Processor – the PowerPC 750cx, or G3e. Clock frequency 500 MHz, a second level cache chip with the same clock frequency, volume 256, but are significantly more productive. Perhaps this is another option that combines the iBook G3 (Mid 2001), with its ancestor, the iBook G3 “from Paris”.

Screen: 12.1 inch (30.7 cm) diagonal, with a resolution of 1024×768. None of the household notebook of the time such permission was not. In addition to the “native” resolution it was possible to choose two more, 800×600 or 640×480.

More powerful graphics: ATI Rage Mobility 128 (2xAGP), with 8 Megabytes of video memory.

To household laptop computer you can connect an external monitor with the same resolution at 1024×768. The external screen could only repeat is shown on the iBook screen mode (“Mirror”, i.e., “Mirror”). It was assumed that connecting the iBook to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse, computer fold – and use as if it were an ordinary desktop computer.

Not everyone is liking the trackpad…

In all models, by default, sets the disk UltraATA/66 with a volume of 10 Gigabytes. In the Configurator Online Apple Store, it can be replaced by the drive capacity of 20 GB.

In addition to Marble and iceBook, the series had several names, P29 (this is about anything but solid and mysteriously) and Dual USB. A subtle hint at a serious matter: the number of controllers (USB 1.1) and USB connectors on the housing, has increased to two. In addition, for connecting external devices to use a FireWire 400. Connector FW was, as before, the only thing – but the manufacturers of peripherals for FW, as a rule, think not only about yourself, and added a connector to connect the following device.

All the models were equipped Ethernet 10/100Base-T, v modem.90 56k, there were two speakers (stereo!), microphone (built-in microphones at that time was a rarity). As expected, all iBook (Mid 2001) was AirPort Ready.

Battery, according to Apple, I endured 5 hours of battery life, which, in the opinion of the overwhelming majority of consumers looked shameless Scam. And in a country of lawyers is not out of the hands of even the President of the country, not to mention some joint-stock company…

But the attempt to bring Apple to justice for the brazen and systematic deception did not succeed: new battery, under certain conditions (!!!), behaved 5.1 hours (from 4.9 to 5.3). Battery bought experts, the forgery was excluded. In real life, these conditions were practically impossible, but… it’s already outside the law.

The verdict was “claim denied”.

Icicle in four variants

All four options of ice were practically the same computer, but it is the buyers did not complain, on the contrary… the grounds on which the variants differ from one another, was winningly simple and obvious.

The main feature was type of optical drive. Offered four varieties. Tray load drives, which in my opinion, much better and easier than slit download. If not try to use a retractable tray as a coffee holder.

In the cheapest models mounted 24x speed CD-ROM. In addition, the motherboard has vaivaros a total of 64 Megabytes of RAM (PC100), expandable to 576 MB. This cost option 1 is $ 299. For portable Mac, “the best in the industry” on a number of parameters, it was insanely cheap.

In other embodiments, the motherboard was soldered 128 MB of RAM, but to expand it you could have up to 640 Megabytes.

By the way, a rare case: craftsmen from the agree with Apple regarding the maximum RAM for these computers. Third-party craftsmen suggest to buy the memory chips are only checking to see if they will work in “ice”. Even if the parameters of the chips are the ones you need, it is likely that the iBook Dual USB will not see them.

The second option was a 4x DVD-ROM drive, 128 Megabytes of RAM, and it cost 1 $ 499. In its unique way, for that time. A vampire for battery, but to watch Star Trek “Enterprise” in the forest at night around a campfire is worth it. If in stock, three or four fresh batteries. And if — but sad in the next section.

The third option is “expanded opportunities”. Radical. Optical drive belonged to the class of CD-RW, where RW stands for Read-Write. Rare for that time, the opportunity, and even directly in the basic configuration, just for 1 $ 599.

CD read speed – 24 times 150 KB/s (24x speed), write speed – 8x. And, like, the CD was written as necessary. To try I failed. In this series, I’ve only had the option of DVD-ROM, for two or three weeks, and I’m incredibly lucky… the Unit worked without problems.

The fourth option can be purchased only in the Online Apple Store. His “weapon” was a Combo drive that included 4x DVD-ROM and 24/8-fold CD-RW.

Cost is 1 799 USD. Today it may seem a wilderness, but in those days, even that price was… almost normal. Expensive toys, many like it.

Tim cook, our American friend

All would be well with the iceBook, but… 73% of them were defective. Record!

Apple and the designers did not have this relationship. For the production of components and was responsible Tim cook. The production, to reduce costs, transferred outside the United States, and… this time overdid it with the cost reduction.

Defective computers returned, either in exchange for money, some customers tried to change to a new, healthy model – but not all of them luck.

Looking for a few series ahead, we predict more of fate iceBook: by the end of their last series, the level of marriage could decrease. Radical. Up to 49%.

Cheapness vicious…

This case has taught Apple and cook. The production of no marriage, especially if marriage is performed overseas, in a foreign and strange country, it is not – but more of this monstrous failure has not happened.

To be continued

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