PowerBook 3500: let’s catch up!

In the chronology PowerBook’s you will not find a model with this index. It was renamed at the last moment. And the competitors really had, the second time this year, to catch up sinking and dying… the Mac and it is always slow! The first time competitors had to strain to seriously invest in a confrontation PowerBook 3400c/240, laptop which surpassed the performance of all laptops in the world. To them, successful and prosperous, bleeding the company challenged – and they had to answer.

Margin (the difference between the cost and the market price of the goods) from the prosperous was not too high due to fierce competition in the market, and the response was neither easy nor pleasant. In addition to the financial side of the issue, the engineers of these companies have had to solve many contrary one to the other technical problems, and even in a very short time.

PowerBook 3400c/240 was released in February 1997, the most he has ceased to be a few months, but portable monsters to stop at the insolent leadership, commercial success did not. It is not surprising that industry – the Apple Computer hated with a perfect hatred. In any other country and would kill all who were responsible for the damage respected people…

But Apple Computer was preparing to strike again.

Once again about a PowerPC 740/750 (G3 PowerPC)

Motorola and IBM, best friends Apple has developed an extremely good processor. They did not doubt that this processor will be better than PowerPC 603ev, an evolutionary extension of which he was…

The first variant PowerPC 740/750 produced according to the technology of 0.26 µm (PowerPC 603ev – technology 0.35 µm), allowing no harmful effects to overclock the CPU to higher frequencies, up to 366 MHz – but the developers are not restricted. Dynamic branch predictions also contributed to performance PPC740/750.

Steve followed this project, and was one of the first who found out about the results. The new processor easily bested 603ev, all of the then Pentium, and even 604e processor for powerful desktop computers and workstations. It was a trump card that had to play immediately.

I already wrote about the G3, but could not mention him again, because he was the heart of the developed PowerBook 3500.

The development of the PowerBook 3500, under the slogan “take no prisoners”

It would seem, here it is the trump card, here is a recent champion of the industry, remaining the most powerful (and expensive) in the world with laptop having success. Now just to replace 603ev, 750, and…

Install disk with higher capacity, to stuff in more RAM… But I had to beat for sure, in case of failure, another chance might not be. Something (building, PCI-architecture with slots for expansion), and in fact borrowed from 3400c, which, in turn, borrowed the body of the fire flower with the index 5300, with a few changes that not everyone will even notice, and 5300 inherited it from PowerBook’s 500 series…

Largely, 3500 – a product of deep and elaborate modernization 3400c.

Bus clock rate was increased from 40 to 50 Megahertz. It would seem that the increase was not too large, but the effect was stunning. Including negative, due to incompatibilities with past circuitry. But the game was worth the candle.

The second level cache has been increased.

Although the graphic side of things, it seems, had no relationship to the main goal (to overtake everyone, and make “boring company” to spend their belongings back-breaking labor on stupid things), she also paid attention to. Video controller Chips & Technology 65554 PCI, accelerator, and very serious at that time 2 Megabytes of video memory, increased graphics performance by 74%. The increase was confirmed by independent experts.

Shaken up the entire structure, repeatedly rechecking the efficiency of the system and its elements.

Of course, during these several months a team of engineers doing breaks only for sleep (because without sleep, go mad and do stupid errors), any one of them could at any time withdraw from the project, but… no one left.

If someone will tell you about the Apple fanatics, you know: all the real fanatics of this company work in it, focusing on creating technical masterpieces and giving his whole soul to this thing, sacrificing for him all the rest. Apple called the destroyer of families: not all halves withstood this. Families in which both spouses worked in the company, and even took with them their infants, the others envied.

Technical specifications PowerBook 3500

About the intricacies and vicissitudes of the development process, alas, unknown. Secret. Despite the secrecy about the PowerBook 3500 outside Apple knew. Journalists, commentators and competitors. Even I heard something about this… About the novelty of telling stories.

Actually, it was just another computer. However, created with incredible care and attention to detail.

PowerPC 750 processor with a clock frequency of 250 MHz.

32 Megabytes of RAM, expandable to 160 Megabytes. The second level cache is 512 Kilobytes. Hard drive capacity of 5 GB. 20x CD drive.

The multiplicity of the CD drives is a unit of measurement of their performance, the number by which to multiply the 150 Kilobytes per second to speed of reading data from a CD-ROM. I agree that “twenty-fold CD drive” sounds ridiculous and idiotic, but it was taken.

3500 PowerBook is the only computer with G3, does not support Mac OS X. this Steve decided to save money. It was irrelevant, and could do nothing to affect the success or failure of 3500. Craftsmen bans “drum”, and in 2001-2003 there were many publications on how it can be done “on the knee”…

10Base-T Ethernet, modem 33,6 KB/s, Li-ion battery, all the traditional old Macs ports, Old World ROM…

The process of calculating the cost of the computer and its price is the most secret mystery. This time the creation of affordable computer and capture it using the market, oddly enough, was not a high priority. The price determined at 5699 dollars. If someone this amount seems huge, let me remind you about the PowerBook 3400c/240, which asked 6500 dollars. 5699 $ is even humane. And because both of these models bought!!! They barely have time to produce.

A couple of weeks before the new computer, Steve announced the change of the name of the computer. Now it is officially called the PowerBook G3.

Concisely and fully: once it is clear what it is. PowerBook, G3 inside, and that is what G3 is soon learned by many.

Parallel project

In parallel with the PowerBook 3500, in absolute secrecy, were developed for another project notebook, this time from scratch and also with all diligence. When the result of this project was shown in March 1998, for almost all Apple employees this was an absolute surprise.

Products of a parallel project (there were several) was called the PowerBook G3. However, each of them had another name (Mainstreet, Wallstreet and the like), so that people understand who is who, it was easy…

But these G3’s in next time.

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