PowerBook: another attempt to change the world

The situation was unusual. Failed project turned into a triumph, every other laptop sold in the world was from Apple. The success continuation and development, but there was no one…

Almost all of the creators of the Macintosh PowerBook, after completion of the project, left the company, and they had a good reason for this. Left the unit, the experience of creating portable computers, rare in the early 90’s, was lost.

Don’t know if was sorry about what happened to Scully, but it’s created a ridiculous problem had the personnel office, the “group human resources”. Resources was looking for and within the company itself. Yes, all source code, drawings, documentation, materials, meetings and all-all-all was in the hands of the company. Prototypes, test stands. And even sketches with another revolutionary concept… About it later.

The formation of the group ended in April-may 1992, then was finally able to decide on plans. The development of new PowerBook’s managed to revive. It seems that the release of the PowerBook 145 in August 1992, he became something of a test. 145 was almost identical to the PowerBook 140, differences were only three: a more powerful processor with a clock frequency of 25 MHz, 4 Megs of RAM in the base and hard drives with larger capacity 40 and 80 Megabytes.

Present the new team’s debut was scheduled for October 19, 1992.

The sequel, start here.

19 Oct 1992

About this event I already wrote.

According to Daniel knight, at the event Apple unveiled 6 new products, 4 of which became hits, and about 2 was quickly forgotten. I think it would be better to talk about the 8 new products, 6 of which were hits, but how many people, so many opinions.

About the quickly-forgotten novelty will mention at once, so more of them do not remember. The first of them, Performa 600, as if was the first Mac om, which was “designed to install CD/ROM”. Second – this is the Macintosh IIvi and Macintosh IIvx, which actually was a Centris.

About them too soon forgotten. It was the last of the Macintosh II.

All the other novelties of that October day became hits. Not every Apple Event in our days is such a performance.

The new generation of the PowerBook

The new generation had two models, the PowerBook 160 and PowerBook 180. Apple demanded to call them Macintosh PowerBook 160 and Macintosh PowerBook 180, PowerBook as a trademark, according to them, was still not promoted. Suddenly someone decides that the laptops from Compaq, or even Sun? But we all know whose computers.

The main difference, or even three: monitor with 16 shades of gray (4-bit grey) with a little (half a centimeter) reduced, compared with the 140/170 size diagonally, support 8-bit color on an external monitor, and the very possibility of such a connection.

In PowerBook 160 display with passive matrix PowerBook 180 with active.

Other changes too, not revolutionary: the maximum size of memory is increased from 8 to 14, the clock frequency, compared to the previous generation, PowerBook 140 and PowerBook 170 increased. 160 up to 25 MHz, 180 MHz to 33.

For those who are going in the coming months to buy a PowerBook, the news was pleasant and soothing. The news was bound to be successful even without any revolutions. Critics have accused Apple of almost a betrayal of the revolutionary ideals – and if 19 October 1992 on this routine update, with a twist in the form of screens with a gradation of grey, I would agree with them. Only tried to know why every time must be a revolution? Tired after all, and boring!


Revolutionary keep step!

This idea came to mind to some crazy, but, despite its apparent simplicity, its implementation is fraught with many problems and difficulties.

Imagine a computer within which another separated from the first and able to work independently.

This is not a computer, and a complex consisting of a sub-notebook, vaguely reminiscent of a modern MacBook Air, and desktop dock. A sub-notebook released from all the excess, it is very lightweight (weighing just 1.9 kg), keyboard size in 88% of the standard, or 95%, different sources give different values to find out which one is correct is not possible, but probably not.

In the case of sub-notebook still has several connectors: for connection to the power supply (charging) to connect the modem (if installed) to the telephone line, it is fully functional, but without floppy disk drive without any possibility to connect to Ethernet. And a connector for connecting to the dock.

Doc, fully Macintosh PowerBook Duo Dock, which is a sub-notebook is inserted as a cassette into the VCR, provides the baby all he himself is deprived.

To connect the sub-notebook to the dock is a special slot for direct access to processor sub-notebook PDS. At the presentation, proudly announced that this PDS 156 feet. Cool, right?

Doc with inserted into it a sub-notebook turns into a full desktop computer. In the dock is preinstalled external hard disc, in 1992, its standard volume was 230 Megabytes, which was not just very good, and unrealistically good.

However, Doc can be purchased with or without this ROM. all I had on any self-respecting Mac in the dock was. SCSI, ADB, slot for installing a coprocessor for floating point numbers, all to connect to Ethernet. The additional memory. And a lot more.

Macintosh PowerBook Duo Dock is, I think, quite independent of the new product purchased for extra money. Doc was able to work with different models of sub-notebook in the first years of its existence with everyone.

Models subnotebooks were two: PowerBook Duo 210, PowerBook Duo 230. Monitors in both models, as in conventional PowerBook’Ah second generation, supported 16 shades of gray. Traditionally, 210, and “Junior” models, it was a display with passive matrix, 230 – active.

While in the dock, both models supported 8-bit color connected to the dock monitor.

In the PowerBook Duo 210 and 230 were used 68030, with a clock frequency of 25 and 33. Both models are preloaded with 4 Megabytes of RAM, which can be increased to 24 MB. That is, if you think a sub-notebook though somewhat inferior to full-fledged notebooks on the part of the computer power, you’re wrong.

Was announced another new product: the Macintosh PowerBook Duo MiniDock, easier than a full fledged dock, and slightly cheaper, which was mild, it is easy to bring along on a long trip, and use it, for example, in the hotel…

MiniDock was also tough.

PowerBook Duo became another triumph for Apple, one of the most successful products of the company.

To be continued

0 Comments on “PowerBook: another attempt to change the world”

  1. Black on black in the Charger I’m creepin’ Rub me the right way, you might get a genie B o B, black Houdini

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