The last PowerBook 500 series, PowerBook 190

The emergence and the fate of this laptop is surrounded by riddles… it seems that it is almost shy. It is still unknown how many instances of this computer was sold. By all accounts, he belonged to the 500-series, but was called the PowerBook 190. PowerBook 190 was, without much noise, declared 3 days after the PowerBook 5300. For the vast majority of the buyers of its appearance in the directory was a surprise. It is not advertised and not promoted, which negatively affected his sales, for the first time.

It is amazing but true: “the machine for the promotion of goods”, as shortly before that called Apple, did not scruple, and in this way distribute its products. In catalogs it was reported that the PowerBook 190 is intended for students of higher educational institutions(!).

Despite the cool attitude from his mother company, he apparently aroused the interest not only of the target audience. In the most affordable modification 190, in the base configuration cost only $ 1650 at the time, and even for PowerBook, it looked like an attraction of unprecedented generosity. Was curious, ready to buy anything, just “discount”. And they were right.

Incredibly cheap PowerBook with the “outdated” and 68LC040 with a clock frequency of 33 MHz if inferior to the PowerBook 5300 PowerPC 603e with clock frequency of 100 MHz, it is not radical.

Bought sharing the good news with friends, acquaintances and forums. Then one of the journalists, finding that the readers are interested, gained through editorial a couple of these cars, and determined as of the PowerBook 5300 on 68LC040, in the case under PowerBook 150, which seems to be true.

However, the case for the 190 was designed specifically, but the basis has indeed been adopted PowerBook 150.

The impression of the journalist was the most favorable, and from that moment the new product sold like hotcakes, beating customers the flagship model…

Riddles PowerBook 190

And that’s why he is mysterious: it seems that marketing and the sales Department about it just didn’t. He had a surprise for them. Themselves engineers, designers and specialists in production, according to his own will, to create and to prepare to release another model of computer, and even in two versions, can.

Someone had to command the development of technical specifications (in fact, not a single specification , but several, perhaps several dozen), to be defined and communicated parameters of the new model.

The project was managed by the product Manager responsible for the success of the project from its very first day and technical specifications, and to turn the project into a product. It’s all very difficult tasks, and the appointment of any Manager in the product such may approve only one person in the company. Her head.

The project should be allocated budget, the project participants shall be paid their wages…

It’s all very difficult.

Preparation of production is another non-trivial process. And none of the processes can not do without control, reports…

With the production and the computer itself was not a problem. It was created carefully and professionally. And produced with minimum (acceptable) level of marriage, in the right quantities. As it should be.

Customers, too, everything was great. When it learned of those whom he could not fail to interest, he began to buy. Not like hotcakes, but very active. We are talking, most likely about 200 or 300 thousand sold 190.

It is not clear what purpose, in General, was initiated and brought to the result of this project. There are versions, but none of them officially confirmed.

The decision was made by Michael Spindler under the influence of tranquilizers? Or someone from employees of the company knew about the problems with lithium-ion batteries, and, having written all the policy documents just handed them Spindler signature?

What is the PowerBook 190, the details of

The details (technical) all clear: no secrets, everything was published, and technical support quickly and willingly answered all questions.

Modifications of 190 had two. The first one, which was called the PowerBook 190, without any alphabetical index, used monitor with a diagonal of 9.5 inches, with 4 bits of grayscale (16 shades from white to black), it was LCD passive matrix with a resolution of 640 by 480/pixels.

In the basic configuration or 4 Megabytes of RAM (configuration for $ 1650) or 8 Megabytes, for 1850. RAM can be increased to 40 Megabytes, which at that time would be more than decent.

The drive was IDE that buyers don’t have a lot to taste (but for the price..,), with a capacity of 500 Megabytes. Problem with this disc was not, in any case, mass.

In the second modification, PowerBook 190cs, used LCD-display with 8-bit color, with the same resolution, with a diagonal of 10.4 inches, also with a passive matrix. For this modification, requested $ 2,200.

Nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) had, according to official data, to provide four hours of battery life versions with a generic monitor, and three and a half modification with color.

In reality, it was slightly worse but good enough for cheap computers.

My own impression from the color modification that I used for two weeks, the best: I made friends with her instantly, and no problems with it, I was not. The project was built as it should – without any SSD.

Both modifications were excluded from the list of live already under Gil Amelio, PowerBook 190 in July, PowerBook 190cs in October.

Replaced the PowerBook 5300 and PowerBook 190 came a new model with a four-digit indexes, PowerBook 1400 (5300 replacement), PowerBook 2400 (continuation of the line Duo), and some later – model “luxury” as it was called marketing Apple.

But they are in the sequel…and while you can discuss this article in our Telegram chat.

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