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Re: Alternative to G3 ibook

On Wed, Oct 19, 2005 at 11:44:57PM +0100, Rory Campbell-Lange wrote:
> Thanks very much for your email, Wojciech.
> On 20/10/05, Wojciech Owczarek (owczi@owczi.net) wrote:
> > On Wed, 19 Oct 2005 21:23:49 +0100
> > Rory Campbell-Lange <rory@campbell-lange.net> wrote:
> > 
> > > I would be grateful for any ideas of a relatively low cost, but
> > > ideally reliable laptop (probably from the Apple range) with good
> > > Linux support.
> > 
> > I'm going to tell you a story about quite an old laptop ;)
> > 
> > don't know about the 'cost' part, but if g3/500 suits you fine, then
> > there is nothing as durable, reliable end expandible (!)  as a PowerBook
> > G3/2000 (FireWire), so called Pismo. And it's nicely supported. Here's
> > how it looks: 
> > 
> > http://owczi.net/stuff/pismo3.jpg
> I used to have a Pismo. The only slight negative from my point of view
> is that it was quite a bit heavier than the G3 ibook range.

It's a bit on the heavy, especially with two batteries. However
I have one which is almost 5 years old and still going strong.

I have upgraded the RAM to 1GB, the disk to 30 GB (thinking of
upgrading it again) and already gone through two batteries
(which is fairly normal for the age). 

If you buy one, you'll probably have to buy a new battery sooner
or later. I'd recommend the ones from:


which have higher capacity than the original ones. Mine is only
the 5400mAh model, because the 6600 and 7200 did not exist
when I ordered it. But they really give better autonomy.

The 7200 won't probably reach the 7.5 hours computed by 
scaling the 5 hours optimistically claimed by Apple for 
the original 4800 mAH battery, but it should give a good 
6 hours. And of course more with 2 batteries installed but 
there are some fundamental laws of physics and chemistry: 
higher capacity batteries weigh more.

> > the Pismo has already got an opinion of a cult laptop. You can stuff it
> > with 1GB RAM, insert pretty much any ATA-5 compatible 2.5" HDD,  it has
> > space for an Apple Airport Wifi Card (not the Extreme one), plus one
> > PCMCIA slot, 2 usb 1.1 ports, 2 fireWire 400 ports, external vga and
> > s-video output (the s-video isn't suported by Linux). It has a bay with
> > removable dvd/cd-rom drive that you can swap with a second battery. On a
> > new battery this beauty stays alive for five hours. Imagine two
> > batteries. You can even upgrade it to a G4/550 CPU which would make it
> > better than the early G4 Titanium PowerBooks. It has been sold in two
> > versions - with g3/400 and g3/500 CPUs, and some range of HDD capacity.
> > And you can give it a combo or superdrive (dvd+cdrw)
> Wow. I didn't realise how good the specs were! I'll see if I can find
> one around.

I don't plan getting rid of mine. It was the best computer buying
decision I ever made: I ordered it at a discount just after the
TiBooks were announced because I was a bit suspiscious about
the engineering tour de force of the TiBook (1 inch thick).
I'm deeply convinced that it was the right decision for my
typical usage (fairly lightweight).


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