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I want to get a PowerBook 100 series to around out my collection, and to possible exhibit at VCF East next year (I want to do a general history of the PowerBook). I'm debating between a PB 140 for around $72 or a 165 for $125.

The 165 is newer, faster, has a video out (useful for troubleshooting later), supports more RAM, and this particular one looks in a little better shape than the 140, plus the seller shows it fully booting to an OS, so I know the drive is working. However, it's more money, and not as good of a representation of the original PowerBook line that in Looking for (compared to me 520c).

The 140 is in good shape, come with a bag, cheaper, and boots to a ? and the curser moves. Beyond that, not sure. It's cheaper, and a better representation of the original 100 series, but I can't be sure the drive works, and the seller isn't able to test beyond booting it up to the ?.

Any opinions? Thanks!

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The 165 might be easier to work with depending on your plans as the 165 supports SCSI disk mode and the 140 does not.

And who could say 'no' to the passive-matrix-yet-still-quite-nice 4-bit grayscale LCD in the 165?

Very good points. I was starting to lean to the 140, but you've brought me back to the 165 lol. I forgot about SCSI mode, that would be very helpful.

Do you know if the SCSI drive in the 165 is compatible with the 520? I'm going to take my 520c to full SSD soon, and could move the hard drive into the 165.
I did it, bought the 165. I also realized the seller confirmed there was no corrosion on the battery terminal, so I feel like he/she has come knowledge about what to look for in these machines. I'll eventually recap the display too.
I got the 165 in. Great condition, a good basic 7.1 install, even a little bit of software. I was happy to find it was a 128MB hard drive. I didn't know they came that big then, maybe at an after market? I didn't think to grab a floppy disk to check the drive, so I'll check tonight.

The hard drive makes a little bit of a sound when accessing it, sounds like it's something to do with the actuator/head moving. Anyone know if I can put my old 520c SCSI drive in it?
Attachments:

Sorry, I forgot to check back here. :)

50-pin 2.5" SCSI is 50-pin 2.5" SCSI so you should be able to swap drives. I've never tried, but you should be able to. Someone at 68KMLA can give you a more definitive answer.

Funny how your grayscale screen almost looks like a colour one when photographed—purple and black and white!

120MB is a reasonable stock drive for a machine of that age. Only the original 100/140/170 ca. 1991 series topped out at 80MB.

It actually has a slight blue/purple hue to it, which I actually like lol.

Mactracker says it’s it s 40-pin. So I’m thinking it’s not compatible. The 128MB is enough, but my the sound it’s making is making me nervous. Plus my 520c’s HDD is 160MB, newer, and sounds better, so it would be nice to upgrade the 165. No biggie though.

I tried signing up for 68kMLA a few times over the years with various email address, and they never approved me. It’s really odd. I even emailed them directly and never heard back. Don’t see anything in my trash or junk. Maybe I’ll try it with my work email this time.

I have $20 here that says the author of Mactracker doesn't have a 165 against which he can verify that information. :-) I don't have real hardware to check either but I do know that:

everything through the PowerBook 100-5xx series used SCSI (except for the 190)

2.5" IDE disks are 44-pin, not 40

there's only one 50-pin 2.5" SCSI connector used in PowerBooks

Open up your machines and check for yourself. :) 

Thanks for the encouragement, I will check next week end I have time to sit down and take this thing apart. If I do fine that it's not 40 pin, I'll report back AND email Ian Page (the Mactracker author).

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