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Pretty, Pretty Pismo

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Pretty, Pretty Pismo

G3 + FireWire + PowerBook = Pismo!

Members: 29
Latest Activity: Oct 29, 2013

Discussion Forum

Back to the Pismo fold - feels like home! 5 Replies

Started by Mindstage. Last reply by Marc Dietrich Jan 18, 2012.

Should I consider this? 2 Replies

Started by Phreakout. Last reply by Phreakout Nov 20, 2010.

Who Designed Pismo? (eh-hem, Lombard) 2 Replies

Started by Dave. Last reply by David Sheehy May 5, 2010.

Comment Wall

Comment by Phreakout on January 18, 2012 at 9:24am

I had to replace the hinges in my Pismo.  Found a good old stock pair on eBay; both sides for ~$15 + shipping!  A great deal, considering all others wanted them for ~$24 and up per side.  >:(  Replaced them both in less than an hour; let's see you do it THAT quickly with a new model MacBook Pro!

Comment by Marc Dietrich on January 18, 2012 at 10:09am

Nice, out of the 6 Pismo's I have restored, non needed hinges.  As for bad hing engineering from apple, the powerbook g4 titanium is the worst design, then i saw the MacBook...... bad idea....   now to restore bad inverters on the Aluminum PB G4... 

Comment by Phreakout on January 18, 2012 at 3:10pm

I just like on this model how Apple had it go out with a bang.  They really just threw all the requested features we were looking for.  My only gripe is trying to keep it up to date; Java and web browsers are quickly limiting its performance and capabilities.  Tiger does run okay, but I think it runs much better with Panther.  Now for that Wegnermedia G4 Pismo upgrade they've been advertising...

Comment by Marc Dietrich on January 18, 2012 at 7:31pm

You are correct, the Pismo is such a simple design and as they say "form follows function"  or something like that.  Yes, what can be done to make it better?  My battery is better, lasting 4 hrs, and they are still for sell,  weakness?  video card and cpu,  I have seen the insides of the mac mini and I know small can be mad fast!   I use a pismo to test cd/dvd rom drives from ibooks and imac....  My ideas for a better Pismo,   LED back light, stronger battery,  cd/dvd-rw drive.   as for Wegner Media, I am still waiting for my G4 chip, cd/dvd-rw drive and feet..... 6 months and counting....

Comment by Dave on January 18, 2012 at 8:33pm

Pismo was, in my mind, was never meant to be.  Right after Lombard the powerbook was to go straight to G4. It was, however... to be in the shell of what we know as the iBook Clamshell. But, the G4 chip was too hot for the plastic clamshell. It wasn't working. As a stalling mechanism, Apple updated the Lombard with the Firewire and Airport... then, put a slower G3 chip in the clamshell and called it iBook.  Meanwhile, it gave them time to go ahead with a totally new approach... what would become the Titanium.  Jobs introduced the Pismo in Japan... not a place to get much attention and certainly not as big as in San Fran or New York as he was used to doing with new products. Looking inside pismo you see A LOT of unused space... I bet that really bugged Jobs and Ive. By spreading and stretching the motherboard width wise and flattening the palm rest area it helped cool the G4 chip in a way the Clamshell could not.  Plus it was titanium. Plus it was sexy and insanely great. Lucky for us we have Pismo.... never intended to exist... but really outlasted them all.

Comment by Marc Dietrich on January 19, 2012 at 10:12am

Wow, for all I have read on the Pismo,  I never heard of that part of the history, but I always wondered if the G4 chip from the Sawtooth series G4 would fit, but that chip seems to big and one would lose memory.  After my misadventure with wegner media I scored a G4 chipped Pismo and it seems to run nice.  Thanks for the info, i do know the earlier Powerbooks were thicker then the Pismo, but yes, the titanium G4 is much thinner, both are easy to get into for service as is the Aluminum G4 (except the 12 in.)   I did not know the Pismo was considered a  clamshell, yes, it does look like it, the ibook g3 first series looks more like the clamshell.

Comment by Dave on January 19, 2012 at 10:20am

Marc, you are correct. The colored G3 iBooks are the 'Clamshell'. Hope I wasn't muddy on that... What tipped me off to looking into all this info was the fact that there really isn't any footage of Jobs introducing the Pismo on stage. The Lombard yes... Titanium yes... in a BIG WAY too. 

Pismo is such a wonderful computer.  So organic and uncomplicated.  Flipping open the keyboard to expose the insides is just as poetic. I don't think they came as close to it's wholeness until the unibody laptops of recent.

Comment by Dave on January 19, 2012 at 10:25am

I found enough info out there to indicate that Apple was going to put the G4 in the body of the iBook. It was supposed to be Powerbook G4 all along... but overheating issues stopped that line. So... that's when I have to believe Jobs came up with the 2 by 2 line. Pro line and consumer. Simple and clean. And all the work they had put into the 'Clamshell'... well that didn't have to be scrapped. The desire was for a latch-less Powerbook. iBook ended up being that. Powerbook never... not until it became Macbook Pro.

Comment by Marc Dietrich on January 19, 2012 at 10:30am

The fact that Jobs was "quiet" about the Pismo is enough to pay attention.  Yes, it is a great laptop, as I was late to joining the computer age (1998) and after a couple of bad pc's I was encouraged to use a Mac in 2005 (Powermac G3 BW) and I found the Pismo in a computer salvage store in 06, it was to be my first ever laptop and one I have enjoyed using and making it better, I even found a new zip drive.... also enjoyed using OS 9 and 10.3, OS 9 was good for playing Myst....

Comment by Phreakout on January 19, 2012 at 11:03am

Marc,  what's up with Wegener Media?  Are they still in business, just really slow to respond or are they being complete jerks to everybody?  I'd no doubt jump on the G4 upgrade bandwagon, provided they were willing to cooperate.  I'm not gonna jump to conclusions, but if they took your money and ran, I'd see about getting the cash back asap. 

As for other Pismo upgrades, Google the Village Tronic VT Book PC Card.  It's a video card that plugs into your Pismo's PCMCIA slot and provides up to 3 displays.  Has an internal 266 Mhz processor, 32 MB DDR VRAM, works under Mac OS 9 (2D Only), Mac OS X (supports 3D), Win 2k and Win XP.  It is being discontinued at $100 US dollars; couple it with the VT Book Dualhead at $14 US dollars and you've got faster more expanded video capabilities.  But get one before they are gone forever. 

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