New Year’s rang in here in my neck of the woods with an Internet outage. A winter storm blew in and we lost our wireless broadband service in the wee hours of December 30th, 2012. My dial-up Internet backup may be excruciatingly slow, but it beats the whizz out of having no Internet access at all. Here’s a salute to old, “obsolete” technologies. Not dead yet!
Nearly 16 years ago in March, 1997, Apple released the eMate 300—a non-Mac clamshell laptop with an ARM processor running Apple’s Newton 2.1 PDA system software. Discontinued less than a year after it debuted, the eMate 300 was in many ways ahead of its time, and in a very real sense was a conceptual ancestor of both the MacBook Air, the iPad, and Ultrabooks, to say nothing of the flash-in-a-pan PC netbook fad.
Claimed in the patent application is a processing device comprising an ionic wind generator configured to generate a flow of ionized air along a path and a deflection field generator located proximate the path of the flow. Translation: a presumably silent means of cooling down internal components in electronic devices.
My two PowerBook G3 2000 FireWire (aka Pismo) laptops just go on and on and on. Now a dozen years old, they’re still going strong in day-to-day production use. They’re almost certainly the best value in a computer hardware purchase I’ve ever made or am ever likely to make, and there’s no obvious reason to suspect I won’t still have a Pismo on the go when they turn thirteen.
mLogic LLC is now shipping its new mDock docking station and backup solution for mid-2009 to current 13- and 15-inch unibody MacBook Pro (MBP) computers. I’ve been a fan of the dockable laptop computer since Apple pioneered the concept with the PowerBook Duo back in the early ’90s. As much as I admired the Duo, I couldn’t afford one back in the day, but I continue to be convinced it’s an elegant solution for making your laptop do double-duty as both mobile computer and desktop substitute.
As Jake Gaecke reported here earlier this week, shots of Mission Control in Houston during the spectacular Curiosity Mars rover landing show that Mac laptops are well-represented these days at NASA/JPL. It’s also worth noting that MacBooks at Mission Control actually go way back.
The iMac G4—one of Apple’s most elegant, innovative and brilliant desktop computer designs ever—is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. I would like to think Apple might someday decide to build another iMac with a “Luxo” type display mount, but alas, it’s not a very optimistic hope.
After corporate reorganization, a new company, ModBook Inc., has announced an updated Modbook Pro, a portable 13.3-inch MacBook-based pen tablet computer. Available with up to a 2.9GHz processor, the Modbook Pro is scheduled to begin shipping in the U.S. in early fall. It’s also the only tablet computer that can boot into both OS X and Windows 7, unlocking two applications ecosystems.
Following the recent success of Walter Isaacson’s biography on former Apple CEO Steve Jobs comes another more corporately-focused book on the company that Jobs co-founded and brought so much success to throughout his adult life. Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky brings to light Apple’s (and Jobs’ as well, to a lesser extent) business side and how the company operates instead of the personal coverage that Isaacson’s biography brought.
Apple has quietly made the Apple USB modem incompatible with OS X Lion, which was verified on Cult of Mac when they tried to use their modem and received an error message. While it’s true that most people don’t need or want to connect to the Internet via dial-up and that other USB modems will work if they have updated drivers, some people do occasionally need dial-up, especially for fax functionality.
Like cars in the winter and guitars on long tours, laptops can face some challenging environments when you take them mobile. My “road” or beater computers for the past several years have been a couple of 2000 vintage Pismo PowerBooks that still do a fine job, but would not represent catastrophic hits to my wallet should ill befall them.
Sometimes you just get it right from the outset, and today’s MacBook computers can trace a direct line of heritage and their general form factor back to those 1991 PowerBook 100, 140, and 170 machines. An apt automotive analogy would be Ford’s Mustang, which was so brilliantly conceived and styled at its introduction in May, 1964, that the current 2011 Mustang could not be mistaken for anything else..